Letter 381a

381a. Therese Huber to Therese Forster in Colombier: Stuttgart, 17 September 1803 [*]

Stuttgart, ca. 17 September 1803

In what way might association with the Schellings be potentially embarrassing? Not with regard to reputation, whatever people might say! Commensurate with my manner of thinking, this aspect of the question needed to be addressed, but Madam Schelling, being acknowledged here by the family of her husband, a respectable family by virtue of its status and character, who comport themselves in a manner prompting the respect of the public, this consideration was sufficiently weighty.

Fear of “running with the pack” could not influence me, and Schelling’s situation, or rather the influence or power he currently enjoys by virtue of circumstances are such that he could have become our protector. [1] We are not familiar with the relations he has at the court in Munich, [2] but he was successful there and has received a position in Würzburg, where they are proposing to resurrect and revive the sciences; he was, moreover, granted all the conditions he requested. [3] He offered to be of service to us, maintaining that this was the only state where one could count on making one’s fortune, and on serving advantageously — but to trust in that protection would have been potentially embarrassing, and we avoided it. . . .


[*] Source: Therese Huber Briefe 1:430. — Columbier is located just west of Neuchâtel (Neufchâtel below) on Lake Neuchâtel, where Therese and Ludwig Ferdinand Huber spent time following the events in Mainz in 1792–93 (Daniel de la Feuille, Caarte, van Neufchatel et Valangin [1706; reissue 1747]):



[1] After the prohibition of the Allgemeine Zeitung in Württemberg because of censorship issues, Johann Friedrich Cotta journeyed to Munich to ascertain the possibilities of moving the business to Bavaria. Ultimately, however, the newspaper was thereafter published in Ulm as the Kaiserlich- und Kurpfalzbairisch privilegirte allgemeine Zeitung (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):


Ludwig Ferdinand Huber, editor of the Allgemeine Zeitung, traveled to Munich with Cotta similarly to ascertain the possibilities for a cabinet appointment there or perhaps a university position in Würzburg (see Therese Huber’s letter to Therese Forster on 16 October 1803 [Therese Huber Briefe 1:433]). In a letter to Therese Forster between 16 and 31 October 1803, Therese asserts that Caroline was intriguing against Huber in this regard (ibid., 1:434): “so the character of this pathetic woman remains quite the same . . . today she is spinning a web of lies to prevent Huber from seeking his fortune in Munich.” On 18 November 1803, Therese remarks to Friedrich Ludwig Wilhelm Meyer concerning this intrigue (ibid., 1:439):

With respect to Caroline’s current [lacuna], I have once more had exactly the same experience I did when I was a 16-year-old girl [ed. note: 1780], and have continued to have from time to time. We will probably no longer meet together, or rather will never again be on such familiar terms. Schelling allegedly has begun to understand his situation more clearly and is quite unhappy.

Similarly also to Therese Forster on 19 November 1803 (ibid., 1:440): “The end of our time together was deplorable and sublime — . . . She showed herself to be just as she always has been: coldly hypocritical and audaciously perfidious” ( Berlinischer Damen-Kalender auf das Gemein-Jahr 1806; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):



[2] Schelling’s most important contacts at the time would have been Friedrich Karl von Thürheim, Maximilian von Montgelas, and Georg Friedrich von Zentner. Back.

[3] See Caroline’s letter to Luise Wiedemann on 16 September 1803 (letter 381). Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott