Enrico Malatesta, born in Capua, on December 4th, 1853, went to Naples to study pharmacology, and immediately came under the influence of Bakunin, in 1871. His interest for me consists in the fact that he was a direct link between Bakunin and the anti-parliamentary propaganda that I commenced in London in 1906. The story of my association with Malatesta was told in the Herald of Revolt for June, 1912, and need not be repeated here. I remember Malatesta listening to one of my meetings at the corner of Garnault Place, Clerkenwell, before I became an Anti-Parliamentarian. As I was going away with my platform, he stopped me and said : "You are a strange person to be English because you are destined to be an Anarchist." Although I was never personally very intimate with Malatesta, he made a point after that of attending a large number of the meetings that I held in Clerkenwell. When he did speak he stuck to this theory that I was destined to continue the development of Anarchist thought in Britain. Because of this contact at the very beginning of my anti-parliamentary activity, and because of his own association with Bakunin in his own youth but a few years before Bakunin died, I regard him as a natural link between the activity of the great contemporary of Marx and the movement that I have endeavored to develop in Great Britain, very largely in face of the opposition of the alleged friends of Malatesta and the alleged disciples of Bakunin.
At an early age Malatesta read Mignet's "History" of the French Revolution. He thrilled at the popular struggle and like most young Italians of that time became an ardent republican. It was Mazzini's denunciation of the Paris Commune that turned him into a Socialist. He decided to throw in his lot with those who defended the Commune and he joined the Naples section of the International Working Men's Association. This section was not in the most flourishing condition. Its most conspicuous member was the ill-fated Carlo Cafiero, at that time a wealthy man of boundless enthusiasm and devotion. Cafiero was intimate with Marx and Engels whereas Malatesta was identified with the principles of Bakunin. He undertook to disentangle Cafiero from all Marx's intrigues and to persuade him and Fanelli to meet Bakunin at Locarno. Malatesta succeeded and both of these Italian comrades stayed with Bakunin one month from May 20th to June 18th, 1872. Bakunin's diary records their daily discussion and their mapping out of a definite plan of revolutionary organization.
Malatesta was now in the closest relations with Bakunin and arranged a conference of the Italian sections at Rimini, August, 1872, which brought into being what was known as the Italian