Letter 400

• 400. Caroline to Anna Maria Windischmann in Aschaffenburg: Würzburg, 11 December 1805 [*]

[Würzburg] 11 Dec[ember 1805]

|420| Since I just heard, my dear friend, that an acquaintance of yours is here who if need be might take along a greeting or letter or that sort of thing to you, I am taking advantage of the opportunity to send you this little piece of material so that you might make dresses for your three eldest little dolls before Christmas, since this material was already waiting for the next postal day in any case. [1] . . .

I would like include something for Windischmann as well, but there is no longer time to do so just now. He is, moreover, not allowed to have anything, for, after all, he has been quite ill-behaved of late and will not deny himself conveniences in any case, and will instead, like Hans Widerporst, amply provide for wine and a pork. [2] Nor was the Markbronner [3] |421| particularly helpful in prompting Schelling to turn from his godless ways, something discernable from the fact that he still has not written. I, however, am still caught in secretarial tasks. [4]

Stay very well and may you have happy holidays!

Caroline Schelling


[*] Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls (Vienna 1805):



[1] The “dolls” are in fact the Windischmanns’ young daughters. See Caroline’s letter to Carl Joseph Windischmann on 28 September 1805 (letter 397), note 5, with a cross reference; also the biogram of Anna Maria Windischmann (Göttingischer Taschen-Kalender für das Schelt-Jahr 1808; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):



[2] Hans Sachs’s piece “Haintz Widerporst” supplied the name for Schelling’s poem from 1799, Heinz Widerporst’s Epicurean Confession of Faith.

At the beginning of the poem, the fictitious author, Heinz Widerporst, speaks about his unsuccessful attempts to enter the more ethereal regions of certain religious writings and doctrines to escape “godless ways” (whence Caroline’s allusion) and about his return to a view of nature itself and matter as the divine:

I’d have readily given such things the nod,
Renouncing work and life without God;
I hoped to mock evil, so thereby
Make myself a god up high,
And I had already immersed my soul
In the intuition of the universal whole,
When my native wit reminded me
That I was as good as lost at sea,
That down the old tracks should I crawl
And be nobody’s fool.
I was not idle about following this call;
But did not become straight like old Saul,
I had to dispel whims of the kind
That had once upset my mind,
And reteach my body how to walk
By sending for as much wine as pork — 
All of which proved very worthwhile.
When I had regained my old style,
Out of women I could get a rise,
See brightly out of both eyes. Back.

[3] Concerning these bottles of Markbronner wine, which Caroline’s statement here seems to suggest had in the meantime indeed arrived, see Caroline’s letter to Windischmann on 31 October 1805 (letter 398), note 6. Back.

[4] See Schelling to Carl Joseph Hieronymus Windischmann on 21 December 1805 (Plitt 2:77; Fuhrmans 3:283): “My wife sends her regrets for not writing to yours; at the moment, she is again functioning as the privy chancery clerk in matters pertaining to the [Schelling’s periodical] Jahrbücher [der Medicin als Wissenschaft].” Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott