Letter 329b

329b. Friedrich Schlegel to Wilhelm Schlegel in Jena: Jena, 14 September 1801 [*]

[Jena, 14 September 1801]

As soon as I have finished the piece of work you already know about, [1] I will answer Caroline’s letter. Fourteen months have elapsed between the time Caroline made her declaration of hostility to me and the time she wrote that letter. [2] But only about 5 months since I received it. [3] In the meantime, you are completely correct in viewing the late response as merely accidental, since it is merely my own many projects and other hindrances that have prevented me from answering it on the very next postal day.

Fr. S.


[*] Sources: Walzel, 487; KFSA 25:290. — Response to Wilhelm’s letter to Friedrich on the same day, 14 September 1801 (letter 329a). Dating according to KFSA 25:618, which adduces Wilhelm’s letter to Friedrich on 14 September 1801 (letter 329c), in which Wilhelm mentions this “billet,” which is address to “Herr Professor A. W. Schlegel.”

Concerning the background to this “epistolary affair,” see the editorial note to Wilhelm’s letter to Friedrich on this same day, 14 September 1801 (letter 329a). Back.

[1] Likely Friedrich’s play Alarcos (Berlin 1802), which was performed in the Weimar theater on 29 May 1802 (Das Repertoire des Weimarischen Theaters, 43). More is heard about this play and its history in coming letters. Back.

[2] Königl. Gros-Britt.Genealogischer Kalender auf das Jahr 1784; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung:


Fourteen months earlier was the spring of 1800, when Caroline came down ill with nervous fever. Friedrich mentions this otherwise unidentified incident in his September letter to Schleiermacher (letter 328j): “The only time anything happened resembling, not so much a crude quarrel as a distancing between her and Madam Veit, was long after she had already announced her complete hostility toward me in harsh, arid words.” Back.

[3] Friedrich’s reckoning is incorrect, since Caroline’s letter was written in January 1801. Back.

Translation © 2015 Doug Stott