Letters of Marx and Engels, 1849
Source: MECW Volume 38, p. 212;
Written: 23 August 1849;
First published: abridged in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, 1913 and in full in MEGA, 1929.
I am being banished to the Morbihan département, the Pontine marshes of Brittany. I need hardly say that I shall not consent to this veiled attempt on my life. So I am leaving France.
They won’t give me a passport for Switzerland, hence I must go to London, and that tomorrow. In any case, Switzerland will soon be hermetically sealed and the mice would be trapped all at one go.
Besides, in London there is a positive prospect of my being able to start a German newspaper. [Neue Rheinische Zeitung. Politisch-ökonomische Revue] I am assured of part of the funds.
So you must leave for London at once. In any case your safety demands it. The Prussians would shoot you twice over: 1) because of Baden, 2) because of Elberfeld. And why stay in a Switzerland where you can do nothing?
You will have no difficulty in coming to London, whether under the name of Engels or under the name of Mayer. As soon as you say you want to go to England, you will receive a one-way passport to London from the French Embassy.
I count on this absolutely. You cannot stay in Switzerland. In London we shall get down to business.
For the time being my wife will remain here. Continue to write to her at the same address: 45, rue de Lille, M. Ramboz.
But once again, I confidently count on you not to leave me in the lurch.
Lupus [Wilhelm Wolff] is at Dr Lüning’s, Zurich. Write and tell him also about my plan.