V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1924. Sent from Geneva to the Isle of Capri (Italy). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 373-374.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

January 15, 1908

Dear A. M. and M. F.,

I received your express letter today. The idea of dropping in on you on Capri is delightfully tempting, dash it! You have painted such an attractive picture that I have definitely made up my mind to come out, and I shall try to bring my wife with me. Only I am still uncertain about the date; at present I must give all my attention to Proletary, it must be established and work got going smoothly at all costs. That will take a month or two at least. But it must be done. By the spring we shall find ourselves drinking the white wine of Capri, looking at Naples and chatting with you. Incidentally, I have begun to study Italian and, as a learner, I pounced at once on the address written by Maria Fyodorovna: expresso instead of espresso! Let’s have that dictionary!

As for the shipment of Proletary, you have brought it on your own head by writing. You won’t be able to wriggle away from us now so easily! A heap of commissions have to be given straight away to M. F.:

1) To find the secretary of the union of steamship employees (there must be such a union!) serving on steamers that maintain communications with Russia.

2) To find out from him where the ships come from and go to, and how often. He must arrange weekly shipments for us without fail. How much will that cost? He must find someone for us who is punctual (are there punctual men among the Italians?). Will they want an address in Russia (in Odessa, say, for delivering the newspapers or could small quantities be kept temporarily with some   Italian innkeeper in Odessa? This is extremely important for us.

3) If M. F. cannot take care of this herself—making all the arrangements, finding the necessary people, instructing them, checking, etc., let her be sure to put us in touch with this secretary—we shall then write to him directly.

This thing is urgent. In two or three weeks’ time we hope to publish Proletary here and it will have to be dispatched at once[1]

Well—until we meet on Capri! Now, A. M., take care of yourself.

V. Ulyanov


[1] Arrangements for delivering Proletary to Russia through Gorky and Andreyeva were made in the early months of 1908, but hitches occurred owing to police interference. In a letter to Morgari, socialist M. P. editor of Avanti!, Gorky wrote at the beginning of May 1908, that two parcels containing the newspaper Proletary had been sequestered in Genoa and asked for an explanation of this “strange misunderstanding”. Gorky’s letter was published in Avanti! on May 5 (18), and on May 25 the newspaper reported that the ban on Proletary had been lifted.

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