Letter 55

• 55. Caroline to Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter in Gotha: Clausthal, 7 April 1785 [*]

Clausthal, 7 April [17]85

|113| Although I am still capable [1] of thanking you myself for the surprise and elation your joyous news — together with the doubly sweet interest you yourself associate with that news — has brought me, [2] I fear that, ponderous as I am, I am nonetheless not capable of describing even half the benevolent and inspiring effect that news had on me.

The same wishes and the same hopes now prompt my own heart to participate with hitherto unprecedented sympathy even had you not added any new reason to do so — but as it is, you have raised the most cheerful expectations in me and have even engaged all my little superstitions in this regard — which are so eager to seize on any sign, so you can believe me when I say that they do indeed take note of the fact that the name Gustav had long been the name of choice for my own child should it be a son.

It is your gracious friendship and gallantry — both of which, I must own, I would certainly bind up as a present for your little Gustav were I a fairy and did the wonderful predisposition he has already demonstrated not seem to make such an act superfluous — to which I now owe the rose-colored |114| atmosphere amid which my own child will be born, just as was your own under the sign of the most beautiful celestial constellations! May both their futures also partake of this color — your impromptu is so delightfully charming that I am tempted to take it as an oracle for both of them. [3]

These joyous emotions are the only thanks I can offer you and are the best guarantee that your son and the son of my beloved sisterly friend will for me always simultaneously be the brother of my own. Let me justify your trust, your remembrance — both of which so exceedingly flatter me — at least through the most heartfelt acknowledgment and abiding sympathy. I have often called Gotha the fatherland of my heart — now a new bond will tie me to it as well; and may I soon be granted a reunion which might renew each of my older bonds by enabling me to demonstrate to you that absence has indeed not been able to loosen any of those earlier ones!

Let me charge you with delivering my kiss for the dear mother, a kiss she is then to pass on to my little godchild, for I already suspect that a mother’s kiss is the most tender of all — especially when a beloved husband has delivered it! Böhmer shares my joy and sends his thanks just as do I. [4]

Caroline Böhmer


[*] Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795):



[1] Caroline was in the final month of her first pregnancy. Back.

[2] Gustav Gotter had been born in March 1785; Caroline was to be his godmother. Back.

[3] Gotter had possibly sent a short occasional poem with his letter. Back.

[4] Unfortunately, Gustav Gotter would die on 19 September 1785; see Caroline’s letter to Luise Gotter on 14 November 1785 (letter 63). Back.

Translation © 2011 Doug Stott