Marx-Engels Correspondence 1866

Karl Marx to Ludwig Kugelmann, 6 April 1866

Source: Karl Marx, Letters to Dr Kugelmann (Martin Lawrence, London, undated). Scanned and prepared for the Marxist Internet Archive by Paul Flewers.

Dear Friend

I shall return to London the day after tomorrow. My doctor exiled me to this seaside place, [1] where indeed my health has greatly improved. But once again more than two months – February, March and half of April – have been entirely lost and the completion of my book again postponed. It is enough to drive one mad.

I was suffering from carbuncles, not furuncles. This time it was dangerous. Of course you are right in saying that ‘dietetic’ sins are at the bottom of it. I am too much given to working at night, studying by day and writing by night. That, together with all the worries, private and public, and – so long as I am working hard – the neglect of a regular diet and exercise, etc, is quite enough to disorder the blood.

I received Herr Menke’s 100 thalers for the International together with your letter. I have not got the addresses of my French friends in Paris here, but if Herr Menke writes to my friend C Kaub [2] (33 Rue des trois Couronnes du Temple) he can introduce him to V Schily [3] (German) and Tolain, [4] Fribourg, [5] etc, members of the Paris Committee.

The news from Germany is not very gratifying. Prussia is being pushed by Russia (and Bonaparte), Austria by the latter (following more reluctantly in self-defence). Will our philistines at last realise that without a revolution which removes the Hapsburgs and Hohenzollerns (it is unnecessary to speak of the lesser dung-beetles) there must finally come another Thirty Years’ War and a new partition of Germany!

A movement from the Italian side would help Prussia. But if we consider Austria and Prussia in themselves, it is practically certain that the latter would be at a disadvantage, despite all the Düppel-Rénommage. [6] In any case Benedek is a better general than Prince Friedrich Karl. Austria could enforce peace on Prussia single-handed, but not Prussia on Austria. Every Prussian success would be an encouragement to Bonaparte to interfere.

While I write these lines to you, Bismarck may have again drawn in his horns. But even that would only postpone the conflict. I think that such a postponement is probable.

This German trouble is a piece of extraordinary good luck for Bonaparte. His position is undermined on all sides. But war would give him a new lease of life.

Write to me soon, and particularly about German affairs.



1. Margate, Kent – MIA.

2. C Kaub – German emigrant in Paris. In the 1850s and 1860s, friendly to Marx – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

3. Viktor Schily (1810-1875) – Lawyer at Trier; took an active part in the Baden rising of 1849; a close friend of Marx and Engels. Emigrated to Paris, where he consistently advocated the views of Marx in the French sections of the International. Was of great service to Marx in exposing K Vogt – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

4. Henri Tolain (1828-1897) – French working-class leader; Proudhonist and one of the founders of the French section of the International; member of the National Assembly in 1871. For his hostile attitude to the Commune he was expelled from the International. Senator under the Third Republic in 1876 – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

5. ES Fribourg – A French engraver; a Proudhonist. Took part in the First International – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.

6. Boasting about Düppel, a fortified village in Schleswig captured in 1864 by the Prussians under Prince Friedrich Karl with many prisoners and rich booty – Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute.