Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867
Source: MECW Volume 42, p 343;.
First published: in Der Briefwechsel zwischen F. Engels und K. Marx, Stuttgart, 1913.
After a long silence, for which he pleaded overwork, Meissner has written that my plan ‘is unacceptable to him’.
1. He wants to have the 2 volumes [of Capital] ready at the same time;
2. not to print piecemeal, as he wants to have one proof-sheet done per day and only to leave the final correction (revision) to me.
I replied ad 2 that it is a matter of indifference to me, as he can shortly have the whole manuscript of Volume I. If he commences printing later but prints by so much faster, it will be all the same in the end. However, in the case of a book with so much annotation in various languages, he should reflect whether the manner of correcting he is wanting is feasible without the text being gravely marred by printing errors. Ad 1, it is an impossibility without the whole job being greatly delayed, nor is anything of the kind agreed in our contract. I explicated the various reasons to him, but have as yet had no reply.
Aside from the delay, a yet greater obstacle to my committing myself to the 2nd volume is the fact that, when the first one has appeared, I shall have to make a pause for my health’s sake; and I shall in any case have to travel to the Continent to ascertain whether I can in any way sort out my financial circumstances. These are becoming worse day by day, and there is a danger of everything coming crashing about our heads. The baker alone is owed £20, and there is the very devil with butcher, grocer, taxes, etc. To crown it all, I recently received a letter from a Mr Burton in Torquay, informing me he has bought the house from Sawyer, and he is dunning me 1. for the outstanding rent for the last Quarter, 2. as my lease expires in March, requesting me to state if I wish to take the house subsequently, either for a longer lease or annually. I did not reply immediately. Whereupon I received a second letter yesterday, saying I must explain myself, as otherwise his ‘agent’ would have to take steps to find another tenant. So in a fix.
As for my physical condition, it has been better for some weeks, a few small carbuncles on my left loin, but not significant. Only dreadful insomnia, which makes me very restless, although the chief cause is probably mental.
Thanks for the Rogers. A lot of material in it. Regarding the strike question, or at least the Manchester Weavers’ dispute, I should be obliged to you if you would write me an exact account of the state of affairs, as I can still include it.
Politics frozen up, too cold even for the Russian bear. I am tickled by the Prussians’ black, white and red flag!
Best wishes to Mrs Lizzy.
What does Gumpert have to say about Moilin?