Letter 369

• 369. Caroline to Julie Gotter in Gotha: Jena, 8 August 1802

[Jena] Monday, 8 August [18]02

|339| You can well imagine, my dear Julchen, how greatly the appearance of the Chanoinesse both surprised and pleased me. Although I was not at home when she came, I was fortunately not on one of my longer walks of the sort I generally take each day and which tend to last several hours, but rather at the Frommans, from where I was then also fetched. [1]

And since they had, moreover, announced the presence of a lady to me, I thought surely I would be seeing you, which would, of course, have quite accorded both with my own wishes as well as, judging from your statements, with yours. Could I but be equally sure whether the wishes of your family also concur with your own, or whether instead there likely are or could be even more objections. [2] . . .

I am hoping to see the chanoinesse once more at the end of the week, and she will have |340| more news about me when she sees you in person. My health is good now almost without interruption.

There is not much to report from here. I have not yet seen Tiek here, who is in Weimar. He is very busy and in addition to the bas reliefs is also doing all sorts of famous heads. [3]

Möller is still here, [4] and the two gentlemen who presented the notorious theses in Bamberg — Sauer and Stranzky — add to the modest court. They are both quite proper and modest, and are, moreover, rather peculiar insofar as the one never leaves the house without the other.

Schelling is quite diligent without really working a great deal, and is working a great deal without really getting very much done.

[Things to take care of.] I will see to it that Cäcilie will definitely have a place in Dresden around Easter. [5] I embrace your mother.

Caroline S.


[1] Taschenbuch für Freunde und Freundinnen des Schönen und Nützlichen . . . Auf das Jahr 1806; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung:


The nature or duration of Luise Schläger’s visit in Jena is not known; she was presumably still the canoness or abbess in Wienhausen. Here an illustration of such a chanoinesse, or canoness, from the period (“Canonichesse di Nuys,” in Nuova Geografia di Ant. Federico Büsching, vol. 7 [Venice 1774], excerpt from plate following p. 76):



[2] Uncertain allusion, though Julie Gotter may have been considering returning to Jena to stay with Caroline again.

Since Caroline and Wilhelm had already decided to get a divorce, and Wilhelm was not planning on returning to Jena to lecture, Caroline would be living alone in her new apartment except for her maidservant, Rose. It is easy to understand her desire to have Julie Gotter return to Jena to live with her, especially since the anticipated lengthier journey to Italy with Schelling had similarly been postponed.

In any event, in a letter to Julie Gotter on 18 February 1803 (letter 375), Caroline mentions that she had divulged to the chanoinesse (Luise Schläger) during this visit that she and Wilhelm Schlegel were seeking a divorce. Back.

[3] See Caroline’s letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 (letter 363), note 9. Back.

[4] Nikolaus Möller seems to have been one of Caroline’s regular visitors during the past winter in Jena; see her letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 21 January 1802 (letter 342). Back.

[5] Caroline had been trying to secure a situation for Cäcilie Gotter to continue her training in portraiture in Dresden (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):


See Caroline’s letter to Luise Gotter in March 1802 (letter 355), note 6, also the cross reference there to Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm Gottlieb Becker in Dresden back on 21 January 1802 (letter 342a); also Caroline’s letter to Julie Gotter on 15 June 1802 (letter 363), note 7, and Caroline’s letter to Wilhelm on 29 June 1802 (letter 367), note 4.

See esp. the pertinent section in Julie Gotter’s letter to Cäcilie on 14 December 1801 (letter 335d.1). Caroline was never able to provide the contacts she had hoped. Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott