Letter 203a

203a. Caroline to an unidentified recipient in Leipzig: Dresden, 20 September 1798 [*]

[Dresden, 20 September 1798]

Might I ask as a favor that you receive the accompanying luggage and boxes with books and then immediately pass them on unfranked to the Jena carter that they might be forwarded further to our house in Jena? We will be returning by way of Dessau rather than Leipzig and will be back in Jena on either 2 or 3 October, where, truth be told, we would prefer not to have to do without the books for too long. [1]

Please extend our warm regards to the Göschens. My husband will be writing to him soon himself. Since you will have to send a waybill for the luggage in any case, please do also let me know in it whether Madam Göschen has successfully delivered her baby and how she is doing — something I am very keen on learning. [2]

Dresden, 20 September 1798

Caroline Schlegel, née Michaelis


[*] Not in Erich Schmidt (1913). Manuscript and transcription: Martin Reulecke.

The manuscript is attested in the archive of the publisher Georg Joachim Göschen and is notated on the reverse side according to the same pattern as are many other manuscripts from the publisher’s correspondence, except that the usual date of reception is missing, presumably because it was not addressed to Göschen in any case (the addition of “née Michaelis” in Caroline’s closing also suggests as much, since she otherwise never used this form in letters to Göschen, and Caroline asks the recipient in any case to pass along her regards to the Göschen family).

The letter was instead presumably forwarded on to him or to his publishing house; the additional possibility is that, because it was written and addressed to an employee of the firm whom Caroline knew, it also ended up in the firm’s archives.

Dating: although the manuscript was originally dated 10 September 1798, such is likely to be corrected to 20 September, Caroline’s closing date at the bottom right of the manuscript, in which the quickly written “2,” though clearly enough indicated, might have been taken as a “1.” Back.

[1] Ultimately Göschen himself took care of forwarding the luggage and boxes back to Jena. See the letter from Wilhelm Schlegel to Göschen from Jena on 31 October 1798 (letter 207a).

Concerning the stopover in Dessau to visit the Tischbein family, see supplementary appendix 181c.1). Dessau is situated ca. 110 km northeast of Jena and ca. 55 km north of Leipzig, and Leipzig ca. 100 km northeast of Dresden (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):



[2] Apparently a reference to the birth one of the Göschen children (they had nine in all) who died in infancy and is not otherwise mentioned by name in NDB or Viscount George Goschen, The Life and Times of Georg Joachim Goschen, Publisher and Printer of Leipzig 1752–1828, 2 vols. (New York, London 1903), here 1:436: “The fifth son, August Robert, born in 1794 [the German edition, 1:323 reads “1793”], died in infancy, as did two children who followed him,” i.e., to one to whom Caroline here refers. See also Krisenjahre 3:14, where Josef Körner essentially confirms this information. Back.

Translation © 2012 Doug Stott