Letter 371f

371f. Schelling to Wilhelm Schlegel in Berlin: Jena, 11 October 1802 [*]

Jena, 11 October 1802

Enclosed you will find the supplicat in question in the form it has acquired after several rounds of improvements and final approval. [1] I am sure you will be so kind as to have the copy made yourself; it is quite unnecessary to have it done in an actual lawyer’s handwriting, since in effect is constitutes merely a private missive to the duke.

If your changes or additions are not particularly substantial, please be so kind as to make no changes at all if possible. It could happen that precisely something that was added or left out after a specific agreement might later be deleted or added.

It will now be completely up to you to determine how soon you wish to pursue this matter. There will probably be some recourse or other with respect to the financial obligations, since it is no doubt not a matter of such being paid immediately, but rather only over the course of this year.

A more worrisome consideration is still that the avoidance of appearing in person is unprecedented, [2] and that — I no longer know exactly whether directly after or before the Mereau case — the consistory established the requirement that both parties appear before the higher administrative authority, for Mereau at least that he did. [3]

This is why the petition now mentions precisely this circumstance, and it may be that you will yet have to explicate the impossibility of such appearance, reasons clear enough in your case, in a special petition to be appended to the initial petition or, should it come to such, submitted separately. You will soon receive more specific information on this.

With respect to the latter possibility, one cannot really guarantee success. Otherwise, at least as far as the primary matter is concerned, everything has been initiated in the best possible fashion. . . .

I delivered to Goethe both your pamphlet and Schütz’s letter. [4] He has to have read both before one can speak with him further about the matter, and there was no time yet for such. He has promised to write me about it. As soon as he does, I will let you know whether any measures can be expected from Weimar. . . .

Stay well; kind regards.



[*] Sources: Plitt 1:420–21; Fuhrmans 2:455–56. Back.

[1] The edited version of the divorce petition (letter/document 371) Goethe returned to Schelling on 9 October 1802 (letter 371d). Back.

[2] I.e., of appearing before the Weimar consistory; see Goethe’s letter to Schelling on 9 October 1802 (letter 371d), note 3. Back.

[3] See Caroline’s undated letter to Wilhelm in September 1802 (letter 370), note 2. Back.

[4] Schelling apparently included Wilhelm’s To the Public. Rebuke of a Defamation of Honor Perpetrated in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (letter/document 371b) in his letter to Goethe of 8 October 1802 (letter 371e) as well as (as he states there) Christian Gottfried Schütz’s response to Wilhelm on 24 September 1802 (letter 369k). Back.

Translation © 2016 Doug Stott