Letter 201e

201e. Gottlieb Hufeland to Wilhelm Schlegel in Dresden: Jena, 5 July 1798 [*]

Jena, 5 July 1798

The most recent postal day will have brought your esteemed spouse the desired news, my good friend. Thank God I can now continue the way I earlier finished. Everyone in the birthing room is doing perfectly well, both mother and the baby boy, the latter of whom I can since yesterday legitimately call Adolph. As you see, I have adopted a name from your family. [1]

Your request concerning Eschen, which I received today, was taken care of on the spot. Herr Lange has received everything. He also assured me he received both the manuscript of the Wissenschaftslehre as well as your brother’s book. Everything will be sent off together very soon. Your other news was quite interesting to me.

You will soon be receiving in a single parcel of whichever issues of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung have not yet been picked up for you. A weekly parcel of your copies, however, is not possible given the overall organization of the postal service. We can send you parts of them from time to time.

Your reviews have now probably all been published, even that of Ruth, [2] similarly also the review of the French Musenalmanach, [3] though omitting the passage about the Hôpital des foux. [4] I am pleased to hear you will be sending us new reviews soon. — Will your brother, to whom I beg to send my warm regards, not also be sending some contributions? [5]

As far as I know, three rescripts are here for you from Weimar, Gotha, and Coburg. [6] A report has been requested from Meiningen, though such has been quite advantageously made by the university, or rather by the philosophical faculty (presumably copied entirely from the statement of Herr Schütz). No doubt this rescript, too, will not take long now.

Then conformia will be there, and then either a formal vocation will be prepared for you by the academy or, if you are perhaps viewed as a resident, will simply be reported thus. —

You will also soon be receiving a small assignment list from the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, [7] mostly of continuations whose first parts you yourself still have; but you will also find Voss’s Ovid and Soltau’s Hudibras on that list. [8] We would prefer to have Tieck’s Sternbald reviewed by someone else because it is precisely Tieck who is to review your Shakespeare; [9] not that anyone doubts your impartiality, but simply for the sake of appearance should it become known. If in the meantime you already have the review ready, it can probably proceed this time.

Herr Schütz wanted to write to Tieck, or has already done so — namely, with regard to your Shakespeare.

We would like to wait until the second issue of your Athenaeum. [10]

Schütz will not be going to Berlin; but elsewhere? I do not yet know. — Your wife has probably already related to you the most important events here. [11]

Kind and warm regards to you and Miss Auguste from us all. [12] — Probably nothing will be sent to Gries today, but certainly on one of the next postal days. Kind regards to him as well.



[*] Source: Körner (1930) 77–78. — Response to Wilhelm Schlegel’s letter to Hufeland on 1 July 1798 (letter 201d), quod vide concerning the issues Hufeland addresses in the first five paragraphs. Back.

[1] Wilhelm and Friedrich’s father, Johann Adolf Schlegel.

In his notes to Hufeland’s letter to Wilhelm on 2 August 1798 (letter 202e), Joself Körner (Körner [1930], 2:31n65) suggests that Wilhelm and Caroline were the godparents of the recently born infant Adolph. Wilhelm and Caroline both mention this birth in the next few letters to Hufeland.

That said, the Hufeland children of record were Mathilde, Therese, and a boy, Siegmund, who, however, seems in fact to be this “Adolph,” who shows up again in Munich in 1808 in several of Caroline’s letters in the company of his two sisters and mother, and who is listed as having attended the Gymnasium in Munich (see his biogram and Caroline’s letter to Luise Wiedemann on 22 February 1808 [letter 429], note 7). At some point, Siegmund/Adolph’s names seem to have gotten confused.

Hufeland’s wife was the sister of the Braunschweig physician Christian Rudolf Wilhelm Wiedemann, who in his own turn was married to Caroline’s youngest sister Luise. This kinship explains the particular (and immediate) social intimacy between the families in Jena. Wilhelm had apparently made Gottlieb Hufeland’s acquaintance while still in Braunschweig, relating to Schiller on 4 March 1796 from Braunschweig that “perhaps I will be seeing Herr Hufeland before my departure [for Jena], who is planning to come to visit his father-in-law here,” then confirming that meeting to Schiller on 23 April 1796: “I was quite pleased in the meantime to hear from Herr Hufeland about your improved health and your visit in Weimar” (Körner-Wieneke 32, 33). Back.

[2] Wilhelm’s review of Georg Gessner, Ruth oder Die gekrönte häusliche Tugend. In 6 Gesängen (Zürich 1795), Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1797) 197 (Monday, 25 June 1798) 742–44 (Sämmtliche Werke 11:288–91). Here the frontispiece “Ruth at the Gravesite”:



[3] Wilhelm’s review of Almanach Des Muses, Pour L’An V. De La République Françoise, 1797 vieux style (Paris 1797) in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1798) 205 (Wednesday, 4 July 1798) 17–22 (Sämmtliche Werke 11:291–98):



[4] Uncertain reference; both the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung itself (p. 20 of the review) as well as Wilhelm’s Sämmtliche Werke (11:296) contain a brief (and by all appearances harmless) remark about François Andrieux, “L’hôpital des fous, conte persan, pour faire suite aux mille et une nuits,” which was reprinted later in Andrieux, Contes et opuscules, en vers et en prose, suivis de poésies fugitives (Paris 1800), 35–44:

The story “L’hôpital des fous, conte persan” by Andrieux is inspired by a cheerful mood and presented with pleasing lightness; the specific allusions did not at all negatively affect the freedom of the poetry.

Access to Wilhelm’s (or the newspaper’s) manuscript of this review would be necessary to determine just which passage Hufeland may have deleted. Back.

[5] Although Friedrich had contributed an important review of Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer’s Philosophisches Journal in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1797) 90 (Tuesday, 21 March 1797), 713–20; 91 (Wednesday, 22 March 1797) 721–28; 92 (Wednesday, 22 March 1797), 729–33, he never got around to the review of Kant’s shorter writings Wilhelm would announce to Hufeland in a letter of 15 July 1798. Back.

[6] I.e., rescripts concerning Wilhelm’s application for a professorship in Jena. See Wilhelm’s letter to Hufeland on 1 July 1798 (letter 201d), note 8. Back.

[7] A list of books to review for the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Back.

[8] Ovid, Verwandlungen Nach Publius Ovidius Naso, trans. Johann Heinrich Voss, 2 vols. (Berlin 1798) and Samuel Butler’s intensely satirical Hudibras, trans. Dietrich Wilhelm Soltau, rev. ed. (Berlin 1798).

Here the illustrations from Soltau’s 1797 edition of Hudibras:





[9] Ludwig Tieck, Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen, 2 vols. (Berlin: Unger 1798). See Wilhelm to Hufeland on 15 July 1798 (Erich Schmidt, “A. W. Schlegel an Gottlieb Hufeland,” Litterarische Mittheilungen. Festschrift zum zehnjährigen Bestehen der Litteraturarchiv-Gesellschaft in Berlin [Berlin 1901], 22–25; in this edition letter 202a.1): “I will be glad to relinquish the review of Sternbald; I have not yet done any work toward it.”

That notwithstanding, Tieck did not end up reviewing volume 2 of Wilhelm’s edition of Shakespeare; Christian Gottfried Schütz had reviewed volume 1 in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1797) 347 (Wednesday, 1 November 1797) 273–80; 348 (Wednesday, 1 November 1797) 281–86. Back.

[10] Athenaeum was never reviewed in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (issue 1 appeared in May 1798, issue 2 would follow in mid-July), and the accompanying evasiveness on the part of the editors of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (documented here in later letter exchanges) contributed to Wilhelm’s complete break with the newspaper the following year. Back.

[11] No letters to Caroline with such news have been preserved. Back.

[12] “Miss Auguste” (Miß Auguste) in English in original. Back.

Translation © 2012 Doug Stott