Marx-Engels Correspondence 1867
Source: MECW Volume 42, p. 489;
First published: in Die Neue Zeit, Stuttgart, 1901-1902.
Ill-health alone is to blame for my not replying sooner. I have been laid low again for weeks now.
Firstly, my best thanks for your efforts. Engels has written to Liebknecht (or will be doing so). Liebknecht, incidentally, was intending (in conjunction with Götz, and others) to make a demand in the Reichstag for an Enquiry into the conditions of the workers. He wrote to me about his intention, and at his request I sent him a few relevant English Acts of Parliament. The plan came to nothing because owing to the procedure there was no time left for it. On one point you are better placed to write to Liebknecht than either Engels or myself. And that is that it really is his duty to draw attention to my book [the first volume of Capital] at workers’ meetings. If he fails to do so, the Lassalleans will seize upon the thing and misconstrue it.
Contzen (lecturer at Leipzig, a pupil and follower of Roscher) has requested a copy of the book from me via Liebknecht and promised a detailed review of it, from his point of view, in return. Meissner thereupon sent him the book. This could be a good start. — I was pleased about the misprint ‘Taucher’ in place of ‘Faucher’ in your notice. Faucher is one of those ‘travelling preachers’ of political economy. The fellow has no place among the ‘scholarly’ German economists such as Roscher, Rau, Mohl, and others. It is doing him too great an honour even to mention him. And I have consequently never allowed him a role as a noun but only as a verb.
Please be so kind as to tell your good wife that the chapters on the ‘Working Day’, ‘Co-operation, Division of Labour and Machinery’ and finally on ‘Primitive Accumulation’ are the most immediately readable. You will have to explain any incomprehensible terminology to her. If there are any other doubtful points, I shall be glad to help.
In France (Paris) there are the best prospects that the book will be discussed in detail (in the Courrier français a Proudhonist paper unfortunately!) and even translated.
As soon as I am better, I will write more. Meanwhile I hope you will write frequently. I always find it has a spurring effect on me.
[From Eleanor Marx, in English]
My dear Fränzchen,
As Papa is in a hurry to send off his letter I have only time to send you my best love.