Letter 403

• 403. Caroline to Schelling in Munich: Würzburg, 25–26 April 1806 [*]

[Würzburg, Friday] 25[–Saturday, 26] April [1806]

|426| You left Ansbach early Sunday morning at 4:00 and were thus already secure in your lodging on Monday evening; [1] but alone and in such raw weather, weather that still refuses to get any milder and whose entire severity even I myself am feeling — for why otherwise am I utterly unable to get healthy again? I am not getting depressed, am not bored, but can neither eat nor sleep, and my daylong headache turned into one lasting several days — so that Klein wandered about yesterday with a thousand worries because he does not trust Köhler as a physician.

But today it is much better, and today I can greet my Schelling with bright eyes. If I but knew how he is doing! But can things go ill for you? I forbid myself to think such things and instead anxiously await the first letter.

Here things are getting truly serious; we are hard at work, and just now I can hear the presiding voice of the wife of the president in front of her house directing the erection of the illumination framework |427| in a highly ingenious fashion. [2] Total foolishness has now broken out and is daring to come out into the streets even in the full light of day, for people now finally believe there is no longer any possibility of a relapse. [3]

According to the newspapers, the prince had already passed through Regensburg on the 20th, but he is still neither here nor in Mergentheim and could well have gotten lost along the way. [4] But Prince Taxis, the commandant of the guard, is here along with other advance men, and now there is not a quiet moment to be found amid the relentless citizen processionals, drills, parades, music throughout the entire night, in connection with which they then start beating thunderously on several frightful drums someone must have found lying around, and I genuinely tremble even when I hear them in the distance. [5]

Everyone is attaching a cockade to their hats, and all the little Seuffert children are wearing them, even their newborn in its cradle. [6] When I went out 3 days ago, the citizen cavalry was just coming in through the Rennweg Gate. [7] Taxis was being driven across the square, stopped, they all performed fronte, [8] he leaned all the way out of the carriage to thank them — these modest encounters have completely intoxicated the citizenry, and the anticipation is being heightened to such an extent by all the delays that the final explosion cannot but be colossal indeed if it does not all happen to fail precisely at that point.

Illuminations have also already been dictated for me here, and my orders solicited regarding how many lights and people I intend to have. But do not worry about that evening, I intend to arrange everything quite sensibly. I must just be healthy. I am also being very careful with myself, and that particular outing was not good for me at all. His Excellency the territorial attorney general has granted complete support with regard to logis — and she, the diminutive wife, confided in me, not the beginning, but the end — that she is again expecting. [9] There is now nothing more to be said in the matter. —

I was also at the Martinis, who heard the long way around that they were |428| to be going to Landshut and who were utterly disconsolate about the prospect such that she in particular would much prefer to remain here. [10] In the meantime, however, they had not received even the slightest hint of all this.

Hoven, prompted by a letter from Sicherer, put in his resignation; the latter assured him on the basis of what Zentner said that he would be employed in Ansbach, whereas Count von Thürheim just wrote to tell him that he knew as little whether Ansbach would be surrendered in 8 days or 8 months. [11] The way I hear it, Döllinger is maintaining that Marcus is applying for the position here, which, however, is doubtless his imagination at work. [12] Paulus has only rented his logis for three months. [13]

Duke Birkenfeld came through here on his way to Bamberg; part of the territorial directorate there is to be displaced to Ansbach — what on earth will happen to Stengel? [14]

The only really noteworthy thing that has reached me in the meantime is the review of Fichte’s new book in issue 91 of the Jenaische Literatur-Zeitung — the book itself is not yet here. [15] I am assuming that you will be able to get your hands on this material soon. I myself do not yet have the conclusion, since what I received only goes as far as that particular issue. [16]

Just this much, however: The book is unlikely to astonish the world and seems instead to be pretty much what was expected; it must be quite verbose, and the concept of nature rather peculiar, which he did, however, at least try to appropriate for himself. I am doubtful that Schleiermacher is the author of the review, though I could not guess who else it might be even though the writing style is not really distinctive. [17]

Fichte, however, is quite coarsely received. I cannot completely discern from the review itself just how strongly he has rejected the philosophy of nature, since although the review itself does not adopt it (which does resemble Schleiermacher’s position), it does demonstrate to Fichte that he speaks quite erroneously about it. I am sorely tempted to steal this thing for you so that you |429| might have it immediately for dessert [18] — but that does not seem quite proper to me. The reviewer speaks rather curios [19] and in an almost personal manner about the philosophy of nature, a cause he does not really consider to be the best, viewing it instead as “an anticipatory foray into a higher sphere of life” — But what is that supposed to mean? Who is in a position to say that there even is an “anticipatory foray” of that sort?

Jacobi has also come out quite vehemently in print against the publication of letters of the sort in which Gleim’s heirs are now engaged. [20]

Perhaps the thing I am most curious about is your acquaintance with Jacobi. I do believe you can shape it according to your own wishes. [21]

Mlle. Wagner received a letter here at the house from her brother – he is familiar with the Tieks; [22] the poet and his sister are living quite isolated, as far as he knows, no one sees them anywhere. He is allegedly working on a drama. The sculptor apparently visited him but requested they put off his return visit until he was finished with a bas-relief on which he was currently working. The sculptor allegedly visits Humboldt quite often, the poet does so less frequently. [23]

By the way, the artists and foreigners in Rome are allegedly divided into various parties, first according to nationality, and then the Germans in their own turn into older and younger strains. One can, however, apparently live quite well in one’s own private sphere there [24]he himself lived in an Italian house, without a stove, not needing any coal the entire winter. With the help of a tin stove one can allegedly arrange things in quite the German fashion for oneself there. — Go ahead and inquire yourself about Wagner’s drawing. [25]

The imminent arrival is weighing Klein down like a ton of lead; [26] he also has to arrange a processional with the young boys — Our Sturz is coming to ruin over the whole thing. First, he is down sick such that I have not even seen him since your departure except on the first |430| morning [27] — amid all this, the appearance of his room and surroundings is so dreadful that even his acquaintances go there only for God’s own sake, and he is in such a rage with his servants that even Adam has now abandoned him; his wife cannot come in because she has sick children. The citizenry is constantly marching by his windows, and there can be no doubt that if someone does not help the man, it will be all over for him — he has already gotten delirious. Döllinger is looking after him now. [27a] . . .

Köhler visits me with delicate assiduousness and always at the appropriate times — he often comes in the evening, but only till 9:30, Klein several times each day — Spix also came by recently at 8:00 in the same way as friend Oken, saying: “I come so that you can see I have not forgotten you” [28]

I must say, this fellow has inordinately confused ideas of things — and were it not for his noble diligence and his industrious manner of getting things done, I do not really think I could trust him, for he has also already written a frightful number of verses. Even Behr paid me a visit, to wit, at just the moment when things were supposed to become Bavarian again and he himself firmly believed it to be so. [29]

Surely you have not forgotten the Wiebekings? [30] I see from the Münchener Zeitung that a great many pieces by the Riepenhausen brothers can be seen at Strobel’s bookstore, pieces portraying the story of St. Geneviève — that must surely be interesting. [31] Ah, and the Munich paper lists so many nice logis! [32]

I see that the young private lecturer in medicine, Kessler, has died in Jena. [33] — One thing I do fear is Legemeyer probably scared you half to death, since in the final analysis the dear fellow is not dead at all — after no one hears anything more about it, he then suddenly sits down at the table d’hôte directly vis à vis you. [34]

|431| (N.B. You have only 11 cuffed shirts with you, since one remained behind here; [35] I tell you this only so that your sense of exactitude does not become anxious at the notion that it might have gotten lost.)

My most beloved friend — once I know that you are doing well, then I myself, though also lonely, can go ahead and cheerfully eat, drink, and sleep. Eating by myself is the worst thing for me — il vaut encore mieux d’être seule à minuit qu’à midi. [36] It would be foolish were I to insist on telling you how I caress you in thought. You already know it.

Saturday, 26 April

It was too late yesterday to send this off, and thank God I just received your letter. [37] My most precious friend, if you are but well, I ask for nothing more in heaven and earth, for if you are but healthy, then you are you, and all is well. I, too, am doing much better today, though the air is dark with snow and the rooftops white except when the sun now and then appears, radiant and glowing, and transforms everything. [38] Oh, how happy I am that I now have your letter, with or without the assurance, since that does not weigh heavy on my heart. —

Only do not imagine, my love, that from the moment you write and tell me, “Come!” I will need not more than about 3 days or so to sell things, to pack things, and finally to depart. Although I will then certainly hurry as much as possible, nonetheless for the sake of keeping things better organized — and for the sake of my health — I will not be overly hasty. What magnificent things in Munich! Rejoice in them until I can do so along with you.

Although here I have gotten some good news from Perthes, otherwise no letter has arrived, not even from Marcus. [39]

Imagine, Sturz is now seriously ill — he has come down with the measles [40] . . .

|432| Things have quieted down again with regard to the arrival of the Most High, for what actually passed through in Regensburg were merely mules — but it should all genuinely take place during the coming week.

If there is still any hope with regard to Erlangen, then please do let me know, not for our sake, but for the sake of others. Landshut is allegedly being plagued by inflation, even shortages and epidemic. [41] The silly cathedral vicar has an article maintaining that Röschlaub has now declared war on you as fully as have the Italians. [42] Röschlaub is also being accepted as an important figure. I will hardly be able to assuage the curiosity of our friends.

I probably did not really assuage your own curiosity with regard to Fichte’s lectures, but I am assuming it will cost you but a single inquiry; nonetheless let me copy out in full here the parts referring to you.

“— One’s opponent can indeed demand that one refute him in his own sense. We do not consider the enterprise of the philosophy of nature to be the best; we consider it instead to be an anticipatory foray into a higher sphere of life, a foray that artistic sensibility and youthful enthusiasm, struggling with their own and the age’s philosophical insights, transformed into a need that necessarily had to fail insofar as existing entities cannot possibly, within this particular mode of determinate being, repeat and construe after the fact the genesis of said determinate being: but even the best position can easily be refuted if one imputes to the words of one’s opponent a meaning that they in fact should not have.”

In a better world than this, one will thus desire more of your worthy presence. [43]


[*] Schelling had departed Würzburg for Munich on Friday, 18 April 1806 Back.

[1] Schelling seems to have had a layover in Eichstädt on Monday evening, 21 April 1806, just over 60 km from Ansbach; see also Caroline’s letter to him on 21 April 1806 (letter 402), note 17 (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern [Vienna 1805]; illustration: Matthäus Merian [1648]):




[2] I.e., preparations for the processionals and celebrations anticipating the arrival of the new prince elector now that the Bavarians had withdrawn and Würzburg itself had passed to Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany as a result of the Treaty of Pressburg.

Concerning the residence of President Seuffert and his wife, see Caroline’s previous letter to Schelling on 21 April 1806 (letter 492), note 16. Back.

[3] That is, a relapse to Bavarian and by proxy ultimately French rule. Concerning the possibility that Napoleon might “undo the entire agreement” of having Würzburg pass to Ferdinand of Tuscany, see Caroline’s letter to Julie Gotter on 12 March 1806 (letter 401), note 9. Back.

[4] The new prince elector was traveling east to west to Würzburg from Vienna by way of Regensburg; Mergentheim is ca. 50 km south of Würzburg (J. Walch, Neueste Post-Karte von Deutschland und dessen angrenzenden Laendern [Augsburg 1813 ]):




[5] See the “Brief News” in the Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg 1 (1806) 5 (26 April 1806), 71–72:

Brief News

Würzburg, 26 April 1806. We are anticipating the increasingly imminent and joyous arrival of His Royal Highness, our Excellency the Prince Elector. Every element of preparation attests such. Everything has been prepared in the Residence, and various members of the entourage are arriving daily. His Excellency Prince Max von Thurn und Taxis, commandant of the prince-electoral guard, arrived on the 24th. Residence engage their zealous joy quite unsolicited to glorify the reception through joyous celebrations. . . . Missives from Vienna dated 18 April reliably report that His Royal Highness Prince Elector Ferdinand is expected to arrive at any hour in Vienna, where he will spend two or three days before setting out directly for Würzburg. Back.

[6] Presumably a cockade with the colors black and yellow associated with the Austrian Monarchy (1804–67) following the self-proclamation of the previous emperor Franz II as king of Austria in 1804 (antiquarian cockade):


Karl Schelling relates to Schelling in a letter on 6 April 1806 (letter 401b) that he had seen H. E. G. Paulus wearing the previous Bavarian cockade in Stuttgart; see note 4 there. Back.

[7] The Rennweg Gate is located just to the northeast of the Residence Castle and Residence Square, where the new territorial lord would reside; the Schellings’ apartment is on the left (Friedrich Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg [München 1845]; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek):


Here an illustration from 1493 showing the gate at bottom center right (Hartmann Schedel, Chronica. Mit Holzschnitten von Michael Wolgemut und Wilhelm Pleydenwurf. [Nürnberg: Anton Koberger für Sebald Schreyer und Sebastian Kammermaister, 12.VII.1493], Blatt 159verso/160recto):


Here a photo of the Rennweg Gate prior to 1871, when the wall fortifications and the gate itself were finally razed (© Stadt Würzburg, Stadtarchiv; by permission):



[8] Fr., here: “turned head to face him in file,” e.g., at attention. Back.

[9] Logis, Fr., “house, dwelling, lodging, accommodations.”

Uncertain birth reference; Dorothea von Seuffert was not born until 14 Mai 1807. Back.

[10] The Martinis were transferred to Altdorf in 1807 before moving to Munich in 1809 (A. von Coulon, Post-Karte von Baiern [Munich 1810]; Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]:




[11] Concerning the Hovens’ destination, see Henriette von Hoven’s letter to Charlotte Schiller on 8 March 1806 (letter 400i).

Ansbach did indeed become Bavarian (now designated a kingdom) territory in 1806, with Prussia ceding Ansbach to Bavaria for Hannover, and Cleve and Neufchatel to France. Ansbach is located ca. 50 km southwest of Nürnberg and ca. 85 km southeast of Würzburg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):



[12] Adalbert Friedrich Marcus remained in Bamberg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern [Vienna 1805]):



[13] Concerning the immediate future of the Paulus family, see Dorothea Veit’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 23 February 1806 (letter 400h), note 1. Back.

[14] Concerning the background to these events, see the biograms for Birkenfeld and Stengel. Back.

[15] The Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 91 (Thursday, 17 April 1806), 113–20; 92 (Friday, 18 April 1806), 121–25, published a lengthy and substantive review of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Über das Wesen des Gelehrten, und seine Erscheinungen im Gebiete der Freyheit. In öffentlichen Vorlesungen, gehalten zu Erlangen, im Sommer-Halbjahre 1805 (Berlin 1806), signed by “Κλ” =Heinrich Luden (Fuhrmans 3:329n2), albeit with some reserve regarding the comprehensibility of some of the lectures. Caroline is citing from issue 91, p. 118 of the review. See pp. 115–16:

The overall execution is as simple and clear, as this original plan [just discussed]. Such applies especially to that particular part of the lectures that presents speculative ideas, less so to the part concerned with real life. Although there is admittedly no real speculation there, the author does clearly present the results of profound speculation for those who have already engaged in such.

It is another question entirely whether it will appear as clear to those among Fichte’s audience, for example, to students, who for the most part have presumably not yet engaged in such speculation at all. This reviewer definitely has his doubts, and the fifth lecture confirms that such reservation is not entirely unjustified.

That lecture itself demonstrates that Fichte must have surmised that he is being either not understood, only half understood, or wholly misunderstood, which raises the larger question of whether one really should present the results of speculative thinking in so-called “popular philosophical” lectures, or in an auditorium setting in which one cannot proceed properly and provide the requisite proofs. Or, if one should indeed be able to present such results, then how should one go about it?

For these results are so strikingly different from those of common, normal thinking, and so alien to the kind of common sensibility one is wont to call “healthy,” that it is incomprehensible how the latter could possibly comprehend them. The “sense for truth” to which Herr Fichte appeals is unlikely to help much in this respect, since, first, such must certainly already be developed in order to “sense” such truths in the first place. And understanding by no means surrenders its claims in any case.

Even if it cannot but grant victory to that sensibility in the first few moments, it will soon work its way back up and condemn precisely that sensibility if its own capacity as understanding is unable to keep up. Hence it seems inevitable that misunderstanding and confusion will arise in such a setting. Since the only possible purpose in such presentations is to stimulate the mind, animate thought, and prompt further investigation, might it not be best to engage in such presentations through inspired and inspiring discourse, with bold imagery and allegories full of life and fire that either delight and permeate and enflame the listener’s soul, or rush by like an empty sound?

Fichte’s language is full and excellent, his discourse of the grandest style, powerful, solid, not without a touch of mysticism, and yet, it seems to us, nonetheless too calm, too little a thing that delights us, sometimes too prosaically comprehensible but dry, other times too philosophically elevated for it to be comprehended by an as yet unphilosophical assembly without the danger of misunderstanding. Back.

[16] Caroline has issue 91 (Thursday, 17 April 1806); the conclusion was in issue 92 (Friday, 18 April 1806). Back.

[17] Later, in her letter to Schelling on 30 April–1 May 1806 (letter 405), Caroline seems sure that Schleiermacher authored the review. Under the pseudonym “P-p-s” (peplopoios, the Greek version of the German meaning of Schleiermacher, “veil maker”), Schleiermacher is considerably more critical in his review of Fichte’s Die Grundzüge des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters (Berlin 1804) in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1807) 18 (Wednesday, 21 January 1807), 137–44; 19 (Thursday, 22 January 1807), 145–52; 20 (Aus Schleiermacher’s Leben, 4:624–46). Back.

[18] In French in original. Back.

[19] So written in original, probably for Italian curioso, here: “curiously.” Back.

[20] Wilhelm Körte, Ludwig Gleim’s great nephew and Friedrich August Wolf’s son-in-law, published Briefe deutscher Gelehrten, aus Gleims litterarischem Nachlasse, 3 vols. (Zürich 1804–6):

vol. 1: Briefe der Schweizer Bodmer, Sulzer, Geßner (1804 [appeared 1805]);
vol. 2: Briefe zwischen Gleim, Wilhelm Heinse und Johann von Müller (part 1) (1806);
vol. 3: Briefe zwischen Gleim, Wilhelm Heinse und Johann von Müller (part 2) (1806).

Vols. 2 and 3 (1806) included letters from Johannes Müller to Gleim, but also letters between Wilhelm Heinse and Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi that the latter allegedly had not released for publication.

In the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 34 (Monday, 14 April 1806), 281–82, Jacobi initially published an indignant “declaration” announcing his intentions to provide a public explanation of how Heinse’s letters to him ended up in Körte’s possession:

by Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi

The prostituting and cheapening of the confidential letters of the living and the deceased, like the violation of graves and other sacred locales for the sake of plundering them and desecrating the bodies buried there, is to be reckoned, according to my most intense conviction, among the most abominable of crimes and transgressions.

I have been publicly accused of such transgressions. I myself am alleged to have opened the crypt of a friend and passed its plunder into the hands of him who is now testifying against me.

This witness is Herr Wilhelm Körte, cathedral vicar at Halberstadt and administrator of the Gleim family foundation. In the preface to volume one of his publication of the letters between Gleim, Wilhelm Heinse, and Johannes Müller (p. 36), he maintains that I handed over to him Heinse’s letters to me “with unconditional authorization to incorporate them into his collection as he saw fit.”

The two volumes of this collection are now here before me, and I most solemnly herewith declare that I acknowledge myself unworthy of public respect and deserve to have lost said respect forever if I prove unable to completely absolve myself of the abominable suspicion Herr Körte has cast on me: as if I had any intention of allowing him, at his own risk, to perpetrate precisely the sacrilege which he has indeed found it appropriate to commit with such utterly incomprehensible imprudence and coarseness.

Heinse writes “sometimes” (see Herr Körtel’s preface, pp. 32f.) how he cannot think without ire and revulsion about how that which was written facilely and in confidentiality might fall into the wrong hands and end up in print. But Herr Körte thinks nothing of such considerations, being intent instead on following his own inclinations (see his preface and dedication); no threatening shadows of the deceased frighten him, no ire of the living. He fears no one. The thoughtless man!

He has apparently published his own assessment on page 99 of the second volume of his collection [trans. note: in a letter from Heinse to F. Jacobi in which Heinse speaks about how various insults were handled in Athens]. But gossip there would disseminate harassing anecdotes only by word of mouth, or at most in letters, having no intention of offering to posterity evidence of errors of the moment, one-sided, distorted, impertinent, partisan opinions, or temporary embitterment.

I will with due haste present documentation to the public of the entire course of events through which Heinse’s letters to me ended up in Herr Körte’s rather munificent hands; then may shame fall on him who has merited it.

Munich, 30 March 1806

Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi

Later in 1806, Jacobi published the brochure Was gebieten Ehre, Sittlichkeit und Recht in Absicht vertraulicher Briefe von Verstorbenen und noch Lebenden? (“What do honor, morals, and justice demand of the living with respect to confidential letters of the deceased?”) (Leipzig 1806).

Wilhelm Körte responded to that publication with Kritik der Ehre, Sittlichkeit und des Rechts in F. H. Jacobis Gelegenheitsschrift: Was gebieten Ehre, Sittlichkeit und Recht in Absicht vertraulicher Briefe von Verstorbenen und noch Lebenden (Critique of honor, morals, and justice in F. H. Jacobi’s occasional publication ‘What do honor, morals etc.'”) (Zürich 1806).

See also Schelling’s letter to Caroline on 1 May 1806 (letter 406), who had just made Jacobi’s acquaintance in Munich and discussed this affair. Back.

[21] Schelling responds to this question in his letter to Caroline on 1 May 1806 (letter 406). Back.

[22] Of the Würzburg sculptor Johann Peter Alexander Wagner’s nine children, only four survived to adulthood, including Martin Wagner (Caroline’s reference here) and three daughters. Caroline is thus referring to either Maria Margaretha Wagner (who, incidentally, died on 8 October of 1806), Anna Margaretha Wagner, or Anna Regina Wagner; two daughters shared the middle name Margareta after their mother, Margaretha née Rössinger, whom Peter Wagner had married on 11 August 1767.

Martin Wagner had been in Rome since 31 Mai 1804, where the three Tieck siblings were also living (Ludwig, Friedrich, and Sophie Bernhardi) (William Shepherd, Germany and Italy in 1803, Historical Atlas [New York 1926]; Rome ca. 1720: Liéven Cruyl, Ansicht von Rom mit Tiber, Engelsburg und Kuppel des Petersdoms [ca. 1720]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur Z309):):




[23] Concerning Wilhelm von Humboldt’s presence in Rome, see Schelling’s letter to Georg Friedrich von Zentner on 19 January 1806 (letter 400d), note 12. Back.

[24] Concerning Caroline and Schelling’s latest plans for Rome, see Schelling’s letter to Georg Friedrich von Zentner on 19 January 1806 (letter 400d). Back.

[25] Here a student room without a stove from ca. 1725 (R. Hick et al., Auf Deutschlands hohen Schulen [Berlin 1900], 73):


“Drawing”: uncertain allusion. Back.

[26] I.e., the arrival of the new prince elector. Back.

[27] Schelling departed on Friday, 18 April 1806; or is Caroline referring to the first morning thereafter, Saturday, 19 April? Back.

[27a] Berlinischer Damen-Kalender auf das Jahr 1805; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung:



[28] Brigitte Rossbeck, Zum Trotz glücklich: Caroline Schlegel-Schelling und die romantische Lebenskunst (Munich 2008), 243, suggests that this paragraph and similar statements betray Caroline’s insecurity at having not heard from Schelling yet despite her asseverations of worry and concern (illustrations: [1] König. Großbrit. Genealogischer Kalender auf das 1785. Jahr; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung; [2] Damenkalender zum Nutzen und Vergnügen [Wien 1799; also 1800]; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):

She in her own turn often had to wait much too long for epistolary assurances of affection . . . It may be that Caroline was thus trying to make her husband jealous. Since he had left Würzburg, she explains in various passages and contexts, Martin Heinrich Köhler was zealously playing the Cicisbeo [Italian, the professed gallant and lover of a married woman].


This loyal admirer was allegedly visiting her evenings with “delicate assiduousness,” adding for good measure after her husband had remained suspiciously indifferent: “but only till 9:30.” Unfortunately, stronger medicine was needed before Schelling finally showed his colors. Köhler as his wife’s traveling companion on the journey to Munich [ed. note: Caroline to Schelling on 15 May 1806 (letter 413): “Köhler is being as charmant as possible because he absolutely wants to go along”?] What an absurd idea! He would insist that she kindly keep the Herr Extraordinarius for zoology and material medica at a distance!



[29] Concerning this possibility, see note 3 above. Back.

[30] Concerning the Wiebeking daughters, see Caroline’s letter to Luise Gotter and her daughters on 4 January 1807 (letter 420). Back.

[31] Friedrich Franz and Christian Johannes Riepenhausen’s fourteen engravings in Leben und Tod der heiligen Genoveva (Frankfurt 1806) (Life and death of St. Genviève) , inspired by Ludwig Tieck’s play Das Leben und Tod der heiligen Genoveva, in Tieck’s Romantische Dichtungen, 2 vols. (Jena 1799–1800), 2:1–330 (Tieck had read parts of the play aloud on 14 November 1799 in Jena; see Friedrich Schlegel’s letter to Schleiermacher on ca. 15 November 1799 [letter 255c]), had been advertised in the 14th Beylage (supplement) to the Königlich-Baierische Staats-Zeitung von München (1806) 93 (Saturday, 19 April 1806), n.p., as being available in the Strobel bookstore for 16 Fl., after which the price would be “considerably higher.”

The volume was given a tepid review by the “WKF” (Weimar Friends of the Arts) in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 106 (Monday, 5 May 1806), 239–40.

For the review and a gallery of illustrations, see supplementary appendix 403.1. Back.

[32] Caroline is still referring to the same newspaper supplement, namely, the 14th Beylage (supplement) to the Königlich-Baierische Staats-Zeitung von München (1806) 93 (Saturday, 19 April 1806), n.p. Here a sampling, by no means complete:

A logis with 2 rooms that can be heated and 2 that cannot, cellar, and all conveniences; can be rented immediately on the Schwabingerstrasse outside the Bell Forge, near the tavern in Schönfeld no. 1.

At the Kost Gate, just outside the guard, to the left, no. 54 1/2, one flight up, an apartment is for rent at Georgi [23 April] with 4 rooms, food storage and kitchen, all quite light and airy, and with a splendid view, for a family without children or a single gentleman

At the Kost Gate, a small, extremely comfortable, habitable house for a family along with a small garden is for sale or rent immediately.

On Sendlingstraße, near house no. 12, an entire apartment is to be let with 6 rooms that can be heated and 2 that cannot, quite comfortable alcoves, kitchen, food storage, attic, cellar, wood storage, with or without an extremely spacious room for servants, and with or without stall space for horses and a carriage bay; move in at Michaelmas [29 September].

In an extremely convenient street near the market, accessible by a single staircase, an extremely handsome logis with 8 rooms can be rented immediately. The rooms include 4–5 that can be heated, along with 2 kitchens, a cellar, storage, and various other conveniences. In the same house, a logis on the ground floor is similarly immediately for rent, with 2 rooms, one of which can be heated, also a kitchen.

For an upright gentleman, a large and quite handsome furnished room facing the street, two flights up, is currently for rent on a major thoroughfare.

At Georgi, a logis with 6 rooms, including 4 that can be heated, a kitchen, food storage, wood storage, general storage, and cellar, all quite airy and bright, and with the most pleasant view of the street, to be let on Rochusberg 207, at the New Gate.

In the Sendlin Straße 296, a logis can be rented two flights up at Michaelmas by an honest, quiet family, consisting of 4 rooms, alcoves, kitchen, food and maidservant chambers, and wood storage. For more information, inquire with the owner on the ground floor.

Logis to rent for honest families not far from the Isar Gate, in one of the most handsome locations. etc.

Caroline’s excitement can doubtless be explained in part by the housing problems and anxiety in Würzburg over the past several months.

The Münchner Polizey-Uebersicht (1805), to which Caroline may well have had access, fortuitously includes copious illustrations of citizen residences and street life in Munich at the time, illustrations that not only illuminate her coming letters from Munich but also aid in identifying her later residence.

Click on the image below to open a gallery of a selection from that issue illustrating the residential environment into which Caroline was soon to move:



[33] See the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 32 (Wednesday, 9 April 1806), 270: “Necrologue. On 1 April [1806] in Jena, Dr. August Eduard Kessler died, a private lecturer in medicine there and an extremely promising young man.”

Kessler (1784–1806) was a follower of Schelling’s philosophy of nature in the field of medicine and had the previous year published an examination of the phrenological system of Franz Joseph Gall, Prüfung des Gall’schen Systems der Hirn- und Schädellehre (Jena, Leipzig 1805); see Caroline’s letter to Schelling on 21 April 1806 (letter 402), also with note 6 there. Back.

[34] Vis à vis, Fr., “across from, facing.”

Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:652, notes concerning this passage that “‘Legemeyer’ should probably be read ‘Hegemeier’ (A.L.Z. Intelligenzblatt 1807, no. 9).”

That entry, “Würzburg,” Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1807) 9 (26 January 1807), 74, reads as follows:

Würzburg. The King of Bavaria has assigned the position [in Munich] of the late Dr. Hagenmeier to Herr Dr. Kochler, who since November 1803 has been extraordinarius professor of medicine and natural history there [in Würzburg?].

Although the reference may or may not be to Alois Hagemeier (born 1767), the larger context remains obscure (see also the various name spellings). Schelling may already have been acquainted with this physician in Munich, who seems to have passed away ca. January of the following year. His health issues may have prompted Caroline to mention him in the same paragraph and context as the recently deceased August Eduard Kessler. Back.

[35] Germ. (from Fr.) Manschettenhemden. Back.

[36] Fr., “It is better to be alone at midnight than at midday.” Back.

[37] Not extant, though Caroline remarks in her letter to Meta Liebeskind in Ansbach on 28 April 1806 (letter 404) that in his letter, Schelling had recounts that he had arrived “safe and sound” in Munich. Back.

[38] Here an undated postcard looking approximately up Domstrasse to the Würzburg cathedral towers (Dom); Caroline’s residence in the Old University is just off to the right out of the photograph (map: F. Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg [München, 1845]):



These remarks on 26 April recall that Europe was still lingering in what is known as the Little Ice Age, which lasted in various stages from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. In any event, the Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg 1 (1806) vii, relates that the entire town was worried that the arrival of the prince elector on 1 May 1806 might be ruined by the unstable weather during all of April, and that, indeed, the final day of the month, 30 April, was a day mixed with storms and rain; fortunately, the next day, 1 May, was again sunny and fair. Back.

[39] Perthes was just publishing the second edition of Schelling’s Von der Weltseele, eine Hypothese der höheren Physik zur Erklärung des allgemeinen Organismus (Hamburg: Friedrich Perthes, 1806); see Schelling’s letter to Carl Joseph Windischmann on 17 April 1806 (letter 401f), note 3.

As mentioned above, Adalbert Friedrich Marcus was for a time angling for a position at the Julius Hospital in Würzburg. Back.

[40] See above; Caroline had just visited Sturz the previous Friday or Saturday. Back.

[41] At issue are prospects for Schelling and others to receive appointments outside Würzburg at Bavarian universities in Erlangen or Landshut (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):


Concerning Landshut, see Schelling’s letter to Georg Friedrich von Zentner on 19 January 1806 (letter 400d), note 7. Concerning Erlangen’s status, esp. with respect to the Paulus family, see Dorothea and Friedrich Schlegel’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 23 February 1806 (letter 400h), note 1. Back.

[42] See esp. Schelling’s and Röschlaub’s exchange of letters on 24 August 1805 (letter 395c) and in late September 1805 (letter 397b). Back.

[43] Freely adapted from Shakespeare, As You Like It, act 1, scene 2, spoken by Le Beau to Orlando (Shakespeare Complete Works, ed. W. J. Craig [London 1965]):

Sir, fare you well:
Hereafter, in a better world than this,
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.

In German:

Caroline: “In einer bessern Welt wie diese wünscht man sich also mehr von Deinem werthen Umgang.”

Published version in Wilhelm Schlegel and Caroline’s edition of Shakespeare, vol. 4 (1799), where Caroline and Wilhelm understand “knowledge of you” in the meaning “your company”:

Lebt wohl, mein Herr,
Dereinst, in einer bessern Welt als diese,
Wünsch’ ich mir mehr von eurer Lieb’ und Umgang.”

Ludwig Tieck cites this same passage in his “Briefe über W. Shakspeare,” Poetisches Journal I (1800) 1:18–80, here 28–29:

Do you know how those people seem to me (to whom yourself belong) who are constantly trying to separate and sort out everything, who are always postponing coming to an understanding of the whole and of one’s love of what is most beautiful, and who believe that here, below, one must merely commence in a fine, individual, and dumb fashion? Like Herr Le Beau in As You Like It; for all of you similarly say to those who are good [Tieck now follows the published version above]:

Lebt wohl, mein Herr,
Dereinst, in einer bessern Welt als diese,
Wünsch’ ich mir mehr von eurer Lieb’ und Umgang.

Indeed, I would advise against depending too much on this better world, for if you do not also bring the better world along within yourself, one might very well get along merely as well in the very best as here below. Otherwise, fare you well, my good friend. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott