Letter 368b

368b. Schelling to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 30 July 1802 [*]

[Jena, 30 July 1802]

You already know that, in order to put a stop to the Niethammers’ admonishments to Caroline, I paid the first half of the rent interest for the house 7 weeks ago and then the second half 5 weeks ago, anticipating that it would be possible for you to pay me back the sum within a few weeks, just as you yourself, if I remember correctly, confirmed to us, or, that lacking, that you would at least be so kind as to let me know should such not be the case that I might make other arrangements. [1]

Since I have missed my chance to do so at an expedient time, and have in the meantime also quite by chance had to help out a few acquaintances myself, I have no other choice now than — an assignation to you through the merchant in Berlin with whom Paulsen deals. [2] I am herewith alerting you now about the eventuality one postal day ahead of time as well as about the fact that I will not place the remittance higher than 4–5 Carolin that it might not burden you in any way. [3]

I do, by the way, hope that it will be possible for you to transfer the entire sum within a relatively short period of time.

If anything from you should arrive in tomorrow’s post, it goes without saying that the remittance does not apply.

Stay very well. I would be very sorry indeed were this matter to cause you the least bit of inconvenience, but thus must we do battle with the god of this world at least in praxis.

Jena, 30 July 1803

Yours most devotedly,

(verte s. pl.) [4]

P.S. I must also relate to you that the duke has returned from Pyrmont and that Caroline will very soon be sending you the agreed-upon document. [5]

You doubtless know that Alarcos was performed 4 times in Lauchstädt to infinite applause. [6]

If you have any news from your brother, we would be very obliged if you would be so kind as to share it with us. [7]

The account of the performance of Ion in Berlin is as excellent as we expected given Genelli’s sharp intellect, and has, since we did indeed receive it in the meantime, given us considerable pleasure indeed. [8]

Again, stay well. [9]


[*] Sources: partial in Plitt 1:377; full in Otto Braun, “Neue Schellingiana,” Euphorion 24 (1922), 387; Fuhrmans 1:257–58. Back.

[1] See Caroline’s letters to Wilhelm on 18 June 1802 (letter 364); 29 June 1802 (letter 367); 5 July 1802 (letter 368). Back.

[2] I.e., an assignation or assignment of debt — essentially an obligation bond — through which a third (new) party takes over the obligation in place of the previous one. Back.

[3] Efforts to secure a divorce between Caroline and Wilhelm had commenced since Caroline and Schelling’s return from Berlin. These efforts, as is also clear from Caroline’s letters at the time and even earlier, involved unpleasant, sometimes touchy discussions of financial issues.

See, e.g., her letters to Wilhelm on 21 January 1802 (letter 342); 26 January 1802 (letter 343); Wilhelm to Caroline on 17 May 1802 (letter 359); Caroline to Wilhelm on 18 June 1802 (letter 364); before 26 June 1802 (letter 365); 29 June 1802 (letter 367); 5 July 1802 (letter 368). Erich Schmidt left much of this material out of his edition in 1913. Back.

[4] Latin, verte, si placet; Fr., verte s’il vous plaît, “turn, please; please see other side.” Back.

[5] Viz. the petition for divorce; see letter/document 371. Caroline and Wilhelm’s plan for securing the divorce was to circumvent the Weimar High Consistory and appeal directly to the Duke of Weimar.

Here Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki’s illustrations of (1) a meeting of hierarchical consistory members ca. 1774, and (2) an individual having to appear before such a consistory (“Ein hierarchisches Konsistorium,” from the Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate LXXIII d; Sebaldus vor dem Consistorium [1774]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Chodowiecki Sammlung [1-51]; both illustrations Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Chodowiecki Sammlung [1-15]):




[6] Friedrich Schlegel’s play Alarcos (Berlin 1802) premiered in Weimar on 29 May 1802, albeit not to infinite applause, then was performed in Lauchstädt on 13 and 14 July 1802 (Das Repertoire des Weimarischen Theaters 42).

The renovated theater in Lauchstädt had opened on 26 June 1802 with Goethe, Schelling, Caroline, Hegel, and Johann Diederich Gries in attendance. See Caroline’s letter to Sophie Bernhardi in late May, early June 1802 (letter 361) for a partial schedule of the Lauchstädt performances. Back.

[7] Friedrich Schlegel had left Jena at the end of November 1801 and then spent time in Berlin and Dresden. After the performance of Alarcos on 29 May in Weimar, however, he and Dorothea Veit immediately set out for Paris (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]; Maurille-Antoine Moithey, L’Europe: Divisée en tous ses Royaumes et subdivisée en ses principales parties [Revue et Corrigée] [Paris 1785]; Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Cartes et plans):




[8] Hans Christian Genelli reviewed the Berlin performances of Wilhelm’s Ion (on 15/16 May 1802) in his lengthy “Ueber die Darstellung des Jon auf dem Berliner Theater,” Zeitung für die elegante Welt 81 (Thursday, 8 July 1802), 645–50; 82 (Saturday, 10 July 1802), 653–57; 83 (Tuesday, 13 July 1802), 661–64. See in general the supplementary appendix on reactions and issues concerning Ion (Genelli’s review not translated). Back.

[9] Schelling follows up on the issue of the assignation in his next letter to Wilhelm, viz., on 6 August 1802 (letter 368c). Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott