Letters of Marx and Engels 1848

Engels To Marx[220]
In Cologne

Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 172;
Written: 25 April 1848;
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913.

Barmen, 25 April 1848

Dear Marx,

I have just received the prospectus [H. Bürgers, ‘Prospectus for the Founding of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung'] along with your letter. There’s damned little prospect for the shares here. [Wilhelm] Blank, to whom I had already written about it[221] and who is still the best of the lot, has become practically a bourgeois; the others even more so since they became established and came into conflict with the workers. All these folk shun the discussion of social questions like the plague, calling it seditious talk. I have lavished on them the finest rhetoric, and resorted to every imaginable diplomatic ploy, but always hesitant answers. I am now going to make one final effort; if it fails, that will be the end of everything. In 2-3 days you'll have definite news about how things have gone. The fact is, after all that even these radical bourgeois here see us as their future main enemies and have no intention of putting into our hands weapons which we would very shortly turn against themselves.

Nothing whatever is to be got out of my old man. To him even the Kölner Zeitung is a hotbed of agitation and, sooner than present us with 1,000 talers, he would pepper us with a thousand balls of grape.

The most advanced of the bourgeois here find their party represented pretty much to their satisfaction by the Köln Zeitung. So what do you want us to do? ‘

Moses’ agent, Schnaake, who was here last week, would seem to have been calumniating us too.[222]

I have no address for Dronke except: Adolf Dominicus, merchant, Coblenz (his uncle). His old man is living in Fulda, a grammar school headmaster, I think. It’s a little backwater: Dr E. Dronke junior, Fulda, would probably reach him if he’s there. But it’s foolish of him not to write, if only to let us know his whereabouts.

I have had a letter from Ewerbeck asking whether we have received a supposedly important letter which he sent to the agreed address in Mainz. If you haven’t had it, write and inform Mainz (Philipp Neubeck, teacher candidate, Rentengasse (Heiliger Geist), Mainz).

Ewerbeck is having the Manifesto translated into Italian and Spanish in Paris and to that end wants us to send him 60 fr. which he has undertaken to pay. Yet another of those schemes of his. They will be splendid translations. [223]

I am working on the English translation, which presents more difficulties than I thought. However, I'm over half way through, and before long the whole thing will be finished. [224]

If even a single copy of our 17 points [Demands of the Communist Party in Germany] were to circulate here, all would be lost for us. The mood of the bourgeoisie is really ugly. The workers are beginning to bestir themselves a little, still in a very crude way, but as a mass. They at once formed coalitions. But to us that can only be a hindrance. The Elberfeld political club [225] issues addresses to the Italians, advocates direct election but resolutely eschews any discussion of social questions, although in private these gentlemen admit that such questions are now coming to be the order of the day, always with the proviso that we should not take precipitate action!

Adios. Write soon in greater detail. Has the letter been sent to Paris, and did it have any results? [226]

Your E.