Letter 276a

276a. Georg Tatter to Wilhelm Schlegel in Braunschweig: Hannover, 26 November 1800 [*]

Hannover, 26 November 1800

— — I am so sorry to read at the end of your letter how dreadfully your Caroline is suffering; it always greatly frightens me to contemplate facing one of our winters in a condition of weakened health.

Although I myself am still doing reasonably well, I do confess it is difficult for me to make decisions when it comes to planning journeys. [1] But I do hope to be in a position to visit Söder and Salzdahlen this coming spring, since it is, after all, not quite right to be even more indifferent toward art residing virtually on your doorstep than when it is hundreds of miles away. [2]


[*] Source: Waitz (1882), 88. Passages marked by “—” were not included by Waitz (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[1] Dating problems accompany this letter. According to Tatter’s eulogy (see the biographical sketch in the supplementary appendix on Tatter), Tatter had been appointed seated (“real”) legation secretary to the Electoral Hannoverian embassy at the Russian court in the summer of 1800, then allegedly arrived in St. Petersburg in November 1800, a date difficult to reconcile with this letter (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Elementarische Landkarte von Europa, from the Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate xl):


Waitz does not indicate that this letter’s date was deduced. Neither, however, if the dating in his biographical sketch is correct, does it seem possible for Tatter to have contemplated visiting Söder and Salzdahlum during the spring of 1801. Because Tatter is said to have spent four years in St. Petersburg, and considering that he died in April 1805, one might reasonably assume that he did not arrive in St. Petersburg until 1801. Back.

[2] Wilhelm seems to have written Tatter about his and Caroline’s visit to Söder in October 1800; Söder is located ca. 45 km southeast of Hannover and just west of Holle on the following map; Salzdahlem is located between Braunschweig and Wolfenbüttel (Karte des deutschen Reichs, ed. C. Vogel [Gotha 1907], no. 13); R. Sayer and J. Bennett, The German Dominions of the King of Great Britain Comprised Under the Name of Electorate of Brunswick Luneburg [London 1778]):



Concerning Wilhelm and Caroline’s visit there, see Caroline’s letter to Schelling on 15–24 October 1800 (letter 272), to Luise Gotter on 24 November 1800 (letter 275), and the gallery on Söder.

Caroline had visited the art gallery in Salzdahlum Castle in June and the autumn of 1795, the first time with Auguste and her brother Philipp Michaelis, the second time with Auguste and Wilhelm; see her letter to Luise Gotter in the autumn of 1795 (letter 156), esp. with note 3. Back.

Translation © 2014 Doug Stott