Supplementary Appendix 381d.1

Therese Huber to Schelling’s parents concerning her relationship with Caroline [*]

Because Caroline’s and my relationship was unnatural from the very outset, it could not but be disrupted; one must, however, avoid viewing the reasons from a false perspective. Although it is quite in character that Caroline present her own perspective in this regard, I am similarly obligated to present mine, not in order to change anything, but to ensure fairness.

The last impression I had from Caroline were her letters to Forster, which I found among the papers he left behind, which the young Wenner had sent me from Frankfurt and which I am preserving along with other papers, as well as Forster’s own letters concerning her. [1]

These were the memories I kept as time passed until I heard Madam Hoven mention Caroline for the first time again 18 months ago. [2] Madam Hoven is the only person to whom, after hearing the various rather adventurous rumors she had heard, [3] I related in a coherent fashion what I had learned through Caroline herself and what was considerably more respectable than the fairy tales the public was circulating.

Until the arrival of Madam Paulus, I knew not a single detail of the rumors with which northern gossip concerns itself, [4] and I had her recount to me all sorts of things about my former acquaintances, things I listened to with the sort of interest that is quite natural after eleven years of hearing nothing. Here not a single person is interested in all the scandals involving Madam Schlegel, Reichardt, Weidmann [Therese’s physician in Mainz], Bürger, [5] Loder.

And now Caroline herself arrived in this part of the country. I did not wish to see her, [6] I was happy and did not think she was as well, I had children; and my own character, which is much too loving and active to nourish vengeful, hateful feelings, left me with only gentle feelings toward my childhood friend. That is why I did not resist my own feelings that led me to her in the King of England; [7] the past did not exist for me.

Now the public here began to speak about her, moreover, with the most unbelievably ridiculous and tasteless gossip. Caroline herself is familiar with the threads connecting Göttingen and Stuttgart, and will attest for herself whether such gossip could be satisfied with the truth, which in and of itself was already quite complicated. People came to me from all sides asking, “Is that so? Is that really true?” People would doubtless have laughed in my face had I simply answered “no,” for neither Mainz nor Leipzig nor Jena is on the moon. [8]

My contact with her would not have justified the answer “I do not know,” so I contradicted specific pathetic accusations with specific true facts that were considerably less reproachful. I will continue to do so now as well, and if in ten years Schelling, who is in a position to regain for Caroline the respect of all decent people and of the public as well, is a happy spouse, then Caroline herself will prefer to hear from the public the things I recounted rather than the indecent scenes being recounted that so utterly contradicted reality.

Hence our relationship was indeed unnatural, but I was not insincere, for I told Caroline not a single word involving the sacred concerns of my heart, and the past had no existence for us. I would have had to deal with her that way even had I seen her in the King of England for the very first time. I had to be warm toward Caroline because I did indeed feel that way toward her, just as I do toward any creature that approaches me, and such can be even gentler, indeed inconsistently so, where I feel I am to forgive, and it will be for Caroline’s own conscience from earlier times, and her female character from later times, to attest whether such is the case.

[to Schelling:] The copy of this page is intended for the venerable elderly persons in Murrhardt, as soon as circumstances require it. May their children’s happiness give them joy, and may one disturb that happiness as little as do I myself.

Therese Huber


[*] Sources: Albert Leitzmann, “Aus Karolinens Lebenskreisen. Dokumente und Notizen,” Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde N.F. 5 (1913), 1. Hälfte, 126–27, here 127; Therese Huber Briefe 1:754. A brief final paragraph to Schelling involving a parcel is not included here.

This letter draft or copy in Therese’s handwriting was done on the same page as the draft of her letter to Schelling in November 1803 (letter 381d) and was intended for Schelling’s parents, Joseph Friedrich and Gottliebin Schelling. Back.

[1] Georg Forster had left Mainz on 25 March 1793, shortly before Caroline left on 30 March 1803 and after Therese had left with their children on 7 December 1792. Back.

[2] See Henriette von Hoven’s letter to Charlotte Schiller on 14 February 1803 regarding her meeting with Therese in June 1802, cited in Caroline’s letter to Luise Wiedemann on 19 June 1803 (letter 380), note 26. Back.

[3] About Caroline’s time in Mainz. Back.

[4] Karoline Paulus and her husband, H. E. G. Paulus, had been living in Jena but would, like Caroline and Schelling, soon move to Würzburg. Both were originally from the Stuttgart area and still had family there. Paulus had received from Count von Thürheim his appointment in Würzburg on 20 October 1803 as a public teacher of theology with a regular salary of 2200 Gulden (Reichlin-Meldegg 1:354). Back.

[5] Presumably Gottfried August Bürger. Back.

[6] In her letter to Luise Wiedemann on 19 June 1803 (letter 380), Caroline relates that Friederike Unzelmann “maintained that Therese spoke about me with considerable warmth etc.,” and had “made this decision [to visit Caroline] the moment Madam Unzelmann told her that I was uncertain.” Otherwise as well, the overtly disingenuous nature of Therese’s remarks and posturing in this letter is consistent with her other letters in this present collection. Back.

[7] An inn in Stuttgart; here in 1890 (Max Bach and Carl Lotter Bilder aus Alt-Stuttgart [Stuttgart 1896], 104):


See Caroline’s letter to Luise Wiedemann on 19 June 1803 (letter 380), note 25. Back.

[8] Leipzig was the nearest large town to Lucka, where Caroline carried her pregnancy to term in 1793. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott