Letter 335

335. Caroline to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 10 December 1801

[Jena] Thursday, 10 December [18]01

|226| Just as I sit down at this sheet of paper to write you, your sincere parcel arrives, my sincere friend, namely, the upright 101 Laubthaler, the reception of which |227| I would thus like gratefully to confirm to you on the spot. I must confess, however, that they did not delight me even half as much as did your last letter, which I read with the keenest interest. —

By the way, I intend to do everything possible with the Laubthaler, especially with regard to paying past due bills, [1] and should you find that you need it, my dear Wilhelm, then use the assignation to Hufeland to help out. I have arranged with my brother to pay out in February everything we have taken in for him along with the principal.

To begin now with the most urgent matter, since I am suffering horribly from dizziness, which is keeping me in an incessant ronde with my writing, [2] and since I do not know how long I can hold out, — just be comforted that you did not write anything concerning the books. They could not have been sent any earlier than tomorrow in any case, though they will definitely go out then. [3] The suitcase full of them, and the rest with Catel, who will also bring the shirt without fail. [3a]

According to a letter from Goethe to Schelling, [4] Ion will be sent to Berlin no later than today, which will not be uninteresting to you. [5] Goethe writes, “I am hopeful things will go quite well with our tragedy,” and that the distribution of roles is certainly promising in that respect, since Mademoiselle Jagemann will be playing Ion, Vohs will be playing Xuthus, which is doubtless better than if Becker were to play that role, who would turn it into a kind of character role, and it is considerably better if it exhibits an element of that favorable prejudice toward the first love interests — then Madam Vohs will play Creusa, Graf will play Phorbas. But then they assigned Pythia to Madame Teller, doubtless because of Tiek’s drawing, in which Pythia looks so ancient, so they did not think Mademoiselle Malcolmi was appropriate for the role. [6] They were still in suspenso concerning Apollo [7] — which I find utterly incomprehensible, since Hayde alone has the legs for it, and no one else has the other features.

It will presumably be performed as soon as this month. [8] I myself will not be going, I think, since I will not be able to control my emotion. [9] In that regard I am and shall remain quite childish, and you can write a dozen tragedies before I will be able to |228| attend a performance calmly. Hence it is just as well that I was not present at your first lecture. [10] I would have been utterly unable to avoid at least a slight nervous fever.

Ah, my dear Schlegel, how can I express to you how fervently all of us here are hoping for your success! Schelling views it as nothing less than his own cause.

On Saturday evening, we were just reading in Benvenuto Cellini, and quite animatedly at that. I was reading aloud, your letter arrived, and since I immediately overlooked several pages, I continued to read your description in precisely the same tone, which everyone found quite funny. I kept the less-than-funny postscript to myself, though I did relate it to Schelling afterward, namely, concerning the way Fichte behaved. [11]

He also understands perfectly that and why Fichte had to behave that way, and that he is expressing an extremely crude element of envy in an equally crude fashion. If he is still hoping for anything from Fichte, it is only because his admiration for him in other respects is leading his good heart astray. He has firmly resolved that regardless of how Fichte may act or proceed toward him, he will never respond publicly. [12] As for me, this last episode has rendered my own hatred for Fichte complete.

Just do not let yourself be disturbed. [13] If you become a master in your own presentation, you will have gained everything; nor can it be otherwise, since, considering that you already understand how to speak so well in any case, the constant practice will also solidify your talent on this rostrum. It is easy to understand that your view of the matter did not coincide with Fichte’s, and were he really smart and could ever get out of his implacable and unalterable understanding of it, he would not have had to judge you on that particular basis at all.

Just continue to speak well and freely and do not worry about anything. I will be infinitely pleased if you are but satisfied with yourself in this regard until I myself arrive with my own admission ticket. [14] And I will be dreadfully happy for you were that of some benefit to you! |229| I am very glad you have Friedrich, who can assist you with better understanding and disposition than can Fichte. [15]

I am always especially thinking of you during the hour when you are lecturing. [16] Could blue-eyed Caroline but once turn into blue-eyed Athena, that she might stand right there next to you, invisible, and place divine utterances into your mouth. [17] Since, however, you are already so charmingly well-dressed and anointed, I would not have to trouble myself with it as did that particular goddess, who never neglected such.

Schelling will probably be writing you himself about your idea of arranging something here beforehand for the coming summer. He considers it eminently expedient and intends to pursue it quite diligently, something his connections with several prominant people here, which he made through the disputatorium, will enable him to do. [19]

These young students are extraordinarily receptive, parroting both what is stupid as well as what is sensible and taking everything so seriously, but also wanting to produce something for themselves in the process, something Schelling frequently catches wind of and always immediately douses with cold water. —

Although Schütz will probably do everything he can to win the Livonians over to his aesthetics, [20] he will probably endure no longer than did the applause of his son, who left the lectern amid insults and pereats. [21]

But just listen to my troubles — we will not be getting Doctor Luther’s house, and it took a good 24 hours before I finally began to calm down to a certain extent at the news. [22] I went and saw Helfeld. He will not even grant use of the entryway, which makes the whole thing utterly impossible, since we cannot in any way make do with only a single entrance. We would, moreover, be exposed to everything through the parlor. Nor does it seem expedient to me for the Bernhardis with their two children. [23]

And |230| because he did not hear anything from us for so long other than the rumor that we would be moving into the Asverus house, [24] he promised, through a stranger, to rent it to yet another stranger for 3 months, but in the meantime has refused it to everyone, e.g., to the new jurist Thibaud from Kiel, because everyone wants to have use of the parlor.

This loss was extraordinarily hard for me, indeed, as Schelling thinks, inappropriately hard. But it will not make me sorry to have given notice on our present apartment. Himly has come and looked at it, but it did not please him and is still quite available. [25] The Niethammers will probably be forced to take it themselves, since they are more likely to find renters for their apartment in the Oppermann house. [26]

Please just write and let me know whether you have any special wishes or a particular disinclination with respect to the following suggestions: the Asverus house out there next to the Bear, situated in the open with full midday sun and capable of being decorated quite daintily, enough rooms also for a guest, and considerably cheaper than our present apartment (I know not exactly, but certainly not more than 50–60); Klipstein’s garden for the summer, [27] or Niethhammer’s H[G?]ermanic house. [28]

I know of no others just now, though the mason wanders about town a couple of times each day like a roaring lion looking to see whether anything is available. Himly is negotiating for a large house on Johannisgasse whose rent is supposed to be 150. [29] Cheap rent would not be all that bad for us with regard to an apartment. Are the Bernhardis still thinking about coming? And if push came to shove, might they not be able to make do with Schelling’s apartment, since he is tentatively planning to be absent during the summer? [30]

They would have Schelling’s room along with 2 small adjoining chambers, then the kitchen along with an adjoining chamber, and also the room and chamber downstairs. It would be quite comfortable, they would have Schelling’s |231| furniture and housewares, would pay very cheap rent, and would not have to alter their usual lifestyle with all the buildings, and yet would also enjoy an open view.

I am really hoping the Bernhardis will be with us for the summer. Otherwise I myself am not particularly inclined to remain here. I would go to the prelature in Murhard, [31] and you and Schelling could travel to France together. [32] I will be glad to loan you the money for the trip if you both will write to me often and much, and will let me know what you are doing.

My good Wilhelm, I already sent the picture to Marcus, but do not let that depress you. [33] You are to have the first one, with the halo. [34] Tiek will be glad to make a copy of the oil portrait for Schelling; he already promised to try it with water colors. And I view this picture for Marcus as a memorial that is to reside in the area where she last enjoyed life. [35]

I could not bear that it not be congenial. It also looked quite charming framed and under glass, though I myself can no longer bear to see any of the copies alongside the main portrait, since the latter contains her entire truth and innocence, and also renders her comely appearance of unity, and yet with the most childlike expression. The element of incompleteness in the painting itself in fact enhances it. It is her shadow, along with the most delicate colors of life.

Catel will secure a frame for this picture of the sort I wish. He will have it done in Weimar, probably entirely in stucco. He will first let me know what the estimate will be, which I myself am glad to spend, since this is the memorial on which our eyes will be gazing from now on and which will one day be passed on to you also as a remembrance of me.

If by any chance Friedrich has volume two of the unruly novel with him, [36] you must have a look at it as well, since there are some romances in it that genuinely look as if they |232| were not really composed in the traditional sense at all, but rather composed themselves in some distant past. [37] Poems as good as the very best from this school, imaginative ideas, wordplay, good, earthy scenes, and a splendid little poet Haber. [38]

In a word: a great deal that is quite smart; unfortunately not in its entirety, of course. And in its initial conception Herr Clemens Brentano is merely a somewhat more poetic Jean Paul, hence he also exhibits more wit and sits a bit more securely — on the sensuous world. What the latter attains through comparisons, the former attains through wordplay, but in truth not badly at all, not at all.

I was quite entertained. And as I said, the romances are good, one must certainly give him credit for that. [39]

Gries is even noted in a rather impertinent fashion by way of Tasso, [40] which would not have been necessary for such at all, and it is quite nice the way he left to him exactly the minimum of what he has or at least had. [41]

I confess I think these portraits in novels are a rather ill custom, one Friedrich himself introduced to these people through Lucinde and which causes the desired element of objectivity to stumble headlong over itself, and I for my part cannot really say whether it lands on its feet again or in reality merely on its head. —

I have not yet seen Vermehren’s Allmanach, [42] but in his note of thanks for having been sent yours, Goethe wrote the following to Schelling: [43] “The Almanach by Vermehren admittedly does not come off to its best advantage next to it. The fiery wind from Friedrich Schlegel’s laboratorium was not able to lift the balloon up and elevate the rest of the ballast after all.”

We found this statement to be extraordinarily accurate: a “fiery wind from the laboratorium,” and yet not at all desobligeant. [44] The old gentleman wrote this letter with his own hand and was thus much more open, [45] and there was more in it, but I am not saying. [46] Friedrich allegedly contributed a great deal to the Allmanach! [47] |233| Well, I hope Vermehren purchased his soul at a sufficiently steep price. —

I was pleased to hear the news about Hülsen. [48] He has a broad foundation of sentimentality, but also considerable substance and content. But when I hear about new disciples and allies, about young officers who are writing poetry in the barracks, I get anxious, for there are simply already too many of these disciples who make one queasy and ill. [49] Do not allow your tolerance to proliferate too excessively; tolerance is a luxuriant weed.

My dear friend, I would be infinitely obliged to you if you could let me know how Tiek is getting on with the other artists there and what Bury’s assessment is, who allegedly shook his head a bit beforehand, to hear Catel tell it. Surely they will have to respect the bust. I am imagining that you set it up in the hall with the others. [50]

And what about the artist’s personal reputation? Affable enough — were he but also imposing! [51] – is that not the case? He has a light and, I believe, honest nature, utterly lacking the guile and deceit of the other, more visible vanity, but all of it quite harmless, less inclination toward reflection — thank God — and an almost poetic talent.

Schelling just sent me a letter for you. [52] Let me add my emphatic support to the two following points, namely, his great joy at the translation of a piece by Sophocles you are undertaking with Schleiermacher, [53] and his request to the latter to take over Jacobi. [54] You must influence Schleiermacher in this regard. —

Schelling is indeed in a bind with respect to the journey. [55] Although he would like to take a break and refresh himself somewhere else during the summer, that would admittedly take up both the time and the money he had put aside for the trip to Berlin. He will already be concluding his lectures at the end of February, which would give him 2 extra months until Easter for Berlin. But will he be able to work there as he is imagining? So |234| I really cannot see any other possibility except for me to come alone. Is that acceptable to you? Tell me all your thoughts on the matter. —

Rose recently came to ask quite graciously how the “Herr Professor” was doing in Berlin, and was exceedingly pleased to hear of his continued well-being. Her sister has now married. [56] Schelling is tempted to compose a poem in the style of Picander about a needlemaker threading his needle. [57]

And Rose herself genuinely did get involved in a somewhat more studied love affair, a certain Herr Moser, who, however, left at Michaelmas and has promised to return. [58] Which is fine with me, since as long as she is waiting for the messiah, she will be focused on God and will avoid falling into temptation.

Julchen sends you her most earnest regards. [59] I believe she is somewhat at fault insofar as, as I believe, the 101 Laubthaler considerably softened her heart toward you. She is extolling you now as an excellent and upright fellow.

I for my part, as you well know, my heart, ask not about Thaler, notwithstanding I do indeed acknowledge them. [60]

Steffens is still not here, and no one knows anything except that he is sitting firmly in Freyberg; [61] but the other Dane, Möller, is here from Paris. He, too, is passionate, and Schelling is planning on bringing him by to see me in the next couple of days. There are some signs that the artistic ray of sunlight that so suddenly fell straight down on him in Paris, has scorched him a bit. Until that happened, he knew only of nature. He had to endure a terrible illness during the journey and then came upon the idea here to eat no meat and that sort of thing, like the Brahmans, and to have visions of spirits; all that has greatly fatigued him. [62]

I myself am feeling better than seemed to be the case — the weather here is raging futilely all about me — this evening I will no doubt roll about in laughter, for I just received |235| Vermehren’s Allmanach — along with stanzas and sonnets by prank’d up, presumptuous Madam Vermehren. [63] What great fun — it would have been quite charmant of Friedrich had he contributed just that one song from among the smaller ones [64] — but the distichs on Göthe’s works — fi donc! [65]

My dear, do not join in this defamation of Göthe that they have all turned into such a miserable fashion among themselves.

Adieu, my dear.


[1] The purpose or background of this money, apart from general living expenses, is uncertain. Caroline does not seem to have alluded to it earlier. Wilhelm’s accompanying letter, to which Caroline refers several times in this letter, does not seem to be extant. Caroline quickly mentions an otherwise unresolved financial matter between Philipp Michaelis and Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland that has been mentioned at various times previously in this correspondence.

Erich Schmidt did not include in his edition the text that begins here and extends to “To begin now with the most urgent matter.” The omitted text reads as follows in the manuscript (Digitale Edition der Korrespondenz August Wilhelm Schlegels; line breaks as in original; transcription by the translator):

, und wenn es dir fehlen
sollte lieber Wilhelm, so nimst du die
Assignation an Hufeland zu Hülfe. Ich habe
mit meinem Bruder ausgemacht, alles was
wir für ihn einnehmen, im Febr. mit dem
Kapital auszuzahlen. — Back.

[2] Fr. noun, “round; roundabout,” here fig.: “circle.” Back.

[3] Caroline mentions her intention to secure certain books for Wilhelm in her letter to him on 3 December 1801 (letter 334).

Erich Schmidt did not include in his edition the text that begins here and extends to the end of this paragraph. The omitted text reads as follows in the manuscript (Digitale Edition der Korrespondenz August Wilhelm Schlegels; line breaks as in original; transcription by the translator):

Der Koffer voll nehmlich, der Rest mit
Catel, der auch unfehlbar das Hemd bringt. Back.

[3a] Friedrich Tieck was originally supposed to take the shirt (or shirts) to Berlin. See Julie Gotter’s letter to Luise Gotter on 16 November 1801 (letter 329v), note 6. Back.

[4] Goethe to Schelling on 5 December 1801 (letter 334b). Back.

[5] Wilhelm’s play Ion: ein Schauspiel (Hamburg 1803). Concerning the parcel to Berlin, see Goethe’s letter to Schelling on 5 December 1801 (letter 334b), note 5.

Schelling had sent Wilhelm’s “proscription” list of verses to be deleted from the play for its Berlin performance to Goethe with his letter to the latter on 29 November 1801 (letter 333a). See note 1 there. Back.

[6] Caroline is referring to the colorized copper engraving by Friedrich Tieck depicting the costumes for the characters in Wilhelm’s Ion that appeared in a review of the play as copper engraving 8 (albeit incorrectly listed as 7) in “Weimarisches Hoftheater: . . . Colorirte Darstellungen der antiken Costumes im Ion, wie sie auf dem Hoftheater in Weimar erschienen,” Journal des Luxus und der Moden 14 (1802) (March), 136–48. The characters are from left to right: Pythia, Xuthus, Ion, Creusa, Phorbas:



[7] Latin, “in a state of uncertainty, abeyance.” Back.

[8] It premiered on Saturday, 2 January 1802. Back.

[9] Emotion in French (or English) in original. Back.

[10] Wilhelm had begun his Berlin lectures (Vorlesungen über schöne Literatur und Kunst) on 1 December 1801. Back.

[11] Uncertain allusion, though see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 23 November 1801 (letter 331), in which Caroline mentions Schelling and Hegel’s plans publish a new philosophical periodical, their Kritisches Journal der Philosophie; Caroline told Wilhelm not to tell Fichte about it yet. In this instance, Fichte seems to have taken some exception to Wilhelm’s lecturing activity. Back.

[12] Concerning the break between Fichte and Schelling, which was about to culminate in January 1802, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 29 June 1801 (letter 323), note 6 with cross references. The tension between the two men had been mounting over the course of 1801 (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki in 1780, “Die Philosophen” [The philosophers], Illustrationen zu Erasmus’ Lob der Narrheit in sechs Abteilungen [1780]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki WB 3.31):



[13] Given what Caroline goes on to say, the reference seems be to a disagreement between Fichte and Wilhelm, or a criticism Fichte voiced, with respect to the latter’s incipient lecture series or, specifically, his manner of delivery. Here Fichte himself lecturing (Henschel, Schiller Nationalmuseum Marbach):



[14] I.e., to Wilhelm’s Berlin lectures. For the text, see note 19 in that letter of 21 August 1801. Back.

[15] Friedrich Schlegel had arrived in Berlin with Friedrich Tieck on 2 December 1801; they had departed Jena together on ca. 29 November 1801 and arrived on 1 December 1801 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[16] Sundays and Wednesdays from 12:00 till 1:00. Back.

[17] Athena, virginal municipal goddess of Athens, goddess of, among other things, wisdom, effective leadership in war, and protector of the olive tree and of feminine handiwork. Her sobriquet glaukopis, however, sooner means “owl-eyed” than “blue-eyed,” and may reflect the proverbially understood owls in Athens (Wörterbuch der Antike, ed. Ernst Bux and Wilhelm Schöne, 7th ed. [Stuttgart 1966], s.v. “Athena”; illustration: Carl Ottfried Müller and Carl Osterley, Denkmäler der alten Kunst, 3rd ed., ed. Friedrich Wieseler [Göttingen 1877], vol. 2, no. 2, plate 233):


This passage is in any case the only evidence documenting the color of Caroline’s eyes. Back.

[19] Concerning Hegel and Schelling’s disputatorium during this present semester in Jena, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 23 November 1801 (letter 331), note 20. Back.

[20] I.e., the Livonian students in Jena, where international students tended to coalesce into national groups. See Christian Gottfried Schütz’s letter to Wilhelm in late July 1798 (letter 202d), when many such students were being recalled home; see esp. note 7 there. Back.

[21] Latin, “may he come to ruin, perish; down with him!” Julie Gotter writes to Luise Gotter back on 29 June 1801 (letter 322b):

Although going to visit Madam Schütz cost me considerable effort, I had no intention of acting contrary to my mother’s orders. She was extremely polite, indeed, too much so, and invited me to visit her often; and two days later I received a formal invitation to a grand fête, which, however, I declined. No one will now accompany me there, and in fact no upright person considers it seemly to have much to do with her.

She is now, together with Madam Hildebrandt, attending her son’s lectures; the two women allow themselves to be gaped at in a side room by the young people there, who in part go precisely to see this oddity.

What do you think about that? Perhaps she might even come upon the idea of taking me along to admire her excellent son!

Concerning Schelling’s lectures during the coming summer semester of 1802, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 11 May 1801 (letter 315), note 17. Schelling did indeed lecture on aesthetics, viz. his philosophy of art. Back.

[22] Because neither Wilhelm himself, nor Friedrich Schlegel, nor Dorothea Veit, nor, of course, Auguste was now living in the apartment at Leutragasse 5, Caroline was essentially there alone except for her present guest, Julie Gotter, and with Karl Schelling renting Wilhelm’s old room. Caroline had thus been seeking a new apartment to rent. Concerning the house of Doctor Luther, see her letter to Wilhelm on 27 July 1801 (letter 327), note 25. Back.

[23] Here a front foyer and entryway into a bourgeois house at the time (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Von Berlin nach Danzig: Eine Künstlerfahrt im Jahre 1773, von Daniel Chodowiecki. 108 Lichtdrucke nach den Originalen in der Staatl. Akademie der Künste in Berlin, mit erläuterndem Text und einer Einführung von Wolfgang von Oettingen (Leipzig 1923), plate 25):


The Bernhardis of Berlin seem to have been making plans to move at least temporarily to Jena, perhaps for the summer, though the move never materialized. — The Bernhardis’ two sons, Wilhelm and Ludwig Bernhardi, the latter of whom, however, died in late February 1802. Back.

[24] The Asverus-Haus at Lutherplatz 3 in Jena — so named by Caroline after the previous renter.

The house, which actually belonged to “tanner Eckardt” (see Peer Kösling, Die Frühromantiker in Jena, 31–35), was from 24 May 1802 till her departure on 22 May 1803 Caroline’s third and final residence in Jena. The location was in the northeast corner of Jena; Leutragasse 5 is seen toward the center left (Stadtplan von Jena [1909]; Städtische Museen Jena: Stadtmuseum und Kunstsammlung):


Here in an illustration on a painted teacup, the building to the right next to the hotel Zum Schwarzen Bär (Städtische Museen Jena, Stadtmuseum Inv. Nr. SMJ 1151[P8]):


Here a similar view in 1830, depicting the tree-lined Fürstengraben at center, the residence castle at left, and on the right half of the illustration what was earlier known as the Ballhaus (later a tavern) on the left, the hotel Zum Schwarzen Bär on the right (façade recognizable from the previous illustration), to the right and behind which (out of the picture) stood the “Asverus” house (Gustav Heinrich Schneider, Die Burschenschaft Germania zu Jena [Jena 1897], 255):


Here on an illustration from after ca. 1757. The larger building on the left is the inn Zum Schwarzen Bär, the two buildings to the right include the house in which Caroline’s apartment was located (Prospectus Sedis principalis, et celeberrimae universitatis studiorum Ienae, ex Septentrionali plaga intuentibus conspicuae Albertus Carolus Seutterus Geographus Caesareus Aug.Vind.; Prospect der Fürstl:Residenz und berühmten Universitaet Stadt Iena,wie diese von Norden sich praesentiret. herausgegeben von Albrecht Carl Seutter Kajsrl. Geogr. in Augspurg; SLUB/Deutsche Fotothek]):


Here a closeup from the previous illustration; the inn Zum Schwarzen Bär is identified in the illustration key as no. 3 (no. 2 is the tower of the Jena castle):


The second view on this same town illustration is from the north, and in this illustration one can see what Caroline points out next in this letter, namely, that the house is “out there next to the Bear, situated in the open with full midday sun,” to which she adds in her letter to Wilhelm on 20–21 December 1801 (letter 336) (see note 5 there) that “it is an extremely amiable place, the view from the upstairs rooms, especially out the back, is as pleasant as might be imaginable, taking in the entire valley from Kunitz all the way to Dornburg.”

The houses in this view are positioned differently than in the previous view, though the view “out the back” of either position might well “take in the entire valley from Kunitz all the way to Dornburg,” which was almost due northeast in either case. The village of Kunitz is indicated at the far left (to the northeast) in this view:


Here a closeup from the previous illustration. The inn Zum Schwarzen Bär is identified in the illustration key as “a.” Caroline is likely referring to the taller house on the left, since in her letter to Wilhelm on 28 December 1801 (letter 338), she remarks that, in addition to rooms on the front side of the house, Wilhelm would also have “looking out the back[,] a room and chamber completely at your disposition and situated in a kind of 5th story that is a bit like a mansarde.” It must be kept in mind that the houses may very well not be depicted accurately in any case:


Here, at lower right, the house is situated among the ensemble of buildings next to the inn Zum schwarzen Bär (the larger building on the right) in an illustration from 1748.

The later address Lutherplatz 3 is likely the taller house on the left with a “kind of 5th story” (Johann Christoph Müller, Beschreibung: Abbildung der Fürstlichen Saechsischen weltberühmten Universitaets-Stadt Jena, wie solche von Nordt-Ost anzusehen [Gera, 1748]; Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Dresden, Johann Christoph Adelung Kartensammlung, Signatur/Inventar-Nr.: SLUB/KS B2424):



[25] The physician Karl Gustav Himly had just succeeded Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland at the university in Jena in November 1801. Back.

[26] When Schelling arrived in Jena during the autumn of 1798, his fellow Swabian Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer was already married and, moreover, already owned his own house. In October 1798, Schelling indicated in his lecture announcements that he could be reached in the “Oppermann House on the Graben,” information that generally referred to a professor’s residence.

Since documents attest that Schelling resided with Niethammer for at least a time after he first arrived in Jena, Niethammer seems already to have owned this house or at least part of it. In any event, the exact location of the house is nonetheless uncertain. See in this regard Die Frühromantiker in Jena, 82–83 (footnote 86). Back.

[27] Shortly after arriving in Jena in January 1801, Hegel gave his address there as Löbdergraben at the Klipstein Garden (Horst Althaus, Hegel und die heroischen Jahre der Philosophie [Hamburg 1992], chap. 12). The Löbdergraben earlier constituted roughly the southern town wall, then a street of the same name (Leutragasse 5 and Lutherplatz are also indicated on the following map; Stadtplan von Jena [1909]; Städtische Museen Jena: Stadtmuseum und Kunstsammlung):


The garden and garden house of the botanist Johann Dietrich Klippstein was more specifically located next to the Paradies in Jena, seen in this illustration as the green space with gardens and garden houses below that southern town wall (colorized version of Prospectus Sedis principalis, et celeberrimae universitatis studiorum Ienae, ex Septentrionali plaga intuentibus conspicuae Albertus Carolus Seutterus Geographus Caesareus Aug.Vind. as cited above).

One of these garden houses may have been the Klipstein house Caroline was interested in taking for the summer of 1802; she mentions the house again in her letter to Wilhelm on 20–21 December 1801 (letter 336):



[28] Uncertain allusion; not mentioned in Die Frühromantiker in Jena.

Click on the image below to open a gallery of illustrations of a typical mid-18th-century bourgeois residence of the sort to which Caroline was likely accustomed:



[29] Johannisgasse is located one street over from Leutragasse (Stadtplan von Jena [1909]; second illustration: view through the Johannes Town Gate on an early postcard):




[30] Schelling himself seems already to have been living in an apartment in the Asverus house on Lutherplatz; see Die Frühromantiker in Jena, 42–43; Kösling’s footnote 88 on page 83 should read “10. Dezember 1801” rather than “23. November 1801.”

Caroline writes to Auguste on 30 September 1799 (letter 245) about the small celebration the friends arranged that evening at Schelling’s apartment to “initiate his new nest.” Back.

[31] Murrhardt in Württemberg, where Schelling’s father had become prelate in 1801 after having been dean in Schorndorf since 1791. Murrhardt is located ca. 50 km northeast of Stuttgart and ca. 365 km from Jena (Karte des deutschen Reichs, ed. C. Vogel [Gotha 1907], no. 23):


Here the parsonage with the Witch’s Tower to its right and the spires of St. Januarius to its left, where Schelling’s father performed the marriage ceremony for Caroline and Schelling on 26 June 1803 (early postcard):


This remark, especially to Wilhelm, attests the unequivocally open nature of the relationship between Caroline and Schelling and their at least tentative plans for the future. Caroline did not, however, travel to Murrhardt until June 1803, when she departed Jena for the last time. Back.

[32] Uncertain allusion; the two never made such a journey together. Back.

[33] For Marcus’s response to this gift — apparently a copy of an otherwise unknown drawing of Auguste — see his letter to Caroline on 10 December 1801 (letter 335b).

It is difficult to identify the various iterations of this and other portraits of Auguste in Caroline’s letters; most, it seem were made or copied after what Caroline later in this letter calls the “the main portrait,” i.e., the oil portrait she now mentions. For a brief but incomplete overview, see Sophie Tischbein’s letter to Caroline on 28 August 1800 (letter 267), note 2. Several copies and adaptations regrettably seem to have been lost. Back.

[34] No copies of this particular drawing seem to have been preserved. Back.

[35] In 1801 Adalbert Friedrich Marcus purchased the Altenburg Castle in Bamberg, where he would spend the rest of his life and even find his final resting place. Concerning Caroline and Auguste’s stay in Bamberg shortly before Auguste’s death in Bocklet, see esp. Auguste’s letter to Cäcilie Gotter on 16 May 1801 (letter 260). Back.

[36] Clemens Brentano, Godwi oder das steinerne Bild der Mutter, ein verwildeter Roman von Maria (Bremen 1801/02); the second volume appeared at the beginning of December 1801. Caroline is referring to the subtitle, approx., “an unruly, undisciplined novel.”

To Caroline’s point, see John G. Robertson, A History of German Literature (New York 1902], 459:)

In the following year [1801] he published a novel in two volumes, Godwi, oder das Godwi, steinerne Bild der Mutter : ein verwilderter Roman von Maria. Although Brentano’s brother regarded this romance as too extravagant to include in the Gesammelte Schriften, it forms, nevertheless, an important link between the old Romanticism and the new.

Godwi begins as an unmistakable imitation of [Ludwig Tieck’s] William Lovell, but in the second volume the author would seem to have taken Lucinde as his model. “Verwildert” [wild, unruly] Godwi certainly is, in plot as in ideas, but it is the representative work of Brentano’s youth, and contains the germs of all his subsequent work: With all its faults, Godwi is, at least, a better novel than Lucinde, whose freedom and unrestraint had attracted Brentano in Jena.

Embedded in Godwi are a few songs which, subsequently, passed over into Des Knaben Wunderhorn [Heidelberg 1808]; here, too, is the poem, “Die lustigen Musikanten,” which, in 1803, was expanded into a “Singspiel.” Die “Lore Lay,” the ballad of the Rhine siren, remodelled by Heine in his familiar Volkslied, is also to be found in Godwi.

Here the title pages and frontispieces, and a third illlustration, “Ottilie,” from the Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1803: Der Liebe und Freundschaft gewidmet 1819 (Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):





[37] Caroline here uses the Spanish term Romanze, romance, the Romance-language counterpart of the German Ballade, an epic, folklike song of praise to a hero of faith or freedom whose deeds, wondrous life events, or love stories are portrayed as a short verse narrative characterized by more concentrated, abrupt, and yet folksong-like simplicity. Unlike the Ballade, it generally has a positive ending.

The genre originated in Spain, was picked up and introduced in Germany by Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, though the form soon became bogged down with appended moral appeals in the hands of others. Johann Gottfried Herder revived the form, and the Romantics then picked up certain formal elements in bringing about a florescence of the genre.

Brentano’s religiously oriented Romanzen vom Rosenkranz (1804–12; posthumously published) is often viewed as a representative piece, though in general the distinction between Romanze and Ballade in German usage was not always clear. Back.

[38] A character in the second half of volume 2. Back.

[39] According to Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:628, Caroline’s assessment of the novel was quite correct, and not merely with regard to the fine lyric poetry. Back.

[40] I.e., noted in Godwi. Johann Diederich Gries had been working on what would be a quite well-received translation of the poet Tasso, Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem Delivered) (1580), trans. Johann Diederich Gries as Befreites Jerusalem, 4 vols. (Jena 1800–1803).

Concerning the translation, see Wilhelm’s letter to him on 22 June 1800 (letter 264a), note 7. Here the frontispieces to the 2nd ed., Torquato Tasso’s Befreites Jerusalem, trans. Johann Diederich Gries, 2nd ed., 2 vols., Magazin der ausländischen klassischen Literatur 7 and 8 (Vienna 1815):]



[41] An obscure allusion to the passages in Brentano’s Godwi that deal with Goethe’s play Torquato Tasso, Goethe’s Schriften, col. 6, 1–222 (Leipzig 1790), and the prospect of translating the poet Tasso. The scene occurs in Godwi, vol. 2, 354–56 (translation of passages from TorquatoTasso, act 1, scenes 2 and 3, from Goethe’s Works, vol. 3, trans. George Barrie [Philadelphia 1885]):

Here I noticed Haber coming slowly toward me down the lane; he was reading a book whose cover I recognized as that of Goethe’s Tasso, for I had seen it earlier that morning on his nightstand. He was walking so slowly and listlessly that I suspected he must be reading the words of the princess:

I long have notic'd Tasso; hitherward
Slowly he bends his footsteps; suddenly,
As if irresolute, he standeth still;
Anon, with greater speed he draweth near,
Then lingers once again.

I withdrew into the shrubbery to weave a laurel wreath for him, which I would then jokingly set upon his head; soon I instead found his own hat, which he had placed on an old pot of aloe. Once he had caught up with me and said good morning, I solemnly took the book from his hands and read — while still touching the hat hanging on the aloe pot — parodying Alphonso’s words:

Hath chance, hath some kind genius twin'd the wreath,
And brought it hither? Not in vain it thus
Presents itself: This aloe I hear exclaim,
"Wherefore confer this honor on the empty pot?
It in its time of blossom had reward and joy?"

[Goethe’s original final lines of the verse:

Virgil I hear exclaim,
"Wherefore confer this honor on the dead?
They in their lifetime had reward and joy."]

I now placed the hat on his head and parodied the words of the princess:

Thou dost afford me, Tasso, the rare joy
Of giving silent utt'rance to my thought.

Haber, utterly placable, was creating a masterpiece, enjoying my mood and then adding, while placing the hat back onto the pot:

Take it — oh, take it quickly from my brow!
Pray thee remove it! It doth scorch my locks — 

For I hung it up here solely because I was too warm. Nor, by the way, should you tease me for coming upon the idea of translating Tasso; you are not yet aware of my talent, and could never win a competition with it —

And who would arm himself, within his breast
A power must feel, that ne'er forsaketh him.

Although I did not accept the challenge, I did in jest say that we ought to translate an Italian Lied together that I consider untranslatable; for me it was simply a matter of getting the Lied translated, then presenting it to Godwi this evening.

Haber agreed, and I wrote the Lied down for him, then he left. Back.

[42] Johann Bernhard Vermehren’s Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802 (Leipzig 1802). Back.

[43] Goethe to Schelling on 5 December 1801 (letter 334b). Caroline cites here from memory rather than verbatim. Back.

[44] Fr., “disobliging; unkind, uncivil.” Back.

[45] I.e., rather than dictate it to his secretary. Back.

[46] Caroline is presumably referring to Goethe’s slightly ambiguous words about Wilhelm’s own Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802:

Many thanks for sending the Almanach, which represents a kind of purgatorio. The participants are neither on earth nor in heaven nor in hell, but rather in a rather interesting middle condition that is in part painful, and yet in part quite agreeable. Back.

[47] I.e., to Vermehren’s Almanach. Friedrich Schlegel contributed six pieces (Schmidt, [1913], 2:628, incorrectly puts the number at five): “Lied” (94–95); “Ein Lied des Heinrich von Veldeck” (131–32); “Die Werke des Dichters” (145–46); “Das Räthsel der Liebe” (147); “Die Verhältnisse” (193); and “Monolog” (236–39). Back.

[48] Uncertain allusion, though at the time Wilhelm was trying to help Hülsen find employment in Berlin. Hülsen eventually broke off these attempts and left Berlin in 1803. Wilhelm continued his support for Hülsen, who was having an extremely difficult time after the death of his wife (see Dorothea Veit’s letter to Schleiermacher on 16 June 1800 [letter 263a], note 4). Back.

[49] Hülsen had been trying to participate in the publication of a poetic journal in Berlin, Mnemosyne. Back.

[50] The reference is to Tieck’s bust of Goethe, which he had just finished in Weimar. For the bust and Wilhelm’s epigram concerning it, also a brief remark concerning Wilhelm’s use of it in the hall in which he was delivering his lectures, see Wilhelm’s letter to Sophie Bernhardi on 3 October 1801 (letter 329k), note 2. See also Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 16 November 1801 (letter 330), note 3.

That is, Wilhelm was using actual examples of art in his lectures, including busts. See his letter to Goethe on 19 January 1802 (letter 341a):

The day before yesterday, as soon as the first cast was ready, I introduced my own audience to your bust as a new artistic piece. It seems to be enjoying considerable approval. Back.

[51] Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:628, added the exclamation point to the words “Were he but also imposing!” (Germ. “wenn nur auch imposant!”).

Schmidt, ibid., remarks that these words (literally: “if only also imposing”) concerning Friedrich Tieck, which throw him into advantageous relief over against his elder brother, Ludwig, are to be read as: “were he but also imposing!” (Germ. “wär’ er doch zugleich imposant!”) and by no means require the emendation “even if not imposing” (Germ. “wenn auch nicht imposant”) that Bernhardi-Hildebrandt thought necessary.

The reference is to Edmund Hildebrandt, Friedrich Tieck: Ein Beitrag zur deutschen Kunstgeschichte im Zeitalter Goethes und der Romantik (Leipzig 1906), 31, where Hildebrandt adds the following note to his different reading of Caroline’s passage:

I am following the reading of Wilhelm Bernhardi, ADB 38 (Leipzig 1894), 248; Georg Waitz, (1871), 2:151, reads “wenn nur auch imposant’ [i.e., the same as Erich Schmidt’s reading above], which makes no sense. Back.

[52] Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm on 10 December (letter 335a). Back.

[53] The translation never materialized. It may be recalled that Schleiermacher had essentially taken over the translation of Plato to which Friedrich Schlegel was supposed to be contributing, a project Schleiermacher ultimately completed largely by himself and which contributed to the estrangement between the two friends. Back.

[54] Schelling wanted Schleiermacher to review an otherwise unidentified essay on Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi for the Kritisches Journal der Philosophie. See Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm on this same day (letter 335a). Schleiermacher declined. Back.

[55] Namely, to Berlin during the coming spring, which he would take after all. Back.

[56] Two weeks earlier, Caroline had mentioned in her letter to Wilhelm on 26 November 1801 (letter 332) that the sister was to marry a “needlemaker” in two weeks, “from whom Rose now fetches us inferior sewing needles.” Back.

[57] Uncertain whether Schelling genuinely did so. He in any case is presumably thinking about a poem by Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander) such as the following, “To Artisans,” that is, to skilled workers such as needlemakers (Picanders neu herausgegebene Ernst-Scherzhafte und Satirische Gedichte, vol. 5 [Leipzig 1751], 399–400; frontispiece from the same volume; approximate translation):


For Artisans

My Lord! My handiwork ever, ever the same
I commence but only in your name;
Grant also that to this degree 
It ever may be pleasing to thee,
And be you always here with me
That my own work ever blessed be.

Grant that all proceed apace,
Dry also this sweat on my weary face;
And help that I might comprehend
When my understanding fails in the end;
Ward off danger, trouble, and harm, 
With your precious angels' mighty swarm.

Grant me health, energy, also strength,
Reason, patience, skill at length,
And whenever I your goodness see
Through which you ever blessest me;
Guide my spirit as well as mind,
That me in arrogance you never find.

Grant such a Christian life to me,
That I never practice usury,
Nor deceit and rank dishonesty,
That your curse I may never see
Which turns all that you to me might give
Into punishment long as I live.

Grant me trusty servants who
Are diligent, devout, and honest too,
And grant that I myself can know
That on them you your blessing bestow,
And that with my own transgression and wrong
Your patience endures still ever long.

Let neither enviers nor enemies
Covet all that I eat,
And instead have always my friends' 
Good deeds and thoughts me meet;
For every heart and every thought
You have and hold, as you also ought.

When then my own lifespan is done,
Ah! my possessions take, every one,
And give me but a penny's grace
In your blessed sacred space,
That rest I might in your master plan,
My Lord, then speak: Have at it, man! Back.

[58] Caroline mentions this gentleman earlier in her letter to Wilhelm on 26 November 1801 (letter 332): “Rose, however, is waiting for the one who promised to return” (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki [1776]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.138):



[59] Julie Gotter had been staying with Caroline in Jena since 31 May 1801 and remained until Caroline herself left for Berlin in March 1802. Back.

[60] Although Georg Waitz, (1871), 152, reads Thaler, Erich Schmidt, (1913), 234, reads Thaten (deeds) while wondering in brackets whether Thaler might indeed be meant. I believe Waitz’s reading fits the immediate context better. Back.

[61] Concerning Steffens’s itinerary, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 31 May 1801 (letter 319), note 18, and on 22 June 1801 (letter 322), notes 17 and 18. He did not return to Jena until April 1802. Back.

[62] Steffens had accompanied Möller as far as Frankfurt on the latter’s journey to Paris during the spring of 1801. On the way back, Steffens had then visited Bamberg. As it turned out, Möller would be part of Schellings’ twenty-seventh birthday celebration on 27 January 1802. See Julie Gotter’s letter to Luise Gotter on 5 February 1802 (letter 345b).

Brahmans: members of the highest of the four Hindu castes, that of the priesthood, including priests, intellectuals, religious teachers, etc., who function also as ideals of caste purity in Indian society. Here an eighteenth-century illustration of a Brahman penitent of the sort with which Caroline would have been familiar (The Ceremonies of the Idolatrous Nations, The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Several Nations of the Known World 3, [London 1731], 356):



[63] Henriette Vermehren, wife of Johann Bernhard Vermehren, contributed three sonnets: “Der Morgen” (26); “An S. M.” (195); “Liebe” (232); and the lengthier “Die Gunst der Götter” (71–76) to the Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802, ed. Bernhard Vermehren (Leipzig 1802). Back.

[64] Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:628, remarks that the expression “smaller poems” does not really fit Friedrich’s contributions to Vermehren’s Musen-Almanach. The “one song,” he thought, must be referring to “Ein Lied des Heinrich von Veldeck,” a poem closely adapted and stylized from the Middle High German poet Heinrich von Veldeke (approx. prose translation):

My yearning and thinking, and my mind altogether,
Incline to one thing, one thing do they seek,
How to show her
That in song long have I praised her 
With a constant mind, she so good, she so pure.

Blissful with joy would I be, the richest in goodness,
Might she, she so cheerful, remember my suffering,
From falseness protect;
And with singing may my courage succeed,
That she watch over me, she so good, she so pure.

Those thoughts, blessed me, that encouraged me so well,
Her to love, the longer and the more,
Her to honor,
As a miracle quite special, quite unique,
to love and sing, she so pure, she so blissful, she so sublime.

My hands do I fold so faithfully, entreatingly, at her feet,
That she, like Isolde Tristan, must comfort me,
And thus greet,
That she atones the pain from my heart,
And separate me from suffering, she so dear, she so sweet.

Schmidt, however (see above), counted but five of Friedrich’s six contributions to this Almanach; the one he missed may have been “Lied” (94–95), which arguably might qualify as “that one song from among the smaller ones” (approx. prose translation):


Small women, small children,
Ah, one loves, and loves them again.

As the flower gleams to the child, 
Young girls smile to us in caprice;
Gently does life's little wheel role
In love's wind of delight.
Thus do we sing both gladly and gently
Small songs to small women,
Love them, and they love in return.

And from the throat glide
These games, these modest words,
Like a sweet place of our heart's desire
Lovingly hovers before the soul.
Ah, one asks not whether something is missing;
For one merely sings the small Lieder,
Just as one loves, and sings them again. Back.

[65] Fr., “Fie! For shame!”

Friedrich’s distichs, “Die Werke des Dichters” (The poet’s works), which follow Vermehren’s own (according to Erich Schmidt, [1913], 2:628) lame sonnet “Der Greis an Göthe” (From the old man, addressed to Goethe), are wooden but certainly not “blasphemous,” instead generally offering brief descriptive enumerations of Goethe’s works (approx. prose translation):

Faust and Tasso and [Wilhelm] Meister, works of pure silver,
Ingeniously constructed with diligence, or loftily conceived.
Laudable striving is generated in Iphigenia, and motivated Egmont,
Indeed, this energy of youth, too, strives in all its fullness for art.
Charming children of the most serene genius do you blossom, Claudine!
You, the triumph of jest, then the Mitschuldigen as well.
Profoundly does the artless Lied move us from its yearning heart,
The gaze of masculine clarity, feeling youthfully ardent.
More sweetly still does sing the Elegy and Idyll, and in the rhythm of the ancients
Does the Spirit gently smile, the southern air rejoice.
But mere seeds of a grand design, like the praiseworthy Hermann.
If the Parcae grant favor, so shall they grow magnificently forth. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott