Letter 351a

351a. Adalberg Friedrich Marcus to Caroline in Jena: Bamberg, 6 March 1802 [*]

Bamberg, 6 March 1802

This small book that has been lying here on my table for several weeks now simply refuses to depart for Jena without at least some modest accompanying words. [1] I have consoled it from one postal day to the next, and as proof of my good will have even dog-eared not a few pages in it. These tiny dog-ears are at once also just as many fond memories of you, my dear Madam Schlegel. [2] Some of the marked Lieder will, I hope, also receive your approval. Will this letter find you still [in] Jena? [3]

I am hoping our friend Schelling will already have received the first issue of the Magazin in my name from the Academic Bookstore. [4] — I will be writing him very soon myself. [5] He once presented me with a quite handsome copy of his System of Transcendental Philosophy, though one fascicle is missing, which I hope he might yet secure for me. [6]

From Wilhelm, too, I would very much like — at my cost, of course — a handsome copy of his translation of Shakespeare. [7] But I will query him myself on this subject. He is probably still in Berlin. [8]

Here everyone is living and breathing the philosophy of nature. Were our friend Schelling to visit us now, he would certainly be delighted with what he finds, though Röschlaub comes increasingly into conflict with others because he has not quite kept up with things. [9]

Stay well, my dear lady friend. Please let me hear something from you. I am quite interested in what is happening with and around you.



[*] Source: Georg Waitz, (1882), 96. Back.

[1] Unidentified, though Marcus goes on to mention that it contained Lieder. No letter seems to document Caroline having thanked Marcus or otherwise referred to this book. Back.

[2] Caroline had last been in Bamberg during the summer and early autumn of 1800 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[3] I.e., rather than in Berlin; Caroline did not depart for at least another week. Marcus, that is, seems to have learned of her trip. Back.

[4] Presumably the Magazin zur Vervollkommnung der theoretischen und praktischen Heilkunde, later: Magazin zur Vervollkommnung der Medizin, ed. Andreas Röschlaub, vols. 1–10 (1799–1809). The periodical was currently publishing issues in vol. 6 (1801/02). The first issue to be dated 1802 was vol. 6, no. 2, precisely the issue in which Röschlaub responded to August von Kotzebue’s accusations of forgery. Concerning this episode, see supplementary appendix 326.2. See also Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 19–20 July 1801 (letter 326), note 37. Back.

[5] The next extant letter from Marcus to Schelling is dated 3 May 1802 (letter 357b). Back.

[6] Marcus cites the title incorrectly (“philosophy” rather than “idealism”); System des transcendentalen Idealismus (Tübingen 1800). Back.

[7] Vol. 8, König Heinrich der Sechste: Zweyter Theil, König Heinrich der Sechste: Dritter Theil had appeared at Michaelmas 1801. Back.

[8] That Marcus believes Wilhelm is “still” in Berlin presumably reflects his understanding (from Caroline?) that Wilhelm might be teaching in Jena during the coming summer, as has been discussed in several of Caroline’s letters to Wilhelm. Otherwise it seems a curious remark (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[9] Andreas Röschlaub’s increasing conflict with both Marcus and Schelling over the next few years (esp. 1804–5) is documented in the later correspondence between these men in this present collection.

That said, it is a letter from Röschlaub to Schelling barely two weeks later, on 20 March 1802, that informs Schelling in an anticipatory fashion of problems Schelling himself might expect concerning the philosophy of nature. For the text of that letter, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 15 February 1802 (letter 347), note 35. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott