Supplementary Appendix: Amalie Reichard

Concerning Amalie Reichard, née Seidler, having married according to her family’s wishes rather than her own inclinations, see H. A. O. Reichard, Selbstbiographie, 184–86:

The violently raging pain over Auguste Schneider’s death would have lasted longer had my increasing passion for Amalie Seidler not beneficently distracted me. My resolve to be united with her permanently matured more and more, and thus did I entreat our worthy housemate, Consistory Councilor Bause to act as my proxy suitor, but in observing the strict rules of childlike obedience, to go first to my mother, whose consent to marry was indispensable to me, since my current salary — as already mentioned, 200 Thaler annually — was insufficient for supporting a wife.

The honorable Bause, who carried out my charge with considerable solemnity, soon returned with the news that my mother had indeed consented to grant me an annual supplement, the unoccupied part of her spacious house, moreover also to assist me in meeting initial expenses, for Amalie was poor and could not anticipate any dowry.

Now I myself went to my mother with profound gratitude for these concessions and asked her to court Amalie and solicit her hand in my stead. And the good woman really did go to Amalie’s sister, Madam Ettinger, that very day to present my wishes to her. I myself, intoxicated with joy, awaited the results in my room. But my confidence was soon disappointed, for my mother returned to say that Amalie had already given her heart to the wondrously handsome Johann Konrad Schlick, the celebrated violoncello virtuoso! I was overcome by inexpressible despair at this news. To alleviate my oppressed heart, I immediately, in the very same hour, fled to my good Duke Ernst, whose patience with my passionate outcries of pain I still admire today.

Then I hastened to Ettinger to pour out my grief to him. He in his own turn came up with the clever solution of sending Amalie, whose visit in Gotha was coming to an end in any case, swiftly back to Weimar, back to the supervision of her elderly, venerable mother; such would in any case remove her from Schlick’s presence. The duke took care of the rest, and would not rest until he had exhaustively related the entire affair to Amalie’s best lady friend in Weimar, the lady-in-waiting Fräulein von Waldner, while simultaneously delivering to her his own, weighty character reference for me, full of noble fire on my behalf. And thus was Amalie’s resistance gradually conquered, and a gathering in Erfurt for the Feast of Corpus Christi . . . provided the occasion for her to accept my proposal of marriage in the very presence of her family, thereby filling me with joy. . . .

Thus did Amalie become mine, and I can say with a good conscience that I sincerely did everything in my power to ensure that her life at my side was a pleasant one. And even on her deathbed, this precious woman told her sister Dorette, quite unsolicited, that she never regretted giving me her hand.

Compare, however, Therese Huber’s remarks in a letter on 17 September 1805, i.e., shortly after Amalie’s death on 21 July 1805; cited in Caroline’s letter to Pauline Gotter in August 1805 (letter 395), note 19.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott