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The Life of August Wilhelm Schlegel

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Roger Paulin

3. The Years with Madame de Staël (1804-1817)

Texte intégral

Holding Things Together

  • 1 The documents are in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (22), 43-58. Herder’s signature on 45. C (...)

1August Wilhelm Schlegel and Caroline were formally divorced in the summer of 1803.1 Herder, before he died in 1803, had had to give his approval as superintendent-general of the Lutheran church and the ducal consistory in Saxe‑Weimar, and Goethe used his good offices with Voigt the minister to see the matter to its conclusion. In their petition to the duke, the divorcing couple cited as grounds ‘diverging aims in life, forced on the undersigned [him] by the pursuit of his literary avocation and [her] by the state of her health, [that] make it impossible for them to live in one and the same place’. If there was more to it than that, and the duke would have been in the know, nobody let on. From now on, Caroline and Schlegel used the formal ‘Sie’ in their letters, but the tone remained friendly. She was now free to marry Schelling, who in 1803 joined the great exodus from Jena, that saw him, Paulus, both Hufelands and others move to universities elsewhere. His career took him first to Würzburg, now the premier Bavarian university, then to Munich as secretary of the Academy of Sciences. Schlegel was to see Caroline again only twice, once in Würzburg in 1804 and once in Munich early in 1808, and on both occasions he was in the company of Madame de Staël.

2If Schlegel sought solace with other women, he kept quiet about it. His name would be linked by some with the actress Madame Unzelmann or with Elisabeth Wilhelmine (Minna) van Nuys, but we need not attach too much to such rumours. As for Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi, she was now seeking comfort with Karl Gregor von Knorring, ever willing however to receive monetary assistance from Schlegel. At the end of 1804, she began her flight from Berlin and Bernhardi, into scandal and divorce. She would meet up with Schlegel again in 1805, in Rome, finding her way there through monies flowing into the voracious Tieck exchequer. Again, he was there by courtesy of Madame de Staël.

  • 2 Expressions which they use at various times
  • 3 Egidio und Isabella, Ein Trauerspiel in drei Aufzügen von Sophie B. was finally published in Dichte (...)
  • 4 Cf. the letter of Paulsen in Brunswick to AWS of 14 January, 1802, about repayment of 100 talers. S (...)

3These are not years in which the Tieck family appeared in the best of lights. Ludwig, ensconced in farthest Ziebingen beyond the Oder, wrote almost no letters to his friend Schlegel, tried the patience of several publishers (to whom he never delivered), and took a countess as a mistress. Friedrich, once the work on the Weimar palace was completed, did write letters to Schlegel, but they were full of self-pity and informed by those alternations of frenzied activity and depressive torpor that was the Tiecks’ trademark. Both did what they could for their sister, and both were agreed that their brother-in-law Bernhardi was a brute, a beast and a monster2 and that Sophie was right in fleeing him with her children—to Weimar, to Munich, and finally to Rome. To be fair: Sophie undoubtedly suffered from bad health and had good reasons for moving to a warmer climate. She was also trying to revive her career as a writer, which with the demands of two small children and ill-health was not easy. One can understand the persistence with which she pressed Schlegel and others to find a publisher for her drama Egidio und Isabella.3 Yet her frequent letters to him from 1804 to 1808 are by the same token begging and manipulative (still hinting darkly that he might be Felix Theodor’s father) and inveterately mercenary (pleading poverty). Schlegel, otherwise ever tidy with his finances, was for most of these years in debt. There were debts going back to 1802, funds raised for Caroline,4 and he had run up more in Berlin (there is in the tiresome and unedifying correspondence with Sophie a recurrent ‘tailor’s bill’ from Berlin that Bernhardi had paid on his behalf). Thus the chance to join Madame de Staël was an opportunity to put his finances on a firm footing, but Sophie’s importunings meant that even the Staël money was not sufficient. It may explain in part why he, who was usually so punctilious, withheld for longer than was proper the repayment of an advance from the publisher Reimer for which he never delivered the manuscript; and it doubtless accounts partly for his journalistic work and occasional poetry, with those ‘Friedrichsd’or per sheet’ that came in so handy.

4His brother Friedrich also needed money. Now in Cologne, giving private lectures on literature to the brothers Sulpiz and Melchior Boisserée and their friend Johann Baptist Bertram, he was suffering from his perennial insouciance in financial matters, but it was also true that there was little money to be careless with. His periodical Europa survived into 1805 and then ceased publication, its sections on Renaissance Christian art in Paris and on medieval painting in Cologne not coming at a moment opportune for a larger readership (which included Madame de Staël). Aghast when he heard that his brother August Wilhelm had accepted a ‘tutor’s post’ with Madame de Staël (he used the word ‘Hofmeister’ which had associations of penurious theological students tutoring the children of the aristocracy), he found himself, when the Boisserée money ceased, teaching classics, then philosophy, in a Lyceum in Cologne, hoping that the French might found a university there or in nearby Düsseldorf. He needed to be in Paris to consult the Persian and Sanskrit manuscripts on which he was working, but he could not afford to live there for any length of time. He too found himself the occasional recipient of Madame de Staël’s largesse, and two longer stays, at Coppet and Auxerre, were a welcome respite. She entrusted to him (in fact to Dorothea) the German translation of her novel Corinne. He even pinned his hopes on some kind of pension from her, in desperation not even despising the chance of a post of ‘Hofmeister’ with a noble family in Rome (it came to nothing). It was not until Madame de Staël went to Vienna in 1808 that she was able to use her considerable influence with high-placed persons to secure Friedrich a post in the Austrian administration.

  • 5 The letters from his mother (only one of his has survived), mostly unpublished, are in SLUB Dresden (...)

5Then there was his aged mother in Hanover. The last years of her life were overshadowed by war and its attendant dangers for the civilian populace: the occupation of Hanover by Prussians, French, Russians, requisitions, the quartering of troops, the devaluation of currency (her ‘Pancion’), shortage of food and the threat of real penury. Her letters, which are a challenge to decipher, deal mainly with her family and their careers and prospects, and with money, of necessity her priorities. Yet amid the mass of Schlegel’s correspondence, with its all-consuming and unrelenting literary professionalism, it is heart-warming to find a simple letter from his mother: ‘My dear, best son. I can find no words to tell you how great my joy was when I received your letter’.5 Thus his former lover, his brother, and his mother all received monies, the source of much of which was Madame de Staël.

  • 6 For much of my account of Madame de Staël I have found Christopher Herold’s entertaining, informati (...)
  • 7 Caroline, II, 536.

6Yet before we embark on the account of the thirteen years of his association with her, the major climacteric of his life,6 we need to see the years 1804‑07 and indeed those up to 1812 in their proper perspective. They were years of crisis, unrest, journeyings, abrupt changes of domicile, the years of Austerlitz, Jena, Wagram, then the Russian campaign. Hanover, as said, was full of troops, but so was Berlin; Weimar was sacked; Caroline and Schelling lived through a French occupation of Würzburg; the country houses of Schlegel’s friends and correspondents Countess Voss and Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué in the Mark of Brandenburg were plundered. Spies and secret police were everywhere. Caroline spoke for everyone when she wrote in 1808 of the Tiecks: ‘These people are always on the move, and the other good friends live a nomadic existence’.7 Those who could found bolt holes: the ancient university town of Heidelberg, protected from Napoleon’s armies by Baden’s astute politics, was one. Coppet was another, but even it proved not to be safe in the long run. On a personal level, the groups associated with Jena and Berlin split into two camps, depending on how they stood in the matter of the Bernhardi divorce: Fichte, Schleiermacher, Fouqué, Schütz against the Tiecks and Schlegels.

  • 8 August Wilhelm Schlegel an Fouqué. Genf, 12. März 1806’, SW, VIII, 142-153.

7Yet somehow one person held all this together: Schlegel. Leaving aside material and personal matters, it was he who acted as a focal point for so many, not of course in matters of philosophy, where Schelling and Fichte (and to some extent Friedrich Schlegel) went their own ways, but in formulating and stating the purpose and message of poetry. Goethe had always done this, but after Schiller’s death in 1805 he was to find the Romantic generation ever less to his taste, especially its older representatives and most particularly those who affected a Catholicizing attitude to art. The Elective Affinities, the Italian Journey, his autobiographical writings, were to record his growing disenchantment, and his correspondence with Schlegel all but ceased. Thus people turned to Schlegel, younger writers, editors, publishers, despite his being in distant Coppet. Some of the Romantic message of Jena and Berlin was getting through, even if in fragmentary form (such as the excerpts from Schlegel’s Berlin lectures in periodicals); his Shakespeare and Calderón translations were still present in people’s minds (and in print), and his publishers pressed him for more. When Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué wrote to him in 1806 about his plans for dramas on Germanic themes, he received the makings of a lecture on patriotic poetry and on the continuing solidarity of the Romantic school.8 Goethe in 1805 was to learn that the artists working in Rome were no longer beholden to the doctrines of Weimar. German readers of the works that emerged in the Coppet circle, the elegy Rom dedicated to Madame de Staël, or the controversial Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide, would see a distinctly German approach to issues that resonated differently in France, while his Vienna Lectures of 1808 would be a proclamation of the German view of drama and the creative processes associated with it.

Germaine de Staël-Holstein

8There was nothing inevitable about his joining the circle of a celebrity like Madame de Staël. Although but one year older than Schlegel, her name already had so many resonances as a political and cultural cipher in both ancien-régime and post‑Revolutionary France, her presence and personality were so dominating and powerful, her career, even up to 1804 when they first met, had been so turbulent and not without its brushes with the authorities and even with death. The Baroness Germaine de Staël-Holstein was a person so utterly different from Schlegel that the events surrounding his career might seem petty and insignificant by contrast. Were not the doings in Jena or Weimar or Berlin, the literary polemics, the frenzied exchanges of insults, the Fichte affair, the Ion fiasco, but storms in a teacup when compared with her close run with the Terror, clandestine escape, exile in England, playing for high stakes in the Directory and then being in the bad books of the First Consul? There was her very background: Edward Gibbon had (unsuccessfully) wooed her mother; as a child she had accompanied her father, the Genevan banker Jacques Necker, to England. He in his turn was to become Louis XVI’s minister of finances, leaving patrician Geneva for the uncertainties of 1780s Paris and the still greater incertitudes of the early 1790s. Their name might not be aristocratic, but it denoted one of the first families of a Swiss city-state, and a style of living that was in every respect noble. Marrying the Swedish envoy to France, Baron Erik Magnus Staël von Holstein in 1786 made Germaine a baroness, but it was not long before she was a grande dame in her own right and running a political salon without the baron’s assistance. There was around her, too, the aura, the whiff of scandal.

  • 9 Madame de Staël, Considérations sur la Révolution française, ed. Jacques Godechot (Paris: Tallandie (...)

9She had as well the knack of being there when great things were happening, seeing the procession of the Estates General in 1789, the march on Versailles and the return of the royal family to Paris, the sight of the distraught queen in July 1792; there was her own escape from the mob in the same year, her first exile in England, coming back under the Directory. She had had a tête-à-tête with Bonaparte before the great events of 1799 and had returned from Coppet to Paris to coincide with the 18th Brumaire. She had not heeded Bonaparte’s pronouncement to another lady, ‘Madame, je n’aime pas que les femmes se mêlent de politique’ [‘Madam, I do not like women meddling in politics’],9 and had found herself banished from Paris and eventually in a second exile.

10But how was it that this highly politicised personality, with her finger on the cultural pulse of the Directory and of Consular France yet writing against the grain of its official culture, became involved with a figure so different as Schlegel? Or that he, hitherto sedulously unpolitical (if one overlooked those unfortunate poems of homage), became totally, abjectly devoted to her up to her death in 1817, dependent on her movements, propelled to the most unlikely places because of promulgations against her, sharing her exiles, reliant on her largesse, so that even the work most associated with his name, the Vienna Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature of 1808, might not have come about without her intervention?

  • 10 Werner Greiling, ‘Die Deutsch-Franzosen“. Agenten des französisch-deutschen Kulturtransfers um 180 (...)

11It has been rightly remarked that intercultural transfers—for that is the grand name for Madame de Staël’s whole involvement with Germany—do not come about in the abstract: they require key persons to experience the alien culture at first hand.10 But in her case—for her motives were never simple—the circumstances were complex: they involved the genuine desire to make herself acquainted with Germany and things German, her relations with the political powers that be (Bonaparte), the search for a suitable tutor for her sons, companionship—the list does not end there. It is not easy to separate strands which in real life are closely interwoven.

  • 11 französische Unbestimmtheit’. Goethe to Schiller 6 October, 1795. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Schill (...)
  • 12 Zeiten der Fehde’, Schiller to Goethe 1 November, 1795. Gräf-Leitzmann, I, 112.

12She had already shared a forum with Schlegel when Goethe translated her Essai sur les fictions (as Versuch über die Dichtungen) for inclusion in Die Horen in 1796 (in the same year as Schlegel’s Wilhelm Meister essay), Schiller having overcome Goethe’s misgivings about ‘French lack of clarity’.11 It was a relatively conventional tract when compared with the experiments Goethe himself was conducting with the novel, not to speak of the young Romantics. But whereas for Goethe and Schiller these were times for throwing down the gauntlet in literary feuds,12 she—and her lover Benjamin Constant—were deep in real politics in Paris.

  • 13 Comtesse Jean de Pange, Mme de Staël et la découverte de l’Allemagne (Paris : Malfère, 1929), 11-15
  • 14 She met Humboldt in Paris in 1798 through the good offices of the Swedish legation secretary Karl G (...)
  • 15 Axel Blaeschke, ‘Über Individual-und Nationalcharakter, Zeitgeist und Poesie. De l’influence des pa (...)
  • 16 Passage quoted in Kurt Müller-Vollmer, Poesie und Einbildungskraft. Zur Dichtungstheorie von Humbol (...)

13She knew such recent literature on Germany as there was in France (Marmontel, La Harpe, Grimm),13 and her Swiss friend Henri Meister was a useful intermediary between the two cultures. Having had the Essai sur les fictions published by Goethe and being flattered by his attention, she arranged through Meister to have a copy of her De l’influence des passions sent to him in October of 1796; Schiller showed some interest, but never included it in Die Horen. Goethe in his turn sent her Wilhelm Meister, which she could not read. In Wilhelm von Humboldt, who spent the years 1797 to 1801 in Paris, she found someone to help her with the rudiments of the German language, or most likely the second envoy in the Swedish embassy, Karl Gustav von Brinkman,14 whom she would also later meet in Berlin and Stockholm. Humboldt would do his best to introduce her to Kant, Fichte and Schiller and wean her away from her indebtedness to French sensualism,15 even producing for her a French version of his Ueber Göthes Hermann und Dorothea where she could read that ‘German poetry is still unknown in the greater part of Europe. Only a few chosen authors are known by name, themselves only in largely inadequate translations […] Rich in profound thoughts and in noble and delicate sentiments, it is rising daily to the greatest simplicity and elegance of ancient forms’.16

  • 17 Sweet, I, 225-227.
  • 18 Madame de Staël, Charles de Villers, Benjamin Constant. Correspondance, ed. Kurt Kloocke et al. (Fr (...)

14But Humboldt was equally caught up in observing the heady politics of the Directory and Consulate, noting astutely the rising career of General Bonaparte.17 Charles de Villers, a French émigré in Germany and an enthusiast for things German, especially Kant, on whom he wrote the first book in French, had a circle of contacts that included Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Goethe’s old friend. The links strengthened when Jacobi came to Paris in 1801. It was through Jacobi that Villers was apprised of two very different, but related, matters: Staël’s wish to be acquainted with the doctrines of Kant and her search for a suitably qualified young German to act as a tutor to her sons.18

  • 19 Letter to First Consul 13-24 September, 1803. Madame de Staël, Correspondance générale, ed. Béatric (...)

15All this would not of itself have produced a German journey in the form that it did. The fact was that Madame de Staël did precisely what Napoleon Bonaparte said women should not do: she meddled in politics. And she wrote books that could be construed as a critique of the society in which she was living. Her lover Benjamin Constant was directly involved in politics not of Bonaparte’s liking. Her salon in Paris was frequented by persons from all political spectrums, even the Bonaparte brothers, Joseph and Lucien, but it had the reputation of being disrespectful of authority and generally indiscreet. She was close to the generals who were plotting against Napoleon: one of them, Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, was later to play a central role in her life and in Schlegel’s. She did not heed warnings. Bonaparte did not want her in Paris and encouraged her to join her father and her children in Coppet on Lake Geneva (she was by now estranged from her husband). She came back nevertheless. Napoleon had her placed under the surveillance of his minister of police, Joseph Fouché. Back she went to Coppet. Matters came to a head when, in the late summer of 1803, she settled at a distance of ten leagues from Paris, the precinct to which she was relegated, then gradually but unwisely moving closer to Paris itself. Fouché informed her that she would be conveyed under military escort back to Coppet. A direct appeal to Napoleon himself was rebuffed; an officer in civilian dress appeared, to carry out the order. She appealed to the respective ‘bonté’ of the First Consul and his brother Joseph,19 but the only concession that she received was the granting of a passport to visit the German lands.

16Napoleon had not enjoyed the two major works of the period 1800-03, her treatise De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales [On Literature Considered in Relation to Social Institutions] (1800) and her novel Delphine (1803). There was, as we shall see, much in De la littérature that would appear inadequate or dated to a reader acquainted with the new German literary criticism. Napoleon would however have noted its cosmopolitan outreach, its admiration for England and its civilisation (and for a Germany as yet but imperfectly understood), along with its occasionally qualified affirmation of French classicism. Her belief in progress contained a critique of autocratic institutions. Her praise of the middle Ages as a force for civilisation in its time broke with the view of monkish retardation put about by the French Enlightenment. Her enthusiasm for the North (including Napoleon’s favourite, Ossian) might be construed as allowing dark forces into the classical light of the South, the Midi. Despite her defence of the novel as a force for the depiction and the uplifting of moeurs, Delphine seemed to present a society in turmoil, and one that exacted its punishment on female nonconformity.

  • 20 Considérations, 111.
  • 21 To Necker, 27 October, 1803, Correspondance générale, V, i, 85.
  • 22 Simone Balayé, Madame de Staël. Écrire, lutter, vivre. Pref. Roland Mortier, afterword Frank Paul B (...)
  • 23 To J.-B.-A. Suard, 4 November, 1803, Correspondance générale, V, i, 92.

17Thus, having not read the signs and unwilling to compromise with what she saw as tyranny, Madame de Staël landed in exile. There was nothing unfamiliar in this. Necker had been exiled in 1787, at forty leagues from Paris20 (as she would again in 1807), and she had spent part of 1792‑93 in England, an exile from the Terror. Now began those ‘ten years of exile’ that her later book, Dix années d’exil, would document with fervid and righteous indignation. She would not live in Paris again for any length of time until 1814: at most she would savour the life of the French provinces. When not actually travelling—in Germany, in Italy, in the Austrian lands—she was in the family château of Coppet. She affected to dislike this residence, but there, as in nearby Geneva, which also she claimed to hate, would foregather the most extraordinary cosmopolitan group of European Romanticism. It was all very well making dramatic postures—’I have a sorrow gnawing at the bottom of my heart for that France, for that Paris, which I love more than ever’21—with attendant self-stylisations and identifications with the great exiles (Ovid, Dante) or great tragic heroines.22 Another side of her saw the chance that exile afforded: already in November of 1803 she could write of ‘mon voyage littéraire’,23 a preformulation of the later De l’Allemagne.

  • 24 The day-to-day itinerary can be traced in Simone Balayé (ed.), Les carnets de voyage de Madame de S (...)
  • 25 Madame de Staël, De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales, ed. (...)

18There were practical considerations for her attention. She would go where she knew people. She need not have given it a thought: the news that this famous authoress and adversary of Napoleon had arrived would open doors anywhere and at the highest levels.24 She wanted to discuss Kant with Villers in Metz; Frankfurt would be the next stage, then Gotha, where Baron Melchior Grimm, an old survivor of the siècle des lumières and a former friend of her father’s, was now living; Weimar was a ‘must’, and Berlin, where Brinkman now was, would surely receive her in style. And so it was. The journey into exile had much of a royal progress into the highest echelons of German society. Already in her De la littérature she had spoken of Germany’s ‘feudal regime’,25 and the nature of her contacts was not likely to alter that impression. If she saw the common people—landlords, ostlers, chambermaids, scullions—they did not merit mention.

Madame de Staël and Germany

19Madame de Staël, Benjamin Constant, two children and a bevy of servants left the vicinity of Paris on 23 October 1803 on their way to Germany. She took with her her eldest, Auguste, the slightly staid and unimaginative but essentially reliable boy of thirteen, later to be her standby, and the youngest, Albertine, still a small girl, not yet the vivacious teenager who would grow up to become the duchess de Broglie. The middle son, Albert, the problem child, unpredictable and scatterbrained, stayed in Coppet with his grandfather Necker. The welfare and education of these boys was to be the immediate reason for Schlegel’s joining Madame de Staël.

  • 26 To Necker, Correspondance générale, V, i, 135.

20Although no ordinary traveller, shewas to know the travails ofjourneying with small children, inns, squalor, and deep winter snow. Constant’s presence as far as Weimar was reassuring,26 and his spoken German was better than hers. Ten days were spent at Metz, where Charles de Villers gave her a crash course on Kant, not leaving her much the wiser. The sojourn in Frankfurt was extended to three weeks: Albertine went down with scarlet fever (or so it was believed). She was fortunate to be in Frankfurt and to be Madame de Staël’s daughter, for one of Germanys’ greatest physicians, Samuel Thomas Sömmering, lived there and attended her. The banker Bethmann, once less welcoming to an impecunious Friedrich Schlegel, received her. Bettina Brentano—if she was not embellishing as usual— remembered Delphine being read aloud in Bethmann’s house.

  • 27 Carnets de voyage, 381.
  • 28 1 January, 1804. Correspondance générale, V, i, 174-176.

21Friedrich Schlegel’s progress to Paris had been a symbolic journey. Hers to Germany may be compared with his in the other direction, except that his was voluntary, hers enforced. Both were driven by curiosity, he filled with the sense that the wealth of knowledge amassed in Paris should be made available to the Germans (and on their terms), she with the awareness that the French needed to be made acquainted with the philosophy and literature of what was for so many an unknown country. The product of his journey was the essentially German-centred periodical Europa, while De l’Allemagne, yet to emerge, was to be an account of Germany skewed by her own experience. For it needs to be said that the recital there of German institutions—literary, educational, political—had a marked slant towards those persons and those places that she actually visited; and as with England there was to be next to no reference to the lower orders.27 For how else could one account for the mention of minor figures like Tiedge, Böttiger or Knebel, all of whom she met. The hope of meeting Jacobi28 never came about.

  • 29 Ibid., 135.
  • 30 Benjamin Constant, Journaux intimes, ed. Alfred Roulin and Charles Roth (Paris: Gallimard, 1952), 5 (...)
  • 31 Ibid., 53, 59.
  • 32 Correspondance générale, V, i, 179.
  • 33 Journaux intimes, 54.
  • 34 Goethe’s ‘Der Gott und die Bajadere’ and ‘Die Braut von Korinth’, ‘Der Fischer’, and Schiller’s ‘Si (...)

22As they progressed through the snow to the residence of Gotha, she could write to her father that ‘There is something Gothic in their way of living, although something of the eighteenth century in their knowledge and insights’,29 a very fair summing up of an ancien régime just still in existence. But Weimar (14 December 1803 to 1 March 1804) was different. Separating briefly from Constant, who joined them discreetly in Weimar, installed in the ‘Werthernhaus’, she waited for doors to open, which they duly did. We may pass lightly over her unconventional attire and headdress, her volubility, her receiving visitors in bed—for a celebrity need not be conventional. There was no love for the First Consul in Weimar, and everyone seemed to have read Delphine. Karl August and his duchess, Louise (she would correspond with the duchess over a longer period), also the dowager duchess Anna Amalia30 received her graciously. There were visits to the theatre: Schiller’s Maria Stuart and Die Jungfrau von Orleans [Joan of Arc] and Goethe’s Die natürliche Tochter [The Natural Daughter] were promised, but they saw instead Andromaque and some comedies, even a piece by Kotzebue.31 Goethe, once he could be persuaded to come over from Jena, she found ‘had put on weight’,32 and conversation was strained (Constant, reading Herder’s Ideen, confiding in his journal, found Goethe tainted by Spinozism and Schellingian mysticism and indifferent to politics).33 Schiller in court dress she mistook for a general and found that he spoke indifferent French. To show her good will, she translated ballads by both into French.34

  • 35 Journaux intimes, 53.
  • 36 SW, XI, 337-346.
  • 37 Originally published by Karl Emil Franzos, ‘Eine Denkschrift Knebels über die deutsche Literatur’, (...)
  • 38 See James Vigus, ‘Zwischen Kantianismus und Schellingianismus : Henry Crabb Robinsons Privatvorlesu (...)
  • 39 Journaux intimes, 58.
  • 40 Henry Crabb Robinson, Essays on Kant, Schelling, and German Aesthetics, ed. James Vigus, Modern Hum (...)
  • 41 Ernst Behler, ‘Madame de Staël à Weimar : 1803-1804. Un témoignage inconnu de K. A. Böttiger et deu (...)

23Yet there was no doubting their pre-eminence and significance. As if to reinforce this, the ubiquitous Böttiger, ‘without taste and ponderous in his manners’ (Constant)35 persuaded the translator Karl Ludwig von Knebel, whose Propertius Schlegel had once reviewed,36 to produce a short account of German literary culture.37 It established a hierarchy of Klopstock, Lessing, Wieland (who had charmed Madame de Staël), Herder and Goethe (not Schiller) and had issued the usual lament on German insularity and Germany’s lack of a capital, history and a culture comparable with the French and English. Then there was Kant. Henry Crabb Robinson, diarist, gossip, and connoisseur of things German, ‘cultural transfer’ in person, once a student of Schelling’s in Jena, undertook to explain the Kantian system.38 If she comprehended anything, it was that the beautiful ‘must have no object outside of itself’, which Constant reformulated as ‘l’art pour l’art’.39 He also gave her a short run-down of the main features and works of the Schlegel brothers, ‘the most piquans in the whole compass of German Criticism’, whose ‘criticisms are written with more esprit than almost any german Works’.40 Historiography also made an appearance in Weimar in the person of Johannes von Müller, the author of the history of the Helvetic republic, now quitting Austrian service to become court historian in Berlin and later a visitor in Coppet. The same Böttiger also assiduously wrote down what he saw and heard of Madame de Staël.41 Lacking good looks, she was reliant on her conversation to charm others and on her frankness to conquer convention. That it seems is how she managed to raise the subject of ‘feudalism’ with the duke, missing as she did the free exchange of public opinion that she knew and loved in England and the gallantry towards ladies that made French salon culture so agreeable.

  • 42 Goethe to Schlegel 1 March, 1804. August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel im Briefwechsel mi (...)

24Weimar also produced an account of the Romantic school that had once been assembled in nearby Jena. Robinson certainly explained Schelling’s system to her. She also mentioned her search for a tutor for her sons. Goethe believed that Schlegel would be the right man, and Crabb Robinson went even further: ‘It was I who first named [Schlegel] to Madame de Staël and who gave Madame de Staël her first ideas of German literature’.42 The second statement is certainly true. One wonders what criteria were behind these sponsorships. Goethe, having seen Schlegel in Jena with Auguste Böhmer, would have known that he was fond of children. Schlegel doubtless kept quiet about his time as a ‘Hofmeister’ in Göttingen and Amsterdam, securely in the past. Now, he was a professor.

  • 43 Götze, 101.
  • 44 Correspondance générale, V, i, 259f., 262.
  • 45 Carnets de voyage, 445.

25Constant accompanied them from Weimar to Leipzig and returned via Weimar to Coppet. The diminished party left for Berlin on 1 March 1804. She did not come unannounced. The Berlin gazette gave news of her impending arrival, and she came armed with letters of introduction—as if she needed them—from Duke Karl August, while Brinkman, Johannes von Müller and the Prince of Orange (an old Paris acquaintance) were there to receive her.43 Were one to take the account in Dix Années d’exil as a guide, one might assume that she spent most of her time at court or with the high nobility, such as Princess Radziwill, the duchess of Courland or duke Ferdinand of Brunswick, the entrées secured by Brinkman.44 It might account for her later view, expressed in De l’Allemagne, that Berlin seemed to be preoccupied with enjoying itself. That source would not tell us that Prince Louis Ferdinand of Prussia—to die a hero’s death at the battle of Saalfeld in 1805—was habitually drunk,45 or that Albertine at a court party slapped the face of a small boy who was later to be King of Prussia. She does mention the Moreau-Pichegru conspiracy against Napoleon, word of which reached her in Berlin, and it was Prince Louis Ferdinand who brought her in person the news of the execution on 20 March, 1804 of the duke d’Enghien—further examples of Napoleon’s tyranny.

  • 46 The source of this much-quoted anecdote seems to be George Ticknor, Life, Letters and Journals, 2 v (...)

26She also attended the salons of the duchess of Courland and of Rahel Varnhagen (she and Rahel were later to diverge in their political and ethical views). She met Nicolai, Goethe’s friend Zelter, and Fichte, whose attempt to explain his system in ‘a matter of a quarter of an hour’ failed dismally,46 even Kotzebue. And she met August Wilhelm Schlegel.

The Meeting of Staël and Schlegel

27The first mention of Schlegel’s name was in a note to Brinkman of 14 March, inviting him to her apartment, where Schlegel already was. First impressions were more than favourable and she could write to her father on 23 March in these terms:

  • 47 Correspondance générale, V, i, 284.

I have met here a man who displays more knowledge and wit in literary matters than anyone I know; it is Schlegel. Benjamin will tell you that he has some standing in Germany, but what Benj. does not know is that he speaks French and English like a Frenchman and an Englishman, and that he has read everything under the sun, although he is only 36. I am doing what I can to urge him to come with me. He will not be my children’s tutor; he is too distinguished for that, but he will give lessons: Albert during the months he spends at Coppet, and I will gain a great deal for the work that I am planning. Benjamin will enjoy his conversation on the subjects close to his heart, and most importantly, I am sure that he will not displease you, as his manners are simple and discreet, and it will give you pleasure to see each one of us in his study hard at work.47

  • 48 Briefe, II, 79.
  • 49 Correspondance générale, V, i, 300, 304.
  • 50 Ibid., 300.
  • 51 Auguste was at school at the Graues Kloster with Alexander von der Marwitz and the eldest son of th (...)

28The points that Madame de Staël makes in this letter are, in order, Schlegel’s reputation in Germany (another ‘prize’ for her group), his fluency in French and English (effectively giving her the linguistic advantage nevertheless), not a mere teacher (but one with pedagogical experience: she had attended the very end of his Berlin Lectures),48 a right-hand man for the projected De l’Allemagne, and a conversationalist. A few days later she could add that she was receiving lessons in German literature from Schlegel and was ‘charmed by his wit’.49 On 31 March,50 there were certain qualifications: she still needed a ‘a musician secretary and someone to take the boys for walks’ (Schlegel would function as the latter), but all would be perfect, Schlegel was just the right man, no beauty and hardly seductive, but inexhaustible in conversation, more than a match for the assembled wiseacres in Geneva, and someone to ward off the solitude of Coppet. Thus Schlegel appeared as the ideal person for the scholarly retreat which she and the circle must now inhabit, not so much for the ‘monde’ that also formed an essential part of it. It was an arrangement that suited the situation of exile, where in his own way Schlegel would become indispensable. On the practical side, her son Auguste had been placed in one of Berlin’s top Gymnasien: six months of Latin and Greek would set him up to take the entrance examination for the École polytechnique for which he was destined.51

  • 52 Cf. Madeleine Bertrand, ‘Conclusions’, in : Roger Marchal (ed.), Vie des salons et activités littér (...)

29As yet, all seemed so smooth and unproblematic. But there were lessons to be learned and manners to be acquired. Schlegel, in accepting employment and companionship with Madame de Staël, would have to keep back some of the prejudices that his reviews and his lectures in Berlin had so forthrightly expressed, against French classicism (not against neo-classicism as such), against the eighteenth century, against a facile belief in progress, against English literature and culture after Shakespeare. Whereas his statements effectively placed a caesura between all pre-Romantic German literature (before Goethe) and what followed, he would have to find a means of coexistence with a patroness who respected Wieland and Schiller, who was on good terms with Böttiger, who had visited Nicolai; for whom French classical drama was still part of a living continuity and which she herself performed; who revered all things English; who when in Italy was as much interested in the Italian late Enlightenment, Alfieri, Cesarotti, above all Vincenzo Monti, as she was in Dante, Petrarch or Ariosto. He would soon establish that she and her circle evinced a good deal of scepticism (and worse) for the cherished notions of poetry and art that he had been expounding in Jena and Berlin and were much more open in their judgments on things German and far less censorious. The Coppet circle was not to be a continuation of Jena, nor was it a salon.52 It was, as he soon found out, a place for discussions, not for holding forth. Dogmatism, over-eager insistence, intolerance, gratuitous acerbity and polemics were not part of this style, as they had been in Jena and still were in Berlin.

30Doubtless he was at first dazzled by her presence and her conversation, she by his erudition. There would be time to think over the details of their working relationship. Assuming that she attended the very last part of his Berlin Lectures, and assuming that she was able to follow them, she would have heard his section on Italian poetry of which she was a ready recipient and on which she had already pronounced. Had they thought about their differences? For if one were to take the respective works by Schlegel and Madame de Staël that might be at all comparable, these would be De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales (1800) and the Berlin lectures. Except, of course, that both authors had moved on since then, or were in the process of so doing. She may not yet have read the Athenaeum and Charakteristiken und Kritiken, but she knew their main thrust; all that she could have known of the Berlin Lectures that was in print was his philippic against modern German literature and his expanded piece on Calderón, both in Europa. His shrill anti-Enlightenment tone in the one and his warm affirmation in the other would inform her that this was no admirer of the siècle des lumières but by the same token one unworried by the Spanish Inquisition. Clearly, their notions of human progress diverged irreconcilably. She in her turn had meanwhile been attacked by Chateaubriand and was allergic to the aesthetic Christianity that he was propounding. This may explain some of the challenges issued initially by the Coppet circle to Schlegel’s Catholicizing and medievalizing views.

  • 53 An einen Helden’, SW, I, 356. See Barbara Besslich, Der deutsche Napoleon-Mythos. Literatur und Er (...)
  • 54 Madame de Staël, De la littérature, 66.
  • 55 Ibid., 239, 237.

31But it is also more than likely that these things did not worry her and were not an obstacle to his being part of her entourage. They had probably not had time to discuss politics, but he doubtless never mentioned that embarrassing Italian sonnet to Bonaparte, or another in German to a thinly-veiled ‘hero’.53 It is hardly conceivable that Schlegel—knowing of him what we do—had not read De la littérature and had not registered the affronts to his beliefs that much of it represented. They could not even begin to agree on most of the crucial points for which she stood. She had sought to extract from the French Revolution as much as might be beneficial for France and for humankind in general, even when this involved perilous engagement in politics. He knew from the bans and edicts issued against Caroline and from the Fichte affair that German professors had to steer clear of political entanglements. For Schlegel at this stage was not interested in questions of liberty, the cosmopolitan connotations of literature, or the social values of the novel, in old issues that still echoed in France under new guise, such as the Querelle des anciens et des modernes or the divide between North and South, especially a notion of the North that had Bards, Skalds, Danes, Scots and Ossian in unhistorical hugger-mugger. There would be time for their views to converge on some points: for instance, knowing that she was concerned with the relation of Racine to Euripides may have been one factor among many in his decision to compare the two Phaedra stories.54 In Schlegel’s eyes—and others’—she clearly would have a lot to learn about German literature, although she did already sense that German ideas were ‘less practical’ and the German lands subject to a ‘feudal regime’.55 Take human progress: for her, something continuous, uninterrupted, towards perfection; for him an undulating process, subject to rise and fall (Herder), or elliptical, as one moved towards the sun or away from it (Hemsterhuis). On French culture in general, there was his ostinato voice of hostility; and there was more to come in that Comparaison of 1807 and in the Vienna Lectures. He might agree with her on the creative encounter of North and South, one of her main theses, but he was not troubled, at least at this stage, by the ‘servitude of the South’ that so exercised her. Then there were the real red rags like her bracketing of Homer and Ossian! There would be time for both of them to become somewhat more accommodating. The great work that was to become De l’Allemagne was already taking shape in her mind and would advance views on religion, art, and education that in 1800 had not yet been developed. Like her heroine Corinne in Italy she would become more conciliatory towards Catholicism.

  • 56 It is already there in Haym, Minor and Ricarda Huch, informs much of Josef Körner, ‘August Wilhelm (...)

32There was no question of his ever becoming her cicisbeo, her cavaliere servente, her Hausfreund, although tongues wagged in Berlin when their association became known. At most perhaps Benjamin Constant, who spent the rest of the years after 1804 agonizing over whether he should or should not marry her, saw Schlegel as a potential rival. But anyone trying to press for her attentions would soon discover that she was capricious in her emotional attachments and allowed herself to be captivated by men who, on the face of it, were unsuited to her (after 1804, Monti, Souza, O’Donnell, then Rocca). Their relationship has been seen as slavish devotion (his to her), but also an increasing dependence (she on him). It has led to all kinds of speculation about his sexuality (or its lack), his willing domination, his submission to women, pathological traits which he may or not have had, his failure to enter into any kind of lasting bond. It has permeated an old-fashioned vitalist literary criticism that sees Schlegel the translator or commentator as merely receptive, not creative.56 It lays too much store by malicious gossip. It takes us into areas which the modern biographer treads at his or her peril. Above all, it overlooks the sheer extraordinariness of Germaine de Staël. For Schlegel was not the only man who was to be driven to near-distraction by her. She overturns biographical certitudes; she is a phenomenon of nature.

  • 57 The fabulous sum of 12,000 francs annually, in the literature since Pange, has been corrected by Kö (...)
  • 58 Letter to Brinkman of 12 or 13 April, 1804, Correspondance générale, V, i, 324.

33Both sides—the mutual dependence—need to be emphasised, for he was always there (the 2,000 francs salary was an incentive), unlike the inconstant Benjamin Constant, or Prosper de Barante or Mathieu de Montmorency, ex-lovers and friends who moved in and out of the Coppet circle as their inclinations and activities—in Constant’s case the hope of emotional favours—took them. Thus in one sense Schlegel was bound, yet in another he was free, free of the pressing need for ready income. He was no longer beholden to publishers and review editors, all and sundry, and could pick and choose, except of course when the subject was her Racinian roles or her novel Corinne. It gave him security in uncertain times. His movements in the years 1804-08 were determined by her itineraries and her exiles. There were none of the frantic peregrinations of his brother Friedrich or the Tieck family. He escaped the worst of the political turmoil in Germany after 1806 (and indeed until 1812). If there were frequent journeyings with Madame de Staël, at least they did not involve his own exchequer and they always had a firm domestic base that involved both adults and children. Thus it was that Schlegel could provide a solid ground, a focal point, moral and financial support even, for an extended Romantic circle, a Jena in diaspora. The real conditions of his service were set out before he left Berlin with her and her two children. If he were to stay for only six months, he would receive 60 Louis, if permanently 120 Louis annually (about 240 francs monthly).57 Other teachers would take the burden off him and leave his mornings undisturbed. Once the children’s education was completed, he would be free to remain with her on the same footing, with a pension of 120 louis or, should he leave, either with an annuity of 60 louis or a lump sum of 10,000 livres de France. She hoped for the former, for ‘as long as I live, he will have contributed effectively to my happiness, which will perhaps prolong my life’.58 These were perhaps very Neckerian calculations, predicated on his not marrying and his living a life of service and devotion. That devotion was soon to be put to the test.

  • 59 Journaux intimes, 80f. and 80-89 for the remainder.
  • 60 Krisenjahre, I, 78; 78-82 for the rest.

34Already in Berlin, she had learned that her father was gravely ill. This led to a hasty departure for Weimar on 19 April. Her father meanwhile had died in Geneva on 9 April. Constant, hardly arrived back in Coppet, left at breakneck speed for Weimar, reaching there at midnight on 20 April. The Staël party was there on 22 April, and it was he who had to break the news the next day and witness the scene of grief.59 It was now that he met Schlegel, whose attempts to console Madame de Staël he found as admirable as they were futile. Schlegel meanwhile had been presented to the duke and had met Goethe and Böttiger in society, a small foretaste of the social accommodations he would have to learn to make. They left for Gotha on 1 May and again were received at court. Constant had begun to converse with Schlegel and discovered that he was a follower of the ‘abstruse and absurd’ philosophy of Schelling (whom he had attempted to read without success). With his interest in comparative religion, Constant found Schlegel’s admiration for the Middle Ages extraordinary for someone who seemed not to have any personal religious belief (a very percipient observation). He found Schlegel hypersensitive if one of his favourite theories or poets was challenged, taking it as a personal affront. Clearly the German professor and the Franco-Swiss private scholar had yet to find the measure of each other. Schlegel for his part had commented on Constant’s esprit and wit.60

35In Würzburg, where they remained one day, Schlegel saw Caroline in society, but not Schelling. Constant did, and found his person as unappealing as his philosophy. But their main task was to distract Madame de Staël, which Schlegel did by reading Goethe to her and translating him into French. In Ulm, they visited Caroline’s old friends, the Hubers, Therese Huber remarking that Schlegel looked washed out and the worse for taking opium. From Schaffhausen, they proceeded to Zurich, where Madame de Staël’s cousin by marriage, Albertine Necker de Saussure, met them, the daughter of the scientist and alpinist Horace-Bénédicte de Saussure, later the translator of Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures and still later the author of the first short official biography of Madame de Staël herself. She had brought Albert de Staël with her, a ‘pretty blond wild boy of twelve’. Schlegel travelled with the boys in a separate chaise via Lucerne and Küssnacht to Coppet and another harrowing emotional scene when they arrived, yet another when her father was interred in the mausoleum that he had had built specially for his wife and himself in the grounds of the château.

Schlegel in Coppet

  • 61 Cf. generally Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël au château de Coppet (Lausanne : Éditions SPES, 1929).
  • 62 See generally Martin J. S. Rudwick, Bursting the Limits of Time. The Reconstruction of Geohistory i (...)
  • 63 ‘prétentions à la virilité, à l’équitation et au courage’. Journaux intimes, 127.
  • 64 Krisenjahre, I, 113-116.
  • 65 Ibid., 148.
  • 66 Umriße, entworfen auf einer Reise durch die Schweiz’. SW, VIII, 154-176.
  • 67 Neueste Mittheilungen der Asiatischen Gesellschaft zu Calcutta’, Indische Bibliothek, I (1820), 38 (...)
  • 68 Krisenjahre, I, 90f.

36It was time for Schlegel to take in his surroundings, the feudal mansion that Jacques Necker had bought for his family in 1784.61 Not surprisingly, he was overwhelmed by the view over Lake Geneva to the mountains, which, while screening Mont Blanc itself, were still spectacular. But landscape for Schlegel was not just a question of ‘nature experience’: as a contemporary of Saussure, of Hutton, of Cuvier, of Sedgwick, of Alexander von Humboldt (the last three of whom he knew personally), he saw in it like them also the textbook of physical science, the ‘map of natural knowledge’,62 the ‘record of the rocks’, the cradle of human settlement and habitation. Nevertheless he could not be aesthetically indifferent to his physical environment, the park, the bosky landscape extending to the lake, mountains such as he had never seen before. It was his late equivalent of the Berliners Tieck and Wackenroder being overwhelmed by the Franconian countryside in 1793, but this was on an altogether grander scale. He even discovered (or rediscovered) physical exercise, on horseback perhaps for the first time since his Göttingen days (and the subject of Constant’s malice),63 even doing a walking tour in the Jura with the Staël boys and a Necker cousin in June of 1804, seeing the otherwise elusive Mont Blanc,64 and, without the boys, another more extensive journey to the Savoyan Alps in August.65 Like most things that he undertook, this and subsequent expeditions were to find expression in published form when in 1808 he did a series of sketches of the Swiss landscape, its most prominent features, its language and customs, later (1812) printed in the periodical Alpenrosen.66 Think, too, of the extraordinary passage very much later in the Indische Bibliothek, describing a mountain torrent in Switzerland, but trying withal to evoke the even more spectacular landscape of the Himalayas, which he was never to see.67 Already in May of 1804 he was reporting to Sophie Bernhardi on how much better he was feeling, no longer taking opium (for medicinal purposes only) and wishing he could already bathe in the lake.68

  • 69 Quoted in Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse. Étude biographique et littéraire avec de nom (...)
  • 70 Krisenjahre, I, 136, also 91.
  • 71 Cf. Oeuvres de M. Auguste-Guillaume de Schlegel écrites en français, ed. Édouard Böcking, 3 vols (L (...)
  • 72 For AWS’s correspondence with Favre cf. Mélanges d’histoire littéraire par Guillaume Favre avec des (...)

37In the same letter, he would say to Sophie that Coppet was ‘not like Nennhausen’. What did he mean? Nennhausen was Fouqué’s country house in the flatness of the Mark of Brandenburg, with a grand façade and an English park, full of associations with Frederick the Great’s generals and run on suitably hierarchical lines. But Coppet, even with its massive corner towers and its donjon, betraying its origins as a ‘château-fort’, had been purchased by Jacques Necker as a retreat from France and its political affairs: ‘a fine refuge for my father, solitude in a free country, after having served a king!’, as his daughter had written.69 He did not make use of the barony that went with it and he did undertake some alterations in the interests of style and comfort and planted an avenue of trees to screen the view. But Coppet, a short journey from Geneva, meant retirement, not Rousseau’s communion with nature, not Voltaire’s grandseigneurial set-up at Ferney, but choosing one’s own company, reading from one’s own library. The ‘free country’, that ‘pays libre’ of course not longer existed in 1804, the Directory in 1798 having annexed Geneva to France and having appointed a prefect. Madame de Staël, inclined to melancholy when left alone, detested solitude (and nature), especially the solitude of exile, and was determined to fill the house with interesting people. In the first few months that Schlegel spent in Coppet, he was to experience how often the mistress of the house moved between Coppet and Geneva, sometimes Lausanne, on business, as the administrator of an estate and of her father’s legacy and investments, or simply to be in a different society. He might write in August 1804 of the ‘dry economical republicanism of the Genevans’ and their general dreadfulness,70 but it was the nearest place with a scholarly library. In fact he was to rely on two Genevan scholars, his fellow comparative linguist Marc-Auguste Pictet71 and the immensely learned Guillaume Favre72 to supply him with recondite antiquarian details.

  • 73 Krisenjahre, I, 90f., 105.
  • 74 Lettres de la duchesse de Broglie 1814-1838 publiées par son fils le duc de Broglie (Paris : Calman (...)

38Sophie was to be his main correspondent before he left for Italy later in the year, and it was to her that he gave an account of his day-to-day routine. He had been allocated the bedroom formerly belonging to Madame Necker. He took his breakfast in his room at seven, not being required to appear with the rest of the company. At three-thirty was the midday meal, at ten supper. He had the mornings free until one, taught till three, with another hour later in the afternoon.73 He does not give details of the boys’ lessons, but one may assume that they took in Greek and Latin and much else besides (mathematics was taught by a tutor). These ancient languages were for him the basis of all learning, especially for the young, and he had little time for Rousseau’s methods. Thus Schlegel, his paternal feelings cruelly dashed when Auguste Böhmer died, found them revived and reciprocated through his contact with the Staël children. As said, we do not know exactly what was the nature of his tutoring, and with his views on education he may have needed to rein in his learning. Auguste and Albertine de Staël never ceased to show affection for him to the end of their lives. True, Albertine later confessed that she failed to see the Homeric qualities in the Nibelungenlied,74 which suggests a Berlin lecture scaled down for children. It is the human side of Schlegel, which tends to be lost sight of, the aspect that those many later testimonies to his vanity and self-importance either did not know about or chose to ignore.

  • 75 Krisenjahre, I, 89.
  • 76 Ibid., 130.
  • 77 Bernhard Maaz, Christian Friedrich Tieck 1776-1851. Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigun (...)
  • 78 Krisenjahre, I, 119f.
  • 79 Ibid., 125-128.
  • 80 Béatrice W. Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs qui ont séjourné à Coppet de 1799 à 1816’, in (...)
  • 81 Krisenjahre, I, 124.
  • 82 SW, XII, 157-169.

39The frequency of letters from Sophie meant that he could not be completely absorbed by his new surroundings, nor was this to change as family, friends, publishers sought him out in his Genevan fastness. Sophie, not surprisingly, wanted money. He had received his first quarterly payment from Madame de Staël and reminded Sophie that there were others who had a prior claim on his generosity (Friedrich, his mother).75 He unwisely told her that he expected to be able to put 100 talers per annum aside, precisely the sum that she was to ask for in July.76 He apprised her of Madame de Staël’s plans for Italy and hoped that she, too, might be able to go there for her health and escape Bernhardi’s claims for the custody of his children. Schlegel in his turn saw an opportunity for Friedrich Tieck: Madame de Staël wanted a sculptor to do a bas-relief in the Necker mausoleum, in the antique style that was already his specialty. It would not be done until 1806-07.77 His publisher Reimer in Berlin was sending consignments of books that would stock the Coppet library with German literature, asking also for the rest of the Calderón translation. Unger was hoping for volume nine of Shakespeare,78 that was to contain King Richard III, a request Schlegel would be five years in fulfilling. Friedrich Schlegel wrote that letter that expressed his dismay at August Wilhelm’s demeaning himself as ‘Hofmeister’, secretly envious perhaps that his brother had a fixed income and security where he was stuck in Cologne, without friends, without his brother’s stimulating presence, but brimming over with ideas for Persian, for a chrestomathy of Indian texts, for the Nibelungenlied.79 It led to Friedrich spending five weeks in Coppet, from early October to early November of 1804.80 Heinrich Karl Albrecht Eichstädt, the editor of the new Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, asked for contributions.81 Schlegel had already sent him a review of Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg’s metrical version of Aeschylus, more conciliatory in its views on translation than his account of Voss, but equally severe on ‘Laxitäten’.82 The Italian journey would provide more copy for Eichstädt.

  • 83 Visitors for 1804 listed in Jasinski (1977), 468f.
  • 84 Reviewed by AWS. SW, XII, 169-177.
  • 85 G. C. L. Sismondi, Epistolario, ed. Carlo Pellegrini, 4 vols (Florence : La Nuova Italia, 1933-1954 (...)
  • 86 [Charles Lenormant], Coppet et Weimar. Madame de Staël et la grande-duchesse Louise (Paris : Lévy, (...)

40This was to be the pattern for Schlegel’s years with Madame de Staël: the engagement with her circle and his continuing concern with the ‘Vaterland’. It is difficult to place them in order of priority, for so often her schemes and plans opened up opportunities for him to make statements on his own native national literature. First he had to surmount some adjustments to the life-style of Coppet. How much Schlegel knew of the company that he would be sharing, is open to question. He may not have been prepared for what seemed like a constant stream of visitors.83 Benjamin Constant was to be in Coppet or nearby for most of the remainder of 1804. Johannes von Müller spent two weeks in June in the area. Three figures who were or were to become major members of the Coppet group put in an appearance during the same summer. They would make Schlegel acutely aware of how different his background was from theirs and, despite his professorial erudition, how narrowly provincial in some respects. Karl Viktor von Bonstetten had studied at Leyden, Cambridge and Paris and had lived in Copenhagen and Italy before settling in Geneva. He was about to publish an account of his Italian journey.84 He would later expand the Staëlian contrast of the ‘Midi’ and the ‘Nord’ into a psychological system. Benjamin Constant had studied at Oxford, Erlangen and Edinburgh and had had a rapid career as a political publicist until Bonaparte put paid to it. Jean- Charles-Léonard Simonde de Sismondi had studied in Italy and was to become the premier historian of the Italian republics and of the literatures of the Romance lands (he did draw on Schlegel’s knowledge).85 All three were Swiss Calvinists associated with Geneva and not given to Catholicizing freakishness. Hardly any of the remarks about Schlegel in their journals or correspondence is respectful. A fourth, Mathieu de Montmorency, from one of the great French aristocratic houses, had served in the American War of Independence and had been deeply involved in the French Revolution. Rescued from the Terror by Madame de Staël herself, he had shared her English exile and was ever devoted to her. It was to him that Schlegel later addressed the extraordinary letter of August 1811 in which he contemplated a return to the bosom of the church.86 In quite a different category was the visit of the duchess of Courland and her entourage, Madame de Staël reciprocating the hospitality extended in Berlin.

  • 87 Stendhal, Rome, Naples et Florence en 1817, in : Voyages en Italie, ed. V. del Litto, Bibliothèque (...)
  • 88 Simone Balayé, ‘Le Groupe de Coppet : conscience d’une mission commune’, in : Le Groupe de Coppet. (...)
  • 89 If his tailor’s bills in Coppet are any indication. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, 5-16.
  • 90 The doyenne of Staëlien studies and the author of the indispensable monograph on Schlegel and Staël (...)

41Coppet may have been a free association of minds, famously in Stendhal’s words, ‘the estates general of European opinion’;87 sociologically however it was a gathering-place of the titled, the privileged, never descending lower than ‘grande bourgeoisie’.88 Schlegel, belonging to the German Mittelstand, as most of his peers did, some of them indeed elevated to this status through intellectual merit (Schleiermacher or Fichte), came from the pastorate and the professoriate for whom certain standards of ease and comfort of living were an entitlement. But he could not compete with, say, Goethe in his ministerial palais in Weimar, and he could not be received as of right at court, his grandfather having considered the family’s ennoblement to be superfluous. His manners were good, and he took a certain pride in his appearance89 (vanity, some said), but he lacked the nobleman’s ease and poise—and he was in employment at Coppet, not free to move as were Constant, Bonstetten or Sismondi. Free social and intellectual concourse Coppet and its circle certainly afforded, yet it had occasionally also the atmosphere of a court presided over in regal style by One who yielded only to Napoleon—and that unwillingly. Thus it is still an open question whether Schlegel belongs to the ‘Cercle de Coppet’ as more rigidly defined, its ‘noyau central’.90 His thirteen-year association with Madame de Staël, and his presence in Coppet for much of that time, would seem to guarantee him membership of this exclusive club and to separate him from the great and famous who merely put in an appearance, whether Byron or Chateaubriand or Clausewitz, Humphry Davy, Guizot or Barbara von Krüdener. But his dogged loyalty did not necessarily admit him as of right to the very inner circle in which Constant, Sismondi or Bonstetten found favour. That would only happen once Madame de Staël came to depend on him.

  • 91 Journaux intimes, 91.
  • 92 Ibid., 143.
  • 93 Bonstettiana. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe der Briefkorrespondenzen Karl Viktor von Bonstettens und (...)
  • 94 Journaux intimes, 145.
  • 95 Ibid., 151-160.
  • 96 Briefe, I, 190.

42It is clear that Constant, Bonstetten and Sismondi, French intellectuals, wished to test the mettle of the German professor. Having just lectured to a receptive audience in Berlin, he was not best pleased when they advanced disrespectful views on subjects sacred to the German Romantics or when Madame de Staël herself drew attention to his social inadequacies. Constant noted with some malice that Schlegel could afford to advance untenable theories because he had never lived in the real world (i. e. the French Revolution).91 While it is true that Schlegel never really believed in a restoration of the Middle Ages and was aware that one must live in actualities, he did not always have an answer for Constant’s searching questions which were prompted by a more general interest in the phenomenon of religion. (Later, Bonstetten would blame Schlegel for the outbreak of religious mysticism to which Coppet succumbed in 1809.) Predictably, they disagreed about French classical tragedy.92 A discussion on Moses, Homer and Ossian between Johannes von Müller, Paul-Henri Mallet, the author of the famous Northern Antiquities, Bonstetten and Schlegel collapsed in disorder because Schlegel, who had read Michaelis, Herder and Friedrich August Wolf, did not believe in the historical reality of any of these figures.93 It was no better when Friedrich Schlegel arrived. Constant left a highly unflattering description of his exterior, ‘inordinately fat’, and of the ‘absurdity’ of his views and his arrogation of a new religion.94 He wondered that Schlegel was already hankering after Catholic Vienna, where not a line of Romantic doctrine would be tolerated by the censor. They did find common ground on India, not on the view that everything had its origin there, but on the awareness that Indian religion had advanced from polytheism to theism.95 On that point Schlegel was treating Constant to a preview of the theories to be set out in his Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier of 1808. Through Pictet’s good offices, he was able to borrow a set of the Asiatick Researches,96 and one can imagine not just Friedrich, but both Schlegel brothers consulting them.

  • 97 Cf. Coppet et Weimar, 63 as one account among many.

43All this may account for the more than occasional gruffness, huffiness and touchiness that Schlegel seems to have displayed, especially at the beginning of his association with the Coppet circle.97 We have this account from a visitor to Coppet in 1804:

Finally about Schlegel. St[aël] asked me what they would think about it in Germany. And I answered straight: people have thought, and I have hardly thought, that it would be lasting; but it was very natural to both and must indeed be so. She, despite her wide knowledge (which I knew of and could vouch for with a good conscience) would gain much from S[chlegel]’s wide reading. He, on the other hand, would be drawn out of his quarrels and learn more taste, etc. She seems to have a great respect for his learning and says, now she knows qu’elle ne sait que lire [that she must do nothing but read]. She also likes him, and he must feel very much at home there. He does not talk much, but when he does it is forthright and well-judged. But impar congressus [mismatch] the moment he strays from his scholarship. He is not adroit enough—perhaps language is part of the problem despite his generally speaking it well. Then she soon shuts him up—ces jeunes allemands, cette nouvelle école—ça vous a des idées etc.mais, mon cher Schlegel, vous dites des bêtises ah ça finissez vous ête[s] ridiculemais je m’abandonneoh ! vous ne paraissez pas à votre avantage, quand vous vous abandonnez. [These young Germans, this new school, such ideas etc.—but, my dear Schlegel, you talk nonsense, do stop, you are ridiculous—but I’m losing hold on myself, oh you do not appear at your best when you lose control]. All half in jest, half with a certain tenderness. She said, la [première] chose que j’ai exigé (amicalement) de lui, c’est le sacrifice de ses polémiques, et sous ce rapport je crois avoir rendu service à l’Allemagne—[the first thing that I required (amicably) of him was for him to give up his polemics and in that connection I believe I have done Germany a favour] true enough.

Asked whether Schlegel was an atheist and thus unsuitable as a tutor to her children, she replied:

  • 98 Ludwig Geiger, Dichter und Frauen. Abhandlungen und Mittheilungen. Neue Sammlung (Berlin: Paetel, 1 (...)

Au contraire, il penche vers le Catholicisme, il dit des bêtises quand il parle de r[e] ligion etc. mais pour athée—oh non, etc.—et plus je parlais des absurdités de S. et plus cette brave femme me répondait : oh, mon Dieu, que j’en suis bien aise.98 [On the contrary, he leans towards Catholicism. He talks nonsense when he speaks of religion, but an atheist—oh no—and the more I spoke of S’s absurdities this fine lady replied, o goodness, they don’t worry me at all]

44This was after a dinner at which Constant, Sismondi and Schlegel had maintained an uneasy conversation. Faced with challenges to his most cherished ideas, and surrounded by her circle and its own historical and cultural emphases, Schlegel had various options at his disposal. It was not difficult to assume the role of the encyclopaedic German professor whose caricature pops up at given moments in much of the literature on Madame de Staël. But that was clearly not a satisfactory mode of existence, and even the material comfort that his tutorship or companionship afforded would be no compensation if he was always being belittled or disadvantaged by the company—all aristocrats as well as intellectuals. He could take comfort in the fact that—as our extract showed—Madame de Staël, despite everything, already had some genuine affection for him.

In Italy with Madame de Staël 1804-1805

  • 99 Carnets de voyage, 93.
  • 100 Madame de Staël, Dix années d’exil, ed. Simone Balayé (Paris : Bibliothèque 1018, 1966), 96.

45No doubt Madame de Staël would some day have fulfilled her heartfelt wish to visit Italy even without the agency of Napoleon Bonaparte. Bonstetten and Sismondi moved between Switzerland and Italy as a matter of course, and Wilhelm von Humboldt was actually in Rome.99 Like her third sojourn in England (1814) and all of the time she spent in the German lands, her first Italian journey was forced on her by Napoleon’s attentions She and her son Auguste, in the text he edited as Dix Années d’exil, would always write ‘Bonaparte’, but when in the winter of 1804 she set out for Italy, he was already Napoleon, Emperor of the French, and soon to be King of Italy. He and his agents had her completely in their power, banning her from Paris, exiling her to Coppet, and capable of any arbitrary measure that they chose to implement. Although much of Italy owed allegiance to Napoleon, he chose not to pursue her beyond the Alps, indeed Auguste later claimed that Joseph Bonaparte (not yet king of Naples) had provided letters of recommendation to make her stay in Rome more agreeable.100

  • 101 Geneviève Gennari, Le premier voyage de Madame de Staël en Italie et la genèse de Corinne (Paris : (...)

46Thus we may speak of her Italian Journey, as we speak of Goethe’s, like his a progress through a politically fragmented land, but with Piedmont now part of France, a northern republic of Italy based on Milan, a protectorate of Genoa, a kingdom of Etruria, Venetia incorporated into Austria, leaving the Papal States, and the kingdom of the Two Sicilies.101 All of these territories she was to traverse—accompanied by Auguste, Albert, Albertine, Schlegel, (and from Turin) Sismondi, and a train of servants. Political and territorial differences apart, this Italian Journey conformed to certain patterns. Like Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg’s in 1791‑92, it went over Mont Cenis into Northern Italy, unlike Goethe’s, who descended into Venetia and went to Sicily as well.

47It would in time inevitably give rise to comparisons with other French journeys, Bonstetten’s, Chateaubriand’s or Stendhal’s, for Madame de Staël (through her novel Corinne), while sitting among ruins or climbing Vesuvius as did all travellers, was also a trend-setter in the understanding of national temperaments. Again, her Italian Journey was different from theirs, in its scale and the range of experience. Above all, it was to provide material for a notional and never-written De l’Italie, a De l’Allemagne of the ‘Midi’ if one will, which was to assume a quite different guise as the novel of 1807, Corinne, ou l’Italie.

  • 102 See Roger Paulin, Ludwig Tieck. A Literary Biography (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985), 166-173.

48On the German side, there had been at various times Friedrich Schlegel’s vague and heady talk of their circle’s decamping to Italy, the ultimate Romantic destination. With his finances always limping behind his dreams, Friedrich was not to see Italy until 1819, and then tagging along as secretary to the Austrian emperor and his chancellor, Metternich. By then, his brother August Wilhelm had seen Italy twice, all paid for out of the plenteous bounty of Madame de Staël. How different, too, from the Tieck family, in Rome at roughly the same time (1805), but dependant on money largely not theirs and disliked for their importuning.102 For some of the sums disbursed by August Wilhelm to Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi in Rome in 1805 came ultimately from Madame de Staël.

49Madame de Staël’s interest in Italy, as defined by her De la littérature of 1800, was as political as it was literary. There had been great writers, but the disaggregation of Italy into small states had produced no national sense of a cohesive culture. Here she was seeing Italy very much in contrast with France and England. But it was also part of that ‘Midi’, ‘romantic’ if not yet ‘Romantic’: she could still find an appreciative word for eighteenth- century figures like Metastasio or Alfieri. Her taste in art was not yet highly developed. All this was to change as it found its expression in that extraordinary novel Corinne.

  • 103 SW, XII, 334.

50Schlegel’s, by contrast, was more deeply informed, but in accordance with the doctrines of Jena ultimately infused with the awareness that Italy had contributed to the Romantic canon some ‘archpoets’ like Dante or Ariosto and that the union of language and poetry sufficed to define a nation. But so much of his appreciation of antiquity, his aesthetic of painting, even his theory of language, was predicated on things Italian. He would inform Goethe that Rome, not Weimar, was where the emergent schools of German painting and sculpture were situated. Being in Italy would add observed detail to his archaeological knowledge and his art criticism. In that sense he was following in Goethe’s footsteps, but he lacked Goethe’s instinctive sense of a classical landscape. Rather he might be seen as treading in Winckelmann’s path, to whom he was much more beholden, indeed he met Carlo Feà, his Italian translator,103 making notes that would come in useful for the review of Winckelmann’s works that he was eventually to write in 1812, a moment of classical repose among the political turmoil of that year. But if we seek for some account of Schlegel’s Italian Journey, we are left with just a few letters and a few odd asides (such as meeting Alexander von Humboldt in Rome), a number of scattered reviews of an art critical or archaeological nature, but little sense of the criss-crossing of the peninsula that happened in real terms. His elegy, Rom, dedicated to Madame de Staël, would be no different.

  • 104 Natur-Betrachtungen auf einer Reise durch die Schweiz’, Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wil (...)
  • 105 Krisenjahre, I, 148f.
  • 106 Briefe, I, 191.
  • 107 Krisenjahre, I, 183.
  • 108 The works of architecture and art concerned are listed in: A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen über schöne (...)
  • 109 SW, IX, 264f.

51One may regret this, as Schlegel has the makings of a good travel writer, varying the precise with the general or the sublime, so unlike their friend Hülsen who had provided copy for the Athenaeum with a description of Switzerland where one cliché is piled on another.104 Schlegel’s account in a letter to Sophie of his trip to the Savoyan Alps105 has a nice balance between precise observation (granite outcrops) and poetic embellishment (men like ants before the massif of Mont Blanc) that reminds one of Alexander von Humboldt at his best. ‘You will not expect a travel account from me’, he wrote to his brother Karl from Rome on 27 March 1805, but he could not conceal his excitement at being in Italy nevertheless.106 And Sophie was treated to this short characterisation of the land and its attractions: ‘The mild and short winter, fruit in all seasons, a more carefree style of life, wonderful music, beautiful paintings, stern ruins, prodigal nature, being away from so many memories that oppressed you in Germany, occupying oneself with poetry in these surroundings’.107 To his brother he could admit that his main interests in Italy were the fine arts, the study of classical antiquities and learning to speak the language fluently—and the opportunity of meeting the most important persons from all classes. To fill in the details of all this, one has to look at the works that are a direct reflection or result of his Italian Journey, his letter to Goethe about artists living in Rome, his review of Corinne, and his critique of Winckelmann, all of course carefully edited. The more extensive and informed remarks about architecture, painting and sculpture in his later Bonn and Berlin lectures on the fine arts are another direct reflection of the Italian experience.108 One would also learn in the letter to Goethe that he had visited Sophie Bernhardi in Rome, the author of the as yet unpublished epic Flore und Blanscheflur,109 but his private papers would tell of a continuing emotional attachment deepened by seeing her.

  • 110 The exact stages are set out in Gennari, Le Premier voyage, 15-120 ; Carnets de voyage, 93-259 and (...)
  • 111 Carnets de voyage, 179.
  • 112 Letter to Luigi Bossi, quoted in translation by Gennari, 51.
  • 113 Sweet, I, 271f.
  • 114 Wilhelm Bernhardi to AWS, SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15, 57.

52For Madame de Staël of course it was different. On the one hand her journey was another royal progress.110 From Turin to Milan, to Bologna, to Rome and Naples, and back via Rome to Florence, Bologna, Padua and Venice, Padua again to Milan and Turin, with smaller sojourns in between, she was received, as appropriate, by generals, prelates, royalty, dilettanti and cognoscenti, and poets. This account inevitably has several sides. On the purely physical, we hear of the floods that prevented them from coming directly to Rome; being in Rome itself in cooler February, but in Naples in a balmier March; the carnivals in both cities; climbing Vesuvius by mule and on foot, accompanied by Schlegel and Sismondi—the source of that hellish set-piece vision at the opening of Book 13 of Corinne—scrambling on to the acropolis at Cumae, her various excursions among the Roman ruins. There was the political and social: being received at court in Naples, meeting the Countess of Albany in Florence (the widow of the Young Pretender), being in Milan almost, but not quite, to coincide with Napoleon’s crowning as king of Italy. There was the emotional: a platonic attachment to the much older Italian poet Vincenzo Monti, the translator of Homer, and a closer bond with the young Portuguese nobleman Dom Pedro de Souza e Holstein. It was at times hard to distinguish this from the literary, for Monti was but one Italian neo-classical poet who received her; in Rome she was admitted, as Goethe once had been, to the Accademia Arcadiana;111 in Padua she met the aged Melchiorre Cesarotti who had once translated Ossian (the Countess of Albany had been the protectress of Alfieri). Schlegel needed to rein in his prejudices against Italian neo-classicism, and Monti took the opportunity of reminding him of the injustice of foreigners towards Italian men of letters.112 There were the ‘courses d’antiquité’ [explorations of antiquities] with Wilhelm von Humboldt, now Prussian envoy to the Vatican,113 with Giuseppe Antonio Guattani whose Roma descritta ed illustrata was just appearing, with the French envoy and connoisseur Alexis-François Artaud de Montor and the Danish archaeologist Johann Georg Zoëga; Easter 1805 saw her in the Sistine Chapel and at high mass at St Peter’s. They delayed their departure from Rome to meet Alexander von Humboldt. There were personal touches at all levels: the Staël and Humboldt children played together, Albert and Albertine even met the Bernhardi boys.114 Staël herself, making up for her previous indifference in some areas, was all the time making assiduous notes on classical antiquity, on Italian literature, painting, folklore, landscape and society that would find their way into Corinne.

  • 115 Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 57.
  • 116 Carnets de voyage, 255.
  • 117 Leopold von Buch, Geognostische Beobachtungen auf Reisen durch Deutschland und Italien, 2 vols (Ber (...)
  • 118 See esp. his unpublished review of Humboldt’s Vues des cordillères in around 1818. SW, XII, 513-528
  • 119 As set out in his review of Winckelmann in 1812. SW, XII, 359.
  • 120 Lettre de Mr. Louis Bossi, de Milan, […] sur deux inscriptions prétendues runiques trouvées à Venis (...)

53Schlegel was not a passive observer in all this. We know that he passed on his considerable knowledge to the travelling party even without the ‘courses’ by those distinguished cicerone. A malicious letter from Sismondi to Bonstetten of 20 March, 1805 refers to Schlegel as the ‘materialist in our society’, a description conferred on him because of his enthusiasm and his attention to detail but also his ability to provoke dispute (‘four paradoxes a day’), his eye for niceties such as the ‘basalt’ lions on the Capitol (not porphyry, as Sismondi laxly remarks).115 For Schlegel was not content merely with archaeological facts and evidence; the connoisseur needed to draw on other disciplines to establish periods and styles. The party was to wait in Rome until Alexander von Humboldt arrived at the end of April 1805.116 He, fresh from his South and Central American journeys, was travelling through Italy on a mainly geological trip.117 Schlegel, becoming increasingly aware that historical record is a matter of tradition, language, archaeology, climate, materials, geography, could not have been more fortunate than to meet up with Humboldt, whose method he was largely to adopt in his Bonn lectures and for whom he had a great personal admiration.118 With Humboldt’s help he would establish that the lions were ‘hornblende with veins of felspar’,119 not basalt, and that one could thus establish with greater accuracy their place of origin (Egypt). This would run counter to Winckelmann’s (and Goethe’s) anti-Egyptian bias in favour of ‘pure’ Greek forms. Such geological evidence would reveal a much more dynamic interaction between the cultures of the Mediterranean rim than previously entertained. (The lions are duly mentioned in Corinne, which suggests that Madame de Staël was more attentive than Sismondi.) This did not mean that Schlegel did not indulge in speculations himself. Meeting the scholarly antiquarian Luigi Bossi in Milan, he advanced views on the origins of the two lions in the Venice Arsenale, on the basis of inscriptions at their side. Some said the inscriptions were runic; Bossi said they must be Etruscan. Schlegel, at this stage not yet conversant enough with Etruscan, opted (wrongly) for runic, eliciting from Bossi a learned riposte.120

  • 121 Which are acknowledged in a note in the novel.
  • 122 SW, I, 373.
  • 123 Mentioned briefly SW, IX, 262.

54Thus we must assume that Schlegel took in and absorbed all that Madame de Staël also remarked. The days of religious-inspired art criticism in Die Gemälde were essentially over; with very few exceptions (such as his later article on Fra Angelico), he was to concentrate much more on the general history of form and style rather than on its individual manifestations and their effect on the receptive beholder. It is significant, for instance, that Schlegel later only makes passing mention of Domenichino, who forms the basis of the famous set-piece section on painting in Tivoli in Corinne (although he does praise George Augustus Wallis, the other artist in that passage, in his letter to Goethe). Madame de Staël, too, was seeing works of art very much in terms of their moral effect, showing her to be an attentive reader of Friedrich Schlegel’s later sections in Europa121 rather than of his brother. August Wilhelm’s lectures in Bonn and Berlin would in their turn benefit from his having seen examples, say, of the Byzantine style (St Mark’s in Venice), or of Italian Gothic. There is even a sonnet devoted to Milan cathedral,122 claiming it unhistorically for ‘deutsche Kunst’: this also duly finds its way into Corinne (its source is ultimately Fiorillo). His remarks would benefit from his having seen Mantegna, for instance, while Correggio, to whom they made the obligatory pilgrimage in Parma,123 would recede in significance. His observations on the development of painting in antiquity gained from him and his companions having actually been in Pompeii and Herculanaeum.

  • 124 Ibid., 231-266.
  • 125 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Gedenkausgabe der Werke, Briefe und Gespräche, ed. Ernst Beutler, 3rd edn, (...)
  • 126 On Schick see the catalogue from the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Gottlieb Schick. Ein Maler des Klassiz (...)

55Were one however to take as a guide the article in the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung that Schlegel wrote shortly after his return from Italy, one might assume that he had spent a good part of his time in the company of modern artists working in Rome. It is that Schreiben an Goethe über einige Arbeiten in Rom lebender Künstler. Im Sommer 1805 [Letter to Goethe on Some Works by Artists Living in Rome. In the Summer of 1805].124 It could be read as a replique to Goethe’s essay on Winckelmann of the same year, Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert [Winckelmann and his Century] that had elevated his Greekness and his paganism and had treated the circumstances of his life and death in hagiographic fashion. Schlegel did not mention the real reason why he could not subscribe to Goethe’s Winckelmann cult, which had as much to do with Winckelmann’s inadequate archaeological knowledge as with his doctrinaire neo-classicism. Nevertheless the sequence of his remarks indicates a strategy: praise for Canova, yet tempered with the remark that Italian sculpture from Donatello onwards had moved away from true classical norms; then approval of Thorwaldsen, who did conform to them. The next section, on French neo-classical artists in Rome, asks for more sentiment in expression and refers to Chateaubriand’s Le Génie du christianisme, which cannot have been well received in Weimar. The critique is more pointed when the French academic style, still represented by Louis David’s school, is accused of too closely following the dictates of Winckelmann and Mengs (Goethe had planned an article on David for his Propyläen).125 It is now time for Schlegel to state his real position; there is a long section on Gottlieb Schick, a pupil of David’s but now branching out into the ‘true revelation that is the purpose of all art’, represented by his painting of Noah’s first sacrifice.126 Schlegel approves of this move away from classical to religious subject matter, while being fully aware that Schick is in every other respect a neo-classical artist. In landscape painting he praises Johann Anton Koch for his heroic and monumental style: this might be seen as belittling Goethe’s favoured painters Reinhart and Hackert. A section on writers in Rome appears relatively conciliatory until one notices the prominence given to the Middle Ages and its Christian culture, represented by the Nibelungenlied. For the Vatican Library held manuscripts of the so-called Heldenbuch, and one of Schlegel’s tasks was to consult them. Rome, whether Goethe liked it or not, was becoming the centre of things Romantic.

  • 127 Ewa Eschler, Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi-Knorring, 1775-1833. Das Wanderleben und das vergessene Werk (B (...)
  • 128 Bernhardi was to accuse AWS of being an accessory to kidnapping. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 27 (...)
  • 129 Cf. his letters from Munich and Rome to AWS. Bögel (2015), 100, 103, 107f., 110.

56There is also a short section on Sophie Bernhardi-Tieck and her epic poem Flore und Blanscheflur. She, her two children and her lover Knorring, had by now reached Rome, ostensibly for the sake of her health but also to escape from Bernhardi’s court order.127 She frequented the house of the Humboldts and anyone else of prominence to whom she had access, in order to forestall the Prussian authorities128—and to borrow money. When later in the year the Tieck cavalcade arrived, with Ludwig and Friedrich, the borrowing was on a large scale. By that time, Schlegel and Madame de Staël had left Rome and were on their way home from Italy. Friedrich was using the time in Rome to make a start on the Necker memorial.129 Sophie was not above using her son Felix Theodor’s paternity as a means to Schlegel’s heart and purse strings, but the sonnet which he wrote on leaving Rome spoke only of the former:

Mir schlug das Herz, es rasselte der Wagen:
Der Abschied tönt es mir vom hohen Rom;
Und an der Engelsburg und Petersdom
Ward ich in raschem Flug vorbeygetragen.

Ist es die Kunst aus alt- und neuen Tagen,
Die sieben Hügel und der gelbe Strom,
Ist es der Weltbeherrscherin Fantom,
Dem ich so tief erschüttert mußt’ entsagen?

Ach nein, ach nein! und wär’ es nichts als dieß:
Ich bin ein Mann, u[nd] sah schon manche Zeiten,
Und litt wie mich mein Schicksal unterwies.

  • 130 Krisenjahre, I, 195f; quoted here as in original SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15 (97). I (...)

Es ist ein lallend Kind, das ich verließ.
Du wirst nicht mehr die Arme nach mir breiten:
Leb wohl, mein Cherub, und mein Paradies!
130

[My heart leapt up, the carriage rattled on;
I take my leave from lofty mother Rome;
And past St Angelo and Peter’s dome
I was borne on in swift flight.

Is it the art from now and days of old,
The seven hills and the yellow stream,
The phantom of the conqueror of the world,
That I must now give up with broken heart?

O no alas, if only it were this!
I am a man experienced in time
And taking what my fate dealt out.

It is a babbling child I left behind.
You will not stretch your arms out to me more,
Farewell my cherub and my paradise.]

  • 131 Correspondance générale, V, ii, 349-351.
  • 132 Ibid., 557.

Schlegel never published these verses, and it may be hard now to defend them on purely aesthetic grounds (especially the borrowing from Goethe in the first line), but there is no doubting that the sentiments were heartfelt. Yet Schlegel was not the only one whom leave-taking moved to poetic utterance. Madame de Staël had written the poem known as Épitre sur Naples [Epistle on Naples] with its evocation of the sensuous delights of the southern landscape but also the awareness of past tyranny and bloodshed. Then in a letter to de Souza came an equally long poem that starts ‘Il faut donc quitter Rome, il faut donc vous quitter’ [One must take leave of Rome, take leave of you].131 This was the other side of the Roman experience, evoked especially at moments of parting and regret, for Schlegel no doubt the realisation that the love which he may well have believed was his had been transferred to another, for Madame de Staël the coming to terms with the hard fact that Pedro de Souza could not be hers, despite a bond of sympathy and fleeting happiness. ‘Ah! I have felt it, that god, in the ruins of Rome that I have wandered through with you in the moonlight and almost at the moment of leave-taking. My whole soul is pierced with longing, tenderness and admiration. We were together in time amid the ruins of centuries, we were united by the worship of all that is beautiful’, she wrote to Souza on 15 May 1805.132

  • 133 From Cantos 78 and 79.
  • 134 Correspondance générale, V, ii, 543. See Roland Mortier, La poétique des ruines en France. Ses orig (...)

57That was perhaps the romantic aspect of moonlit promenades in the Roman ruins. She slips, however, very easily into the other side of the cult of ruins that Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage was to typify, with its ‘Lone mother of dead empires!’, ‘The Niobe of nations!’,133 the dwelling on a dead past than enables the easy transition to a general mal du siècle, the ‘dream- like and melancholy pleasure’ of which she also writes.134 But with her there was also a moral aspect to these contemplations: the contrast between then and now, the realisation nurtured by Constantin-François Volney and his Les Ruines (1791) that mismanagement, bad governance and tyranny were the causes of the downfall of empires, leaving us only ruins bereft of their possessors. For her the contrast would not just be between Roman grandeur and its déchéance, but with the present state of Italy, politically divided and a nation only in name. Much of this would go into her novel Corinne.

  • 135 SW, II, 21-31. Published originally as a 19-page brochure in Roman type: Rom. Elegie von August Wil (...)
  • 136 Roma, elegia Augusti Guilelmi Schlegel, latinitate donata, notisque illustrata a J. D. Fuss […] (Co (...)
  • 137 Clemens Brentano to Achim von Arnim, 20 December, 1805. Ludwig Achim von Arnim, Werke und Briefwech (...)
  • 138 SW, VIII, 146.

58Some of this enters into the 296 verses of Schlegel’s elegy Rom, written and published in 1805 with a dedication to Madame de Staël.135 Schlegel was inordinately proud of this poem (the only one so dedicated), written in such correct elegiac couplets that it was translated into Latin during his lifetime.136 In many ways Rom marks the high point and the effective end of the Schlegel brothers’ efforts in the field of neo-classical poetry, as contained in the Athenaeum and in August Wilhelm’s Gedichte of 1800. For the younger Romantic generation, Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano in Heidelberg, it represented the ‘fettering’ of a poetic language that they were expanding in all directions.137 Yet for Schlegel the language was right and appropriate, in contrast with Wilhelm von Humboldt’s elegy of the same name but in ottava rima, compared with whose frigid verses Schlegel’s are light-footed. (Madame de Staël, who received both, would form her own judgment.) Not only was the language ‘correct’ in more senses than one, but Schlegel could claim to Fouqué in 1806 that this was no mere ‘metrical exercise’: like the elegy in memory of his brother Carl and the garland for Auguste Böhmer, it expressed personal feeling, not directly like those other poems, but through a sense of awe generated by the remains of a past and once proud history.138 With our knowledge of his unpublished sonnet to Sophie Bernhardi, we may perhaps feel tempted to attribute some of the elegy’s melancholy and impotent languor to that emotional experience, now over, and to see the address to Germaine de Staël in its final section as an admission that she alone was to be his future companion, as the chaste ‘expresser of great thoughts’.

  • 139 In his Bonn lectures on World History.
  • 140 Comtesse Jean de Pange, née Broglie, Auguste-Guillaume Schlegel et Madame de Staël d’après des docu (...)

59Yet, try as we may, it is hard not to read much of this poem as the ‘course de M. Schlegel’, his conducted tour of Roman mythology, history and architecture (not forgetting those basalt lions and the granite sphinx). One baulks at learned if properly scanned words like ‘Amphitryoniades’ (meaning Hercules), even if the historical account, from mythical beginnings to the barbarian invasions, is factually impeccable. It is difficult to rescue much of the poem aesthetically even if we know that Schlegel would later declare those incursions into the Roman Empire to be the catalyst of modern European history.139 But it joins the European poetry of ruins in its later sections, in its meditation among the tombs on what ‘was’ (‘”Gewesen”/Ist Roms Wahlspruch’ [‘Rome’s motto is/‘What was’]), its discourse on loss and decadence at the foot of the pyramid of Cestius in the dusk of the Roman day. Not even the Renaissance, Raphael or Michelangelo, is spared these depredations of time: perhaps this prompted him to hope that Vincenzo Monti might translate Rom into Italian.140 Yet the poem, like so many such reveries, returns at the end to the present, the friendship, the great thoughts, the poetic magic and colour, all of which he associates with Madame de Staël. To show how heartfelt these sentiments are, he summons up the ultimate name in her personal configuration: her father Jacques Necker. For had he, Schlegel, not also played his modest part in Necker’s memorialisation by securing the services of his friend Friedrich Tieck for the Coppet mausoleum?

3.1 With Madame de Staël in Coppet and Acosta 1805-1807

The Writer in Diaspora

  • 141 Krisenjahre, I, 187.
  • 142 Ibid., 371.

60Writing from Naples on 27 February, 1805 to Sophie Bernhardi, Schlegel had this to say about Rome: ‘It is a wonderful place for a quiet and solitary life devoted to all that is beautiful and great’.141 There are echoes here of Winckelmann and his dedication to beauty and grace and harmony, his placing of the aesthetic before the personal, that Goethe in his Winckelmann hagiography of 1805 was to elevate to superhuman dimensions. Unlike Winckelmann for whom the male form was everything, Schlegel was here writing to a woman who would not let him go, while he was in the entourage of another woman whose imperious claims had brought him to Italy in the first place. He was well advised to leave the former and cleave (chastely) to the latter. For Sophie, once installed in Rome in 1806, was all for having him come there for what would in effect be a ménage à trois.142 It would be Caroline and Schelling all over again, only worse. And so Schlegel returned to Coppet with Madame de Staël and her children and resumed his duties and his social responsibilities.

  • 143 Ibid., 97.

61He knew what these were, and he was aware that he would continue to be subject to the desires and whims of the capricious and mercurial mistress of the house. Already in the first full letter he had written from Coppet on his arrival in May 1804, he had recounted how he had had to drop his own work and be present when visitors arrived, first Bonstetten, then the prefect.143 It applied of course to other members of the ‘groupe de Coppet’, those newly arrived like Prosper de Barante, later a respected historian but now still young enough to fall in love with the thirty-five- year-old Germaine de Staël; or to Elzéar de Sabran, a friend and indifferent writer who put in occasional appearances. Even Benjamin Constant, still making serious claims on her heart and hand, was similarly constrained.

62Coppet seemed to afford the refuge and solitude that Madame de Staël and by implication also the members of her circle needed. For her, the first priorities were writing up the Italian experience as the novel Corinne, and the continuing work on the future De l’Allemagne. As we shall see, the large bulk of the work on those projects was not actually carried out at Coppet at all and seemed to be fitted into a peripatetic lifestyle that took in several venues. While she was able to write in almost any place and at any time, it was not so easy for her circle, not least for Schlegel, indeed he was later to stress that his major work of the period 1805‑07, the Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide, was the product of unsettled times uncongenial to sustained work. Whatever the truth of that statement, and it is not without its element of captatio benevolentiae, Schlegel was to be subjected to several changes of scene in these years and, without yet knowing it, was on the threshold of even more ‘années de pèlerinage’.

  • 144 As stressed notably by Simone Balayé in several publications on the ‘Groupe de Coppet’.

63Unlike Winckelmann, who had effectively become a Greek (if an Italian one) and who had broken off the only journey back to Germany that he made, Schlegel always felt the draw of his native land and saw himself as part of a kind of diaspora. There would inevitably be tensions between his adherence to a ‘group’ and his consciousness of belonging to another culture and another language. While it is legitimate for later generations to see Schlegel as part of a nascent French Romanticism and to claim some of his major works, closely associated with Madame de Staël, as part of it,144 it is by the same token also true that he had never abjured membership of the Jena circle. If that involved bringing to French-language readers what was now common knowledge in Germany, well and good.

  • 145 Briefe, I, 202f.
  • 146 Ibid., 200, 205, 213.
  • 147 Ibid., 200.

64There is no lack of evidence that he now saw himself primarily as a ‘national poet’, and it may be significant that he was dissociating himself more and more from translation. He kept Reimer waiting for the second volume of the Calderón and then never delivered; he was unworried that the Voss sons were now continuing his Shakespeare in the style and according to the principles that he himself had laid down. He approached Cotta about a reissue of his poems.145 His letters contained protestations of ‘national sympathies’146 and reassured recipients that he was not in the process of becoming a French writer.147

  • 148 SW, VIII, 142-153, refs 145, 149.

65The long letter that he wrote from Geneva to Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué in Prussian Nennhausen on 12 March 1806,148 was essentially a call to abandon the languorous and sensuous sound‑play of Calderonian (and Tieckian) imitation and to embrace instead a more ‘direct, energetic and patriotic poetry’. Written just a few months before the downfall of Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstädt, it invoked the robust tones of Johannes von Müller’s Helvetic history. Fouqué’s task would be to seize the ‘ancient documents of our poetry and history’ and lift the national consciousness out of its torpor (‘Versunkenheit’). It was the spur to Fouqué’s Siegfried trilogy Der Held des Nordens [The Hero of the North] (1808‑10) and much else in the nineteenth century.

  • 149 Such as ‘In der Fremde’, ‘An die Jungfrau von Orleans’, ‘Glaube’, ‘Tells Kapelle, bei Küßnacht’, (...)
  • 150 Adam H. Müller, Vorlesungen über die deutsche Wissenschaft und Literatur. Zweite vermehrte und verb (...)

66A series of poems (none of especial aesthetic merit) showed him unrepentantly returning to the themes that had always preoccupied him, love, both ideal (‘Minne’) and real, chivalry, ‘Vaterland’,149 as a further reminder that he was ‘still there’, that patriotic virtues were undiminished in partibus infidelium, even a longing for the sound of his native tongue in a Romance exile. Perhaps it gave him some satisfaction to have himself named, along with his brother Friedrich, in Adam Müller’s Dresden lectures in 1807 on ‘deutsche Wissenschaft und Literatur’ [German Science and Literature] and see himself invoked there as one of those forces instrumental in national regeneration and renewal.150

  • 151 For this and other references cf. Roger Paulin, ‘1806/7—ein Krisenjahr der Frühromantik?’, Kleist-J (...)
  • 152 Ibid., 144.

67For only months after their return from Italy in 1805, the precarious peace that had enabled their journey south was shattered by the resumption of the continental war. The Austrians were routed at Ulm in October, the Russians and Austrians at Austerlitz in December. The peace of Pressburg in the same month imposed Napoleon’s terms on the Austrians—and gave Hanover to the Prussians. For the time being there was nothing Schlegel could do to help his family except send sums of money to his needy mother through the war zones. The catastrophe of Jena and Auerstädt in October of 1806, the total defeat of the Prussian army, had all the symbolic and real lineaments of a national disaster. Napoleon rode through Weimar and Jena, prompting Hegel’s remark about seeing the ‘Weltseele’ in person.151 It was also the end of Jena: Heinrich Luden, a history professor there, who had had his house pillaged and had lost his papers, spoke for many in summoning up a ‘stream that surged through the lands of the world with a terrible roar and swept away thrones and swallowed up much that we cherished’.152

  • 153 Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’, SW, VIII, 243
  • 154 Paulin, 144.
  • 155 Using Peter Paret’s phrase. The Cognitive Challenge of War: Prussia 1806 (Princeton and Oxford: Pri (...)
  • 156 They were in Coppet from August until October 1807. Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 473
  • 157 Krisenjahre, I, 496f.

68What could Schlegel effectively do? In practical terms, nothing. Much later, he would respond to Johann Heinrich Voss’s rampageous anti-Romantic polemics by saying that at least he had been involved intellectually in the struggle against Napoleon, whereas Voss, in pro- Napoleonic Baden, had not seen a foreign foot set in his kitchen garden in Heidelberg.153 But now at most he could share in the process of organic renewal and recovery that Goethe privately spoke of,154 meet the ‘cognitive challenge of war’155 through intellectual and poetic means. It was a question of ‘Gesinnungen’, those ‘convictions’ that crop up in his letters. In October 1807 he sympathised with Countess Voss, who had actually suffered under the French occupation of Prussia, sensing that ‘the ground is giving way under one’s feet’ and that one will never see familiar places as they once were. How different his recent journey through Switzerland, that ‘citadel of freedom’. The letter had its symbolic side, for the bearer was Carl von Clausewitz, not yet the theoretician of war, but the aide-de-camp to Prince August of Prussia. Once a member of Schlegel’s audience at the Berlin Lectures, now a lieutenant colonel, the prince had been captured at Prenzlau, with the capitulation of the remaining Prussian forces after Jena and Auerstädt and had come to France, and thence to Coppet, as a prisoner of war.156 It was Clausewitz who would write to Schlegel early in 1808 about the ‘unsteady’ ground of the political and military situation and the need for a moral regeneration from which all else would proceed.157

  • 158 Ibid., 464.
  • 159 Ibid., 216.

69In his letter of 1807, Schlegel mentions the Dichter-Garten von Rostorf [Poets’ Garden], the mayfly almanac edited by Karl von Hardenberg, Novalis’s brother and a noted convert to Catholicism. Reviewing it in the same year, Schlegel singled out the collection’s tone of earnestness and patriotic piety, not least the (rather indifferent) poems by his brother Friedrich and the largest contribution by far, Sophie Bernhardi’s Egidio und Isabella. Friedrich had not succeeded in extricating himself from Cologne. He was to complain that circumstances were forcing them apart, where they naturally belonged together.158 While August Wilhelm expressed a more general ‘Gesinnung’, Friedrich’s views were more focused and more pronounced: against Protestantism, classicism, the Enlightenment, for Austria and above all for ‘one constitution’ and ‘one Church’, which could only mean ‘Catholic’. Even in his comparative language studies he was inclined towards speculation where his brother was now and later much more cautious and ‘philological’. He denied for instance the theory that the American peoples may once have crossed the Bering Strait from Asia and embraced instead wilder notions of Indian colonies in Peru and Germanic settlements in Mexico.159 These ideas, given new currency by Alexander von Humboldt’s journeys and indeed referred to (with due scepticism) in Vues des cordillères, were the less ordered side of the ideas on language families that Jean-Sylvain Bailly and Sir William Jones had given rise to in the late eighteenth century. Fortunately Friedrich was able to rein them in somewhat when writing his important Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier of 1808.

  • 160 Correspondance générale, V, ii, 673.

70In Coppet meanwhile life was returning to some kind of routine, if that is ever a word that can properly be applied to Madame de Staël. In the first instance, Auguste de Staël was to be prepared for the entrance examinations to the École polytechnique, with Schlegel giving him extended Greek lessons. The boy then left for Paris in August, and Napoleon in the event intervened to put a stop to his admission. The letters with which she bombarded her unfortunate son, full of exhortations and expectations, not least the hope that this fifteen-year-old might put in a word for her in the highest circles (Fouché), suggest a fraught and frazzled state of mind. Things were not improved by Napoleon continuing his injunction banning her from Paris and restricting her to a precinct of forty leagues from the capital while graciously allowing her the provinces. ‘But where can one live without the language, without my friends’:160 the tone is querulous and self-pitying. For the life-style of Coppet continued unabated: guests in 1805 included the prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Prince Esterházy and Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, names useful in the not too distant future. But other visitors involved emotional tangles: Prosper de Barante, immediately falling in love, Monti, to whom she was platonically attached, while Benjamin Constant saw himself as the lover en titre. When not thus engaged, she was writing Corinne. For Schlegel the shine was already wearing off Coppet.

  • 161 Pange, 151f., ref. 152.

71Whereas once he had been regarded as a favoured member of the household (or so he thought), he sensed that he was being relegated, misunderstood, made to feel what he effectively was, a foreigner, a German, a scholar-academic, a bourgeois. There were quarrels and exchanges of notes that might have been resolved in amicable fashion, coming to a head in a long letter in which he talked of breaking his chains, rehearsed her reproaches and begged her (quoting Julius Caesar for good measure) not to ‘hurl them in my teeth’.161 It seems to have had its effect, for the next note was couched in quite different tones. It is worth quoting it in the original :

  • 162 Ibid., 153.

Je déclare que vous avez tous les droits sur moi et que je n’en ai aucun sur vous. Disposez de ma personne et de ma vie, ordonnez, défendez, je vous obéirai en tout. Je n’aspire à aucun bonheur que celui que vous voudrez me donner ; je ne veux rien posséder, je veux tenir tout de votre générosité. Je consentirais volontiers à ne plus penser tout à ma célébrité, à vouer exclusivement à votre usage particulier ce que je peux avoir de connoissances et le talens. Je suis fier de vous appartenir en propriété’.162 [I declare that you have all rights over me and that I have none over you. Dispose of my person, of my life, demand, forbid, I shall obey you in everything. I do not aspire to any happiness but what you care to bestow on me; I do not wish to possess anything, I wish to keep everything out of your generosity. I shall of my own free will consent to think no more wholly of my celebrity, to devote exclusively to your own use whatever I have by way of knowledge and talents. I am proud of belonging to you as your own possession.]

72With this he moves from the harsh speech of Julius Caesar to the dulcet tones of courtly love, to Minnesang, to Petrarch, in a letter that is also a fine piece of rhetorical construction. On that level, it is one writer addressing another, each aware of the conventions and proprieties. It is also an admission of resignation and defeat, of the powerlessness of resistance, the realisation that his life, for the time being at least, was to be determined by her movements, her preferences, her dispensations. He had in effect nowhere else to turn: she offered security, but on her terms. Seen thus, it need not be read merely as the craven and obeisant act of submission that many have judged it to be. It does also suggest that an intervening letter or conversation had promised to make amends, to repair their relationship, and her solicitude for his welfare in the next years, and his willingness to undertake acts of sacrifice on her behalf, would bear this out. While Schlegel went through these rites of acquiescence and homage, accepting his role in a court where all was free but by the same token all was subtly controlled, at his desk, in those hours when there were no conversations and no social duties, he was able to perform some small acts of insubordination.

  • 163 Not all of the iconography is clear, but the caption ‘Artem penetrat’ refers to the figure of Schle (...)
  • 164 August von Kotzebue, Erinnerungen von einer Reise aus Liefland nach Rom und Neapel, 3 parts (Berlin (...)

73Meanwhile, it was a question of solidarity with Germaine, while reminding the reading public at home that, although physically absent from his native soil, he was still part of its national cultural patrimony and its discourse. By no means everyone, it seems, was edified by his association with Madame de Staël. A caricature of Schlegel in Rome—its circulation and date are uncertain—blindfolded, with ass’s ears and a goose dictating a text which contained allusions of a sexually obscene nature, showed a less decorous attitude to his relationship.163 The ubiquitous Kotzebue, also a visitor to Rome in 1805, wrote a disrespectful account of artistic life there and one that deliberately contradicted Romantic emphases.164

Fig. 13 ‘Artem penetrat’. Caricature drawing, undated [1805?]. Orphan work.

Fig. 13 ‘Artem penetrat’. Caricature drawing, undated [1805?]. Orphan work.

Considérations sur la civilisation en général

  • 165 SW, XII, 169-188.
  • 166 Ibid., 177-182.

74Schlegel could show his good will by reviewing texts by authors close to her circle or her affections, by avoiding points of disagreement, or by agreeing to differ. They were often tucked away in German journals, mainly the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in Jena.165 He reviewed favourably Bonstetten’s book tracing the footsteps of Virgil’s Aeneas in Italy, but as one who also had been there and was just as good a Latinist (a pupil of Heyne’s). His praise for Monti’s treatise on a passage in Catullus was from one classical scholar to another, while he used Monti’s defence elsewhere of Italian culture and scienza nuova as a stick to beat French snobbery towards both Italy and Germany. When he reviewed the posthumous papers of Jacques Necker,166 he found the same hagiographical tone appropriate that Germaine always employed with reference to her father. He also started writing in French.

  • 167 Oeuvres, I, 277-316.

75Considérations sur la civilisation en général et sur l’origine et la décadence des religions,167 which Eduard Böcking his editor dated at 1805, is the first of the two major French texts from these earlier Staëlian years. It is a thirty-to-forty-page fragment that Schlegel never published in his lifetime, much of it derivative and not all of its arguments sustained. We do not know for whom or for what occasion it was written. It has echoes here and there of Rom, from the same year. Its title, Considérations, might suggest a companion piece, or even a critique, of Madame de Staël’s own work of 1800 and indeed this may be the reason for his never issuing it. It has echoes of Herder’s Ideen, of Johannes von Müller, of Schlegel’s own lectures on Enzyclopädie; it cites Jean-Sylvain Bailly and Sir William Jones, all texts or authors that trace the development—material, linguistic, religious—of humankind from its notional origins.

  • 168 On this see Ernst Behler, ‘La doctrine de Coppet d’une perfectibilité infinie et la Révolution fran (...)
  • 169 Oeuvres, I, 280.
  • 170 Ibid., 289.

76It has two strands, neither of which is satisfactorily integrated into a consecutive argument: a critique of the eighteenth-century notion of progress, and an examination of the origins of civilization. Take first the cherished eighteenth-century view of progress, of human perfectibility,168 especially its French variant, represented by Turgot and Condorcet (unnamed) and also Staël and Constant (also unidentified). Schlegel rebuts the claims of what he sees as sensualist, rationalist and egoistical philosophy by invoking the counter-claims of idealism (again, no names), which, far from denying the existence of the physical world, ‘[consists] solely in recognising the primacy of the intellect or of morals over the physical’.169 Progress—which Schlegel does not deny—is not merely a matter of resisting earlier enthusiasms, but is contingent on the achievement of wisdom and of control over the passions. Thus we cannot speak of progress in our own age, when experience tells us that it is the first, primeval movements that count, not mere later ‘raisonnements’ and refinements of taste. We have lost original unities—those of philosophy with poetry or law-making with cosmogony—and our scientific discoveries serve only to make the material world available. ‘Man becomes a machine’,170 words which echo the anti- rationalist, anti-mechanical theme running through the late eighteenth century in Germany; man loses the sense of poetry, loses the ‘centre’, the belief in some kind of providence.

  • 171 Ibid., 293.
  • 172 Ibid., 315.

77None of this would be alien to Herder, to Schiller, to Friedrich Schlegel, if differently focused and formulated. He comes closer to Romantic doctrine in rejecting the Voltairean and Humean view of a primeval ‘brutish state’.171 Against it he sets early mankind’s reliance on myth (Egyptian, Greek, American) as an explanation of natural phenomena and human achievement (poetry, agriculture, cultivation). The old idea of a Golden Age expressed this in terms of a primal energy, organic forces at work in natural rhythms, traces of which can be found in most ancient cultures. In deepest time, there must have existed a people of extreme wisdom and enlightenment who took uncivilized nature in hand and colonized it (the theme of migration from his Göttingen dissertation). We know this, he says, through the discoveries made by scholars like Bailly and Sir William Jones: India is the ‘cradle of the human race’, Sanskrit the mother of all languages, where the word, spoken or written, affords control over the terrestrial world, social institutions, astronomy and religion. This ‘sacred language’ is notable for its sophisticated structure and its range of expression, both concrete and abstract. It is the language of the Brahmins, in which still today there survives wisdom, calm, contemplation, paternalistic authority, as against ‘our frantic perfectibility’.172 They have seen the need to pass on to their descendants the traditions, monuments and precepts that our age, fixated as it is on the future, has forgotten.

  • 173 Although he seems to have let Zacharias Werner see it. Briefe, II, 99.

78This is Schlegel before he had learned a word of Sanskrit, combining Hermsterhuisian ideas with the eighteenth century’s reverence for India and all things Indian, or rather, the clichés associated with it. It can be related to his polemical rejection of the ‘shallow’ optimism and utilitarianism of much of eighteenth-century German literary culture, from which judgment, it may be remembered, he had excluded those idealisers of past myth and past civilisations, Winckelmann and Hemsterhuis. That is one side. It is a first, tentative formulation of ideas that would find expression in his later lectures in Bonn on ancient history and Graeco‑Roman culture, and it informs his later notions on language unities and linguistic structures. There is no evidence that he ever produced it in the Coppet circle,173 even as a subject of discussion, for it would have elicited counter-arguments from Madame de Staël and from Constant. It’s being drafted in French, and its clear engagement with the French ‘idéologues’ would have ensured this.

On some Tragic Roles of Madame de Staël

  • 174 Briefe, I, 194f., II, 84.
  • 175 Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 92-115.

79Madame de Staël was bored. Boredom was another form of melancholy and depression. Something had to be done to ward it off. Apart from writing frequent letters to Auguste in Paris, there was her other, slightly brainless, son Albert to consider. Knowing Schlegel’s newly-discovered love of the outdoor life, she sent them on a journey on foot round parts of Lake Geneva, accompanied by Elzéar de Sabran. We know very little of this except what Schlegel tells us in a letter to his sister-in-law in Hanover, and a few lines to Sophie.174 Taking their tutorial duties seriously, they showed Albert not only the sights in nature but those connected with Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse, a reminder that the Neckers had once known Jean-Jacques and that Germaine’s near-debut as a writer had been Lettres sur les ouvrages et le caractère de J. J. Rousseau in 1788.175

  • 176 Martine de Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire des rôles et des représentations de Mme de Staël’, Cahier (...)

80A distraction which never failed to revive Madame de Staël was the theatre, acting or declamation. It had been a very serious diversion since her childhood, when she had some lessons in the speaking of verse from the celebrated actress Mademoiselle Clairon.176 Since then, in her first English exile, in Weimar, Berlin and Rome, she had given ‘performances’, either taking an acting part or reading, mainly Voltaire and Racine, and for preference the roles of Andromaque or Phèdre. In Germany, it had added to her reputation for eccentric celebrity, as it would later in Vienna and Stockholm.

  • 177 Journaux intimes, 282.
  • 178 Cf. Friederike Brun : ‘Die Kleidungen auf diesem Privattheater, die Beobbachtung [sic] des Costume, (...)

81In November of 1805, she, Constant and Schlegel moved to Geneva where they stayed until the end of March 1806. She hired the ‘théâtre au Molard’ in the centre of the city and immediately set about arranging productions in which her circle and her friends (notably Constant, Prosper de Barante and Sabran) were involved. This also meant Schlegel. We can imagine him as a lecturer in Jena or Berlin reading verse with good accentuation and even with feeling; and we know of his concern—also shared by Goethe— that the actors in Ion in Weimar should speak their lines well. Of his acting skills we know less. The ever-malicious Benjamin Constant claimed that he was comical in tragedy and not happy in comedy, but that we may largely discount.177 In the letter to Julie Schlegel he spoke of the difficulty of acting in a foreign language, despite his ‘almost impeccable’ accent. Meanwhile, he was also to be a kind of wardrobe manager, so that presumably his brief even extended to the lavish ‘Greek’ and ‘Spanish’ attire of Madame de Staël to which he later made reference.178 If Schlegel had little taste for the actual dramatic fare, at least he knew that the costumes were historically ‘correct’.

82The first play performed was Voltaire’s Mérope. Schlegel knew, as probably no-one else present did, that Lessing had once subjected this play to one of his elegant demolitions in the Hamburgische Dramaturgie, and Schlegel had already made no secret of his disdain for French neo-classicism. But part of the new accommodation to circumstances meant pitching in with a will, in this case as the minor figure Euryclès. There was more Voltaire to follow in 1806, Mahomet and Alzire in January, Zaïre in March. In March, it was also the turn of Racine, first the comedy Les Plaideurs, with Schlegel in an unspecified role, and then the great performance of Phèdre. Earlier in the same month, Madame de Staël’s own play, Agar dans le désert, had been staged, with Germaine in the title role, Albertine as Ismaël, and Albert as the angel.

  • 179 SW, IX, 267-281. Cf. the closely related review by Friederike Brun, also in 1806. Bonstettiana, X, (...)
  • 180 Notably ‘An Friederike Unzelmann bei Uebersendung meiner Gedichte’ (SW, I, 240f.), ‘Die Schauspiele (...)

83Whatever Schlegel may have said during this theatrical season, what he actually wrote about it made his views quite clear. This was in the article that he sent to the Berliner Damen-Kalender for 1807 (thus late in 1806), Ueber einige tragische Rollen von Frau v. Staël dargestellt [On Some Tragic Roles Represented by Madame de Staël].179 The addressee was ‘Madame Bethmann’, who insiders knew was Friederike Unzelmann, the well-known Berlin actress, now remarried since 1803 and using a new name. She had of course been romantically associated with Schlegel in Berlin, and he had paid court to her in verse180—and, who knows, perhaps in other form. For all of these reasons it is interesting to have Schlegel’s published account of Madame de Staël’s acting. The context is crucial. On the one hand, he would not wish to diminish by association the artistry of the great diva who had excelled in Mozart operas, in Shakespearean roles, and who as Schiller’s Maria Stuart had moved the audience to tears in the leave-taking scene in Act Five. By the same token, he was concerned not to disparage Madame de Staël’s acting talent, which, while impressive, was ‘natural’, not ‘professional’. Similarly, he would be careful not to display too many of the prejudices against French and to some extent Italian neo-classicism to which his Berlin lectures had most recently given expression. He was aware that Goethe had translated Voltaire’s Tancrède and Mahomet and Schiller Racine’s Phèdre for the needs of the Weimar stage and its actors’ perceived deficiencies in speaking verse.

84Thus it was a delicate balancing act, between rejection of false declamation and admiration for an acting performance that had taken provincial Geneva by storm (if not Paris or Vienna or Berlin). There was, too, the question of whether her acting was remarkable per se or whether it was the sight, the spectacle, of the writer ‘whose works are already in everyone’s hands’ appearing in dramatic roles. Schlegel assured his German readers that she possessed the poise, the ease of movement and gesture, the mastery of spoken language, that the actor must have, but above all the ability to make the poetic character her own, to act from within the dictates of her own heart, to empathise, to draw the audience into her own pain and suffering. There was none of the alleged forced declamation of some of the leading Paris actors.

85So far, so good. How was Schlegel to reconcile his admiration for ‘tragic roles’ in plays by Voltaire and Racine for which he had to date mainly evinced contempt? He succeeded in praising Mérope by concentrating on Madame de Staël’s mastery of the role, rather than discussing the play’s intrinsic merits, and of course he himself had been Euryclès to her Mérope in December, 1805. This approach did not work for the ‘irreligious’ Mahomet, whereas Alzire, with its clash between the old and the new worlds (and Madame de Staël in Spanish costume) found his favour. Not so Zaïre: only the ‘grace and tenderness’ of her acting could redeem an otherwise ‘unnatural’ drama.

86There then follows a section on Phèdre, which, when placed alongside the Comparaison of 1807, reads like a first draft of some of that essay’s points: some only, as he reserves for that later work the reasons for Euripides’ superiority over Racine. Here, he merely states that, by changing the role of Euripides’ Hippolytus, Racine has placed Phèdre instead in the full centre of the action; a figure of almost morbid passion, pathological imagination and seductive power has pushed the borders of dramatic representation to their farthest extent without causing offence to our moral sensitivities. Not wishing to pursue this point further, Schlegel concentrates on Madame de Staël’s use of gesture and voice modulation, above all her figure in ‘Greek’ costume that the author of Ion finds part of the ‘grand style’ of her performance.

  • 181 ‘A Madame de Staël après la représentation d’Agar. 1806’. Oeuvres, I, 84.

87Interestingly, however, he finds the real pathos, the tears of sympathy and empathy, not in Racine, but in Madame de Staël’s own Agar dans le désert, performed by herself with Albertine and Albert. Apart from its ability to move (Schlegel found words in French verse),181 the play has the merit of breaking with the conventions of the French stage, being in prose, allowing for mime, and with instrumental interludes between the speeches. It was a step, he says, towards the reformation of the French theatre, once attempted unsuccessfully by Diderot, but now restoring ‘nature’ to its proper place. No doubt the Staël family, even an angelic Albert, had the power to move, but his (German) readers may have wondered all the same at this elevation of Hagar to the level of Phèdre.

  • 182 AWS, Kritische Ausgabe der Vorlesungen, ed. Ernst Behler et al., 3 vols [KAV] (Paderborn, etc.: Sch (...)
  • 183 An Ida Brun’. Poetische Werke, I, 227-230; SW, I, 254-257, with accompanying note. Bonstettiana, X (...)

88But the Staëlian theatre was also open for other talents. The poetess Friederike Brun brought her talented daughter Ida to Geneva that winter, where with Madame de Staël’s encouragement the not quite fourteen-year- old girl performed pantomime dances to music, with representations of figures from classical mythology. Schlegel had referred briefly to this kind of performance in his Berlin lectures,182 but here was ‘attitude’, rhythm, physical movement, ideal form, grace, expressiveness, plasticity, all in one action, abstract notions come alive, symbols made real, Pygmalion’s ideal realised. Diana, Aurora, Atalanta, Althea—the gamut of mythological emotion, terror, dignity, fury, despair—came easily to Ida. Schlegel wrote a poem in her honour.183 With the article on Madame de Staël’s acting, it shows Schlegel postulating a kind of theatrical ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ avant la lettre.

Corinne, ou l’Italie

  • 184 The account of her movements based on Correspondance générale, Calendrier staëlien, VI, xvii-xxii.
  • 185 Ibid., VI, 83.
  • 186 Ibid.
  • 187 Her picture by François Gérard is to be seen in the background of Franz Krüger’s official portrait (...)
  • 188 Correspondance générale, VI, 83.

89These distractions could not last. By April of 1806, the Staël ménage was on the move again,184 Albert and Albertine, Schlegel, to be joined again by Dom Pedro de Souza, with Auguste still in Paris. It is not easy to keep abreast with Madame de Staël’s movements during this time, involving as they did various journeyings and sojourns in provincial France and over a year’s absence from Coppet. First, they went to Lyon, then to Auxerre. From there it was Vincelles on the Yonne, where they settled in the small château. She had little eye for its scenic position above the river: it was ‘a real Ovidian Scythia’,185 a not altogether unfitting analogy in that it was forty-one leagues from Paris. Paris itself remained out of reach: she sent Souza in the hope that he might negotiate some deal with Fouché, to get her to the capital and settle the two-million-franc loan that Necker had selflessly made to the French state (she would not get this back until the Restoration). She disclaimed any interest in politics, only a wish to live in the metropolis, but Napoleon and his agents were inexorable. She was bored, taking opium, despite at various times Auguste, Mathieu de Montmorency, Elzéar de Sabran, and the amorous Prosper de Barante coming to keep her company. She could at least send Schlegel and Albert to Paris for ten days, which happened in May. ‘Be nice to him’,186 ‘he is much more of a friend than the tutor to my children’, is how she wrote on 8 May of Schlegel. The addressee was Juliette, the famous Madame Récamier. Prince August of Prussia was to fall seriously in love with her,187 Auguste de Staël would be adolescently enamoured, and Schlegel was duly charmed. Writing to the permanent secretary of the Académie Française and the editor of Le Publiciste, Jean- Baptiste-Antoine Suard, she went further, qualifying Schlegel as ‘the most extraordinary man as a philologist, clever and learned as a man of letters that it is possible to meet’.188 It is uncertain whom Schlegel met on this occasion, but this first encounter with the world of French academic scholarship was of symbolic importance for the future.

  • 189 First reference 8 August, Constant, Journaux intimes, 292; Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 85.
  • 190 Journaux intimes, 292.
  • 191 Cf. Simone Balayé, ‘Madame de Staël et le docteur Koreff’, Cahiers staëliens, 3 (1965), 15-32, and (...)
  • 192 Krisenjahre, I, 374f. Prescriptions in ‘Briefe und medizinische Vorschriften von Koreff’, ibid., II (...)
  • 193 Krisenjahre, I, 345f.

90Germaine could not easily stay in one place and we find her making several short forays away from Vincelles, leaving the two younger children, Schlegel, Souza and Constant, who had been installed there since the summer of 1806. In August, however, Schlegel fell ill.189 It was a tertian fever, most likely malarial, as the pattern of relapses (recorded by Constant and Madame de Staël) would indicate. While Constant saw Schlegel’s prostration as mere ‘pusillanimité’,190 there is no doubt that his condition was serious, so much so that Staël summoned a doctor from Paris. This was no ordinary physician, and he would play a role in Schlegel’s later life disproportionate to his medical ministrations. David Ferdinand Koreff191 had had a brilliant career in Berlin and had now launched himself in the ‘grand monde’ of Paris. There is something of the Wunderdoktor and charlatan about him, especially his magnetic cures; there is also no doubt that he was skilled at his profession. His approach to Schlegel was holistic, prescribing what was thought appropriate at the time (and rightly warning him not to take too much quinine),192 also probing into his state of mind. Could there not be some hidden cause for this persistent fever, some worry or anxiety or grief? Madame de Staël was in no doubt that Schlegel’s jealousy of the amorous Barante was the cause.193 If one were to adduce psychological causes for something so clearly physical, one might just as easily mention the barrage of letters from Sophie Bernhardi in Rome and their catalogue of woes as a contributory factor.

  • 194 Pange, 178f.
  • 195 Jan Urbich,’De profundis. Mme de Staël und Friedrich Schlegel’, in: Kaiser/Müller (2008), 163-187, (...)

91Schlegel only gradually got better; his brother Friedrich, alarmed at not hearing from him, actually came to be with him, extending the visit for a whole six months.194 It relieved his strained exchequer, while he in his turn gave Madame de Staël a private lecture on metaphysics.195 She had meanwhile removed to Rouen, from September to November, then to the (quite modest) Château d’Acosta in Aubergenville, where the valleys of the Mauldre and the Seine meet, forty-five kilometres from Paris and thus inside the forbidden zone. Fouché, for the meanwhile, left her in peace. She was to be there from the end of November 1806 until April 1807.

  • 196 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B29, 1, 2. One is addressed to the ‘hôtel de Suède’ where the (...)
  • 197 Pange, 181.
  • 198 Ibid., 187.
  • 199 Correspondance générale, VI, 200.

92The Schlegel brothers were subject to no such constraints and were able to spend some time in Paris, taking the ‘diligence-éclair’ from Rouen. At least two notes that we can date from this time196 suggest that they enjoyed the agreeable company of Madame Récamier. The rest of the time was more disciplined, with museums, libraries, theatre. It was August Wilhelm’s first contact with the orientalists with whom Friedrich had already been working, Antoine-Léonard de Chézy and Louis-Mathieu Langlès.197 They also met the Austrian ambassador, Count Metternich, whose name had not yet begun to resonate throughout Europe but who would prove useful towards the end of that same year. August Wilhelm saw the celebrated Mademoiselle Georges in Voltaire’s Tancrède.198 His remarks on the Paris theatre were not flattering and can have left his patroness in no doubt about his views. He would have finished the piece on Madame de Staël’s performances by then and was most likely already working on the more extensive Comparaison. She in her turn was taking Schlegel more and more into her confidence, using him as a signatory on documents for loans with an eye to purchasing property in France (Acosta was one possibility). Her main occupation in Acosta was finishing Corinne ou l’Italie, the novel that she had been planning since the Italian journey. She signed a contract with the publisher Nicolle, and arranged with Cotta for the German translation to be done by Friedrich Schlegel (in fact, by Dorothea).199

  • 200 Ibid., VI, 212.

93Personal and public matters intertwined. She was sending Auguste back to Geneva to prepare him for his confirmation, the religious education of her children being something that she took very seriously. Having had his entry to the École polytechnique blocked from on high, there was the question of Auguste’s further education. Should it be in Germany (Friedrich Schlegel’s suggestion), or America, or Edinburgh? His mother meanwhile was not making it easy for those around her. She was putting out feelers to Metternich (if only by sending him a copy of Corinne) and other Austrian grandees.200 Time was up for her sojourn in Acosta, and officialdom was exerting pressure. In April, 1807 she made two clandestine forays into Paris, to meet up with Madame Récamier and Constant. They did not remain secret from Napoleon’s spy network, and the Emperor, pausing between the battles of Eylau and Friedland, was displeased.

  • 201 Ibid., 220. Simone Balayé, ‘Corinne. Histoire du roman’, in : SB (ed.), L’Éclat et le silence. ‘Cor (...)

94He had not enjoyed reading Corinne, either, a copy of which was sent to him on the Prussian-Russian front.201 It had no flattering preface, which might have been enough to mitigate his displeasure and gain her return to Paris or its environs. It was a novel about Italy, and essentially about two English characters in Italy, not French, and the main French character was largely unflattering. The Italy of its sub-title was ante-bellum, an aristocratic capsule, not the kingdom of Napoleon’s creation; it lamented the lost greatness of Italy, Dante’s, but also Alfieri’s (and Monti’s). Its Anglophile sentiments, which admittedly did not extend to all the characters or all the moral situations, were another source of irritation. She would not back down, and the price was further exile. The extended family made its way back to Coppet in May-June, 1807.

  • 202 Briefe, II, 84, 91. Jan Röhnert, ‘Weibliches Genie und männlicher Blick. Paradigmen und Paradoxien (...)
  • 203 Balayé (1999), 27.

95Already as they were moving back into exile, Schlegel inserted a short notice on Corinne into Cotta’s Morgenblatt on 26 May, 1807. He would follow it up with the longer and more sustained review of the novel which appeared later in the year in the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung.202 It was evident that he wished to do two things: to show up the obtuseness of the French critics whose voices were already being heard; and more importantly, to prepare the ground for a favourable reception in the German-speaking lands. The first point could be dealt with in a few masterful and disdainful sentences; the second would require more circumspection. For this was the fulfilment of her months in Italy and of her love declaration, already expressed in De la littérature, for all things Italian, the novel of which Monti, Humboldt, Chateaubriand, La Fayette, Jefferson, various German sovereigns, and Goethe had received a copy.203 Schlegel also knew much about the real circumstances, political and emotional, the real affaires du coeur (the real ‘courses’) that had found their way into its texture, and the real travail that had accompanied its various drafts. While not being exactly the Oswald to her Corinne—far from it—he had been her companion through much that was here translated into fiction, and he had helped to ease the pangs of its creation.

96Thus the important thing for Schlegel was to make this cosmopolitan novel, one with European dimensions, appeal to German taste and sensitivities. The Germans, who like no other literary nation had placed artists in the centre of their drama and fiction, might be expected to be sympathetic to a novel about an artist, Corinne the chosen vessel of providence. They could take in their stride a many-stranded text that took a love story, a travelogue, and long passages of art criticism, and interlaced them into a successful whole, a balanced ensemble (aspects that even well-intentioned readers today do not find easy to reconcile). As for those ‘courses’, the Germans, from Winckelmann to Goethe, had a special affinity with Italy and its culture and would bring a sympathy to bear that would make its past and present alive. Schlegel devoted sections to Corinne’s improvisations, to the ‘träumerische Lust’, the dream-like desire, engendered by the southern landscape, the works of art that Corinne and Oswald behold and which the party with Madame de Staël had similarly seen. He was perhaps on less secure ground with the emotional content of the novel, but he made his position on Oswald clear (immature and unsteady), and hoped that his female readers would agree.

97Of course he could not resist the opportunity of inferring some German input into the novel. The mention of the performance in Italian of Romeo and Juliet, that in many ways sums up Oswald’s and Corinne’s tragic love, gave Schlegel an opportunity to dispraise Italian (and French) neo‑classicism and to promote Shakespeare and Calderón (and perhaps by extension himself). The definition of a novel that he offered has little to do with Corinne but much more with his brother Friedrich’s assertion in Europa that legend or the romance of chivalry should be the stuff of modern fiction, indeed one might also read into it the Romantic predilection for Don Quixote. The envoi of the review was puzzling. Was he piqued that, say, Monti was directly quoted in the text, while he and his brother Friedrich, whose Romantic art appreciation from Europa certainly informed passage after passage of the novel, were sidelined in a note each? It seemed that he was. The real Corinne would have forgiven him this little touch of personal vanity.

  • 204 Röhnert, 201-210.

98His was a positive voice nevertheless. Others would soon approach the novel with a definite parti pris.204 Adam Müller, once a member of Schlegel’s Berlin audience, but now delivering his own lectures in Dresden and promoting in them forces for the moral and political renewal of a Germany humiliated by the French, read the novel in terms of French ‘frivolity’ and German ‘depth’. Jean Paul, a fellow-novelist, and, let it be said, one better than Madame de Staël ever was, had no reason to be favourable to a product of the extended Schlegel circle. He had been relegated by Jena’s cultivation of Goethe and by its own self-promotion. Moreover, in his huge novel Titan of 1801-03 he relied on travel accounts by others to summon up a fabled Italy, where there were large passions, high politics—and fewer ‘courses’. While admiring the character of Corinne herself, as is only right and proper, he was unrelentingly hard on Oswald, on the novel’s indulgence of longing, suffering and pain, and its alleged unwillingness to seek or find fulfilment. Jean Paul’s review is all the more telling in that its acerbity, its dismissal of the wimpish Oswald, is couched in feline irony.

Swiss Journeyings with Albert de Staël

  • 205 Correspondance générale, VI, 262.
  • 206 Krisenjahre, III, 81-86, not in SW. Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, Intelligenzblatt 50, 28 June, 180 (...)

99In June 1807, Madame de Staël could write of being installed in ‘the majestic solitude of Coppet’.205 She had returned with her retinue, first of all via Lyon. They paused here long enough for Schlegel to meet the librarian and to be shown two Roman mosaics in the city. It gave him the opportunity for his first piece of sustained archaeological description:206 a longer account of the scene of a chariot race on the one surface, and a shorter section on an allegorical scene of sensual and spiritual love. Schlegel shows here that he can be technical and learned, while also giving a spirited portrayal of the scenes depicted. It was to be his last contribution to the Allgemeine Literatur- Zeitung before his attentions were dispersed and he finally settled on the Heidelberger Jahrbücher for his reviewing needs.

  • 207 Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 337f.
  • 208 The letters which trace this tour in Pange, 198-207.

100Once at Coppet however there were love scenes of a different kind: Madame de Staël’s show-down with Benjamin Constant, tempestuous and theatrical protestations, threats of suicide, of which Schlegel was a witness.207 Madame Récamier and Elzéar de Sabran also arrived. The two ladies made an excursion to the glaciers at Chamonix: the reflected sunlight threatened to ruin their complexions. Schlegel and especially Albert de Staël did not have that problem. To use up the boy’s surplus energy and to instruct him in ‘the map of natural knowledge’, the two were sent on a walking holiday through German-speaking Switzerland.208

101It was indeed mostly on foot, as the conditions of those days demanded, at least from Berne, where the serious walking began. We have his account in letters to Albert’s mother. There is something both amusing and touching in the spectacle of these two travellers, so different in temperament yet somehow making good companions; the one a chatterbox, the other studious, looking for ‘beauty, horror and immensity’ (and also the ‘silence and solitude’ that sublime nature afforded) yet being distracted from these by Albert’s prattle. The savant-traveller was also—how could it be otherwise?—planning ‘un petit livre’ on their journey, rhapsodic reflections, descriptions of nature and of customs. He kept his ears open for gradations in dialect: knowing Middle High German, he would spot the affinities of Swiss German and this older form. And so the two walked— Thun, Unterseen, Lauterbrunn, the Staubbach Fall (‘in all its beauty’), to the ‘icy and solitary horrors’ of the Grimsel, into the valley of the Ticino (‘romantic’) (he was tempted to proceed to Lago Maggiore), on horseback over the St Gothard to Uri and Lucerne (the Rigi was overcast and invisible), Berne, Fribourg and Vevey.

  • 209 SW, XIII, 154.

102It showed Schlegel, otherwise presented as bookish and retiring, to be the most physically fit of his Romantic generation; of those once outdoor-going friends, Wackenroder was prematurely dead, and Tieck was crippled; Novalis had died of consumption; Friedrich Schlegel was grossly corpulent; Fichte was to die after imprudently joining the militia in 1813. Schlegel did not have the poetic talent of his friend Tieck, who profited from his (vehicular) journey to Italy to produce his Reisegedichte eines Kranken [Travel Poems of an Invalid], but it seems that he did really plan a ‘book in its own right’.209 Those were the words that he used when writing in 1812 to Johann Rudolf Wyss, the editor of the important Swiss periodical Alpenrosen (and of his father’s Swiss Family Robinson).

103Schlegel entrusted a much shorter and far less comprehensive account of Switzerland to Wyss, having already published parts in Seckendorf’s Prometheus, his major outlet for the year 1808. These Umriße, entworfen auf einer Reise durch die Schweiz [Outlines Sketched During a Journey Through Switzerland], lacking the spontaneity of his letters to Madame de Staël, had now become an ideologically slanted account of a land exhibiting qualities and virtues that Germany no longer possessed. The journey on foot was also a progression through pristine nature and uncorrupted morals. True, there were three set-piece descriptions that showed an eye for both nature and human customs; and there was disapproval of the tourism that had already sprung up. The dates of publication, 1812-13, brought with them reminders that this was the land of ancient freedom: it had once thrown off the oppressors’ yoke, and still spoke a language that was not a mere regional dialect but a survival of Minnesang.

  • 210 Correspondance générale, VI, 315 ; Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire’, 86f.

104Albert and Schlegel returned first to Lausanne, then to Ouchy, the nearby port where Madame de Staël had rented a house for the summer, Molin de Montagny. Not only was there emotional turbulence between her and Constant, who was secretly finding comfort elsewhere, but Madame Récamier found herself the object of attention. Prince August of Prussia, who was forced to spend six weeks in Coppet while waiting for passports for himself and Clausewitz, fell passionately in love with her during the time he spent at Coppet (they later vowed eternal love, without marriage). Ouchy-Coppet proved itself to be a ‘château dramatique’210 in more ways than one, for a performance of Racine’s Andromaque at Ouchy, put on as a distraction from fraying emotions, led to Staël (as Hermione) and Constant (as Pyrrhus) slanging each other in alexandrines. Before the year was out they would be performing Voltaire’s Sémiramis, above all Phèdre, with Staël and Récamier, the second performance almost as the Staël ménage started on its next journey, to Vienna. There were also readings of Constant’s new play, Wallstein.

Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide (1807)

  • 211 Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide, par A. W. Schlegel (Paris : Tourneisen f (...)
  • 212 He refers to the proofs in a letter of 10 August to Madame de Staël. Pange, 204.
  • 213 A. W. de Schlegel, Essais littéraires et historiques (Bonn : Weber, 1842), Avant-propos, xiv ; Oeuv (...)
  • 214 Ibid., 2.
  • 215 Dorothea von Schlegel geb. Mendelssohn und deren Söhne Johannes und Philipp Veit. Briefwechsel im A (...)
  • 216 Wieneke, 157.

105Schlegel wrote on both Wallstein and Phèdre, but it was Racine’s play that had occupied him since earlier that year. During the spring of 1807, while Madame de Staël herself was barred from the capital or only clandestinely and furtively a visitor, Schlegel had used his weeks in Paris to negotiate publication of his famous—infamous—Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide,211 the 108-page brochure that came out later in 1807 with Turneisen (Tourneisen to his French readers).212 Later (1842) he would claim that it was merely something ‘that I found amusing to do on literary opinion’,213 and in the same context he saw it as a product of a time of social distractions and voyagings that allowed him little time for sustained work.214 It is true that it does draw largely on existing insights and indeed is not free of signs of haste. Closer in time, he would state to his sister-in-law Dorothea Schlegel that he merely wanted to stir things up, get people annoyed,215 and to Goethe he used a similar tone.216 Except that when writing to Goethe, on 31 January 1808, he was already in Vienna, playing down French reactions to the work as mere ‘spasms’ and hoping for a more considered and balanced judgment from the Germans. That in its turn was somewhat disingenuous: Schlegel was at that moment waiting for the Austrian emperor to issue the fiat enabling him to deliver the course of lectures that would set out more comprehensively and systematically what the Comparaison was stating in less ordered aperçus. When these lectures were available, first in German, then in French, the full extent of his thinking on the notion of the classic, on classicism, on neo-classicism, would be shown in its widest context.

Fig. 14 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide (Paris, 1807). Title page.

Fig. 14 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide (Paris, 1807). Title page.

© And by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.

106In the same letter Schlegel mentioned in one breath his epistle to Goethe from Rome, the elegy Rom, and the Comparaison, which suggested that he saw some kind of inner link between these three products of his first years with Madame de Staël. They are all in their way an unrepentant affirmation of neo‑classicism, either in style (the artists in Rome), in verse recreation (Rom) or in adaptation (the Euripidean-style Ion). It was a question of how one approached revival or recrudescence, not the principle itself. How else could one explain Schlegel’s continuing admiration for Friedrich Tieck and his concern for his wellbeing, an artist who combined Greek strictness of form with modern elegance and subtlety? Goethe, predictably, did not care for Schlegel’s kind of neo-classicism, and Schlegel in his turn was dismayed to find himself in 1808 sharing Seckendorf’s periodical Prometheus with Goethe’s most radical classicizing experiment, the dramatic fragment Pandora.

  • 217 Oeuvres, II, 366.

107But Goethe would certainly have recognized, in the middle of the Comparaison, this reference: ‘energetic souls, a great connoisseur of the classics has said, are like the sea, always calm at the bottom, though the surface be troubled by storms’.217 It is the most famous passage from Winckelmann’s On the Imitation of the Greek Works, long since available in French and Italian and thus quoted here without acknowledgement. If Goethe idolized Winckelmann, Schlegel certainly deeply respected him, and they differed only over the extent of Winckelmann’s antiquarian knowledge. By placing this passage in the centre of his treatise, Schlegel was aligning himself with someone who had entered the Greek world with heart and mind and soul and spirit. He differed too in degree from those French abbés, Pierre Brumoy and Charles Batteux, whom Schlegel mentions at the opening of the Comparaison, for whom the world of the Greeks was not our world or our manners, its mythology too bizarre, its barbarities too patent; we must instead elevate its beauties, recreate its harmonies. Thus Schlegel was echoing debates that had coursed through the eighteenth century, on how to reconcile Greek harmony and repose with its concomitant pain and suffering and their expression, the question that had informed Lessing’s Laokoon in 1766 and that was still not resolved in 1807.

  • 218 Avant-propos, xvi ; Oeuvres, I, 4.

108For the moment it was a question of reasoned debate, but also of polemic. For it was no coincidence that Schlegel in 1842 invoked—by association, of course—the example of Lessing’s Hamburgische Dramaturgie of 1767- 69, where Voltaire’s neo-classical efforts had been ‘cudgelled’ (Schlegel’s word).218 Naturally Schlegel would not have recourse to such tactics, but a combative edge would not be missing either: Schlegel, like Lessing, cut corners in argument, overlooked inconsistencies that did not suit him, and was often plainly unfair once he had his teeth in an opponent.

  • 219 ‘Ohn’ alles Griechisch hab ich ja/Verdeutscht die Iphigenia’, SW, II, 212.
  • 220 Europa, II, i, 155f.
  • 221 Ibid., 117-139.
  • 222 AWS’s list of all plays written or translated by Schlegels (undated). SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd., e (...)

109The choice of his comparison of Euripides and Racine made perfect sense to readers of his account of Madame de Staël’s acting roles, where Phèdre was in pride of place. Some German readers would have been aware that Schiller had translated Racine’s play for the Weimar stage, first performed in 1805, the year of his death. There had been disrespectful (but private) verses in 1799—that Schlegel was to publish in 1832219—relating to Schiller’s translation of Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis, for which he had relied largely on French sources. Schlegel, as was his policy, never mentioned Schiller in this connection, but readers of Europa, that recent work from the Schlegel circle, would be left in no doubt as to its position: the first number (1803) stated that the Paris theatre was performing—declaiming— an ‘imperfect and debased’ version of the Iphigenia, and in 1805 Achim von Arnim’s article Erzählungen von Schauspielen [Conversations about Plays] stated that Phèdre was a ‘mutilated’ version of Euripides’ Hippolytus.220 Above all there had been Friedrich’s translation of an extract from Racine’s Bajazet in which both author and play were damned with faint praise.221 (He may not have known that his uncle Johann Elias had also translated a fragment of Bajazet in 1749 and had found it rather better.)222

110It has been argued that there were French voices during the eighteenth century, authorities like Fénelon or Marmontel, who had been critical of aspects of Phèdre’s characterization. Madame de Staël for her part postulated in De la littérature the general principle of ‘progress’ for all national literatures, which applied even to something as sacrosanct as the drame classique. She did not place Racine on a pinnacle for all time, as Voltaire had done. All the same, when directing the same notion of progress towards Greek drama, she placed the trio Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides in descending order of merit. There were further contradictions. While correctly seeing that Euripides and Racine are basically different, she was unable to suppress the insight that only a Frenchman, not a Greek, could have written

  • 223 Considérations, 68.

‘Ils ne se verront plus :—
Ils s’aimeront toujours !’223

[‘They will see each other no more/
They will love each other forever] from Act IV of
Phèdre.

  • 224 See the important article by Simone Balayé, ‘Les rapports de l’écrivain et du pouvoir : Madame de S (...)
  • 225 Benjamin Constant, Mélanges de Littérature et de politique (Paris : Pichon et Didier, 1829), 293.
  • 226 Avant-propos, xivf. ; Oeuvres, I, 3.

111It may not be fair to adduce De la littérature of 1800, knowing Madame de Staël’s extensive and omnivorous programme of reading since then and the stimuli of Coppet, Weimar and Italy. Still, in keeping with the insights of that work, Staël felt herself in sympathy with the eighteenth century, the siècle des lumières, and felt strongly its progressive belief in humanity, the freedom and independence of the writer, the distinction made in the Encyclopédie between ‘nation’ and ‘state’, the one an entity with history, culture, memory and myth, the other a political construct. Thus Louis XIV’s neo-classicism had also been an expression of political hegemony. Napoleon was now doing the same, reviving literary rules that were sterile for the modern writer,224 producing the ‘immobility’ of which Benjamin Constant complained.225 This placed her in opposition to Napoleon, and Schlegel remarked retrospectively in 1842 that ‘Bonaparte […] issued orders for us to admire again the century of Louis XIV, and the public, having obeyed in matters of quite different importance, was obsequious in its admiration’.226

112And so if the Comparaison is an ‘insubordination’ in that it attacks cherished notions of seventeenth-century tragedy, it is also an act of solidarity with Schlegel’s patroness. Hence it is written in French, primarily for French readers, while developing insights from his German-language writings, the reviews from the 1790s, recast in Jena and Berlin and taken up by Friedrich’s Europa. Napoleon’s hegemony was not just cultural but political, and it now extended to the German-speaking lands and the pax romana imposed on his terms. Yet the political message of the Comparaison was not overt, for everyone knew without being told that Schlegel was the companion of the proscribed Madame de Staël. He could be more outspoken before the audience of his Vienna Lectures a year later.

  • 227 Oeuvres, II, 338f.
  • 228 KAV, I, 748.
  • 229 Oeuvres, II, 336f.

113The Comparaison may also be seen as a much expanded version of his review for the Damen-Kalender on Madame de Staël’s acting in Phèdre, but with the heat very much turned up. As said, it stands essentially between the Berlin Lectures and those in Vienna, rehearsing some insights of the one and anticipating views expressed later. The Berlin Lectures had established a hierarchy of Greek tragedians, the robust Aeschylus, the harmonious Sophocles, the ornate and over-sophisticated Euripides, the ‘chattering rhetorician’ of his epigram. Schlegel’s recasting of the Euripidean Ion also belonged to this complex. In the Comparaison we have the same gradation of esteem but also for the sake of his argument an implicit equality. Inconsistencies creep in. On the one hand he calls Euripides a ‘sophist’ and enunciates a theory of decline.227 But on the other Schlegel also needs to pit the Greeks against modern dramatic realisations based on ancient mythology. And so Euripides becomes ‘THE Greek’ against whom he measures Racine. He does not bring out essential but equally valid differences, as Herder had done forty years earlier when comparing Sophocles with Shakespeare. He is always at pains to show how Racine, in recasting Euripides’ Hippolytus as Phèdre, is inferior not only to his specific Greek source but to ‘the Greeks’ themselves. Whereas Euripides in the Berlin Lectures stood for ‘üppige Weichlichkeit’ [decadent sensuality],228 with the Bacchae as chief witness, now in Paris his Hippolytus is accorded the lineaments of a ‘model’ Greek tragedy, indeed Schlegel states that it is legitimate to compare the ‘favourite’ tragedian of the Greeks with the one most esteemed by the French.229

  • 230 Ibid., 370.
  • 231 Ibid., 359.
  • 232 Ibid., 374.

114Clearly some legerdemain was required to achieve this—and some unfairness. Nowhere does Schlegel acknowledge why it was that Racine wanted to write a Phèdre, not an Hippolyte; or why he wished to shift the emphasis away from the vows tragically sworn to Greek divinities (Euripides) to an intense tragedy of passion, where Venus clutches her prey (‘Vénus toute entière à sa proie attachée’). He notes rather how much Racine has borrowed from his Greek source and how much he has changed, not why a seventeenth-century dramatist would find many motifs from Greek tragedy unsuitable or why he would read them differently from antiquity (or from the early nineteenth century), bound as he was by the conventions of his own theatre that called for a love intrigue quite impossible in Athens but permissible in Paris. Of course it is legitimate to question whether a modern adaptation of the Hippolytus-Phaedra-Theseus triangle actually works, whether or not it produces inconsistencies or moral velleities (such as those arising from Racine’s characters Oenone and Aricie), as indeed one might still today ask whether Goethe’s Iphigenie auf Tauris owes more to Christian sentiment than to the inexorabilities of its original Greek source. Schlegel cannot deny that the play has great beauty of verse and diction,230 but that is about all he is prepared to concede. Hippolyte is ‘polite, well brought-up’ but ‘unnatural’,231 Thésée an amorous ‘vagabond’,232 while Phèdre herself is seductive, ruled by ‘a purely sensual passion’; the play’s moral message is ‘dubious’, it ‘glosses over vice’. Why this is so, he never discusses; there is no mention of the Jansenist doctrines of Port-Royal or of exemplary states of grace. He never concedes that sexual passion may burst forth inside the very bonds and formal limitations imposed by convention, even where Greek heroes are ‘civilised’ by speaking in French alexandrines. There is another factor as well: Schlegel’s dislike of extreme tragedy. As we have seen, he preferred Oedipus in Colonos to Oedipus Rex, Paradiso to Inferno, Romeo and Juliet to Lear or Macbeth; he abhorred the orgiastic Bacchae, and thus he disliked Racine’s heroine, caught as she is at the mercy of deep urges that she can no longer withstand.

  • 233 Ibid., 339.
  • 234 Ibid., 392.

115With the Greeks, says Schlegel, there can be no love, only ‘the dignity of human nature’.233 The purpose of tragedy is for them not the ‘effeminate emotion’’234 of European neo-classicism (including Staël’s favourite Alfieri), not even the spectacle of suffering, but the ‘awareness of human worth’ when faced with the ‘order of things supernatural’ in divine ordinance. It is not ‘accidental’ but based on destiny, fatality, forcing the characters back on to their own human and moral resources. It is not Christian: a closest approximation would be the idea of a providence and the sublimities and inscrutablities it invokes (as in Calderón). The modern dramatist (Shakespeare) touches on issues that address the very aim of existence, human despair, ‘fate’ (Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Lear and Macbeth—not, we note, the once so favoured ‘love tragedy’ Romeo and Juliet). Here Schlegel is rehearsing arguments that inform the second cycle of his Vienna Lectures.

  • 235 Ibid., 402.

116To ‘prove’ all these points, Schlegel cites in French translation the whole final scene from Euripides between Hippolytus and the goddess Diana, its ‘divine serenity’.235 He compares and contrasts with Phèdre, where Hippolyte must die without his innocence being acknowledged. Where Euripides brings about a catastrophe wrought by divine agency, uninvolved with human passions, Racine is forced to reposition his material and make Phèdre’s guilt and death the real tragic outcome.

  • 236 The reactions discussed in full by Chetana Nagavajara, August Wilhelm Schlegel in Frankreich. Sein (...)
  • 237 Avant-propos, xv ; Oeuvres, I, 4.
  • 238 Navagajara, 28.
  • 239 Ibid., 36-43.

117Schlegel liked to think that he had stirred up a hornets’ nest with this seeming attack on a hallowed institution,236 the preface to his Essais littéraires et historiques of 1842 quoting the French critic Jean-Joseph- François Dussault in the official Journal de l’Empire (‘M. Schlegel gives the impression of only having designs on Racine, but basically he is out to devalue all of French literature’).237 Indeed it was Dussault who ratcheted up the rhetoric by noting Schlegel’s association with the dissident Madame de Staël.238 It is also true that the Comparaison was adduced in 1812 as a reason for requiring Schlegel to leave French soil, and very much later he would attribute his blackballing by the Institut to the rancour engendered by the long memories of certain French colleagues. But by that time Stendhal’s Racine et Shakespeare and the Schlegel reception of the young French Romantics made that argument hardly plausible, even Constant’s more cautious Wallstein. The fact was that the French critics of the years 1807‑08, while expressing indignation, as they must, were also prepared to acknowledge Schlegel’s classical scholarship, and even the rightness of some of his arguments.239

  • 240 Madame de Staël, De l’Allemagne, ed. Comtesse Jean de Pange and Simone Balayé, 5 vols (Paris : Hach (...)
  • 241 Josef Körner, Die Botschaft der deutschen Romantik an Europa, Schriften zur deutschen Literatur für (...)

118The important thing was that Madame de Staël herself was not affronted. She in her turn was immersed in the task of writing De l’Allemagne, with all the reconsideration of existing positions that that involved. For Schlegel had not questioned the legitimacy of performing Phèdre, to which audiences from Vienna to Stockholm would later be treated. While placing Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures in the forefront of De l’Allemagne, she did also devote a footnote to the Comparaison: ‘it caused a great stir in Parisian literary circles, but nobody could deny that W. Schlegel, although a German, wrote French sufficiently well for him to be permitted to speak of Racine’.240 The context makes it clear that this was not intended as faint praise. It would be Schlegel’s German detractors, such as Rahel Levin and her friend and later husband Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, who would try to disparage him by counting the alleged ‘Solözismen’ in his French.241

  • 242 Pange, 193f.
  • 243 Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 235.

119Not surprisingly, the ‘groupe de Coppet’ tried very hard not to be impressed. Constant noted nothing in his journal. Barante was displeased.242 Sismondi, writing to the Countess of Albany, acknowledged its verve, but saw it essentially as an attack on ‘what the nation regards as the glory of its literature’,243 to which he appended the unexceptionable remark that each nation must define its own theatrical taste. Schlegel had of course never alluded to ‘nation’ and certainly not to ‘glory’: Sismondi’s use of these words merely shows that Schlegel had succeeded in ruffling sensitivities.

  • 244 Nebrig, Rhetorizität, 368-371 lists them.
  • 245 Ibid., 394-399.
  • 246 One by Ayrenhoff (Pressburg, 1804) and one by Nicolay (St Petersburg, 1812). Ibid., 395, 397f.
  • 247 Ibid., 412. Vergleichung der Phädra des Racine mit der des Euripides von A. W. Schlegel. Uebersetzt (...)

120There was no mention in the Comparaison that translations from the French, not just from Racine, had been a staple of the German theatre, the ‘national theatre’, as it liked to call itself. Performances of French tragedies, such as Lessing had objected to in Hamburg forty years earlier, were still by no means uncommon in 1807:244 there were seven Racine translations into German between 1800 and 1812 alone, including Schiller’s Phädra245 and two with Austrian and Russian impresses, from lands that Schlegel would be visiting with Madame de Staël in the not too distant future.246 The Viennese dramatist Heinrich Joseph von Collin—best known today for the Coriolan for which Beethoven furnished the overture—in fact illustrated this nicely. He had once started and then abandoned a translation of Phèdre for the stage in Vienna. He then became first the reviewer and then the translator into German of Schlegel’s Comparaison247 and an enthusiastic follower of the Vienna Lectures. Once Schlegel found himself in the imperial capital, these two enterprises became joined in one effort.

3.2 Vienna

  • 248 Krisenjahre, II, 97f.
  • 249 ‘l’être le plus cher pour moi’, Correspondance générale, VI, 386.
  • 250 Ibid., 496.
  • 251 Ibid., 367.
  • 252 Briefe, I, 249.

121If ever there was a time for Schlegel to break his connection with Madame de Staël, it was in these years that produced the two works on which their fame, his and hers, were to be based: his Vienna Lectures and her De l’Allemagne. The choice was put to him by his ever-wise sister, Charlotte Ernst in Dresden, as she heard of his impending departure for America with the Staël ménage. Either he must adopt the lifestyle of an abstracted scholar, with his personal and domestic needs attended to (she had no illusions about her brothers’ marriages), or he must continue to live in the refined circles of ‘this most interesting person’. She continues, knowing his response in advance: if his choice does fall on Staël, then he must give up all hopes of reciprocity and must live in devotion, drawing inner rewards and satisfaction from it.248 there was no middle path. This he already knew, and in a sense the rumour—for it was no more than that—of his sailing to America provided the answer. He was willing to cross oceans in the service of this mercurial and hyperactive woman, in whose heart he could never claim pride of place (that was still reserved for Benjamin Constant)249 but in whose mind Schlegel was ‘a noble creature’250 for whom she had ‘a fraternal affection’; she could never imagine willingly separating from him; they would live and die together.251 Yet the thought of America did for a brief moment awaken Humboldtian vistas in Schlegel, of Mexico, Brazil or even the Ganges.252 The reality was to be different, and it would be European: Switzerland, occasionally France, Austria and Germany, before the great flight to Russia and Sweden in 1812.

  • 253 On her cf. Josef Körner, ‘Carolinens Rivalin’, Preußische Jahrbücher, 198 (Oct.-Dec., 1924), 27-52.

122True, there would be brief moments of disloyalty, the quarrels and sulks of which their relationship was never free, or amours, if they are worthy of such a description: the billets doux exchanged with the adventuress Minna van Nuys253 in Vienna, his admiration (nothing more) for the irresistible Madame Récamier, the importunings and promptings of Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi, the exchange of letters (now lost) with Marianne Haller in Berne in 1811‑12, a married woman and essentially beyond his reach. Sophie of course wanted money: divorce was an expensive business, especially a messy one involving custody of children.

  • 254 Krisenjahre, I, 571.
  • 255 Ibid., II, 63.
  • 256 Ibid., I, 491.

123His own brother Friedrich Schlegel had cause to be alarmed at the prospect of August Wilhelm leaving Europe: ‘we need you everywhere’254 is but one plea among many for financial and professional succour amid the tribulations that were to befall him and Dorothea in these years. On the one hand, it was his wonted dependence on a more reliable and more stable older sibling; yet there was also just a hint of the desire to prise August Wilhelm away from Madame de Staël and set up again those ‘Schlegel Brothers’ who had once astounded the world with their meteoric Athenaeum and their rather less siderial Europa. August Wilhelm had to hear promptings from his brother about his talent as a dramatist, about careers in new universities like Berlin, just being founded. Dorothea, extending her rapt admiration for Friedrich to her brother-in-law, averred that the two would be the pyramids that would outlast everything of their age.255 Staying in the sphere of grandiose images, Friedrich claimed to Madame de Staël that he and his brother were ‘one and indivisible’.256

  • 257 Prometheus. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Leo v. Seckendorf und Jos. Lud. Stoll (Vienna: Geis (...)
  • 258 Poetische Werke (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), 2 parts, I, 218-226.
  • 259 Prometheus, 5.-6. Heft, Anzeiger, 3-9. Attributed by the editor of KA to Wilhelm von Schütz. Kritis (...)

124And yet it is fair to say that Schlegel was in these years closer to his brother Friedrich than ever again. We cannot of course overlook the litany of querulous and self-pitying communications from Friedrich, but two symbolic confraternal gestures do stand out: they featured together in the Viennese periodical Prometheus in 1808, and the two poems that they had once addressed to each other, ‘An Friedrich Schlegel’ and ‘An A.W. Schlegel’ now stood conjoined in the first number.257 It was as August Wilhelm was about to make Vienna the base for those Lectures that were to echo round the cultivated world as far as it extended; while Friedrich was stating that the visible institutions of culture, language, religion, mythology, law and literature were but earthly manifestations of the divine and invisible. August Wilhelm was to give his poem a prominent position in the reissue of his poetic works that he oversaw in 1811.258 And when Friedrich’s Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier [On the Language and Wisdom of the Indians] came out, also in 1808, the first significant voice in German Sanskrit studies, it received a favourable notice in Prometheus. Was August Wilhelm the author?259 Certainly in private he defended its basic theses.

  • 260 Tells Kapelle, bei Küssnacht’, Zeitung für Einsiedler (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1808), No. 36, (...)
  • 261 Briefe, I, 214, 269.

125Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures and Madame de Staël’s De l’Allemagne may stand out as the symbolic pinnacles of achievement of their oddly imbalanced relationship, tilted always towards her necessities and her whims, determined by her movements and—in these years—by the decrees of Napoleon and his willing agents. This is only one side. The record of Schlegel’s correspondence in this period gives another account, of frenetic activity in all directions, not just occasioned by his brother or by Sophie Tieck or her brother Friedrich. Prometheus competed for his critical energy even as he was writing and delivering his Vienna Lectures; there are as well letters to and from review editors who wanted copy, notably the Heidelberger Jahrbücher, founded in 1808 by Johann Georg Zimmer, who was also to publish the Lectures. For this periodical Schlegel produced a corpus of learned reviews that must rank as a scholarly achievement almost commensurate with the more accessible Vienna Lectures. He could not resist a short contribution to Achim von Arnim’s mayfly periodical Zeitung für Einsiedler [Journal for Anchorites] that Zimmer brought out also in 1808, a poem that praised William Tell’s defiance of the tyrant (meaning the ultimate Tyrant, Napoleon).260 There were pressures to complete the Calderón and to finish the Shakespeare. He was in addition collating the manuscripts of the Nibelungenlied and preparing a scholarly edition, but his medieval interests also extended to Provençal and the Troubadours. The list does not necessarily end there. It shows, as ever, that Schlegel was not merely a member of the ‘Groupe de Coppet’, sometimes seemingly no more than an adjunct, but a figure for whom German ‘National-Geist’261 was a paramount concern.

  • 262 SW, VII, 285.

126And so there is only a limited sense in bracketing the two famous works, the one by Schlegel, the other by Madame de Staël, as some apotheosis of that ‘Groupe de Coppet’. Their renown extended much farther, as Schlegel’s own words on the Vienna Lectures later attest, from ‘Edinburgh and St Petersburg to Stockholm and Cadiz’.262 Yet it is also true that Schlegel could never have given his lectures without the ministrations of Madame de Staël, nor would the audience to which he delivered them have been such as it was without her contacts in highest Viennese society. By the same token, it is also without doubt that Schlegel certainly gave advice on German literature and thought to his benefactress (which she in fact acknowledged). He was also instrumental in saving a copy of De l’Allemagne after the first print-run was banned and destroyed. But each work was nevertheless its author’s own and bore its inimitable and indelible stamp.

Travelling to Vienna with Madame de Staël

  • 263 Krisenjahre, I, 573.

127Far from being the ‘Elisium’ that his sister Charlotte claimed it would become,263 Coppet was for Schlegel in these years but one station among many, as Madame de Staël hurried from refuge to refuge or as the buffets of fate administered by Napoleon hastened her to unexpected destinations. The plan of a comprehensive work on Germany—its people, culture, letters, moeurs, in brief whatever the French needed to learn about this fascinating nation in the north that was paradoxically not yet a nation—had never left her. Her journey of 1803‑04, so fateful for Schlegel, had essentially been through west and central Germany, Berlin being as far north as she was to get, and the real north she was never to see. Now, there was the south, and there was Austria. While the section in De l’Allemagne on the south is effectively co-extensive with that on Jacobi, Vienna forms an important part of the work as completed.

  • 264 Correspondance générale, VI, 314.
  • 265 Ibid., 330.
  • 266 For the Munich sojourn see Pange, 212-216.
  • 267 Her letters to Schlegel in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX, 18 (1-8).

128But the south—Munich—was really only a stage towards the real destination of Vienna. For there lived Count Maurice O’Donnell. They had met in Venice in 1805, and she had not forgotten him. The disparity in their ages was no hindrance, as other admirers and lovers knew or were to know. The scion of an old Irish family, ‘wild geese’ in Austrian service, he was ideally situated, being charming, aristocratic, and extremely well- connected. Her plans for Vienna now had a treble thrust: to experience Austrian society; to place her son Albert in a military school where he might learn German and be less of a harum-scarum; and to enjoy the Count’s agreeable society.264 The ‘grand Viennese enterprise’265 got under way on 30 November 1807, with a cavalcade of Madame de Staël, her children Albert and Albertine, her secretary and amanuensis Eugène Uginet, Schlegel, and the usual servants.266 Auguste, as we shall see, stayed behind, as did the most recent addition to her household, Albertine’s English governess, Fanny Randall.267 They proceeded from Berne and Zurich to Augsburg, to their first longer staging-post, Munich.

129Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, her old friend, now President of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, and Schelling, now its Secretary, received them cordially. Schelling and Schlegel were on their best behaviour and discoursed amicably, while agreeing to differ in private. Caroline, now Madame Schelling, had no rancour for Schlegel, if a little for Madame de Staël. It was also to be the last time that he saw her. Staël was feted, received by the wife of the chief minister Montgelas. But Munich also had its drawbacks: the Montgelas administration was pro-French; the Elector Max Joseph of Bavaria was now king by the grace of Napoleon.

  • 268 ‘Aussi, dites à votre mère que tant que je vivrai, elle ne rentrera pas à Paris’. Henri Welschinger (...)
  • 269 Correspondance générale, VI, 363.

130It was time to move on to more congenial surroundings. Meanwhile, almost as they arrived in Vienna on 28 December, Auguste de Staël was having the most extraordinary meeting of his life and certainly the most unforgettable. Napoleon was reported to be returning from Italy via Spain; Auguste was to wait in Chambéry in Savoy to obtain an audience. This was granted, and the seventeen-year-old boy made his request: the repayment of the two million francs that his grandfather Jacques Necker had placed at the disposal of the French exchequer, and permission for his mother, Madame de Staël, to reside in France. The Emperor, as so often, was forthright, blunt and rude; he then relented and adopted a more kindly tone. He flatly refused both petitions, adding the much-quoted words, ‘as long as I live, she will not return to Paris’.268 The boy had emerged well from his ordeal, steeled perhaps by Neckerian powers of utterance. Might not a little credit accrue to his tutor Schlegel? ‘Do not tell people that the Emperor brushed you off; say instead that he received you with kindness’, was his mother’s advice.269

  • 270 Ibid., 359.
  • 271 Cf. Maria Ullrichová, Lettres de Madame de Staël conservées en Bohème (Prague : Czech Academy of Sc (...)
  • 272 Correspondance générale, VI, 361.
  • 273 Martine de Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire des rôles et des représentations de Mme de Staël’, 79-92, (...)
  • 274 Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 232.

131Vienna, where they arrived on 28 December 1807, received them with open arms: ‘I have had a wonderful reception here’, she wrote on 14 January 1808,270 not merely by Maurice O’Donnell, but by Count Stadion, the foreign minister, and by her old admirer, the Prince de Ligne, sometime Austrian field marshal and once a favourite at the courts of Versailles, the Hermitage and Sanssouci.271 Through O’Donnell’s good offices, Albert was installed in a school from which he could take the examination for the military academy. Within a week, she had been received by the Emperor Francis and two royal archdukes. Her letters are studded with other grand names—Lobkowitz, Lichtenstein, Lubomirski, Potocki. She in her turn was giving a round of ‘thés’ and ‘dîners’272 and—it could not be otherwise— dramatic performances: mainly of her own plays273 (with herself and her children, occasionally even Schlegel) for Countess Zamoiska, for Countess Zinzendorf, for Countess Potocka, at the Palais Lichtenstein, where in a performance of Molière’s Les Femmes savantes the only roles played by those below the rank of prince or count were by herself and Sismondi. He, at her prompting, had joined them in March:274 the ‘Groupe de Coppet’ had the habit of re-forming in foreign parts.

  • 275 Correspondance générale, VI, 393.
  • 276 Ibid., 538-540.
  • 277 Georges Solovieff, ‘Madame de Staël et la police autrichienne’, Cahiers staëliens, 41 (1989-1990), (...)
  • 278 Simone Balayé and Norman King et al., ‘Madame de Staël et les polices françaises sous la Révolution (...)
  • 279 For the police records relating to their movements between Vienna and Prague, Ullrichová, 106-123.

132High life—the whole of Europe seemed to be dancing that winter275— was only one side. The serious business in Vienna was threefold: first, to complete the work that in a letter to the Prince de Ligne she called ‘my testament’,276De l’Allemagne, and this involved acquaintance with both political and literary circles; second, to enable Schlegel to give a series of public lectures, and third, to find some post in the Austrian service for Friedrich Schlegel. It needs to be said that her every step was followed by the assiduous Austrian police,277 they having taken over from the equally zealous (but more efficient) Napoleonic surveillance system.278 They probably bribed one of her servants; they certainly knew all about her and O’Donnell or about Schlegel and Minna van Nuys, and later about their dealings with Friedrich Gentz.279

Friedrich Schlegel: Rome and India

  • 280 Cf. Briefe, I, 224.
  • 281 Krisenjahre, I, 321.
  • 282 Ibid., 541.

133Friedrich Schlegel, as always, provided the most difficult proposition of the three. This was partly his own doing, and partly because, as so often, he was ahead of his times. He and Dorothea were still stuck in Cologne in the French-ruled Rhineland, ‘waiting for something to turn up’, not living modestly, for that they never could do, encumbered as ever with debts and without any real professional prospects for him. With Madame de Staël in Vienna, who had helped him out of more than one crisis, also his ever-provident brother August Wilhelm, could there be some preferment in the imperial Austrian capital? There were however problems: both he and Dorothea were officially Protestants (she only since 1804); he had the dubious legacy of those ‘early writings’ that had propounded republicanism and licentiousness.280 It was important now to show a different countenance. Ever since their removal to Paris and then Cologne, Friedrich had been doing just that. Of his Germanic and patriotic sentiments there could be no doubt; his letters, such as the one that he wrote to his brother in 1806, were beginning to express notions of spiritual authority and order—one church, one constitution, one faith—that suggested the hierarchy of Rome.281 It was certainly not the same as August Wilhelm’s aesthetic Catholicizing. Rediscovering his exiguous dramatic talents, he was drafting a historical play on Charles V. Could he consult the imperial archives in Vienna? August Wilhelm, using all of the Staëlien influence at his disposal and his own authority as a public lecturer, succeeded in gaining an audience with the Emperor on 6 May 1808.282 From this time on, there is regular mention in their letters of the revival of the Schlegels’ noble title, the imperial ‘Schlegel von Gottleben’ that their grandfather had allowed to lapse.

  • 283 Ibid., 564.
  • 284 Who rejoined them in Dresden, was baptized, and continued his art studies. Norbert Suhr, Philipp Ve (...)

134Friedrich and Dorothea were received into the Roman Catholic Church in Cologne on 16 April 1808.283 Friedrich left it to Dorothea to break the news, fearing it might cause heart-ache to the family. But it was by now fairly conditioned to Friedrich’s deviations from the perceived norms of Protestant respectability. As it was, Dorothea’s first, Jewish, marriage was declared to be null and void, and a dispensation was required to make the second valid according to canon law. She temporarily lost custody of her talented son Philipp Veit, the later Nazarene painter.284 Friedrich now set out for Vienna, to be followed by Dorothea once he had established himself. The Staël cavalcade had by then moved on, but the brothers did meet briefly in Dresden, where the ever-sensible Charlotte Ernst put Friedrich (and later Dorothea) at their ease in the matter of the family’s sensitivities. But for nearly a year Friedrich was dependent on others’ hospitality and largesse.

  • 285 Full title: Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. Ein Beitrag zur Begründung der Alterthumskun (...)
  • 286 Cf. his letter to Auguste de Staël, Krisenjahre, II, 250-252.

135The Charles V drama was never completed. By the time of his arrival in Vienna Friedrich had seen the publication of a work that towered in significance over almost anything that he had produced that decade: Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier.285 With this work, Friedrich might otherwise have expected a university chair of oriental studies, but the times were not propitious and the Habsburgs were a safer proposition than the Hindus. This study was the product of his years in Paris with Hamilton and Chézy; it was to bring to a German readership ideas that had become current in English and French through Sir William Jones or Jean- Sylvain Bailly. While it did not involve the very first publication in German of a Sanskrit text, it was the first comprehensive survey of comparative mythology, migration theory, and the principles and origins of language, that was also a chrestomathy, a selection of Sanskrit religious and poetic texts in a German translation. August Wilhelm had at this stage not brought together in any kind of systematic statement his disparate ideas on the Indian origins of language and civilization (as formulated in his Considérations) or given shape to his interest in etymology, notably Gothic, his awareness of the centrality of historical geography as the key to the study of human beginnings.286 Above all, he had not acquired a knowledge of Sanskrit. This Friedrich had, during the extraordinary six-month burst of creative energy—and sheer concentration—after their arrival in Paris.

  • 287 Cf. KA, VIII, ccvi.

136While still bringing out Europa, Friedrich in effect conceived this work on Indian language and lore. After approaches to Reimer and eventual successful negotiations with Zimmer, it was not to come out until 1808. Friedrich’s Sanskrit did have its imperfections and its misapprehensions, and the texts on which he based his selections were not philologically reliable,287 but at least here were texts in modern translation which were also embedded in an account of their linguistic and religious origins. August Wilhelm, in his later career as a Sanskritist, published full scholarly Sanskrit editions of the very same texts selected by his brother for translation—the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, the Râmâyana—stepping in as it were where Friedrich, with the enthusiasm of the innovator, had made a first major statement without refining the details and the philological base. Yet in many ways Friedrich had succeeded in bringing together in one volume aspects of India that would occupy August Wilhelm in what was ultimately a never-ending quest.

  • 288 Ibid., 309.

137Friedrich drew the analogy between the rediscovery of Greek and Hebrew in the Renaissance and the emergence of Sanskrit studies in his own century.288 This analogy went in reality even deeper, and its scope was wider. The work had two major thrusts. It was a study in comparative grammar, which enabled two language groups or families to emerge, equally venerable as organs of sacred truths (Hebrew and Sanskrit) but divergent in terms of structure. There was the ‘Ursprache’ of Sanskrit, related to the great family of languages that proceeded from these primeval origins, the one that now included Persian, Greek, Latin—and the Germanic dialects. This enabled him to isolate two different language groups, based on grammatical principles, the ‘organic’ (the Indo-European, as they would later be called), and the ‘mechanical’ (including the Semitic languages). Alexander von Humboldt’s first explorations in the Orinoco regions had confirmed that these linguistic principles extended to the new world; they bore out earlier speculations about the migrations of peoples, away from a central ‘Urheimat’ westwards, towards Europe, and eastwards, towards the Americas. Human history could be traced to movements and removals, of place, language, belief and culture, away from the Centre, the simple and undivided Whole of primeval origins, as disorders and disruptions forced mankind in all directions.

138But whereas Friedrich in his first Paris years was concerned to find some common ground between ancient Indian mythology and the Judaeo- Christian tradition, he now identified emanation, the transmigration of souls, and what he chose to call ‘pantheism’ as the fundamental doctrines of the Indian ‘Urreligion’. These, although ultimately of divine origin, were nevertheless essentially ‘aberrations’ from the real Truth that in 1808 he now saw enshrined only in the traditions he had now so recently embraced. The work shows the comparative religionist, that Friedrich once was, in conflict with the believer on one faith and order.

  • 289 Ibid.

139His brother August Wilhelm was later to be more interested in the phenomenon of religion than in its particular manifestations or their respective verities. What linked the brothers at this stage, in 1808, as they both gave expression to the widest of generalities and postulated mythical or historical polarities, was their use of the organicist language of natural growth and development, the Herderian imagery of biological process, coupled with the analogy of cellular wholeness and integration (‘unteilbares Ganzes’).289 Where Friedrich divides language families into ‘organic’ and ‘mechanical’, August Wilhelm makes this division a basic principle of art and poetry, the touchstone of all aesthetic awareness.

The Vienna Lectures

  • 290 ‘Über das Verhältniß der schönen Kunst zur Natur ; über Täuschung und Wahrscheinlichkeit ; über Sty (...)
  • 291 In fact Schlegel wrote a review of Prometheus for the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, commenting (...)
  • 292 Apart from ‘An Friedrich Schlegel’, it included the essay ‘Die deutschen Mundarten’ (i, 73-78), the (...)

140It is not clear when the idea of a series of lectures in Vienna occurred to Schlegel. There is no hint of any preparatory work, but coincidences and overlaps between Berlin and Vienna suggest that he had to hand notes from the earlier series and that he used these, suitably adapted, for his new audience. There is evidence that he wanted his lectures to reach a wider public: in 1808 he entrusted to Leo von Seckendorf’s periodical Prometheus a whole section from the Berlin cycle, the part that deals with illusion and reality, style and manner that had featured in 1802’s series.290 Whereas this extract was theoretical and abstract and needed to be read, the Vienna Lectures, which Schlegel had most likely finished by now, were for hearers. There is also no doubt that the quickly-forged links with the literary world of Vienna gave some immediacy to his lecturing plans. Leo von Seckendorf, who was to die of his wounds suffered at the battle of Aspern a year later, had won him over for Prometheus; Heinrich von Collin was already translating the Comparaison; the novelist and salonnière Caroline Pichler welcomed him. There was no attempt to present him as the voice of a faction, a school, as he had been in Berlin. The preface to Prometheus made due reference to the gravity of the times and the needs of the ‘geistiges Vaterland’, and the periodical itself was widely embracing in its contributors and coverage. How else could Goethe have been persuaded to offer his ‘Festspiel’ Pandora, a work that made no concessions to readership or convention and represented an esoteric refinement of the German classical tradition,291 or Johann Heinrich Voss extracts from his translation of Aeschylus? Or Böttiger, once the scourge of the Schlegels? But there was no overlooking the Schlegel presence in Prometheus, either: there was publicity for the Comparaison translation, and for the Lectures, plus a very positive review of Friedrich’s Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. The review of a performance in Vienna of Macbeth in Schiller’s version adopted a line very similar to Schlegel’s own critical position in his Lectures. His own contribution to Prometheus292 was in itself not inconsiderable: not just the extract from his Berlin Lectures, and four poems, but also an account of the festivities connected with the (third) marriage of the Emperor Francis, the masked ball and gala operas, the celebratory verses. It was in a sense the Vienna that August Wilhelm was poised to conquer.

  • 293 Franz Hadamowsky, Die Wiener Hoftheater (Staatstheater) 1776-1966. Verzeichnis der aufgeführten Stü (...)

141All this may have affected his resolve to concentrate on drama and theatre in his Lectures. It was a limitation when compared with the wide thematic sweep of Berlin, but otherwise his endeavours had always had a strong dramatic thrust, his pieces on Madame de Staël’s acting, the Comparaison itself, or indeed the very choice of Shakespeare and Calderón for his translation projects. Furthermore, if one looked at the repertoire of the Burgtheater, just one of Vienna’s theatres, for the crucial period January to March 1808, it might seem that the Viennese were in need of a little education in higher or more refined theatrical taste:293 just two performances of Shakespeare, and one of those was Schiller’s Macbeth, the other Othello in Wieland’s translation and in Brockmann’s adaptation, with the Kärtnertor theatre offering Schröder’s happy-ended Hamlet. (At the end of the year there was Phèdre in Schiller’s version.) Otherwise, it seemed like a triumph of Kotzebue and Iffland and their dubious sentimentality; or a riot of frivolous comedy after the French, and, this being Vienna, lots of opera.

  • 294 Krisenjahre, I, 530, 545f., 559-562; III, 308-311; also SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XX, 5 (46 (...)

142But there were also distractions from the main task. Elisabeth Wilhelmine van Nuys, a beauty and of independent means (she had moved in high circles in north Germany and had been to England) had already attracted Schlegel’s attention, for this ‘adventuress’ (Caroline’s word) had turned up in Jena and Brunswick and rumours linked her with Schlegel. Now in 1808 she appeared in Vienna, moving in the Staël and Pichler circles. We have billets doux from Schlegel to her, mainly in English, ‘to my sweet charming Minna’, ‘my dearest M.’, arranging meetings at Count Stadion’s or at Collin’s, or assignations at the Prater (when not prevented by Lecture preparation).294 Doubtless Madame de Staël tolerated these flirtations.

143An altogether more disruptive presence was Sophie Tieck‑Bernhardi, who had left Rome in the summer of 1807 and had proceeded via Munich and Prague now to Vienna. Her divorce from Bernhardi had been finally decreed, and the courts had awarded custody of her two sons to him. Essentially now a fugitive from Prussian justice, she moved with Wilhelm and Felix Theodor and her lover Karl Gregor von Knorring from Prague to Vienna, where their sojourn overlapped with Schlegel’s Lectures. Using her contacts with Madame de Staël and Caroline Pichler, she was able to find protection in high places and ward off Bernhardi’s attempts to remove the boys. After the Staëls and Schlegel left, a whole drama unfolded, with both Tieck brothers, Ludwig and Friedrich, converging on Munich. There Ludwig succumbed again to the rheumatic complaint that regularly laid him low in moments of stress; while Friedrich Tieck, his artistic career compromised and his finances exhausted, sent more and more desperate letters to the all-provident Schlegel. At the end of 1808, Bernhardi appeared in person and took his elder son Wilhelm back with him to Berlin, leaving Felix Theodor, who Schlegel had once believed was his, with his mother. Importunings and bad debts gave the Tieck-Bernhardi ménage a bad name from which it would scarcely recover. Sophie and Knorring finally married in 1810, but it was not until 1812 that she and Felix made the long journey to the Knorring estates in farthest Estonia. Thus in that same year a bizarre near-coincidence saw both Sophie and the Staël cavalcade each heading separately across central Europe, Austria, Bohemia, Galicia, Poland, the one to Riga, the other to Moscow.

  • 295 Krisenjahre, II, 30.
  • 296 Ibid., I, 654-657.

144This whole divorce scandal, unedifying and squalid in itself, had the effect of polarizing the old associates of Jena and of alienating the younger generation of Romantic writers. It brought odium to the name of Tieck, singly and collectively. Friendships and collaborations stood or fell according to their stance towards the affair: Schelling and Fouqué were considered to be supportive, and so they received copies of the second volume of Calderón when it came out, but Schleiermacher and Fichte did not.295 Especially not Bernhardi’s friend Fichte. For later in 1808 Schlegel drafted a letter to him, which he had the good sense never to send, in which he alluded to Fichte’s proletarian origins and his general unsuitability to be ‘one of ours’.296 All this may partly explain why Schlegel in these years leading up to 1812 was more than usually willing to support tried connections, his own brother Friedrich, but also that much-wronged Tieck sibling, the sculptor.

Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature

145Schlegel may, as said, have felt a particular need to remind the Viennese of the serious traditions of the theatre, to state some positions finally and authoritatively. The medium to be adopted was another matter. The public lecture was a means of achieving the widest publicity and dissemination, especially with Madame de Staël’s energies behind it. The lecture was a social event, sometimes a political statement; it reached a female audience, unlike universities; like his father Johann Adolf’s set-piece sermons in Hanover—an analogy only—it could be a rhetorical occasion aimed at winning hearts and minds. Schlegel was there at the outset of an era that saw, Europe-wide, the great wave of public lectures associated with Cuvier, Humboldt, Davy or Coleridge, and his must take their place in that lineage. But even as he was delivering his lectures in Vienna, others closer to hand were also using the public rostrum: Fichte, in Berlin, had been delivering his Reden an die deutsche Nation [Speeches to the German Nation] since the winter, and they represented in many ways the antithesis of what Schlegel stood for. Even more was happening in Dresden. As Prometheus announced in its pages, Adam Müller in Dresden was just concluding his lectures on ‘the sublime and the beautiful’ there; Böttiger’s on the archaeology of art were still continuing, as were Gotthilf Heinrich Schubert’s, published under the title of Ansichten von der Nachtseite der Naturwissenschaft [Views of the Night-Side of Science] that were to fascinate Heinrich von Kleist and to provide stimulus for E. T. A. Hoffmann.

Fig. 15 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Über dramatische Kunst und Litteratur (Heidelberg, 1809, 1811). Title page of vol. 1.

Fig. 15 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Über dramatische Kunst und Litteratur (Heidelberg, 1809, 1811). Title page of vol. 1.

Image in the public domain.

  • 297 The breakdown of the Lectures is as follows: 1: The Classical and the Romantic defined. 2. The natu (...)
  • 298 The publication history of the Vienna Lectures is complex and is set out as follows. They were init (...)
  • 299 Cf. Schlegel’s proud statement in the edition of 1817 (second preface, p. [i]) that the Lectures ha (...)
  • 300 Or like Adam Müller’s Vorlesungen über die deutsche Wissenschaft und Literatur, his Dresden lecture (...)

146And so Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures are part of the annus mirabilis of 1808 which saw their delivery but also the publication of Friedrich’s Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier and Fichte’s Reden an die deutsche Nation. Towering above them all was, however, the first part of Goethe’s Faust, with Pandora a lesser pinnacle. While Faust was for most common readers as yet a mystery and to translators still a stumbling-block, Schlegel’s lectures had an almost immediate appeal,297 first in their German published form in 1809‑11,298 and soon in the other major European languages.299 They were not an enigma like Faust; they did not require of the reader the same intellectual and linguistic effort that Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit demanded; they were not esoteric and speculative like Schubert’s;300 and while extolling the virtues of the nation, they never descended to the occasional anti-humanist and xenophobic rant of Fichte’s inflammatory periods.

147There was to be nothing common in Schlegel’s lectures, and no demagoguery. If national values were to be addressed, they were always those that issued from the identity of nations and culture, not merely the ‘Deutsche Nation’. Schlegel deliberately chose the word ‘Nation’ as distinct from Fichte’s preferred term ‘Staat’, as covering all the aspects of a nation’s cultural manifestations that contribute to its ultimate expression in drama and theatre. If Schlegel in his peroration commended the Romantic historical drama to the German nation—in its widest sense—it was in the awareness that this form of dramatic art had evolved in the crucible of other national cultures, the English and Spanish, and hence drew on both North and South for its inspiration, while appealing to the Germanic facility for assimilation and creative adaptation.

148One might even say that some of Madame de Staël’s sense of the ‘spirit of a nation’ had come to temper Schlegel’s earlier strictures about German (and other) cultures and had imparted a tolerance not found in Jena or Berlin. For in introducing himself to his audience and readers, he could claim to be both a ‘citizen of the world’ and a German. Connoisseurs and insiders might spot a veiled homage to the values of Coppet, the châteleine of which was still working hard on the draft of De l’Allemagne. There, one nation would be seen through the eyes of another; but here was a German claiming insights into the drama and theatre of the whole of Europe.

  • 301 Roger Bauer, ‘Die “Neue Schule” der Romantik im Urteil der Wiener Kritik’, in: Herbert Zeman (ed.), (...)
  • 302 The relatively mild treatment of Voltaire and the coded remarks on a ‘more profound’ style of Frenc (...)

149Of course, as said, the Lectures would not have come about without Madame de Staël’s contacts in high places, her manipulations and string- pullings (her romantic attachment to Maurice O’Donnell). There was the usual malicious talk of ‘le professeur Staël’, of his lectures being merely a divertissement for high society during the season of Lent.301 But they were essentially his lectures, and not hers.302

  • 303 Prometheus, 3. Heft, Anzeiger, 24.
  • 304 Three admission tickets have survived in SLUB, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, A8, 5 (1-3). Announcement in (...)

150The audience was another matter. Words in season eventually secured Schlegel permission to lecture in the capital city, and the university was the first chosen venue.303 This fell through, and a grander place was found, ‘in der Himmelpfortgasse Nr. 1023 bey Hoftraiteur Jahn’, the ballroom owned by a restaurateur ‘by appointment’ to the court and otherwise used for high society occasions. A princely twenty-five florins was charged for fifteen lectures, three per week.304 It is also fair to say that without Madame de Staël’s assiduous networking, the haute volée of Viennese society might not have turned out in the numbers that it did.

Fig. 16 ‘Eintritts-Billett’. Admission ticket for Schlegel’s lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, Vienna 1808.

Fig. 16 ‘Eintritts-Billett’. Admission ticket for Schlegel’s lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, Vienna 1808.

© SLUB Dresden, all rights reserved.

  • 305 The complete list ibid., III, 302-306.
  • 306 Cf. Schlegel’s later obeisant letter to Prince Schwarzenberg, Ullrichová, 85. He was but one of sev (...)
  • 307 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, A8, 25.
  • 308 Briefe, I, 220.
  • 309 Caroline Pichler, Denkwürdigkeiten aus meinem Leben, ed. Emil Karl Blümml, 2 vols (Munich: Georg Mü (...)

151It reads like the Almanach de Gotha305—Schwarzenberg,306 Lobkowitz, Kinsky, Schönborn, Liechtenstein—with some grand Polish names thrown in (Lubomirski, Jablonowski), soon to be of use to the fugitive Madame de Staël, and some Hungarian grandees (Pálffy, Batthyány) whose ancestors back in 1651 had signed Christoph von Schlegel’s letters patent of nobility; the state chancellor Metternich was there, despite being no great friend of women in politics and of Madame de Staël in particular; Count Sickingen, Schlegel’s later intermediary with Metternich, as well. (One notices also the state censor, perhaps making notes in the back row.) Nobles jostled to secure tickets, including Count Wrbna-Freudenthal307 who later signed the letter granting Schlegel his imperial audience in April. These were the people with the time and the leisure, who would not miss 25 florins. Small wonder that Schlegel was gratified with his more than 250 hearers and all that ‘haute noblesse’,308 not forgetting names closer to home, like ‘Madame Sophie Bernhardi’, ‘Freiherr Karl Gregor von Knorring’, ‘Frau Minna von Nuys’, ‘Hr. Simonde de Sismondi’ and ‘Carolina Pichler, geb. Von Greiner’, who has left us a description. Even among the nodding feather headdresses or the ribbons on coats, Schlegel’s ‘fashionable’ appearance stood out—a silver-grey coat, straw-coloured breeches and an extravagantly high stock (she does not mention the stray cats which for a time competed for the audience’s attention)309—Pichler went on to say:

  • 310 Charakteristiken. Die Romantiker in Selbstzeugnissen und Äußerungen ihrer Zeitgenossen, ed. Paul Kl (...)

Schlegel’s delivery is not pleasing, he does not speak freely, sometimes losing his way and searching for an expression; then he has another look at his written text and reads a few lines from it and speaks from memory until he is stuck again, etc. What he has to say, however, is very much to my liking, e.g. romantic poetry, the effects of the Christian religion on the changes in human thought, the character of the Spanish nation, of the Roman, on German literature, etc., especially our German identity which soon will be completely lost. I can say that I attended the lectures with great pleasure.310

  • 311 The overlaps conveniently listed in Körner, Botschaft, 109-112.

152Selective listening, no doubt, but interesting nevertheless as coming from someone so alert and intelligent. If Fichte’s main device in capturing his Berlin audience was rhetoric and oratory, Schlegel’s tone was more measured. It suited his hearers better and was more appropriate to his subject-matter. He had now found the right medium, not academic discourse as in Jena, or that demanding section in Prometheus taken from his Berlin cycle. He would have to make concessions and keep technicalities to a minimum: some of his exalted audience would be more conversant with French as a language of discourse. Romantic doctrine would have to be made accessible to princes and counts of the Empire, a balancing-act that required considerable skill and tact. In a sense, of course, he was not proclaiming Romanticism as something radically new or—the ultimate horror in Vienna—revolutionary. Much of his material was recycled from his own earlier lectures and publications. Very few, possibly none, of his audience would have been present in all three places, Jena, Berlin and now Vienna, and not many would have noticed how much had already been enunciated in those earlier venues,311 for instance most of the long sections on the Greeks. Much drew on existing published material, the Parny review in the Athenaeum (on Aristophanes), the article on the Spanish theatre in Europa, or the recent Comparaison of 1807 that Heinrich von Collin (also present) was in the process of translating.

153The Jena and Berlin lectures remained largely unpublished and thus generally inaccessible: Schlegel had passed on but few of their insights in isolated publications, and Schelling, without acknowledgment, had done the same. In Vienna, Schlegel had to take a lot for granted, and he was sparing in his citation of sources. It was not the real point. In the terminology that he uses in Vienna, the study of sources—the study of the dry-as-dust Bouterwek on the Spanish drama or Malone on Shakespeare—would be mere ‘philologische Kritik’. His own, by contrast, was ‘vermittelnde Kritik’, a criticism that crossed borders, made connections, established links, set up opposites, confronted, challenged. While philology could never be an irrelevance for Schlegel, the circumstances of the Lectures required large generalisations, relativisms, eye-catching juxtapositions and sweeping conclusions, the most famous of which is this section from the Twelfth Lecture:

  • 312 Über dramatische Kunst und Litteratur. Vorlesungen von August Wilh. Schlegel, 2. Theil, 2. Abt. (He (...)

Ancient art and poetry strives for the strict severance of the disparate, the Romantic delights in indissoluble mixtures: all opposites, nature and art, poetry and prose, the grave and the gay, memory and intuition, the intellectual and the sensuous, the earthly and the divine, life and death, it stirs and dissolves into one solution. As the oldest law-givers proclaimed and set out their teachings and precepts in modulated harmonies, as Orpheus, the first tamer of the still wild human race, is praised in fable; in the same way the whole of ancient poetry and art is like a cadenced set of prescriptions, the harmonious proclamation of the eternal precepts of a world, finely ordered, that reflects the eternal archetypes of things. The Romantic, by contrast, is the expression of the mysteries of a chaos that is struggling to bring forth ever new and wondrous births, that is hidden under the order of nature, in its very womb: the life-giving spirit of primal love hovers anew over the waters. The one is simpler, clearer and more akin to nature in the self-sufficient perfection of its single works; the other, despite its fragmentary appearance, is closer to the secret of the universe.312

  • 313 Which may owe its origin partly to Winckelmann. Justi, III, 72.

154No-one had confronted Ancient and Modern, Classical and Romantic, in quite this way before, or on such a scale. True, Herder’s seminal essay on Shakespeare of 1773 had showed Sophocles and Shakespeare—despite gulfs in form and content—to be equally valid in their respective cultures and historically justified in their dramatic expressions, but Schlegel is adumbrating even larger concepts. As with all generalisations, they blur details and occlude nuances ; they force contrasting elements into contiguities that set off their essential differences : sculpture (Greek/ Classical) versus painting (the Romantic/Modern) ; clay in the mass as opposed to clay hardened into form (the image that so seized Coleridge),313 the mechanical as against organic, living form, the ideal versus the mystical. This technique can produce surprising insights of detail, as when Schlegel compares and contrasts Aeschylus and Macbeth, or brackets Shakespeare and Calderón as the quintessentially Romantic dramatists, which no-one to date had done in that fashion (and few since).

155Thus we should not be looking for originality of basic ideas in these Lectures so much as originality of association. For instance, the images of biological organic growth as opposed to the mechanical and ordered, are common currency in the language of German idealism: Schlegel applies them to whole periods and styles. They harden (to use Schlegel’s own image of clay) into fixed categories, but perhaps Schlegel had no option when dealing with the wide range of material at his disposal and faced with the need to make complex and nuanced processes comprehensible to a non-specialist audience. In matters of presentation and disposition, he had learned some lessons from Berlin; while in terms of his general attitudes, he had not greatly changed. The main addition, and one that was anticipated with some eagerness, were the sections on Shakespeare and Calderón, squeezed out of the account of Romantic literature in the earlier lectures.

156Much would be familiar to those who had kept abreast with his publications. There was, for instance, the unrepentant preference of Aeschylus and Sophocles over the ‘decadent’ Euripides, a distinction now freed of the constraints of the Comparaison and its more than occasional equivocations. Aristophanes emerges as the supreme comic dramatist of all time (Shakespeare is too complex to be labelled merely ‘comic or ‘tragic’). Post-Athenian Greek drama receives little praise, as does Roman, but the greatest stringencies are reserved for European neo-classicism, Italian, French or English, Schlegel now effectively writing off the French drame classique, but even its comic equivalent, Molière. In many ways, this section would command as much attention in continental Europe as his remarks on Shakespeare, for the subsequent debate on ‘Racine et Shakespeare’ (to use Stendhal’s speaking title) affected not only dramatic practice and criticism in France but also in countries, like Italy or Russia, where the French model still had validity. Goethe would have no cause to be pleased with the relatively perfunctory section devoted to him and to German drama in general, and his displeasure extended to Schlegel’s remarks on Schiller, which one can only describe as ungenerous. Old enmities ran deep.

157Those expecting great new insights into Calderónwould be disappointed: there was no history of Spanish drama as once (rashly) promised, and his relatively short section on Calderón limits itself to generalities about his religious and national virtues. Shakespeare, by contrast, the object of such a disproportionate amount of Schlegel’s time and energy, required to be treated with a greater attention in detail. His Twelfth Lecture is a ‘last word’ in the sense that Schlegel never again returned to Shakespeare as a whole: he finished King Richard III in 1810, after years of distraction, but still leaving the translation enterprise incomplete; his Kritische Schriften of 1828 reprinted his early Shakespeare essays whose purpose had been quite different. Yet in 1808, to deal with Shakespeare as a general phenomenon, he nevertheless had recourse to a phrase from 1796, too good not to be repeated, ‘risen from the dead’, a reminder of how much the Germans, or Schlegel himself, had contributed to that resurrection. Thus to introduce the essential Shakespeare, Schlegel reformulated the insight, not new or original, which the Germans (Herder, Goethe, Eschenburg, Tieck, Schlegel himself) had made their own: that Shakespeare is the natural inerrant genius who essentially has nothing to learn, but who submits to the discipline of form and art to achieve true greatness.

158So much had been written about Shakespeare that he could not brush aside the history of Shakespearean criticism and textual scholarship. Little of what he says in a couple of chosen pages goes beyond Augustan conventions—Shakespeare’s learning, knowledge of humanity, variety of styles, etc.—but at least it is free of Johnsonian caveats. Unlike Calderón’s enormous output, each play by Shakespeare (even the suppositious) merited discussion, the Comedies (a fluid term that ranges from Measure to Measure to A Midsummer Night’s Dream), the Tragedies, the Roman Plays, and Schlegel’s declared favourites, the Histories.

  • 314 Cf. Reginald Foakes, ‘Samuel Taylor Coleridge’, in: Great Shakespeareans, III: Voltaire, Goethe, Sc (...)

159It has been remarked that Schlegel’s comments on the individual plays lack Coleridge’s originality,314 but many in his audience would have been unfamiliar with the basic essentials of Shakespeare, and such plays as they knew would have been in those dubious stage adaptations in Viennese theatres. Whereas Coleridge’s insights are based on close textual reading, Schlegel’s are couched more generally and do not involve the interrogation of individual loci, are not ‘practical criticism’. Schlegel will always disappoint those who want clarification of niceties, but the translator and the critic were ‘one and indivisible’. When opting for a specific reading, his translation had already stated what Shakespeare’s text ‘meant’; translating was in itself a hermeneutic act; the translator’s craft was not mere mechanical rendition, as those agonized manuscript scrabblings testified. Read my Shakespeare, is the unspoken message of his Shakespeare lecture to his German audience, an instruction of less relevance for later French, English or other readers. Certain Schlegelian preferences or prejudices nevertheless emerge: for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest among the Comedies, for Romeo and Juliet among the tragedies (still the ‘sigh’ of youthful love); in the question of Hamlet’s ‘qualities’ he is now equivocal, and he finds the Prince much less attractive than in 1796; Macbeth or Lear produce ‘terror’, ‘abhorrence’ or sheer ‘horror’, and few mitigating features. The Histories, to which, as Caroline had remarked, he devoted more time and energy than to the great Tragedies, now emerge in their true glory, and what he says about them and about Shakespeare’s place in the history of his nation, are also the remarks that bind together the various sections of the whole Lecture cycle.

160Shakespeare, Schlegel says, had lived in stirring times (Calderón, too); like Calderón’s, his theatre was truly national and popular. Shakespeare had links with both the intellectual (Bacon) and the political strivings of his age, but there was in his account of the English nation still some of that spirit of chivalry and feudalism, independence of mind and action, that had animated the Middle Ages. Furthermore: the Histories, taken as a cycle, could be read as heroic epic in dramatic form: it was not Spenser, not Milton (especially not he), but Shakespeare who through the unconsciousness of genius had supplied the English with their national epic. Not for the first time German ideas were being assimilated to the processes of foreign literature: Schlegel was clearly finding analogies with the Nibelungenlied, one of his current preoccupations. There were echoes of Friedrich August Wolf’s Prolegomena ad Homerum, that had postulated the multiple authorship of Homer’s songs. It was analogous to Barthold Georg Niebuhr’s later ‘lay theory’ for Roman history—that Schlegel was to excoriate—wishing ‘Urtexte’ into being where none existed.

  • 315 Herold’s assertion, that the Vienna Lectures are unpolitical, is plain wrong. Mistress to an Age, 3 (...)

161Once having enunciated the idea of the ‘nation’, Schlegel could introduce into his lectures some ideas that linked poetry and politics.315 Of course, with spy networks operating in Vienna and Paris, he could not say anything directly seditious, nor would it have been in his nature to do so. His audience contained ministers and ambassadors, who knew what Napoleon had done at Jena, at Tilsit, at Erfurt, in imposing his iron will on any ‘Nation’ that chose to resist him. The ‘spirit of the age’, the direct reference to drama as a nation-building influence, the praise of Greek drama as an expression of Athenian freedom and national pride and patriotic common endeavour and civil polity, would not be lost on those with ears to hear. Roman theatre was not like this: rather it reflected tyranny, the imposition of the will of the state on the populace (a veiled reference to Napoleon’s Caesarism). Aeschylus and Sophocles had been Athenian citizens, Seneca the court philosopher of Nero.

162French classical drama, for Schlegel, had not been national, either; it was prescriptive, courtly, not popular; even Molière had written to order ‘from above’. Hence the amount of space, seemingly beyond all proportion (three lectures out of fifteen), that Schlegel devotes to the disqualification of the neo-classical, the need to deny it houseroom in the wide scheme of European drama that he unfolds, one that also obliquely takes in the Indians, who with the Greeks were the only ancient people with a native dramatic tradition. Spanish drama, too, spoke of ‘Vaterland’, a heroic nation (reinforced by the Germanic Goths), religious to the core, without the Enlightenment. It reflected national characteristics and virtues (love, honour). But above all Shakespeare’s Histories were written in response to their own times; they were a mirror for princes, imparting political wisdom. In discussing them Schlegel could use words like ‘usurpation’, ‘tyranny’ or ‘despotism’ that suggested the ultimate Usurper himself.

163Adam Müller in his Dresden lectures of 1806 had established in Shakespeare’s historical dramas a pattern that saw the political upheavals in the reigns of King John and King Richard II, the struggles of York and Lancaster, leading over to their culmination in the establishment of a Henrician order. It was part of his conservative and restorative political vision after the catastrophes of 1805‑06. Schlegel is less specific, but the model of Henry VIII’s settlement might suggest an analogy with the Austrian emperor (as he now was) Francis I, who had emerged from the loss of the Holy Roman Empire to preside over the Germanic lands (and many others). While Schlegel’s real hero is Henry V, his real villain is Richard III; he pits medieval chivalric ideals (Henry) against Machiavellian (Richard). Much of this would take on a peculiar relevance as the Lectures appeared in print, the sections up to and including European neo-classicism in 1809, followed in 1811 by the sections on Romantic drama. For readers by then would know that Spain, that nation called ‘doughty and bold’ in Schlegel’s fourteenth Lecture, had later in 1808 risen up in revolt and was now a Napoleonic fief; they would remember the second heavy defeat that Napoleon had inflicted on the Austrians, at Wagram in 1809, or their own partial victory at Aspern, where Leo von Seckendorf had met his death.

164Schlegel’s envoi in the fifteenth Lecture, his call for a German historical drama, not along slavishly Shakespearean lines, but recording patterns of national history and its ascendance nevertheless, must be seen in this light. Angevins and Plantagenets would give way to Hermann the Cheruscan, the Hohenstaufen, or even the house of Habsburg, whose gracious permission had enabled the Lectures to come about in the first place (perhaps his brother’s play on Charles V). National drama would also be nation-building: it is not by coincidence that the only play by Schiller to attract Schlegel’s favour was Wilhelm Tell, with its ‘old German’ struggle for Helvetic national freedom (now a land under Napoleon’s yoke). These political aspirations (as opposed to legal, military and educational reforms) were of course not to be fulfilled in the German lands, and Prince Metternich, no doubt sitting in the front row of the lecture hall, would be the author of the later reaction that saw their frustration. It may help to explain in part why Schlegel was later so willing to be involved in the political arena in 1813‑14, but in the service of the Swedish Prince Royal, Bernadotte.

  • 316 Friedrich Hebbel, preface to Maria Magdalene, Werke, ed. Gerhard Fricke et al., 5 vols (Munich: Han (...)

165No-one surveying the German drama of the nineteenth century could say that Schlegel’s advocacy of the Histories had been his best legacy. Here and there one finds a good historical drama, but rarely one as good as Schiller’s, and the average seems to bear out those ‘Hohenstaufen tapeworms’316 which in Friedrich Hebbel’s unpleasant phrase reflect the greater part of German practice.

Further Travels

  • 317 Cf. Maria Ullrichová, ‘Mme de Staël et Frédéric Gentz’, in: Madame de Staël et l’Europe, Colloque d (...)
  • 318 Correspondance générale, VI, 438.
  • 319 Adam Müller, Lebenszeugnisse, ed. Jakob Baxa, 2 vols (Munich, etc.: Schöningh, 1966), I, 415.
  • 320 Ibid. Welschinger, La Censure, 174, quotes the Emperor as saying ‘Ces relations ne peuvent être que (...)
  • 321 King (1989-90), 61.

166Madame de Staël left Vienna on 22 May, 1808 in the company of Maurice O’Donnell, to be joined by the rest of her party, minus the reluctant cadet, Albert. Their journey took them into the Bohemian lands: Goethe was rumoured to be in Carlsbad. This meeting never eventuated, but in Prague, where they arrived on 26 May, they hoped to meet Friedrich Gentz. This translator of Edmund Burke and sometime member of Schlegel’s Berlin audience, bon viveur and frequenter of literary and political salons, had lent his pen to the cause of both Prussian and Austrian anti-revolutionary and anti-Napoleonic politics. The British were paying him handsome retainers, which supported his extravagant and raffish life-style (later, as Metternich’s right-hand man). Above all, he was in Napoleon’s bad books, being suspected of having had a hand in the Prussian manifesto that had led to war in 1806. He chose therefore to lie low in Prague. He was also an admirer of Madame de Staël.317 They finally met up in the watering-place of Teplitz (today’s Teplice). At their meeting, they got on famously: ‘a man of the first class’ is her verdict;318 ‘one could spend an eternity with her’ is his.319 He was similarly taken with Schlegel, ‘cultivated’ ‘socially at ease’.320 The meeting, which so impressed the worldly-wise Gentz, was however ill-advised. Napoleon’s agents knew all about it,321 convincing the Emperor that banishment of this troublesome woman was the only solution.

  • 322 Phöbus. Ein Journal für die Kunst. Herausgegeben von Heinrich v. Kleist und Adam H. Müller (Dresden (...)
  • 323 Ibid., 7. Stück, 3-12, 8. Stück, 10-18.
  • 324 Baxa, 424.

167They proceeded to Dresden. Adam Müller, another survivor of Berlin, was now tutor there to Prince Bernhard of Weimar and was attracting attention through his series of lectures. The January number of his periodical Phöbus, co-edited by Heinrich von Kleist and published in Dresden in 1808, had extracts from these, but also a highly flattering article on Madame de Staël (if later a less ingratiating review of Corinne) and, still later, one of her translations of Schiller’s poems.322 Articles on the Spanish theatre and on the drama of the Greeks were a reminder that Schlegel did not have a monopoly of these subjects in 1808.323 Neither she nor Schlegel noticed the towering presence of Kleist, whose contributions make this periodical memorable. Müller, already an astute political rhetorician (but not yet Metternich’s acolyte) found himself silenced and overwhelmed by Staël’s sheer presence; she could out-talk and out-argue anyone who was theorizing, like him, about the ‘elements of statecraft’.324 She already knew what these were.

  • 325 Krisenjahre, I, 550.
  • 326 Correspondance générale, VI, 542.
  • 327 Krisenjahre, I, 606.

168In Dresden Friedrich Schlegel was staying with his sister Charlotte Ernst, as he made his way towards Vienna in search of preferment. He had to borrow money from his brother to get this far, and more would be needed to see him to his ultimate destination. His first communication from Vienna, in July 1808,325 would inaugurate a litany recounting his tribulations, his waiting in the antechambers of the influential, his harassments, real and imagined, by the secret police. He also caught up in Vienna with the extended Schlegel-Staël circle and its ramifications. His first quarters were with Karl Gregor von Knorring: there is a certain poetic justice in the Tieck- Bernhardi ménage giving support to a member of the Schlegel family, not the other way round. With Maurice O’Donnell, Friedrich was charged with keeping an eye on Albert de Staël, reporting to his mother about his Latin lessons and also his escapades. She even asked Friedrich to intervene when her short-lived romance with O’Donnell came to its inevitable end.326 Dorothea did not join him until later in the year, making the journey from Cologne to Dresden amid troop movements.327 By November she was finally installed in Vienna.

  • 328 John Isbell, The Birth of European Romanticism. Truth and Propaganda in Staël’s ‘De l’Allemagne’, C (...)
  • 329 De l’Allemagne, V, 41-47.
  • 330 The correct name of the village. Not in the former Erfurt territory, which was Catholic, but in Got (...)
  • 331 Isbell, 180.
  • 332 De l’Allemagne, V, 62.

169Leaving the Saxon capital, the Staëls moved on, amid rumours of war, to Weimar. The duke and duchess received them, as did Schiller’s widow. Wieland was gracious, even to Schlegel. Schlegel left the party at Weimar and made a quick dash across to Hanover. Madame de Staël meanwhile was granted an insight into German religious life which was to inform one of the more extraordinary passages in De l’Allemagne. It was part of her discovery that the Germans were a profoundly religious people (Protestant Germans, that is, for Catholics formed a disproportionately shorter part of the narrative).328 One may, if one will, discern Schlegel’s hand in her chapter, ‘Du Protestantisme’, with its two-edged account of the Reformation and its trinity of theologians, Michaelis (Caroline’s father), Herder, and Schleiermacher.329 Her assertion that the North was more inclined to religious feeling than the Catholic South was the kind of insouciance that has given De l’Allemagne a bad name. (She may not even have appreciated the differences inside German Protestantism.) But the visit to the Moravian Brethren in Neudietendorf near Erfurt330 struck a different note. She described the communal life and worship of the Brethren, their regularity and tranquility, the harmony of their inner feelings and their outward conduct. In comparing them with Quakers, whom she knew from England (or from Voltaire),331 she was showing her indifference in matters both of doctrine and observance: for her the touchstone of religious experience, at its most basic, was ‘emotion’.332

  • 333 Family letters from this period in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B18, 26-36. His own accoun (...)

170For Schlegel, too, at this time it was feeling, ‘sentiments’, that animated matters of belief. This would not be in the forefront as he revisited his Protestant homeland of Hanover and found himself back in the world of Lutheran polity, represented by his two brothers, the one in Göttingen, the other in Hanover, and by his mother, the superintendent-general’s widow. Hanover had in 1807 experienced occupations and troop billetings (not least under Marshal Bernadotte):333 Schlegel’s regular money drafts to his mother had meant the difference between penury and survival. If Madame de Staël was the source of much of this (his publishers, too), it was also a reminder that his patroness could move as she chose from one bolt hole to the other, whereas the Schlegel family in Hanover could not. It was to be the last time that he saw his cherished and devoted mother.

  • 334 Correspondance générale, VI, 467f.
  • 335 ‘dont la vie peut être diversement jugée’. De l’Allemagne, III, 301.
  • 336 Cf. his later mention of Johannes von Müller in his Bonn lectures on World History, as a proponent (...)

171His return journey, to rejoin Madame de Staël, took him to Kassel, since 1807 capital of the Kingdom of Westphalia and the seat of Napoleon’s brother, King Jerome. (Hanover had been swallowed up by this Napoleonic creation.) There he met Johannes von Müller, now a privy counsellor at this court. He had made the political journey from Austrian service to Prussian, and now to Napoleon’s. Johann Friedrich Reichardt, the Schlegel brothers’ old associate from the 1790s, had traversed different political territory, and he too was also (briefly) in Kassel. For Schlegel, it was Müller’s Helvetic history that mattered, its chronicle of fierce independence, not its author’s political manoevrings and personal frailties.334 In times like these it did not do to be too censorious. Madame de Staël thought similarly,335 and it may well be at Schlegel’s prompting that Müller emerges in De l’Allemagne as a historian commensurate with Herder.336

  • 337 Friedrich Strack, ‘Historische und poetische Voraussetzungen der Heidelberger Romantik’, in: idem ( (...)
  • 338 August Wilhelm Schlegels Briefwechsel mit seinen Heidelberger Verlegern, ed. Erich Jenisch (Heidelb (...)
  • 339 ‘Beleuchtung der Beschuldigungen in der Anti-Symbolik von J. H. Voss’, second part of ‘Berichtigung (...)
  • 340 Briefe, II, 107-109 on his subsequent relations with Voss.

172Schlegel found the Staël party again in Heidelberg. Heidelberg, through the grand duke of Baden’s judicious dynastic policies (marrying his heir to Napoleon’s adopted Beauharnais daughter),337 had been spared troop movements and occupations. It was in this haven of peace, with its venerable setting and its newly reconstituted university, that the younger Romantics Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano had been able to produce works like the Wunderhorn or Zeitung für Einsiedler. He also met their publisher, Johann Georg Zimmer, of the firm Mohr and Zimmer: they were to bring out his Vienna Lectures.338 But the Romantics’ chief adversary, Johann Heinrich Voss, was now also a professor there. Only later, in response to Voss’s calumniations, would Schlegel contrast his own banishment and exile with Voss’s academic idyll in Heidelberg.339 A meeting with the old curmudgeon went off surprisingly well, also with his son Heinrich.340

  • 341 Details in Roger Paulin, The Critical Reception of Shakespeare in Germany 1682-1914. Native Literat (...)

173Schlegel was not unaware that the younger Voss had translated Othello and King Lear in 1806, in a style situated somewhere between Schiller’s and his own; indeed Voss and his brother Abraham were soon to set themselves up in earnest competition with Schlegel’s own Shakespeare enterprise, in sharp opposition even, once their father’s astringent voice was added.341 Schlegel was content to yield to Madame Unger’s urgings and complete King Richard III in 1810. It marked for all intents and purposes the end of that great enterprise, begun in Jena and by an irony terminated a year after Caroline’s death.

Back to Coppet

  • 342 Correspondance générale, VI, 539.

174Coppet, where they returned in July, 1808, was with a few interruptions to be collectively and severally a safe place and centre of study, conviviality, and contemplation from the autumn through to the summer of 1809. Outside, Spain rose in revolt; later, Austria prepared for war. These were the last months of the ‘Groupe de Coppet’ as originally constituted, before circumstances brought about its disruption. With such a châtelaine things could never be exactly tranquil, still clinging to Maurice O’Donnell in Vienna but having the (secretly married) Benjamin Constant as her guest in Coppet. Prosper de Barante, Mathieu de Montmorency, Sismondi, Elzéar de Sabran and Bonstetten were joined by a new house guest, Baron Caspar von Voght, the attentive listener to Schlegel’s Berlin lectures, who now became a major informant for De l’Allemagne. For these months were to be devoted to things German and a variety of German visitors, but also to De l’Allemagne itself. She would write this ‘testament’—as she told the Prince de Ligne—and then she would leave for America.342

  • 343 Briefe, I, 225.
  • 344 Modern critical edition ed. by Jean-René Derré, Bibliothèque de la Faculté des Lettres de Lyon, [10 (...)
  • 345 Ibid., 66-67.
  • 346 Voght discusses a reading of Wallstein by Constant, Staël and Sabran. He criticizes the French tend (...)

175As usual Schlegel found himself torn between Coppet’s preoccupations and his own perception of himself as a German man of letters, one of those ‘wide-awake and German-minded writers’343 of which the nation had such need in these days. But one act of fealty towards Coppet stands out: his review of Benjamin Constant’s tragedy Wallstein. Wallstein, tragédie en cinq actes et en vers, précédée de quelques réflexions sur le théâtre allemand, suivie de notes historiques, to give it its full title,344 was not merely Schiller’s Wallenstein recast in French alexandrines: it reduced the whole of that trilogy to five acts, it shrank its many places of action to one, it cut down the dramatis personae to the requirements of the French stage. Constant had avoided ‘mixtures’ of style or lapses of decorum (Schiller’s occasional concessions to Shakespeare). Admitting that his play could not satisfy the strictest theoretical norms of the French ‘drame classique’, he thereby offered a critique of its stringencies, but he did not aim to overthrow its conventions either.345 The fact that Madame de Staël in her section on Wallenstein in De l’Allemagne largely repeats Constant’s own arguments, shows how problematic German drama was for a French readership and audience, not just Schiller’s.346 Hence Madame de Staël’s preference there for the more regular Maria Stuart, which with its theme of regicide also suited her ideological purposes.

  • 347 The actual review is in Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände 41, 17 February, 1809, 161-163. Not in SW. (...)

176One might expect Schlegel, fresh from his recent severe judgment on neo-classicism, to find little merit in Wallstein,347 but here loyalties to Coppet asserted themselves. He is more conciliatory in the matter of national dramatic styles, provided that none claims a monopoly of taste or excellence (the second part of his Vienna Lectures, published later in the same year, would adopt a different tone). Instead, he uses Constant to diminish Schiller. Schiller had not succeeded in containing his material in five acts; his trilogy was not, like those of the Greeks, the product of inner necessity, but of despair. Shakespeare, for instance, could have done the opening part, Wallensteins Lager [Wallenstein’s Camp], in a few deft strokes. Had Schiller been a more experienced dramatist, had he spent less time on philosophical or historical studies, he might have achieved the same five- act solution as Constant. This was the delayed critical voice of Jena.

  • 348 Jenisch, 23-29.

177There were quite enough matters of his own to occupy Schlegel in these months, first of all publishing. With other things occupying his time and energy, he had not sent Reimer the promised second part of Calderón. An agitated correspondence ensued, Schlegel finally capitulating and returning Reimer’s advance. Reimer in his turn handed Schlegel over to Julius Hitzig in Berlin, a new publisher looking for copy and very glad to add the famous translator to his list. Sophie Bernhardi had not forgotten her poetic ambitions amid her family affairs. Could Schlegel find a publisher for her verse epic Flore und Blanscheflur? He remembered Zimmer in Heidelberg. Zimmer was not interested, but he sensed a real prize when Schlegel offered him his Vienna Lectures. Schlegel had wanted them to appear in Vienna itself, but publishers there would only pay in paper money. Zimmer could offer proper currency, two and a half Carolins per sheet for a print-run of 1,250.348 The first part was ready by October, 1809. Zimmer was also the publisher of the Heidelberger Jahrbücher, edited by the Heidelberg professors Karl Daub and Friedrich Creuzer, which began its long and distinguished life in 1808. This review periodical would deal with many of the important publications of this second wave of Romanticism, and for about five years it was to be the major outlet for Schlegel’s own scholarly interests.

  • 349 Briefe, I, 226.

178These of course included the Nibelungenlied. The visit to Munich at the end of 1807 had a fortunate consequence when in the summer of 1808 Schlegel was elected a corresponding member of the newly constituted Royal Bavarian Academy of Sciences (he would have loved the Academy’s splendid uniform, but never got to wear it). Doubtless Schelling had a hand in this. There was an academy project on standard German grammatical usage. Could he be persuaded? In fact Schlegel was far more interested in borrowing the Munich manuscript of the Nibelungenlied. To Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, the restless and untiring patron of the arts, he wrote, assuring his devotion, but his real hope was that with Madame de Staël they might find royal patronage for Friedrich Tieck.349

179The opportunity for devotion presented itself for Madame de Staël in August 1808, at the folk festival at Interlaken. Schlegel had remained behind while she, Sabran and Montmorency set out for the event, which took place on 17 August. It forms of course one of the great set pieces of De l’Allemagne, part of its commodious attitude to the notion of ‘Germany’ or ‘German-ness’. It was the only folk event that she in fact seems to have seen and it suited her purposes admirably. It was, as it were, Johannes von Müller brought to life, William Tell (the legend, or Schiller’s version of it) re-enacted: here the people were freedom-loving, robust, given to song and dance—in short a nation that resisted despots. And so the Swiss (not, say, the Tyroleans, who were engaged in active revolt) stood in De l’Allemagne for the independent Germanic virtues that had once elicited the admiration of a Tacitus. A similar agenda informs her choice of Pestalozzi and his system for her long section on German education in De l’Allemagne. There were other spectators of note at Interlaken. That great royal traveller Crown Prince Ludwig was there. It was the moment to intercede for Friedrich Tieck, still in Rome. Having done the busts of the Weimar notabilities and some in Munich, would Tieck not be the ideal sculptor for the Walhalla, the monument to German greatness that was to arise on the banks of the Danube near Regensburg? It little mattered that the Crown Prince’s notions of ‘German-ness’ were as accommodating as Madame de Staël’s, for even she was considered for inclusion.

  • 350 Über die Tendenz der Wernerschen Schriften’, Prometheus, 5.-6. Heft, 35-50, ref. 44.
  • 351 Besslich, 79-82.

180The Crown Prince, himself a poetaster, was in his turn able to introduce her to a fellow-poet: Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner. Thus ensued one of the more bizarre episodes in the history of Coppet. Werner, on his way through Switzerland to northern Italy, had met up with the Crown Prince’s entourage. Ludwig or Madame de Staël had most likely heard of him, and one did not forget his actual physical presence, wild, farouche, outlandish, overwhelming; a man with a mission not just to fill Schiller’s vacant dramatic throne, but through mystical unions and androgynous celestial resolutions to bring salvation to the world. He did not practise ethereality: no serving- wench was safe from his attentions. Goethe had been equally fascinated and repelled by him, but the periodical Prometheus expressed itself more drastically: sampling his works was like enjoying a banquet where one had unwittingly been eating human flesh.350 His Martin Luther drama had been performed amid scandal in Berlin in 1806; and his Attila tragedy of 1807, as yet unperformed, would lead Madame de Staël to the most problematical of her indiscretions in De l’Allemagne. For Napoleon—or his censors—did not enjoy comparisons, however veiled, with the ‘scourge of God’.351

  • 352 ‘Knie vor ihr nieder’, Die Tagebücher des Dichters Zacharias Werner (Texte), ed. Oswald Floeck, Bib (...)

181Madame de Staël was fascinated by Werner, and Werner knelt in homage before her.352 After his journey to Milan and Genoa, he was a welcome guest at Coppet from 14 October to 3 November, 1808, and the account in his diaries of life there is highly informative. He noted the presence of the Danish poet Adam Oehlenschläger, rude and malicious, who was to stay in Coppet or Geneva until the spring of 1809. Madame de Staël was sufficiently taken with him to include him (and his fellow-countryman Jens Baggesen) in her widely-cast notion of German poetry in De l’Alllemagne. Werner also spent hours in conversation with Schlegel. He heard him read Calderón; Schlegel lent him—and nobody else—his Considérations; they talked about Catholicism and discoursed at length about the relationship of the plant and animal world to the divine. It was clear that they were both reading Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, the French mystical philosopher (‘le philosophe inconnu’).

  • 353 De l’Allemagne, V, 96f. ; Isbell, 184-191. ‘Schlegel und Werner an der Spitze der speculation [sic] (...)
  • 354 Karl Viktor von Bonstetten to Friederike Brun, 12 October 1809. Bonstettiana, X, ii, 654.

182What was happening in Coppet? Was Schlegel no longer talking nonsense when the subject was religion, as Madame de Staël had once averred? It is fair to say that an interest in mysticism and quietism—terms that she used indiscriminately—was never far from Madame de Staël’s mind, but that it was not at all times equally active. Maybe she needed a catalyst such as Werner or Schlegel.353 Certainly in a much-quoted letter from Bonstetten it is Schlegel who is deemed responsible: ‘these people will all be turning Catholic, Böhmians, Martinists, mystics, all thanks to Schlegel; and on top of all that, everything is turning German’.354 Clearly, distinctions between various kinds of spirituality were not Coppet’s forte.

  • 355 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B 21 (68-72). By 1811, he had nine items by Saint-Martin plus (...)
  • 356 Krisenjahre, II, 66-71.

183Saint-Martin had done the French translation of the works of Jacob Böhme, the mystagogue and heresiarch who had enjoyed such a vogue in Jena. Tieck, Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel had been attracted to the Silesian theosophist, whereas August Wilhelm had been less drawn. Now after his return from Vienna we find him ordering Böhme and Saint-Martin from booksellers.355 Werner’s religious notions were at this stage so heterodox that he could easily accommodate Saint-Martin—and much else—into his system. That was only to cease with his conversion to Catholicism in 1810. Schlegel was not to take such a step. Was the potential rift with Madame de Staël too grave to contemplate? For there is enough evidence from his correspondence up to the Russian journey of a searching for spiritual satisfaction, for an easing of soul, but not necessarily inside an ecclesiastical or hierarchical framework. At this stage he was willing to defend the speculations of his brother Friedrich in Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit against the likes of Schelling; indeed in an important letter to the latter of 19 August 1809356 he saw philosophy as but one way towards truth, not an end in itself; it alone—not even Kant—could not open up the ultimate secrets. Whereas later it would be history, historical record, the examination of sources on the broadest of bases that would inform his method of study, he was now prepared to entertain hidden links between the spiritual and material world that would not sustain historical or philological analysis.

  • 357 Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 475.
  • 358 Francis Ley, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Madame de Staël, Chateaubriand, Benjamin Constant et Madame (...)

184Another visitor to Coppet just before Werner had noticed religious stirrings in Schlegel. This was Barbara von Krüdener,357 the itinerant visionary who was later to become the spiritual counsellor of Tsar Alexander I and the inspirer of the Holy Alliance. Madame de Staël, who was reading nothing more extreme than Fénelon, was on her list of potential converts; of Schlegel she observed that ‘he believed Protestantism to be in decline and that he will find repose in the Catholic religion’.358 Hankerings, longings, a search for inward peace, but no active steps taken towards the Church’s formal embrace: this seemed to be the extent of Schlegel’s Catholic leanings. He was still the tutor to Madame de Staël’s sons, who had been confirmed into the Calvinist faith; he was very close to his mother and doubtless did not wish to add to the heart-ache of Friedrich’s conversion; and there was the memory of his father, to whom he had owed so much and whom Friedrich, as the youngest sibling, had not known to this degree.

  • 359 Jasinski, 475.
  • 360 Maaz, 110f.; Bögel (2015), 169, 183.
  • 361 Full list in Bögel (2015), 197. They include Goethe, Schiller and Herder.
  • 362 Maaz, 287.
  • 363 Ibid., 281f.
  • 364 Ibid., 282f.

185The third important guest at Coppet in this autumn and winter of 1808- 09 was Friedrich Tieck.359 He had left Rome in August and had made his way via Genoa and Turin to Munich, where he caught up with the Tieck family’s untidy affairs, but was also commissioned to do Schelling’s bust.360 Tieck, who in his letters comes over as hang-dog, ever sorry for himself, was emerging as the major recorder in marble or plaster of the personal images of Berlin, of Jena, of Weimar, and now of Coppet. Or even of the German nation, for twenty-four of the busts in Crown Prince (and later King) Ludwig’s Walhalla were to be by him,361 those alternately glabrous or hirsute marble monuments to German greatness, whose provenance as routine commissions is all too evident. But where personal involvement or friendship entered into it he could be relied upon to produce a striking image that comes over to us as authentic. To him we owe the only portrait of Wackenroder that we have, the sole record of Ludwig and Sophie Tieck as young writers, the only convincing memorial to Auguste Böhmer. He filled niches in the Weimar palace, not only with Goethe and Schiller, but with Klopstock and Voss. His Schelling breathes energy and intelligence;362 his Alexander von Humboldt has something of the freshness and determination of the young voyager.363 Not everyone could perhaps enter into the spirit of the Necker mausoleum in Coppet (closed to all but the family), where a veiled and draped Suzanne Necker leads her husband Jacques, nude, but discreetly covered, to Elysium, with their daughter Germaine kneeling, her face hidden in her hands.364

  • 365 Illustration ibid., 109, description 285f.
  • 366 Ibid., 286f., with an account of the copies made.
  • 367 Briefe, I, 226.
  • 368 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd., App. 2712, B31 (5-16).

186Her features were revealed in the bust that Tieck did of her in 1808, with her ample figure, part décolletée, the head bare, not festooned with the toques or turbans that are a feature of her other portraits, the mouth slightly open, as if in the act of speech, about to articulate the latest aperçu or witticism.365 Not so the bust of Schlegel.366 He himself claimed that it was a ‘speaking likeness’,367 recognizing in his image the seriousness, severity even, of the scholar and translator. The Grecian herm could not of course display the sitter’s sartorial vanity, those silk breeches and embroidered waistcoats that his tailor’s bills record.368 Compared with his last formal representation, that slightly androgynous portrait by Tischbein, here was a display of maturity and achievement. The bust seen in profile shows a family resemblance to Caroline Rehberg’s portrait of his father Johann Adolf. Of course the son’s hair is swept forward, not tied back, eighteenth-century fashion, but each has a high forehead and prominent nose and large eyes. Johann Adolf’s mouth expresses the kindliness that most witnesses attribute to him; August Wilhelm’s is firm and determined and not a little defiant.

Fig. 17 August Wilhelm Schlegel, marble bust by Friedrich Tieck 1816-30.

Fig. 17 August Wilhelm Schlegel, marble bust by Friedrich Tieck 1816-30.

Image in the public domain.

De l’Allemagne

  • 369 Quoted in Georges Solovieff, ‘Scènes de la vie de Coppet (récits d’hôtes européens)’, Cahiers staël (...)

187It was time at last for Madame de Staël to finish De l’Allemagne, time, too, for Schlegel to see his Vienna Lectures to press, indeed to oversee their translation into French. But even now there were distractions; everyone seemed to be busy at something, as Baron Voght wrote to Juliette Récamier: ‘In every corner there is somebody composing a work. She herself is writing her Letters on Germany, Constant and Auguste a tragedy each, Sabran a comic opera, Sismondi his History, Schlegel his translation, Bonstetten his philosophy, and me my letter to Juliette’.369 Apart from the usual stream of visitors, there was still play acting.

  • 370 Jasinski, 478. Briefe des Dichters Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner, ed. Oswald Floeck, 2 vols (Mu (...)
  • 371 Correspondance générale, VI, 73.

188This would be as nothing compared with the return visit of Zacharias Werner in September to November of 1809,370 when Coppet saw the first reading and then performance of his ‘fate tragedy’ Der vierundzwanzigste Februar [The Twenty‑Fourth of February]. Werner himself played Kuntz, the old father, Schlegel Kurt the son, and a ‘Fräulein von Zeuner’ Trude the mother. Schlegel ‘performed well’, no doubt noting the superiority of his verse over Werner’s semi-doggerel. Madame de Staël registered ‘un effet terrible’.371 The plot is simple: two family tragedies repeat themselves, at intervals, on the same fatal day; only in this way is the family curse lifted and grace triumphs. That was certainly the way that Werner, the later convert to Catholicism and ordained priest, wished to see it. But not all contemporaries shared this reading, especially after its performance in Weimar, perhaps abetted by the reading of Schlegel’s translation of Calderón’s La devoción de la cruz. The German stage meanwhile saw tokens of atavistic criminality invade its repertoire, as Adolf Müllner wrote Die Schuld [Guilt] and Der neunundzwanzigste Februar [29th of February] and Franz Grillparzer the sin of his youth, Die Ahnfrau [The Ancestress]. It had not been Werner’s intention nor it was Schlegel’s direct fault: minor or budding talents were simply unable to desist.

  • 372 Dix Années, 106.

189It was to be a year of removals and uncertainties. For Madame de Staël it involved the revelation of Benjamin Constant’s marriage to Charlotte von Hardenberg; it saw the bewitching presence of Madame Récamier; it had Schlegel holding the fort at Coppet or wherever else his mistress required him to be. Albert returned from Vienna in April and was in Schlegel’s care. The ‘Groupe’ only reconvened at Coppet during the summer months; otherwise it was fragmented, desultorily in Geneva or in Lyon. In 1809 her resolve to finish De l’Allemagne became more firm, but also her stated resolution to go to America after its completion. This would not be the hardship it might seem to be, for her father had presciently purchased property there. In Dix Années d’exil she even spoke of going to England via America.372

  • 373 Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs à Chaumont et à Fossé’, Correspondance générale, VII, 591 (...)
  • 374 Briefe, I, 253.

190The work was however completed, not at Coppet but in France itself— Napoleon had only banned her from Paris—at the château of Chaumont on the Loire near Blois, the owner of which was absent in America.373 To his sister-in-law Julie in Hanover Schlegel wrote describing the romantic setting and the historic associations; but his letter also contained echoes of French exile and the wistful hope of some day being in charge of his own fate.374 For not only was Schlegel heavily committed to the proof-reading of De l’Allemagne: he was also superintending the French translation of his own Lectures. The fates of these two enterprises were soon to be intertwined.

  • 375 These in extenso Correspondance générale, VII, 209-243.
  • 376 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B29 (5).
  • 377 Pange, 265.
  • 378 ‘Auf die Taufe eines Negers’. Poetische Werke, I, 333 (II, 292 has a note of the circumstances); SW (...)
  • 379 [Charles Lenormant], Coppet et Weimar, 272.

191We have to imagine not just one, but two, authors at Chaumont at work on the redaction of their important works. Madame de Staël and Schlegel would both need the iron self-discipline of which they were both capable if need be. Around them was gathered the ‘Groupe’,375 augmented by Madame Récamier, with whom just about everyone fell in love (Auguste de Staël especially). The young French émigré Adelbert de (later ‘von’) Chamisso was there, before writing Peter Schlemihl, circumnavigating the globe, and supplying Robert Schumann with the text of Frauenliebe und –leben, but now enjoying Madame de Staël’s ‘confidence’. There was time and leisure for the famous ‘petite poste’: the company would sit round a table and write letters to each other, or indeed from room to room. Perhaps the note from Madame Récamier to Schlegel is one such: ‘Do you wish me to come and read English with you at 4 o’clock; if you are busy, we will choose another time—’.376 Schlegel witnessed an altogether unusual event: the baptism of a twenty-two-year-old black man, ‘born in Africa’ (‘un nègre né en Afrique’ in the language of the time).377 Who was he? Was he the property of the Franco-American owner of Chaumont and a reminder that slavery was still being practised in both countries? He had the honour of having Madame Récamier and Mathieu de Montmorency as godparents, and Schlegel wrote a sonnet in commemoration. The poem states that the slave was set free, and it affirms his belief (still) in the efficacy of the sacraments.378 It confirmed Madame de Staël’s opposition to the slave trade379 and may well have been the germ of Auguste’s and Albertine’s later campaign against it, afforced when they met Wilberforce in England.

  • 380 Körner, Botschaft, 58f.; Pange, 273.

192The translation of the Lectures was entrusted to Helmine de Chézy (‘von’ after her divorce from the orientalist) in Paris, once Schlegel had ascertained that she was linguistically competent; but the larger part was done by Chamisso (Helmine and Chamisso had an affair on the side); Prosper de Barante and even Madame de Staël herself are mentioned as helping.380 This translation, which one can reconstruct from its later state, was making good progress, when it was hit by two related contingencies. A minor disruption occurred already in June, 1810, when the owner of Chaumont unexpectedly returned from America and they needed to shift camp to Fossé, near Blois. More serious altogether was the dismissal of Fouché as Napoleon’s minister of police. Always a repulsive figure, he had nevertheless not pursued Madame de Staël with the zeal that his superior expected. That would not apply to his replacement, René Savary, duke of Rovigo. Having presided at the execution of the duke d’Enghien, he was someone whom Napoleon could implicitly trust.

  • 381 The contract in De l’Allemagne, I, xxv. The main sources of what follows are the Preface to De l’Al (...)

193The manuscript of De l’Allemagne was for all intents and purposes finished early in 1810, having been copied out by Fanny Randall. For a publisher the author went to Gabriel-Henri Nicolle, who had also brought out Corinne.381 Parts of the text went back as far as 1804, while other sections were of more recent provenance and reflected events and personages (such as Werner) at closer hand. Schlegel, whose knowledge and erudition were of great benefit to Madame de Staël, although occupied with his own translation and with the publication of the second part of his Lectures, played his part in the final proof-reading, as indeed anyone did who was in Chaumont or Fossé.

  • 382 There is a letter of Staël to Prince Schwarzenberg written in the hope of his securing some interve (...)
  • 383 Welschinger, La Censure, 176f.

194Censorship had been in operation in the Directory and then in imperial France certainly since 1800: Chateaubriand, Nodier, Marie-Joseph Chénier, even Kotzebue in translation had fallen foul of it, and it had been stepped up by the decree of 5 February in the very year 1810. Staël cannot have believed that her book would escape the attentions of the state authorities, especially since she and her family had been excluded from the amnesty extended on the occasion of Napoleon’s marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria.382 She had made it clear that she would sail for America once De l’Allemagne was out. Her every movement—Schlegel’s too—was known to the secret police; Corbigny, the prefect of Loir-et-Cher, although well- disposed to Staël, was required nevertheless to report regularly to Savary. They knew of her unrepentant interest in politics, for instance her concern as the widow of a Swedish diplomat at the outcome of the succession to the Swedish throne. No sooner were the proofs of De l’Allemagne ready, than the book was placed under seal and passed on to the censors.383

  • 384 Her letters to Napoleon Correspondance générale, VII, 258-260, 262-264, to Savary, 265-267.
  • 385 Pange, 273 ; Welschinger, 184.
  • 386 De l’Allemagne, I, 5-7.

195They did their work thoroughly, but with a marked parti pris: they claimed to detect the hand of August Wilhelm Schlegel, ‘the detractor of French literature’ (only partly true); they noted that the Emperor’s role as patron of the arts and sciences had been played down (true); they read criticism of Austria into her remarks on that country (largely untrue); the section on Kant, they averred, lacked ‘method and logic’ (how true). Their recommendation was: publication, but with changes to the offending passages. Staël complied. The proofs then went to the highest authority himself: Napoleon. His main instruction was the removal of the section favourable to England. Sensing danger, Madame de Staël wrote directly to the Emperor and to Savary.384 Savary replied with the austere and disdainful letter that now forms part of the Preface to De l’Allemagne. It is clear from that context that Auguste, not subject to the same ban as his mother, had taken the letter in person; Schlegel had sought to intervene with Corbigny.385 Savary’s letter cited in response her ‘silence with regard to the Emperor’ and treated her exile as a ‘natural consequence’ of the course that she had chosen.386 He then invited her to select between Lorient, La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Rochefort as places of embarkation, all Atlantic ports from which she could sail to America.

  • 387 Cf. to Napoleon Correspondance générale, VII, 273, 275f., to Queen Hortense 274f., 276f.
  • 388 15,000 francs. Ibid., 319.
  • 389 Untitled. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, A11, 26. The publishing history of this fragment wi (...)

196On the same day that Savary saw Auguste and dispatched this letter, he also gave the order for the destruction of the proofs of De l’Allemagne and of all copies held by the printer. The proofs were then pulped. Napoleon’s word was final: ‘There is to be no further talk of this work or of that wretched woman’. Pleas for an audience fell on deaf ears.387 Corbigny wrote to Savary, stating that Madame de Staël had passports and was about to embark for America with Schlegel. In fact she received a visa for Coppet and decided to return there instead. Nicolle the publisher was ruined and filed for bankruptcy (he had lost over 900,000 francs; Staël reimbursed the immediate expenses incurred).388 It also spelled an end for the time being to any hopes Schlegel might have of seeing his Vienna Lectures published in France. Would they, with their marked anti-French bias, their praise of the Spanish and English nations (this section of course did not appear until 1811) not attract the same kind of unfavourable attention that De l’Allemagne was to receive in 1809-10? Was it not naïve to suppose that both works would not be heavily censored—or worse? And was it not clear that Schlegel, the author of the Comparaison, was regarded as her accomplice? Fortunately the French translation had not reached the production stage, and Chamisso was able to retain his manuscript for future use. Schlegel himself wrote a fragment on the destruction of the first edition of De l’Allemagne,389which under the political circumstances had to remain anonymous.

  • 390 De l’Allemagne, I, i-iii ; Balayé (1974), 72.

197The position late in 1810 was this. Barante Senior, the prefect of Léman, was instructed to prevent Madame de Staël from returning to France (she was to spend most of late 1810 and the spring of 1811 in Geneva). The French police bulletins of October and November 1810 were notable in drawing attention to the ideological dangers filtering in from Germany: Werner, with his offensive Attila; Fichte (of the Reden an die deutsche Nation), Gentz (in the pay of the English), and the Schlegel brothers. It was clear that Madame de Staël was associating with and even praising forces subversive of the French state. But De l’Allemagne, the seditious text, had not as Savary and Napoleon believed been totally suppressed. Nor with a print run of 5,000 and several sets of proofs in existence was this humanly possible. Both Nicolle and the printer seem to have colluded in this, and Madame de Staël—understandably—had not been absolutely open with the authorities. Three manuscript copies of De l’Allemagne and several sets of proofs have survived.390 Publication would have to wait until 1813, and it would be in London, not in Paris.

Holed up in Berne

  • 391 Krisenjahre, II, 185.
  • 392 Correspondance générale, VII, 332.
  • 393 Ibid., 338, 388.

198Writing to Schlegel from Paris on 5 December 1810, Henriette Mendelssohn, Dorothea Schlegel’s sister, had this to say: ‘How and where are you living? Some say, in Lausanne, Humboldt is supposed to have said it. Do you not have any bright new plans for next spring?’391 Henriette was by no means the only correspondent left guessing as to Schlegel’s whereabouts, and any plans that he had would have to coincide with Madame de Staël’s own. She had meanwhile decided that it would be prudent for him to absent himself from Coppet or Geneva for a couple of months. It was in fact the first stage of planning for their eventual escape and for the preservation of a manuscript of De l’Allemagne. Thus began Schlegel’s enforced sojourn in Berne,392 which with intervals was to last until the summer of 1812. This exile ceased to be voluntary when early in January 1811, Barante was replaced as Léman prefect by the altogether more assiduous Guillaume Antoine Benoît Capelle, charming but ruthless.393 He knew Schlegel to be the author of the Comparaison and thus no friend of the French nation. It all added to the precariousness of their situation.

  • 394 As she wrote to Napoleon, ibid., 461.
  • 395 Briefe, II, 129; Pange, 349-351.
  • 396 Der Besuch und Abschied des Wanderers. 1812’, which remained unpublished in his lifetime (SW, I, 2 (...)

199From the relative security of Berne Schlegel could oversee the issue of passports for possible longer journeys. He could enjoy such local company as he found congenial; one such was Dr Koreff, from whom Madame de Staël had requested information about the ‘new science’ in Germany for her great work; another was Mathieu de Montmorency (also banned from Geneva),394 with whom Schlegel had serious conversations about religion, as part of a general renewal of interest in things spiritual in the now fragmented Coppet circle. In the summer of 1811 and lasting into 1812, there was even an infatuation: with the admirable and gifted Marianne Haller,395 the wife of the city architect and very much his junior. Schlegel could only enjoy her charms, her intelligence and her talk at a distance. It is certainly no coincidence that the two poems that he addressed to her396 adopt the conventions of Minnesang, one of them even in an approximation to Middle High German stanzaic form, for this was the lady untouchable and inviolate whom one could approach only in verse.

  • 397 Krisenjahre, II, 203.
  • 398 Bögel (2015), 242, 258, 262, 271. Schlegel also made a direct approach to the librarian in Zurich, (...)
  • 399 Jenisch, 77.
  • 400 Briefe, I, 274.
  • 401 Krisenjahre, II, 220f. 226-228, 229-231.

200It doubtless suited his general frame of mind, for Berne saw a last flurry of activity on the medieval front. It was to the robuster Nibelungenlied that Schlegel now devoted time and leisure, to collate the various manuscripts. Bernhard Joseph Docen, the Munich librarian and antiquarian and the subject of one of Schlegel’s first reviews for the Heidelberger Jahrbücher, sent him material.397 Friedrich Tieck, held up in Zurich by illness and lack of funds, inspected Bodmer’s Nachlass on his behalf and sent copies of the Heldenbuch and other rare material.398 The publisher Fuessli in Zurich had similar instructions, as did Mohr and Zimmer in Heidelberg.399 Reimer even expressed an interest in publishing the Nibelungenlied.400 Prosper de Barante and Sismondi were supplying him with information on the Troubadours.401 But his present circumstances and those of the next years were neither congenial nor conducive to sustained study.

201Reimer, who had acquired the rights of the Shakespeare translation from Madame Unger, was pleased with the sales of Richard III (a Machiavellian figure for the times, perhaps) and wondered if Henry VIII or Macbeth might be forthcoming. It was, however, to Mohr and Zimmer that Schlegel turned for the works that for him mattered in these last Swiss years: the completed Vienna Lectures and the Poetische Werke, both of which came out in 1811. These were not good times for publishers or for authors. North Germany, a market that a bookseller overlooked at his peril, was subject to the decree of 5 February 1810 that extended across the French imperial territories to all those under its jurisdiction; Zimmer, in neutral Baden, went ahead with the Poetische Werke nevertheless. Those who remembered the Gedichte, the first collection of his poetry, would note a few additions: the great Roman elegy for the—now proscribed— Madame de Staël, for instance, but also the threnody for Auguste Böhmer, now ten years dead but memorialized for as long as her step-father’s poetry was read. They would see much with which they were familiar, the distichs for his brother Carl Schlegel, with whose name Friedrich Schlegel had ended the preface to Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier; the poetry from the Athenaeum, those sonnets of solidarity and friendship; the impudent attack on Kotzebue, who was still flourishing, luxuriating even, in the theatres of Europe; one would see a few patriotic poems, above all ‘An Friedrich Schlegel’ from Prometheus and an expression of fraternal loyalty. Die Kunst der Griechen, that elegy that had once adulated Goethe, was still there, more on account of its correct versification than its genuine sentiments. For Schlegel in 1812 joined with a number of his old Romantic associates in finding fault with Goethe’s self-representation and self-stylisation in his autobiographical Dichtung und Wahrheit [Poetry and Truth]. He would have even more pleasure when in the same year Ludwig Tieck, a notoriously bad correspondent, surprised him by dedicating to him his collection Phantasus and reawakening the memory of Jena.

  • 402 Zuschrift’, Poetische Werke, I, [iii]; SW, I, [3].
  • 403 Jenisch (1922), 95.
  • 404 Ibid., 118 (not fulfilled).
  • 405 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Poetische Werke, 2 vols (Uppsala: Bruzelius, 1812).
  • 406 A. W. Schlegel’s poetische Werke. Neueste Auflage, 2 parts (Vienna : B. Ph. Bauer, 1815).
  • 407 These are : ‘Abendlied für die Entfernte’, ‘Die gefangenen Sänger’, ‘Die verfehlte Stunde’, ‘Lob de (...)

202The collection also included the most intimate poem to the now dead Caroline, while the dedicatory poem, ‘Zuschrift’, spoke of the changes in life and love, the ripening effects of time, too, the poet’s gaining of maturity— in the wider interests of his fellow-countrymen.402 Only a few compatriots now qualified for complimentary copies, though:403 his family, of course, Heyne, his Göttingen teacher, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, Fouqué, Karl von Hardenberg, Ludwig Tieck, Goethe, Schelling—and Minna van Nuys. Here were some political tactics, some acts of deference, but also an acknowledgement of who belonged together, who had stood up for the other over the years—and there were not many of them left. The volumes sold well: Zimmer called for a reprinting in 1815;404 the Swedish publisher Bruzelius issued it in 1812, as if anticipating Schlegel’s arrival,405 and in the same year a Viennese pirate edition, in handy duodecimo, indicated a similar need.406 Perhaps Franz Schubert used it for the settings he made of poems by Schlegel.407

Fig. 18 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Poetische Werke (Vienna, 1815). Frontispiece and title page.

Fig. 18 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Poetische Werke (Vienna, 1815). Frontispiece and title page.

Image in the public domain.

  • 408 Poetische Werke, I, 98-134 (date given II, 284); SW, I, 100-126.
  • 409 Up to verse 2325, Tristan’s abduction by the merchants.
  • 410 There is, for instance, a whole folder in the Nachlass devoted to Tristan. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dres (...)
  • 411 As in the opening of Wieland’s verse epic Oberon.

One poem, ‘Tristan’, newly added, but in no sense ‘new’, having been written in 1800, summed up what it had once meant to be Romantic.408 It is essentially the account of Tristan’s childhood and youth as recounted by Gottfried von Strassburg,409 but now modernized, Gottfried in Ariostian stanzas. It was a reminder of how medieval chivalry and fable still informed the Renaissance (Ariosto, Tasso, Shakespeare, Cervantes), how the canonical poets all proceeded from the same sources and substance. Schlegel’s own verse—a little arch and archaizing—shows the same competence that his sample from Ariosto in the Athenaeum had once displayed. It also brings out the Romantic dichotomy: on the one hand the call for the philological and scholarly establishment of old texts, the collating of variants that he was at that moment indulging in,410 his etymological and grammatical study; and on the other the wish to communicate the spirit and essence of the Middle Ages through accessible modernisations—by Tieck, Görres, von der Hagen, Fouqué—that would reach the Germans, so much in need of cultural and political identity. It was—no-one said it aloud—also Wieland’s legacy, the Ariostian hippogryph saddled up for the ‘ride into the old romantic land’.411 Schlegel’s pirate publisher, Bauer in Vienna, saw the commercial potential of this when he issued his Poetische Werke with a frontispiece indebted— altogether more decorously, of course—to the engravings that had once added piquancy to Wieland’s verse romances.

The Dash to Vienna

203All of this was by way of a reminder to the Germans that he was ‘still there’ and not sequestered in remotest French Switzerland. It was Madame de Staël who in 1811 actually brought him back to the German lands, for the briefest duration and under hazardous circumstances, indeed a practice run for the great escape of the Staël entourage in the late spring of 1812. Most likely, Schlegel’s stay in Berne had involved securing one of the manuscript copies of De l’Allemagne from possible police searches in Coppet. In June, 1811, while he was briefly back in Coppet, she decided on an altogether more adventuresome and risky operation: she asked Schlegel to travel from Berne to Vienna with a copy, to be deposited in the safe hands of Friedrich Schlegel and to be recovered on their way eventually to Russian or Swedish asylum. The route to be taken was at this stage not clear, but Vienna would in all likelihood be the point of departure.

204Schlegel set out at breakneck speed, taking little or no rest, often sleeping in the chaise conveying him—through Zurich, Munich, Braunau to Vienna (we do not have exact dates). In Vienna, he found his brother, doubtless told in advance of this imminent incursion, and not a little surprised.

  • 412 Most of what follows is based on the account in KA, VII, xlv-xciii.

205Friedrich, after many frustrations and setbacks, had at last secured a post in Vienna.412 It was not without the usual financial embarrassments or constant changes of domestic quarters; it did at least provide security. It bound him to a political ideology—that of the Habsburg state, its aspirations and its myths—yet who in these years could live free of such allegiances? Ludwig Tieck, living in his bolt hole in remotest Brandenburg, perhaps, or those two footloose if very different figures, Clemens Brentano and Zacharias Werner, until Rome claimed them, but most others could not afford that luxury.

206Friedrich had hoped to give lectures in Vienna, and indeed the assiduous attendance that he danced on those in influence—Maurice O’Donnell included—was essentially to that end. The outbreak of war between Austria and Napoleon in the spring of 1809 put paid to such hopes; instead, he found himself a ‘Hofsekretär’ under Count Stadion, the minister for foreign affairs, with uniform (green coat with yellow buttons, red waistcoat with gold edging, braided tricorne, sword). One must picture—if one can—a corpulent Friedrich festooned in this finery, on horseback, in the rain, mud, heat and dust of armies on the march. It was his task to produce an army newspaper. Napoleon pushed back the Austrian troops, took Vienna, and forced the armies to retreat, first to Znaim in Moravia (today’s Znojmo). Then followed the battles of Aspern and Wagram, an armistice, and the peace of Schönbrunn. The Austrian army had meanwhile withdrawn to Hungary. Friedrich suffered privations: with his usual intellectual curiosity he nevertheless explored in Buda the antiquities of the kingdom and met scholars and writers. He was not back in Vienna until the end of 1809. By now, the war gazette had become the Österreichische Zeitung and its purpose was to reach the general reading public and mould its political and cultural opinions. Under Metternich’s guidance this merged into the Österreichischer Beobachter [Austrian Observer], for which Friedrich wrote a number of important articles and reviews. More significant for him were the lectures on history which he gave in Vienna from 19 February to 9 May, 1810. Not having a Madame de Staël to drum up princes and counts, his lectures were not quite the social spectacle that his brother August Wilhelm’s had been; still, the audience included ‘twenty duchesses and princesses’ nevertheless.

207They were ‘Lectures on Modern History’ [Vorlesungen über die neuere Geschichte], which meant simply European history since the barbarian invasions. And these lectures, delivered in the fine historiographical prose of which Friedrich was capable, had a distinctly Austrian accent. Out of the decline and fall of the old order would emerge figures who symbolized the movements of the times: Arminius, Attila (but a Hunnish leader quite different from Madame de Staël’s), Charlemagne (the imperial political and ecclesiastical order and the rise of chivalry), Rudolf of Habsburg, Maximilian, Charles V, and so on. There were of course setbacks to the Habsburg narrative, such as the Reformation or the Thirty Years’ War, there were ‘might have beens’, alliances which could have ensured a European pax romana, had French ambitions not frustrated them. And the fine rhetoric of delivery did not conceal a historical teleology and a message for the times, something that a political journalist and intellectual was expected to supply.

  • 413 Krisenjahre, II, 199. Published as Ueber die neuere Geschichte. Vorlesungen gehalten in Wien im Jah (...)
  • 414 Pange, 302.
  • 415 Ibid., 302f.
  • 416 Suhr, Philipp Veit (1991), 21. The portrait has not survived, ibid., 339.

208Friedrich was able to send a copy of these lectures to his brother on 29 April, 1811,413 and in one of his notes to Madame de Staël on his way home August Wilhelm wrote from Zurich that he would have secured more copies had he known that people were scrambling to secure one.414 Otherwise he found no time for distractions in Vienna, no theatre, no Prater, not even the leisure to read Friedrich’s various political writings,415 just enough for Friedrich’s stepson Philipp Veit to do his portrait.416 The brothers had time to talk about their respective present positions: of course Friedrich wanted August Wilhelm to stay in Austria, certainly not to enter into the service of one of those kings enthroned by the grace of Napoleon (August Wilhelm pointedly did not return via Munich, the seat of one such monarch). The rest of August Wilhelm’s letter strikes a much more sombre, even pathetic note:

  • 417 Pange, 300.

It is for us brothers of course a great privation to be separated from each other without any prospect of meeting again; he was quite hypochondriac and in lowest spirits before I arrived, but our conversations picked him up again. When I left, he went with me and then he turned back, alone, on foot across a bare and treeless plain, a truly sad image of our separation.417

209When they did meet again, a year later, August Wilhelm was on his way to embark on a short political career that bore some similarity to his brother’s. Unlike Friedrich, who was to deliver three more big lecture cycles in Vienna and Dresden, August Wilhelm was only once again to lecture to a general public, much later in Berlin. His lectures on history embraced the ancient world, not the modern, and they were for a university audience.

De l’Allemagne: The Book Itself

  • 418 As shown by Melitta Wallenborn, Deutschland und die Deutschen in Mme de Staëls De l’Allemagne, Euro (...)
  • 419 De l’Allemagne, III, 329-348.
  • 420 Bonstetten, expressing his concern in 1808 about possible Schlegel influence, need not have worried (...)

210The text deposited with his brother Friedrich, De l’Allemagne, was a familiar one, for August Wilhelm’s hand was evident in some of the sections, and we know of his presence during the process of composition, redaction and publication. By the same token there was much that was alien, for their work methods, Madame de Staël’s and his, and their modes of expression, were their own. De l’Allemagne was idiosyncratically and unrepentantly hers: he would never have written anything containing sections so uncoordinated, garrulous, anecdotal or unsystematic. It was a reflection of her own experience, sometimes even shared with him, yet it was so much limited to what she had actually seen and taken in,418 was so ideologically slanted to her needs, that questions of mere attributions or informants— who helped her with this part or that—became largely irrelevant. There were others of course who had filled in details, Baron Voght for instance, Dr Koreff in her account of the ‘new science’; Schlegel (who else?) certainly gave her guidance on German versification and German art, indeed he received frequent honorific mention, even a short section on himself and his brother Friedrich, citing them as Germany’s premier critics.419 The main thrusts, emphases, the misapprehensions, wilful or unconscious, as said, were her own. There was little point in asking, as some contemporaries were to do, whether Schlegel had checked it through.420 Yet it may not be by pure coincidence that the following words occur in the concluding remarks to her section on Schlegel, of a certain dignity and nobility and summing up this enterprise and those that had come before it, De la littérature, and Corinne, the book on Italy that was resolved as fiction:

  • 421 De l’Allemagne, III, 352f.

Nations should serve as guides one to one another, and they would all be wrong were they to deprive each other of the enlightenment that they can afford one another mutually. There is something very strange about the difference between one people and another: climate, landscape, language, government, above all the events of history, a force ranking above all others, contribute to these diversities, and no-one, however superior he may be, can guess at what is going on naturally in the mind of the one who lives on a different soil and breathes a different air: one will do well in every country to receive alien thoughts; for, in this way hospitality makes the fortune of the one who receives it.421

  • 422 Isbell (1994), 70-90.
  • 423 Julia von Rosen, ‘Deutsche Ästhetik in De l’Allemagne : Eine Transferstudie am Beispiel der Kant-In (...)
  • 424 Balayé, ‘À propos du “Préromantisme” : continuité ou rupture chez Madame de Staël’, in : Balayé (19 (...)

211These were certainly words that Schlegel could affirm, and the reference to hospitality could have been designed to suit him. He had been with her in a significant number of the places that she had visited and which featured in De l’Allemagne, Berlin: Weimar, Dresden, Vienna. He had, however, not been at her side when she encountered the persons and places that provide some of the great set-pieces: the Moravian colony in Thuringia, the festival at Interlaken, Pestalozzi’s educational institute. He knew also which places and which persons she chose to omit (no Munich, no Berlin salons, no Gentz, for instance) and which individuals she chose to elevate to a status largely ordained by her and her own personal acquaintance. Thus there is far more on Jacobi than on Schelling, for example, or almost as much on Johannes von Müller as on Herder; there is a section on Jean Paul, whom Schlegel disliked; there is certainly more on Zacharias Werner than perhaps he merited, but that is doubtless preferable to the almost total neglect from which he has subsequently suffered. Schlegel’s own style was different, the Vienna Lectures with their crisp distinctions, their systematic structural and chronological approach, compared with the more impressionistic, associative and eclectic manner of De l’Allemagne. He might also have reflected that his material, his insights, his plot-summaries could be implicitly relied upon for their accuracy, while hers could not, being often second-hand, tailored to her needs, and sometimes wilfully wrong (as in her account of the plot of Faust).422 He may have approved of the general principle enunciated in De l’Allemagne that the theatre is a school of political education, but it is doubtful whether he would have sanctioned the large and disproportionate amount of space devoted to the plays of Goethe and Schiller, whom he had treated rather peremptorily in Vienna. He did not share the admiration of England that is the largely unspoken sub-text of De l’Allemagne. He may have despaired at her account of Kant, until he recognized, as one must, that she was using him, as so many other figures and ideas, to further her own cultural and political aims,423 or that she was calling for the study of serious philosophy as opposed to frivolous scepticism or materialism.424

212Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures were undergirded by the idea of the ‘Nation’ and had maintained that the drama, in order to reflect the spirit of a people, had to be truly national. There were allusions enough to the times in which they were delivered, arguments for the audience to understand why Germany in its present state could not emulate Athens or Golden Age Spain or Elizabethan England. In that sense his Lectures were a continuation of debates and agonizings since 1806 over what had gone wrong, why the old order had collapsed, why the German lands had fallen to Napoleon one after the other and had been divided and ruled as he saw fit. In postulating how the theatre might contribute to the building of the nation, Schlegel was doing his patriotic duty, less outspokenly of course than political voices like, say, Arndt, Gentz, or Stein, while performing it nevertheless.

  • 425 Isbell, 94f.
  • 426 Balayé (1994), 302.

213The Staëlian view was different, not of course its opposition to Napoleon and its veiled, and sometimes even explicit, references to tyranny and despotism (as in her analysis of Goethe’s Egmont, Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell, or most notably of Werner’s Attila).425 But hers was essentially a pre-Jena- Auerstädt, pre-Wagram Germany, reflecting her own experience of 1803‑04 and the precarious peace of those days. True, with its territorial divisions, it had then as now lacked a capital city, something that the Germans themselves had been deploring for several generations and that Friedrich Schlegel had noted with regret in Europa. While Berlin, Vienna and Weimar had been a kind of political, cultural and intellectual substitute for a metropolis, they were in 1810, and certainly in 1813 when De l’Allemagne appeared, very different places from those that she described in the ever so slightly roseate hues of 1803 or 1808. The idea that she enunciated of the individual liberty of the intellectual or writer—something, she averred, that the Germans enjoyed while the French did not—took little account of recent events, conveniently overlooked the stultifying censorship in Austria, or failed to acknowledge that Germany’s very fragmentation into different centres of academic or intellectual concentration, or the flexibility of its book trade, had something to do with such freedom of expression as there was. For her part, she was not interested in institutions or society other than its highest echelons, or indeed too many tiresome factual details. The important thing was to point to what France did not have, but might have, if it let another nation be its guide and inspiration. It might see alternatives to centralism, control, despotism and acts of arbitrary tyranny. Readers in France might have cause to ponder issues that were not specific to Germany, but which might acquire a new urgency through an openness to another culture: reason, intelligence, faith, imagination, philosophy, mental energy.426

214Schlegel of course had never been inhibited by the lack of a cultural or political centre, and one side of him remained a loyal Hanoverian, but his emphasis on German ‘National-Geist’ went hand in hand easily with a more cosmopolitan lifestyle (writing in French), looking beyond frontiers to a community of scholars, a république des lettres. It had been a way of transcending the provincial narrowness of Jena and it would also overcome the restrictions of Bonn, for his later scholarly career was oriented as much to Paris and London as to the Prussian university where he was to live and work.

The Last Days in Coppet

  • 427 Jasinski, 480.
  • 428 Pange, 328.
  • 429 But cf. Sismondi : ‘l’on a forcé à éloigner d’elle M[onsieur] Schlegel, qui certainement ne devait (...)
  • 430 Pange, 315.
  • 431 ‘menaces de prison’, Correpondance générale, VII, 503.
  • 432 Ibid., 486, 508.

215There were perhaps very good reasons for Schlegel to keep his distance from Coppet in the final twelve or so months in Switzerland. In fact he was only there from October to November, 1811, and from March to May in 1812.427 He was not welcome to the French authorities, Capelle the prefect stating in a confidential note that Schlegel, while not a man of malice, was nevertheless imbued with the German spirit, thus anti-French and ready to carry out the every wish of ‘la dame de Staël’.428 These were excellent grounds for wishing him out of the Léman department.429 Already in August Schlegel had warned Madame de Staël that Capelle was her ‘gaoler’, intent in keeping such an important person as herself under lock and key.430 As 1811 merged into 1812, she was more and more on tenterhooks, in fear of prison,431 planning a means of escape, but by which route? America was now ruled out, although as late as November 1811 she was contemplating it.432 Italy seemed a possibility, but events supervened to prevent that outlet. They became more and more dependent on snippets of news regarding the political situation in Europe. Could Turkey be a route, once the Russo-Turkish border was secure? Or heartland Russia itself, when Napoleon’s Russian campaign made a traverse from Galicia and Poland to Riga impossible?

  • 433 Rougemont, 90.
  • 434 Cf. Bonstetten: ‘Schlegel ist weg, der Hof von Coppet ist nun öde, verlassen’. Bonstettiana, X, ii, (...)
  • 435 Pange, 331; Jenisch, 101.

216She tried distractions, a last flurry of theatre,433 but the great days of Coppet were essentially over.434 She drafted something on Richard Coeur de Lion; she even completed articles for Michaud’s Biographie Universelle, on Aspasia and on Camões, even on her Necker parents (under a pseudonym). The Schlegel brothers’ erudition on Camões—Friedrich’s article in Europa, and August Wilhelm’s personal assistance—eased the way. Hearing of the death of Heinrich von Kleist in November, 1811, she began to draft those Réflexions sur le suicide that would come out in Stockholm in 1812, questioning the motives of those who take their own lives when there is a fatherland to die for. (It would be Tieck and Fouqué who would take the first steps to rehabilitate Kleist’s memory.) When Capelle used chicanery to challenge the validity of the original purchase of Coppet by the Neckers, it was Schlegel who was able to use the good offices of his Heidelberg publisher to secure the deeds.435

  • 436 Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 12 vols plus 1 supplement (London: Murray, 19 (...)

217The reason for the delay in leaving Coppet for the next stage of exile was however Albert-Jean-Michel de Rocca. Known as John, a young lieutenant invalided home from the guerilla wars in Spain (he needed the support of a crutch), dashing, handsome, and hardly twenty-three, Madame de Staël first saw him in the winter of 1810-11, and it was love at first sight. Discrepancy of age had never been a barrier to her emotional attachments (witness Maurice O’Donnell). Whereas O’Donnell was prudent enough to avoid a love entanglement with a woman twenty-two years his senior, Rocca had no such inhibitions, and she did not discourage him. There was no question of his being her intellectual equal, on the contrary, but Byron’s later testimony to Rocca’s good manners and poise (both had triumphed over disability) cannot be brushed aside.436

  • 437 Pange, 287.

218It made Schlegel’s position in Coppet invidious, his enforced stay in Berne more attractive, and the presence of Madame Haller there all the more welcome. It also brought the nature of his relationship with Madame de Staël to a head. On his side, he could not aspire to claiming her affection, let alone her love; he was merely indispensable and fraternally so; on her side she permitted no rivals, but at the same time she was free to indulge her passions as she chose. Small wonder that he in a letter of April or May, 1811437 reproached her with folly and heartlessness towards him. For was he not now the butt of everyone’s malice, the aspirant lover, as it were cuckolded by a stripling of twenty-two? One can understand why he always referred to Rocca as ‘Caliban’ and why this name stuck.

  • 438 Baldensperger, 128f.
  • 439 Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 603.
  • 440 Ibid.

219Worse—for Schlegel at least—was to follow. Already in May, 1811 Germaine and Rocca entered into a solemn engagement to marry, and in the late summer she found herself pregnant—in her forty-sixth year. Of the official Coppet circle only Fanny Randall was party to the secret; Schlegel never found out while there. Germaine was to the outside world suffering from dropsy: even Zacharias Werner in Rome heard of it.438 The authorities however did know and did nothing to prevent the circulation of ribald verses on the subject.439 There was of course now no question of an Italian journey, for on April 7, 1812 she gave birth to a son. (Schlegel, on his last visit to Coppet, had not noticed anything unusual, nor had the Staël sons.)440 Louis-Alphonse, the poor, frail, semi-retarded late love-child was taken to the village of Nyon, baptized under an assumed name and fostered with the pastor and his wife until such time as his parents were to return—in 1814. This was ‘Alphonse’, the half-sibling whose welfare later fell to Albertine’s responsibility as duchess of Broglie, and who features frequently in her letters to Schlegel.

  • 441 Letter of 20 February, 1811, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX, 23 (53). Date in Hanover, Ev. Luth. Stadtkirc (...)
  • 442 Krisenjahre, II, 191.
  • 443 Coppet et Weimar, 194-202. A very different account of Schlegel’s religious development is offered (...)
  • 444 Pange, 351.
  • 445 SW, XII, 382.

220Schlegel meanwhile received visitors in Berne, Koreff, Prince Albrecht of Prussia, and Mathieu de Montmorency. He was gratified to hear that Madame Necker de Saussure, a Staël cousin, had agreed to take over from Chamisso the translation of his Vienna Lectures. It was in Berne, too, that he received through his sister-in-law Julie Schlegel in Hanover the news of the death of his mother, on 21 January, 1811.441 She had reached the age of 76, but her last months had been full of suffering; she joined her husband Johann Adolf and two of her sons in the burial-ground of the Court and Town Church in the Hanover Neustadt. A letter from Mathieu de Montmorency of 3 March tried to offer him consolation for his loss: ‘religion alone can sustain the soul in these great trials’.442 It may have been in response to this letter of condolence that Schlegel wrote the (undated) long reply which is both a spiritual confession but in effect also a leave-taking from the religious urgings of the last decade.443 He alludes to his reading of mystical and theosophical authors (Guyon, Fénelon, Saint-Martin) and to his once expressed aim of returning to the bosom of the Church (from his disparaging remarks about the Reformation, it is clear which ‘church’ is meant). Protestant worship no longer met the needs of his heart: it was in Catholic shrines that he found a first solace. What is more, he had come to see the role of religion as leading the seeker, through philosophy, to the ‘gate of the sanctuary’; art and poetry, similarly, were but a reflection of the ‘celestial beauty’. Nevertheless he had remained undecided, despite voices urging him, his brother’s, Karl von Hardenberg’s and others’. Nowhere is there a word about confession or doctrine: the outward signs and symbols manifested in the act of worship, he claimed, brought us an assurance of the divine presence. Much of this was familiar and would not have been out of place in Die Gemälde. A year later, he was looking for a church in which to meditate and express grief over his mother’s death:444 more than ten years earlier, he had sought similar solace over Auguste. With his mother now dead, a major barrier to his conversion was removed, but yet he never acted on what in the last analysis were feelings (French ‘sentiments’). His remarks in 1812 on the reasons for Winckelmann’s conversion—for him frivolous and unworthy445—suggested that ‘sentiments’ could not suffice, nor would they be enough to sustain him during the forthcoming tests on his physical, mental and intellectual energies.

  • 446 Verzeichniß meiner Bücher im December 1811’.

221During the last brief sojourn in Coppet he set his house in order, sorting through letters and documents, placing seals on correspondence that was to remain unopened until after his death, leaving behind a tidy settlement of his affairs. He must have assumed that he would never return, for this cache was to remain undiscovered for over 130 years. He left behind too his 1,083-volume library, carefully ordered according to incunables, quartos, and octavos. One could see here the books that had occupied him during this part of his career—the material on Dante, Shakespeare, Homer, Roman antiquities, the Nibelungenlied, the fine arts—and some, like the 1806 volumes of the Asiatick Researches, that pointed to future preoccupations.446 Madame de Staël, hardly recovered from her confinement and her health compromised for the remaining five years of her life, was now making serious plans for escape, to meet Schlegel at Berne and receive the passports that he had obtained. Rocca and Albert would join them later. No-one must suspect anything: there were to be no visible preparations for departure. On the afternoon of 23 May, 1812, Madame de Staël, Auguste, Albertine and Uginet went out for a carriage drive in Coppet. It was to end in St Petersburg.

3.3 The Flight: Caught Up in History

  • 447 Cf. Bonstettiana, XI, i, 119.
  • 448 Cf. her letter to Bernadotte of 19 August, 1812. Torvald Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev till Kronpri (...)
  • 449 John Quincy Adams, the American minister to St Petersburg, representing a nation technically at war (...)

222The carriage drive to Moscow, St Petersburg and Stockholm did not mean that Schlegel and Madame de Staël took leave of their immediate pasts or embarked on a completely new phase of life. In a sense she had been traversing Europe since late 1803. Schlegel was in her company for a large part of that time. Why not an even grander tour? Yet this journey was in every other respect different. French sources speak of a ‘fuite’ or ‘évasion’, German of an ‘Entrinnen’, ‘Entweichen’ or ‘Verschwinden’, thus flight, release, escape, getaway.447 She saw no option but to remove herself and those nearest to her to the safety of countries where Napoleon’s writ did not run. Stockholm lent itself, because she was the widow of a Swedish envoy and baron. Her children were technically Swedish citizens, and she wished to see her sons employed in the service of their adopted country.448 There too her old friend Marshal Bernadotte, through tricks of fortune characteristic of this Napoleonic age, was now the Prince Royal and the heir presumptive to the Swedish throne. He would later reign (1818‑44) as King Charles XIV John. Her ultimate goal was however England, the land that in her eyes could do no wrong (or very little).449 While she was there, Schlegel was for the first time since 1804 really his own master, staying in Germany as the Prince Royal’s amanuensis and right-hand man.

223Of course neither Staël nor Schlegel could separate themselves from their literary reputations, bound up as they were with their political confessions of allegiance, her defiantly anti-Napoleonic stance, his evocations of the German past. These were the years of Europe‑wide engagement with Staël’s and Schlegel’s texts. He was already the much-celebrated author of the Vienna Lectures, which had been published in full in 1811, and were to appear in French in 1813 and in English in 1815. His highly patriotic contributions to his brother’s periodical Deutsches Museum (1812) could be read even as their author was passing through the Austrian lands and into the Russian Empire. She was to bring out her Réflexions sur le suicide in 1813 while they were still in Sweden (with a fulsome dedication to Bernadotte). However, the world had to wait until late 1813 for the appearance of De l’Allemagne. It would be issued in London by John Murray.

  • 450 Cornelia Bögel, ‘Fragment einer unbekannten autobiographische Skizze aus dem Nachlass August Wilhel (...)
  • 451 There were plans to issue a third volume of his poetry in 1812. Jenisch, 109.
  • 452 Stressed later in his ‘Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’, SW, VIII, 251 (‘vaterländische Gesinnung (...)

224Somewhere along the road, perhaps already in Coppet, perhaps later, Schlegel had written an account of himself and his literary persona (‘Selbstbeschreibung’).450 It was an unashamed self-affirmation of his past achievements, of his collaborations with his brother Friedrich, above all of his powers as a poet, a reminder to himself that this was perhaps his real métier.451 Whatever history’s judgment on Schlegel the poet may be, this document does make one wonder. For these were years that saw him producing not poetry but a great deal of prose, political rhetoric in fact. True, his Vienna Lectures452 or his reviews for the Heidelberger Jahrbücher could be said to have a generally patriotic tenor, but Schlegel’s writings in the years 1812-14—pamphlets and broadsheets—were overtly political, and it is conceivable that these ephemera in their various manifestations reached a wider readership than anything poetic or academic that he wrote. After this interlude of roughly two years, Schlegel was to turn again to pure scholarly activity, involving learning the basics of Sanskrit. This was to form the foundation of the academic career that opened up to him— perhaps faute de mieux—after Madame de Staël’s death in 1817.

  • 453 Norman King, ‘Un récit inédit du grand voyage de Madame de Staël (1812-1813)’, Cahiers staëliens, 4 (...)
  • 454 SW, VIII, 243.

225As for Staël, her hold on him remained a strong as ever, even during the time of their separation, while she was in England and he in Germany. Like her he was a fugitive from Napoleon. His association with her had seen him banned from Geneva. Now he was fleeing in her company, finding refuge in Russia, a country at war with Napoleon, and then in Sweden, where the Prince Royal and the Tsar had just concluded a treaty. Once Sweden and France were formally at war, Schlegel had no option but to stay close to Bernadotte. To what extent the political opinions that he expressed were the Prince Royal’s, Madame de Staël’s, or his own, will concern us later. For Napoleon and his agents they were seditious, insurrectionary even. Savary intercepted their—often indiscreet—letters and passed on all the essential information to his master: Staël’s factotum Eugène Uginet was given an unnerving police interrogation when he returned to France in 1813,453 showing that they knew everything. When later comparing his own career in these years with the academic idyll in Heidelberg enjoyed by his old adversary Johann Heinrich Voss, Schlegel was not exaggerating in saying that he could have been arrested for treason in French territory.454

  • 455 Pange, 407. The French original reads : ‘Songez que vous êtes de la famille ; et revenez au nid qua (...)
  • 456 Ibid., 438. 

226Emotionally, he seemed as bound as ever. While even in the company of John Rocca, the father of her child, Madame de Staël put it to him that he was ‘part of the family’ and should ‘return to the nest on the completion of your noble task. [...] I need so very much to believe that I am not separated from you’.455 Who could resist this and other such blandishments, even if Schlegel hated the ‘Caliban’ at her side, if she sought to undermine his hopes of marriage, if she belittled his philological studies? It was also tempered with a sobering knowledge: however much Madame de Staël might want his presence, when together they could never agree, they jarred on each other.456

  • 457 Something that he stresses repeatedly. Cf. Briefe, I, 292 ; Norman King, ‘A. W. Schlegel et la guer (...)
  • 458 Pange, 440.

227Of course, during the years 1812‑14, when he was effectively homeless and stateless,457 there was no other option open to him. Being a ‘part of the family’ also meant sharing its losses. Poor, feckless Albert de Staël, on whom Schlegel had lavished so much attention, was to be killed in a duel in 1813. In 1815, Albertine, now sixteen and a young beauty, was married to Victor, duke of Broglie. There were other reminders. He would learn that Schelling had remarried and had taken as his wife Pauline Gotter, who had once played with Auguste, Schlegel’s beloved step-daughter.458 He seemed destined—the future would bear this out—to see those entrusted to his charge die premature deaths or elude his affections. All this may help in part to explain the tone in his letters, not without some self-pity, of stoical acceptance of an unfulfilled lot, the sense that one had to accommodate to what life had in store and not expect happiness.

  • 459 Or, to his displeasure, with the baggage train. Pange, 454
  • 460 As reported by his step-nephew Philipp Veit. Raich, II, 226.
  • 461 Which is what he was wearing in Ernst Moritz Arndt’s malicious account. Ernst Moritz Arndt, Meine W (...)

228But what of Schlegel the private secretary to the Prince Royal? A secret political agent, following armies on horseback;459 wearing a splendid uniform,460 in court dress;461 rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty, corresponding with the Tsar, Metternich (Bernadotte as a matter of course); formulating state policy, like Stein or Gentz? There was nothing new in these associations: the visits to Italy, Germany and Austria, while under different circumstances, had been a first habituation. In a way the rest simply followed. In these years people changed in station and allegiance as chance and circumstances demanded. This applied not only to Bernadotte, but also to his fellow general from the Revolution, Moreau, later killed in battle at Tsar Alexander’s side; the Corsican Pozzo di Borgo was a Russian envoy; the German-born generals Tettenborn and Bennigsen were commanding Russian armies. Why could not Schlegel the Hanoverian write pamphlets in Swedish service?

  • 462 Pange, 447.
  • 463 Henrich Steffens, Was ich erlebte. Aus der Erinnerung niedergeschrieben, 12 vols (Breslau: Max, 184 (...)
  • 464 An expression which he frequently uses. Cf. Briefe, I, 299f.
  • 465 Steffens, Was ich erlebte, VII, 69.

229The Wars of Liberation saw men of letters or science pitched into political and military action regardless of their background. Fouqué the Prussian baron and the Jewish-born Philipp Veit were comrades-in-arms. The middle-aged Fichte ruined his health as an academic firebrand in Berlin. Younger men, some of whom had heard Schlegel in Jena or Berlin, rallied to the colours. Fouqué had a horse shot under him;462 the ‘Sekonde-Lieutenant und Professor’463 Henrik Steffens became one of the more unlikely members of Scharnhorst’s, Gneisenau’s and Blücher’s suite; Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, a survivor of Wagram, witnessed the battle for Hamburg in 1813; Wolf von Baudissin was imprisoned while a Danish diplomat; Ernst Moritz Arndt, later Schlegel’s colleague in Bonn, went to Moscow and St Petersburg and from there eventually to Paris as the secretary to Baron Stein; Schlegel’s step-nephew Philipp Veit served under Lützow. Only the unmartial Ludwig Tieck, dedicating his collection Phantasus to Schlegel in 1812 and evoking the great days of Jena, kept well out of the fray in his bolt hole in the Mark of Brandenburg. Unlike some of these, Schlegel did not see action and generally kept back with the headquarters staff. Not for him the mud, the dust, the fleas, the corpses, the dead horses, the Cossacks, the detritus of the battlefield, the first-hand narratives of great encounters. In the rearguard, he would exchange the sword for the pen,464 as a forceful writer in both German and French. Perhaps among all these men only Henrik Steffens could claim to have been present both at one of the great intellectual events of the age, the gathering of the Jena circle in 1798, and also ‘the focus of one the greatest historical happenings of our times’, the battle of Leipzig.465

Through Germany, Austria and Russia, to Sweden466

  • 466 The main sources for this section are Dix Années d’exil, Carnets de voyage, Ullrichová.

230On 5 May, 1812 Madame de Staël, Albertine, Auguste, her factotum Uginet and his wife, plus two servants, set off through Switzerland in the direction of Berne. Here, they were joined by Rocca, Albert, and Schlegel, who had been entrusted with securing passports for the next leg of the journey. Auguste then left them, to return eventually to Paris and the irresistible charms of Madame Récamier. He would rejoin them in Stockholm. Here too Staël told Schlegel the truth about her recent confinement. He had no option but to swallow his chagrin and concentrate on the main task of their all somehow reaching Sweden. It would be different from their previous journeyings, for she was now in poor health and less able to withstand discomforts. Schlegel was in effect a proscribed person, Rocca was a French citizen. It seemed prudent to separate them from the Staël family party and for them all to meet up in Vienna. Thus Schlegel the ‘ami de mon âme’ shared a carriage with the lover en titre. From Berne they went via Zurich and Winterthur and then briefly through the Bavarian controlled Tyrol.

231There they encountered the realities of Napoleonic redistributions of territory, for the old imperial city of Innsbruck, with its associations with Maximilian, was now Bavarian. Rather than reflect on the recent fate of Andreas Hofer and his Tyrolean uprising, it was expedient to pass quickly through to Salzburg and Munich and gain Austrian soil. The parties met up at Linz and proceeded to Vienna. She would soon realize that Austria had changed since 1808. Military defeats and the marriage of Napoleon with the emperor’s daughter Marie-Louise were the chief political reasons for Austria’s official pro-French policies. Austria’s restraint in the struggle against Napoleon’s ‘world domination’ was to be a subject of frustration for Staël and for Schlegel the budding political pamphleteer.

232During their short visit to Vienna (6‑22 June) they slipped without effort into the life of the grand monde which they had so enjoyed in 1808. They could renew contact with the Prince de Ligne, or with Friedrich Gentz; Wilhelm von Humboldt was now Prussian envoy. The Schlegel brothers saw each other for the last time until 1818. There was however the need to obtain passports for their forward journey: visits to the Russian and Swedish ambassadors became as much a necessity as a social duty. They were soon to learn the unpalatable fact that Austria could present a different aspect if one came as a fugitive, even one of fame and high rank. It was not the same nation as set out in the somewhat idealized pages of De l’Allemagne. It had a secret police, not as efficient as Savary’s in France— it bumbled, it circumlocuted—but unpleasant nevertheless. They were subjected to constant surveillance, and it was even to emerge that one of their servants was in police pay. Gentz, Madame de Staël’s old admirer, did what he could. His master Metternich, less enamoured than he, was absent and did nothing.

233Which route would they take? Peace had been concluded between Russia and Turkey. It would now be technically possible to travel via Constantinople to England, but Madame de Staël hated the sea. It was one reason why she had preferred exile in Coppet to banishment in America. The only option was a journey across Prussian Silesia and Poland to St Petersburg. Napoleon however put paid to that particular scheme by declaring war on Russia. Earlier in the year Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi‑ Knorring had with her husband just managed to reach Estonia by that route. Ernst Moritz Arndt, only a few weeks before the Staëls, had had to opt for Galicia, the Ukraine and Moscow as he journeyed to meet up with Baron Stein, his master. The Staël-Schlegel cavalcade would have to follow suit. There were harassments and petty inconveniences along the way, with uncertainties about passports (Schlegel had been left in Vienna to sort these out) as they passed through Moravia (Brno, Olomouc) and Galicia. The monotony of the landscape depressed her. There were however compensations. They could descend on the palaces of the grand nobility (if accompanied by rude Austrian officials), like the Lubomirskis, both of whom had attended Schlegel’s lectures in 1808. People lined the roads to see the progress of this ‘queen of Sheba’. With great relief they arrived at Brody, the Austrian-Russian border station, on 13 July.

  • 467 Ludwig Schmidt, ‘Ein Brief August Wilhelm v. Schlegels an Metternich’, Mitteilungen des Instituts f (...)

234Moscow was still a thousand kilometres away, but Staël’s mood changed the moment she stepped on to Russian soil. In her account she dwells much on the ‘Russian soul’, on the splendours and miseries of this ‘exotic people’. The governors of Kiev, Orel and Tula received them. Then, on 2 August, the golden cupolas of Moscow came into sight. There is no description from Schlegel’s pen of this remarkable journey, apart from one reference to this same vista in a letter and a passage in his Latin valedictory address as rector of the University of Bonn.467 But what is that? One may regret this, for the Staël party was one of the last to see the old Moscow, her ‘Tartar Rome’, before its destruction by fire later in the same year. Except in a political context, he rarely wrote anything complimentary about the Slavs. Whether the journey through the Slavonic lands was the cause, must remain a conjecture. Perhaps he lacked the sheer physical energy of Madame de Staël: she seemed able to fill notebooks after—or even during—a rattling carriage journey. For German readers Ernst Moritz Arndt’s account of Russia is a kind of compensation, more picaresque than Staël’s—squalid inns, vermin—and setting out a very different political agenda.

235The visit to Moscow lasted a brief few days (2‑7 August). They had time to take in the ancient city, to meet its most famous literary personage, Nikolai Karamzin, and its governor, Count Rostopchin, who was soon to give the order for its destruction. They then travelled across the endless plain, through Novgorod and thus to St Petersburg, where they arrived on 11 August. The month in the Russian capital was to be the first of her late triumphs, with Stockholm, London and Paris to follow.

  • 468 Arndt, VII, 146.
  • 469 Freiherr vom Stein, Briefe und amtliche Schriften, ed. Erich Botzenhart and Walther Hubatsch, 10 vo (...)
  • 470 Adams, Russian Memoirs, 399-401.
  • 471 Stein, 719. Paul Gautier, Madame de Staël et Napoléon (Paris : Plon, 1921), 313.
  • 472 Stein, 716.
  • 473 Adams, 399.

236Madame de Staël reconvened a kind of salon. This meant that Schlegel inevitably receded into the background, while she shone all the more refulgently. Arndt mentions him only by name,468 Stein similarly,469 John Quincy Adams, who had two animated conversations with her, not at all.470 These were heady times: Kutuzov had just been appointed commander-in- chief of the Russian armies; the French were in retreat. St Petersburg was offering asylum to notable ruling spirits in the opposition against Napoleon. Chief among these was Baron Stein, the Freiherr vom Stein, the principal agent in the Prussian reforms after 1807, whose later dismissal and exile came about at the Emperor’s insistence. Arndt had made his journey to Moscow and to St Petersburg to join Stein and become his private secretary. Stein was among the first to hear Madame de Staël read from De l’Allemagne in manuscript.471 Yet there were already signs of later disagreement when he noted ‘imprudences in her conduct and what she had to say’.472 Her preoccupation at this stage was England: Adams noted how much time she spent in the company of the British envoy Lord Cathcart and of his staff assistant, Admiral Bentinck, and expressed ‘in warm terms her admiration of the English nation as the preservers of social order and the saviors of Europe’.473 The bombardment of Copenhagen did not seem to bear this out, nor would one expect Adams, as a representative of a nation technically at war with Britain, to share her enthusiasm.

  • 474 Gabriel Girod de l’Ain, Bernadotte, chef de guerre et chef d’état (Paris : Perrin, 1968), 413f. ; G (...)
  • 475 Arndt, VII, 146.

237Staël was received by the Tsarina and then by the Tsar himself, and with them she could discuss serious politics. Tsar Alexander was not present in St Petersburg during all of her stay, having left for Åbo (today’s Turku) in Finland for a high-level meeting with the Swedish Prince Royal, Bernadotte. Lord Cathcart, the Russian general Count Suchtelen, and Kutuzov had also been present. A treaty had been signed there on 30 August, leaving Sweden free to pursue its policies against Denmark, suitably assisted by a Russian loan. The Tsar had charmed his Swedish partner, but had not committed himself to concrete undertakings. Did Madame de Staël influence the decisions taken at Åbo? Savary certainly thought so. More probably she put in a good word for Bernadotte during her audience with Alexander.474 The stay in St Petersburg nevertheless ended for her on a sour note. The French theatre put on a performance of Phèdre. To her distress it was booed. Anti- French feelings might run high, but surely French culture was excepted. It clearly was not. Arndt, the great French-hater, noted with some glee that this incident merely proved that Madame de Staël was anti-Napoleon, but not, like himself, anti-French. In that assumption he was correct.475

  • 476 Cf. Napoleon to Fouché : ‘Il a toujours l’oreille ouverte aux intrigants qui inondent cette grande (...)
  • 477 Cf. Torvald Torvaldson Höjer, Carl XIV Johan, 3 vols (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1939-60). I: Den franska (...)

238Apart from reaching England, the real purpose of this long anabasis through the Russian Empire had been to see the Staël sons placed in Swedish service. This meant leaving the splendours of St Petersburg for the more sober grandeur of Stockholm. Above all, it meant meeting Bernadotte, the Prince Royal of Sweden: Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, the son of a petty law official in Pau, Marshal of the Empire, Prince of Pontecorvo. The trajectory of his career saw him a divisional general of the Revolutionary armies by 1794, the first Republican French ambassador to Vienna, governor of Hanover, then of the Hanseatic towns, a ‘Royal Highness’ and ‘cousin’ of the Emperor (at whose coronation he had held the collar of state). If one wanted an illustration of how the French Revolution had shaken up the old political and social order of Europe, he would provide it. Bernadotte was above all the army commander at Austerlitz, at Jena, at Eylau, at Wagram, yet Napoleon was never satisfied with his performance at these battles, and what is more he did not trust him.476 How far Bernadotte was involved in intrigues against Bonaparte during the Directory, or the so-called ‘fronde des généraux’ of 1802 and above all the plot of 1804 that saw the execution of the duke d’Enghien and the disgrace of Pichegru and Moreau, is a matter open to question. Whether he knew of the involvement of Madame Récamier or even Madame de Staël in some of this, remains conjecture.477

239When in 1810 the Swedish royal house of Holstein-Gottorp was threatened with extinction, Bernadotte emerged as a suitable candidate to succeed the childless King Charles XIII. He had commended himself as a humane governor in Lübeck—and he was already a royal prince by the grace of Napoleon. The Emperor had no objection to his marshals becoming kings or princes (Joachim Murat was king of Naples, for instance), and he readily assented to Bernadotte’s candidature. Nor did the thought of a parvenu on the Swedish throne worry him. In Metternich’s Austria the new Prince Royal was regarded with less favour, something that would emerge again in 1814.

240Arriving in Stockholm in October 1810, not knowing a word of the language (and never learning it) but using his many talents, his diplomatic skills, and his personal charm to good effect, Bernadotte was soon made aware of the peculiar problems of recent Swedish history and politics. Or indeed of older Swedish history: the remembrance of the Treaty of Kalmar of 1397, for instance, that had once united the three Scandinavian nations under one throne, or of Gustavus Adolphus, or even of Charles XII. He would have learned that Sweden was still smarting under the loss of its large eastern buffer province of Finland, which had been wrested from it by Russia in 1809 after a brief campaign. It was all the more necessary to ensure good relations with Russia in the east and to secure territorial guarantees in the west. The simple solution was to take Norway from Napoleon’s ally Denmark and to compensate the Danes with Swedish Pomerania. This policy of annexation, together with the integrity of the German lands (of which both Denmark and Sweden had their small share), and the formation of an alliance against Napoleon, were to be the three issues that exercised Madame de Staël, and thus Schlegel, after their arrival in Stockholm.

241Meanwhile, there were the pressing realities of Napoleonic hegemony. He had forced Sweden to declare war on Britain (no shots were actually ever fired), then he had invaded Swedish Pomerania preparatory to his Russian campaign in the summer of 1812. Secret negotiations, involving Count Suchtelen for Russia, Lord Cathcart for Britain and Count Karl Löwenhielm for Sweden (Count Neipperg for Austria observing), ensured cordial, if private, relations between the three powers. It was the background to the Treaty of Åbo that was concluded during Madame de Staël’s sojourn in St Petersburg and whose implications were to be the subject of her frenetic rush of activity in Stockholm.

  • 478 Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev’ (1960), 159.
  • 479 Girod de l’Ain, 413f.
  • 480 Höjer (1960), 159.
  • 481 Cf. Norman King, ‘Un récit inédit’ (1966), which makes it clear that their every move was watched a (...)

242Already before their departure from St Petersburg, Madame de Staël had begun her politicking. On 19 August she could write to His Royal Highness in Stockholm in anticipation of ‘seeing him again’ in his exalted status and of her hope of rejoining her sons with their father’s country478 (she did not mention Rocca, who had served briefly under Bernadotte in the Low Countries).479 Shortly after Staël’s arrival, another letter to Bernadotte showed the extent of her networking: she knew all about a Swedish mission to Denmark, and she could claim that the news of Åbo had reached France through her480 (she underestimated Savary).481

  • 482 Dix Années, 244.
  • 483 On her and on the incident in the Gulf of Bothnia, see Kirsten Gram Holmström, Monodrama, Attitudes (...)
  • 484 Pange, 397.
  • 485 An Frau Händel-Schütz, früher Schauspielerin des königl. Theaters in Berlin. Auf der Ueberfahrt vo (...)
  • 486 Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire’, 90f. She declaimed scenes from Racine’s Athalie and Iphigénie, whi (...)

243There was, however, the question of getting to Stockholm. For the first time since Vienna, Schlegel emerged from the shadows. The party left St Petersburg on 7 September, proceeding through Finland to Åbo, where they embarked for Sweden. Her customary intrepidity deserted her when she left dry land, and her fears were compounded on seeing the frail vessel that was to transport them. It hardly helped when Schlegel, pointing to the fortress at Åbo, asked her if she preferred incarceration, her other phobia.482 Yet few journeys with Madame de Staël were free of unlikely incidents or chance meetings. On board the same ship were also Madame Henriette Hendel-Schütz, the celebrated performer of attitudes and tableaux vivants,483 and her husband. It was, as it were, Lady Hamilton translated to the Baltic. A storm rose, the ship was forced to take shelter near a rocky island. Later Schlegel was gallantly to give Albertine the credit for calming her mother’s nerves as the party disembarked,484 and servants (unmentioned) produced a fire and sustenance. Madame Hendel-Schütz then gave an improvised dramatic performance. Under such bizarre and slightly hilarious circumstances were Niobe or Iphigenia seen in the Gulf of Bothnia. Schlegel produced a poem for the occasion—it could not be otherwise—adding it to his earlier homage to the young dancer Friederike Brun.485 It was a prelude to Madame Hendel-Schütz’s triumphant reception in Stockholm. There too Madame de Staël, Albertine and Wolf von Baudissin were to regale high society with the theatricals of Coppet.486

  • 487 Gautier, 325.
  • 488 Bernd Goldmann, Wolf Heinrich Graf Baudissin. Leben und Werk eines großen Übersetzers (Hildesheim: (...)
  • 489 [AWS], Betrachtungen über die Politik der dänischen Regierung (s.l., s.n.), 8.

244Their arrival in Stockholm coincided with the news of the fall of Moscow. It set the scene for a flurry of political activity in the Staël circle. The Prussian envoy claimed that her house was the centre of anti-Napoleonic intrigue in the city.487 That did not exclude social contact with those of a different political persuasion. Wolf von Baudissin, one of the youngest in Schlegel’s audience at the Berlin Lectures in 1803, now advanced in the Danish diplomatic service, found himself representing Denmark in Stockholm. It was a post calling for some delicacy and tact: Denmark officially was an ally of Napoleon, whereas Baudissin’s preference was for an alliance with Sweden and Britain. Nor did he support the Danish initiatives to secure concessions from the British,488 which later elicited sarcastic comments from Schlegel.489 It did not prevent social contacts, acting in Madame de Staël’s theatrical evenings, indeed for a while she wondered whether Baudissin would not make a suitable match for Albertine.

In the Service of Bernadotte: The Political Pamphleteer

  • 490 King, ‘Un récit inédit’, 14.
  • 491 Cf. the account in Sheilagh Margaret Riordan and Simone Balayé, ‘Un manuscrit inédit sur le séjour (...)
  • 492 See the important article by Franklin D. Scott, ‘Propaganda Activities of Bernadotte, 1813-1814’, i (...)

245There were, first of all, her sons to think of, then Schlegel. Auguste, still in Paris, was to enter the Swedish diplomatic service, while Albert was appointed an officer, a ‘sous-lieutenant’, or cornet, the most junior rank in the hussars of the royal guard.490 Schlegel was made private secretary to the Prince Royal. No doubt Madame de Staël, who thought nothing of forcing her way into the royal presence,491 was behind this appointment. Bernadotte, as a man of very considerable ability and judgment, could form his own opinions on Schlegel’s capacities as ‘Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment for Germany’ and did not need to take Madame de Staël’s word on trust. That he later accorded to Schlegel the Swedish title of ‘Regeringsråd’ (state counsellor)492 suggests that Bernadotte had every reason to be pleased with him.

246To account for Schlegel’s assumption of this role and his success at it, it is not enough to say that he had always been interested in history and politics, or that as a Hanoverian he had a special insight into the structures of the old Holy Roman Empire. Of course he had in various contexts expressed quite pronounced views on the development of the modern state, its tendency to centralism, bureaucracy, standing armies. For him the Reformation was the source of many of these evils, which (as he saw it) had brought the Middle Ages proper to a symbolic end. His Vienna Lectures, by restricting themselves to the history of drama, did not praise the Middle Ages as such except as the forcing-ground of later national sentiment, but his articles in Friedrich’s Deutsches Museum in 1812 were much more explicit celebrations of things medieval. They had less to do with the ‘Union of the Church with the Arts’ that had once preoccupied him in the days of the Athenaeum, than with the links between monarchy, chivalry, and the feudal system. They were not and never had been, a plea for restoration, a turning back of the clock, even less for a faux medievalism in the style of his former protégé Fouqué. Rather—in the year 1812—they were a call for reflection on the past as a guide to present uncertainties. Real politics were, as ever, best left to those who knew its practical limits and who did not go into reveries about what once was. His brother Friedrich meanwhile had been called upon to formulate general policies of state according to Austrian doctrine and had assumed the role of a political propagandist for the Habsburg cause.

  • 493 Suchtelen to Rumianstev November 1812. Torvald Torvaldson Höjer, Carl Johan i den stora koalitionen (...)

247Above all, most of these writings by August Wilhelm, inasmuch as they were published, were formulated for a specialized audience, some of it academic, all of it generally educated in literary matters. They were very largely in German, a language that Bernadotte did not read. The Vienna Lectures, the best proof of the man and his style, were not to appear in French until later in 1813. Bernadotte, who had a good ‘style classique’ himself, clearly saw in Schlegel a man with whom he could work, who wrote French well, who moved easily between the languages, and who could put into words—into good prose—ideas that expressed the wishes of his political master. The ‘private’ letters that Schlegel wrote to people in places of political influence (Gentz, Sickingen, Münster), while unsuperintended and thus not an officially sponsored part of state correspondence in the strict sense, articulated executive standpoints nevertheless. Thus General Suchtelen was more or less right when he saw in Schlegel a man whose talents and whose knowledge of Germany made him ideally suitable.493

  • 494 The text is published by King, ‘A. W. Schlegel et la guerre de libération’ (1973), text 14-28. See (...)

248It cannot be said that Schlegel was slow off the mark in joining the cause of political change in Germany. Already on 4 October 1812 he was able to ‘lay at the feet’ of the Prince Royal a confidential memorandum on the state of Germany. It had not been solicited by Bernadotte himself; rather, Madame de Staël, his sponsor, was behind it. Thus it lacked official status and remained a draft. The reasons for this are not difficult to see. It represented the Staël-Schlegel view of the struggle against Napoleon, with Germany— suitably reconstituted along lines of their own imagining—in the centre. It begged questions and made sweeping assumptions. No-one doubted that a campaign against Napoleon would have to be initiated in the German lands: opinions differed on the details. Bernadotte himself was really only marginally interested in Germany. When he did go there, he used Swedish territory in Pomerania as his base. Baron Stein, and later Prince Metternich, also had very different notions of how Germany would look during and after a campaign against Napoleon, and they were not especially interested in a Swedish role in these processes except in a minor capacity. At the time of Schlegel’s writing, Prussia and Austria were of course still technically Napoleon’s allies. The question—an eminently fair one—was how these nations should behave in the light of Napoleon’s recent reversals in Russia. That is the background to Mémoire sur l’état de l’Allemagne et sur les moyens d’y former une insurrection nationale [Memorandum on the state of Germany and on the means of creating a national uprising there].494

249Schlegel was proposing nothing less than a general insurrection against Napoleon, a levée en masse. He knew that, rhetorically, the case had to be prepared with care. The mention of Walcheren, the British fiasco of 1809, suggested that small (and badly organised) expeditions were unlikely to succeed. It would by the same token remind the Prince Royal that he, as Marshal Bernadotte, had once been largely instrumental in that particular British defeat. There was no question of building on past or present political structures—and here the memorandum already went far beyond De l’Allemagne, the text being read in manuscript in St Petersburg and Stockholm. What was needed was the revival of the German empire itself. Of course it would be an empire that reflected the present state of Germany, its sophistication in political and philosophical thought, not some entity in the past. At most one might wish an existing royal house to assume leadership, such as Habsburg. Only here did the memorandum pick up some of the medievalisings of the Deutsches Museum. ‘Empire’ would of course be defined in the most generous territorial terms, to include Germanic territories ruled by powers strictly speaking outside of its ambit: the Hanoverian author naturally mentioned his own English-ruled native land, and he thought too of Swedish Pomerania (not however Danish Schleswig-Holstein).

  • 495 Ludwig Schmidt, ‘Ein Brief August Wilhelm v. Schlegels an Metternich’ [recte Sickingen] (1902), 490 (...)

250The present Confederation of the Rhine would be dissolved and the Germanic lands would form a league, with a diet and chancellor. This latter would be no other than Baron Stein (with whom, Schlegel reminded the Prince, he had had conversations in St Petersburg). Switzerland would form part of it, the Hanseatic towns as well (they would make it a sea power). Without realizing it, Schlegel was coming close to the pan-German visions to be formulated in mid-century and beyond. The envoi of the memorandum was addressed to Sweden and to the Prince Royal himself. It invoked the ultimate example of Gustavus Adolphus, whose worthy successor it suggested Bernadotte was. It pointed to Denmark, Napoleon’s ally, as ready for the taking. A good command of (selected) facts, a well- presented argument (however shaky in parts), and some gross flattery: all of these factors combined to make this a skilfully written political pamphlet. It was, as said, a draft, destined for the eyes of the Prince Royal only, but Schlegel clearly had the authority to make some of its general thrust known in other quarters. His letter to Count Franz von Sickingen, written on 14 January 1813,495 was intended to acquaint the highest circles in Austria with Bernadotte’s political vision. Sickingen, an imperial chamberlain and a good friend of the Emperor Francis I, had been in Schlegel’s audience in Vienna in 1808. It was now opportune to make use of these contacts. Schlegel did little more than pass on the Prince Royal’s views on Austria’s position. Should Napoleon not be vanquished, it would be hemmed in by the constraints of a French alliance. How much more attractive an association with Russia, Britain and Sweden that would guarantee the balance of power but also enable a German league against Napoleon to be constituted. There follow the usual flatteries about the Emperor Francis, Sickingen himself, and the Prince Royal. There was still opposition in

  • 496 On the low opinion of Bernadotte in Vienna see Höjer, Carl Johan i den stora koalitionen, 248.

251Vienna to Bernadotte, the perceived upstart.496

  • 497 The publication and translation history of this pamphlet woulddemanda bibliographical study of its (...)

252Concluding his letter, Schlegel claimed that, as a subject of His Majesty King George III, his natural place of refuge in these troubled times would be England. Perhaps at this stage he did not himself know, but as the year 1813 advanced it was clear that his paths and Madame de Staël’s were about to diverge. She would be free to move as ever, to England, while he, now the committed amanuensis and propagandist of Bernadotte, must remain behind. Nothing made this clearer than the pamphlet Sur le système continental et sur ses rapports avec la Suède [On the Continental System and its Relations with Sweden], that appeared in ‘Hambourg’ in February, 1813.497 It is fair to say that nothing written by Schlegel ever had such an immediate and widespread effect as this ephemeral broadsheet.

  • 498 SW, VIII, 255.
  • 499 As: An Appeal to the Nations of Europe Against the Continental System: Published at Stockholm by Au (...)
  • 500 SW, VIII, 256.
  • 501 Briefe, I, 298f., 300; II, 126f.

253It was also seditious, not of course in Sweden, where it actually appeared,498 nor in London, where it was soon translated,499 but in the territories of Napoleon and his allies. It was to this pamphlet that Schlegel was later referring when he claimed that he could have been arrested in the Kingdom of Westphalia into which his native Hanover had been incorporated.500 There was also no question of its being immediately translated into German until the Wars of Liberation made it safe to do so.501 Why was this 92-page brochure so dangerous?

  • 502 J. F. W. Schlegel, Sur la visite des vaisseaux neutres sous convoi […] (Copenhagen : Cohen, 1800). (...)
  • 503 Francis d’Ivernois, Effets du blocus continental sur le commerce, les finances, le crédit et la pro (...)
  • 504 [Ludwig Lüders], Das Continental-System [...] (Leipzig : Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir, 1812).
  • 505 Hasselrot, 51f.
  • 506 Gautier, 353.

254There was no dearth of other pamphlets on the subject, pointing out the harm being done by Napoleon’s blockade, the loss of British markets, the rise of smuggling. It had been a sensitive subject over ten years earlier when Schlegel’s Danish cousin Johan Frederik Schlegel had challenged the British right to board neutral vessels.502 Henrik Steffens, a Norwegian by birth and mistrustful of Swedish-British rapprochements, had read Francis d’Ivernois’s much-translated Effets du blocus continental [Effects of the Continental Blockade] on this subject.503 In Germany, Ludwig Lüders had the case against British ‘intransigence’.504 Schlegel, however, turned the tables. The system was causing misery to French-occupied Europe itself (including still ‘Hambourg’) and Napoleon alone was the originator of this commercial ruination. Not only that, Schlegel used the pamphlet as an opportunity to dilate on Napoleon’s predatory and usurpatory career, in terms that only Staël’s Dix Années d’exil would surpass. Indeed it was assumed by many that she was the author (the English translation actually said so). There was even a public retraction.505 She then wrote privately to her publisher, with some little disingenuousness, that she ‘did not get involved in politics in this fashion’.506

255Schlegel may have had to suppress his own private sentiments when, dropping all subtleties, he embarked on a eulogistic account of British virtues (his only really anglophile text). His grand gesture of praise for Sweden and its ‘Bayard’ Prince Royal was doubtless more sincere. The preface to Madame de Staël’s Réflexions sur le suicide, just published, had been similarly florid. His aim was to show that neutrality was ineffectual in the face of the dangers of Napoleonic domination. The case of the ‘craven’ Denmark proved his point. There was the need for an alliance that would strengthen the three main powers as yet unaffected by French occupation: Russia, Britain, and Sweden itself. To that effect, Sweden must extend its border to the west: it should take Norway from Denmark and incorporate it into an aggrandized Swedish kingdom.

  • 507 Stein, Briefe, IV, 2-8, 162-164, 210-212.
  • 508 Ludwig Schmidt, ‘Drei Briefe Aug. Wilh. Schlegels an Gentz’, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österre (...)

256The pamphlet may therefore be seen as a preparatory for the actual political decisions made soon after. A triple alliance was signed on 3 March 1813 at Örebro between Sweden, Russia and Britain, agreeing on a Russo- Swedish pact, the annexation of Norway and—no less important—a grant of one million pounds sterling. The notions of a German confederation that had informed Schlegel’s first memorandum to Bernadotte were now less to the fore: this was primarily a document of Swedish policy. There were conflicts of interest. Both Sweden and Britain of course had a territorial stake in Germany, but Prussia had no intention of allowing its interests to be subordinated to theirs. Baron Stein, who had little respect for German territorial princes, had been conducting a robust correspondence with Hanover’s minister in London, Count Münster, on Prussia’s proposals to divide up the German lands among the main contenders.507 Schlegel the Hanoverian also disagreed with Stein, but to no avail.508

  • 509 Ibid., 413.
  • 510 Reactions, some irate, in Bonstettiana, XI, i, 306, 310f., 316f., 336.
  • 511 Something later noted bitterly by Steffens, Was ich erlebte, VIII, 133-135.
  • 512 ‘enfin il est des nécessités impérieuses en politique’. Bonstettiana, ibid., 336.
  • 513 Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 60.

257Schlegel even gave the impression of being more Swedish than the Swedes. Writing in May 1813 to Gentz he stated bluntly that the Prince Royal ‘wants Norway, he absolutely wants it, and nothing will deter him’.509 To Madame de Staël’s Danish friends however it seemed as if the rapacities attributed to Napoleon in Schlegel’s pamphlet were about to be perpetrated in Denmark by Bernadotte.510 (We may safely assume that Schlegel’s Danish cousin, the ‘Etatsråd’ Johan Frederik Wilhelm, disagreed with the Swedish ‘Regerungsråd’, August Wilhelm.) Certainly nobody asked the Norwegians how they felt.511 Madame de Staël’s response—’there are overriding necessities in politics’512—is not one of her most endearing. In the circle around Rahel Varnhagen, at a time when French troops were beginning to leave Berlin and Russians to occupy it, Schlegel’s pamphlet was dismissed as ‘émigré language’ (and bad French at that), lacking conviction, merely ‘his master’s voice’.513 Compared with Varnhagen, about to join in the battle for Hamburg, the views expressed in Stockholm might seem like arm-chair patriotism. There was a further matter of contention. For Rahel the defender of Heinrich von Kleist, Madame de Staël’s Réflexions sur le suicide, for all their talk of ‘devotion’ to a righteous cause, had failed to understand that Kleist’s suicide in 1811 had also been a kind of despairingly patriotic act.

  • 514 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VII (8, 9). Brandt, 154.

258If Sweden were to be seen as politically and morally justified in annexing Norway, the case would have to be prepared through further propaganda. Comparisons between Sweden and Denmark would have to be made, contrasts between recent Swedish behaviour in the struggle against Napoleon, and Danish compliance in the Usurper’s ‘monarchie universelle’. To prise Norway away from Denmark, one would need to appeal to older links between Sweden and its western neighbour. Or overriding issues of maritime security would have to be cited. The issues of Schleswig and Holstein, of the Hanseatic towns, would have to be addressed. This Schlegel did in a draft called Réflexions sur la situation politique du Danemarc [Reflexions on the Political Situation in Denmark] and what are some rough, possibly stenographed notes of ‘comments’ and ‘opinions’.514

Fig. 19 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Betrachtungen über die Politik der dänischen Regierung ([Stockholm], 1813). Title page.

Fig. 19 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Betrachtungen über die Politik der dänischen Regierung ([Stockholm], 1813). Title page.

© And by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.

  • 515 Ibid.
  • 516 The translation is Considérations sur la politique du gouvernement danois. Par un Allemand (s.l., s (...)

259There was all the more reason for this, as Denmark was anything but willing to surrender Norway, which had been hers since 1536. If so, there would have to be compensations, such as the Hanseatic cities.515 This forms the background to, and also the immediate cause for, the 48-page pamphlet Betrachtungen über die Politik der dänischen Regierung [Considerations on the Politics of the Danish Government] that came out in German, with Schlegel’s name on the title page, and in French anonymously.516 Schlegel’s task was to disqualify Denmark in terms of its political fabric and its recent history: an absolute monarchy (as opposed to a constitutional Swedish state), duplicitous in its dealings with other nations (there was the matter of the recent Danish re-occupation of Hamburg, after the French had left), oppressive of the Norwegians (who—surely an ill-chosen analogy—would under Swedish rule enjoy a status akin to Scotland or Ireland under the British). Schlegel then addressed the contentious issue of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, since 1806 united with the Danish crown, but historically part of the old Holy Roman Empire. Did they want to remain Danish, to live under despotism, or return to the embrace of the ‘Germanic confederation’ (an entity that he chose not to describe in detail)?

  • 517 Briefe, I, 291.
  • 518 Praeterea censeo, Daniam esse delendam’. Pange, 424.
  • 519 Cf. [Johann Daniel Timotheus Manthey], Épître à Monsieur Auguste Guill. Schlegel, bel-esprit, actue (...)

260This was not all rhetoric, for his animus against the Danes (‘whom heaven confound’), was repeated in his private correspondence,517 even to the extent of quoting Cato’s famous imprecation against Carthage.518 It was not well received in Vienna: it was not to be until 12 August that Austria declared war on Napoleon. It led to ripostes and charges of venality that the cosmopolitan savant was lending his pen to whoever paid best.519 Schlegel was to return to harrying the Danes towards the end of 1813. Bernadotte meanwhile was preparing to bring Sweden directly into the campaign against Napoleon in the German lands.

Political and Military Developments 1813-1814

261The general historical and political background needs a few words of explanation. Bernadotte had taken advantage of Napoleon’s defeat in Russia to secure his own aims for his adopted Sweden. The treaties with Russia and Britain, nations at war with Napoleon, were a means of taking action against Denmark, France’s ally, and of securing the prize of Norway. Compromises were however necessary. Sweden agreed in the Örebro declaration to place 30,000 troops at the Allies’ disposal on the European mainland. The agreement between Russia and Prussia at Kalisch on 25 March, 1813 brought Sweden into a further net of alliances, with the guarantee that Prussia would offer Bernadotte an army, a joint force of Swedish, Russian and Prussian troops under his command and based in the first instance in Swedish Pomerania. It was at the same time that Bernadotte formally broke off diplomatic relations with France, in a written declaration to the Emperor.

262Not all of this went as smoothly as Bernadotte might have wished. He was not best pleased when he heard of a Russian initiative to win Denmark for the Allied cause, with a diplomatic mission to Copenhagen. Without consulting Bernadotte, there was talk of a compromise over Norway. In the event, Denmark remained intransigently on Napoleon’s side.

  • 520 Was ich erlebte, VII, 283-285.

263It was to emerge that Sweden was but a minor player in the great diplomatic and military operations of 1813‑14. The Allies’ placing an army under Bernadotte’s command was more a tribute to a former Marshal of the Empire than a recognition of Sweden’s status. In the event, he was not to prove to be the successor to Gustavus Adolphus, who had faced up to Tilly and Wallenstein. There was mistrust on all sides. Bernadotte feared that Prussia, Russia or Austria might broker a peace with Napoleon without consulting him. Prussia especially suspected that Bernadotte was holding back his Swedish contingent from the thick of the fighting. Henrik Steffens picked up conversations in the Prussian headquarters that were disparaging of the French general in their midst. He was even deputed to deliver a rousing speech in Norwegian to the Swedish troops, intended to remind them of past greatness.520

  • 521 Briefe, I, 299.
  • 522 Pange, 451.
  • 523 Proclamations de S. A. R. le Prince-Royal de Suède et Bulletins publiés au Quartier-Général de l’Ar (...)
  • 524 [Jean Baptiste de Suremain], La Suède sous la République et le Premier Empire. Mémoires du Lieutena (...)

264Schlegel was about to embark on a new phase of his career as private secretary to Bernadotte. It was to be a wandering existence,521 one that often involved not knowing exactly where he was and what was actually happening.522 Between his arrival in Stralsund on 18 May 1813 and his departure for England nearly a year later, he was to write letters from over twenty different addresses, most of these sent to Madame de Staël. It is hard to keep track of his movements. We can gain some of the big picture from the Prince Royal’s own despatches,523 or from the memoirs of the French-born Swedish general Jean Baptiste de Suremain.524

Fig. 20 Proclamations de S. A. R. le Prince-Royal de Suède (Stockholm, 1815). Title page.

Fig. 20 Proclamations de S. A. R. le Prince-Royal de Suède (Stockholm, 1815). Title page.

Image in the public domain.

265Schlegel’s letters to Madame de Staël are thus both an account of where he was on a particular day and what stage the political and military situation had reached. It was during these first weeks in Stralsund that Schlegel wrote his letters to Gentz and to Count Münster, articulating the frustrations felt in the Swedish headquarters about perceived Russian tergiversations, the ambitions of Baron Stein, and Austria’s non-involvement in a new Germanic federation. Some of the hopes expressed in Schlegel’s memoranda and pamphlets were beginning to appear more and more illusory in the face of the greater powers’ Realpolitik.

  • 525 Krisenjahre, II, 258-261, ref. 261.

266These hopes had also been Madame de Staël’s. Now, for the first time since 1804, she and Schlegel were to be separated one from another. His service under the Prince Royal, ultimately her doing, took him to the scene of military action (or as near as a private secretary came), while she had the task of convincing the still sceptical English that Bernadotte was an ally whom they could implicitly trust. She was learning how much she depended on Schlegel, sending out those cris de coeur about how she missed him, how he was a member of the family, and so forth. Of course he did belong to the family. He kept up his correspondence with Auguste. He knew about his infatuation with Madame Récamier and tried to give him advice, as man to man. It was to Auguste that he confided resignedly the reverses in his own life, his disappointments in love and friendship, his sense of isolation as he grew older (at the great age of 46), his ‘petite célébrité littéraire’525—and somehow expected the younger man to understand.

  • 526 Lettres inédites de Mme de Staël à Henri Meister, ed. Paul Usteri and Eugène Ritter (Paris: Hachett (...)
  • 527 Schlegel claimed to have been there and, uncharacteristically, not to have found the time to see th (...)
  • 528 Letter of (5) June, 1813. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (4), 1. Published separately by Nor (...)
  • 529 Pange, 410, 413.

267Auguste made his way to Stockholm via Vienna and arrived on 10 May, 1813. He had to sit Latin examinations for the Royal Swedish chancellery. His mother could announce shortly after that he was now a ‘gentleman of the chamber’.526 In the summer of 1813, before their departure for England, Madame de Staël took the opportunity of seeing more of Sweden, travelling to Uppsala. It was an irony that she was able to see the Codex argenteus, the Gothic bible held there, and that Schlegel was not, he who at least knew the language.527 On 8 June, she, Albertine, Auguste and Rocca embarked at Gothenburg for England. In her last letter before departure Albertine expressed the hope that they would be well received there. Madame de Staël added a note for Albert: ‘I hope your next letter is better than your last one’. It was never to reach him. To Schlegel Staël added in English ‘god bless you’ [sic].528 He had already left Karlskrona on 12 May to join Bernadotte at Stralsund, where he arrived eight days later.529

  • 530 Gautier, 344.
  • 531 Usteri/Ritter, 268.
  • 532 Torvald Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev’, 162-166.

268Madame de Staël was received triumphally in the highest echelons of English society. It was the unspoken background to Schlegel’s reports on the military situation. Perhaps he could not quite compete with Lords Harrowby, Lansdowne, Liverpool or Holland, with Byron, with Sir James Mackintosh, with the Prince Regent, even with the exile Bourbons. Albertine was much admired. Auguste was a chargé d’affaires in the Swedish embassy in London. She was however to realise that England was not her ‘patrie’.530 Its notorious ‘spleen’ was infectious.531 All this despite the 15,000 guineas that she received from John Murray for De l’Allemagne, an account of Germany that had lost some of its immediate relevance and that had to be updated in some sections. She assiduously lobbied on behalf of Bernadotte in London, proudly informing him that she had been intervening for him with the Prince Regent.532 The later rumours that Bernadotte might be the ideal candidate to replace Napoleon (or the Bourbons) on the French throne, promptly denied by her once issued, emanated ultimately from her.

269She devoured all the more Schlegel’s despatches from Bernadotte’s headquarters. Perhaps she was even piqued that he was in a male world where men made the decisions and where her otherwise formidable presence could effect nothing. The great events of the day could be heard in the distance as he wrote: the resumption of hostilities between Prussia and Napoleon, the armistice that followed, Austria’s entry into the war on Russia’s and Prussia’s side (12 August), and the subsequent formation of three armies against Napoleon, Schwarzenberg’s in Bohemia, Blücher’s in Silesia, and Bernadotte’s in North Germany. We hear of the victories at Grossbeeren, Katzbach and Dennewitz, the events that led up to the great confrontation at Leipzig in October.

  • 533 Pange, 414.
  • 534 Whose slipperiness the Staël circle would experience. See John McErlean and Norman King, ‘Mme de St (...)
  • 535 Girod de l’Ain, 441-446.

270A stream of notabilities and high-level negotiators passed through Bernadotte’s headquarters, royal personages like the Duke of Cumberland (with whom Schlegel conversed in German),533 or the Prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, diplomats and negotiators like Count Carlo Andrea Pozzo di Borgo, the wily Russian representative,534 or Count Adam Albert Neipperg, Austria’s assiduous soldier and go-between (later to marry Napoleon’s imperial widow), Bernadotte’s right-hand man Count Carl Gustav Löwenhielm or Sir Edward Thornton, the British minister plenipotentiary to Sweden. These would be some of the men who on 6 July met at Trachtenberg in Silesia with the Tsar and King Frederick William III of Prussia to work out a strategic plan, much of which was presented to them by Bernadotte himself. Despite his being, for the Austrians at least, an old adversary and a parvenu to boot, this was the high moment for Bernadotte in what were to be the Wars of Liberation from August to October of that year.535

  • 536 Suremain, 288.
  • 537 Ibid., 296. To this Varnhagen added ‘liederlich’ (‘dissolute’), Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 66.
  • 538 Pange, 435.
  • 539 Rahel-Bibliothek, VI, i, 140. Cf. also Carl Schröder, ‘Tagebuch des Erbprinzen Friedrich Ludwig von (...)

271A source (not Schlegel) suggests that there were entertainments as well: the name of the famous actress Mademoiselle Georges is mentioned.536 It was into the world of high living, gambling, women—and debts—that Albert de Staël, the Swedish cornet of hussars, was to find his way, with fatal results. Albert charmed everyone, but everybody also agreed with General Suremain that he was an ‘étourdi’, a scatterbrain.537 The English admiral Hope had even prophesied his premature end.538 He had crossed over to Germany before Schlegel and had obtained permission to join the forces of the Russian general Friedrich Karl von Tettenborn. Karl August Varnhagen von Ense had been on Tettenborn’s staff and had witnessed the battle for Hamburg in March 1813, the subsequent re-taking of the city by French forces under Marshal Davout and its occupation by their Danish allies. The behaviour of both the French and Danes and the imposition of extortionate tribute monies had caused widespread indignation, and it was one reason for the denunciation of Danish policies in Schlegel’s pamphlet. Albert had shown himself to be courageous, but also foolhardy, insubordinate and insolent. He had been admonished in a fatherly way by Bernadotte himself and had been relegated to the nearby island of Rügen to regain his senses. He had become a compulsive gambler, and this was to prove his undoing. Schlegel wrote to Albert’s mother from Demmin in Mecklenburg, to which the headquarters had moved, on 3 August, with some details. Albert had been in Doberan (now Bad Doberan) near Rostock. On 12 July, he had become involved in a quarrel over gambling debts with a certain Jorris, an adjutant to the Russian general Benckendorff. They agreed to fight it out with sabres, the encounter taking place on a bosky rise near the small town. Jorris’s first blow severed Albert’s jugular vein, killing him on the spot.539

  • 540 ‘il avait une belle prodigalité de sa vie’. Pange, 436.
  • 541 He is so addressed in her letter of 8 October, 1813. Usteri/Ritter, 265.

272‘He had been splendidly prodigal with his life’540 was how Schlegel expressed himself in this same long letter. It may also explain the tone of melancholy acceptance that pervades it, or even the wish in subsequent letters to see the business of war over and done with and to return to his first love of scholarship. A consolation had been the conferral on him by Bernadotte of the Order of Vasa. Despite its being the junior order of chivalry among the Swedish honours and usually bestowed on those in industry, commerce and education, Schlegel now insisted on being addressed as ‘Chevalier’. Madame de Staël was willing to accede in this small display of vanity,541 the first of several ribbons to wear on his coat.

  • 542 Moreau’s note to AWS in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. XIX (15), 69. A memorial to Moreau is a s (...)

273Schlegel’s letters do not tell us about the action proper; they come from one who followed in the armies’ train, catching up with the generals as the headquarters moved rapidly from place to place. Before leaving Stralsund, he was able to meet up with General Jean Victor Marie Moreau, who had returned from American exile to throw in his lot with the anti-Napoleonic allies. Moreau and Bernadotte had not agreed on military matters, had parted company, Moreau joining the Tsar. ‘Schleigel’ (as Moreau calls him) had nevertheless managed to present the general with a copy of one of his pamphlets, which Moreau politely acknowledged. Three weeks later, he was killed at the Tsar’s side outside Dresden.542

  • 543 Pange, 447.
  • 544 Raich, II, 226.
  • 545 Pange 458. This was the ‘Demoiselle Auguste Sophia Weissen’ from Zerbst who features in the baptism (...)
  • 546 Was ich erlebte, VII, 296f.
  • 547 Pange, 463; Briefe, I, 299.

274Oranienburg, Charlottenburg, Spandau, Treuenbrietzen, Jüterbog, Zerbst, Halle—these were the next halts in the military action. There were chance meetings along the way: with Fouqué in or near Berlin;543 with his step-nephew Philipp Veit, who remarked disrespectfully on the ‘Regierungsrat’ wearing the Order of Vasa with its gold tassels;544 in Zerbst, where his father Johann Adolf had been a professor and where August Wilhelm’s older siblings had been born, also in uniform and with decorations, he met his aged godmother.545 Unlike Steffens, who saw with his own eyes the great clash of armies at the ‘Battle of the Nations’ at Leipzig on 18‑19 October,546 Schlegel arrived there some time after and only saw the trail of destruction in the city he had known in the 1790s. To compensate, he saw the great parade of monarchs and generals and was received personally by the Prussian and Austrian chancellors, Hardenberg and Metternich.547

  • 548 As he is called in Proclamations (1815), 7.
  • 549 Pange, 452.
  • 550 Brandt, 190f. The proclamation of August 15, 1813 seems to be the first. Proclamations, 8.
  • 551 Remarques sur un article de la Gazette de Leipsick du 5. Octobre 1813. Relatif au Prince Royal de S (...)
  • 552 Ueber Napoleon Buonaparte, second ed., 28f.

275Schlegel continued to have his uses for the ‘Généralissime’.548 He was an interpreter for the Prince Royal, who was no linguist (he taught Bernadotte the German for ‘en avant, mes enfants!’ [forward, lads!]).549 His pen was still needed for propaganda purposes. There is textual evidence that Schlegel also had a hand in at least some of Bernadotte’s proclamations.550 It was more serious when on 5 October there appeared in the Leipziger Zeitung a defamatory article on the Prince Royal (Saxony had not yet changed sides) claiming congenital mental illness in the Bernadotte family. The implication was that this also applied to the Swedish pretender, the Jacobin, the renegade, the turncoat. Schlegel issued a counter-blast in the same newspaper, when Leipzig was no longer under French occupation, having it printed as a pamphlet in both French and German.551 It did not take him long to demolish this calumny: parallels with Bayard and Gustavus Adolphus established the Prince Royal’s credentials.552

  • 553 Dépêches et lettres interceptées par des partis détachés de l’armée combinée du nord de l’Allemagne (...)

276An even better opportunity to demonstrate the righteousness of the Allied cause came when a cache of French official despatches was captured by General Tchernicheff’s forces moving westwards towards Kassel. They were sent to Schlegel in Hanover, where they were duly published with his preface.553 In a sense these documents spoke for themselves, uncovering as they did Napoleon’s dealings with his own family, the losses incurred by his armies, the all-pervasiveness of his espionage system, and much besides.

  • 554 As he states in SW, VIII, 263.
  • 555 Meister, 265.

277Schlegel spent three weeks in Hanover with the oversight of these papers. He had an opportunity to visit his two older brothers Karl and Moritz and their families, in Göttingen and Hanover. Was there a conference between the brothers, at which the question of the family name was discussed? Did the other brothers hand over the original letters patent conferring the title of nobility, Schlegel von Gottleben, on their great-grandfather by Emperor Ferdinand III?554 Or had a decision already been made? Perhaps even being a ‘chevalier’ of the Vasa order gave August Wilhelm the impulse, for Madame de Staël already in October 1813 had written on a letter from London ‘Monsieur A. Wilhelm de Schlegel’.555 Whatever, Schlegel from December 1813 signed himself ‘v. Schlegel’. Friedrich had already raised the matter, acutely aware as he was of the disadvantages of having a mere commoner’s name in class-conscious Vienna. (The other brothers remained simply ‘Schlegel’.) Of course his was not to be one of those new-fangled noble titles springing up in all directions in the Romantic age; it was the revival of a lapsed title, not the sign of recent imperial or royal favour, not like those ‘von Müller’, ‘von Gentz’ (or even those ultimate parvenus ‘von Goethe’ and ‘von Schiller’).

  • 556 Rudolph Schleiden, Jugenderinnerungen eines Schleswig-Holsteiners (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1886), 74.
  • 557 Krisenjahre, II, 271.
  • 558 Goldmann, 47f., 52f.
  • 559 Schleiden, 74f.
  • 560 Ibid.

278Bernadotte’s army now moved northwards to deal with the Danes and secure the possession of Norway. There was no need to invade Denmark proper. On 13 December, Schlegel could write from the university town of Kiel, in Holstein. The army moved up in stages. It was a hard winter, so that, as one Holsteiner remembered, the war had left the land ‘like a squeezed lemon’.556 Schlegel’s animus against the Danes had been aggravated by their behaviour towards his friend Wolf von Baudissin. The young diplomat had refused to accompany his superior on a mission to Dresden to cement the Franco-Danish alliance and had been sentenced to a year’s imprisonment in the fortress of Friedrichsort near Kiel. It had not been too uncomfortable, but for Schlegel it was merely another instance of Danish inhumanity.557 In the event, Baudissin was released after six months and enjoyed Schlegel’s company before moving to Paris to take part in the peace negotiations there.558 In Kiel, Schlegel reportedly read from his Nibelungenlied and from his Shakespeare translation:559 Baudissin, with Dorothea Tieck, was later to take over where Schlegel had left off. There were even rumours of Schlegel having a romantic attachment, which however came to nothing.560 (No doubt it would not have survived Madame de Staël’s scrutiny.)

  • 561 Pange, 475.
  • 562 Usteri/Ritter, 274.
  • 563 Ibid., 270-272. ; Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev’, 167.

279Schlegel meanwhile seized the political initiative. He had met up with Benjamin Constant in Göttingen and the two had dropped their old differences, to concentrate on the ‘grand task’ [‘la grande oeuvre’].561 Both were pushing Bernadotte’s candidature for the French throne and were pressing for the pursuit of Napoleon over the French border and his overthrow. Madame de Staël’s instincts rebelled against the idea of a punitive war against France, merely ‘for the sake of one man’,562 and she was becoming resigned to the reality of the restoration of the Bourbons. Schlegel, she said, should give no credence to rumours of Bernadotte’s candidature or his return as a king-maker in the style of 1660 or 1688: they emanated from the Bourbons and were intended to discredit him.563

  • 564 A. Andersen Feldborg, ‘An Appeal to the English Nation on Behalf of Norway’, in: The Pamphleteer, I (...)
  • 565 [Anon.], Cursory Remarks on the Meditated Attack on Norway; Comprising Strictures on Madame de Staë (...)
  • 566 Feldborg, 272.

280Schlegel now turned his pen to give moral justification to Sweden’s annexation of Norway, in the pamphlet Réflexions sur l’état actuel de la Norvège [Reflections on the present state of Norway] that John Murray was to publish in London in 1814. Broadsheets in London had commented adversely on Swedish ambitions and had even quoted De l’Allemagne against its authoress, not least her statement that ‘the submission of one people to another is contrary to nature’.564 Unflattering comparisons were made with the Tyrol or with Spain,565 and ‘the ingenious Mr. Schlegel’566 did not emerge well. Schlegel’s response was mainly sophistry: already his epigraph from Hamlet referring to ‘young Fortinbras’ was a veiled threat to the Danish royal house. Most conflicts, Schlegel states, end with some cession of territory, so why not Denmark too? Denmark was to be compensated with Swedish Pomerania, so what was the concern? (In the event, this did not happen.) Norway had suffered under Denmark because of the continental system and the Danish absolute monarchy: Sweden would guarantee ancient Norwegian rights. The speciousness of the argument knew no end. Denmark had backed the wrong horse, was going to lose Norway, and that was that.

  • 567 Journaux intimes, 393f.
  • 568 Pange, 488.
  • 569 Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 245, 284.

281As it was, the Danes agreed to Sweden’s conditions in the treaty of Kiel, signed on 14 January, 1814. Bernadotte could now turn his army westwards to join in the push against Napoleon. This took Schlegel back again to Hanover. The soon to be restored kingdom of Hanover became for a short period a kind of propaganda factory, with both Schlegel and Benjamin Constant at the workplace. Constant had met the Prince Royal in November and had been delighted.567 It gave him the spur to complete the work which became known as L’Esprit de conquête [The Spirit of Conquest] and to attach himself to the Prince’s train. It was to Constant that Madame de Staël wrote: ‘Send Schlegel over here: I can’t live without him’.568 Perhaps it was time for Schlegel to free himself of his duties to Bernadotte and re-enter Staëlian servitude. Varnhagen, who had met him in Göttingen and Kiel, had found him stiff, lifeless, a kind of ‘prince of letters’, and that had not been intended as flattery. He had also heard that the Prince Royal was finding Schlegel’s writing increasingly prolix.569

  • 570 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. VII (12); Brandt, 197f.

282Schlegel produced two more draft memoranda before events made them redundant. Idées sur l’avenir de la France [Ideas on the Future of France]570 is essentially an account of Napoleon’s rule and its excesses and what might happen in the event of his death or removal. Did he really want peace, or was this merely another of his ruses? In any case, there would have to be a complete change in the personnel of government in France to guarantee the transition to a régime acceptable to the Allies. Perhaps this was a last glimmer of hope on Schlegel’s part for Bernadotte’s candidature for the French throne.

  • 571 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. VII (11); Brandt, 199-203.

283Analyse de la Proclamation de Louis XVIII aux Français. Au mois de Février 1814571 does what it says, namely glosses the ‘king-pretendant’s’ claim to the French throne and asks several pertinent questions. What right had the Bourbons to revert to a hereditary monarchy when it had been succeeded by a republic (that Bonaparte had then destroyed)? Was there not the danger of replacing one absolute system by another? What was Louis XVIII’s ‘authority? Was it the same as Louis XIV’s? What of the instruments of state? Were they to be restored, and in what fashion? If Schlegel intended his analysis to gain time for Bernadotte’s contention, events soon caught up with him, and the pamphlet, bereft of any further relevance, remained unpublished.

  • 572 Pange, 491.
  • 573 Heberle, XVIIIf.
  • 574 Karl August Moritz Schlegel, Auswahl einiger Predigten in Beziehung auf die bisherigen Zeitereignis (...)

284It could nevertheless be said that the extended Staël-Schlegel-Constant circle had been assiduous in its anti-Napoleonic publishing during the year 1814. De l’Allemagne had come out late in 1813; German translations were not slow in appearing.572 Schlegel’s own pamphlets, the Dépêches et lettres interceptées and Réflexions sur l’état actuel de la Norvège were being issued in London by John Murray573 and in pirate editions. There was Constant’s Esprit de conquête, and there were Rocca’s Mémoires sur la guerre des Français en Espagne, published in Paris in 1814 and then with Murray in 1815, a reminder that the first setbacks suffered by Napoleon had been on the Iberian Peninsula. Friedrich Schlegel had been an official mouthpiece for Habsburg policy. Not to be outdone, their older brother Moritz Schlegel, still superintendent and pastor in Göttingen, published later in 1814 his Auswahl einiger Predigten [Selection of Some Sermons].574 They were a reminder to the Schlegel family that not everyone had turned Rome-wards (or had flirted with the idea), that at least one son was producing sermons, not hour-long homilies in the manner of their father Johann Adolf, but like his oriented to the biblical text and its application. Moritz used the lectionary to comment on the ‘Zeitgeist’ and the momentous events of the times, the parallels between sacred history and these ‘last days’. The tone is never strident; the Hanoverian preacher stayed within the acceptable limits of Lutheran teaching on church and state. It is conceivable that this family publication was one factor among several in August Wilhelm’s later rediscovery of his Protestant roots.

285The hard winter (the rivers Elbe and Weser froze over) caused Schlegel to miss out on the rapid westward advance of the Allied armies. A severe chest infection detained him in Hanover during February and March. Fortunately, his other brother Karl was able to find a good doctor. A consolation was meeting another royal prince, the Duke of Cambridge, but he was not to be present when Bernadotte issued his proclamation to the French people, his wish for peace, his desire not to have to fight on French soil. He was not there when the Prince Royal moved his headquarters to Cologne, Liège, Kaiserslautern and then finally to Brussels. Constant, with Auguste de Staël, had moved with Bernadotte and thus to Paris, to witness the capitulation on 30 March and the abdication on 6 April.

  • 575 Pange, 497.

286In March, we then hear of Schlegel in Soest, in Westphalia, and in Brussels in April. Events were not in his favour. His opposition to the Confederation of the Rhine, his disapproval of the settlements agreed between the Tsar, the king of Prussia, and the emperor of Austria (and their effective exclusion of Bernadotte), were of no avail. Madame de Staël had bowed to the inevitable and had accepted the Bourbon restoration with as good a grace as she could muster. It was now time for Schlegel to ask Bernadotte’s permission to leave his service and join the Staël family in England.575 The Prince Royal and his secretary were never to meet again in an official capacity.

England and France 1814

  • 576 SW, VII, 295, VIII, 255.
  • 577 Such as Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 622.
  • 578 Henry Crabb Robinson und seine deutschen Freunde. Brückezwischen England und Deutschland im Zeitalt (...)
  • 579 Meister/Usteri, 265.

287We know next to nothing about Schlegel’s visit to England in April-May 1814. The brief mention in his self-justification against Voss in 1828576 and one or two scattered references are all that we have.577 In Paris later in 1814 he told Henry Crabb Robinson that ‘he was there only for a fortnight’; he had not had time to meet Flaxman.578 Flaxman! Not Byron, not Coleridge— his great admirer579—not Sir James Mackintosh (whose review of De l’Allemagne in the Edinburgh Review had put the work on the map), not the whole string of notabilities who had waited on Madame de Staël. Not of course the Sanskrit scholars: that was for the future.

  • 580 SW, VII, 295.

288We do know that he embarked at Calais, most likely on 30 April.580 It was the day on which the newly proclaimed Louis XVIII made his triumphant progress through London on his way to Paris. Schlegel recalled that he wrote out the Dauphin’s words from Shakespeare’s King John:

  • 581 Quoted ibid.

Have I not heard these islanders shout out, Vive le Roi ! as I have bank’d their towns ?581

  • 582 Ibid.

289He recollected having referred to these lines in society in the house of Lord Harrowby, once Pitt’s foreign secretary and one of the grandees in Madame de Staël’s circle. Everyone admired Schlegel’s serendipity (he knew, having translated it, that ‘bank’d’ meant ‘sailed along’).582 Shakespeare supplied the right word for the situation and in quoting him Schlegel was announcing his own disillusionment with the recent turn of political events.

  • 583 Murray Archive, Ms. 41065. Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland. See also Murray to Auguste de S (...)
  • 584 As: Copies of the Original Letters and Dispatches […] (London, 1814).
  • 585 Briefe, II, 128.

290Circumstantial evidence in the form of a letter to John Murray of May 1814583 suggests that he also met Lord Liverpool, the prime minister, and Sir James Mackintosh, who had been almost everything from lawyer to judge to MP, and who would later be the most prominent of Schlegel’s British contacts. They and Lord Harrowby were to receive copies of the London bilingual edition of Dépêches et lettres interceptées that Murray was about to bring out (paying Schlegel 250 guineas).584 He gave as his forwarding address the Swedish embassy in Chesterfield St. Baron Gotthard Maurits von Rehausen, the envoy and also Auguste de Staël’s superior, had been responsible for putting the Swedish case to Castlereagh, the foreign minister. A rumour had gone the rounds that the Prince Regent had refused to receive Schlegel, his Hanoverian subject, on account of his association with Bernadotte.585 Clearly not even Madame de Staël’s lobbying on behalf of the Prince Royal had been successful.

  • 586 Pange, 490.
  • 587 Gautier, 358.

291Madame de Staël, Albertine, Rocca and Schlegel left London on 8 May and arrived in Paris on 12 May. Auguste had already left, to join in the great political events that were unfolding. She had once rashly spoken of travelling to Scotland with Schlegel or even settling in Germany.586 Now, it was to be her triumphal return to the city in which she had not legally been since 1809. In addition she was the author of De l’Allemagne, the grandest public persona, the subject of the mot: ‘There are three powers, England, Russia and Madame de Staël’.587 Yet for many Staël biographers, 1814‑17 is a kind of epilogue. True, there is no diminution of her fame and influence, but these last years usher in the end nevertheless. For Schlegel, receiving a few rays of her reflected glory, the same years were to witness the beginnings of a new orientation, the first hints that there might be a life beyond Madame de Staël.

  • 588 Due in large measure to Pozzo di Borgo’s good offices. McErlean/King, ‘Mme de Staël, A. W. Schlege (...)

292Depending on who one was, one would see Schlegel, now back in Paris, shining in the Staël circle (although never as brilliantly as she), and wearing the Russian Order of St Vladimir (Fourth Class, but no matter);588 or merely as her pedantic appendage, her petit maître; or as a scholar, closeted again with his books after two years of enforced abstinence. These conflicting views make a proper assessment of the real man in these years difficult. They all contained some elements of truth: they only needed the right distribution.

  • 589 Oeuvres, I, 15.
  • 590 Crabb Robinson, II, 35f., ref. 35.

293He was disenchanted with politics. All of his abnegation of the scholarly life, his pamphleteering, his wandering existence, had ended in the restoration of the Bourbons. Some wryly cynical poems by him in French from the time of the first Restoration contained this sentiment: Bonaparte may have been bad, but not as bad as the bunch now in power.589 The irrepressible gossip Crabb Robinson, hurrying over to Paris after the Restoration, noted of Schlegel that he ‘did not speak with enthusiasm on politics’.590 It was over dinner at Madame de Staël’s, where the subjects were almost exclusively literary and seemed to reflect the need to catch up: Tieck, Schelling, Byron, Wordsworth, above all Goethe’s new autobiography Dichtung und Wahrheit [Poetry and Truth] that was not well received by the extended Schlegel family.

  • 591 Krisenjahre, II, 294.
  • 592 Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 363.

294He no longer talked politics with Madame de Staël—they would merely disagree591—but with Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, soon after the Restoration, he had done just that. All of Varnhagen’s ambivalence towards Schlegel (he was ‘pedantic’, ‘silly’, if undeniably learned and adroit)592 comes out in his letter from Paris to Rahel of 21 May. After an unflattering description of Madame de Staël’s person, Varnhagen noted their diverging views on the Hanseatic cities: Schlegel would have incorporated them into his ‘Empire’; Varnhagen represented their traditional rights.

  • 593 Favre, lxxivf.

295To his old friend and fellow-antiquarian Guillaume Favre in Geneva Schlegel could drop his guard completely. Writing from Paris in October 1814, he stated that he was living in the Staël retreat at Clichy, away from the ‘monde brillant’ and concentrating on the main task.593 Even so, living in the Staël ménage, he would not be able to avoid his social duties entirely. What was the object of this withdrawal from society?

  • 594 Pange, 426f., 437f.
  • 595 Favre, lxxvi.

296Already while he was in Bernadotte’s camp, he could write to Madame de Staël about ‘vastes projets’ that he had yet to undertake, Germanic, or ‘Bramanic’.594 His brother Friedrich had been urging him to return to his real métier of literature and scholarship, conveniently suggesting places— Vienna, Hanover—or persons—the Duke of Wellington—where or with whom he might work. Now, however, reinstalled in Paris, August Wilhelm spoke to Favre of three major concurrent projects, the two linked projects on the etymology of the French language and on Provençal; there was the old Nibelungenlied project, dormant since his essays in the Deutsches Museum in 1812; and, to cap it all, an ‘enfantillage’ [childish thing], he was learning Sanskrit.595 Perhaps there was something youthfully injudicious about taking on so much at the same time, although for Schlegel this was nothing new.

  • 596 Briefwechsel zwischen Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm aus der Jugendzeit, ed. Herman Grimm and Gustav Hinri (...)

297The substance of these studies will occupy us presently. They and the related reviews were not undertaken in ideal conditions. One senses that he had to utilise the moment and the place to best effect: in Paris, to pursue the study of Sanskrit; in Coppet, to be near Favre and meet him or borrow from his vast library all the antiquarian arcana on the Goths for his studies on the Nibelungenlied; in Italy, to profit from scholarship there, mainly on classical archaeology or the Etruscans. How was this to be done? In 1814, Jacob Grimm had commented on Schlegel’s professorial mien, the punctilious order of his desk—and the social commitments that kept him from it.596 By 1817, he had however established a regimen of work. The young American traveller and scholar, George Ticknor, reported as follows:

  • 597 Ticknor, I, 107.

Schlegel’s [manner of living] is such, indeed, as partly to account for his success as a man of letters, and as a member of the gay society of Paris. He wakes at four o’clock in the morning, and, instead of getting up, has his candle brought to him and reads five or six hours, then sleeps two or three more, and then gets up and works till dinner at six. From this time till ten o’clock he is a man of the world, in society and overflowing with amusing conversation; but at ten he goes again to his study and labours until midnight, when he begins the same course again.597

The Return to Scholarship

298It is doubtful whether this régime was able to withstand the incursions of Madame de Staël’s lifestyle and the demands that it made. It was also clearly devised for a bachelor existence. In view of Schlegel’s marriage plans in 1816 and their actual fulfilment in 1818 (however disastrous) one wonders if he ever gave a thought to the consequences for marital life of such a semi-monastic existence. As his brother Friedrich was to experience, being a public intellectual (and a public servant) meant subjecting one’s personal life to privations and absences. His wife Dorothea, finding more and more solace in her Catholic piety and the welfare of her talented sons, accepted her lot. Not every wife looked up to her husband as she did.

  • 598 Friedrich Schlegels Briefe an seinen Bruder August Wilhelm, ed. Oskar F. Walzel (Berlin: Speyer & P (...)
  • 599 KA, XXIX, 82.

299Unlike August Wilhelm, who had followed the twisting paths of Madame de Staël and had only permitted himself one act of insubordination (staying in Germany with Bernadotte), Friedrich was harnessed to Habsburg service in Vienna, dependent on good words here and recommendations there. He had become Metternich’s pamphleteer and mouthpiece, not always the best use for his multiform talents. When finally in 1815 he was appointed ‘Legationssekretär’ to the Imperial Diet in Frankfurt (at a salary of 3,000 florins, the most he ever earned), he had to accept separation and often demeaning superiors. Small wonder that his letters from 1813 onwards pleaded with August Wilhelm to come back to the German lands,598 to foster the German cause, to ensure their continued activity together.599

  • 600 Zeitgenossen. Biographieen und Charakteristiken (Leipzig and Altenburg: Brockhaus, 1816), I, iv, 17 (...)
  • 601 Briefe, II, 152.

300It was not to be, and the brothers were only to meet once again, in 1818, in Frankfurt. Yet their public image perpetuated the symbiosis of earlier days. Brockhaus’s biographical periodical Zeitgenossen [Contemporaries] ran in its 1816 number an article simply called ‘August Wilhelm und Friedrich Schlegel’.600 (It was by their brother Moritz, hence there was no ‘von’.)601 It traced their respective careers (with no direct mention of Caroline or Lucinde), down to the involvement of the one with Tsar Alexander and the other with Metternich. It may not have been the image that they sought to promote. If celebrities, they were at most minor ones. Certainly August Wilhelm wanted to move on from such involvement in political matters.

301One solution would be to find some kind of position as a scholar and public intellectual in Restoration France. Yet his only attachment there was to Madame de Staël. That was fine if he wished to enjoy the company of the Tsar, Talleyrand, Gentz, Wellington, Grand Duke Karl August and the many others assembled in Paris who sought her salon in Clichy. There was Alexander von Humboldt, now at the apogee of his considerable fame. Nobody held it against him that he was a Prussian: he was a citizen of the world and spoke and wrote in several languages. His famous works of scientific travel were appearing in Paris. Schlegel was different. He had never been forgiven the Comparaison of 1807. His Vienna Lectures, now available in French, seemed to augment and consolidate his animus against France. A younger generation had not yet seized on them as an alternative voice to official classicism. There was no question of his seeking office in France. At most he could keep his eyes and ears open for possibilities in Germany.

  • 602 Briefwechsel zwischen Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm aus der Jugendzeit, 334, 336.

302During those closely-guarded hours of study in Clichy or in Coppet, Schlegel sought to take advantage of what the great institutes in Paris had to offer. There would be more than enough on subjects of earlier study, like the Etruscans, Troubadours, or Provençal. Favre in Geneva was adding to Schlegel’s collection of erudite references to the Goths. He met Jacob Grimm in Paris, he too part of the delegations that were filling the city after Napoleon’s abdication. With him he could discuss matters Germanic.602 Above all Paris offered him the chance to learn Sanskrit. It brought him into contact or renewed his acquaintance with the specialized scholarly world, so different from the whirl of the salons.

303Antoine-Léonard de Chézy he already knew. Chézy had been learning Sanskrit from Alexander Hamilton with Friedrich at the time of Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. Now in 1815 Chézy was to become the first professor of Sanskrit at the Collège de France. By that year Schlegel had acquired enough of the rudiments of the language to review Chézy’s translations from the Sanskrit. Louis-Mathieu Langlès, who had catalogued the oriental collections of the Bibliothèque du Roi, was professor of Persian. He would send Schlegel texts when he was away from Paris. There was however now no Hamilton, as there had been for Friedrich.

  • 603 For Bopp see S. Lefmann, Franz Bopp, sein Leben und seine Wissenschaft, 3 vols (Berlin: Reimer, 189 (...)
  • 604 Entziffern und Enträtseln’, Lefmann, I, 23.
  • 605 Briefe, I, 307.
  • 606 Favre, lxxvi.
  • 607 Opuscula, 413f.

304The young Franz Bopp from Aschaffenburg and a Bavarian citizen, had however been in Paris since 1812.603 The experts there had received him kindly, but he had taught himself Sanskrit with whatever texts were available, piecing the grammar together.604 It was with him that Schlegel gained his first knowledge of the language. Yet Schlegel’s attitude to Bopp was always ambivalent, even before the latter became Berlin’s first professor of Sanskrit and comparative grammar. In 1815 in a letter to Langlès, who knew him, Schlegel wrote ‘l’excellent Mr Bopp’,605 whereas to Favre in the same year he was merely ‘a young German whom I have found here’.606 Later he left him out of the record entirely.607

  • 608 Lefmann, I, 36
  • 609 Franz Bopp, Über das Conjugationssystem der Sanskritsprache in Vergleichung mit jenem der griechisc (...)
  • 610 Lefmann, I, 44f.
  • 611 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LV (i).
  • 612 Indische Bibliothek, III, i (1830), 1-113.

305We can only guess at reasons. Bopp felt that Schlegel looked down on him:608 he was from a humble background, had not been to a ‘real’ university, was dependent on others’ support, lived in a garret in Saint Germain while ‘von’ Schlegel enjoyed the Staël salon. Schlegel may have felt that Bopp, for all of his extraordinary knowledge as a grammarian, was too narrow a specialist, whereas he, Schlegel, never lost his interest in all the manifestations of art and poetry and was the author of the Vienna Lectures and the translator of Shakespeare. There was certainly professional jealousy. Bopp as a young man had already in 1816 produced a study of the conjugation system of Sanskrit.609 It made deferential references, as it must, to Friedrich Schlegel’s Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier; but it was clear that he regarded Friedrich’s ideas on inflections as unsound.610 His edition also contained metrically translated extracts from the Râmâyana and the Mahâbhârata. The older Schlegel’s knowledge of the language was not nearly so advanced. Bopp went on to be a distinguished comparative Indo-European grammarian and textual scholar, translated into English and French. He produced results. His studies, although multifarious, were related: he did not allow himself to be distracted. His output was not scattered and all over the place, as we have to admit Schlegel’s was. Bopp produced a much-acclaimed grammar of Sanskrit: Schlegel too attempted one, but it remained in note form in his papers.611 Once Schlegel was in Bonn, there was an element of competition with Bopp, the Sankritist in the ‘other place’ (Berlin) to which Schlegel had not chosen to go, a rival for the funds and resources that the Prussian state was prepared to invest in pure scholarship. He would use his Indische Bibliothek as a critical forum against Bopp.612

  • 613 Briefe, I, 305.
  • 614 Favre, lxxvii.

306All of this lay in the future. Schlegel meanwhile could in 1815 claim to Friedrich Wilken the editor of the Heidelberger Jahrbücher, that his grammatical and etymological studies hitherto, of Greek and Latin and the Germanic dialects, gave him an access to Sanskrit which English scholars certainly did not have.613This was true, although Bopp might have made the same claim with equal justification. Schlegel’s approach was to be philological and rigorous. With the formidable resources of his own knowledge, he could, as he wrote to Favre, even work away from Paris.614

Italy, Coppet, Paris: The Death of Madame de Staël

307This was just as well, for Madame de Staël during these last years was variously on the move. The causes were several: her own state of health, Rocca’s precarious condition, the need to find a husband for Albertine, and not unconnected, the restitution of the Necker loan. A candidate for Albertine’s hand had been found in the person of Victor, duke of Broglie. He had in some respects impeccable Staëlien qualifications. He came from an old and distinguished military family. His father had been guillotined in the Terror; his mother had been part of Madame de Staël’s circle; he had enjoyed a liberal education; he had been in the diplomatic service during the First Empire; he was anglophile. All he lacked was money, at least enough to marry the granddaughter of Jacques Necker. Hence the need for the Necker dotation.

  • 615 Jaskinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 482-485.

308Madame de Staël abstracted herself from the social bustle of Paris and spent the months of July to September 1814 in Coppet. She and Rocca saw their love-child for the first time in two years, the poor, retarded Alphonse, still fostered with the same pastor and his wife. If the list of visitors to Coppet is anything to go by, the time was hardly restful: Sir James Mackintosh, Sir Humphry and Lady Davy, Caroline von Humboldt, Count Neipperg, even Joseph Bonaparte.615 The gap in Schlegel’s correspondence with Favre indicates that he saw him in Coppet or Geneva during that time. Then it was back to Paris until 11 March 1815.

309On 6 March 1815, Napoleon left Elba and embarked for France. Madame de Staël, Rocca, Albertine and Schlegel departed precipitately for Coppet. There was no certainty how the Emperor would behave towards this ‘third power’. With liberals like Benjamin Constant flocking to serve the new regime, there were hopes for a better future. Lucien Bonaparte was living not far from Coppet, clearly placed to make discreet contact. Auguste was charged with making representations regarding his mother’s interests. The Emperor seemed not unfavourable, but promised nothing. She tried to influence the ‘peace party’ in England, using as her intermediary the American minister Crawford. To no avail, as there ensued Waterloo, Napoleon’s exile, the second Restoration of the Bourbons, and a second occupation of Paris.

  • 616 Details in Balayé, Carnets de voyage, 407-432.
  • 617 Souvenirs—1785-1870—du feu duc de Broglie, 3 vols (Paris : Calmann Lévy, 1886), I, 337f.
  • 618 Krisenjahre, III, 549.
  • 619 Broglie, I, 337f.

310The Staël party was in Coppet from 17 March, with interruptions, until 26/27 July 1815, when they left for Italy.616 Rocca’s health—he had tuberculosis—required a milder climate. The cavalcade was later augmented by Sismondi, as on the first Italian journey, also by Auguste and Victor de Broglie.617 It was however no longer the Italy of those days; it was not possible simply to resume where Corinne had left off. The route this time did not take them to Rome or Naples, the places so much associated with 1805. Plague, not the floods that had hindered them on the first journey, now prevented their going further south than Florence.618 Travelling from Lausanne, down to Lake Como and to Milan, one now entered Austrian territory. They encountered the surveillance that they had found so irksome when last in the Habsburg lands. Her old friend Monti, no longer a servant of the French, was now languishing in Austrian service.619 The author of these restorations, Prince Metternich, even refused to allow her to purchase property in Lombardy.

  • 620 First published in Italian in Biblioteca Italiana, Jan. 1816, 9-18, as ‘Sulla maniera e la utilità (...)

311Her beloved Italy seemed to be falling behind where France, England and especially Germany had embraced a cosmopolitan culture. Everyone was reading everybody else’s literature through the device of translation. It was the link between civilisations, the means of enrichment across national borders, the transfer of ideas. This was the burden of her pamphlet, De l’esprit des traductions [On the Spirit of Translations] that she brought out in Milan in 1816.620 The French and English were doing it with varying degrees of success. The Germans however had excelled in it, and they should be the model for the Italians. Consider Voss’s Homer, the most exact in any language, even more so works written for the theatre:

  • 621 Oeuvres complètes de Madame de Staël, 19 vols (Brussels : Wahlen, 1820-24), XVIII (Mélanges), 335.

If translations of poems enrich belles-lettres, those of works for the theatre could exercise an even greater influence ; for the theatre is truly the executive power of literature. A. W. Schlegel has done a translation of Shakespeare which, joining exactness with inspiration, is completely national in Germany. English plays transmitted in this way are performed on the German stage, and Shakespeare and Schiller have become fellow-countrymen.621

These were proud words and a fine tribute to Schlegel whose Vienna Lectures were about to appear in Italian translation. If the Italians were piqued at Madame de Staël telling them how to run their literary affairs, it did not diminish the validity of her sentiments.

  • 622 Krisenjahre, II, 287.
  • 623 Briefe, I, 308-310.
  • 624 ‘Lettres aux éditeurs de la Bibliothèque italienne, à Milan, sur les chevaux de bronze sur la basil (...)
  • 625 Krisenjahre, III, 556. The diploma, which Josef Körner found in the old Sächsische Landesbibliothek (...)

312Schlegel, whose decorations entitled him to be called ‘Eccelenza’ in Italy,622 did not neglect his wider contacts while there. He kept Friedrich Wilken of the Heidelberger Jahrbücher apprised of developments in Italian letters.623 For Giuseppe Acerbi’s periodical Bibliotheca Italiana he produced a piece on the horses of St Mark’s in Venice.624 From Genoa he wrote to the brothers Marc-Auguste and Charles Pictet in Geneva, agreeing to contribute to their Bibliothèque britannique (better known as Bibliothèque universelle et revue de Genève) and writing a critical essay on the figures of Niobe and her children. In Florence, he was made a member of the Società Fiorentina la Colombaria, the distinguished society for letters and history.625

  • 626 Krisenjahre, II, 297-299.

313Not for the first time, the Tieck family made its unruly presence felt in Italy. It was also one of those coincidences at which the Tiecks were experts. In May 1816, a letter to Schlegel arrived from Sophie in farthest Estonia.626 She had worked out an elaborate plan to suit her purposes. She and Knorring would sell their Estonian estate, move to Italy, set up her brother Friedrich in Rome as a sculptor, while Schlegel was to act as tutor to Felix Theodor, the object of that valedictory poem written over ten years ago. She had not forgotten her own epic poem, Flore und Blanscheflur, for which Schlegel was to find a publisher.

  • 627 Ibid., 293 ; Balayé, Carnets de voyage, 430f. ; Maaz, 18.
  • 628 Contract drawn up 14 May, 1816 in Florence. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (28), 18. The seq (...)

314None of this came to anything, at least not yet. Certainly she did nothing to alleviate the sculptor brother’s financial and material state. Madame de Staël, again not for the first time, was to do that in some measure. Friedrich had been at the marble quarries in Carrara since May of 1812, executing busts for Crown Prince Ludwig’s Walhalla. He was as usual in financial straits, the result partly of his own misfortune and partly the improvidence of his siblings. He had tried to secure a post at the Academy in Berlin: success came only in 1819. He was therefore very gratified when the Staëls, on their way from Genoa to Pisa, called in at Carrara and took him with them to Pisa from December 1815 until February of 1816. In April-May he accompanied them to Florence.627It was agreed that he should do busts of Albertine and Rocca, and a full-size statue of Necker. For the latter he was to receive 600 sequins.628

  • 629 Maaz, 154, 304; Mscr. Dresd. ibid.
  • 630 Maaz, 159f., 307.
  • 631 Ibid., 161.
  • 632 Most likely the folder marked ‘Origines italicae’. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LX.
  • 633 Maaz, 303.

315Again, as usual with Friedrich Tieck, not all went well. Madame de Staël did not like the marble bust of Rocca and cancelled it, leaving him out of pocket.629 (The furious sculptor smashed the nose off.) Only a plaster bust has survived. The Necker statue did however meet her wishes: the statesman, in modern dress but draped with a mantle in the antique mode, his hand raised as if in the gesture of speaking.630 Whatever influences may have been at work in its conception—Etruscan motifs have been suggested631—its creator was not happy with the result. It is certainly true that he and Schlegel studied Etruscan works of art in Florence, as part of the preparation for Schlegel’s review of Niebuhr.632 The bust of Albertine is lost.633

  • 634 Victor de Pange, ‘La fortune de Victor de Broglie et d’Albertine de Staël d’après leur contrat de m (...)
  • 635 Victor de Pange, ‘L’affaire de la dispense pour le mariage catholique de Victor de Broglie et d’Alb (...)
  • 636 Broglie, I, 340 ; Victor de Pange, Madame de Staël et le duc de Wellington. Correspondance inédite (...)
  • 637 Paola Luciani and Patrizia Urbani, ‘Neuf lettres inédites de Mme de Staël au cavaliere Giovanni Bat (...)
  • 638 Broglie, II, 178
  • 639 Oeuvres, I, 189-201.

316The Necker restitution having been guaranteed after the Restoration of 1815, it was now possible for Albertine to marry Victor de Broglie and become a duchess. There were formalities to be observed, the drawing up of a marriage contract (witnessed by Sismondi and Schlegel),634 a papal dispensation for an interconfessional union.635 The marriage was solemnized in Pisa by the resident Anglican clergyman636 and again at Leghorn by a Catholic priest.637 In consideration of the two grand families thus united, their sons were to be brought up Catholic, their daughters Protestant. In the event, Albertine inclined towards an un-Staëlian orthodoxy,638 quietism and mysticism even: it was she who tried to win over a now sceptical Schlegel in 1838, eliciting from him that response abjuring his Catholicising past.639 For the moment, he contented himself with an epithalamium.

  • 640 Applausi poetici per le faustissime nozze fra S. E. il signore Vittorio duca di Broglio pari di Fra (...)
  • 641 SW, I, 154f.
  • 642 Jakob Necker’, Zeitgenossen, I, iii (1816), 91-112. It appears to be a shortened and edited versio (...)

317That poem, ‘An Fräulein Albertina von Staël bei ihrer Vermählung. Pisa 20. Februar 1816’ [To Mademoiselle Albertina von Staël on the Occasion of her Marriage’] was privately printed in Pisa and even translated into Italian.640 It was written in ottava rima,641 a verse for special occasions, for objects near to his heart and affections. The poem to Caroline all those years ago had been in this stanza; that celebrating the union of the church and the arts similarly. Now it was Albertine’s turn. It was also a kind of symbolic leave-taking from the Staël children. Auguste had reached full manhood; poor Albert was in his grave in Mecklenburg; now Albertine, who had been a small girl when he first joined their household, was stepping out into full womanhood (and soon motherhood). It was not yet a question of real separation; still, only Madame de Staël remained seemingly unchanged from those early years. It was therefore appropriate that Schlegel’s poem should invoke the mother almost as much as the daughter. Nor could Jacques Necker be absent from his verses, the tutelary spirit summoned up from the shores of Lake Geneva to the banks of the Arno, the intellectual and moral (and also ultimately financial) force behind this marriage. As if on cue, Brockhaus’s Zeitgenossen brought out a short biography of Necker in its 1816 number, attributed to Schlegel.642

  • 643 Pange, 515.

318Albertine retained some affection for Schlegel and after her mother’s death kept up a correspondence with him for the rest of her relatively short life. Those letters are a salutary reminder that his existence was not limited to the ultimately provincial affairs of Bonn and took in Paris, the affairs of state in which her husband was involved and her family. Victor de Broglie shared Albertine’s interests, but one senses that his involvement with Schlegel was out of duty rather than inclination. When for instance he decided to spend Holy Week of 1816 in Rome, he pointedly did not ask for ‘courses’ from Schlegel.643 References to Schlegel in the Broglie memoirs are also so sparing as to be almost absent.

  • 644 Broglie, I, 346.
  • 645 Notably those of the grand duke and of Madame de Staël. Cf. David Watkin, The Life and Works of C. (...)
  • 646 Who is the ‘sculpteur fort expérimenté dans les marbres de Carrare’ referred to in Oeuvres, II, 25. (...)

319Schlegel’s own emotional life was not so fortunate. Madame de Staël was finding Pisa dull and moved to Florence to be among the ‘monde’.644 She renewed her acquaintance with the Countess of Albany; she was presented to the grand duke and duchess of Tuscany; she met Priscilla, Lady Burghersh, the Duke of Wellington’s niece, the wife of the British envoy. In these circles645 Schlegel was made acquainted with the reconstruction of the Niobe group from the Aegina temple in the Uffizi, produced by the English neo-classical architect Charles Robert Cockerell. He studied it with Friedrich Tieck in order to ascertain its authenticity.646

  • 647 KA, XXIX, 590f.
  • 648 Der Geliebten’ and ‘Lied’, SW, I, 29-32 (Böcking’s dating needs correcting).
  • 649 he wanted to have proposed to her, but Madame de Staël would not let him’. Augustus J. C. Hare, Th (...)

320Schlegel also met an acquaintance, Nina Schiffenhuber-Hartl, the ward of the director of the court theatre in Vienna.647 He had met her there in 1808, and she was a close friend of his sister-in-law, Dorothea. It seems that Dorothea was scheming to bring Schlegel and this piously Catholic young woman together. Finding her now in Florence, Schlegel needed no encouragement. In his usual way, he wrote two or three poems for her;648 in her fashion, Madame de Staël put an abrupt stop to any matrimonial plans that he might have.649 As it was, Nina married the Nazarene painter Friedrich Overbeck instead. His images of her are certainly better than Schlegel’s poetic gallantries.

321We leave aside the question: would such a marriage have worked? What remains are the Staël-Schlegel emotional entanglements, the moral pressures (some might say blackmail), the protestations of his indispensability, the teasings, the ultimate affront of Rocca’s presence. There is surely some symbolic significance in the fact that when Staël and Rocca finally sealed their union at Coppet on 10 October, 1816, it was Fanny Randall who represented the household at the private ceremony, not Schlegel.

  • 650 Broglie, I, 354f.
  • 651 Stendhal, Rome, Naples et Florence, 155.
  • 652 Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 485-487.

322The group returned via Milan, Mont Cenis and Savoy, to Coppet.650 It was to be the last of the Coppet summers, but in many ways the most interesting. It was this summer that led Stendhal to write of the ‘estates general of European opinion’ being assembled there.651 Of course these included Bonstetten, Ludovico di Breme, the acerbically witty abate and proponent of Romanticism, Henry Brougham, Lord and Lady Lansdowne, Lord and Lady Jersey and various others.652 No-one could however compete with Lord Byron, later joined by his entourage, his friend Hobhouse and his physician Polidori:

The society at Copet [sic] is agreeable—The D. de Broglie is sensible & well informed—and Schlegel is very piquant—Rocca (whom she has certainly “made an honest man”) is better tho’ in a bad way—and Stael herself much in her usual manner—[…]

  • 653 Shelley and His Circle, 1773-1822, ed. Kenneth Neill Cameron et al., 10 vols (Cambridge, Mass: Harv (...)

Lord Byron lives on the other side of the lake, shunned by all—both English & Genevese—except Mad. Stael—who can’t resist a little celebrity— of what kind soever & and with whatever vice or meanness allied—[...]653

  • 654 Broglie, I, 360-362.
  • 655 Schedule of Byron’s movements and guests at Coppet in Bonstettiana, XI, ii, 680-682.
  • 656 Ibid., 774.

323This was how Henry Brougham summed up the situation. Victor de Broglie, referred to in this extract, saw Byron rather prissily as a ‘braggart of vice’, without any particular distinguishing features (except perhaps the lame foot that he shared with Talleyrand).654 Broglie’s mother-in-law clearly saw Byron as less diabolic and invited him on various occasions to cross the lake from Villa Diodati in Cologny to Coppet.655 Once Hobhouse and Polidori arrived, there were diary descriptions and médisances about the company. Schlegel was described as ‘a presumptuous literato, contradicting à outrance’ (Polidori),656 and

  • 657 Lord Broughton (John Cam Hobhouse), Recollections of a Long Life. With Additional Extracts From His (...)

I was between Schlegel and the Duke of Broglie: the conversation was lively, and ran chiefly to Sheridan. Schlegel would have his School for Scandal had no invention, and talked, I thought, rather dogmatically. He is a little thin man with a largish sharp face, thin grey hair, intelligent-looking, talks English well. (Hobhouse)657

324Hobhouse also passed on anecdotes of scenes he himself had not witnessed:

Madame de Staël was one day saying that she was glad she published her “Allemagne” some time ago; if she had done so now it would have been too late. Nobody cares about Germany—literature was on the decline. “Quoi, Madame, vous osez dire ça du pays de Frederick Schlegel devant William Schlegel!” [What, Madam, you dare to say that of the country of FS in front of AWS] “Ah,” said Madame de Staël, throwing herself back in her chair, “comme la vanité est bête!” [how stupid vanity is]

  • 658 Ibid., 42f.

Schlegel was one day talking English to Miss Randall. Brême said, “It seems to me that the English, for a man that does not understand it, is rather a hard language.” Schlegel went up to Madame de Staël, and said, “I see, Madame, that there is a conspiracy in your house against me; everybody is resolved to offend me.” Madame de Staël was writing; she threw down her pen: “Dites-moi donc, M. de Brême, qu’avez-vous fait pour offenser M. Schlegel?” [Tell me, M. de Breme, what have you done to offend M. Schlegel?] Brême explained, but in vain. He said that he did not know that Schlegel was hired defender of all nations. “Sir,” said Schlegel, “any one could see you meant to laugh at my way of pronouncing English.”658

  • 659 Ludovico di Breme, Lettere, ed. Piero Camporesi, Nuova Universale Einaudi, 73 (Turin : Einaudi, 196 (...)
  • 660 Wolfram Krömer, Ludovico di Breme 1780-1820. Der erste Theoretiker der Romantik in Italien, Kölner (...)
  • 661 Cf. Norman King, ‘La correspondance de Mme de Staël et de Byron en 1816’, in : Ceri Crossley and De (...)
  • 662 Ibid., 97. Duly received. Byron, Letters and Journals, V, 88.

It was unfortunate that ‘Augustus William Schlegel’, the author of the now translated Course of Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, came over in the Byron circle as merely fractious and hypersensitive. It is also true that Di Breme, a friend and correspondent of Sismondi, who saw Madame de Staël as an ‘aging python’ and Schlegel as her ‘lemur spirit’, went out of his way to make fun of ‘il dottissimo e celebre Sig. Schlegel’.659 For it was through Schlegel, if not a ‘hired defender of all nations’, that the spirit of national literatures was being transferred across borders and Di Breme was one of its recipients.660 These aspersions were all the more regrettable in that the real importance of the visits in the summer of 1816 lay in the fact that Madame de Staël was prepared to receive a Byron shunned by the rest of Europe, was receptive to his poetry (he responded with a reference in Canto Three of Childe Harold), and attempted to effect a reconciliation between him and his wife.661 Madame de Staël also gave Byron a copy of the French translation of Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures.662

  • 663 Ibid., VIII, 166f., 172f.
  • 664 Ibid., 164f.
  • 665 Ibid., VIII, 164.
  • 666 Ibid., V, 86.
  • 667 Ibid., VIII, 167.

325It was therefore a pity that Byron, by his own account, failed to find common ground with Schlegel. Byron resolutely refused to flatter him: for him, Schlegel was ‘William the testy’.663 They disagreed over the status of Alfieri,664 whom Schlegel in his Vienna Lectures had effectively written off as a further manifestation of European neo-classicism. Later, someone suggested that Byron had plagiarized the elegy Rom:665 one can be certain that Byron did not need this particular source of inspiration. There was no question of Byron ceding ground to Schlegel, whose tendency to carp and to ride the high horse (‘Schlegel is in high force’)666 were well known in Coppet. Byron did not know German, but someone must have taught him the rude word ‘Hundsfot’ [sic] which he used of Schlegel.667 As Ludwig Tieck was to find out in 1817 when he met Coleridge, Anglo-German literary encounters, especially between persons of established reputation and marked personality, seldom went off well. Of course contrasts can be made with Goethe’s enthusiastic reception of Byron—after the younger man’s death. But if they had met? What then?

  • 668 Ticknor, I, 106
  • 669 Ibid., 110.

326The last Coppet summer came to an end. After the departure of the last duchesses and princes, it was time for the Staël entourage to return to Paris. Her secret marriage with Rocca was followed by the drawing up of her will. In this she left her literary papers to Schlegel, a decision that was to prove unacceptable to the Staël heirs and the subject of some renegotiation. Her circle reconvened at 6, rue Royale, and George Ticknor left a vignette of a dinner party at that house, not omitting this description of Schlegel: ‘a careworn, wearied courtier, with the manners of a Frenchman of the gayest circles, and the habits of a German scholar’.668 It was that seeming contradiction between the man whom he found ‘poring over a Sanskrit Grammar’ yet in society uniting ‘German enthusiasm and force to French lightness and vivacity’. Madame de Staël had suffered a stroke on February 21, 1817. In May, speaking to Ticknor, she claimed that it was not her old self that he saw, but merely her shadow.669

  • 670 Quoted in Elizabeth Longford, Wellington: Pillar of State (Frogmore, St Albans: Panther, 1975), 65. (...)
  • 671 Victor de Pange, Madame de Staël et le duc de Wellington, 77.
  • 672 Correspondence of Lady Burghersh with the Duke of Wellington, ed. Lady Rose Weigall (London: Murray (...)
  • 673 Bonstettiana, XI, ii, 854.
  • 674 Victor de Pange, 140.

327Despite her physical deterioration, her old interest in politics and affairs of state was not quite extinguished. As usual, she went straight to the centre of power. She renewed her acquaintance with the Duke of Wellington, now commander-in-chief of the Allied armies of occupation, with proconsular powers. The Duke had an eye for ladies, but not for clever ones: ‘She was a most agreeable woman, if only you kept her light, & away from politics’.670 He gave her more than one ‘petit warning671 and claimed that she was ‘confoundedly afraid of me’,672 yet in June she moved to 9, rue neuve des Mathurins, which was next door to him, and he is reported as having visited her daily.673 Clearly there was enough common ground between him, who hated talking politics, and her, for whom talking politics was living.674

  • 675 The Correspondence of Priscilla, Countess of Westmorland Edited by her Daughter Lady Rose Weigall ( (...)

328Her illness—illnesses—treated under demeaning and distressing circumstances, grew worse and the end came on July 14, 1817. She had already taken leave of those closest to her, including Schlegel. Fanny Randall was there at her side. Schlegel, faithful as ever, described the circumstances to Lady Burghersh, the Duke’s niece. The letter expressed his personal grief, but also quoted ‘There broke a noble heart’ and ‘The rest is silence’.675 The manners of a Frenchman and the habits of a German scholar.

3.4 Scholarly Matters

  • 676 Zumpe did engravings for ‘Bildnisse der berühmtesten Männer aller Völker und Zeiten’. Thieme-Becker (...)

329In these years the Dresden engraver Gustav Adolph Zumpe produced the image of Schlegel that has become one of the standard representations of his mature years.676

Fig. 21 Portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Gustav Adolph Zumpe (c. 1817).

Fig. 21 Portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Gustav Adolph Zumpe (c. 1817).

Image in the public domain.

  • 677 Ticknor, I, 106.

Where and under what circumstances Schlegel sat for it (if at all), we do not know. It shows him in sharp profile, looking straight ahead, the mouth firm, the figure straight; there is the usual high stock; the coat has elegantly tailored lapels. Quite the man about town, perhaps, but also the scholar- critic with his eye fixed on the task in hand. If so, it is a reminder that these last years with Madame de Staël—and one or two before them—were also times of critical activity and saw a last flurry of enthusiasm for things medieval. It showed that Schlegel, like Lessing in his father’s generation, was able to extend a review far beyond a journal’s requirements and raise issues—of accuracy, of integrity—that were relevant for the wider republic of letters. Like Lessing’s, Schlegel‘s eye was also always lighting on things that distracted from the main task. How else could he claim to George Ticknor in 1817 that he was ‘now wholly devoted to Sanskrit’677 when in the same year he produced a description of engravings of Fra Angelico that were as unrelated as one could imagine?

  • 678 They are, in chronological order: ‘Buch der Liebe. Herausgegeben durch Dr. Johann Gustav Büsching u (...)

330The reviews extend over six years (1810-16),678 the products of very different periods in time, ones of upheaval and scene-change, seemingly done in odd moments between editing his own Vienna Lectures or keeping De l’Allemagne out of Savary’s clutches, evidence of Schlegel’s ability to snatch some utility out of the disjointed and chaotic last years in Coppet and Berne, then in Paris; they owe much to his withdrawal in Coppet to the sanctum of his ‘blue room’, or to seclusion in Berne (where distractions were few), less to the polished salon discourse around Madame de Staël’s table; keeping up learned correspondence, adding to the folders of textual collations and collectanea that evidence his wide-encompassing reading, and relying on a formidable memory for detail. The three-year gap in publication dates between 1812 and 1815 reflects the interruption of scholarly activity in Stockholm and in Bernadotte’s camp. Yet for all that they cohere as a corpus of learned writing.

331They may seem intensely specialized, but they are by the same token interconnected, showing the humanist scholar ranging at will across the terrains that he had staked out as his own: the languages that humankind spoke (and still speaks), the historical structures that they inhabit, the characteristic ways of organizing and presenting knowledge, our attitudes to myth, our way of commemorating the dead, the works of art that ensure their continuing life, and how these came about. They are an attempt to explain continuities and ruptures, to see these in terms of historical rhythms and cycles.

  • 679 SW, VII, 40.
  • 680 Ibid., 215; ‘Nachschrift des Uebersetzers an Ludwig Tieck’, Athenaeum, II, ii, 281.
  • 681 SW, VIII, 150.
  • 682 Oeuvres, I, 305.
  • 683 Favre, lxxvi.

332This is of course to see systematically what in reality was produced in haphazard form, as editors (Wilken of the Heidelberger Jahrbücher or Pictet of the Bibliothèque universelle) approached him and thought how best to bring his knowledge to bear on the most recent issues of scholarship. They are— especially if we add in the contributions to Friedrich Schlegel’s Deutsches Museum—also first fulfilments of older, long-term preoccupations. The Nibelungenlied had been exercising him ever since his exchange of letters with Ludwig Tieck in 1802 and his section in the Berlin Lectures. He had long since taken note of Sanskrit: there had been his early interest in Georg Forster’s translation of Sir William Jones’s version of the Śakuntalâ;679 his stated intention in the Athenaeum to learn Sanskrit (and other oriental languages);680 his hope, expressed in the Berlin Lectures, that India would open up new realms of poetry, religion and myth; the fascination with which he followed his brother Friedrich;681 his statement in the still unpublished Considérations that India was the ‘cradle of mankind’.682 Now, in 1815, the year of his review of Chézy, he could write to Favre that he was ‘sorting out the characters and finding his way in the grammar’.683

333They seem at odds with his other activity in the years 1812-14, and they appear to be unrelated to his preoccupations before the flight to Russia: helping with De l’Allemagne and seeing his own Vienna Lectures to press. It is hard enough keeping track of his movements physically and geographically, let alone with his disparate literary and philological projects. Some of these reviews, as said, simply resulted from Wilken, the editor of the Heidelberger Jahrbücher, knowing what he was looking for (and paying well) and finding in Schlegel the right reviewer. Some came closer to Schlegel’s own medieval project and were an opportunity to formulate thoughts that had to date remained private or limited to scholarly interchange: the only published statements by Schlegel on the Nibelungenlied were to be found in his brother’s periodical. August Wilhelm’s breakneck journey to Vienna in 1811 was not just about saving a proof of De l’Allemagne for Madame de Staël but was also about handing over copy for Friedrich’s Deutsches Museum.

334It is tempting to see a grand Coppet narrative encompassing De l’Allemagne, Schlegel’s Lectures and Sismondi’s Lectures on Romance Literature—and it has its justification. But what we have in these reviews is essentially a Schlegel construction. It was allied in some regards to the grand sweep of Friedrich Schlegel’s Vienna Lectures on literature, Geschichte der alten und neuen Literatur (1814), but it was characteristic of August Wilhelm in that he was drawing on the reservoirs of his knowledge and of necessity limiting himself to disjointed stones in an edifice that took in ancient languages and cultures, the medieval world, art and archaeology, historiography and translation.

335When in 1817, after Madame de Staël’s death and thoughts of an academic career had begun to take shape in his mind, he could point to this body of learning and criticism—and to much else besides—as a testimony to his learned qualifications. It would link up with that brief interlude in Jena twenty years earlier, where it had been the erudite Latinity of De geographia Homerica that had counted, not so much his translations of Dante or Shakespeare or what he had written in their support. They would remind readers—as if it were necessary—that nothing touched by the Schlegel brothers—the Athenaeum, Europa, their various courses of lectures—could be free of erudition; it was so much part of their natures. They could also wear that learning lightly, as when at different times they gave public lectures in Vienna. But reviews were another matter.

Learned Reviews

336These reviews were a further reminder. In the early decades of the nineteenth century, before specialisms and demarcations took over the academy, it was still possible to aspire to universal knowledge. They are in some ways the demonstration of those Berlin lectures on ‘Enzyclopädie’, given in 1803 to a partly discriminating and partly uncomprehending audience. There, Schlegel had defined the encyclopedic principle as: method, thoroughness of approach, universality, drawing on the widest areas of the mind, theory but also empirical experience, a philosophical base that enabled past and present, abstract and concrete, to cohere as a whole. That is why Schlegel’s 1812 review of Winckelmann is so important, for it had been Winckelmann who had first freed the study of classical art and archaeology from the merely polymathic, the unrelieved accumulation of facts for their own sake, and who had injected into it insights drawn from human history and climate, poetry, religion, philosophy, to explain in part what made the Greek sense of beauty and proportion unique and universally valid, and in a style that was a work of art in itself. Schlegel’s reviews also have a sense of style, but they have by the same token their sections of severe factual strictures, pedantry even, that draw on the huge range of notes that he made—and never published.

337Of course these reviews were not without their hints to the general (and also learned) readership of the Heidelberger Jahrbücher that here was no novice. He, too (in the review of Gries’s translation of Orlando Furioso) had once translated a canto of Ariosto (and, in his opinion, better than Gries). He, too (in the reviews of Büsching, von der Hagen, Docen and the Grimms) was (or would be) the author of a significant essay on the Middle Ages that had just come out in his brother’s periodical Deutsches Museum, where he had made no secret of the fact that he was preparing an edition of the Nibelungenlied. He (in the Grimm review) had been pursuing antiquarian and learned studies on medieval subjects, as his correspondence with the erudite Favre in Geneva testified; he had been working on the etymology of the German language, to which a mass of notes bore witness. He had been to Italy (the Mustoxidi and Niebuhr reviews), had met there the savants Carlo Feà and Pierre-François d’Harcarville, had seen everything of archaeological or palaeographical interest (earning from Sismondi that appellation ‘naturalist’, not meant as a compliment) and had seen the statuary and the art works that mattered (he had visited the collections in Paris looted by Napoleon). He was in 1815, after his return to Paris, now learning Sanskrit in earnest (the Chézy review), so that his remarks on it, while not yet from one equal to another, already possessed some gravity (also as the brother of Friedrich Schlegel the Sanskritist). Above all (the Niebuhr review), he had been to places that Niebuhr, the Roman historian, had not yet visited and which Schlegel believed he should have done before advancing some of his theories. He had read everything, and an examination of the sources cited in these reviews reveals a formidable arsenal of knowledge, from old Renaissance humanist antiquarianism right up to the beginnings of German academic scholarship. He had a good eye for archaeological inscriptions—and he had a terrifying memory for textual references and quotations.

  • 684 Cf. the Wolfenbüttel librarian Ernst Theodor Langer writing sarcastically in 1813 to Johann Joachim (...)

338Several of these reviews refer to projects never carried out (the Nibelungenlied edition and the etymological dictionary would be but two). Sometimes they show their place in the transition from the scholarly world of the eighteenth to the nineteenth century and reflect the state of knowledge in areas that were emerging out of the archaeological and antiquarian into specialized disciplines. His review of the Grimms is part of the narrative of Germanic philology that would make its way into the university curriculum. Of course reminders were still in season. He used the review of Gries to reacquaint readers with his own proficiency in poetic form. Despite Goethe’s masterly handling of Romance stanzas, it was clear that not everyone grasped their underlying structures: there was the need for a prosodic approach. All the learning displayed here could not disguise the fact that medieval studies, in spite of pioneering efforts over the last half century, still suffered from indifference in some quarters and needed to be placed on a firmer footing.684 Even so, he could have been more gracious to the Grimm brothers by acknowledging that they, even despite points of major disagreement, were with him adding pieces to the mosaic of awareness, popular as well as scholarly. The same might be said for Roman history. It was entering into a phase of ‘higher criticism’, where inscriptions and sources would be subjected to a scrutiny hitherto unimagined.

  • 685 SW, XII, 246.
  • 686 Ibid., 280.

339Yet each review had its own note and its own agenda. Some were restatements of old positions under new guise. The review of Gries’s Ariosto, for example, reiterated Schlegel’s inerrant belief in the efficacy of such translations, especially where Schleiermacher and Wilhelm von Humboldt were issuing doubts and caveats on the subject. It restated his insistence on ‘the metrical form of the original’ [‘eigne metrische Form’],685 but without too much strictness (Goethe was a good model). Nevertheless his own taste had changed since 1799. Whereas Schlegel had then filled up a whole section of the Athenaeum with the translation of a canto from Ariosto, he now found him less attractive. There was too much esprit and striving for effect. He lacked Dante’s ‘soul’ [‘Gemüth].686 He was closer to the popular romances of chivalry and the Amadis de Gaules.

  • 687 Ibid., 242.
  • 688 Ibid., 231.

340One side of Schlegel was drawn to those old courtly romans, the Amadis and its like, the chapbooks, in short almost anything that predated 1500. Thus his reviews of Büsching/von der Hagen and of Docen stress the need to pass on to contemporary readers the wealth of older German language and literature. It would be worth doing this for its own sake: the ‘Zeitumstände’,687 the times in which they were living (Schlegel was writing these reviews in 1810) rendered it all the more necessary. He was even prepared to make concessions to popular taste if need be. Here was a basic contradiction. There were echoes of the Vienna Lectures, but pointers too towards the patriotic message of his brother’s periodical Deutsches Museum that came out in Vienna in 1812. This, too, had its qualifications. For all our eagerness to promulgate the riches of the past, he says, we should not forget philological scruples in the process. Language, the vehicle in which these texts are handed down, represents the very highest that our culture contains [‘Palladium unsrer Bildung’].688 We need a high standard of grammatical, linguistic and lexical accuracy.

  • 689 Edith Höltenschmidt, Die Mittelalter-Rezeption der Brüder Schlegel (Paderborn, etc. : Schöningh, 20 (...)
  • 690 For which he received no credit in his own lifetime. Cf. Wolfram von Eschenbach, ed. Karl Lachmann, (...)

341One part of his review of Bernhard Joseph Docen’s Erstes Sendschreiben über den Titurel [First Letter on Titurel] illustrates this crux nicely (the work was even dedicated to Schlegel). It acknowledges Docen’s informative and pioneering work on the Munich manuscript of this thirteenth-century Arthurian text.689 That is one side. Yet the philologist in him asserts itself, and Schlegel establishes, with considerable acumen, who the author is. This older fragment of Titurel must be by Wolfram von Eschenbach; it is not to be confused with the later and greatly expanded Der jüngere Titurel of 1477. Thus, as it were in a few learned asides, Schlegel takes his place in the early history of Wolfram studies.690

  • 691 SW, XII, 293.

342Still, it would not be by philology alone that editions were to come into being: dating, learned perspicacity were fine, but so was also a ‘poetic sense’ [‘dichterisches Gefühl’],691 one might say some poetic imagination or inventiveness. This Schlegel illustrates by drawing a distinction between Titurel and the Nibelungenlied. Titurel, as part of the Grail cycle, was unhistorical, foreign, learned, chivalric. The Nibelungenlied, on the other hand, was primeval, native, of the people, tragic, heroic. It was like comparing Dante with Homer—and here Schlegel has recourse to some of the forced polarities of Romantic doctrine. It also formed part of Schlegel’s preference in esteem for the Germanic heroic lay as against the Charlemagne and Grail cycles that were of Romance origin. Not only that: the reviewer was also setting out his stall as a potential future editor of the Nibelungenlied.

  • 692 Briefe, I, 275-282.

343Schlegel was relatively kind to von der Hagen, Büsching and Docen, for they represented much of what he also was striving for. When in 1815 he came to review the Grimm brothers’ Altdeutsche Wälder [Old German Miscellany], the tone was different. It is worth reflecting that Schlegel by then was becoming increasingly polemical and (some might say) pedantic, having in 1812 subjected Fernow and Meyer’s edition of Winckelmann to a merciless scrutiny. Johann Diederich Gries, too, had been less than pleased at Schlegel’s detailed ‘suggestions’ for his Ariosto rendering.692 Of course from the very outset of his reviewing career Schlegel had hardly ever been able to suppress learned polemics (witness the Voss review), textual quibbles, parades of knowledge. One might except his piece on Bürger, which was also a review and arguably his best in the genre. Thus there is more than merely a difference in tone between these reviews and his articles for the Deutsches Museum. The former punish defaults of scholarship. The latter set out the author’s own position.

  • 693 Cf. AWS’s warning against ‘étymologie spéculative’ in his essay De l’Étymologie en général. Oeuvres(...)
  • 694 Schlegel cites the dictionaries by George Hickes (1689), Lambert den Kate (1723), Edward Lye (1772) (...)

344Winckelmann could no longer feel Schlegel’s lash, but the Grimm brothers could. It should be remembered that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, if not quite at the beginning of their careers, were still finding their way as scholars and were not yet the authors of the standard grammatical and philological works that are associated with their names. The title ‘Wälder’, ‘silvae’, suggested the tentative, the fragmentary, the experimental. Put at its most disarmingly simple, the Grimms had postulated a people, no, a ‘folk’— the Germanic root is important—that out of its collective unconscious had produced poetry. There was no evidence for this hypothesis, only feeling or intuition, the sense that it must be so. Nevertheless they had not only conjectured the existence of such poetry from the mists of time, but had come perilously close to claiming some historical truth for it. Schlegel by contrast believed in clear stages, first myth, then poetic utterance, then historical content. Instead, he saw here risky conjectures and shaky etymologies.693 A vague mythical entity could not also express history; there must be, in his term, ‘art’ (a poet) as well as ‘nature’ (mythical origins). In addition, care was needed: much older poetry was unreliable and deliberately distorted the historical record. Turning to textual studies (citing his own edition of the Nibelungenlied, a chimaera that in 1815 he still believed in), he urged the need to establish a grammatical and a lexical base; there must be no rushing into guess-work. Here Schlegel throws the book, in fact several books, at the future lexicographers, pointing out that German does not yet have the kind of satisfactory etymological dictionary that other linguistic cultures had had for decades and indeed for centuries.694 In the case of the Nibelungenlied, he restated what he had said in 1812, that the poem was a mixture of the undated heroic lay and also of a specific moment in historical time, the great barbarian invasions. It had moved northwards into Scandinavia, not the other way round, from a Christian base into a pagan theogony.

  • 695 Achim von Arnim und die ihm nahe standen, hg. v. Reinhold Steig and Herman Grimm, 3 vols (Stuttgart (...)

345Not all of this was itself free of mythologizing, but the Grimms, predictably and understandably piqued at this attack on their integrity and going into print to defend themselves,695 were nevertheless forced to rethink some of their positions and turned as a result to grammar, comparative philology and lexicography, for which they still remain famous. Their beating at Schlegel’s hands may not have seemed salutary at the time, but it proved to be so in the long run. Whether Barthold Georg Niebuhr, the historian of Rome, similarly chastened, had cause to see things this way, is less certain.

  • 696 SW, XII, 449.
  • 697 glänzende Verirrungen’. Susanne Stark, Behind Inverted Commas’. Translation and Anglo-German Cult (...)

346Niebuhr had in Schlegel’s eyes erred on several counts. He had—a rather cheap piece of point-scoring on Schlegel’s part—not been to Italy to see the monuments and inscriptions for himself, a reminder all the same that Schlegel’s association with Madame de Staël had not been a mere frivolous grand tour. He had rushed in with hypotheses where older scholarship had counselled caution (witness already Louis de Beaufort’s speaking title of 1738 Sur l’incertitude des cinq premiers siècles de l’histoire romaine [On the Uncertainty of the First Five Centuries of Roman History]), and crucially, he had advanced theories that did not fit in with Schlegel’s own. Thus his ‘lay theory’ that postulated songs, sagas, in which the ancestors of the Romans sang about their early history, was a ‘basic error’696 (for Theodor Mommsen one of Niebuhr’s ‘brilliant aberrations’),697 because no amount of historical legerdemain could summon up texts that essentially did not exist; and even the later founding myths of the Romans (Aeneas, Romulus etc.) were pure invention. It was, as it were, the Grimms’ unsustainable folk theories as applied to Italy.

  • 698 SW, XII, 458.
  • 699 Giuseppe Micali, an authority for Schlegel, refers to the Pelasgians as ‘oscura stirpe’ and general (...)
  • 700 SW, XII, 427.

347Schlegel was however as interested as Niebuhr in early human origins and always had been, but his notions of the theory of time were different. He diverged in his view of language. For him languages did not evolve out of climate but out of assimilation and imitation.698 It was yet another reason for sound etymological principles. The Greek and Italic languages were related—on that both agreed—but Schlegel would not accept that they intercommunicated on the Italian peninsula. Rather, they had common Caucasian origins in some shadowy Central Asian ‘Ursitze’ [primeval places of abode]. Schlegel does little for his case by throwing in the mysterious Pelasgians, a people upon which already De geographia Homerica had expounded, except by way of saying that Niebuhr’s account of early Mediterranean peoples needed revision.699 Schlegel may have been on more secure ground than Niebuhr in his account of the Etruscans, their inscriptions, their artefacts, their cultural heritage; stating that we basically do not know where they came from was safer than speculation. Was he right about their architecture? Niebuhr claimed that their walled cities were the products of serf labour; for Schlegel, they were evidence of a high state of theoretical and technical knowledge imparted by a priestly caste. Like that of the Greeks, they were monumental, built for eternity; the beginnings of culture were manifested in complexity of design and sophistication of execution. He had said so in his unpublished Considérations of 1805: here he was saying it in public, and it would be always in the background of his later historical thinking. It linked in easily with his remarks on Sanskrit in 1815, where the ‘perfection in construction’ [Vollkommenheit ihres Baues]700 of this ancient language was evidence of its venerability and sophistication. Myth-making was clearly not limited to one party.

  • 701 Ibid., 361. Cf. ‘cette architecture majestueusement solide’ ; Oeuvres, II, 9 ; ‘une certaine grande (...)

348His review of Fernow’s and Meyer’s edition of Winckelmann’s works that had come out in 1808-09 touches on similar themes. Pelasgians and Etruscans, about whom Winckelmann’s (or his editors’) knowledge was shaky, would occur again, but also Egyptians. Their temples, ‘the wonder of the world’,701 the monumental repose of these earliest surviving edifices of humankind, their immutability and symmetry, the evidence of technical mastery that they evinced: these it was that seized the beholder (he would later add Indian and Aztec monuments to this list). Whereas Winckelmann had been dismissive of Egyptian art and had seen Egypt at most as receptive of Greece, Schlegel reversed the order and made the Greeks the debtors. True, the Egyptians did not reach such perfection in their depiction of the human figure, but in animal statuary they were hardly inferior, witness the lions on the Capitol that he, with Alexander von Humboldt’s assistance, had traced back to their Egyptian provenance, even down to their geological content.

  • 702 KA, XVIII, 199.
  • 703 Next to Herder, Schlegel is the authority most quoted in Carl Justi’s classic biography of Winckelm (...)
  • 704 The Fernow-Meyer edition of Winckelmann did not contain the essay ‘Vom mündlichen Vortrag der neuer (...)

349There were, however, more basic issues at stake. There was no denying Winckelmann’s status as writer and art historian. Perhaps Friedrich Schlegel’s superlatives like ‘divine’ or ‘bible’702 were no longer appropriate, and August Wilhelm in 1812 did not subscribe as wholeheartedly as he had done in his Berlin Lectures to the view that had Winckelmann, Hemsterhuis and Goethe as the only significant figures emerging out of an otherwise dismal eighteenth century. ‘Classical’ is however a word he is still prepared to use of Winckelmann in 1812, but with qualifications.703 For all its sensuously enthusiastic passages, one would have to acknowledge defects in Winckelmann’s style; his notion of symbol could no longer satisfy; he was not sound on Greek painting (or on Greek sources, for that matter); his definition of beauty inclined too much to what pleased the eye; he failed to see movements and developments in history and was unwilling to admit that the Greeks, too, were subject to the processes of decline. Some of this was expecting Winckelmann to be Herder or Friedrich Schlegel,704 but it was also an acknowledgment that aesthetics and the history of art had moved on since Winckelmann’s day.

  • 705 SW, XII, 444.
  • 706 ‘Niobé et ses enfants. Sur la composition originale de ces statues’, Oeuvres, II, 3-29. Emil Sulger (...)
  • 707 SW, XII, 25.
  • 708 Ibid., 27f.

350Schlegel, as he admitted in his short review in 1816 on the horses at St Mark’s in Venice, had seen all the statuary in Europe that mattered;705 he had admired this equestrian group from its translation from Venice to the Tuileries and back; he knew all about Greek bronze casting (more at least than Winckelmann did); he was au fait with the latest discoveries and excavations. His article on the Niobe group706 sifted the archaeological evidence for declaring these figures to be the originals from the Aegina temple. Charles Robert Cockerell believed they were (Winckelmann, too). Only Schlegel, with Friedrich Tieck’s expertise to help him, had examined the marble.707 They might be copies done from Roman marble, or from imported Greek stone. The important thing was that the ‘spirit of the original’ had been copied. One must accept, as with paintings done after Raphael cartoons, that competent imitation also had its place.708

  • 709 For instance, Giuseppe Micali’s L’Italia avanti il dominio dei Romani (1810).
  • 710 Schlegel makes the point, often overlooked, that Goethe’s hagiography is in the preface to an editi (...)

351Winckelmann studies, therefore, must progress and take these and other new developments into account.709 There was—although he did not say this in so many words—no point in subjecting Winckelmann to hagiography, as Goethe had done in 1805, overlooking his personal frailties (his conversion, for instance).710 To highlight the inadequacies of this edition, when the editors were, respectively, the ducal librarian in Weimar (Carl Ludwig Fernow, now dead), and Goethe’s right-hand man in art matters (the rigidly neo-classical Heinrich Meyer, still very much alive), was to register a point: that another generation of criticism had come of age and that its standards required more rigour than the one which it had succeeded.

  • 711 Oeuvres, II, 103-141.

352Above all, with two exceptions, it was German intellectual and scholarly endeavours that Schlegel had discussed in his reviews. They were a German voice, a statement of German achievement. Where fufilment was lacking, he was hortatory, pointing to what must be done and could be done. That applied, too, to Antoine-Léonard de Chézy’s translations from the Sanskrit of 1815. Schlegel was insistent that his approach to Sanskrit was different from others’, knowing as he did Latin and Greek, and the whole range of the Germanic dialects. It was related to his general studies of etymology that he had already set out in a treatise called De l’Étymologie en général and which dates from roughly this period.711 Thus he was coming to it from the angle of grammar and etymology. But he was not yet in any position to review Chézy on this basis.

  • 712 SW, XII, 435-438.
  • 713 Jahrbuch der Preußischen Rhein-Universität, 1 (1819), 224-250 ; Indische Bibliothek, 1 (1820), 1-27 (...)

353Rather, his remarks have a tri-cultural thrust: what the English have achieved in the area of Sanskrit studies, what the French have done with this inheritance, and what the Germans may yet be able to accomplish. Schlegel was of course speaking as the brother of Friedrich, of Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier, not yet as competent in the language, but learning fast and aware of its problems and the challenges involved. He was writing from Paris, where Chézy, as already mentioned, was now professor of oriental languages at the Collège de France and where Louis- Mathieu Langlès was professor of Persian. Paris was clearly the place to be, and when Schlegel set out his list of desideranda712 it was with Parisian conditions and holdings in mind: the need for editions using devanagari type; the desirability of translating the key accessible Sanskrit texts into German (not just extracts, as Friedrich had done), the epic Râmâyana, Hitopadeśa the collection of fables; the urgency of training young men in the necessary skills and sending them to Paris, but also to London: Franz Bopp had been there since 1812 and others must follow. Clearly this was more a statement of intent than one of achievement. Nevertheless, his Ueber den gegenwärtigen Zustand der Indischen Philologie [On the Present State of Indian Philology], with which he inaugurated his career as a Sanskritist in Bonn in 1819,713 would show how much he had assimilated in the mean time.

354There was however a distinctly German note sounded, and one that would echo through all of Schlegel’s later career as an orientalist: the especially ordained appropriateness of the Germans as disinterested academic scholars. If the Germans had not achieved the nation-state that had been forged by the French or the British, they at least had the république des lettres, the academy of scholars. The French and the British, for all their scholarly and learned achievements—and Schlegel was never too proud to avail himself of them—did not have real universities in the German sense; pure, untainted scholarship could only be found in the German academic community. Much (but not all) of this was admittedly true, and the history of Anglo-German academic relations in the nineteenth century was to bear it out. By this account, oriental studies elsewhere were compromised by association with colonial and commercial expansion. True, all scholars were indebted to Sir William Jones, to Wilkins, to the Asiatick Researches, to Colebrooke (Schlegel and he were later to become friends), to Chézy, but there hung, over British oriental endeavours at least, always that ominous phrase ‘Honourable East India Company’ and its links with the even more dreaded word ‘commerce’. How could unperjured scholarship thrive where enrichment and territorial gain were the underlying motives? Of course there were ways of turning this argument on its head—through colonial conquests the texts had become available to Western scholars—but this Schlegel never chose to do. If, writing in 1815, Schlegel saw scant hope of a German nation-in-being issuing forth from the Napoleonic upheavals, at least the German university had emerged strengthened and ready for greater things. There was, of course, as he wrote in 1815, no question of his joining (or re-joining) the body academic: he could only express the hope that the Germans would succeed—and more—where the French, and even the British, had already excelled. It was evident that the years with Madame de Staël had not made him into an uncritical Francophile, nor had they succeeded in suppressing his latent Anglophobia.

Medieval Studies

  • 714 Cf. Jacob Grimm’s remark on Schlegel’s intention of publishing his edition of the Nibelungenlied in (...)

355All of this he had expressed through critical reviews of others’ work. What of his own studies? As a medievalist, Schlegel stands somewhere between the ‘heroic’ first age of German medieval studies (‘heroic’ in both senses), with its volumes of essays, its engravings of ‘Wolfram von Eschilbach’ [sic], its pull-out illustrations of manuscripts, its learned antiquarianism— essentially the world of Docen, Büsching and von der Hagen—and the severe scholarship of the Grimm brothers and Karl Lachmann. These last- named had made their position symbolically clear in their disdain for the old German black-letter type714 and their adoption of the unfrilled lower case for spelling. Schlegel has this median position between these two medievalist schools because on the one hand he favoured modernisation as being the only way of assuring a wider dissemination of the Old German heritage; but on the other he pounced on speculation and guesswork, had an unrivalled linguistic and grammatical knowledge, collated manuscripts, identified versions (that Titurel fragment, for instance).

  • 715 Oeuvres, II, 103-114.
  • 716 Now published in extract in Höltenschmidt, 804-831.
  • 717 SLUB Dresden, the folders marked Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LXXII, LXXIII a/b, LXXIV. These comprise his a (...)
  • 718 Tieck’s medieval studies set out succinctly by Uwe Meves, ‘”Altdeutsche” Literatur. Tiecks Hinwendu (...)

356What did he have to show for it all? There was the undated essay in French De l’Étymologie en général,715 which was little more than a general account of what his reviews had stated in detail. Otherwise, folders and folders of etymological notes, fascicule after convolute of collated material on the Nibelungenlied—plus an essay, unpublished716—all of which finished up in his Nachlass,717 and all of this done with the same intensity as his other literary and scholarly work. It was not to lie completely fallow, finding use, but on a very limited scale, in his Bonn lectures (also unpublished for nearly a century). One is put in mind of his friend Ludwig Tieck, who had been corresponding with him in 1802-03 on these subjects, who had also been to Rome, Munich and St Gall and who had written the variants of the Nibelungenlied manuscripts interlinearally into his copy of Christoph Heinrich Myller’s edition, and who—to the frustration and despair of several publishers—had never produced the promised product. He had, of course, that influential Minnelieder aus dem Schwäbischen Zeitalter of 1803 and an edition of Ulrich von Lichtenstein (1812) to his credit, but there were also unfulfilled plans, notes, for an edition of the Heldenbuch, not to speak of marginalia on Elizabethan drama.718

  • 719 Briefwechsel der Brüder Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm mit Karl Lachmann, ed. Albert Leitzmann, 2 vols (Je (...)
  • 720 Karl Lachmann, Über die ursprüngliche Gestalt des Gedichts von der Nibelungen Noth (Berlin : Dümmle (...)

357It may seem inappropriate to bracket the punctilious and fussily detailed Schlegel with the dilatory Ludwig Tieck (although he too could be pernickety over Shakespearean glosses). In the history of German medieval studies, however, Schlegel has to stand comparison with fragmentists, modernisers, popularisers, translators like Tieck, Görres, Docen, Büsching, von der Hagen, even those Heidelberg amateurs Arnim and Brentano, rather than with the Grimm brothers or Lachmann. It is to their credit that the Grimms, the philologists and editors, despite all misgivings of a personal nature,719 later came to acknowledge the debt that they owed to Schlegel; Lachmann, the editor of the Nibelungenlied and of Titurel, never did. There is no reference to Schlegel in Lachmann’s essay which is regarded as the foundation of Nibelungenlied studies, at most a mention of the ‘theory of one poet’, nor is Schlegel referred to in Lachmann’s standard edition.720

  • 721 Cf. in the late nineteenth century Schlegel’s perceived ‘Alexandrismus’ as opposed to the more acce (...)

358Thus Schlegel’s reputation has suffered for his not being an academic professional in the nineteenth century’s perception of the term;721 he is disparaged for the sheer breadth of his knowledge in so many fields, an amnesia that overlooks the Grimms’ universality of approach or Lachmann’s ‘other career’ as an editor of classical Latin texts (or as a translator of Shakespeare’s sonnets), not just of Wolfram or of the Nibelungenlied. He is overlooked because his Berlin lectures remained largely unpublished for generations, as did his Bonn lectures on German literature—Karl Simrock the later Germanist, and Heinrich Heine, both of them in their separate ways considerable connoisseurs of the Middle Ages, sat at his feet in Bonn. But they were not intended to train experts: only the lectures on Sanskrit had that aim. All of this shows the dilemma of Romantic scholarship.

  • 722 Grimm-Lachmann, I, 22.

359There is another factor. Writing to Lachmann in 1819,722 Jacob Grimm held out little hope for Schlegel’s continuing his studies on Titurel or the Nibelungenlied. The reason did not lie in Schlegel’s declared espousal of things Indian. No: he was too taken up with French elegance and airs, he was all ‘Geist und Scharfsinn’ [esprit and acuteness]; he lacked ‘eine gewisse einfache Gründlichkeit’ [a certain basic thoroughness] without which nothing substantial comes about. There we have it: the Francophile, the ‘Frenchified’ Schlegel versus German seriousness, gravitas, meticulousness, ‘bottom’. It is a key text for Schlegel’s negative image during the nineteenth century.

The Nibelungenlied

  • 723 Deutsches Museum herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel, 3 vols (Vienna: Camesina, 1812- 13). AWS’s c (...)

360In 1812, when he was already on his way to Russia and Sweden with Madame de Staël and her family, Schlegel published three articles in his brother Friedrich’s short-lived periodical Deutsches Museum (1812‑13).723 The place of publication was Vienna, which had been a brief staging post on the flight northwards; the date of Friedrich’s preface, 1 December 1811, would suggest that his brother had brought his contributions with him during his brief visit in the summer of that year.

Fig. 22 Friedrich Schlegel, Deutsches Museum (Vienna, 1812). Title page.

Fig. 22 Friedrich Schlegel, Deutsches Museum (Vienna, 1812). Title page.

Image in the public domain.

  • 724 Friedrich attributes its suspension to the effects of war and difficulties of distribution, and hop (...)
  • 725 Moskau’s Brand’ by Count Franz von Enzenberg, IV, xii, 449-453.
  • 726 Bobeth, 284-286.

361The preface stressed the idea of the ‘Nation’: it had hitherto been conceived in too narrow a fashion; one must now open it up in all directions, moral, religious, historical. To that end, Friedrich cast his net very widely indeed, to include himself and his brother, but also Caroline Pichler, Jean Paul, Adam Müller, Fouqué, Büsching, Görres, Zacharias Werner (now a priest in Vienna), Wilhelm von Humboldt (now the Prussian minister to Vienna), even Jacob Grimm. It intended to bring together all men and women of good will, like so many Romantic periodicals, and like them all, it had a brave start and a short duration.724 It could be said to have caught some of the national upsurge consequent on Napoleon’s reverses in Russia (the last number had a poem on the burning of Moscow),725 but the literary fare that it offered was never going to attract a wide readership, let alone produce the levée en masse of 1813.726 Only one contributor, the young poet Theodor Körner, was to achieve the distinction of being both a national hero and a poetic icon, but not in these pages.

  • 727 Wilhelm Grimm, ‘Über die Originalität des Nibelungenlieds und des Heldenbuchs’, Kleinere Schriften, (...)
  • 728 Krisenjahre, I, 390f.; Höltenschmidt, 82-87.

362Yet it is fair to say that an appeal to the Middle Ages had a different resonance in 1812‑13 than, say, in 1803, when Ludwig Tieck’s acclaimed Minnelieder appeared. There were two reasons. The Middle Ages had been caught up in Romantic myth-making, had become a wondrous, fabled, far-off time when faith and deed were one, when all was springtide and love, knights and ladies: Tieck’s Minnelieder or Görres’s Volksbücher (1807) had expressed themselves in such florid and extravagant terms. But Tieck, Görres, Büsching, Docen, von der Hagen, too, had also given serious thought to texts and authors, origins and dates, that were contingent on that first heroic age of Germanic studies. They had stressed the national heritage that, were it not for their efforts, they feared would be lost. As the nation (however defined) began to suffer successive humiliations at Napoleon’s hands, its past constitution and temper were of renewed relevance. It is perhaps no coincidence that the first major published articles on the Nibelungenlied by this generation, by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, date from 1807, the year of Eylau and Friedland.727 Both Schlegel brothers had sensed this as well; there had been plans (Friedrich’s), also in 1807, for a joint periodical, Das Mittelalter [The Middle Ages].728 As it was, Friedrich’s patriotic poetry was to be his major public expression. Again it is not entirely fortuitous that August Wilhelm’s first reviews for the Heidelberger Jahrbücher were of popularizing medieval editions (Büsching/ von der Hagen, Docen) and that they generally met his approval.

363For that outlet, he had had a learned, academic readership in mind. For his brother’s Deutsches Museum, with its appeal to the ‘Nation’, with its speaking title that proclaimed Germanness and also the products of the Muses, the tone would have to be a little different. These articles, all three on the Middle Ages, are in their several ways symbolic of the varying sides to Schlegel’s medievalism. Two of them, the ones on the Nibelungenlied and on the Middle Ages, were reformulations of notes from the Berlin Lectures of 1803, the first greatly expanded, the second simply made a little more readable.

  • 729 Das Lied der Nibelungen. Metrisch übersetzt von D. Johann Gustav Büsching (Altenburg and Leipzig : (...)

364The longest, on the Nibelungenlied, extending over three numbers, was scholarly, detailed, historical and textual; it was accompanied by a declaration announcing the imminent publication of a critical edition of this heroic lay. It aligned Schlegel with those other antiquarians and scholars who at roughly the same time were bringing out similar editions, Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen, or Johann Gustav Büsching, but it also pointed forward to the definitive form that the Nibelungenlied would take at the hands of Karl Lachmann in 1826. It raised hopes that Schlegel might be the first to publish an edition with an established text based on manuscript variants. It was something that Johann Gustav Büsching was still looking forward to in 1815,729 a forlorn wish, as it turned out.

  • 730 These are A (the second, so-called Hohenems ms., now in Munich), B (the St Gall ms. in the Stiftsbi (...)
  • 731 Deutsches Museum, I, i, 27.

365The essay rehearsed the history of the poem’s discovery; it echoed (with qualifications) Johannes von Müller, who had mentioned it in one breath with Homer; it listed the manuscripts that the scholar-editor must compare and collate.730 It set out reasons why this poem must have precedence in the national consciousness: unlike the ultimately French Grail cycles it was German in origin (‘vaterländischen Ursprungs’),731 based ultimately (but not directly) on Germanic history. One could trace the stages of its conception, from a postulated original (possibly sung) in an older Germanic form at the time of Theodoric and Attila, receiving Nordic admixtures up to the time of Charlemagne, when it would have been written down, and thence to its final written state, first between the tenth and twelfth centuries and then by one individual author, whom one could identify as Austrian, in the thirteenth (Schlegel suggests Klingsohr or Heinrich von Ofterdingen). (Lachmann, by contrast, believed in multi-authorship.) Telling as it did of nobility and chivalry, respect for the Christian religion, history and poetry, it was ideal for the nation’s youth and its instruction in ‘proper’ values.

  • 732 The phrase used by Otfrid Ehrismann, Das Nibelungenlied in Deutschland. Studien zur Rezeption des N (...)

366It would reverse notions that had not yet quite died out, of the Middle Ages as monkish darkness. For it predated modern ideas of monarchy; it was pre-capitalist; it was pre-individual, pre-Enlightenment, pre- Reformation. It told of ‘great men’, not the Machiavellian politicians of more recent times; its warriors went forth in the service of their liege lords, not as modern standing armies. Add to this account of the Nibelungenlied Schlegel’s articles in the Deutsches Museum on the poetic apostrophes to Rudolf of Habsburg and on the Middle Ages themselves, and one had, if not quite a ‘national euphoria’,732 at least a set of counter-values to those current in the eighteenth century: papal and imperial dignity (Rudolf), the spirit of chivalry, which united Orient and Occident, North and South, equality under arms, wars of religion not of conquest, also a religion that cultivated manly virtues and higher ideals of love.

  • 733 His review of Raynouard (1818).
  • 734 See esp. Norman King, ‘Le Moyen Âge à Coppet’, Colloque 1974, 375-399 ; and Henri Duranton, ‘L’inte (...)
  • 735 Madame de Staël, Considérations sur les principaux évémenents de la Révolution Française, second ed (...)

367Clearly not all of this could apply to the Nibelungenlied; it was more apposite to other epic cycles, or to Minnesang, or to Provençal poetry that Schlegel already in his Berlin Lectures had linked with its German equivalent and which he had declared to be the fons et origo of the Romance lyric. Schlegel was to devote much more time to Provençal once he returned to Paris,733 but in the mean time this view of the Middle Ages shared a number of general features with the Coppet circle. For them, too, the Middle Ages, the age of Troubadours, of chivalry—the exact terminology did not matter—was a time of values that the present age seemed to lack or that enlightenment notions of progress had occluded. Of course, there was much more stress on the fusion of ‘Nord’ and ‘Midi’, that was one of Madame de Staël’s favourite notions, shared also by Constant and Sismondi.734 Feudal society had had a vigour and resilience that the later unified state, exemplified by Louis XIV, did not possess; from there, one could easily trace the origins of modern tyranny. Madame de Staël’s Considérations sur les principaux événemens de la Révolution Française (1819, but drafted much earlier) had explicitly praised the ‘régime féodal’735 in those terms and had applauded Germany, as De l’Allemagne already had, for its essentially feudal constitution.

  • 736 King (1974), 388.

368Of course neither Madame de Staël nor Schlegel wanted a return to the Middle Ages in real terms: ‘feudal’ meant something more like ‘federal’; it was the point that Schlegel made to Bernadotte in 1812, advocating the recreation of the old system of territorial checks and balances, if need be under a strong figure (a kind of Rudolf of Habsburg) with other neighbouring countries in loose alliance. For Madame de Staël, ‘chevalerie’ simply meant the opposite of tyranny,736 the downfall of the notably unchivalrous Napoleon. If ‘medieval’ expressed the Germanic virtues necessary for the restoration of freedom (however defined), well and good. As it was, Schlegel’s attitude to the Middle Ages had its inconsistencies, depending on the context: whether he was writing in a concrete political situation, as to Bernadotte in 1812; whether it was a general hankering after a pre-Reformation settlement, insouciant of historical details; or whether the Middle Ages were seen merely as the forcing-ground of the Golden Ages of England and Spain, united under strong monarchies, such as had informed the latter part of his Vienna Lectures on drama. Nevertheless it is fair to say that the once-cherished notions of an all-encompassing, all- enfolding embrace of faith and feudal rule and the arts, still just present in Schlegel’s essay on the middle Ages in 1812, were quietly dropped and did not form part of his thinking after 1815.

Notes

1 The documents are in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (22), 43-58. Herder’s signature on 45. Caroline. Briefe aus der Frühromantik. Nach Georg Waitz vermehrt hg. von Erich Schmidt, 2 vols (Leipzig: Insel, 1913), II, 342-345. Goethes Briefwechsel mit Christian Gottlieb Voigt, Schriften der Goethe-Gesellschaft, 53-56, 4 vols (Weimar: Böhlau, 1949-62), II, 314, 326, 329.

2 Expressions which they use at various times

3 Egidio und Isabella, Ein Trauerspiel in drei Aufzügen von Sophie B. was finally published in Dichter-Garten. Erster Gang. Violen. Herausgegeben von Rostorf [Novalis’s brother Karl von Hardenberg] (Würzburg: Stahel, 1807), 183‑334. The periodical was the subject of one of AWS’s reviews in the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. AWS, Sämmtliche Werke, ed. Eduard Böcking [SW], 12 vols (Leipzig: Weidmann, 1846‑47), XII, 208-216.

4 Cf. the letter of Paulsen in Brunswick to AWS of 14 January, 1802, about repayment of 100 talers. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (17), 30. He had borrowed 600 Reichstalers from Schelling and took nearly ten years to pay it off. Briefe von und an August Wilhelm Schlegel, ed. Josef Körner, 2 vols (Zurich, Leipzig, Vienna: Amalthea, 1930), II, 79. Dreihundert Briefe aus zwei Jahrhunderten, ed. Karl von Holtei, 2 vols in 4 parts (Hanover: Rümpler, 1872), III, 71, on debts.

5 The letters from his mother (only one of his has survived), mostly unpublished, are in SLUB Dresden and are divided between Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX, 4-66 and Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B18, 20-43. Letter quoted of 29 March, 1810.

6 For much of my account of Madame de Staël I have found Christopher Herold’s entertaining, informative, and slightly outrageous study very useful. His disrespect is refreshing but has its limits. Above all, a considerable amount of material has come to light since its publication, the Correspondance générale and the Cahiers de voyage, for instance. J. Christopher Herold, Mistress to an Age. A Life of Madame de Staël (London: Hamish Hamilton 1958). A more recent popular biography in French is Michel Winock, Madame de Staël (Paris: Fayard, 2010), a more recent study in English Angelica Gooden, Madame de Staël. The Dangerous Exile (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008).

7 Caroline, II, 536.

8 August Wilhelm Schlegel an Fouqué. Genf, 12. März 1806’, SW, VIII, 142-153.

9 Madame de Staël, Considérations sur la Révolution française, ed. Jacques Godechot (Paris: Tallandier, 1983), 340.

10 Werner Greiling, ‘Die Deutsch-Franzosen“. Agenten des französisch-deutschen Kulturtransfers um 1800’, in: Gerhard R. Kaiser and Olaf Müller (eds), Germaine de Staël und ihr erstes deutsches Publikum. Literaturpolitik und Kulturtransfer um 1800 (Heidelberg: Winter, 2008), 45-59, ref. 51.

11 französische Unbestimmtheit’. Goethe to Schiller 6 October, 1795. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Goethe, ed. Hans Gerhard Gräf and Albert Leitzmann, 3 vols (Leipzig: Insel, 1955), I, 104.

12 Zeiten der Fehde’, Schiller to Goethe 1 November, 1795. Gräf-Leitzmann, I, 112.

13 Comtesse Jean de Pange, Mme de Staël et la découverte de l’Allemagne (Paris : Malfère, 1929), 11-15.

14 She met Humboldt in Paris in 1798 through the good offices of the Swedish legation secretary Karl Gustav von Brinkman. Paul Robinson Sweet, Wilhelm von Humboldt: A Biography, 2 vols (Columbus: Ohio State UP, 1978-80), I, 218.

15 Axel Blaeschke, ‘Über Individual-und Nationalcharakter, Zeitgeist und Poesie. De l’influence des passions und De la littérature im Urteil Wilhelm von Humboldts und seiner Zeitgenossen’, in : Kaiser/Müller (2008), 145-161, ref. 152.

16 Passage quoted in Kurt Müller-Vollmer, Poesie und Einbildungskraft. Zur Dichtungstheorie von Humboldt. Mit der zweisprachigen Ausgabe eines Aufsatzes Humboldts für Frau von Staël (Stuttgart: Metzler, 1967), 204f.

17 Sweet, I, 225-227.

18 Madame de Staël, Charles de Villers, Benjamin Constant. Correspondance, ed. Kurt Kloocke et al. (Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang, 1993), 19-22.

19 Letter to First Consul 13-24 September, 1803. Madame de Staël, Correspondance générale, ed. Béatrice W. Jasinski and Othenin d’Haussonville, 7 vols (Paris: Pauvert; Hachette; Klincksieck, 1962-; Geneva: Champion-Slatkine, 1962-2008), V, i, 18-19; to Joseph Bonaparte 4 or 5 October, 1803, ibid., 39-41.

20 Considérations, 111.

21 To Necker, 27 October, 1803, Correspondance générale, V, i, 85.

22 Simone Balayé, Madame de Staël. Écrire, lutter, vivre. Pref. Roland Mortier, afterword Frank Paul Bowman, Historie des idées et critique littéraire (Geneva : Droz, 1994), 52.

23 To J.-B.-A. Suard, 4 November, 1803, Correspondance générale, V, i, 92.

24 The day-to-day itinerary can be traced in Simone Balayé (ed.), Les carnets de voyage de Madame de Staël. Contribution à la genèse de ses oeuvres (Geneva : Droz, 1971), 435f. and Correspondance générale, V, i, Calendrier staëlien, vii-viii.

25 Madame de Staël, De la littérature considérée dans ses rapports avec les institutions sociales, ed. Axel Blaeschke (Paris: Garnier, 1998), 237.

26 To Necker, Correspondance générale, V, i, 135.

27 Carnets de voyage, 381.

28 1 January, 1804. Correspondance générale, V, i, 174-176.

29 Ibid., 135.

30 Benjamin Constant, Journaux intimes, ed. Alfred Roulin and Charles Roth (Paris: Gallimard, 1952), 54.

31 Ibid., 53, 59.

32 Correspondance générale, V, i, 179.

33 Journaux intimes, 54.

34 Goethe’s ‘Der Gott und die Bajadere’ and ‘Die Braut von Korinth’, ‘Der Fischer’, and Schiller’s ‘Siegesfest’. Alfred Götze, Ein fremder Gast. Frau von Staël in Deutschland 1803/04. Nach Briefen und Dokumenten (Jena: Frommann, 1928), 70f., 88.

35 Journaux intimes, 53.

36 SW, XI, 337-346.

37 Originally published by Karl Emil Franzos, ‘Eine Denkschrift Knebels über die deutsche Literatur’, Goethe-Jahrbuch, 10 (1889), 117-138; more recently in Goethe Almanach auf das Jahr 1968 (Berlin and Weimar, 1967), 208-221. French translation by Andrée Denis, ‘Un tableau de la littérature allemande de Klopstock à Goethe, en 1804’, Cahiers staëliens, 35 (1984), 77-94.

38 See James Vigus, ‘Zwischen Kantianismus und Schellingianismus : Henry Crabb Robinsons Privatvorlesungen für Madame de Staël 1804 in Weimar’, in : Kaiser/Müller (2008), 355-391.

39 Journaux intimes, 58.

40 Henry Crabb Robinson, Essays on Kant, Schelling, and German Aesthetics, ed. James Vigus, Modern Humanities Research Association Critical Texts, 18 (London : MHRA, 2010), 137f., ref. 137.

41 Ernst Behler, ‘Madame de Staël à Weimar : 1803-1804. Un témoignage inconnu de K. A. Böttiger et deux billets de Madame de Staël’, Studi Francesci 37 (Jan.-Apr. 1969), 59-71.

42 Goethe to Schlegel 1 March, 1804. August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel im Briefwechsel mit Schiller und Goethe, ed. Josef Körner and Ernst Wieneke (Leipzig: Insel, 1926) [Wieneke], 156; Robinson quoted in Vigus, 356.

43 Götze, 101.

44 Correspondance générale, V, i, 259f., 262.

45 Carnets de voyage, 445.

46 The source of this much-quoted anecdote seems to be George Ticknor, Life, Letters and Journals, 2 vols (London: Sampson Low, Marston, 1876) I, 410.

47 Correspondance générale, V, i, 284.

48 Briefe, II, 79.

49 Correspondance générale, V, i, 300, 304.

50 Ibid., 300.

51 Auguste was at school at the Graues Kloster with Alexander von der Marwitz and the eldest son of the then colonel Scharnhorst. Theodor Fontane, Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg: Das Oderland. Werke, Schriften und Briefe, ed. Walter Keitel and Helmuth Nürnberger, 4 sections, 21 vols in 22 (Munich: Hanser, 1962-97), Abt. 2, i, 787.

52 Cf. Madeleine Bertrand, ‘Conclusions’, in : Roger Marchal (ed.), Vie des salons et activités littéraires, de Marguerite de Valois à Mme de Staël [...], Collection Publications du Centre d’Étude des Milieux Littéraires, 2 (Nancy : Presses Universitaires de Nancy, 2001), 320.

53 An einen Helden’, SW, I, 356. See Barbara Besslich, Der deutsche Napoleon-Mythos. Literatur und Erinnerung 1800-1945 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2007), 53.

54 Madame de Staël, De la littérature, 66.

55 Ibid., 239, 237.

56 It is already there in Haym, Minor and Ricarda Huch, informs much of Josef Körner, ‘August Wilhelm von Schlegel und die Frauen. Ein Gedenkblatt zum 150. Geburtstag des Romantikers’, Donauland 1 (1918), 1219-1227, and is alive and well in Georges Solovieff, ‘Mme de Staël et August Wilhelm Schlegel. Natures complémentaires et/ou antinomiques ?’, Cahiers staëliens, 37 (1985-86), 97-106.

57 The fabulous sum of 12,000 francs annually, in the literature since Pange, has been corrected by Körner upon scrutiny of the Coppet account books. Krisenjahre der Frühromantik. Briefe aus dem Schlegelkreis, ed. Josef Körner, 3 vols (Brno, Vienna, Leipzig: Rohrer, 1936-37; Berne: Francke, 1958), III, 68. The Louisd’or was worth 20 francs or 11 talers.

58 Letter to Brinkman of 12 or 13 April, 1804, Correspondance générale, V, i, 324.

59 Journaux intimes, 80f. and 80-89 for the remainder.

60 Krisenjahre, I, 78; 78-82 for the rest.

61 Cf. generally Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël au château de Coppet (Lausanne : Éditions SPES, 1929).

62 See generally Martin J. S. Rudwick, Bursting the Limits of Time. The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution […] (Chicago and London: Chicago UP, 2005), esp. 48-52.

63 ‘prétentions à la virilité, à l’équitation et au courage’. Journaux intimes, 127.

64 Krisenjahre, I, 113-116.

65 Ibid., 148.

66 Umriße, entworfen auf einer Reise durch die Schweiz’. SW, VIII, 154-176.

67 Neueste Mittheilungen der Asiatischen Gesellschaft zu Calcutta’, Indische Bibliothek, I (1820), 388.

68 Krisenjahre, I, 90f.

69 Quoted in Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse. Étude biographique et littéraire avec de nombreux documents inédits (Lausanne and Paris : Payot, 1916), 78, and subsequently 78-80.

70 Krisenjahre, I, 136, also 91.

71 Cf. Oeuvres de M. Auguste-Guillaume de Schlegel écrites en français, ed. Édouard Böcking, 3 vols (Leipzig : Weidmann, 1846), III, 83.

72 For AWS’s correspondence with Favre cf. Mélanges d’histoire littéraire par Guillaume Favre avec des lettres inédites d’Auguste-Guillaume Schlegel et d’Angelo Mai receuilllis par sa famille et publiés par J. Adert, 2 vols (Geneva : Ramboz & Schuchardt, 1856).

73 Krisenjahre, I, 90f., 105.

74 Lettres de la duchesse de Broglie 1814-1838 publiées par son fils le duc de Broglie (Paris : Calmann-Lévy, 1896), 283.

75 Krisenjahre, I, 89.

76 Ibid., 130.

77 Bernhard Maaz, Christian Friedrich Tieck 1776-1851. Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seines Bildnisschaffens, mit einem Werkverzeichnis, Bildhauer des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Mann, 1995), 72f., 283; letter of Friedrich Tieck to AWS, 6 August, 1804, Cornelia Bögel, ‘Geliebter Freund und Bruder’. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Christian Friedrich Tieck und August Wilhelm Schlegel in den Jahren 1804 bis 1811, Tieck Studien, 1 (Dresden: Thelem, 2015), 71-75.

78 Krisenjahre, I, 119f.

79 Ibid., 125-128.

80 Béatrice W. Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs qui ont séjourné à Coppet de 1799 à 1816’, in : Simone Balayé and Jean-Daniel Candaux (eds), Le Groupe de Coppet. Actes et documents du deuxième colloque de Coppet 1974 [...], Bibliothèque de la littérature comparée, 118 (Geneva and Paris : Slatkine, 1977), 461-492, ref. 469.

81 Krisenjahre, I, 124.

82 SW, XII, 157-169.

83 Visitors for 1804 listed in Jasinski (1977), 468f.

84 Reviewed by AWS. SW, XII, 169-177.

85 G. C. L. Sismondi, Epistolario, ed. Carlo Pellegrini, 4 vols (Florence : La Nuova Italia, 1933-1954), I, xxix.

86 [Charles Lenormant], Coppet et Weimar. Madame de Staël et la grande-duchesse Louise (Paris : Lévy, 1862), 194-202.

87 Stendhal, Rome, Naples et Florence en 1817, in : Voyages en Italie, ed. V. del Litto, Bibliothèque de la Pléïade (Paris : Gallimard, 1973) 155.

88 Simone Balayé, ‘Le Groupe de Coppet : conscience d’une mission commune’, in : Le Groupe de Coppet. Colloque 1974, ed. Simone Balayé and Jean-Daniel Candaux (Geneva : Slatkine ; Paris : Champion, 1977), 29-45, ref. 32. Further discussion in : Roland Mortier, ‘Les Etats généraux et l’opinion européenne’, in : Le Groupe de Coppet et l’Europe 1789-1830. Colloque de Coppet 1993, ed. Kurt Kloocke and Simone Balayé, Annales Benjamin Constant, 15-16 (Lausanne : Institut Benjamin Constant ; Paris : Touzot, 1994), 17-24, ref. 19.

89 If his tailor’s bills in Coppet are any indication. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, 5-16.

90 The doyenne of Staëlien studies and the author of the indispensable monograph on Schlegel and Staël, Comtesse Jean de Pange (1938) saw Schlegel as part of the circle but understandably restricted herself to those aspects of Schlegel’s life and works that impinged on Coppet. Simone Balayé, on whom Pange’s mantle has fallen, has doubts, on account of Schlegel’s social subservience. It may be significant that there is, as far as I can see, only one article in the whole of Cahiers staëliens devoted to Staël and Schlegel alone (Solovieff), and not a single one in the various Colloques dealing exclusively with him.

91 Journaux intimes, 91.

92 Ibid., 143.

93 Bonstettiana. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe der Briefkorrespondenzen Karl Viktor von Bonstettens und seines Kreises, 1753-1832, ed. Doris and Peter Walser-Wilhelm, 14 vols in 27 (Berne: Peter Lang, 1996-2011), IX, ii, 711.

94 Journaux intimes, 145.

95 Ibid., 151-160.

96 Briefe, I, 190.

97 Cf. Coppet et Weimar, 63 as one account among many.

98 Ludwig Geiger, Dichter und Frauen. Abhandlungen und Mittheilungen. Neue Sammlung (Berlin: Paetel, 1899), 124. But cf. Bonstetten: ‘Ist S[chlegel] nicht artig, so kriegt er entsetzlich die Ruthe, und das artigste ist, wenn die Staël ihn straft: dann verdreifacht sich ihr Witz, S[chlegel] antwortet bald die witzigsten, bald die galantesten Sachen, und beide werden bei diesem Kampf entzückt’. Bonstettiana, IX, ii, 693.

99 Carnets de voyage, 93.

100 Madame de Staël, Dix années d’exil, ed. Simone Balayé (Paris : Bibliothèque 1018, 1966), 96.

101 Geneviève Gennari, Le premier voyage de Madame de Staël en Italie et la genèse de Corinne (Paris : Boivin, 1947), 46. Cf. the opening of War and Peace : ‘Eh bien, mon prince, Gênes et Luques ne sont plus que des apanages […] de la famille Buonaparte’.

102 See Roger Paulin, Ludwig Tieck. A Literary Biography (Oxford: Clarendon, 1985), 166-173.

103 SW, XII, 334.

104 Natur-Betrachtungen auf einer Reise durch die Schweiz’, Athenaeum. Eine Zeitschrift von August Wilhelm Schlegel und Friedrich Schlegel, 3 vols (Berlin: Vieweg, 1798; Frölich, 1799-1800), III, i, 34-57.

105 Krisenjahre, I, 148f.

106 Briefe, I, 191.

107 Krisenjahre, I, 183.

108 The works of architecture and art concerned are listed in: A. W. Schlegels Vorlesungen über schöne Litteratur und Kunst, ed. Jakob Minor, 1. Teil, Deutsche Litteraturdenkmale des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts, 17 (Heilbronn: Henninger, 1884), xxxvii-xliii, liv-lvii.

109 SW, IX, 264f.

110 The exact stages are set out in Gennari, Le Premier voyage, 15-120 ; Carnets de voyage, 93-259 and Correspondance générale, V, ii, Calendrier staëlien, ix-xi.

111 Carnets de voyage, 179.

112 Letter to Luigi Bossi, quoted in translation by Gennari, 51.

113 Sweet, I, 271f.

114 Wilhelm Bernhardi to AWS, SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15, 57.

115 Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 57.

116 Carnets de voyage, 255.

117 Leopold von Buch, Geognostische Beobachtungen auf Reisen durch Deutschland und Italien, 2 vols (Berlin: Haude und Spener, 1803, 1809), II, 44.

118 See esp. his unpublished review of Humboldt’s Vues des cordillères in around 1818. SW, XII, 513-528.

119 As set out in his review of Winckelmann in 1812. SW, XII, 359.

120 Lettre de Mr. Louis Bossi, de Milan, […] sur deux inscriptions prétendues runiques trouvées à Venise [...] (Turin: Imprimerie départementale, 1805).

121 Which are acknowledged in a note in the novel.

122 SW, I, 373.

123 Mentioned briefly SW, IX, 262.

124 Ibid., 231-266.

125 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Gedenkausgabe der Werke, Briefe und Gespräche, ed. Ernst Beutler, 3rd edn, 27 vols (Zurich: Artemis, 1986 [1949]), XIII, 157.

126 On Schick see the catalogue from the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Gottlieb Schick. Ein Maler des Klassizismus (Stuttgart: Staatsgalerie, 1976).

127 Ewa Eschler, Sophie Tieck-Bernhardi-Knorring, 1775-1833. Das Wanderleben und das vergessene Werk (Berlin: Trafo, 2005), 181-184.

128 Bernhardi was to accuse AWS of being an accessory to kidnapping. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15, 2 (2).

129 Cf. his letters from Munich and Rome to AWS. Bögel (2015), 100, 103, 107f., 110.

130 Krisenjahre, I, 195f; quoted here as in original SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B15 (97). I would take the addressee to be both mother and child.

131 Correspondance générale, V, ii, 349-351.

132 Ibid., 557.

133 From Cantos 78 and 79.

134 Correspondance générale, V, ii, 543. See Roland Mortier, La poétique des ruines en France. Ses origines, ses variations de la Renaissance à Victor Hugo, Histoire des ideés et critique littéraire, 144 (Geneva : Droz, 1974), 193-200 ; Joseph Luzzi, Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (New Haven and London : Yale UP, 2008), esp. 53-76.

135 SW, II, 21-31. Published originally as a 19-page brochure in Roman type: Rom. Elegie von August Wilhelm Schlegel (Berlin : Unger, 1805).

136 Roma, elegia Augusti Guilelmi Schlegel, latinitate donata, notisque illustrata a J. D. Fuss […] (Coloniae Agrippinae: Rommerskirchen, 1817), and subsequent editions.

137 Clemens Brentano to Achim von Arnim, 20 December, 1805. Ludwig Achim von Arnim, Werke und Briefwechsel. Historisch-kritische Ausgabe ed. with Klassik Stiftung Weimar by Roswitha Burwick et al., 8 vols in 11 (in progress) (Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter 2000-), XXXII, 110.

138 SW, VIII, 146.

139 In his Bonn lectures on World History.

140 Comtesse Jean de Pange, née Broglie, Auguste-Guillaume Schlegel et Madame de Staël d’après des documents inédits [Pange], doctoral thesis University of Paris (Paris : Albert, 1938), 171.

141 Krisenjahre, I, 187.

142 Ibid., 371.

143 Ibid., 97.

144 As stressed notably by Simone Balayé in several publications on the ‘Groupe de Coppet’.

145 Briefe, I, 202f.

146 Ibid., 200, 205, 213.

147 Ibid., 200.

148 SW, VIII, 142-153, refs 145, 149.

149 Such as ‘In der Fremde’, ‘An die Jungfrau von Orleans’, ‘Glaube’, ‘Tells Kapelle, bei Küßnacht’, SW, I, 258, 259-261, 264f., 280f.

150 Adam H. Müller, Vorlesungen über die deutsche Wissenschaft und Literatur. Zweite vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage (Dresden: Arnold, 1807), 44.

151 For this and other references cf. Roger Paulin, ‘1806/7—ein Krisenjahr der Frühromantik?’, Kleist-Jahrbuch, 1993, 137-151, ref. 138.

152 Ibid., 144.

153 Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’, SW, VIII, 243

154 Paulin, 144.

155 Using Peter Paret’s phrase. The Cognitive Challenge of War: Prussia 1806 (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton UP, 2009).

156 They were in Coppet from August until October 1807. Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 473.

157 Krisenjahre, I, 496f.

158 Ibid., 464.

159 Ibid., 216.

160 Correspondance générale, V, ii, 673.

161 Pange, 151f., ref. 152.

162 Ibid., 153.

163 Not all of the iconography is clear, but the caption ‘Artem penetrat’ refers to the figure of Schlegel putting his foot through a canvas. What he is depicted as writing (‘La carne mia e rimista da M. Schuwitz’) is a reference to a notorious brothel madam in late 18th-century Berlin. Reproduced in J. G. van Gelder, ‘Artem Penetrat’, in: Dancwerc. Opstellen aangeboden aan Prof. Dr. D. Th. Enklaar ter gelegenheid van zijn vijfenzestige verjaardag (Groningen: Wolters, 1959), 308-317, ill. facing 312.

164 August von Kotzebue, Erinnerungen von einer Reise aus Liefland nach Rom und Neapel, 3 parts (Berlin: Frölich, 1805), II, 245-274, especially critical of Koch (266f.) and Schick (267f.).

165 SW, XII, 169-188.

166 Ibid., 177-182.

167 Oeuvres, I, 277-316.

168 On this see Ernst Behler, ‘La doctrine de Coppet d’une perfectibilité infinie et la Révolution française’, in : Le Groupe de Coppet et la Révolution française. Colloque 1988, ed. Étienne Hofmann and Anne-Lise Delacrétaz, Annales Benjamin Constant 8-9 (Lausanne : Institut Benjamin Constant ; Paris : Touzot, 1988), 255-274.

169 Oeuvres, I, 280.

170 Ibid., 289.

171 Ibid., 293.

172 Ibid., 315.

173 Although he seems to have let Zacharias Werner see it. Briefe, II, 99.

174 Briefe, I, 194f., II, 84.

175 Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 92-115.

176 Martine de Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire des rôles et des représentations de Mme de Staël’, Cahiers staëliens, 19 (1974), 79-92, ref. 80.

177 Journaux intimes, 282.

178 Cf. Friederike Brun : ‘Die Kleidungen auf diesem Privattheater, die Beobbachtung [sic] des Costume, ließ die großen Theather [sic] hinter sich zurück—und dies war A.W. Schlegels Werk der ein feiner Kenner des Alterthums ist.’ Bonstettiana, X, i, 77. One member of the audience did refer to the ‘costumes très riches’. Jean-Daniel Candaux, ‘Le théâtre de Mme de Staël au Molard (1805-6). Témoignages d’auditeurs genevois et calendrier des spectacles’, Cahiers staëliens, 14 (1972), 19-32, ref. 24. See also Martine de Rougemont, ‘L’activité théâtrale dans le Groupe de Coppet : la dramaturgie et le jeu’, Colloque 1974, 263-283, ref. 270.

179 SW, IX, 267-281. Cf. the closely related review by Friederike Brun, also in 1806. Bonstettiana, X, i, 91-97.

180 Notably ‘An Friederike Unzelmann bei Uebersendung meiner Gedichte’ (SW, I, 240f.), ‘Die Schauspielerin Friederike Unzelmann an das Publikum, als sie am Schluß des Schauspiels herausgerufen wurde’ (ibid., 242) and ‘An Friederike Unzelmann als Nina’ (ibid., 243); there is also an unpublished sonnet in French, ‘A Madame Unzelmann à son logis’, full of Petrarchan extravagance. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XX, Kapsel I, Bd. 2. Beilage 1a (10).

181 ‘A Madame de Staël après la représentation d’Agar. 1806’. Oeuvres, I, 84.

182 AWS, Kritische Ausgabe der Vorlesungen, ed. Ernst Behler et al., 3 vols [KAV] (Paderborn, etc.: Schöningh, 1989- in progress), I, 383. Cf. Claudia Albert, ‘Bild, Symbol, Allegorie, Zeichen. Schlegels Ästhetik der Moderne’, in: York-Gothart Mix and Jochen Strobel (eds), Der Europäer August Wilhelm Schlegel. Romantischer Kulturtransfer—romantische Wissenswelten, Quellen und Forschungen, 62 (296) (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010), 107-123 (does not discuss the poem).

183 An Ida Brun’. Poetische Werke, I, 227-230; SW, I, 254-257, with accompanying note. Bonstettiana, X, i, 82-97, with illustrations.

184 The account of her movements based on Correspondance générale, Calendrier staëlien, VI, xvii-xxii.

185 Ibid., VI, 83.

186 Ibid.

187 Her picture by François Gérard is to be seen in the background of Franz Krüger’s official portrait (c. 1817) of the prince (Berlin: Alte Nationalgalerie). He never married.

188 Correspondance générale, VI, 83.

189 First reference 8 August, Constant, Journaux intimes, 292; Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 85.

190 Journaux intimes, 292.

191 Cf. Simone Balayé, ‘Madame de Staël et le docteur Koreff’, Cahiers staëliens, 3 (1965), 15-32, and generally Friedrich v. Oppeln-Bronikowski, David Ferdinand Koreff. Serapionsbruder, Magnetiseur, Geheimrat und Dichter. Der Lebensroman eines Vergessenen (Berlin: Paetel, 1928).

192 Krisenjahre, I, 374f. Prescriptions in ‘Briefe und medizinische Vorschriften von Koreff’, ibid., III, 196, 203f. and SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd., App. 2712, B26, 1-19. These may well be placebos for a valetudinarian patient and should not be taken too literally.

193 Krisenjahre, I, 345f.

194 Pange, 178f.

195 Jan Urbich,’De profundis. Mme de Staël und Friedrich Schlegel’, in: Kaiser/Müller (2008), 163-187, ref. 168f.

196 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B29, 1, 2. One is addressed to the ‘hôtel de Suède’ where they stayed (Pange, 179), the other is from the ‘rue de la Loi’, which changed its name back to rue de Richelieu in 1806. Part of a packet of ‘Lettres et billets de Mad. R.’

197 Pange, 181.

198 Ibid., 187.

199 Correspondance générale, VI, 200.

200 Ibid., VI, 212.

201 Ibid., 220. Simone Balayé, ‘Corinne. Histoire du roman’, in : SB (ed.), L’Éclat et le silence. ‘Corinne ou l’Italie’ de Madame de Staël (Paris : Champion, 1999), 7-38, ref. 28-31.

202 Briefe, II, 84, 91. Jan Röhnert, ‘Weibliches Genie und männlicher Blick. Paradigmen und Paradoxien in der frühen deutschen Corinne-Rezeption’, in: Kaiser/Müller (2008), 189- 210, esp. 198-201.

203 Balayé (1999), 27.

204 Röhnert, 201-210.

205 Correspondance générale, VI, 262.

206 Krisenjahre, III, 81-86, not in SW. Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, Intelligenzblatt 50, 28 June, 1807, col. 433-437, ‘Brief eines Reisenden aus Lyon. Im May 1807’.

207 Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 337f.

208 The letters which trace this tour in Pange, 198-207.

209 SW, XIII, 154.

210 Correspondance générale, VI, 315 ; Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire’, 86f.

211 Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide, par A. W. Schlegel (Paris : Tourneisen fils, 1807). Oeuvres, II, 333-405.

212 He refers to the proofs in a letter of 10 August to Madame de Staël. Pange, 204.

213 A. W. de Schlegel, Essais littéraires et historiques (Bonn : Weber, 1842), Avant-propos, xiv ; Oeuvres, I, 3.

214 Ibid., 2.

215 Dorothea von Schlegel geb. Mendelssohn und deren Söhne Johannes und Philipp Veit. Briefwechsel im Auftrage der Familie Veit, hg. v. J. M. Raich, 2 vols (Mainz: Kirchheim, 1881), I, 211.

216 Wieneke, 157.

217 Oeuvres, II, 366.

218 Avant-propos, xvi ; Oeuvres, I, 4.

219 ‘Ohn’ alles Griechisch hab ich ja/Verdeutscht die Iphigenia’, SW, II, 212.

220 Europa, II, i, 155f.

221 Ibid., 117-139.

222 AWS’s list of all plays written or translated by Schlegels (undated). SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd., e. 90, II (VIa). Alexander Nebrig, Rhetorizität des hohen Stils. Der deutsche Racine in französischer Tradition und romantischer Modernisierung, Münchener Komparatistische Studien, 10 (Göttingen : Wallstein, 2007), 344.

223 Considérations, 68.

224 See the important article by Simone Balayé, ‘Les rapports de l’écrivain et du pouvoir : Madame de Staël et Napoléon’, in : Balayé (1994), 137-154.

225 Benjamin Constant, Mélanges de Littérature et de politique (Paris : Pichon et Didier, 1829), 293.

226 Avant-propos, xivf. ; Oeuvres, I, 3.

227 Oeuvres, II, 338f.

228 KAV, I, 748.

229 Oeuvres, II, 336f.

230 Ibid., 370.

231 Ibid., 359.

232 Ibid., 374.

233 Ibid., 339.

234 Ibid., 392.

235 Ibid., 402.

236 The reactions discussed in full by Chetana Nagavajara, August Wilhelm Schlegel in Frankreich. Sein Anteil an der französischen Literaturkritik 1807-1835, intr. Kurt Wais, Forschungsprobleme der vergleichenden Literaturgeschichte, 3 (Tübingen : Niemeyer, 1966), 21-44. See also Martine de Rougemont, ‘Schlegel ou la provocation : une expérience sur l’opinion littéraire’, Romantisme 51 (1986), 49-61.

237 Avant-propos, xv ; Oeuvres, I, 4.

238 Navagajara, 28.

239 Ibid., 36-43.

240 Madame de Staël, De l’Allemagne, ed. Comtesse Jean de Pange and Simone Balayé, 5 vols (Paris : Hachette, 1958-60), III, 340.

241 Josef Körner, Die Botschaft der deutschen Romantik an Europa, Schriften zur deutschen Literatur für die Görresgesellschaft, 9 (Augsburg : Filser, 1929), 11. Rahel-Bibliothek. Rahel Varnhagen. Gesammelte Werke, ed. Konrad Feilchenfeldt, Uwe Schweikert and Rahel E. Steiner, 10 vols (Munich: Matthes & Seitz, 1983), I, 398.

242 Pange, 193f.

243 Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 235.

244 Nebrig, Rhetorizität, 368-371 lists them.

245 Ibid., 394-399.

246 One by Ayrenhoff (Pressburg, 1804) and one by Nicolay (St Petersburg, 1812). Ibid., 395, 397f.

247 Ibid., 412. Vergleichung der Phädra des Racine mit der des Euripides von A. W. Schlegel. Uebersetzt, und mit Anmerkungen und einem Anhange begleitet von H. J. v. Collin (Vienna: Pichler, 1808). Briefe, II, 115; Krisenjahre, I, 535f., 543-545: Körner, Botschaft, 84.

248 Krisenjahre, II, 97f.

249 ‘l’être le plus cher pour moi’, Correspondance générale, VI, 386.

250 Ibid., 496.

251 Ibid., 367.

252 Briefe, I, 249.

253 On her cf. Josef Körner, ‘Carolinens Rivalin’, Preußische Jahrbücher, 198 (Oct.-Dec., 1924), 27-52.

254 Krisenjahre, I, 571.

255 Ibid., II, 63.

256 Ibid., I, 491.

257 Prometheus. Eine Zeitschrift. Herausgegeben von Leo v. Seckendorf und Jos. Lud. Stoll (Vienna: Geistinger, 1808), I, i, 57-65, 66-69.

258 Poetische Werke (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), 2 parts, I, 218-226.

259 Prometheus, 5.-6. Heft, Anzeiger, 3-9. Attributed by the editor of KA to Wilhelm von Schütz. Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe, ed. Ernst Behler et al., 30 vols (Paderborn, Munich, Vienna: Schöningh; Zurich: Thomas, 1958- in progress), VIII, ccxx. AWS cannot be ruled out.

260 Tells Kapelle, bei Küssnacht’, Zeitung für Einsiedler (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1808), No. 36, 281. Poetische Werke, I, 259-261; SW, I, 280f.

261 Briefe, I, 214, 269.

262 SW, VII, 285.

263 Krisenjahre, I, 573.

264 Correspondance générale, VI, 314.

265 Ibid., 330.

266 For the Munich sojourn see Pange, 212-216.

267 Her letters to Schlegel in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX, 18 (1-8).

268 ‘Aussi, dites à votre mère que tant que je vivrai, elle ne rentrera pas à Paris’. Henri Welschinger, La Censure sous le Premier Empire avec documents inédits (Paris : Charavay, 1882), 173. The Emperor also chivalrously suggested that she take up knitting (175).

269 Correspondance générale, VI, 363.

270 Ibid., 359.

271 Cf. Maria Ullrichová, Lettres de Madame de Staël conservées en Bohème (Prague : Czech Academy of Sciences, 1959), 15-81.

272 Correspondance générale, VI, 361.

273 Martine de Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire des rôles et des représentations de Mme de Staël’, 79-92, ref. 87f.

274 Sismondi, Epistolario, I, 232.

275 Correspondance générale, VI, 393.

276 Ibid., 538-540.

277 Georges Solovieff, ‘Madame de Staël et la police autrichienne’, Cahiers staëliens, 41 (1989-1990), 13-54.

278 Simone Balayé and Norman King et al., ‘Madame de Staël et les polices françaises sous la Révolution et l’Empire’, Cahiers staëliens, 44 (1992-93), 3-153, ref. 96.

279 For the police records relating to their movements between Vienna and Prague, Ullrichová, 106-123.

280 Cf. Briefe, I, 224.

281 Krisenjahre, I, 321.

282 Ibid., 541.

283 Ibid., 564.

284 Who rejoined them in Dresden, was baptized, and continued his art studies. Norbert Suhr, Philipp Veit (1793-1877). Leben und Werk eines Nazareners. Monographie und Werkverzeichnis (Weinheim: VCH, Acta humaniora, 1991), 7.

285 Full title: Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. Ein Beitrag zur Begründung der Alterthumskunde (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1808). Schlegel appends extracts in metrical translation from the Râmâyana, Manu, Bhagavad-Gîtâ and Śakuntalâ. See KA, VIII, clxxxvii-ccxxx; 105-433; Schlegel’s notes in KA, XV, i, 1-82. A full discussion of this work is far beyond the scope of this present study. I refer to Ursula Oppenberg, Quellenstudien zu Friedrich Schlegels Übersetzungen aus dem Sanskrit, Marburger Beiträge zur Germanistik, 7 (Marburg: Elwert, 1965); and Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi, Der romantische Mythos vom Ursprung der Deutschen. Friedrich Schlegels Suche nach der indogermanischen Verbindung, Schriftenreihe des Minerva Instituts für deutsche Geschichte der Universität Tel Aviv (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009).

286 Cf. his letter to Auguste de Staël, Krisenjahre, II, 250-252.

287 Cf. KA, VIII, ccvi.

288 Ibid., 309.

289 Ibid.

290 ‘Über das Verhältniß der schönen Kunst zur Natur ; über Täuschung und Wahrscheinlichkeit ; über Styl und Manier. (Aus Vorlesungen, gehalten in Berlin im Jahre 1802)’. Prometheus, 5.-6. Heft, 1-28. KAV, I, 252-266.

291 In fact Schlegel wrote a review of Prometheus for the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, commenting favourably on Pandora, having been distinctly cool in his Vienna Lectures on the subject of Goethe’s other plays. The review of Schlegel’s poems is by another hand. SW, XII, 216-221.

292 Apart from ‘An Friedrich Schlegel’, it included the essay ‘Die deutschen Mundarten’ (i, 73-78), the report ‘Ueber die Vermählungsfeyer Sr. K. K. Majestät Franz I. mit I. Königl. Hoheit Maria Ludovica Beatrix von Oesterreich’ (i, Anzeiger, 2-19), ‘Montbard’ (ii, 15-20, an extract from the Swiss journey), the poem ‘Lied’ (‘Laue Lüfte, Blumendüfte’) (ibid., 70f.), ‘Ueber das Verhältniß der schönen Kunst zur Natur [...]’, and the poem ‘Der Dom zu Mailand’ (5.-6. Heft, 170).

293 Franz Hadamowsky, Die Wiener Hoftheater (Staatstheater) 1776-1966. Verzeichnis der aufgeführten Stücke mit Bestandsnachweis und täglichem Spielplan. I: 1776-1810, Museion NF I, 1. Reihe, Bd. 4, i (Vienna: Prachner, 1966). ‘Täglicher Spielplan der Hoftheater (1776 bis Ende 1810)’, 56-59.

294 Krisenjahre, I, 530, 545f., 559-562; III, 308-311; also SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XX, 5 (46).

295 Krisenjahre, II, 30.

296 Ibid., I, 654-657.

297 The breakdown of the Lectures is as follows: 1: The Classical and the Romantic defined. 2. The nature of dramatic genres. 3. The Greek theatre. 4. Greek tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles). 5. Euripides. 6. Greek comedy (Aristophanes). 7. Comedy of the Greeks and Romans. 8. Roman and Italian theatre. 9. French theatre. 10. The drame classique in France (Corneille, Racine, Voltaire). 11. French comedy. 12. The Spanish and English stage. Shakespeare. 13. Other English dramatists. 14. Spanish theatre. Calderón. 15. The German theatre and its future.

298 The publication history of the Vienna Lectures is complex and is set out as follows. They were initially published as Über dramatische Kunst und Litteratur. Vorlesungen von August Wilh. Schlegel in Heidelberg by Mohr and Zimmer in 1809 (first part in two sections) and 1811 (second part), each with a separate title page. They were reissued, with minor emendations (such as an index), in 1817 as Ueber dramatische Kunst und Litteratur. Vorlesungen von August Wilhelm von Schlegel, also in Heidelberg, now with Mohr and Winter. The Swedish publisher Bruzelius issued an unauthorised edition of the Lectures in 1817: August Wilhelm Schlegel, Werke, 2 vols (Uppsala: Bruzelius, 1817), II, i-ii. A pirated version of the 1809-11 edition, by the publisher Christian Friedrich Schade, appeared in Vienna in 1825 in the Classische Cabinets-Bibliothek oder Sammlung auserlesener Werke der deutschen und Fremd-Literatur, vols 8-11. During the late 1830s Schlegel revisited the Lectures and made alterations and additions (adding notably a whole new section on the Greek theatre) and signed a contract with Winter, but was unable to oversee their publication. This was entrusted to his executor Eduard Böcking, who incorporated this edition into the SW (as V-VI), where the original 15 lectures were expanded to 37. The translations done into French, English and other languages are thus based on the 1809-11 or 1817 editions, so that there is justification for regarding them as the editio princeps for any critical edition. The Lectures were not reissued between 1846 (SW) and 1923, when Giovanni Vittorio Amoretti produced an annotated edition, based on the 1817 reprinting (2 vols, Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder, 1923). As a critical edition (the first ever) it has its faults, not having taken into account Schlegel’s later additions and emendations or the manuscript material in the Goethe- Schiller-Archiv in Weimar or the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden (now SLUB). For this he was much taken to task by Josef Körner, whose Die Botschaft der deutschen Romantik an Europa of 1929 is effectively a critique of Amoretti and its alleged defects, not without a touch of professional jealousy (Amoretti was a pupil of the great Italian comparatist Arturo Farinelli). For all its defaults (and its being long since out of print) Amoretti’s edition contains much useful information and it will continue to serve its purpose until, we hope, the corresponding volume of the KAV appears. Edgar Lohner, meanwhile, reissued the 1846 edition in two paperback volumes (Stuttgart, etc.: Kohlhammer, 1966-67) as parts 5 and 6 of his six-volume selection, Kritische Schriften und Briefe (1962-1974). This edition, while not in the strict sense scholarly, has at least made a version of the famous Lectures available for a general readership.

299 Cf. Schlegel’s proud statement in the edition of 1817 (second preface, p. [i]) that the Lectures had already been translated into French, English and Dutch (he had not registered the Italian translation of 1817). On the translation history, see Amoretti, I, xcii, and Körner, Botschaft, 56-74, 93-104.

300 Or like Adam Müller’s Vorlesungen über die deutsche Wissenschaft und Literatur, his Dresden lectures recently reissued in 1807.

301 Roger Bauer, ‘Die “Neue Schule” der Romantik im Urteil der Wiener Kritik’, in: Herbert Zeman (ed.), Die österreichische Literatur. Ihr Profil im 19. Jahrhundert (1830-1880) (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1982), 221-229, ref. 222.

302 The relatively mild treatment of Voltaire and the coded remarks on a ‘more profound’ style of French acting, might for instance be attributed to her.

303 Prometheus, 3. Heft, Anzeiger, 24.

304 Three admission tickets have survived in SLUB, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, A8, 5 (1-3). Announcement in Krisenjahre, III, 301f.

305 The complete list ibid., III, 302-306.

306 Cf. Schlegel’s later obeisant letter to Prince Schwarzenberg, Ullrichová, 85. He was but one of several high-placed persons whose assistance was later to be useful to the Staël ménage.

307 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, A8, 25.

308 Briefe, I, 220.

309 Caroline Pichler, Denkwürdigkeiten aus meinem Leben, ed. Emil Karl Blümml, 2 vols (Munich: Georg Müller, 1914), I, 312f.; Krisenjahre, I, 536.

310 Charakteristiken. Die Romantiker in Selbstzeugnissen und Äußerungen ihrer Zeitgenossen, ed. Paul Kluckhohn, Deutsche Literatur in Entwicklungsreihen, Reihe Romantik, 1 (Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964), 73.

311 The overlaps conveniently listed in Körner, Botschaft, 109-112.

312 Über dramatische Kunst und Litteratur. Vorlesungen von August Wilh. Schlegel, 2. Theil, 2. Abt. (Heidelberg: Mohr und Zimmer, 1811), 13-15.

313 Which may owe its origin partly to Winckelmann. Justi, III, 72.

314 Cf. Reginald Foakes, ‘Samuel Taylor Coleridge’, in: Great Shakespeareans, III: Voltaire, Goethe, Schlegel, Coleridge, ed. Roger Paulin (New York, London: Continuum, 2010), 128- 172, ref. 162f.

315 Herold’s assertion, that the Vienna Lectures are unpolitical, is plain wrong. Mistress to an Age, 356.

316 Friedrich Hebbel, preface to Maria Magdalene, Werke, ed. Gerhard Fricke et al., 5 vols (Munich: Hanser, 1963-66), I, 325.

317 Cf. Maria Ullrichová, ‘Mme de Staël et Frédéric Gentz’, in: Madame de Staël et l’Europe, Colloque de Coppet (1966) (Paris: Klincksieck, 1970), 81-91; Norman King, ‘De l’enthousiasme à la réticence: Germaine de Staël et Friedrich von Gentz (1808-1813)’, Cahiers staëliens, 41 (1989-90), 55-72.

318 Correspondance générale, VI, 438.

319 Adam Müller, Lebenszeugnisse, ed. Jakob Baxa, 2 vols (Munich, etc.: Schöningh, 1966), I, 415.

320 Ibid. Welschinger, La Censure, 174, quotes the Emperor as saying ‘Ces relations ne peuvent être que nuisibles’.

321 King (1989-90), 61.

322 Phöbus. Ein Journal für die Kunst. Herausgegeben von Heinrich v. Kleist und Adam H. Müller (Dresden: Gärtner, 1808), 1. Stück, 54-56, 2. Stück, 42-47, 6. Stück, 3-8.

323 Ibid., 7. Stück, 3-12, 8. Stück, 10-18.

324 Baxa, 424.

325 Krisenjahre, I, 550.

326 Correspondance générale, VI, 542.

327 Krisenjahre, I, 606.

328 John Isbell, The Birth of European Romanticism. Truth and Propaganda in Staël’s ‘De l’Allemagne’, Cambridge Studies in French, 49 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994), 175.

329 De l’Allemagne, V, 41-47.

330 The correct name of the village. Not in the former Erfurt territory, which was Catholic, but in Gotha. De l’Allemagne, V, 56-62.

331 Isbell, 180.

332 De l’Allemagne, V, 62.

333 Family letters from this period in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B18, 26-36. His own account in Pange, 225.

334 Correspondance générale, VI, 467f.

335 ‘dont la vie peut être diversement jugée’. De l’Allemagne, III, 301.

336 Cf. his later mention of Johannes von Müller in his Bonn lectures on World History, as a proponent of ‘res gestae’ as opposed to Herder’s ‘Ideen’. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XXVIII, second lecture [p. 12].

337 Friedrich Strack, ‘Historische und poetische Voraussetzungen der Heidelberger Romantik’, in: idem (ed.), 200 Jahre Heidelberger Romantik, Heidelberger Jahrbücher, 51 (2007), 23-40, ref. 33.

338 August Wilhelm Schlegels Briefwechsel mit seinen Heidelberger Verlegern, ed. Erich Jenisch (Heidelberg: Winter, 1922), 22f.

339 ‘Beleuchtung der Beschuldigungen in der Anti-Symbolik von J. H. Voss’, second part of ‘Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’ (1828), SW, VIII, 230-284, ref. 243 (‘Die anrückenden Heere hatten seine Kohlpflanzen noch nicht zertreten […] die Wehklagen der Völker drangen nicht bis zu seinem Ohr’).

340 Briefe, II, 107-109 on his subsequent relations with Voss.

341 Details in Roger Paulin, The Critical Reception of Shakespeare in Germany 1682-1914. Native Literature and Foreign Genius, Anglistische und amerikanistische Texte und Studien, 11 (Hildesheim, Zurich, New York: Olms, 2003), 335-244.

342 Correspondance générale, VI, 539.

343 Briefe, I, 225.

344 Modern critical edition ed. by Jean-René Derré, Bibliothèque de la Faculté des Lettres de Lyon, [10] (Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 1965).

345 Ibid., 66-67.

346 Voght discusses a reading of Wallstein by Constant, Staël and Sabran. He criticizes the French tendency to exposition in preference to action. Caspar Voght und sein Hamburger Freundeskreis. Briefe aus dem tätigen Leben, ed. Kurt Detlev Möller, then Annelise Tecke, Veröffentlichungen des Vereins für Hamburgische Geschichte, 15, i-iii, 3 vols (Hamburg: Christians, 1959-67), III, 225.

347 The actual review is in Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände 41, 17 February, 1809, 161-163. Not in SW. Text (German and French) in: Norman King, ‘Deux critiques de Wallstein’, Annales Benjamin Constant 4 (1984), 90-95.

348 Jenisch, 23-29.

349 Briefe, I, 226.

350 Über die Tendenz der Wernerschen Schriften’, Prometheus, 5.-6. Heft, 35-50, ref. 44.

351 Besslich, 79-82.

352 ‘Knie vor ihr nieder’, Die Tagebücher des Dichters Zacharias Werner (Texte), ed. Oswald Floeck, Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart, 289 (Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1939), 32-41, ref. 41. Werner’s effusive correspondence with Madame de Staël, his ‘Aspasia’, published by Fernand Baldensperger, ‘Lettres inédites de Zacharias Werner à Madame de Staël’, Revue de Littérature Comparée 3 (1923), 112-133.

353 De l’Allemagne, V, 96f. ; Isbell, 184-191. ‘Schlegel und Werner an der Spitze der speculation [sic] und Mystiker, mit dem Unterschied, das dieß bey Werner Gefühl, bey Schlegel Einbildungskraft ist’. Voght, III, 241. For Voght the Hamburg Protestant, Schlegel represents ‘mystischen Papismus’ (ibid., 217), ‘Bekehrungs Eifer’ (232). See Nicole Jacques-Chaquin and Stéphane Michaud, ‘Saint-Martin dans le Groupe de Coppet et le cercle de Frédéric Schlegel’, Colloque 1974 (1977), 113-134.

354 Karl Viktor von Bonstetten to Friederike Brun, 12 October 1809. Bonstettiana, X, ii, 654.

355 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B 21 (68-72). By 1811, he had nine items by Saint-Martin plus S-M’s translation of Böhme, in his library. ‘Verzeichniß meiner Bücher im December 1811’, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XV.

356 Krisenjahre, II, 66-71.

357 Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 475.

358 Francis Ley, Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Madame de Staël, Chateaubriand, Benjamin Constant et Madame de Krüdener (d’après des documents inédits) (Paris : Aubier, 1967), 142. Bonstetten predictably scathing on Frau von Krüdener : ‘Sie ist ganz närrisch und sprach mit der Staël nur von Himmel und Hölle. Mich stinkt das Unwesen an’. Bonstettiana, X, ii, 655.

359 Jasinski, 475.

360 Maaz, 110f.; Bögel (2015), 169, 183.

361 Full list in Bögel (2015), 197. They include Goethe, Schiller and Herder.

362 Maaz, 287.

363 Ibid., 281f.

364 Ibid., 282f.

365 Illustration ibid., 109, description 285f.

366 Ibid., 286f., with an account of the copies made.

367 Briefe, I, 226.

368 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd., App. 2712, B31 (5-16).

369 Quoted in Georges Solovieff, ‘Scènes de la vie de Coppet (récits d’hôtes européens)’, Cahiers staëliens, 45 (1993-94), 46-66, ref. 50f.

370 Jasinski, 478. Briefe des Dichters Friedrich Ludwig Zacharias Werner, ed. Oswald Floeck, 2 vols (Munich: Georg Müller, 1914), II, 212f.

371 Correspondance générale, VI, 73.

372 Dix Années, 106.

373 Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs à Chaumont et à Fossé’, Correspondance générale, VII, 591-601.

374 Briefe, I, 253.

375 These in extenso Correspondance générale, VII, 209-243.

376 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, B29 (5).

377 Pange, 265.

378 ‘Auf die Taufe eines Negers’. Poetische Werke, I, 333 (II, 292 has a note of the circumstances); SW, I, 374 (Böcking has added a wrong date).

379 [Charles Lenormant], Coppet et Weimar, 272.

380 Körner, Botschaft, 58f.; Pange, 273.

381 The contract in De l’Allemagne, I, xxv. The main sources of what follows are the Preface to De l’Allemagne, Dix Années d’exil (polemical and coloured by recent events), Henri Welschinger, La Censure, and the most recent and the most authoritative account, by Simone Balayé, ‘Madame de Staël et le gouvernement impérial en 1810, le dossier de la suppression de De l’Allemagne’, Cahiers staëliens, 19 (1974), 3-77. Correspondance générale, VII, xxiii-xxxiii (Chronologie staëlienne) gives details of Staël’s movements.

382 There is a letter of Staël to Prince Schwarzenberg written in the hope of his securing some intervention in her favour with the new Empress. Ullrichová, 86; Correspondance générale, VII, 137.

383 Welschinger, La Censure, 176f.

384 Her letters to Napoleon Correspondance générale, VII, 258-260, 262-264, to Savary, 265-267.

385 Pange, 273 ; Welschinger, 184.

386 De l’Allemagne, I, 5-7.

387 Cf. to Napoleon Correspondance générale, VII, 273, 275f., to Queen Hortense 274f., 276f.

388 15,000 francs. Ibid., 319.

389 Untitled. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. App. 2712, A11, 26. The publishing history of this fragment will be discussed by Stefan Knödler (forthcoming).

390 De l’Allemagne, I, i-iii ; Balayé (1974), 72.

391 Krisenjahre, II, 185.

392 Correspondance générale, VII, 332.

393 Ibid., 338, 388.

394 As she wrote to Napoleon, ibid., 461.

395 Briefe, II, 129; Pange, 349-351.

396 Der Besuch und Abschied des Wanderers. 1812’, which remained unpublished in his lifetime (SW, I, 286-288), and ‘Thränen und Küße’ and ‘Der Abschied‘, published in Friedrich Schlegel’s Deutsches Museum (1812), 179f. (SW, I, 291f.). Copies of the poems seem to have been in circulation. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, 21.

397 Krisenjahre, II, 203.

398 Bögel (2015), 242, 258, 262, 271. Schlegel also made a direct approach to the librarian in Zurich, Johann Jacob Horner. H. Blümner, ‘Aus Briefen an J. J. Horner (1773-1831)’, Zürcher Taschenbuch auf das Jahr 1891 (Zurich: Höhr, 1891), 1-26, ref. 3-6.

399 Jenisch, 77.

400 Briefe, I, 274.

401 Krisenjahre, II, 220f. 226-228, 229-231.

402 Zuschrift’, Poetische Werke, I, [iii]; SW, I, [3].

403 Jenisch (1922), 95.

404 Ibid., 118 (not fulfilled).

405 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Poetische Werke, 2 vols (Uppsala: Bruzelius, 1812).

406 A. W. Schlegel’s poetische Werke. Neueste Auflage, 2 parts (Vienna : B. Ph. Bauer, 1815).

407 These are : ‘Abendlied für die Entfernte’, ‘Die gefangenen Sänger’, ‘Die verfehlte Stunde’, ‘Lob der Tränen’, Sonett I, II, III (Petrarch), ‘Sprache der Liebe’, ‘Wiedersehen’.

408 Poetische Werke, I, 98-134 (date given II, 284); SW, I, 100-126.

409 Up to verse 2325, Tristan’s abduction by the merchants.

410 There is, for instance, a whole folder in the Nachlass devoted to Tristan. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. LXXIV, 2. Edith Höltenschmidt, Die Mittelalter-Rezeption der Brüder Schlegel (Paderborn etc.: Schöningh, 2000), 29-34.

411 As in the opening of Wieland’s verse epic Oberon.

412 Most of what follows is based on the account in KA, VII, xlv-xciii.

413 Krisenjahre, II, 199. Published as Ueber die neuere Geschichte. Vorlesungen gehalten in Wien im Jahre 1810 (Vienna: Karl Schaumburg, 1811).

414 Pange, 302.

415 Ibid., 302f.

416 Suhr, Philipp Veit (1991), 21. The portrait has not survived, ibid., 339.

417 Pange, 300.

418 As shown by Melitta Wallenborn, Deutschland und die Deutschen in Mme de Staëls De l’Allemagne, Europäische Hochschulschriften Reihe XIII, 232 (Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang, 1998).

419 De l’Allemagne, III, 329-348.

420 Bonstetten, expressing his concern in 1808 about possible Schlegel influence, need not have worried : ‘nous craignons tous et toutes que dans votre ouvrage sur la litterature [sic] allemande vous ne vous soyez entrainée [sic] dans les idées des Schlegel et à la Schlegel’. Bonstettiana, X, i, 517

421 De l’Allemagne, III, 352f.

422 Isbell (1994), 70-90.

423 Julia von Rosen, ‘Deutsche Ästhetik in De l’Allemagne : Eine Transferstudie am Beispiel der Kant-Interpretation Mme de Staëls’, in Udo Schöning and Frank Seemann (eds), Madame de Staël und die Internationalität der europäischen Romantik. Fallstudien zur interkulturellen Vernetzung, Göttinger Beiträge zur Nationalität, Internationalität und Intermedialität von Literatur und Film, 2 (Göttingen : Wallstein, 2003), 173-202, ref. 198.

424 Balayé, ‘À propos du “Préromantisme” : continuité ou rupture chez Madame de Staël’, in : Balayé (1994), 291-306, ref. 304.

425 Isbell, 94f.

426 Balayé (1994), 302.

427 Jasinski, 480.

428 Pange, 328.

429 But cf. Sismondi : ‘l’on a forcé à éloigner d’elle M[onsieur] Schlegel, qui certainement ne devait pas s’attendre à exciter l’animadversion d’aucune autorité, et qui, perdu dans des travaux purement littéraires, étranger à toute politique même spéculative, n’a pu que par une erreur bien étrange devenir un moment suspect’. Bonstettiana, X, ii, 1124.

430 Pange, 315.

431 ‘menaces de prison’, Correpondance générale, VII, 503.

432 Ibid., 486, 508.

433 Rougemont, 90.

434 Cf. Bonstetten: ‘Schlegel ist weg, der Hof von Coppet ist nun öde, verlassen’. Bonstettiana, X, ii, 1118, also 1140.

435 Pange, 331; Jenisch, 101.

436 Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 12 vols plus 1 supplement (London: Murray, 1973-1994), III, 231; Pange, 288.

437 Pange, 287.

438 Baldensperger, 128f.

439 Pierre Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 603.

440 Ibid.

441 Letter of 20 February, 1811, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX, 23 (53). Date in Hanover, Ev. Luth. Stadtkirchenkanzlei.

442 Krisenjahre, II, 191.

443 Coppet et Weimar, 194-202. A very different account of Schlegel’s religious development is offered by Josef Körner, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel und der Katholizismus’, Historische Zeitschrift 139 (1928-29), 62-83.

444 Pange, 351.

445 SW, XII, 382.

446 Verzeichniß meiner Bücher im December 1811’.

447 Cf. Bonstettiana, XI, i, 119.

448 Cf. her letter to Bernadotte of 19 August, 1812. Torvald Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev till Kronprins Carl Johan 1812-1816’, Historisk Tidskrift 80 (1960), 156-176, ref. 159.

449 John Quincy Adams, the American minister to St Petersburg, representing a nation technically at war with Great Britain, remarked wryly: ‘She is one of the highest enthusiasts for the English cause that I have ever seen’. The Russian Memoirs of John Quincy Adams. His Diary from 1809 to 1814 (New York: Arno, 1970), 401.

450 Cornelia Bögel, ‘Fragment einer unbekannten autobiographische Skizze aus dem Nachlass August Wilhelm Schlegels’, Athenäum, 22 (2012), 165-177.

451 There were plans to issue a third volume of his poetry in 1812. Jenisch, 109.

452 Stressed later in his ‘Berichtigung einiger Mißdeutungen’, SW, VIII, 251 (‘vaterländische Gesinnung’).

453 Norman King, ‘Un récit inédit du grand voyage de Madame de Staël (1812-1813)’, Cahiers staëliens, 4 (1966), 4-23, esp. 22-23.

454 SW, VIII, 243.

455 Pange, 407. The French original reads : ‘Songez que vous êtes de la famille ; et revenez au nid quand vous aurez terminé votre noble entreprise. […] J’ai tant besoin de ne pas me croire séparée de vous !’

456 Ibid., 438. 

457 Something that he stresses repeatedly. Cf. Briefe, I, 292 ; Norman King, ‘A. W. Schlegel et la guerre de libération : le mémoire sur l’état de l’Allemagne’, Cahiers staëliens, 16 (1973), 1-31, ref. 30.

458 Pange, 440.

459 Or, to his displeasure, with the baggage train. Pange, 454

460 As reported by his step-nephew Philipp Veit. Raich, II, 226.

461 Which is what he was wearing in Ernst Moritz Arndt’s malicious account. Ernst Moritz Arndt, Meine Wanderungen und Wandelungen, Ausgewählte Werke, ed. Heinrich Meisner and Robert Geerds, 16 vols (Leipzig: Hesse, [1908]), VIII, 45f.

462 Pange, 447.

463 Henrich Steffens, Was ich erlebte. Aus der Erinnerung niedergeschrieben, 12 vols (Breslau: Max, 1840-44), VIII, 152. He gives a brief account of his military service in a letter to Friedrich Schlegel. KA, XXIX, 35f.

464 An expression which he frequently uses. Cf. Briefe, I, 299f.

465 Steffens, Was ich erlebte, VII, 69.

466 The main sources for this section are Dix Années d’exil, Carnets de voyage, Ullrichová.

467 Ludwig Schmidt, ‘Ein Brief August Wilhelm v. Schlegels an Metternich’, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, 23 (1902), 490-495, ref. 491. (The addressee is actually Count Sickingen), Opuscula quae Augustus Guilelmus Schlegelius Latine scripta reliquit, ed. Eduardus Böcking (Lipsiae: Weidmann, 1848), 389f. He also mentions having seen ‘indecent’ Indian figures in a Moscow museum. Indische Bibliothek, II, 434.

468 Arndt, VII, 146.

469 Freiherr vom Stein, Briefe und amtliche Schriften, ed. Erich Botzenhart and Walther Hubatsch, 10 vols (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1957-74), III, 716.

470 Adams, Russian Memoirs, 399-401.

471 Stein, 719. Paul Gautier, Madame de Staël et Napoléon (Paris : Plon, 1921), 313.

472 Stein, 716.

473 Adams, 399.

474 Gabriel Girod de l’Ain, Bernadotte, chef de guerre et chef d’état (Paris : Perrin, 1968), 413f. ; Gautier, 318f.

475 Arndt, VII, 146.

476 Cf. Napoleon to Fouché : ‘Il a toujours l’oreille ouverte aux intrigants qui inondent cette grande capitale’. Quoted in Girod de l’Ain, 288.

477 Cf. Torvald Torvaldson Höjer, Carl XIV Johan, 3 vols (Stockholm: Norstedt, 1939-60). I: Den franska tiden (1939), 259-261. Girod de l’Ain, 179, 185. Gautier, 324 makes claims for an involvement.

478 Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev’ (1960), 159.

479 Girod de l’Ain, 413f.

480 Höjer (1960), 159.

481 Cf. Norman King, ‘Un récit inédit’ (1966), which makes it clear that their every move was watched and recorded.

482 Dix Années, 244.

483 On her and on the incident in the Gulf of Bothnia, see Kirsten Gram Holmström, Monodrama, Attitudes, Tableaux Vivants. Studies on Some Trends of Theatrical Fashion 1770- 1815, Stockholm Studies in Theatrical History, 1 (Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell, 1967), esp. 184f. An account by Madame Hendel-Schütz herself in Bonstettiana, XI, i, 266f.

484 Pange, 397.

485 An Frau Händel-Schütz, früher Schauspielerin des königl. Theaters in Berlin. Auf der Ueberfahrt von Finnland nach Schweden, beim Zusammentreffen an einem Ankerplatz’. SW, I, 293f.

486 Rougemont, ‘Pour un répertoire’, 90f. She declaimed scenes from Racine’s Athalie and Iphigénie, while they all played in comedy.

487 Gautier, 325.

488 Bernd Goldmann, Wolf Heinrich Graf Baudissin. Leben und Werk eines großen Übersetzers (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981), 46f. Bengt Hasselrot, Nouveaux documents sur Benjamin Constant et Mme de Staël (Copenhagen : Munksgaard, 1952), 53-64. The point is made (64) that Baudissin was an envoy of a country that was Staël’s and Bernadotte’s worst enemy.

489 [AWS], Betrachtungen über die Politik der dänischen Regierung (s.l., s.n.), 8.

490 King, ‘Un récit inédit’, 14.

491 Cf. the account in Sheilagh Margaret Riordan and Simone Balayé, ‘Un manuscrit inédit sur le séjour de Madame de Staël à Stockholm’, Cahiers staëliens, 48 (1996-97), 69-102, ref. 86f.

492 See the important article by Franklin D. Scott, ‘Propaganda Activities of Bernadotte, 1813-1814’, in: Donald C. McKay (ed.), Essays in the History of Modern Europe (Freeport, NY: Books For Libraries, 1968 [1936]), 16-30, ref. 24f.

493 Suchtelen to Rumianstev November 1812. Torvald Torvaldson Höjer, Carl Johan i den stora koalitionen mot Napoleon […] (Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksell, 1935), 405. Cf. Höjer’s description of AWS as Bernadotte’s ‘litteräre väpnare’ [literary armour-bearer], 103.

494 The text is published by King, ‘A. W. Schlegel et la guerre de libération’ (1973), text 14-28. See also Otto Brandt, August Wilhelm Schlegel. Der Romantiker und die Politik (Stuttgart, Berlin: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1919), 117-125. It is not the same as a 13-pp. draft in AWS’s hand, in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, II (23), an exposé of the political situation in Europe and dated ‘17 Septembre 1812 St. Petersbourg’ [sic].

495 Ludwig Schmidt, ‘Ein Brief August Wilhelm v. Schlegels an Metternich’ [recte Sickingen] (1902), 490-495; published in a French version by King, ‘A. W. Schlegel et la guerre de libération’ (1973), 32-39.

496 On the low opinion of Bernadotte in Vienna see Höjer, Carl Johan i den stora koalitionen, 248.

497 The publication and translation history of this pamphlet woulddemanda bibliographical study of its own. Schlegel himself (SW, VIII, 255f.) noted that it had been translated into Swedish (Stockholm, 1813), Russian, German (Berlin, 1813) and English (London, 1813). It was issued in London in French in 1813. There is also a Dutch translation (1814). Not in SW (as are none of the political pamphlets); a shortened version in AWS, Essais littéraires et historiques (Bonn: Weber, 1842), 1-70. Some information in J. M. Heberle, Katalog der von Aug. Wilh. von Schlegel nachgelaßenen Büchersammlung (Bonn, 1845), XVIIf.; Brandt, 140-152; and esp. in Bengt Hasselrot, Nouveaux documents, 27-52. AWS kept all the relevant printed and draft material, and this cache of political writings, by AWS and others, in SLUB Dresden is invaluable, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VII (1-13), VIII (1-14) and IX. They remain unedited.

498 SW, VIII, 255.

499 As: An Appeal to the Nations of Europe Against the Continental System: Published at Stockholm by Authority of Bernadotte, In March 1813. By Madame de Staël Holstein (London: Richardson, 1813). Also: The Continental System, and its Relations with Sweden. Translated From the French (London: Stockdale, 1815).

500 SW, VIII, 256.

501 Briefe, I, 298f., 300; II, 126f.

502 J. F. W. Schlegel, Sur la visite des vaisseaux neutres sous convoi […] (Copenhagen : Cohen, 1800). English 1801.

503 Francis d’Ivernois, Effets du blocus continental sur le commerce, les finances, le crédit et la prospérité des Isles Britanniques (London : Vogel & Schulze, 1809), then English, German and Swedish in 1811. Steffens, Was ich erlebte, VII, 58.

504 [Ludwig Lüders], Das Continental-System [...] (Leipzig : Kunst- und Industrie-Comptoir, 1812).

505 Hasselrot, 51f.

506 Gautier, 353.

507 Stein, Briefe, IV, 2-8, 162-164, 210-212.

508 Ludwig Schmidt, ‘Drei Briefe Aug. Wilh. Schlegels an Gentz’, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 24 (1903), 412-423, ref. 416f.

509 Ibid., 413.

510 Reactions, some irate, in Bonstettiana, XI, i, 306, 310f., 316f., 336.

511 Something later noted bitterly by Steffens, Was ich erlebte, VIII, 133-135.

512 ‘enfin il est des nécessités impérieuses en politique’. Bonstettiana, ibid., 336.

513 Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 60.

514 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, VII (8, 9). Brandt, 154.

515 Ibid.

516 The translation is Considérations sur la politique du gouvernement danois. Par un Allemand (s.l., s.n., 1813). Pange, 437.

517 Briefe, I, 291.

518 Praeterea censeo, Daniam esse delendam’. Pange, 424.

519 Cf. [Johann Daniel Timotheus Manthey], Épître à Monsieur Auguste Guill. Schlegel, bel-esprit, actuellement aux gages de Son Altesse le Prince Royal de Suède. Par un Suédois (Stockholm, 1813, German translation Copenhagen 1813). Brandt, 162-166.

520 Was ich erlebte, VII, 283-285.

521 Briefe, I, 299.

522 Pange, 451.

523 Proclamations de S. A. R. le Prince-Royal de Suède et Bulletins publiés au Quartier-Général de l’Armée combinée du Nord de l’Allemagne (Stockholm : Pierre Sohm, 1815).

524 [Jean Baptiste de Suremain], La Suède sous la République et le Premier Empire. Mémoires du Lieutenant Général de Suremain (1794-1815) [...] (Paris : Plon-Nourrit, 1902).

525 Krisenjahre, II, 258-261, ref. 261.

526 Lettres inédites de Mme de Staël à Henri Meister, ed. Paul Usteri and Eugène Ritter (Paris: Hachette, 1903), 258.

527 Schlegel claimed to have been there and, uncharacteristically, not to have found the time to see the Codex. Favre, lxxx.

528 Letter of (5) June, 1813. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (4), 1. Published separately by Norman King, ‘Correspondances suédoises de Germaine de Staël (1812- 1816)’, Cahiers staëliens, 39 (1987-88), 11-137, ref. 115f.

529 Pange, 410, 413.

530 Gautier, 344.

531 Usteri/Ritter, 268.

532 Torvald Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev’, 162-166.

533 Pange, 414.

534 Whose slipperiness the Staël circle would experience. See John McErlean and Norman King, ‘Mme de Staël, A. W. Schlegel et Pozzo di Borgo’, Cahiers staëliens, 16 (1973), 41-55.

535 Girod de l’Ain, 441-446.

536 Suremain, 288.

537 Ibid., 296. To this Varnhagen added ‘liederlich’ (‘dissolute’), Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 66.

538 Pange, 435.

539 Rahel-Bibliothek, VI, i, 140. Cf. also Carl Schröder, ‘Tagebuch des Erbprinzen Friedrich Ludwig von Mecklenburg-Schwerin aus den Jahren 1811-1813’, Jahrbücher des Vereins für Mecklenburgische Geschichte und Altertumskunde, 65 (1900), 123-304, ref. 288, who supplies the names.

540 ‘il avait une belle prodigalité de sa vie’. Pange, 436.

541 He is so addressed in her letter of 8 October, 1813. Usteri/Ritter, 265.

542 Moreau’s note to AWS in SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. XIX (15), 69. A memorial to Moreau is a short walk away from the present SLUB.

543 Pange, 447.

544 Raich, II, 226.

545 Pange 458. This was the ‘Demoiselle Auguste Sophia Weissen’ from Zerbst who features in the baptismal register. Hanover, Ev. Luth. Stadtkirchenkanzlei.

546 Was ich erlebte, VII, 296f.

547 Pange, 463; Briefe, I, 299.

548 As he is called in Proclamations (1815), 7.

549 Pange, 452.

550 Brandt, 190f. The proclamation of August 15, 1813 seems to be the first. Proclamations, 8.

551 Remarques sur un article de la Gazette de Leipsick du 5. Octobre 1813. Relatif au Prince Royal de Suède (Altenburg : Brockhaus, 1813), translated into German as Ueber Napoleon Buonaparte und den Kronprinzen von Schweden, eine Parallele in Beziehung auf einen Artikel der Leipziger Zeitung vom 5ten October 1813, von August Wilhelm Schlegel ([n.p.], 1813, reissued Leipzig, 1814). Briefe, II, 126f. ; Brandt, 184-187 ; Heberle, XVIII.

552 Ueber Napoleon Buonaparte, second ed., 28f.

553 Dépêches et lettres interceptées par des partis détachés de l’armée combinée du nord de l’Allemagne [...] (s.l., s.n. [Hanover] 1814). Also Paris 1814, London (bilingual edition) 1814. Preface published in : Essais littéraires et historiques, as ‘Tableau de l’Empire français en 1813’, 71-84. Brandt, 195f.; Pange, 471.

554 As he states in SW, VIII, 263.

555 Meister, 265.

556 Rudolph Schleiden, Jugenderinnerungen eines Schleswig-Holsteiners (Wiesbaden: Bergmann, 1886), 74.

557 Krisenjahre, II, 271.

558 Goldmann, 47f., 52f.

559 Schleiden, 74f.

560 Ibid.

561 Pange, 475.

562 Usteri/Ritter, 274.

563 Ibid., 270-272. ; Höjer, ‘Madame de Staëls brev’, 167.

564 A. Andersen Feldborg, ‘An Appeal to the English Nation on Behalf of Norway’, in: The Pamphleteer, IV, vii, Aug. 1814 (London: Valpy, 1814), 233-285, ref. 259.

565 [Anon.], Cursory Remarks on the Meditated Attack on Norway; Comprising Strictures on Madame de Staël Holstein’s ‘Appeal to the Nations of Europe’ (London: Blacklock, [1813]), 49.

566 Feldborg, 272.

567 Journaux intimes, 393f.

568 Pange, 488.

569 Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 245, 284.

570 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. VII (12); Brandt, 197f.

571 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90. VII (11); Brandt, 199-203.

572 Pange, 491.

573 Heberle, XVIIIf.

574 Karl August Moritz Schlegel, Auswahl einiger Predigten in Beziehung auf die bisherigen Zeitereignisse, und nach wichtigen Zeitbedürfnissen […] (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1814).

575 Pange, 497.

576 SW, VII, 295, VIII, 255.

577 Such as Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 622.

578 Henry Crabb Robinson und seine deutschen Freunde. Brückezwischen England und Deutschland im Zeitalter der Romantik. Nach Briefen, Tagebüchern und anderen Aufzeichnungen unter Mithilfe von Kurt Schreinert bearb. v. Herta Marquardt, Palaestra, 237, 249, 2 vols (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 1964, 1967), II, 36.

579 Meister/Usteri, 265.

580 SW, VII, 295.

581 Quoted ibid.

582 Ibid.

583 Murray Archive, Ms. 41065. Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland. See also Murray to Auguste de Staël 21 January, 1814, agreeing to publish the Dépêches. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XII (3).

584 As: Copies of the Original Letters and Dispatches […] (London, 1814).

585 Briefe, II, 128.

586 Pange, 490.

587 Gautier, 358.

588 Due in large measure to Pozzo di Borgo’s good offices. McErlean/King, ‘Mme de Staël, A. W. Schlegel et Pozzo di Borgo’, 49. Krisenjahre, III, 541.

589 Oeuvres, I, 15.

590 Crabb Robinson, II, 35f., ref. 35.

591 Krisenjahre, II, 294.

592 Rahel-Bibliothek, V, i, 363.

593 Favre, lxxivf.

594 Pange, 426f., 437f.

595 Favre, lxxvi.

596 Briefwechsel zwischen Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm aus der Jugendzeit, ed. Herman Grimm and Gustav Hinrichs, 2nd edn, ed. Wilhelm Schoof (Weimar: Böhlau, 1963), 336.

597 Ticknor, I, 107.

598 Friedrich Schlegels Briefe an seinen Bruder August Wilhelm, ed. Oskar F. Walzel (Berlin: Speyer & Peters, 1890), 544.

599 KA, XXIX, 82.

600 Zeitgenossen. Biographieen und Charakteristiken (Leipzig and Altenburg: Brockhaus, 1816), I, iv, 179-186.

601 Briefe, II, 152.

602 Briefwechsel zwischen Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm aus der Jugendzeit, 334, 336.

603 For Bopp see S. Lefmann, Franz Bopp, sein Leben und seine Wissenschaft, 3 vols (Berlin: Reimer, 1891-97) esp. I, 1-53.

604 Entziffern und Enträtseln’, Lefmann, I, 23.

605 Briefe, I, 307.

606 Favre, lxxvi.

607 Opuscula, 413f.

608 Lefmann, I, 36

609 Franz Bopp, Über das Conjugationssystem der Sanskritsprache in Vergleichung mit jenem der griechischen, lateinischen, persischen und germanischen Sprache, ed. K. J. Windischmann (Frankfurt am Main: Andreä, 1816). Modern reprint ed. Roy Harris, Foundations of Indo-European Comparative Philology, 1800-1850, 1 (London, New York: Routledge, 1999).

610 Lefmann, I, 44f.

611 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LV (i).

612 Indische Bibliothek, III, i (1830), 1-113.

613 Briefe, I, 305.

614 Favre, lxxvii.

615 Jaskinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 482-485.

616 Details in Balayé, Carnets de voyage, 407-432.

617 Souvenirs—1785-1870—du feu duc de Broglie, 3 vols (Paris : Calmann Lévy, 1886), I, 337f.

618 Krisenjahre, III, 549.

619 Broglie, I, 337f.

620 First published in Italian in Biblioteca Italiana, Jan. 1816, 9-18, as ‘Sulla maniera e la utilità delle traduzione’.

621 Oeuvres complètes de Madame de Staël, 19 vols (Brussels : Wahlen, 1820-24), XVIII (Mélanges), 335.

622 Krisenjahre, II, 287.

623 Briefe, I, 308-310.

624 ‘Lettres aux éditeurs de la Bibliothèque italienne, à Milan, sur les chevaux de bronze sur la basilique de Saint-Marc, à Venise’, Oeuvres, II, 30-62.

625 Krisenjahre, III, 556. The diploma, which Josef Körner found in the old Sächsische Landesbibliothek, is lost.

626 Krisenjahre, II, 297-299.

627 Ibid., 293 ; Balayé, Carnets de voyage, 430f. ; Maaz, 18.

628 Contract drawn up 14 May, 1816 in Florence. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (28), 18. The sequin [zecchino] was equivalent to the ducat, which was worth 3 Reichstalers.

629 Maaz, 154, 304; Mscr. Dresd. ibid.

630 Maaz, 159f., 307.

631 Ibid., 161.

632 Most likely the folder marked ‘Origines italicae’. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LX.

633 Maaz, 303.

634 Victor de Pange, ‘La fortune de Victor de Broglie et d’Albertine de Staël d’après leur contrat de mariage et le testament de Madame de Staël’, Cahiers staëliens, 13 (1971), 3-30.

635 Victor de Pange, ‘L’affaire de la dispense pour le mariage catholique de Victor de Broglie et d’Albertine de Staël’, Cahiers staëliens, 24 (1978), 23-35.

636 Broglie, I, 340 ; Victor de Pange, Madame de Staël et le duc de Wellington. Correspondance inédite 1815-1817 (Paris : Gallimard, 1962), 52.

637 Paola Luciani and Patrizia Urbani, ‘Neuf lettres inédites de Mme de Staël au cavaliere Giovanni Battista Ruschi (1816)’, Cahiers staëliens, 47 (1995-96), 49-75, ref. 66.

638 Broglie, II, 178

639 Oeuvres, I, 189-201.

640 Applausi poetici per le faustissime nozze fra S. E. il signore Vittorio duca di Broglio pari di Francia principe del Sacro Romano Impero e la signora Albertina de Staël (Pisa : Sebastiano Nistri, 1816).

641 SW, I, 154f.

642 Jakob Necker’, Zeitgenossen, I, iii (1816), 91-112. It appears to be a shortened and edited version of Madame de Staël’s Du caractère de M. Necker, et de sa vie privée (1804), SW, VIII, 176-202.

643 Pange, 515.

644 Broglie, I, 346.

645 Notably those of the grand duke and of Madame de Staël. Cf. David Watkin, The Life and Works of C. R. Cockerell (London: Zwemmer, 1974), 22f.

646 Who is the ‘sculpteur fort expérimenté dans les marbres de Carrare’ referred to in Oeuvres, II, 25. AWS seems to have met Cockerell later in London. He writes to John Murray there on 2 April 1832 of ‘Mon ami Mr. Cockerell’. Murray Archive, Ms. 41065, Edinburgh, National Library of Scotland.

647 KA, XXIX, 590f.

648 Der Geliebten’ and ‘Lied’, SW, I, 29-32 (Böcking’s dating needs correcting).

649 he wanted to have proposed to her, but Madame de Staël would not let him’. Augustus J. C. Hare, The Life and Letters of Frances Baroness Bunsen, 2 vols (London: Daldy, Isbister, 1879), I, 133; Kohler, Madame de Staël et la Suisse, 658.

650 Broglie, I, 354f.

651 Stendhal, Rome, Naples et Florence, 155.

652 Jasinski, ‘Liste des principaux visiteurs’, 485-487.

653 Shelley and His Circle, 1773-1822, ed. Kenneth Neill Cameron et al., 10 vols (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard UP, 1961-2002), VII, 13f.

654 Broglie, I, 360-362.

655 Schedule of Byron’s movements and guests at Coppet in Bonstettiana, XI, ii, 680-682.

656 Ibid., 774.

657 Lord Broughton (John Cam Hobhouse), Recollections of a Long Life. With Additional Extracts From His Private Diaries, ed. Lady Dorchester, 6 vols (London: Murray, 1909- 11), II, 15.

658 Ibid., 42f.

659 Ludovico di Breme, Lettere, ed. Piero Camporesi, Nuova Universale Einaudi, 73 (Turin : Einaudi, 1966), 326, 503.

660 Wolfram Krömer, Ludovico di Breme 1780-1820. Der erste Theoretiker der Romantik in Italien, Kölner Romanistische Arbeiten, 19 (Geneva and Paris: Droz; Paris: Minard, 1961), 137-143.

661 Cf. Norman King, ‘La correspondance de Mme de Staël et de Byron en 1816’, in : Ceri Crossley and Dennis Wood (eds), Constant in Britain, Annales Benjamin Constant, 7 (Lausanne : Institut Benjamin Constant ; Paris : Touzot, 1987), 93-100.

662 Ibid., 97. Duly received. Byron, Letters and Journals, V, 88.

663 Ibid., VIII, 166f., 172f.

664 Ibid., 164f.

665 Ibid., VIII, 164.

666 Ibid., V, 86.

667 Ibid., VIII, 167.

668 Ticknor, I, 106

669 Ibid., 110.

670 Quoted in Elizabeth Longford, Wellington: Pillar of State (Frogmore, St Albans: Panther, 1975), 65. The anecdote in the Wellington literature that Madame de Staël became a Catholic on her deathbed, is of course pure invention. Ibid. There is Byron’s doggerel poem to Murray with these lines on the death of Madame de Staël: ‘[…] the fellow Schlegel/Was very likely to inveigle/A dying person in compunction/To try the extremity of Unction’. Byron, Letters and Journals, V, 260.

671 Victor de Pange, Madame de Staël et le duc de Wellington, 77.

672 Correspondence of Lady Burghersh with the Duke of Wellington, ed. Lady Rose Weigall (London: Murray, 1903), 16.

673 Bonstettiana, XI, ii, 854.

674 Victor de Pange, 140.

675 The Correspondence of Priscilla, Countess of Westmorland Edited by her Daughter Lady Rose Weigall (London: Murray, 1909), 27f.

676 Zumpe did engravings for ‘Bildnisse der berühmtesten Männer aller Völker und Zeiten’. Thieme-Becker dates the Schlegel portrait at 1822. Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (Leipzig: Engelmann, 1907-50), XXXVI, 597f.

677 Ticknor, I, 106.

678 They are, in chronological order: ‘Buch der Liebe. Herausgegeben durch Dr. Johann Gustav Büsching und Dr. Friedrich Heinrich von der Hagen. Erster Band. Berlin, bey J. Hitzig. 1809’, Heidelberger Jahrbücher der Literatur für Philologie, Historie, schöne Literatur, 1810, 3. Jg. 1. Bd., 3. Heft, 97-118, SW, XII, 225-243; ‘Ludovico Ariosto’s Rasender Roland, übersetzt von J. D. Gries, 1804-1808. IV Theile’, ibid., 3. Jg., 5. Heft, 193-234, SW, XII, 243- 288; ‘Erstes Sendschreiben über den Titurel… von B. J. Docen. Berlin und Leipzig b. Salfeld. 1810’, Heidelberger Jahrbücher der Literatur, 4. Jg., Nr. 68-70, 1073-1111, SW, XII, 288-321; ‘Winckelmann’s Werke, herausgegeben von C. L. Fernow. 1. Band. 1808. 3. 4. Band, herausgegeben von Heinrich Meyer und Joh. Schulze. 1809. 1811’, ibid., 1812, Nr. 5-7, 65-112, SW, XII, 321-383; ‘Altdeutsche Wälder herausgegeben durch die Brüder Grimm. Erster Band. Cassel, bey Thurneisen 1813’, ibid., 8. Jg., 2. Hälfte, Nr. 46-48, 1815, 721-766, SW, XII, 383-426 ; ‘Yadjnadatta-Badha ou La mort d’Yadjnadatta, épisode extrait et traduit du Ramayana, poème épique Sanskrit. Par A. L. Chézy. Paris 1814’. ‘Discours prononcé au Collége Royal de France, à l’Ouverture du cours de langue et de littérature Sanskrite, par A. L. Chézy. Paris 1815’, ibid., Nr. 56, 1815, 881-893, SW, XII, 427-438 ; ‘Sui quattro cavalli della basilica di S. Marco in Venezia. Lettera di Andrea Mustoxidi Corcirese. Padova 1816’, ibid., 9. Jg., 2. Hälfte, Nr. 42, 1816, 657-664, SW, XII, 438-444 ; ‘Römische Geschichte von B. G. Niebuhr. Berlin, in der Realschulbuchhandlung. Erster Theil. 1811. Zweyter Theil 1812’, ibid., No. 53-57, 1816, 833-906, SW, XII, 444-512.

679 SW, VII, 40.

680 Ibid., 215; ‘Nachschrift des Uebersetzers an Ludwig Tieck’, Athenaeum, II, ii, 281.

681 SW, VIII, 150.

682 Oeuvres, I, 305.

683 Favre, lxxvi.

684 Cf. the Wolfenbüttel librarian Ernst Theodor Langer writing sarcastically in 1813 to Johann Joachim Eschenburg on the ‘bis zur Abgötterey sich versteigernde Bewundrung und Empfehlung des Nibelungen, Edda etc’. Quoted by Matthias Buschmeier, ‘Zwischen Allen Stühlen. Eschenburgs “Popularphilologie“’, in: Cord-Friedrich Berghahn and Till Kinzel (eds), Johann Joachim Eschenburg und die Künste und Wissenschaften zwischen Aufklärung und Romantik. Netzwerke und Kulturen des Wissens, GRM-Beiheft 50 (Heidelberg: Winter, 2013), 95-114, ref. 112.

685 SW, XII, 246.

686 Ibid., 280.

687 Ibid., 242.

688 Ibid., 231.

689 Edith Höltenschmidt, Die Mittelalter-Rezeption der Brüder Schlegel (Paderborn, etc. : Schöningh, 2000), 97-101.

690 For which he received no credit in his own lifetime. Cf. Wolfram von Eschenbach, ed. Karl Lachmann, 6th ed. (Berlin, Leipzig: de Gruyter, 1926) (1833 preface), xxviii.

691 SW, XII, 293.

692 Briefe, I, 275-282.

693 Cf. AWS’s warning against ‘étymologie spéculative’ in his essay De l’Étymologie en général. Oeuvres, II, 108.

694 Schlegel cites the dictionaries by George Hickes (1689), Lambert den Kate (1723), Edward Lye (1772), Pierre Carpentier (1772) and Jean-Baptiste Roquefort (1808).

695 Achim von Arnim und die ihm nahe standen, hg. v. Reinhold Steig and Herman Grimm, 3 vols (Stuttgart and Berlin: Cotta, 1894-1913), III: Achim von Arnim und Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm, ed. Reinhold Steig, 360. Predictably, the Grimms take Niebuhr’s side against Schlegel. Ibid., 370; Briefe der Brüder Grimm an Savigny, ed. Ingeborg Schnack and Wilhelm Schoof (Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1953), 252. Their defence is in vol. 3 of the Altdeutsche Wälder (1816). Wilhelm Grimm, Kleinere Schriften, ed. Gustav Hinrichs, 4 vols (Berlin: Dümmler, 1881-83; Gütersloh: Bertelsmann, 1887), II, 156-161.

696 SW, XII, 449.

697 glänzende Verirrungen’. Susanne Stark, Behind Inverted Commas’. Translation and Anglo-German Cultural Relations in the Nineteenth Century, Topics in Translation, 15 (Clevedon etc.: Multilingual Matters, 1999), 131. For the influence of Niebuhr’s lay theory in the Anglo-Saxon world, see also 120-141.

698 SW, XII, 458.

699 Giuseppe Micali, an authority for Schlegel, refers to the Pelasgians as ‘oscura stirpe’ and generally casts doubts on their origins. L’Italia avanti il dominio dei Romani, 4 vols (Florence : Piatti, 1810), I, 63, 65. A hundred years later, the Pelasgians were being referred to as ‘a peg upon which to hang all sorts of speculation’. J. L. Myres, ‘A History of the Pelasgian Theory’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 27 (1907), 170-222, ref. 170. Roughly half a century later, all the sources were made known but still no consensus had been reached. Fritz Lochner-Hüttenbach, Die Pelasger, Arbeiten aus dem Institut für Sprachwissenschaft Graz, 6 (Vienna: Gerold, 1960).

700 SW, XII, 427.

701 Ibid., 361. Cf. ‘cette architecture majestueusement solide’ ; Oeuvres, II, 9 ; ‘une certaine grandeur primitive’. Ibid., 104.

702 KA, XVIII, 199.

703 Next to Herder, Schlegel is the authority most quoted in Carl Justi’s classic biography of Winckelmann.

704 The Fernow-Meyer edition of Winckelmann did not contain the essay ‘Vom mündlichen Vortrag der neueren allgemeinen Geschichte’ (1754?), which was indebted to Voltaire’s view of history. See Katherine Harloe, Winckelmann and the Invention of Antiquity. History and Aesthetics in the Age of Altertumswissenschaft (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2013), 112f.

705 SW, XII, 444.

706 ‘Niobé et ses enfants. Sur la composition originale de ces statues’, Oeuvres, II, 3-29. Emil Sulger-Gebing, Die Brüder A. W. und F. Schlegel in ihrem Verhältnisse zur bildenden Kunst, Forschungen zur neueren Litteraturgeschichte, 3 (Munich : Haushalter, 1897), 167-170.

707 SW, XII, 25.

708 Ibid., 27f.

709 For instance, Giuseppe Micali’s L’Italia avanti il dominio dei Romani (1810).

710 Schlegel makes the point, often overlooked, that Goethe’s hagiography is in the preface to an edition of Winckelmann’s letters that show him to be anything but the young Achilles there apostrophized. SW, XII, 382.

711 Oeuvres, II, 103-141.

712 SW, XII, 435-438.

713 Jahrbuch der Preußischen Rhein-Universität, 1 (1819), 224-250 ; Indische Bibliothek, 1 (1820), 1-27 ; also in Bibliothèque universelle des sciences, belles-lettres, et arts, XII : Littérature (1819), 349-370.

714 Cf. Jacob Grimm’s remark on Schlegel’s intention of publishing his edition of the Nibelungenlied in black-letter type. Briefwechsel aus der Jugendzeit, 336.

715 Oeuvres, II, 103-114.

716 Now published in extract in Höltenschmidt, 804-831.

717 SLUB Dresden, the folders marked Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LXXII, LXXIII a/b, LXXIV. These comprise his annotated copy of Myller; his variants of the Munich ms., his variants of Die Klage from the Munich ms., ‘Historische Notizen’ and the ms. of the article in Deutsches Museum.

718 Tieck’s medieval studies set out succinctly by Uwe Meves, ‘”Altdeutsche” Literatur. Tiecks Hinwendung zur altdeutschen Dichtung’, in: Claudia Stockinger and Stefan Scherer (eds), Ludwig Tieck. Leben-Werk-Wirkung (Berlin, Boston: de Gruyter, 2011), 207-218.

719 Briefwechsel der Brüder Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm mit Karl Lachmann, ed. Albert Leitzmann, 2 vols (Jena : Frommann, 1927), I, 509, 608.

720 Karl Lachmann, Über die ursprüngliche Gestalt des Gedichts von der Nibelungen Noth (Berlin : Dümmler, 1816), ref. 87 ; Der Nibelungen Noth mit der Klage. In der ältesten Gestalt mit den Abweichungen der gemeinen Lesart, hg. von Karl Lachmann (Berlin: Reimer, 1826).

721 Cf. in the late nineteenth century Schlegel’s perceived ‘Alexandrismus’ as opposed to the more acceptable ‘folk’ theories of the Grimm brothers. Anton E. Schönbach, Die Brüder Grimm. Ein Gedenkblatt zum 4. Januar 1885 (Berlin: Dümmler, 1885), 20.

722 Grimm-Lachmann, I, 22.

723 Deutsches Museum herausgegeben von Friedrich Schlegel, 3 vols (Vienna: Camesina, 1812- 13). AWS’s contributions are, in order: ‘Aus einer noch ungedruckten historischen Untersuchung über das Lied der Nibelungen’, I, i, 9-36; ‘Ueber das Nibelungen-Lied’, I, vi, 505-536, II, i, 1-23; ‘Gedichte auf Rudolf von Habsburg von Zeitgenossen’, I, iv, 289-323; ‘Ueber das Mittelalter. Eine Vorlesung, gehalten 1803’, II, xi, 432-462. None in SW. There is in addition his announcement (‘Ankündigung’) dated June, 1812, of a forthcoming edition of the Nibelungenlied (II, x, 366).

724 Friedrich attributes its suspension to the effects of war and difficulties of distribution, and hopes to resume in 1815. Deutsches Museum, IV, xii, 542. On this periodical see Johannes Bobeth, Die Zeitschriften der Romantik (Leipzig: Haessel, 1911), 261-286.

725 Moskau’s Brand’ by Count Franz von Enzenberg, IV, xii, 449-453.

726 Bobeth, 284-286.

727 Wilhelm Grimm, ‘Über die Originalität des Nibelungenlieds und des Heldenbuchs’, Kleinere Schriften, I, 34f. Körner (1911), 79. A bibliographical account of the early literature on the Nibelungenlied to be found in Mary Thorp, The Study of the Nibelungenlied. Being the History of the Study of the Epic and Legend from 1755 to 1937 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1940).

728 Krisenjahre, I, 390f.; Höltenschmidt, 82-87.

729 Das Lied der Nibelungen. Metrisch übersetzt von D. Johann Gustav Büsching (Altenburg and Leipzig : Brockhaus, 1815), ix.

730 These are A (the second, so-called Hohenems ms., now in Munich), B (the St Gall ms. in the Stiftsbibliothek there), C (the so-called Hohenems-Lassberg, formerly in the Fürstenberg library in Donaueschingen and now in the Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe) and D (the so-called Prünn-Münchener, now in Munich). See Der Nibelungen Liet und Diu Klage. Die Donaueschinger Handschrift 63 [Laßberg 174], ed. Werner Schröder, Deutsche Texte in Handschriften, 3 (Cologne, Vienna: Böhlau, 1969).

731 Deutsches Museum, I, i, 27.

732 The phrase used by Otfrid Ehrismann, Das Nibelungenlied in Deutschland. Studien zur Rezeption des Nibelungenlieds von der Mitte des 18. Jahrhunderts bis zum Ersten Weltkrieg, Münchner Germanistische Beiträge, 14 (Munich: Fink, 1975), 90.

733 His review of Raynouard (1818).

734 See esp. Norman King, ‘Le Moyen Âge à Coppet’, Colloque 1974, 375-399 ; and Henri Duranton, ‘L’interprétation du mythe troubadour par le Groupe de Coppet’, ibid., 349-373.

735 Madame de Staël, Considérations sur les principaux évémenents de la Révolution Française, second edition, 3 vols (London : Baldwin, Cradock and Joy, 1819), I, 6, 13.

736 King (1974), 388.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 13 ‘Artem penetrat’. Caricature drawing, undated [1805?]. Orphan work.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/, 156k
Titre Fig. 14 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide (Paris, 1807). Title page.
Crédits © And by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-2.jpg
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Titre Fig. 15 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Über dramatische Kunst und Litteratur (Heidelberg, 1809, 1811). Title page of vol. 1.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/, 88k
Titre Fig. 16 ‘Eintritts-Billett’. Admission ticket for Schlegel’s lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, Vienna 1808.
Crédits © SLUB Dresden, all rights reserved.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-4.jpg
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Titre Fig. 17 August Wilhelm Schlegel, marble bust by Friedrich Tieck 1816-30.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/, 56k
Titre Fig. 18 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Poetische Werke (Vienna, 1815). Frontispiece and title page.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/, 204k
Titre Fig. 19 August Wilhelm Schlegel, Betrachtungen über die Politik der dänischen Regierung ([Stockholm], 1813). Title page.
Crédits © And by kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge, CC BY-NC 4.0.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/, 116k
Titre Fig. 20 Proclamations de S. A. R. le Prince-Royal de Suède (Stockholm, 1815). Title page.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-8.jpg
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Titre Fig. 21 Portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Gustav Adolph Zumpe (c. 1817).
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-9.jpg
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Titre Fig. 22 Friedrich Schlegel, Deutsches Museum (Vienna, 1812). Title page.
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2957/img-10.jpg
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