Letter 329d

329d. Friedrich Schlegel to Wilhelm Schlegel in Jena: Jena, 14 September 1801 (or slightly later) [*]

[Jena, 14 September 1801 or slightly later]

Since you are misinterpreting to such an extreme degree my having retained this letter, I prefer to send it along to you now, though I comprehend neither the reason nor the right you have to demand it back.

The fact that I visited your wife despite all that had happened provides the best proof that I was quite willing to remain in an externally good relationship with her. [1] Since this gesture was not reciprocated, however, I could not really force myself on her.

I have no hostile feelings toward Karoline. On that you can depend.

Answering her at this point would actually be superfluous. Similarly I cannot respond to her letter if I do not have it before me. —

What little I can say about the historical timeline, however, I will reserve until I answer the last letter you wrote me from Berlin concerning this matter. [2]



[*] Sources: Waitz, (1871), 2:135fn1; Walzel, 489; KFSA 25:292. — Response to Wilhelm’s letter to Friedrich on the same day or slightly earlier, 14 September 1801 (letter 329c).

Dating: (1) Walzel xxv: “presumably 24 September 1801”; (2) Briefe von und an Friedrich und Dorothea Schlegel, ed. Josef Körner (Berlin 1926), 638, no. 162: “24 September 1799” (citing Walzel 489); KFSA 25:619: “probably Monday, 14 September 1799 or shortly thereafter.”

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

[1] Concerning the admittedly awkward visit, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 24 April (letter 311) and Friedrich’s to Wilhelm on 27 April 1801 (letter 312a). Back.

[2] Friedrich probably responded in person rather than in writing. Wilhelm’s letter from Berlin is apparently no longer extant (KFSA 25:620fn3). Back.

Translation © 2015 Doug Stott