Letter 336b

336b. Julie Gotter to Luise Gotter in Gotha: Jena, 25 December 1801 [*]

Jena, 25 December 1801

Yet again, my dear Mother, I have left unanswered several of your kind letters; and try as I may, I simply never get around to writing my sisters. So I have resolved that the best thing is simply to write to you.

Although I do hope that Pauline has now been reconciled, I nonetheless doubt I will receive a letter from her tomorrow, since, as I believe, generosity is unfortunately not one of her primary virtues.

But now so many worried letters concerning the health of our dear relatives; whatever is to become of it all? I can think of nothing sadder that to lose one’s good health, which, once this blessing has been compromised, is so difficult to reestablish. Thank God Cecile is doing so well, since otherwise she could hardly anticipate carrying out her plan. [1] But how is Pauline? Surely she is doing everything she can to strengthen herself. [2] I am doing quite well myself. Tell her she needs to do everything in her power to get healthy that she might strive to extirpate that particular diseased kernel that is in all of us.

I was quite grieved to hear of the lamentable condition of poor Madam Hoph; [3] her wretched health influences so much else that it is doubly harsh whenever she is sick. How are Fritzchen and Ernst? She probably only rarely sees her parents. [4]

You related nothing to me concerning Jettchen’s departure, from which I conclude that she is not yet very near, or is certainly already in G[otha]. [5] So I addressed the things to her, and I do hope they have arrived in good order. And what has our good, plump Lotte been going? [6]

I now see that I have written almost nothing but questions thus far. You can charge Pauline with answering them all. Lottchen seems to have taken ill note of my failure to answer her letter. Tell her that should she occasionally suffer from boredom during the holidays, she might then graciously take note of her most obedient niece, who has been thinking about her most diminutive, gracious aunt — as usual — with the utmost respect. [7]

Caroline will be writing to Becker. [8] As far as Cecile’s work there is concerned, that will all be worked out when she herself is there. Friedrich Tieck will be there at that time as well and will be glad to advise her about these things.

As far as the cost is concerned, which, after all, must eventually be paid, one year earlier or later will make little difference, and at least to that extent is not a matter of indifference, since later one cannot count on a subsidy. It is also advantageous for Cecile to learn something about art in the larger sense, something for which Gotha affords her very little opportunity, and even then everything always from a quite limited perspective the longer she stays there.

[End of letter.]


[*] Source: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften; Nachlass F. W. J. v. Schelling, no. 933.

Concerning the background to Julie Gotter’s stay in Jena, see the editorial note to her letter to Cäcile Gotter on 8 June 1801 (letter 319b) (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[1] After spending time at the Weimar art academy, Cecile Gotter was trying with Caroline’s help (see below) to make arrangements to further her artistic training with a situation in Dresden. Back.

[2] Pauline Gotter had been ill enough during the early part of Julie Gotter’s stay in Jena to have been considering a cure at a spa. See Julie’s letter to Luise Gotter on 8 June 1801 (letter 319b), also with an explanation of the particular kind of cure being considered. Concerning Pauline’s health, see esp. her letter to Schelling on 7 September 1810, i.e., before her engagement to Schelling (letter 456), note 2. Back.

[3] Uncertain identity, possibly a member of the family of Carl Ernst Adolph Hoff in Gotha; Julie uses a phonetic spelling. Back.

[4] Uncertain identity of acquaintances in Gotha. Back.

[5] Uncertain identity; Jettchen is the diminutive form of Henriette. Back.

[6] Uncertain identity; Lotte and Lottchen (next paragraph) are diminutive forms of Charlotte, here one of Julie’s aunts in Gotha. Back.

[7] An attestation both of Julie’s genuinely respectful personality and of the Schlegels’ reputation. To wit, and as seen in earlier letters, Julie is ever diligent to dispel any suspicion among her family members that she has been “corrupted” during her stay with the Schlegels in Jena (Leipzig Taschenbuch für Frauenzimmer zum Nutzen und Vergnügen auf das Jahr 1794; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):



[8] In the matter of Cecile’s situation in Dresden mentioned above. See Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker on 21 January 1802 (letter 342a). Back.

Translation © 2021 Doug Stott