Letter 361

• 361. Caroline to Sophie Bernhardi in Berlin: Jena, late May, early June 1802 [*]

[Jena, late May or early June 1802]

|330|Just a few words as a preliminary greeting from Jena, where I arrived in good health and where things are fine. The weather is beautiful and my new apartment exceedingly amiable.

Alarcos was performed on Saturday; Friedrich managed to attend as well. [1] Moreover, in a single series The Brothers, Iphigenie, Don Carlos, then also Ion and the Maid. [2] Indeed, even Raging Hercules is being prepared, said rage |331| being supplied by |331| Reichard, who is currently in Weimar, where Ifland is also expected. [3]

More soon. Please let me know soon how you are doing. [4]



[*] Caroline arrived back from Berlin the evening of 24 May 1802. See Schelling’s letter to Hegel on 23 May 1802 (letter 360b).

Dating: Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:330, dates this letter to “late May 1802,” which is plausible considering that, as Caroline points out immediately in the letter, she has just arrived back in Jena from Berlin and has taken up residence in her new apartment. Friedrich Schlegel’s play Alarcos, moreover, as Caroline points out, had already been performed on “Saturday evening,” i.e., on 29 May 1802 in the Weimar theater. Hence she is writing after that date.

Her wording concerning the next plays, however, is ambiguous. Friedrich Hildebrand von Einsiedel’s play Die Brüder. Ein Lustspiel nach Terenz in fünf Akten was performed on 31 May, and Goethe’s early piece Iphigenie on 2 June. Schiller’s play Dom Karlos: Infant von Spanien (also: Don Carlos) would not be performed until 29 June, Wilhelm’s recent Ion: ein Schauspiel not at all again in Weimar.

But is she anticipating these performances after Alarcos or enumerating them? Caroline’s enumeration does not reflect actual performances during May and June 1802. She is, however, unlikely to be writing at the end of June following the performance of Schiller’s Don Carlos, which concluded the Weimar season, else she would know that neither Wilhelm’s Ion nor Schiller’s Die Jungfrau von Orleans. Eine romantische Tragödie would be performed (and would not have indicated to Sophie Bernhardi that, basically, she had just arrived back in Jena).

Her references may be both anticipatory (i.e., she is writing on 30 May, after the performance of Alarcos but before that of Die Brüder) and/or partial enumeration, i.e., of the plays that have already been performed, namely, Die Brüder on 31 May and perhaps Iphigenie on 2 June, in which case she is writing perhaps either on 1 June or shortly after 2 June 1802. Back.

[1] Friedrich Schlegel and Dorothea Veit had arrived in Weimar from Dresden by way of Leipzig. Friedrich and presumably Dorothea as well attended the performance of Alarcos in Weimar on 29 May 1802, then both left the next day for Paris (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[2] See the following schedule for these plays (Das Repertoire des Weimarischen Theaters 43; some plays were performed two days in a row):

  • Friedrich Schlegel’s Alarcos was performed on Saturday, 29 May 1802, though Caroline did not attend (see her letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 [letter 363]);
  • Friedrich Hildebrand von Einsiedel’s Die Brüder. Ein Lustspiel nach Terenz in fünf Akten (Leipzig 1802), an adaptation of the play Adelphi by Terence, was performed on 31 May 1802;
  • Goethe’s Iphigenie auf Tauris (unpublished, second prose version 1783; verse version in Goethe’s Schriften, vol. 3, 1–136 [Leipzig 1787]) was performed on 2 June 1802;
  • Schiller’s play, Don Carlos. Infant von Spanien, parts of which Schiller published in his journal Die Thalia, then in full in 1787; his reworking of the play in 1801, 1802, and 1805 involved considerable shortening and was performed in Weimar as the concluding offering of the season on 19 June 1802;
  • Wilhelm’s play Ion. Ein Schauspiel (Hamburg 1803) was not performed again in Weimar after its premiere on 2 January 1802;
  • Schiller’s Maid, i.e., Kalendar auf das Jahr 1802: Die Jungfrau von Orleans. Eine romantische Tragödie (n.p. [Berlin] 1801) was not performed again in Weimar, Lauchstädt, or Rudolstadt during 1802.

That is, Caroline is referring to the following performances, and does not yet know that neither Wilhelm’s Ion nor Schiller’s Jungfrau von Orleans would be performed:

29 May: Friedrich’s Alarcos
31 May: Einsiedel’s Die Brüder
2 June: Goethe’s Iphigenie
19 June: Schiller’s Don Carlos

See also, however, the schedule for these plays during the 1802 summer theater season in Lauchstädt (Das Repertoire des Weimarischen Theaters 43–44). Again, some plays were performed two days in a row. Concerning the Weimar troupe’s residency and performances outside Weimar itself over the course of the year, see Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 11 May 1801 (letter 315), note 2:

27 June: Einsiedel’s Die Brüder
13 July: Friedrich’s Alarcos
29 July: Wilhelm’s Ion
31 July: Einsiedel’s Die Brüder
5 August: Schiller’s Don Karlos
9 August: Wilhelm’s Ion
22 August: Einsiedel’s Die Brüder
24 August: Wilhelm’s Ion
27 August: Schiller’s Don Carlos
7 September: Goethe’s Iphigenie
16 September: Friedrich’s Alarcos

Caroline and Schelling attended the Lauchstädt performances on 26 and 27 June 1802 (here the Lauchstädt theater in 1904, Goethe und sein Kreis, ed. Franz Neubert, 2nd ed. [Leipzig 1919], 135):


Concerning this same theater schedule, see Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm on 4 April 1802 (letter 356b), notes 12 and 13Back.

[3] In this case — Caroline points out — neither Euripides’s nor even Seneca’s plays, but rather Johann Friedrich Reichardt’s one-act opera Der Tod des Hercules (1801), which had been performed on 10 April 1800 in Berlin and “which similarly enjoyed only modest success and was soon put aside even though Iffland himself performed the role of Hercules” (Louis Schneider, Geschichte der Oper und des Königlichen Opernhauses in Berlin [Berlin 1851], 295). Reichardt’s play was performed in neither Weimar, Lauchstädt, nor Rudolstadt during 1802. Back.

[4] Sophie Bernhardi was pregnant with Felix Theodor Bernhardi and had just lost her son Ludwig Bernhardi in February.

One might note as an aside that, strictly speaking, for the first time in her life Caroline was now living alone (Leipzig Taschenbuch für Frauenzimmer zum Nutzen und Vergnügen aufs Jahr 1789; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):



Translation © 2016 Doug Stott