Letter 445a

445a. Karl Schelling to Schelling in Maulbronn: Stuttgart, 1 September 1809 [*]

Stuttgart, 1 September 1809

Because I have had to run about so much today, I hardly have enough time to send you a few lines. I am quite sorry you are unable to get over your catarrh. [1] Perhaps the better weather will also bring some improvement. [2] I almost cannot bring myself to send you opium, it will doubtless not do you any good, and it causes constipation . . . and the worst part is that it weakens the nerves. In the case of problems with the lower bowels, rhubarb is generally the best remedy, since it does not cause weakness and is the most effective way to reestablish the appropriate tone . . .

Tomorrow I will probably perform eye surgery, [3] and then I am thinking about taking a ride out to Maulbronn the next week after all if at all possible [4] . . .

Stay well, and all the best; my kindest regards to your dear wife; let me know whether you will be there next week. . . .


[*] Source: Fuhrmans 3:626. Back.

[1] Schelling had been ill during much of the preceding summer, initially with catarrhal fever — which now seems to have returned; then with a persistent cough, and finally with an otherwise unidentified eye ailment even after arriving in Stuttgart and Maulbronn (illustration [excerpt]: anonymous, Frau am Krankenbett [ca. 1771–1800]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Graph. Res. C: 1 oben rechts):


See Caroline’s letters to Pauline Gotter on 7 August 1809 (letter 442) and to Philipp Michaelis on 16 August 1809 (letter 443); to Beate Gross in Gaisburg in August 1809 (letter 445); and Schelling’s letters on 7 August to Carl Joseph Windischmann and Martin Wagner.

The irony, of course, is that while Schelling had been struggling with these various ailments since at least late June 1809, over the next few days Caroline contracted an ultimately fatal case of dysentery. Back.

[2] Caroline and Schelling seem to have had inclement autumnal weather since arriving in Ulm on their way to Stuttgart and Maulbronn. Caroline mentions the unfavorable weather in her letters to Meta Liebeskind on 28 August 1809 (letter 444) and to Beate Gross in August 1809 (letter 445) (Jan van de Velde II, Autumnus [1617]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur C Geom. 2° [37]):



[3] Here illustrations of eye doctors, or “oculists,” from an earlier period. Ophthalmology was in any case still not particularly advanced ([1] Christoff Weigel, Abbildung Der Gemein-Nützlichen Haupt-Stände Von denen Regenten Und ihren So in Friedens- als Kriegs-Zeiten zugeordneten Bedienten an biß auf alle Künstler und Handwercker Nach Jede Ambts- und Beruffs-Verrichtungen meist nach dem Leben gezeichnet und in Kupfer gebracht etc. [Regenspurg 1698], illustration following p. 146; [2] the French surgeon Jacques Daviel performing the first cataract surgery in 1747 [anonymous]):




[4] Maulbronn is located ca. 45 km northwest of Stuttgart (Johann Sebastian Gerster, Julius Iwan Kettler, and F. Rösler, Schauenburg’s neue Wand-karte von Baden, Württemberg und Hohenzollern [Lahr 1883]; Bibliothèque nationale de France; illustration: anonymous, Reiter mit Hund in einer Baumlandschaft [n.d.]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur Z 4984):




Translation © 2018 Doug Stott