Letter 365

• 365. Caroline to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, after 18, before 29 June 1802 [*]

[Jena, after 18, before 29 June 1802]

|335| I have tried to be as precise and thorough as possible with the following calculations after having gone through my household expense accounts once more. [1]

The first thing written down here is what Schlegel has received from me, though including not a single article that in even the slightest way is attributable to my account. [7 pages.]

As far as the monument is concerned, my wish is to assume the entire expense. [2] I will ask Tiek whether he can firmly promise to take care of it this winter, in which case I would merely like to be able to direct him to the 600 rh. to cover preliminary expenses.

If there are no objections to my balance sheet in the larger sense, let me request that you spare me any remarks concerning details. Insofar as I herewith believe all ambiguity has been resolved, and insofar as I have reason to be satisfied with the overview this provides as well as with the attained measure of freedom deriving from the decision, the only thing left is that which can be resolved only by a legal divorce. I have found no reason, either in myself or in the behavior observed toward me and with respect to me, to conceal the de facto divorce obtaining during my presence in Berlin. [3]

What both of us should now desire in this respect is that when the final decision is actually made, one that for my part only my consideration for my sick mother is momentarily delaying, [4] we pursue it according to our mutual arrangement and in a fashion disadvantageous to neither party. [5]


[*] Approximate dating according to Caroline’s previous and next letters to Wilhelm Schlegel on 18 June and 26 June 1802 (letters 364, 367; see editorial note to letter 367 concerning its dating. Caroline was in Lauchstädt on 26 June 1802). No manuscript seems to be extant for this letter. Back.

[1] According to Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:639, who seems yet to have had access to this letter’s manuscript, the calculations include a “List and Appraisal of Furniture” in Caroline’s hand and lists from Wilhelm. Back.

[2] Concerning the costs and planning for the memorial for Auguste, which Friedrich Tieck did not end up doing (though he did do the bust of Auguste), see Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm from Jena on 22 April 1803 (letter 377b). Click on the following image to open a gallery on the memorial:



[3] The reference is presumably to Wilhelm’s otherwise unspecified but apparently unequivocal behavior toward Caroline during her visit to Berlin, where she did not reside with him. See esp. also Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 17 May 1802 (letter 359), note 17. Back.

[4] Caroline’s mother, who was living with Caroline’s sister, Luise, in Braunschweig at the time, had apparently been quite ill, something attested by a letter from Luise that Wilhelm had forwarded on to Caroline earlier from Berlin; see Caroline’s letter to him on 18 March 1802 (letter 356). In her letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 (letter 363), Caroline remarks that “athough my mother was doing quite poorly for a time, she is now somewhat better.” Back.

[5] It is worth noting that Caroline refers specifically to her and Wilhelm’s “mutual arrangement.”

Logistics concerned with securing this divorce from Duke Karl August occupy much of the correspondence between Wilhelm and Schelling from now until May 1803, when the divorce was actually granted. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott