Letter 360b

360b. Schelling to Hegel in Jena: Leipzig, 23 May 1802 [*]

Leipzig, Sunday, 23 May 1802

It was simply impossible for me to write you from Berlin, my dear friend, and here, too, various things have held me back such that only tomorrow can I actually return to Jena. [1] I will be arriving toward evening, with Madam Schlegel. If the furniture and other things were not already brought into the house after your first request in Madam Schlegel’s name, please be so kind as entereat Madam Niethammer of her promised favor as soon as possible after receiving this letter so that tomorrow, Monday evening, Madam Schlegel will on her arrival find at least her own things in the house, primarily the sofa, chairs, several tables, and especially a bed. [2]

Loder, who will be delivering this letter, is departing tonight. I send you my regards and am unspeakably excited about seeing you again soon.


Please also send Lenchen to the Eckards, who own the house, to tell them that Madam Schlegel will be arriving tomorrow evening. [3]

I myself will bring along various news items.

To Herr Doctor Hegel
By courtesy, Jena
at the Old Fencing Hall [4]


[*] Sources: Plitt 1:369; Fuhrmans 2:404.

The month in Plitt should read “May” instead of “March”; see Wilhelm Schlegel to Goethe from Berlin on 8 May 1802 (Goethe und die Romantik 1:135; Körner-Wieneke 134):

I will now be staying here only about 10 more days and would already have left had I not wanted to wait for the repeatedly postponed performance of Ion, which is now set for a week from today [Ion premiered in Berlin on 15 May 1802]. . . . Professor Schelling, who is still here and will perhaps be departing at the same time with me, sends his warm regards.

The date, moreover, should read Sunday, 23 May instead of Sunday, 24 March: 23 May 1802 fell on a Sunday; 24 March 1802 did not. Hence Schelling and Caroline arrived back in Jena on Monday evening, 24 May 1802. That Wilhelm did not accompany them to Jena (by way of Weimar) is suggested by his letter to Caroline in May 1802 (letter 359):

Lacking both money and time, I will have to do without the trip to Weimar for now and thus cannot accompany you further from Leipzig. But that route is so short, and you are so familiar with it, that, should Schelling not be traveling with us, you can easily arrange to travel back to Jena alone with Rose. But if Schelling is indeed in Leipzig, then you could travel back the entire way with him.

That he definitely did not travel back to Jena with them is attested by Friedrich Schlegel’s letter to Ludwig Tieck in Dresden on Saturday, 22 May 1802. In fact, Wilhelm returned to Berlin by way of Dresden. Concerning this timeline, see the editorial note to Wilhelm’s letter to Caroline on 17 May 1802 (letter 359). Back.

[1] Schelling had journeyed to Berlin at an unspecific date in late April or early May 1802, presumably by way of Leipzig rather than Halle Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):



[2] The Niethammers were Caroline’s present landlords at the house at Leutragasse 5, whose lease ran out at Easter 1802; Caroline had been living there since the autumn of 1796.

Caroline was presumably bringing selected pieces of furniture over from Leutragasse 5 (Georg Friedrich Kersting, Blick in ein Wohnzimmer; Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden):



[3] Brigitte Rossbeck, Zum Trotz glücklich: Caroline Schlegel-Schelling und die romantische Lebenskunst (Munich 2008), 210, interprets Schelling’s reference to the “Eckards” as owners of the house as suggesting that Caroline moved into the house of the deceased Johann Christian Eckhardt (Rossbeck spells it “Eckardt”) on Johannisgasse near the Johannis Gate in Jena rather than into what Caroline calls the “Asverus-house” in the northeast part of town next to the inn Zum Schwarzen Bär (or: Zum Bären), the quarters Caroline was considering when it still seemed Wilhelm would be returning from Berlin during the coming summer with the Bernhardis and their two children (see Caroline’s letters to Wilhelm on 10, 20–21, and 28 December 1801 [letters 335, 336, 338]).

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



Peer Kösling, however, Die Frühromantiker in Jena, 30–34, resolves the question in favor of the latter residence, namely, what Caroline calls the Asverus house and which, as Kösling documents, belonged to the tanner Eckardt. Back.

[4] See Carl Schreiber and Alexander Färber, Jena von seinem Ursprunge bis zur neuesten Zeit, nach Adrian Beier, Wiedeburg, Spangenberg, Faselius, Zenker u. A. (Jena 1850), 44:

Unterm Markte. Thus the name of the side street leading from the market place out to the Ober- and Unterlauengasse. Earlier it was also called “bei der alten Post” or “beim Fechtboden.” The first designation because of the Fahrpost [postal station that used carriages instead of exclusively horses and which also transported persons, mass parcels, and cumbersome goods] . . . and the latter because of the fencing hall located in what is now the Ehrhard house.

Here “bei dem Fechtboden” on a town map ca. 1732 (Matthäus Seutter, Beschreibung: Delineatio ichnographica celebris sedis academicae in Thuringia urbis Ienae ad Salam: cum indice aedificiorum memorabilium = Grundriß der berühmte Thüringische Universitaets-Stadt Iena an der Sale / aeri incisum per Matth. Seutter [after 1732]; photograph from R. Fick, ed., Auf Deutschlands hohen Schulen: Eine illustrierte kulturgeschichtliche Darstellung deutschen Hochschul- und Studentenwesens [Berlin, Leipzig 1900], 352):



On a 1909 map of Jena, Unterm Markt is at bottom right, Lutherplatz 3 (Caroline’s new residence) at top right, Leutragasse 5 (Caroline’s residence since 1796) at center left (Stadtplan von Jena [1909]; Städtische Museen Jena: Stadtmuseum und Kunstsammlung):



Translation © 2016 Doug Stott