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Marx-Engels Correspondence 1869

Marx To François Lafargue
In Bordueax

Source: MECW, Volume 43, p. 314;
First published: Marx and Engels, Works, Second Russian Edition, Moscow, 1964.
Translated from the French.

Paris, 10 July 1869

My dear friend,

I arrived here on Thursday evening and I shall return to London on Monday.

In your letter, which I have re-read, you seem to believe that Madame Marx is also here. That is a mistake.

The first thing that struck me is that Laura is still suffering greatly, and her health is very delicate.

I begin with this remark because it explains the apparent apathy of our Paul. He has not interrupted his studies, but he has neglected to take the necessary measures to pass his examinations.

To my reproaches on this subject he replied — and I must say had every right to reply — the following: ‘Before I think of the future, I must occupy myself with the present. The state of Laura’s health demanded a great deal of care on my part. It did not even permit me to be absent for any length of time. In order not to cause anxiety to you or to my family, I wanted to conceal all this. Laura and myself, we even did our best not to rouse the suspicions of Madame Marx.

I have talked to a very good doctor whom Paul invited to the house. He told me that it was absolutely necessary for Laura to go to the seaside, and he suggested Dieppe because a prolonged voyage would do her harm.

Besides, Paul has promised me that on his return from Dieppe he will do his best to cut short the time necessary to pass his doctorate.

I must tell you frankly that the state of my daughter’s health is a matter of serious concern to me.

Our grandson’ is a charming boy. I have never seen a better shaped child’s head.

My compliments to Madame Lafargue.

Accept, my dear friend, the most sincere compliments of your

Karl Marx