Letter 304a

304a. Friedrich Schlegel to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 6 April 1801 [*]

Jena, 6 April 1801

. . . Whether I will be lecturing this summer is still quite uncertain. I must have 20 more students than during the winter, otherwise I will be losing too much financially and cannot do it. [1] . . .

I am hoping Tieck will still be there when this letter arrives. But what sort of strange arrangement is this, namely, for him to stay in the empty house rather than with me? — I really must insist that he stay with me. [2]

I already knew that Karoline would soon be returning, since she requested through Mademoiselle Faber the return of the keys, excepting the one to your room. [3] . . .


[*] Sources: Walzel, 474; KFSA 25:254–55. Back.

[1] See KFSA 25:590–91, with lecture announcements in the philosophical faculty for summer semester 1801 on 708–9; the entire list for the philosophical faculty for the summer semester 1801 was published in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1801) 54 (Saturday, 21 March 1801) 435–36.

Although Friedrich was scheduled to lecture on poesy and on the principles of philosophy, he would have been competing with seven other lecturers in philosophy, including Schelling (Propädeutik der Philosophie, System der gesammten Philosophie [entire system of philosophy], and the philosophy of art; also a disputatorium), and would be doing so at a time when the number of foreign students in Jena was dwindling.

Although Wilhelm was scheduled to lecture on aesthetics, he did not return to Jena until 11 August 1801, then departed again in early November. Christian Gottfried Schütz was also scheduled to lecture on aesthetics, something Caroline is quick to point out to Wilhelm in her letter of 27 April 1801 (letter 312), the day the summer semester 1801 began in Jena.

Concerning Friedrich’s attempts to establish himself as a lecturer in Jena, see supplementary appendix 303.1. Back.

[2] Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen 1803 (Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):


See Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 26 March 1801 (letter 303):

The visit by Tiek to which you alerted me makes me very glad indeed; tell him that and give him my very warmest regards. Nor should he stay downstairs, but rather in your room if you are not yet there

See note 12 there. The implication is that Caroline was trying to keep Ludwig Tieck out of Friedrich’s and Dorothea’s sphere of influence, they having become decidedly negative in their views toward her and Schelling.

After Friedrich and Dorothea Veit had moved out of the house in September 1800, the apartment stood empty even though Wilhelm continued to rent it. They in their own turn had gone to considerable trouble earlier trying to convince Schleiermacher that they had enough room in their new apartment to accommodate him during a visit, and indeed enough room for Wilhelm to live with them after his anticipated return to Jena. See their letters to Wilhelm on 23 and 30 September 1800 (letters 268a, 269a) and to Schleiermacher on ca. 1 July 1800 (letter 264c). Back.

[3] Mademoiselle Faber is an otherwise unidentified woman who seems to have lived in the front section of the house on Leutragasse. Caroline mentions securing the keys from her in her letter to Wilhelm on 5–6 March 1801 (letter 296):

I also wanted to let you know that today I authorized Mlle. Faber, along with other tasks, to be given the keys to all the rooms in the house except yours, in part so that whatever needs it can be cleaned and the alcoves whitewashed, and simply so windows can be opened from time to time to allow the sun in to do its salutary work.

See her restive remarks to Wilhelm in her letter to him on 4–5 April 1801 (letter 304); see note 19 there for more on the background to this issue. Back.

Translation © 2015 Doug Stott