Supplementary Appendix 239.1

The Animosity between the Paulus family,
Caroline, Wilhelm Schlegel, and Schelling [*]

As Erich Schmidt, (1913), 1:739, points out, and as profusely demonstrated especially in volume 2 of this edition, the initial intimacy between Caroline, Wilhelm Schlegel, and Schelling with the Paulus family in Jena was of short duration and ultimately turned into incurable hatred after Karoline Paulus, who spent time in Bamberg and Bocklet after Auguste’s death, and her intimate friend Dorothea Veit spread malicious gossip about the situation and perhaps also about Caroline’s past.

Concerning the relationship between Karoline Paulus and Dorothea: on 26 October 1804, Dorothea wrote to Karoline Paulus from Cologne (Reichlin-Meldegg 2:326; reprinted in Dorothea Schlegel und deren Söhne 1:140–41, though in both cases the texts were abridged; the full text is found in Briefe von Dorothea und Friedrich Schlegel an die Familie Paulus 28–29:

How grateful I am to you, my beloved, loving soul, for expressing your feelings for me! Indeed, I feel it myself and repeat it with delight, you are my chosen sister, the sister I have found, and like you, so also do I feel we are inseparable in spirit. My evil daemon, who always tries to intrude into my dearest relationships and spread its poisonous breath, pursued us at that time as well [July/August 1801 in Bocklet; Dorothea seems to have insulted the Pauluses in a letter to Friedrich Schlegel that was inadvertently delivered to H. E. G. Paulus; Briefe von Dorothea und Friedrich Schlegel an die Familie Paulus 28–29; KFSA 25:281–82], but like some hateful fog it merely ruined the green leaves but could not touch the root, and thus is our true love now destined to spread sunshine anew, and bring forth new, cheerful greenery, and new blossoms.

Apart from Friedrich’s sister, Charlotte Ernst, I have never loved a woman as I love you. Charlotte is an excellent, wholly honorable woman, and I wish you knew her; she would no doubt also quite come to love you as well; but admittedly she would perhaps not be so in love with you the way I am! yes, genuinely in love; how often do I yearn for your eyes, for the tone of your voice; like a lover, I have a genuine desire for you; if I were ever to see you again, you would be glad enough that I have lost so many teeth, for I do believe I would have to bite you.

In her pseudonymous novel, Wilhelm Dümont. Ein einfacher Roman von Eleutherie Holberg (Lübeck 1803), 201–6, Karoline Paulus in her own turn mocks Wilhelm Schlegel’s Berlin Vorlesungen über schöne Literatur und Kunst and Schelling’s famous assertion, which he had just been presenting in lectures, concerning architecture as “rigid” or “frozen music”:

As we were returning, a considerable crowd of ladies streamed toward us, in carriages and on foot, who had just been at the lecture of an ambulatory professor who had been here for some time and had already disseminated his aesthetic seed among the receptive females in several famous cities. . . .

But let me cease, lest this chapter unwittingly become a moral treatise on the destiny of human beings and ultimately prompt me to mock myself. Let me instead make fun of the professor mentioned above, whose laudable inclination for antiquity has traveled from his head into his legs and is driving him to imitate the apostolic itinerancy of antiquity. The only thing these modern apostles cannot quite get right yet, however, is simplicity of heart. Although they have indeed managed to attain simplicity of heart here and there in their poetry, their hearts nonetheless seem to be resisting them.

But, then again, they will doubtless know how to conceal this shortcoming behind their capacity for windbaggery. Today — whether seriously or ironically I cannot say — someone referred to the building in which these sublime lectures are being held as a rigid symphony. Should one not be able to find in the corporeal world a similar comparison for the sublimely philosophical foolishness currently setting so many exalted heads into such unfruitful motion? If you can employ one of your own literary moods in a similarly inventive comparison, you will thereby doubtless make a laudable contribution to the crazy inclination of the age.

See Erich Schmidt, “Die Baukunst erstarrte Musik,” Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 127 (1911), 378:

In several passages in her pseudonymous work Wilhelm Dümont. Ein einfacher Roman von Eleutherie Holberg (Lübeck 1803), the wife of Professor Paulus, who was already in a hostile relationship with Caroline and Schelling, makes fun of Romanticism in a quite inappropriate fashion, especially its philosophy of nature, and on pp. 201ff. is apparently targeting especially the lecture series of A. W. Schlegel in her references to the “ladies’ lectures” and the “apostolic itinerancy” of a certain “ambulatory professor.”

When on p. 205 she remarks that “today — whether seriously or ironically I cannot say — someone referred to the building in which these sublime lectures are being held as a rigid symphony,” the diminutive woman is taking as nonsense what her favorable reviewer, namely, Goethe, who otherwise reproaches such annoying outbursts of “our lady friend” (Weimarer Ausgabe 40:382), repeats in 1827 and additionally as well: “A noble philosopher spoke about architecture as rigid [or frozen] music, and yet had to countenance not a little shaking of heads when he did so. We believe we might introduce this notion yet again in no better way than to refer to architecture as mute music” (Hecker, Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft 21, 234, 382).

Although Goethe considered neither Friedrich Schlegel nor Görres noble philosophers, he did consider Schelling such, and following a lead from Franz Schultz (Charakteristiken und Kritiken by J. Görres, 2 [1902], notes on 28f.), Leonard L. Mackall (Euphorion 11: 103) has shown quite knowledgeably that the expression that “architecture is rigid [or frozen] music,” derives from Schelling’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Art, which though not published until 1859 were initially delivered in Jena during the winter semester 1802–3, such that the expression could then be disseminated further by the student Henry Crabb Robinson. Hence this expression must have immediately caused a bit of a stir in academic circles and quickly be appropriated into Karoline Paulus’s novel. [1]

Later in Würzburg, Caroline refers to H. E. G. Paulus only as “Shylock” (spelling it Shylok), since the general persuasion (one shared by Hegel) was that he was of Jewish descent. Even at an advanced age (as Heinrich Heine’sKirchenrath Prometheus”), he continued to engage in mischief against Schelling in the famous affair of the “lecture notes.”

See Albert Schweitzer, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. A Critical Study of its Progress from Reimarus to Wrede, trans. W. Montgomery (London 1910), 50:

He [Paulus] constituted himself the special guardian of philosophy, and the moment he detected the slightest hint of mysticism, he sounded the alarm. His pet aversion was Schelling, who was born fourteen years later than he, in the very same house at Leonberg, and whom he had met as colleague at Jena and at Würzburg. The works, avowed and anonymous, which he directed against this “charlatan, juggler, swindler, and obscurantist,” as he designated him, fill an entire library.

In 1841, Schelling was called to the chair of philosophy in Berlin, and in the winter of 1841–1842 he gave his lectures on “The Philosophy of Revelation,” which caused the Berlin reactionaries to hail him as their great ally. The veteran rationalist [Paulus] — he was eighty years old — was transported with rage. He had had the lectures taken down for him, and he published them with critical remarks under the title The Philosophy of Revelation at length Revealed, as Set Forth for General Examination, by Dr. H. E. G. Paulus (Darmstadt 1842) [Die endlich offenbar gewordene positive Philosophie der Offenbarung; oder, Entstehungsgeschichte, wörtlicher Text, Beurtheilung und Berichtigung der v. Schellingischen Entdeckungen über Philosophie überhaupt, Mythologie und Offenbarung des dogmatischen Christenthums im Berliner Wintercursus von 1841–42 (Darmstadt 1843)].

Schelling was furious, and took “the impudent scoundrel” to court on the charge of illicit publication. In Prussia the book was suppressed. But the courts decided in favour of Paulus, who coolly explained that “the philosophy of Schelling appeared to him an insidious attack upon sound reason, the unmasking of which by every possible means was a work of public utility, indeed a duty.” He also secured the result he wanted: Schelling resigned his lectureship.

Heine’s poem mocks Paulus and Schelling simultaneously (The Poems of Heine. Complete, trans. Edgar Alfred Bowring [London 1887]) 175:

Church Counsellor Prometheus

Good Sir Paulus, noble robber,
All the gods are on thee gazing
With their brows in anger knitted,
Furious at the theft amazing

Thou has practised in Olympus —
Sorry for it they will make thee!
Fear the fate of poor Prometheus
If Jove's bailiffs overtake thee!

Worse indeed his theft, because he
Stole the light in heaven dwelling
To enlighten us weak mortals —
Thou didst steal the works
[Hefte, lecture notes] of Schelling,

Just the opposite of light, — nay,
Darkness we can feel and handle
Like the old Egyptian darkness, —
Not one solitary candle!


[*] Based on Erich Schmidt’s materials and bibliographical references in (1913), 1:739. See also, however, the supplementary appendix on Karoline Paulus’s reputation. Back.

[1] Cf., however, Dorothea’s letter to Rahel Levin from Frankfurt on 7 August 1816 (Dorothea Schlegel und deren Söhne 373); Dorothea takes this expression as anything but nonsense:

You are completely right with regard to the cathedral; even without having seen it myself, I recognized it in the description of your own feelings when you were gazing at it, since every beautiful Gothic church makes this impression on us. It was in the cathedral in Cologne, for example, that I understood for the first time was a fugue is and ought to be. That was also the source of Friedrich’s expression — one much faulted and mocked by shallow people — regarding “petrified music.” In this sense, this so-called Gothic architecture is the artistic consummation of the age in which it flourished.

In his lectures on the philosophy of art, Schelling variously remarks that “the anorganic art form or the music within the plastic arts is architecture,” and in his elucidations refers to architecture as “concrete music,” “solidified music,” and as the “music of the plastic arts” (Philosophy of Art, 163–80, esp. 166, 174, 177, et passim); these lectures were delivered first in Jena during the winter semester 1802/03, thereafter in Würzburg. Back.

Translation © 2013 Doug Stott