Letter 351

• 351. Caroline to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 4 March 1802

[Jena] Thursday, 4 March [1802]

|310| Right after I gave Zelter my final words to take along for you and he had just gotten into his carriage, [1] Dr. Hufeland from Weimar, the brother of the Geheimrath, came to me; [2] Kilian had told him about my journey and about my desire to have a traveling companion. [3] He then fervently requested to be taken on as such could I but wait a few days longer.

Since I am very keen on not traveling without such assistance, I accepted the offer, and we will now not be leaving until the day on which I had originally planned to arrive, namely, Wednesday, 10 March, [4] traveling first to Naumburg and on by way of Halle, then departing Potsdam on the morning of the 14th to arrive in Berlin. [5]

Fromman assures me that you will receive this on Tuesday morning, [6] that is, early enough not to expect me according to the information in my last letter. [7]

I am now quite calm, for the roads are getting better by the day and I have secured a good conveyance, since the Frommans are giving me their carriage and horses for the same price I had already arranged with a different coachman. So now I have a good carriage and a reputable coachman, who has put everything into motion to drive me, i.e., to see Berlin. [8]

We, Fromman and I, ask that you address a note to me in Potsdam at the inn you mentioned, relating the name of the Berlin inn where Leipzig coachmen usually embark, since he is trying to secure a return carriage.

I just finished rereading the entirety of Ion and revising the copy. The non-commissioned officer writes with an elegant hand. [9] Goethe is coming here again today. [10] Zelter has been exceedingly delighted by his entire stay. [11]

Stay well, dear Schlegel; I have been a bit ill but am doing better now. [12]

Gries just came by and related to me all sorts of things about Zelter’s stay. |311| Hufeland, who had immediately commandeered him, traveled over to Weimar with him, interrupting his work for 2 days quite against his usual practice; Gries believes he quite intentionally exploited the opportunity to approach Goethe again, who has noticeably kept his distance from him for quite some time now. And he did indeed succeed to the extent that they could not reasonably exclude him, and now he is allegedly reeling from the things he saw and heard and is talking about it all as secretively as if he had just attained the third degree. [13]

Both Goethe and Schiller are allegedly quite taken by the upright Zelter. Goethe, so it seems, passed along something of Faust to him and gave him some new things to set to music, which are not, however, supposed to be made public yet. [14] They also want to do an opera for him. [15]

In a word, this large, quiet pillar of a man has managed to set quite a few things into motion. To us he seemed as innocent as he is upright. He remarked that he had no idea why he deserved all these things. Allegedly there was nothing more droll than Loder’s accommodating devotion toward him, and than these two personalities together.

Again, adieu. — I will be lucky if I can keep from turning into a wolf toward my traveling companion, since he is a complete sheep. [16]


[1] I.e., Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 3 March 1802 (letter 350), which Zelter was to have deliver. Back.

[2] A problem with the identity of Dr. Hufeland arises insofar as Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:693, identifies him here and later as Karl Friedrich Victor (Viktor) Hufeland. Though this identification may well be accurate (Schmidt, as is often the case in his abbreviated annotations, offers no argumentation), it presents problems insofar as this Dr. Hufeland is said to be the brother of the Geh[eimrath] Hufeland, and it is difficult to establish Karl Friedrich Victor Hufeland’s siblings.

That consideration aside, when, as the following letters reveal, his candidacy as a traveling companion for Caroline falls through, she remarks to Julie Gotter in her letter to the latter on 11 (?) March 1802 (letter 354) that her “traveling companion, rather than the previously mentioned, quiet gentleman versed in the arts of healing, would instead be an active, lively legal scholar,” a description that does not fit Karl Friedrich Victor Hufeland, who was a practicing attorney.

The “quiet gentleman versed in the arts of healing” seems instead to have been Friedrich Hufeland, a Weimar physician and brother of Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, the latter of whom had indeed become a Prussian Hofrath in 1801. While this identification is not certain, and though Caroline’s pronominal references in this letter can be difficult to track, Friedrich Hufeland seems to be Caroline’s most likely reference.

As it turned out, her traveling companion was Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Grattenauer, with whom she would also be staying in Berlin at Lindenstrasse 66 (map excerpt from G. D. Reymann, Neuester Grundriss von Berlin [1826]):


See Caroline’s letters to Wilhelm on 8 March 1802 (letter 352), note 3, and on 18 March 1802 (letter 356), notes 2 and 4; Schelling’s to Wilhelm on 29 March 1802 (letter 356a), note 1; and Wilhelm’s to Caroline on 17 May 1802 (letter 359), note 5. Back.

[3] Konrad Joseph Kilian, a resolute Schellingian, similarly seems more likely to have been closely acquainted with Friedrich Hufeland, who was interested in Mesmerism, galvanism, and magnetism much as was Johann Wilhelm Ritter at the time, topics on which Schelling himself was currently publishing. Here an illustration of the “animal-magnetism” methods (Mesmerism) of Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815) (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Der Magnetiseur, in the Taschenbuch für Aufklärer und Nichtaufklärer auf das Jahr 1791):



[4] See this anticipated itinerary in Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 1 March 1801 (letter 349), note 4. Back.

[5] Naumburg is located approx. 30 km north of Jena; Halle is then just north of Naumburg, Potsdam then ca. 40 km southwest of Berlin (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):



[6] Tuesday, 9 March 1802. Back.

[7] Caroline is presumably referring not to her letter on the previous day (Thursday, 3 March 1802 [letter 350]), but rather on Monday of that week (1 March 1802 [letter 349]). Back.

[8] Julie Gotter, who would leave for Gotha on 6 March 1802 after having lived with Caroline in Jena since late May 1801, had similarly been trying to arrange a conveyance for her journey; see her letter to Luise Gotter on 5 February 1801 (letter 345b) concerning stablemasters and carriages.

Erich Schmidt did not include in his edition the text from this point to the end of this paragraph, which reads as follows in the manuscript (Digitale Edition der Korrespondenz August Wilhelm Schlegels; line breaks as in original; transcription by the translator):

Wir bitten dich nur, Fromman
und ich, daß du nach Potsdam in den
Gasthof den du mir angegeben, einen
Zettel an mich adressirst mit der
Notiz in welchem Gasthof in Berlin
die Leipziger Kutscher einzukehren
pflegen, denn er sucht eine Rückfuhr
zu bekommen. — Back.

[9] A copy of Wilhelm’s play Ion: ein Schauspiel (Hamburg 1803) was being made for the Frankfurt theater by a “a strapping non-commissioned officer”; see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 22 February 1802 (letter 348). Back.

[10] Goethe did indeed return to Jena at noon on Thursday, 4 March 1802; see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 22 February 1802 (letter 348), note 4. Back.

[11] Concerning Zelter’s stay in Weimar and his letter to Goethe afterward, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 1 March 1802 (letter 349), note 2; among other things, Zelter speaks about having forgotten to take along five stanzas of Goethe’s new romanze “amid all the sunshine and splendor” that he had just experienced at Goethe’s home. Back.

[12] In her letter to Wilhelm on 22 February 1802 (letter 348), Caroline had mentioned that her health was good insofar as she was experiencing “absolutely no pain, no swollen cheeks nor other such symptoms — just sleeplessness.” Back.

[13] I.e., the third degree (of membership and initiation) in a secret order or secret association such as the Illuminati. Back.

[14] Zelter mentions some of these pieces in his letters to Goethe during the spring of 1802. See Der Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter, ed. Max Hecker, 3 vols. (Leipzig 1913).

In the letter of 7 April 1802 mentioned above, Zelter mentions “Frühzeitiger Frühling,” “Des Schäfers Klagelied,” and the new romanze mentioned above, which, oddly, Schmidt, (1913), 2:636, identifies (tentatively) as “Des Schäfers Klagelied”; see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 22 February 1802 (letter 348), note 17. None of Zelter’s letters to Goethe during the spring of 1802 seem to mention any material from Faust. Back.

[15] Uncertain allusion. Back.

[16] Witnesses to Hufeland’s personality might support the suggestion that Caroline is indeed referring to Friedrich Hufeland.

Among other things, such witnesses mention that from 1804 he was afflicted on several occasions by severe illnesses, and in general had a “weak physical constitution” (Neuer nekrolog der Deutschen 17 [1839], no. 1, 404–6). It might also be noted that in one of his publications, Ueber Sympathie (Weimar 1811), Hufeland speculates concerning the element of sympathy between individuals and between individuals and the universe.

Such speculative considerations, of course, though offering no proof, do nonetheless help circumscribe the impression he may have made on his contemporaries. Back.