Letter 265d

265d. Wilhelm Schlegel to Goethe in Weimar: Jena, 20 July 1800 [*]

Jena, 20 July 1800

It is with a rent heart that I am able to send only these few lines.

My inexpressibly beloved daughter has died of dysentery in Bocklet, whither she had accompanied her mother. [1] Her mother’s health, which had recovered almost completely, has now been devastated anew, and I must fear the worst. [2]

Tomorrow I will be travelling to Bamberg; [3] please accompany me in thought and sympathy and stay well.



[*] Source: Körner-Wieneke 111. Back.

[1] Auguste died on 12 July 1800. The following day, her death was noted in the Bocklet church registry:

Denata est honesta Virgo Augusta Boemerin, protestantice religionis, nata loco Klausthal auf Harz Saxonia, aetatis annorum 14 circiter: morabatur ibidem cum Domina Matre sua tempore curationis.

[The upright young girl Auguste Boehmer, of the Protestant faith, born at the place Klausthal auf dem Harz in [Lower] Saxony, died at the age of about 14 [correct: 15] years old; she was staying there with her Mistress Mother during the time of cure (rehabilitation).]

(Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Höltys Elegie auf ein Landmädchen [1794]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.985):


Dorothea Veit similarly confirms the date in her letter to Schleiermacher on 28 July 1800 (letter 265i).

Considerably more is said in volume 2 about the circumstances surrounding Auguste’s death and esp. about the complicated and vitriolic scandal that resulted from Schelling’s alleged involvment, a scandal echoing Dorothea Veit’s charge in her letter to Schleiermacher on 22 August 1800 (letter 266a) that Schelling had “meddled” in Auguste’s treatment. Back.

[2] This tragic, hitherto inconceivable loss constituted a defining moment in Caroline’s life ([1] Taschenbuch auf das Jahr 1802: Der Liebe und Freundschaft gewidmet; [2] Frauenzimmer Almanach zum Nutzen und Vergnügen für das Jahr 1812; both: Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):




[3] Wilhelm seems to have arrived in Bamberg on about 24 July 1800 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



Translation © 2014 Doug Stott