Letter 393e

393e. Dorothea Schlegel to Karoline Paulus in Würzburg: Cologne, 3 June 1805 [*]

Cologne, 2nd day of Pentecost [3 June] 1805

At this very moment, Friedrich is writing a letter to the minister; that it was not done sooner was solely because Friedrich has just had so much to do [1] . . .

Please pass along our sincere gratitude to Father for the lines he wrote with the complete address. I admittedly still must inquire concerning the complete titles of Count von Thürheim. Since he is trustee of the university in Würzburg, and since everything concerning the university must be referred by him to the minister, it would be improper to circumvent him, and could also create bad blood. As we have heard from someone in Munich who is quite familiar with these things, Thürheim must make the proposal, and we have been assured that Friedrich will indeed be accepted in Munich as soon as Thürheim proposes him, hence one can absolutely not afford to circumvent him. Nor is a letter to him likely to do any harm. There is, after all, no way he can know that Father has already written to Friedrich that he received a negative answer from him. [2]

And then if perhaps the minister writes to him (as we have reason to hope) on Friedrich’s behalf, perhaps he can then not very well refuse. So, please send his titles and address soon. Vogue la galère! as they say in Paris. [3]

Nothing in the world would be more valuable to Friedrich than the personal acquaintance of Thürheim or the minister, had he but the time to travel there! But how can people confuse his criticism with Schelling’s contentiousness? How can anyone fail to see that Friedrich has never defended himself, never responded to any of the countless crude and pasquinian attacks people have launched against him, not even with a single syllable? —

Tieck, as we know for certain, has been completely held back in Munich because of his illness, but he has taken not a single step toward finding a position, intending instead to travel to Italy with his sister but then coming down sick and having to remain behind in Munich; he will be returning to Berlin. [4] Heaven only knows what sort of gossip kept him from visiting you. For you can rest assured that he certainly has no particular fondness for Madam Schelling; perhaps it was mere thoughtlessness. What do you think about Schiller’s death? What will poor Goethe do now? I feel sorry for anyone who loses a friend at that age. [5] . . .

But is it certain that Schiller is dead? The newspapers have not said anything about it yet; it would certainly be so sad for his friends and especially for his wife and children [6] — though I am not going to be so foolish again as to worry about his wife, who perhaps even as I write is already thinking again about marrying into the high nobility. [7] I fretted so anxiously about that silly goose Madam Vermehren when I heard the news about his death, and then learned that in the meantime this creature already had her sights on another husband or Hofrath! Pfooey! — He was doubtless an extremely dear, amiable person, this Vermehren, and he doubtless deserved from this woman — whom through his love and ardor he made into everything she managed to become, — to have been irreplaceable and indeed never to have been replaced — It just profoundly irks me when I think about it. . . .

What will Goethe do now if Schiller really is dead? It is just really, really too bad about poor Jena! —

Although I already heard from students here that Madam Schelling had “acquired” a certain Doctor Köhler, I was having trouble believing it and just passed it off as idle gossip. He is allegedly a wholly ordinary person as far as intellect is concerned; from what I heard, he is, however, a handsome young fellow who is earning some money. That is indeed completely mad! But it does remind me of what Wilhelm said back when her relationship with Schelling was starting to manifest itself, “Oh,” he said with extraordinary ire, “she has not yet finished, her next lover is still running around in a little hussar’s uniform!” [8] — What fun it would be were she unfaithful to Schelling! —

But this latest relationship does make it clear to me why precisely now Schelling is more caustic and contentious than ever before. [8a] The fault is completely hers alone; she is now having to create enough distractions for him so that, first, he will not burden her with excessive love, and, second, so that he will not pay attention to her.

That is exactly what she did earlier with Wilhelm, who absolutely would never have gotten involved in such hateful quarrels with the Literatur-Zeitung (even though he had long decided not to contribute any more reviews, he would have retreated much more quietly) had she not goaded him on in a thousand different ways, and so he ended up having his hands full and simply could not pay that much attention to her, and since he was, moreover, fighting these battles on Schelling’s behalf, who during the entire time was making fun of the poor devil with her. The translation of Shakespeare had to be put completely aside, for which he always needed her there, with him, close by, which she, of course, found quite inconvenient. [9]

You no doubt recall that the whole quarrel came about because of the review of Schelling, and you will thus find it easier to believe me. [10] The entire polemical piece that appeared under Schelling’s name then against the Literatur-Zeitung was actually written by Wilhelm; [11] and with that she nicely achieved her double goal of, first, distracting Wilhelm, and, second, of allying him with Schelling and to a certain extent estranging him from Friedrich, in which endeavor, however, thanks to Friedrich’s magnanimous character and my own peaceable nature, she failed. [12]

But how much worse must she now have become! Now she is raging and ranting as if she were perpetually drunk. A few days ago a student from Würzburg came through here, a young physician and follower of Schelling, who wanted to make Schlegel’s acquaintance but did not know that he was away, and so he came to me instead.

I spoke with him about all sorts of things. I asked about you, but then when I heard that he had not really seen you much and when I considered that he, a young physician, was thus probably one of Schelling’s followers, I decided not to ask any further about Madame Schelling; and what would I have asked anyway? The next day an acquaintance told me that the young man was very relieved that I did not speak with him about Madam Schelling, since doing so would have embarrassed him greatly, so vehemently and so publicly does she rail at me. [12a]

How is it possible to be so oblivious? How can she stoop so low as to speak ill of someone in the presence of students for whom that person cannot but be an object of utter indifference? After all, it is only through sheer coincidence that one of these people even chances to see me. So what exactly has she now gained by it? Without it costing me even the slightest effort, that young man now has a far better opinion of me than of her; hence the more she rails at me, the more it is to my advantage.

Afterward this Würzburg traveler’s story made my acquaintances here so curious that they besieged me with questions to the point that I could not avoid giving them a description of this excellent lady, whereas otherwise I would never even have mentioned her. —

I rail at you here quite insanely, as you can well imagine. I speak about you every day; Bertram sends his regards to you. He is a zealous Catholic and is studying day and night to learn about a powerful kind of exorcism so that when he comes to Würzburg, he will be able to exorcize the devil, or the legion of devils, [13] out of Madame Lucifer so that they depart from her amid a grand stench. I cannot imagine that the herd capable of taking up such an unclean spirit will be very far, since doubtless a whole group of Schelling’s students will more than qualify for that task. [14]

Bertram is hoping this miracle will convince you of the truth of the Catholic faith and guide you into the womb of the sole church that can lead one to salvation. [15] In the meantime, he is offering to send you all the means the Catholic Church has at its disposal against the temptations of evil. These include: St. Gertrudi’s note against evil vermin; [16] sacred incense against all sorts of filth; a sacred herbal bouquet against thunderstorms; and St. John’s booklet against the slander of calumnies. [17]

The most powerful weapon of all is the so-called devil’s scourge, [18] whose special powers include forcing Satan, the instant it touches him, and be he disguised as the most beautiful of angels, to turn back into his original, misshapen form, with all his claws and horns and tail etc. Well, slipping this little bundle secretly beneath Madame Lucifer’s most precious parts in an elegant tea circle would no doubt have a quite entertaining effect indeed. But are the chimneys in Würzburg sufficiently broad enough for an extremely quick retreat? [18a] . . .

I am very sorry to hear that Schleiermacher did not accept the appointment in Würzburg, both for the sake of the good cause and for yours as well; his old affection for Berlin probably held him back, for as a reformed preacher, as long as he stays within Prussian territory, he is in line for the first position in the cathedral as father confessor of the king, and that position, along with Berlin in the larger sense, has always been very attractive to him. [19]

So you wish that Friedrich would finally get around to really laying into the pseudo-philosopher with all his might? My dear child, that would have happened long ago had I myself not held him back, as I still do; he is convinced that now is not the right moment. The truly ill situation in literature just now is that so many uncalled, unwashed, malicious asses are loitering about, just waiting for a man of distinction to say just the right thing so they can fall upon him like ravens. Schlegel would need to make but a single utterance suggesting he was not of one mind with Schelling, and such a chaotic, frenzied swarm of people pro and contra would so quickly start ramming heads against one another that in the end no one could recognize what it was all about, nor even recognize one’s own opinion.

To that extent, the so-called “followers” do far more damage than the most unmistakable enemies. Although future generations will see all these things clearer, since that particular weed will not extend to posterity, it nonetheless remains quite odious for the present generation. It is better to let all this idolatry simply collapse under its own weight; Friedrich will know when it is the right time to step forward. —

We recently had some lecture notes from one of Schelling’s students in aesthetics. You will never find more stupid, incoherent, and really trivial nonsense to read than this; the whole thing stitched together and pilfered from all the various histories of art and aesthetics and then covered with a sauce from the Propyläen [20] along with crumbs from Athenaeum, Europa, [21] etc. etc. And those of his own opinions and judgments that are fluttering about in it like ghosts are extraordinarily fatuous. Among other things, he says somewhere that the Son of God became a human being and came into the world to have himself painted [22] — — I could not resist the pleasure of copying out a few fragments from it and sending them along to Friedrich; he will be quite entertained. . . .

[*] Source: Briefe von Dorothea und Friedrich Schlegel an die Familie Paulus 54–61 (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):



[1] At issue is Friedrich’s attempt to secure a faculty appointment for himself in Würzburg. See Dorothea’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 28 April 1805 (letter 393a), in which she also requests the complete title and form of address of Georg Friedrich von Zentner, to whom Friedrich wished to write. Back.

[2] See the second paragraph of Dorothea’s letter to Karoline Paulus ca. 5–15 September 1804 (letter 387b), which begins “Be not astonished that they do not want Friedrich in Würzburg.” See also note 4 there. Ironically, Schelling alone supported Friedrich’s appointment in Würzburg. Back.

[3] Fr., “whatever will be, will be; come what may; here goes!” Back.

[4] Concerning Ludwig Tieck’s itinerary, see Dorothea’s letters to Karoline Paulus on 13 January 1805 (letter 389a) and on 24 March 1805 (letter 392a). Instead of returning to Berlin, however, Tieck set out for Rome during the summer of 1805 and did not return to Berlin until the autumn of 1806. Back.

[5] Schiller had died in Weimar on 9 May 1805. Concerning Goethe’s disposition at the time, see Luise Wiedemann’s letter to Caroline on 4 September 1805 (letter 396), note 14. Back.

[6] Schiller’s children were Karl, Ernst, Karoline, and Emilie. Back.

[7] Charlotte Schiller, whose maiden name was von Lengefeld, never remarried. Back.

[8] Illustrations: (1) Taschenbuch für edle teutsche Weiber [1800]; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung; (2) Johann Christian Berndt, Ach wie artig ist er (“Well, what a cute thing he is”) [ca. 1776–1825]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Graph. A1: 181:



Henriette von Hoven makes similar comments to Charlotte Schiller in her letter of 4 August 1804 (letter 385a), quipping that “no one comes to call anymore except her — friend, Professor Köhler, who refers to her as the ‘ideal among women,’ and as the ‘perfection of the world.’”

See also the supplementary appendix on Friedrich Nicolai’s Vertraute Briefe von Adelheid B**, Athenaeum, and Caroline as a Romantic coquette“:

Frau von C** is allegedly already, as they say, putting our Gustav out to pasture. She will soon find a new lover who must be corralled, and my dear Gustav will wonder how he ended up being cast into the heap of castoffs and will, despite his wide-open eyes, not believe what he is seeing.

Illustration: “Die schlechte Hausfrau” (“the bad/unfaithful housewife”), Berlinischer Damen-Kalender auf das Gemein-Jahr 1809, Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung:


See also note 20 there. Back.

[8a] Although Karoline Paulus may have alerted Dorothea to Schelling’s “To the Public,” which had appeared on 6 May 1805 (letter/document 393b), neither woman could yet have known about the current exchanges between Schelling and Kajetan Weiller on 23 May 1805 and, the day after Dorothea is here writing, Jakob Salat on 4 June 1805 (letters/documents393d, 393f); Schelling responds again on 27 June 1805 (letter/document 393g) and Weiller again on 30 August 1805 (letter 393h).

The reference is doubtless to the exchanges Schelling and Konrad Joseph Kilian had in late 1804 and early 1805 with respect to Kilian’s accusation that Schelling’s follower Ignaz Paul Vitalis Troxler had plagiarized Schelling. Troxler defended himself in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1804) 133, 1119–20, publicly soliciting Schelling to declare whether he had had any prior knowledge of Troxler’s publication or had contributed to it. Troxler also alerted Schelling to the situation in a letter on 12 December 1804 (Fuhrmans 3:150–51).

Schelling provided such a declaration in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1805) 3 (7 January 1805) 31 (also Fuhrmans 3:158), to which Kilian responded in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1805) 25 (4 March 1805), 206–8. Troxler had the last word in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1805) 43 (17 April 1805) 360:


Readers who took an interest in my announcement in no. 133 (1804) of this Intelligenzblatt will recall that in it, I requested of Herr Prof. Schelling that he provide a declaration with respect to the remark made by Herr Kilian concerning my book (Ideen zur Grundlage der Nosologie und Therapie). Schelling had provided such to the public, albeit not directly himself, but indirectly through me as an albeit unsolicited, yet also not entirely uncalled reviewer.

Since Herr Kilian has now received a public démenti from Herr Professor Schelling in this matter (see no. 3 [1805]), he now moves over to his accusation — one essentially indifferent to his base intentions but in and of itself quite contrary and self-contradictory — that in connection with Kilian’s own former, intimate (?) relationship with Schelling, the latter allegedly bitterly complained about my work as being plagiary (see no. 25 [1805]).

Without further ado let me simply leave it to the public now to judge whether Herr Kilian is not herewith providing his own proof (though such not even be further necessary), viz., that in the first instance — to call a spade a spade — he lied, and whether in a second such case one can really give credence to a public liar. Since he is now withdrawing to the safety of an alleged remark made in confidential (!) circumstances whose only witness is he himself, the liar, and whose — let me not say “distortion,” but rather — complete fictionalization is utterly transparent to me even without further assurances just as it cannot but be to anyone familiar with Herr Kilian himself and the attendant circumstances.

After this simple announcement, I do, however, now also believe — considering that all the requisite data are already before the public — myself obligated not only to the man who apart from such an incident would hardly find himself in a position even to mention a person such as Kilian, but also to my own honor and better destiny, to take no further notice of anything Kilian may yet produce in the way of fibs.

Vienna, March 1805

Dr. Troxler

Another exchange involving Schelling at the time involved Carl Joseph Windischmann and Johann Jakob Wagner in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in connection with the latter’s criticism of Schelling’s “warmed-over Platonism” and of Schelling’s followers (see Caroline’s letter to Schelling on 30 April–1 May 1806 [letter 405]). Back.

[9] Taschenbuch für Damen auf das Jahr 1801 (Tübingen 1801):


See the materials on Caroline’s participation in Wilhelm’s edition of Shakespeare. Back.

[10] See Schelling’s declaration in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, Saturday, 2 November 1799, complaining about precisely these reviews (letter 252d). Back.

[11 After the reviews of Schelling’s work just mentioned and the editors’ refusal to publish Henrik Steffens’s review of the same piece, Schelling himself published Steffens’s review, “Über die neuesten Schellingischen naturphilosophischen Schriften,” in his Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik 1 (1800) 1, 1–48; 2, 88–121.

Dorothea’s specific reference here is to Schelling’s rejoinder published in his Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik 1 (1800) 1, 49–99 (see letter/document 252d mentioned above, here note 4). It is, however, highly unlikely that Wilhelm authored even part of that article, not least because he regularly counseled Schelling to desist from precisely the kind of abrasive language and attacks that are indeed found in that rejoinder.

Wilhelm in any case had his own problems with the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung at the time. See his farewell statement in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1799) 145 (Wednesday, 13 November 1799) 1179 (letter 255a). After the scandal surrounding Auguste’s death erupted in 1802, however, Wilhelm did indeed alone author, in Schelling’s defense, the To the Public. Rebuke of a Defamation of Honor Perpetrated in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (letter 371b). Back.

[12] The correspondence between these members of the Jena circle shows that Dorothea is engaging in wishful thinking or dissimulation here (Calender für das Jahr 1796; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):



[12a] Almanac de Goettingue pour l’anneé 1786; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung:



[13] See the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark 5:1–20 (NRSV) (illustration: “Jesus Heals a Demoniac,” after Gerard P. Groenning, in Diuinar[um] nuptiarum conuenta et acta: Ad piorum admonitionem a Phillippo Gallaeo aereis taabul. incisa. Bened. Ar. Mont. accimente. Le traicté & accord des nopces spirituelles / grauées en cuiure par P. Galle; chantées par Benedictus Arias Montanus; & expliquées en rithme e Françoise par P. Heyns, ed. Benito Arias Montano [n.p. 1573-(74)]; Pitts Theology Library Digital Collections):

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him.

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.”

So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.


The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood.

As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. Back.

[14] I.e., a “herd” of swine, as in Mark 5.

Such Catholic and crypto-Catholic references to exorcism and stench seem to have been a favorite metaphor for Dorothea — who was soon to convert to Catholicism in any case — and those around Charlotte Schiller and, here, Karoline Paulus, neither of whom was Catholic but in whose circles the epithet Dame Lucifer and its variations in any case emerged (see, e.g., Friedrich’s remarks in his and Dorothea’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 19 June 1804 [letter 383j]).

Before her marriage to Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer on 20 October 1797, Rosine Eleonore Döderlein wrote to her fiancé (cited, albeit undated and without indication of source, in Eckart Kleßmann, Universitätsmamsellen: Fünf aufgeklärte Frauen zwischen Rokoko, Revolution und Romantik [Frankfurt am Main 2008], 234):

Madam Schiller would have me relate to you that as soon as Madam Schlegel is out of the house, you should open all the doors and windows and discharge a pound of incense in order to cleanse to the very last breath the air left behind by the previous tenant. Madam Schiller herself is willing to contribute a pound of incense for this purpose.

At the time (1797), the Schlegels were living at Leutragasse 5, which Madam Döderlein herself owned, having inherited it from her late husband, Johann Christoph Döderlein. But the Schlegels would not give up the apartment until the spring of 1802. Back.

[15] Dorothea and Friedrich converted to Catholicism in Cologne on 16 April 1808. Back.

[16] The reference is more broadly to Ignaz Lorenz, Handschriftliche Schätze aus Kloster-Bibliotheken umfassend sämmtliche vierzig Hauptwerke über Magie, verborgene Kräfte, Offenbarungen und geheimste Wissenschaften; wortgetreu mit allen Bildern hrsg. (Köln am Rhein [i.e. Stuttgart]: Peter Hammer’s Erben [i.e. Johann Scheible], 1734 [here: one of the later versions published in 1849, 1851, and 1853]), which contains several incantations or instructions associated with St. Gertrude; here the illustrations accompanying nos. X and XVII:


That Dorothea is occupying herself with Catholic arcana of a peculiar sort can be seen from the calligraphy accompanying earlier incantations and instructions in Lorenz’s volume, here, e.g., on three successive pages (pp. 133–36):


Dorothea in any case is referring more specifically to St. Gertrude’s “Libellus Sanct Gertudis, das ist: Hauptzwang der Geister zu menslichen Diensten. Cum licentia Papali” (Rome 1403), which provides instructions for coercing spirits to do the bidding of human beings, published as no. 11 in Lorenz’s, Handschriftliche Schätze aus Kloster-Bibliotheken, 157–60, illustration on p. 156:


First utter these sacred names:

Jehovah, Schaday, Elohe, Elead, Schyroim, aimechanie gibor, Eheye, aha, ycho, Schey anemy Uriel, Anial, Zachariel.

Coactio universalis.

Allach, melech, nigkelicon, astar, malach, haram, milas, helotim, aniel, arestatos bedarit, meles, hemostar, beneda haram.


Haram, milas, helotim, aniel, arestatos, nuesalon, magostar, Joradip, falusi, Zorianoso, Kilim, Kilim, Kilim.

Summons or Call

Allach, melech, nigkelicom, astar, malach, Basamin, neyes, sar, amalachira, boorai, venephe, nehrinar, calidi, hemagon, halamot, heru, adonay, emogie, abrakka, arcadiel, Baham, Limaliel, malehadod, eya, Elohim, aya, amyseraton, veya, machya, elgam, gimas.


Bedarit, meles, hemostar, Beneda, haram noreados, faenoram, amorsiri, barchim, amosiam, Zezaphillos, arpariat, antrias, Zyriffon.

Note: The priest who intends to recite this work must be extremely careful with this incantation and avoid reciting it incorrectly.

He must speak the first constraint [coaction universalis] and mandate together 9 times quite clearly and with a bright voice at sunrise. Afterward he must repeat the summons or call first 9 times, then 13 times, and finally 25 times, after which the spirit will invariably appear, though it must happen at night at 11:00, and the demand be uneven. Back.

[17] St. John Nepomucen (1350–93), patron saint against calumnies and slander; uncertain publication or manuscript. Back.

[18] Witches were, of course, regularly associated with potions, cauldrons, spells, and herbs (frontispiece to Ulrich Molitoris and Conrad Lautenbach Von Hexen und Unholden: Ein Christlicher nutzlicher vnd zu disen vnsern gefährlichen Zeiten notwendiger Bericht [n.p. 1575]):


St. John’s Wort, hypericum performatum; see William Thomas Fernie, Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia 1897), 287:

The name hypericum is derived from the two Greek words, huper eikon, “over an apparition,” because of its supposed power to exorcise evil spirits, or influences; whence it was also formerly called fuga daemoniorum, “the Devil’s Scourge,” “the Grace of God,” “The Lord God’s wonder Plant,” and some other names of a like import, probably too, because found to be of curative use against insanity. Again, it used to be entitled Hexenkraut, and “Witch’s Herb,” on account of its reputed magical powers. Matthiolus said, Scripsere quidam Hypericum adeo odisse daemones, ut ejus suffitu statim avolent, “Certain writers have said that the St. John’s Wort is so detested by evil spirits that they fly off at a whiff of its odour.”

Illustration: Anne Pratt, The Flowering Plants and Ferns of Great Britain, 5 vols. (London 1855), vol. 2, plate following p. 12:


Ibid., 13 (illustration: fifteenth-century herbal codex; hypericon at right, with the note [h]Ypericon fuga demonu):

One of the notions respecting the St. John’s Wort in the olden times was, that it had a great efficacy in maniacal cases; and some old writers on this account gave it the fanciful name of Fuga Daemonum. This name led to a variety of superstitions, or as they have been called, “pleasant absurdities,” which in course of time became, in various countries, connected with the plant. The fact that this genus of plants had, by the monks, been dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was an additional cause, too, for reverencing them.

“Devil’s scourge” is also used in the title for various prayer books or booklets against ghosts, spirits, and various manifestations of the devil whose remedies include exorcisms, e.g., Franciscum de Ossuna, Flagellum Diaboli: Oder Deß Teufels Geißl. Darinn gar lustig und artlich gehandlet wirt: Von der macht und gewalt de bösen Feindts etc., trans. Aegidium Albertinum (Munich 1602).



[18a] “Claws and horns and tail: as in this illustration of the “vain lady of the world” being fetched by death and (at the right) the devil (Daniel Hopfer, Die Weltdame und der Tod [ca. 1504–1536]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DHopfer AB 3.51):


“Extremely quick retreat”: as does the witch in the following final plate recounting an allegedly true occurence, in anonymous, Fünf bewehrte und wahrhafte Hexen- und Gespenstergeschichten die sich unlängst zugetragen haben (Munich 1770):



[19] See Dorothea and Friedrich’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 19 June 1804 (letter 383j), esp. note 5. Schleiermacher received an appointment in Halle with the explicit assurance that he would one day receive an attractive position as preacher in Berlin. Back.

[20] Propyläen. Eine periodische Schrift, herausgegeben von Goethe (1798–1800). Back.

[21] Europa: eine Zeitschrift, ed. Friedrich Schlegel (1803–5). Back.

[22] Although Schelling may have said something of this sort extemporaneously in his lectures on the philosophy of art, the statement then ending up in the student’s notes, no such statement (nor one even resembling it) appears in the posthumously published version (Sämmtliche Werke, 5:353–736). Schelling had lectured on the philosophy of art during the winter semester 1802–3 in Jena and then repeated the lectures in 1804 and 1805 in Würzburg, though they were not published until after his death.

Concerning its background, see in any case the pertinent section in Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 3 September 1802 (letter 369d).

Concerning this particular series in the winter of 1804–5 in Würzburg, see Caroline’s letter to Meta Liebeskind on 1 February 1805 (letter 390), with note 26. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott