Marx-Engels Correspondence 1888

Engels to Sorge

Source: Science and Society Volume II, Number 3, 1938;
Translated and Edited: by Leonard E. Mins.

Montreal, September 10, 1888.

Dear Sorge:

We arrived here yesterday, after having had to turn about between Toronto and Kingston because of a storm (it was merely a trifling breeze) and tie up in Port Hope. Thus the two days from Toronto to here turned into three. The St. Lawrence and the rapids are very pretty. Canada is richer in ruined houses than any other country but Ireland. We are trying here to understand the Canadian French — that language beats Yankee English hollow. This evening we leave for Plattsburg and then into the Adirondacks and possibly to the Catskills, so that we can hardly be back in New York by Sunday. Since we must board our ship Tuesday evening and still have to see various sights in New York, while we must all be together during these last few days more than would otherwise be necessary, Schorlemmer and I will not be able to move out to you in Hoboken, much as we regret it, but must go to the St. Nicholas with the Avelings. In any event we are coming out to visit you as soon as we get there. It is a strange transition from the States to Canada. First one imagines that one is in Europe again, and then one thinks one is in a positively retrogressing and decaying country. Here one sees how necessary the feverish speculative spirit of the Americans is for the rapid development of a new country (if capitalist production is taken as a basis); and in ten years this sleepy Canada will be ripe for annexation — the farmers in Manitoba, etc., will demand it themselves. Besides, the country is half-annexed already socially — hotels, newspapers, advertising, etc., all on the American pattern. And they may tug and resist as much as they like; the economic necessity of an infusion of Yankee blood will have its way and abolish this ridiculous boundary line — and when the time comes, John Bull will say “Amen” to the matter.

F. E.