Letter 450a

450a. Schelling to Martin Wagner in Würzburg: Stuttgart, 5 October 1809 [*]

Stuttgart, 5 October 1809

Rumor, if nothing else, has surely long informed you of the bitter, painful loss I have suffered. Because you knew this excellent woman, you can sense my pain and know what I myself am feeling now. [1] It has taken me weeks just to regain as much composure as I currently have, hence please do excuse my long-delayed answer.

The fulfillment of your promise to come here and continue on with me to Munich would now be doubly desirable. [2] A friend like you would be especially suitable for easing the terrible, lonely journey back. In Munich, moreover, I know very few people indeed with whom I can speak as straightforwardly from the heart as with you — and I am doubly in need of such now that the only beloved being with whom I had a complete and total understanding has been torn from me in so cruel a fashion. Hence let me invite you once again to come here as soon as possible and return to Munich with me.

It would be even more pleasant for me if you could reside with me for the winter. I would, however, like for you to be here by the 14th or 15th, though should a letter of confirmation arrive before that date, I would be glad to wait another few days.

We have much to tell each other; let us sweeten the bitterness of general and personal circumstances together as much as possible. It is, moreover, probably desirable for your future circumstances and plans that you return to Munich. [3]

Please respond soon to

Your sincere friend,


[*] Source: Plitt 2:176. Back.

[1] Concerning Caroline’s equally high esteem for Wagner (a painter “about whom one can genuinely be excited”), see her letter to Pauline Gotter on 16 September 1808 (letter 435). Back.

[2] In a letter to Schelling from Würzburg on 16 June 1809 (Fuhrmans 3:614), Wagner had queried Schelling concerning the possibility, because of problems he was having in Würzburg, of picking up and coming the Munich “lock, stock, and barrel”; see Schelling’s initial invitation on 7 August 1809 (letter 442b). No actual promise from Wagner, however, seems to be documented. Back.

[3] At issue were Wagner’s professional prospects as a painter. In his response to Wagner on 7 August 1809 (letter 442b), Schelling had encouraged Wagner to come and even offered him the use of some of the back rooms in his and Caroline’s apartment for his work.

As it was, Schelling visited Caroline’s gravesite in Maulbronn on 10 October 1809, but Wagner did not accompany him back to Munich. Concerning Wagner’s return to Munich on 7 November and his experiences that winter with Schelling, see letter/document 450b (South West Germany and North Italy: The War of the Second Coalition 1798–1801, map 88 in the Cambridge Modern History Atlas, ed. Ward et al. [London 1912]):



Translation © 2018 Doug Stott