Letter 287

• 287. Caroline to Schelling in Jena: Braunschweig, 17 February 1801

[Braunschweig] 17 February 1801

[Beginning of letter is missing.]

|39| . . . that is my misfortune. If you had to condemn me for it, then it would be easy for you to leave me.


My brother is thinking about taking a trip to Jena and Berlin around Easter. Perhaps he can accompany me to your area there and make my entry into Jena a bit easier, for that is the way things still stand, namely, that I will be seeing you again there. [1]


|40| Your lectures must be turning out brilliantly — you are constantly deducing new splendors. Can the people even bear it? Do they see when you show them “seeing”?

Think of my eyes, of my love. Were you but my son, that those eyes might rest on you with maternal joy.

May God bless you. I embrace my friend with a faithful heart and only with excessive yearning after not having seen him for so long.

If only I do not receive a letter from you in which you lament that you have no letter from me — alas, but yesterday you probably wrote just such a letter — or did not write me at all. Again, stay well.


[1] The reference is presumably to Gottfried Philipp Michaelis in Harburg rather than to Fritz Michaelis in Marburg, with the latter of whom Caroline seems to have parted on extremely bitter terms.

Gottfried Philipp Michaelis was about to publish a book on the efficient organization of military field hospitals, Ueber die zweckmässigste Einrichtung der Feld-Hospitäler (Göttingen 1801); his dedicatory preface is dated 9 May 1800. The book is, broadly speaking, organized into three parts: (1) on the arrangement of field hospitals; (2) on the maintenance of patients; (3) on the persons belonging to the hospital, and on the direction. Here the two illustrations (albeit incomplete) of an English carriage for transporting the wounded (key on ibid., p. 520):


The reviewer of this book in the “Critical Retrospect of Medical and Physical Literature: Ueber Die Zweckmässigste Einrichtung der Feld Hospitäler,” The Medical and Physical Journal 6,34 (1801), 563–67, concludes:

Such are the contents of a book, which every where displays the profoundest knowledge and experience of the author, in the actual state of military hospitals, and which will afford the greatest satisfaction to all who consult it.

Philipp does not, however, seem to have accompanied Caroline to Jena in April 1801. Her companions instead were her sister, Luise, and the latter’s daughter, Emma (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Besetztere und illuminierte Landkarte von Deutschland, 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 xlv):



Translation © 2014 Doug Stott