Letter 416b

416b. Beate Gross to Caroline in Munich: Gaisburg, 25 May 1806 [*]

25 May 1806

. . . The news in the most recent letter from Munich made me indescribably happy; as convinced as I was that Schelling’s situation would become even more pleasant as a result of the new state of affairs, the certainty of it nonetheless moved me to tears [1]

I see a magnificent future ahead for Schelling; now, even under the eyes of great men, they will learn to appreciate and admire the noble, excellent man ever more — nor will any common sort dare come at him any more. May blessings abound for the beautiful royal town! [2]

I cannot deny that it pained me ( . . . you want to leave Würzburg) — for you to have to leave your beautiful, pleasant apartment, and have to give away the tasteful furnishings and such, where I myself witnessed how much struggle and effort it cost you to get it all arranged and finished. [3] How sorry I was! But now it is all in the past —

You will not so easily find another house like that. But that is merely of secondary importance. For now, my dear sister-in-law, accept my most heartfelt, ardent congratulations! May your further sojourn be clouded only by what human life itself brings! . . .

Mother writes me today that they still have French billeting there [4] — poor Mother! For 8 weeks now, she has been serving as the complete host, cooking and baking the whole day long . . . They often have 8 officers for whom she must cook and make the beds [5] — It is the greatest of miracles how the elderly woman endures . . .


[*] Source: Fuhrmans 3:340.

Caroline had been in Munich since 24 May 1806 (first map: Stutgart, mit dero Gegend auf 2 Stund. 81 G. Bodenehr fecit et excudit; Recens emendavit, auxit atque divisit R. H. Stuttgardiae [1716–50]; second map: “Central Europe: Wars of the Third Coalition 1805–7,” Cambridge Modern History Atlas [Cambridge 1912]; illustration: a street and pedestrians of Munich in 1805, i.e., just a year before the Schellings arrived (Münchner Polizey-Uebersicht [1805] no. xxiv [Saturday, 24 August 1805], plate xxxv):





[1] Schelling had a position in Munich as a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Back.

[2] Munich had since January 1806 been the residence of Maximilian I as the king of Bavaria rather than merely prince elector. See Caroline’s letter to Beate Gross in January 1806 (letter 400a), note 1.

The “common sort” is a reference to Schelling’s often vitriolic adversaries from the past several years, esp. when he and Caroline were living in Würzburg, though, likely implied, earlier as well. Back.

[3] Beate Schelling had moved in with the Schellings in Würzburg when they themselves moved to the town in the autumn of 1803. Beate remained until the final week of June 1804, when Schelling and Caroline accompanied her back to Murrhardt.

Concerning Caroline’s furnishings, see her letter to Schelling on 17 May 1806 (letter 415), esp. note 1 with the partial enumeration of items included in her auction and illustrations representative of her apartment. Back.

[4] That is, in Murrhardt. See Karl Schelling’s letter to Schelling on 19 May 1806 (letter 416a), note 1. Back.

[5] Gottliebin Schelling was sixty years old at the time; she likely had one or more cooks or maidservants in the household ([1] C. Heffner and D. Reuss, Neuer Fremdenführer durch Würzburg, Festschrift zur General-Versammlung des Bayer. Verkehrs-Beamten-Vereins am 20., 21. und 22. April 1895 in Würzburg [Würzburg 1895], section 2:26; [2] J. E. Gailer, Neuer Orbis Pictus für die Jugend oder Schauplatz der Natur, der Kunst und des Menschenlebens, 5th ed. [Reutlingen 1842], plate 123):



Quartering, boarding, or otherwise enduring officers and especially common soldiers was always potentially a trying experience; here three unflattering illustrations from the period (Revolutions-Almanach von 1798; Friedens-Almanach von 1803 Als Schluß und Supplement des Revolutions-Almanachs; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):




Translation © 2018 Doug Stott