Letter 292c

• 292c. (was 300) Caroline to Schelling in Jena: Braunschweig, late February (?) 1801 [*]

[Braunschweig] midday [March? 1801]

|74| For a while I was doubtful whether you would write me today, and I thought that if you did not, I would not let myself get sad, that it would be better this time if I did not, since such pains you there with your full heart.

But you did write to me and have admittedly heaped up both grief and love. But quiet. Oh, I entreat you, take me to your heart and comfort me.

Yes, I committed a transgression by surrendering myself to love, but that which put fetters on it was and is sacred, not some lack of free sentiment, nor some element of halfhearted love. Do you intend never to forgive me the fact that my irresistible inclination toward you broke through it? Nothing is incurable for souls such as ours, and though I was bold, I was not rash and thoughtless. Forgive me.

Surely you see that I was not dependent on that particular sort of unknown circumstance; God knows I waited for nothing but his inspiration. That much is obvious. You prompted it yourself through the movement in which I could not help but get caught.

Do not now turn your Caroline away. Consider everything; my existence rests in your hands. Do not confuse me; sense that I love you, that you are my sole joy.

Your visit refreshed me just as it did you. When I see him, I will not be able to keep myself from thanking him. [1]


O love, in whom perfect trust I have,
Hasten this sweet reunion,
And heal the ill you yourself created. [2] 

I have already learned it by heart. O Schelling, love me, and trust.


[*] Concerning dating and positioning, see the editorial note to letter 292a. Back.

[1] Apparently a visitor Schelling had in Jena whom Caroline also knew and whom she anticipated seeing again. Back.

[2] Uncertain source. Back.

Translation © 2014 Doug Stott