Marx-Engels Correspondence 1877

Marx to Engels
In Ramsgate


Written: August 1, 1877;
Source: Marx and Engels Correspondence and Marx & Engels on the Irish Question;
Publisher: International Publishers (1968) and Progress Publishers (1971);
First Published: Gestamtausgabe;
Translated: Donna Torr;
Transcribed: Sally Ryan in 1999;
HTML Markup: Sally Ryan.

[London,] 1 August 1877

A few days ago the cheery little hunchback Wedde turned up – only to disappear again to Germany shortly after. He had a pressing commission from Geib to enlist you and me for the Zukunft. I made no secret to him whatever of our intentions of abstaining, to his great sorrow, and of our reasons for this, and explained to him at the same time that when our time allows or circumstances demand that we should again come forward as propagandists, we, as internationalists, are in no wise bound or pledged to attach ourselves to Germany, the beloved Fatherland.

In Hamburg he had seen Dr. Höchberg and ditto Wiede; the latter, he said, was rather tinged with Berlin superficiality and arrogance, but he liked Höchberg, who, however, was still suffering badly from “modern mythology.” For when the little chap (Wedde) was in London for the first time I used the expression “modern mythology” as a designation for the goddesses of “Justice, Freedom, Equality, etc.” who were now all the rage again; this made a deep impression on him, as he has himself done much in the service of these higher beings. He thought Höchberg rather Dühringised – and Wedde has a sharper nose than Liebknecht.


The Irish skirmishes in the House of Commons are very amusing. Parnell, etc., told Barry that the worst was the attitude of Butt, who hopes to be appointed judge and has threatened to resign his leadership; and that he could do them great harm in Ireland. Barry mentioned Butt’s letter to the General Council of the International. They would like to have this document to prove that his stand-offishness in relation to the intransigents is mere pretence. But how am I to find the thing now? [321]


321. Isaac Butt’s letter from Dublin was read at the meeting of the General Council of the First International on January 4, 1870. Butt offered his offices in bringing about a union between English and Irish workers.