Letter 427

• 427. Carl Friedrich von Rumohr to Caroline in Munich: Krempelsdorf, early 1808 [*]

Krempelsdorf/Lübeck [early 1808]

My gracious Madame,

|513| It is with impatience that I await the decision concerning the employment of our friends, and at the first definite news I will then hasten to a town that in and of itself is already superior to our space here and that through the enhancement of our circle must of necessity turn into an absolutely splendid place to stay. [1]

As long as Steffens is without an office and public activity, I know that he is unhappy, which is why I cannot yet begin to think about the pleasure awaiting me in connection with living together with all of you in the same town and perhaps even sharing this or that piece of work. [2] It is so invigorating to discuss things with Schelling, to delight in the same things as he, whereas everything here is so painfully full of sadness. [3]

The French are driving me away earlier than I had anticipated. My house is the only inhabited one on this side of town, |514| is essentially just grinning and bearing it all, and is billeted to the point of horror. The noise, filth, and disorder are simply no longer to be borne. The goal now is the complete ruin of northern Germany. All traces of both municipal and estatist freedom must be completely eradicated by this Tartarean riffraff [4] . I am pleased to see that these people are at least not acting with full resolution and rigor, the only thing that can make such a system of occupation last. To that extent, I appreciate the outrageous barbarism, laconic nature, and thieving greed in them. —

Could you perhaps find lodging for me for the beginning of February? It is a great deal to ask of you at the moment, but I am inquiring concerning your own house, which you were hoping to leave in the summer. [5]

Please pardon this bad letter. Obediently,

C. F. Rumohr


[*] Krempelsdorf was one of the estates Rumohr inherited when his father died in 1804 (concerning that inheritance, see his letter to Ludwig Tieck on 26 September 1807 [letter 425b], note 2). Krempelsdorf is located just a few kilometers northwest of Lübeck (H. Lenz, Landeskunde der freien und Hansestadt Lübeck und ihres Gebietes [Breslau 1890], map following p. 23):



[1] Rumohr was hoping Ludwig Tieck would be moving to Munich (he did so during the autumn of 1808) and that Schelling would be able to secure a position for Henrik Steffens, whose plight Rumohr had mentioned earlier in a letter to Tieck on 26 September 1807 (letter 425b); see note 5 there. In that letter to Tieck, Rumohr mentions his own desire to move to Munich after having spent time with Caroline and Schelling on his return from Rome.

See Caroline’s extensive account of her and Schelling’s friendship with Rumohr in her letter to Pauline Gotter on 24 August 1807 (letter 425), also with note 10 there, and Rumohr’s letter to Ludwig Tieck on 26 September 1807 (letter 425b), note 6. Back.

[2] Rumohr had graciously invited Steffens to spend the winter with him at his estate in Krempelsdorf during the winter of 1807–8 (see supplementary appendix 427.1). Steffens returned to Halle during the spring of 1808 (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Besetztere und illuminierte Landkarte von Deutschland Elementarwerk, from the (Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate xlv):



[3] The town of Lübeck, following the brutal siege by the French in connection with the the flight of Generals Blücher and Hohenlohe, autumn 1806, was under French occupation and billeting; see esp. note 3 there. Back.

[4] Here French soldiers plundering Lübeck and foraging off the population after doing battle (Paul Scheckenbach, Der Zusammenbruch Preußens im Jahre 1806 [Jena 1906], 58, 64):




[5] Caroline and Schelling had in fact already moved once from their original residence at Karlsthor 7. The Munich banker Heymann Salomon Pappenheimer had put his Munich apartment at their disposal between late 1807 and April 1808; see his letter to Schelling on 10 May 1808 (letter 432c). The location of this apartment is unfortunately not known. Back.

Translation © 2018 Doug Stott