Letter 363a

363a. Friedrich Tieck to Sophie Bernhardi in Berlin: Weimar, 15 June 1802 [*]

[Weimar] Monday, 15 June [1802] [1]

Despite my best efforts to calculate my route such that I would arrive on Thursday, I nonetheless had to bide my time for two days in Leipzig and thus was unable to depart until Friday, arriving here then on Saturday evening. [2] And just at the right time in one sense, since Goethe will be departing for Lauchstädt on Thursday. [3] So I arrived in time and have already spoken with him.

Because of the schedule and routes of the postal coach, I had to travel by way of Jena, and because the delay in Leipzig had completely depleted my money, I was unfortunately forced to borrow 6 Thaler from Schelling, since Frommann, on whom I was counting, was away at just that time on a carriage ride with his entire family. — —

Caroline and Schelling triumphed insofar as Madame Sander was treated quite despicably, indeed, according to their version, not only by Goethe, but by everyone else in Jena as well, and thus will probably not be boasting much about their stay here this time. Goethe allegedly treated them quite ill indeed. [4]

Has Schlegel already made arrangements for his divorce? [5] Caroline was quite keen on learning from me whether before I left Dresden he had already received a certain letter she had written. [6] They [7] are constantly up to some malicious plan or other. I dined with them once at midday there because I felt I had too. [8] — —


[*] Source: Georg Waitz, (1882), 98. Back.

[1] Tieck’s letter is misdated as “Monday, 15.” He is writing either on Monday, 14, or Tuesday, 15 June 1802. Caroline mentions in her letter to Julie Gotter on this same date (letter 363) that Tieck was already in Weimar. Back.

[2] After planning to arrive on Thursday, 10 June 1802, Tieck could not depart Leipzig until Friday, 11 June, arriving then in Weimar on the evening of Saturday, 12 June.

Jena was in any case on the postal route between Leipzig and Weimar (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[3] Goethe did not leave Weimar for Lauchstädt until Monday, 21 June 1802, rather than Thursday, 18 June 1802 (Weimarer Ausgabe 3:3:58). Caroline and Schelling attended the opening of the renovated Lauchstädt theater on Saturday, 26 June 1802. Back.

[4] In her letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 (letter 363), Caroline mentions the Sanders’ visit to Jena but not their treatment. See in any case supplementary appendix 314.1. Back.

[5] Friedrich Tieck and Sophie Bernhardi’s ready knowledge of Wilhelm and Caroline’s decision in Berlin to seek a divorce is perhaps surprising. Although the precipitating event is obscure, see Wilhelm’s letter to Caroline on 17 May 1802 (letter 359).

Considerable correspondence in the coming year between Wilhelm and Schelling involves the logistics of this divorce. Back.

[6] Presumably the letter she wrote Wilhelm while he was in Dresden concerning the possibility of placing Cäcilie Gotter in a position to receive further training in portraiture in Dresden itself. In her letter to Wilhelm on 18 June 1802 (letter 364), Caroline mentions having already queried Wilhelm about it. Concerning this issue, see also Caroline’s letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 (letter 363), note 7.

Wilhelm had left Berlin for Leipzig with Caroline and Schelling on 19 May 1802 but did not travel on from Leipzig to Jena with them on 24 May 1802, returning to Berlin instead by way of Dresden (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):


Concerning this timeline (including an estimation of how long he may have stayed in Leipzig), see the editorial note to Wilhelm’s letter to Caroline on 17 May 1802 (letter 359). Back.

[7] I.e., Caroline and Schelling. Back.

[8] Caroline never seems to have picked up on Friedrich Tieck’s antipathy.

In any case, because Tieck’s letter is misdated and he was already in Weimar on the evening of Saturday, 12 June 1802 (though see above), it is difficult to determine when exactly he dined with Caroline at midday. If such did not take place during a postal layover in Jena on Saturday, perhaps he returned to Jena from Weimar on Sunday or Monday, 13 or 14 June 1802. Although Caroline does mention Tieck’s visit in her letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 (letter 363) — “Tiek was also here” — she does not specifically mention his having dined with them. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott