Letter 335d

335d. Friedrich Schlegel to Rahel Levin in Berlin: Berlin, December 1801 [*]

[Berlin, December 1801]

Might it really be possible that you could become my lady friend? [1] — Although I have actually always believed it so, I still do now sense some obstacles. But not in you; for me, if I may be permitted to say so, you have become utterly amiable. But not in me either, that much I do know; perhaps simply in the way your — personality forces me to appear. — Might I hope to see you alone today? — I need to tell you several things concerning you alone, and much of what I would like to say to you I can say only thus, or can say correctly only thus.

But please do not take this question as an immodest request. I have absolutely no desire to cause even the slightest disruption in your lifestyle. If such does, however, possibly seem to you to be the case, then please do consider how short a time I will be here, and please do pardon me for being importunate. — Stay well. Friedrich. — But surely I will find the letter finished, will I not? — Why do I feel coerced in your presence? — You must tell me that today. —


[*] Sources: Briefe von und an Friedrich und Dorothea Schlegel, ed. Josef Körner (Berlin 1926), 35; KFSA 25:316. Back.

[1] This reference may but need not necessarily have erotic connotations (the two remained on a formal basis of address [Germ. Sie]). Concerning their relationship, see Friedrich’s letter to Rahel from earlier in December (letter 335c), note 2. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott