Version classiqueVersion mobile

The Life of August Wilhelm Schlegel

 | 
Roger Paulin

5. The Past Returns

Texte intégral

  • 1 Her letters in Krisenjahre, II, 382-408, Felix Theodor’s 405f.; unpublished letters SLUB Dresden, M (...)
  • 2 Flore und Blanscheflur. Ein episches Gedicht in zwölf Gesängen von Sophie v. Knorring, geb. Tieck. (...)
  • 3 Krisenjahre, II, 406-408.

1All this might suggest years preoccupied with things Indian. The reality was different. His life could not be neatly compartmentalized in order to shut out other pressing realities. Such as Sophie von Knorring (as she now was), the baroness from Livonia. Schlegel may have forgotten his promise to write a preface for her medievalising epic Flore und Blanscheflure.1 She had not. Effusive as ever, and appealing to their old friendship, she took advantage of a visit to Germany in 1821‑22 to remind him of his undertaking. She even used her son Felix Theodor Bernhardi, now a student in Heidelberg—and a broad hint at what their relationship had once been—to jog his memory. If Schlegel did not reply soon enough, she wrote again, and yet again. He finally caved in, found a publisher (Reimer in Berlin) and wrote a preface.2 Reimer, cutting his losses, left out her own foreword.3

2Schlegel, taking time out from his Indische Bibliothek and his lecturing, did not disappoint her. He had, his preface states, never given up his belief that ‘simple, energetic and godfearing ages’ had been strongest in poetic invention. But we have their texts often only in the original languages, which few can now read, or in prose corruptions. Imitations are problematic: either they take liberties (like Ariosto) or they fail to render the subtleties of the original verse. Where did Flore und Blanscheflur—a story of love across the Muslim-Christian divide—come from? Certainly not from France (definitely not from the Charlemagne cycle), and most likely from the East (one almost expects him to say: India). Sophie Tieck had captured well both the letter and the spirit: it was what he had once tried himself with his poem Tristan. He did not say her brother Ludwig had once essayed this genre with far greater success. The market had changed since then: Flore und Blanscheflur remained a literary curiosity, not a reminder of Sophie Tieck’s real literary talent.

  • 4 Ibid., 507f.

3With this, the Knorring correspondence ebbed away. He was spared a visitation in Bonn. Yet as late as 1838, Sophie’s husband Knorring wondered if there was a chance of a French or English translation of Flore und Blanscheflur. It was an act of piety: Sophie had died in 1833.4

Friedrich Schlegel

  • 5 Jakob Minor, ‘August Wilhelm von Schlegel in den Jahren 1804-1845’, Zeitschrift für die Österreichi (...)
  • 6 Walzel, 652.
  • 7 Ibid., 658.
  • 8 Kaufmann, ‘Zur Erinnerung’, 247.
  • 9 KA, XXX, 242.

4This was as nothing compared with the rift between the brothers Schlegel. Strong expressions have been used: Schlegel’s nineteenth-century editors Minor and Walzel spoke of fratricide.5 Some sober facts are therefore in order. Apart from Schlegel’s last three letters, of which he appears to have kept copies, only Friedrich’s have survived, themselves sporadic. August Wilhelm seems to be making peremptory demands, but these may well be a final, exasperated repetition of things already stated. But even this we do not know with any certainty. Sometimes they were open with each other, sometimes not. There had been Friedrich’s wise counsel to his brother in the matter of his marriage, but he had not told August Wilhelm about his own quasi-mystical, quasi-erotic relationship with Frau Christine von Stransky, one of the circumstances attending his journey to Munich in 1827 ‘for his health’s sake’.6 It does seem that the brothers could find a common basis of agreement and interest when in private conversation, as last in 1818. When Friedrich went into print, however, the tone changed, his position became more extreme. August Wilhelm claimed that he had not been prepared for the ‘reactionary’ tone of Concordia (’Discordia’); by the time the second volume appeared, in 1823, he had experienced the Carlsbad Decrees, Metternich’s anti-liberal clamp-down on the German lands. Friedrich, by contrast, was unworried by the muzzling of the press;7 he had allegedly written a poem to the queen of Spain, welcoming the restoration of the Bourbons there and the reaction that went with it.8 August Wilhelm had wanted to make a public statement as early as 1822, dissociating himself from his brother. Henriette Mendelssohn, Dorothea’s sister living in Paris, had dissuaded him, for the sake of family harmony.9 He had on the other hand nothing but praise for his brother’s pioneering work on Sanskrit: it was convenient to remind all and sundry that a Schlegel had been there first, not, say, Bopp. But Friedrich had not reissued Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier in the Sämmtliche Werke, the edition of his works that he had been bringing out since 1822. Those volumes contained much that was not to his brother’s liking.

  • 10 SW, VIII, 207-219.

5For all that, Schlegel hesitated to attack his brother openly and by name. In the preface that he wrote in 1825 to Johann Heinrich Bohte’s catalogue of German literature for sale in London (Abriß von den Europäischen Verhältnissen der Deutschen Litteratur),10 he had stressed the autonomy of scholarly investigation, the free flow of ideas, the freedom of the press. He cited Frederick the Great’s edict of tolerance, so different from the English who had a habit of prosecuting publishers and booksellers. It would apply equally to Friedrich Schlegel’s adopted country, Metternich’s Austria. This was the Prussian professor setting himself against the servant of the Austrian state.

  • 11 Ibid., 220-284.

6Again, he did not mention Friedrich by name in the long pamphlet that Reimer published in 1828, Berichtigung einiger Missdeutungen [Correction of Some Misapprehensions].11 This was to be his most comprehensive public autobiographical account, the most unequivocal statement of his later views on religion. It was in response to that article in ‘Baron’ d’Eckstein’s Le Catholique, claiming that August Wilhelm Schlegel was ‘half-Catholic’ (which half, it did not say); more extensively, it was a rebuttal of allegations of crypto‑Catholicism directed posthumously at him by Johann Heinrich Voss, in the second part of his polemic, Anti-Symbolik (1827). It was an extraordinary performance of self-justification against the ever-rampageous Voss, whose mind was slightly unhinged by the wave of conversions that he saw Romanticism as having initiated. On the one hand Schlegel set out his impeccable anti-Napoleonic credentials against Voss’s secure professorial existence in Heidelberg during those same years, when the nation might have needed him. On the other it was a part-recantation of the Catholicizing attitudes of his early manhood, part, because, for all the whiffs of incense and rustlings of vestments, his concern had always been with the highest things in art. He could justify that poem on the union of the church with the arts as a statement of art history, Die Gemälde from the Athenaeum similarly (reissued in the same year in his Kritische Schriften), similarly.

  • 12 Briefe, I, 412.

7Now, he was all for tolerance, freedom of esteem, liberty of the press, the right of reply. Let there be conversations by all means, but they must not involve the stifling of intellectual debate, the surrender to a spiritual authority, the descent into Catholic apologetics, and—here surely meaning Friedrich—polemics on the ‘Zeitgeist’ that were in reality only the immutable positions of Rome. We must be on our guard against reaction, as in the restorations in France and Spain. All this was compatible with a continuing interest in Christian art, as evidenced by his article on Fra Angelico: Sulpiz Boisserée hoped that he might write something on Cologne cathedral for his Kunstblatt.12

  • 13 Walzel, 653.
  • 14 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (3), 136.
  • 15 Walzel, 655.

8It was to be seen against the background of Friedrich’s lectures on the ‘philosophy of life’ in Vienna in 1827 and on the philosophy of history in Dresden in 1828, and finally, on the philosophy of language and word, also in Dresden. In the last letters that they exchanged, Friedrich returned to those good days on the Rhine in 1818, when there had been no differences; he regretted August Wilhelm’s absence from the last family gathering in the autumn of 1824. Now, within a short space of time, their brother Moritz had died, then their sister Charlotte and her husband Ludwig Emanuel Ernst.13 Then came the news of Auguste von Buttlar’s conversion; she was living in Vienna, and August Wilhelm automatically blamed his brother Friedrich’s malign influence.14 By now, August Wilhelm had had enough. He asked Friedrich to contribute towards the support of Moritz’s widow. Friedrich could not: he had been in debt since 1818, to Windischmann and above all to his brother August Wilhelm. Adopting a slightly self-pitying tone, he claimed that Moritz, ‘whom he had esteemed as a brother and a father’,15 would not have wished any family discord. There it was, between the lines: Friedrich, the youngest sibling, the ‘problem child’, taken under his brother Moritz’s wing, while August Wilhelm, clever and precocious, had been smiled upon by their father. But surely their common, collective presence was better than public disagreement.

  • 16 Ibid., 653.
  • 17 Ibid., 656.
  • 18 Ibid., 666.
  • 19 Briefe, I, 443f., II, 223.

9These arguments could not move August Wilhelm. He announced that he would declare his ‘public antagonism’ to Friedrich as a writer,16 believing that the late Moritz would have shared his views on Concordia, as ‘anti-philosophical, anti-historical, and anti-social’.17 Of course he never attacked his brother personally in public, only the ideas he believed him to represent. He then asked—yet again—for repayment of the old bad debt of 1818, the 300 florins that Friedrich had needed for his return from Frankfurt to Vienna. A death—he did not say whose—had placed him in financial embarrassment. Did Schlegel really need 300 florins all that urgently, and what for?18 In a letter to Schulze of November, 1826, he mentions financial difficulties, even having to pawn an Indian statue: rumours about his wealth and life-style were not justified. The Râmâyana was keeping him poor, the Sanskrit editions were a constant drain on his finances.19 His house, into which he had sunk most of his capital, was another burden. But surely he would not wish to bankrupt his brother. His life-style was not extravagant, only comfortable. Friedrich, too, enjoyed the good things of life, but without the means to afford them. It was a symbolic calling in of all those advances and loans that had disappeared into the bottomless pit of Friedrich and Dorothea’s financial mismanagement. But the patience and goodwill that had once accompanied them were now exhausted.

  • 20 Anfälle von apoplektischer Natur’. Briefe, I, 477.
  • 21 Ibid., I, 477.
  • 22 Ibid., 479f., II, 211.

10Friedrich was in bad health, grossly corpulent and subject to a series of minor strokes.20 He had been upset at the death of his fellow-convert Adam Müller, one of the contributors to Concordia. Yet nothing could stem the flow of his thoughts and his lecturing.21 Now, he was staying in Dresden with his niece Auguste von Buttlar (she was sorting out her parents’ estate) and had given his last lecture on 10 January, 1829. That morning he had received the sacrament. In the evening, while sitting with Auguste, he was taken ill with a massive stroke. A doctor could not be summoned, and the distraught Auguste had to watch her beloved uncle, struggling for breath, his face distorted, until ‘a serenity covered his features in death’.22 He was buried in the Catholic cemetery in Dresden.

  • 23 Ibid., 489.
  • 24 SW, VIII, 285-293.

11Schlegel made no claim on his brother’s estate, remaining on polite terms with his sister-in-law Dorothea, consoled by her sons and her piety. He took in Moritz’s son Johann August Adolph,23 already displaying signs of mental disorder. He made his peace with Auguste. On the subject of Friedrich’s literary Nachlass he remained equivocal. In a long letter to Windischmann, of 29 December, 1834,24 he set out his considered views. His brother’s writings on philosophy and theology were clearly still a stumbling-block. All of his work, he said, early and late, was marked by paradox and abrupt change. Whether or not one chose to republish his early works—those from the Lyceum or the Athenaeum (but not the ‘foolish rhapsody’ Lucinde)—the many turnings in his way of thinking must be manifest. ‘Comet-like’ was the word he used to characterize his brother, with its connotations of brilliance, eccentricity, and eye-catching changes of trajectory.

Ludwig Tieck

12To compound the feelings aroused by his family, old friends came back into his ambit. Above all, there was Ludwig Tieck, a notoriously bad correspondent. Their once fairly frequent exchange of letters had come to a standstill. He and Schlegel had actually not met since Jena; they had missed each other in Rome in 1805, in Paris and Frankfurt in 1817. It was the other Tieck siblings, Sophie and Friedrich, who had written, with their catalogue of woes, some real, some imaginary. A constant theme had been the feline egoism of their brother Ludwig, his free use of others’ money, his absences and disappearances. Now, since 1819, he was installed in a ménage à trois in Dresden, with his wife and Countess Henriette von Finckenstein, plus his daughters, the talented Dorothea and the less talented Agnes. Since 1825, he had been ‘Dramaturg’ at the royal theatre in Dresden, as well as re-inventing himself as a writer of short fiction. He, too, had been in Italy, England and France. On the subject of Friedrich Schlegel, to whom he had once been close, he inclined towards August Wilhelm’s position.

  • 25 Lohner, 183-185, 187-189.
  • 26 Ludwig Tieck, Schriften, 20 vols (Berlin: Reimer, 1828-46). IV is dedicated to Schleiermacher but c (...)
  • 27 Most of this set out in ‘Schreiben an Herrn Buchhändler Reimer in Berlin’, SW, VII, 281-302.
  • 28 Details in Christine Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare en Allemagne de 1815 à 1850. Propagation et (...)
  • 29 Lohner, 165f.

13Thus when he came to stay for two weeks in Bonn in 1828,25 they had more or less to reconstruct their friendship. Tieck had paved the way by dedicating a volume of his recently reissued works to Schlegel.26 No doubt Tieck’s charm and conversation helped, for there was an issue between them in the figure of William Shakespeare.27 It was to strain their newly reforged friendship to the utmost (Tieck, as usual, wondering what all the fuss was about). It mattered to Schlegel, because a section of the German reading public still associated his name with his Shakespeare translation. To the public’s chagrin and his publisher’s vexation, he had left it unfinished. Reimer, who had taken the enterprise over from Unger’s widow, tried to stir Schlegel into action by republishing the nine volumes in 1816‑18 and again in 1821‑23.28 Schlegel was however never going to be in a position to deliver. Against his better judgment—and, as it emerged, his publisher’s too—he allowed Reimer to enter into a contract with Ludwig Tieck to complete the task. He had never had a particularly high opinion of Tieck’s skills as a Shakespeare translator—he had pointedly refused the offer of a version of Love’s Labour’s Lost from Tieck as far back as 180829—and Tieck’s renderings of pseudo-Shakespeareana and ‘Old Plays’, Alt-Englisches Theater (1811) and Shakspeare’s Vorschule (1823, 1829) were hardly the ‘real thing’.

  • 30 Bernd Goldmann, Wolf Heinrich Graf Baudissin. Leben und Werk eines großen Übersetzers (Hildesheim: (...)
  • 31 Walzel, 573.
  • 32 Roger Paulin, The Critical Reception of Shakespeare in Germany 1682-1914. Native Literature and For (...)
  • 33 See Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare, esp. 367-373. Cf. AWS’s poem on the many versions of the wi (...)

14Tieck had further surprises up his sleeve. He was not going to do the actual translating himself, entrusting this to Wolf von Baudissin and to his own daughter Dorothea. Schlegel could not object to Baudissin, whom he knew personally and whose own translation of King Henry VIII (1818) could be regarded as the completion of his own versions of the Histories.30 Dorothea was as yet an unknown factor. In the event both proved to be highly competent. The problem was Tieck himself. He subjected their versions to his scrutiny, which was understandable. He also went much further: he appended a scholarly apparatus which enabled him to set out his own—often highly wayward—ideas on Shakespeare’s datings, editions and readings. Schlegel, having seen Eschenburg’s edition and its unhappy merging of translation and scholarly apparatus, had resolutely set his face against the ‘contamination’ of his own. He certainly never had the ambition of being an editor of Shakespeare, giving his readers the text, nothing else. Tieck was also dilatory. The edition started coming out in 1825, but was not completed until 1833. By then the ‘Cyclopian family’ (Friedrich Schlegel’s uncomplimentary name)31 that was Johann Heinrich Voss and his sons Abraham and Heinrich, had finished the first ever complete German metrical Shakespeare. Voss had for good measure ensured that his preface contained some uncomplimentary words for Schlegel.32 No-one willingly reads Voss today. In the nineteenth century however his was one among many Shakespeares that jostled on the market.33 Carl Joseph Meyer’s was another, and it was far cheaper than Reimer’s. Worse still, Tieck put on the title page ‘translated by August Wilhelm von Schlegel and Ludwig Tieck’, never revealing the identity of either collaborator (who had done all the work in his name), and making ‘corrections’ to Schlegel’s text. Not that this itself was beyond improvement: it would have been only fair to have allowed Schlegel the option of carrying out such a revision. One could even argue that Tieck’s suppression of his own daughter’s role was no worse than Schlegel’s reticence on Caroline’s: neither is laudable.

  • 34 Roger, 376.

15For the time being Schlegel was too preoccupied with other matters to be able to influence the issue. In 1838‑39, however, he returned to the subject, pressing Reimer with demands for changes. It was almost as if he recognized, as his career was ebbing away, that this translation would remain his supreme achievement when everything else was forgotten, and that his Shakespeare essays were ‘classics’ of their kind. (One also notes a major reworking of the Vienna Lectures about this time.) He even harried Reimer to accept re-revisions, restorations of his original: he was only able to do King John, King Richard II and 1 King Henry IV, before his energy ran out. A revised ‘Schlegel-Tieck’ came out in 1839‑41,34 neither the original text nor a proper revision, and a misnomer as such. For the ‘Schlegel‑Tieck’, as the standard German translation is known and as such is still in print, is not the one of 1797‑1810 and it represents a back-handed compliment to Germany’s greatest translator. If one wishes to cite Shakespeare according to Schlegel, it is to Unger’s and Reimer’s originals that one must return. There has never been a full reissue of Schlegel’s text since 1823, which is surely a national disgrace.

Goethe

  • 35 Tieck, Schriften, IV, [4].
  • 36 Wieneke, 261.

16Schlegel forgave Ludwig Tieck: he liked him as a person and he had a weakness for his friend’s Romantic verse. The dedication of a volume of Tieck’s Schriften and the re-evocation there of the spirit of Jena mollified him, also the reminder that it was Schlegel who first discovered Tieck’s talent.35 Tieck was a friend, if an occasionally wayward one. What of Goethe, whom he (and his brother Friedrich) had always enshrined as the incarnation of the modern in German poetry, the consummate artist, a kind of ‘Weltgeist’, a name that stood comparison with Dante or Shakespeare or Calderón? Goethe, to whom Schlegel had been close in Jena and who had extended his patronage to the younger man, who had used Schlegel’s Shakespeare for the Weimar stage (not Schlegel’s ‘pure’ text, but no matter); who had received Madame de Staël—the list could be extended. Of course it had not been all deference: there was Schlegel’s published letter from Rome in 1805 that can hardly have pleased Goethe, or the faint praise in the Vienna Lectures. Schlegel could appreciate Friedrich’s and Dorothea’s indignation that Goethe had failed to mention the Romantic contribution to the understanding of German medieval art and shared their displeasure at his sponsoring of Heinrich Meyer’s attack on the Nazarene painters in Rome. If Goethe did not care for Indian art, he took a ready interest in Indian poetry and thought, noting the receipt of the Bhagavad-Gîtâ edtion and ensuring that the ducal library in Weimar subscribed to the Râmâyana.36 On August 28, 1826 admirers of Goethe in Bonn had foregathered

  • 37 Ibid., 260; SW, I, 156; Josef Körner, Romantiker und Klassiker. Die Brüder Schlegel in ihren Bezieh (...)
  • 38 Wieneke, 261f.
  • 39 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (9), 29-30.

17to celebrate his seventy-seventh birthday in the romantic setting of Nonnenwörth island, on the Rhine. Schlegel had written the birthday ode (where ‘Göthe’ rhymed with ‘Morgenröthe’ [dawn]).37 On his way to Berlin, at the end of April, 1827, he had been received in Weimar by Goethe with full honours: Goethe listened with interest as Schlegel explained matters of Indian art and poetry.38 Goethe had thanked Schlegel with a copy of his printed poem ‘Am acht und zwanzigsten August 1826’ [On the 28th of August 1826], with a lithographed signature, adding a personal greeting to a similar note on the same day in 1829.39

  • 40 Cf. Benedikt Jessing, ‘Der Kanon des späten Goethe’, in: Anett Lütteken et al. (eds), Der Kanon im (...)
  • 41 Boisserée, Tagebücher, II, i, 228.
  • 42 Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Goethe in den Jahren 1794 bis 1805, 6 parts (Stuttgart and Tübin (...)

18All this seemed fine, but for Goethe there was always the unseen presence of Schiller. For all his proclamation of an age of ‘Weltliteratur’ (which others, unacknowledged, had already ushered in, Wieland and Schlegel among them), Goethe’s real literary canon in his later years, what really mattered, consisted of the Greek and Latin classics, Schiller, and himself.40 Schiller’s canonization was proceeding apace, but not fast enough for Goethe (his statue in Stuttgart, the first to a national poet, would follow in 1838). He remembered the Romantics’—the Schlegel brothers’— acts of disloyalty and disparagement to Schiller, their seeming duplicity, sidling up to him, Goethe, while writing Schiller out of the account in the Athenaeum, for instance. Schlegel’s curt treatment of Schiller in the Vienna Lectures had not gone unnoticed. Already in 1815, in a particularly fierce remark to Sulpiz Boisserée, he had vowed to ‘be revenged on the whole pack’ of the Romantics.41 Thus, primarily to remind the world of the wide significance of their ‘Commercium’, their symbiotic collaboration and intellectual exchange, but also to set the record straight, he decided as a first step to publish his correspondence with Schiller.42

  • 43 August Wilhelm von Schlegel, Kritische Schriften, 2 parts (Berlin: Reimer, 1828). I: iii-xviii Vorr (...)
  • 44 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (11), 34.

19It was part of a general settling of scores. Schlegel had issued his own Kritische Schriften in 1828,43 containing almost entirely the production of the past, some of it ephemeral, but most of it good and solid, occasionally even brilliant, the best things he ever wrote, one might say of some of them, but associated with a Romantic movement that many, Heinrich Heine among them, wished to see consigned to history. Novalis was long dead; Friedrich Schlegel’s multiform talents were being directed more and more to the Ultramontane and the chiliastic; Ludwig Tieck had abandoned the ‘wondrous fairy-tale world’ [wunderbare Märchenwelt] for the more prosaic and everyday; Schleiermacher had returned to theology; Schelling’s star was being occluded by ‘Sanct Hegelius’ (Alexander von Humboldt in uncomplimentary vein to Schlegel).44 Schlegel toyed with the idea of issuing his collected works, as his brother Friedrich was doing (minus the literary sins of his youth), or Tieck, or Jean Paul. It might have assembled much that was for so long to sink out of public consciousness or was republished only in 1846‑47 when his reputation was already beginning to slump.

  • 45 Kritische Schriften, I, iiif.

20There was no question of Schlegel using his Kritische Schriften as a response to Goethe; at most, the general tone of self-justification might have annoyed the great man, nothing more. There was no reason for him to be displeased with what Schlegel had had to say in the 1790s, now reprinted, on his Roman Elegies, Tasso, or Hermann und Dorothea, if anything some slightly pedantic additional remarks might irk. But the various small pin-pricks against Schiller, especially his versification, made it clear where Schlegel stood. The tone was otherwise generally unrepentant:45 Schlegel reprinted his essay on Bürger (a corrective to Schiller), various contributions to the Athenaeum, not least Die Gemälde and the Flaxman essay, his piece on Ion, his letter to Goethe from Rome, his more recent review of Fra Angelico, even his appreciation of Gérard’s Staël-Corinne. And indeed why not?

  • 46 Siegfried Unseld, Goethe und seine Verleger (Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig: Insel, 1991), 572-600.

21Goethe also had no reason for repentance. His act of piety towards Schiller did not prevent him from striking quite a hard bargain with Cotta and with Schiller’s widow, but no matter.46 In the six parts that came out in 1828 and 1829, containing the letters from 1794 to the end of 1796, Schlegel, as he cut the volumes open, would have found little to upset him personally. His brother Friedrich might be less pleased, but then again back in the 1790s he had been consorting with Schiller’s bête noire, the hated Reichardt. The remaining parts of his correspondence with Schiller, that appeared in 1829—Friedrich was by now dead—contained Schiller’s unflattering remarks on Friedrich Schlegel and his almost physical disgust at the Athenaeum. It was not so much Schiller’s individual remarks as the awareness that these Romantics, for Goethe’s and Schiller’s concerns, were at worst an irrelevance and at best useful allies. It might appear that Goethe’s tolerance towards them, his conciliatory words to Schiller, were little more than a front. The correspondence could give the impression that there was no outside world, no affairs of state, no domesticity (not for Goethe, at least), only the common pursuit. It would not emerge that both Goethe and Schiller for brief periods had exchanged notes with Schlegel with similar frequency.

  • 47 As Humboldt makes clear to AWS. Leitzmann, 251f.
  • 48 Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Wilhelm v. Humboldt. Mit einer Vorerinnerung über Schiller und d (...)

22How different, how much more intimate and natural the correspondence between Schiller and Wilhelm von Humboldt, that Humboldt published in 1830, and how much more conciliatory his 80-page preface (‘Ueber Schiller und den Gang seiner Geistesentwicklung’ [On Schiller and the Development of his Mind]). Above all, Humboldt had deliberately left out any remarks of Schiller’s that might offend Schlegel.47 There was much more of Schlegel’s being a ‘splendid acquisition’ for Die Horen.48

23Goethe however had some more shots in his locker and they were to be delivered posthumously. It was inevitable that the hagiography that started in earnest after his death would wish to publish more of his obiter dicta. In the correspondence between Goethe and Zelter that was brought out in 1833‑34, Schlegel could read:

  • 49 Letter to Zelter of 26 October, 1831. Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter in den Jahren 1796 bi (...)

The brothers Schlegel, for all their fine gifts, are and have been unhappy men all their lives; they wanted to present more than their nature had endowed them with, and achieve more than they were able. Thus they have wrought much havoc in art and literature. From the false doctrines in the fine arts that they preached and spread abroad, that conjoined egoism with weakness, German artists and connoisseurs have not yet recovered.49

24In an odd inversion of Schlegel’s letter to him of 1 November, 1824, Goethe continued:

  • 50 Ibid., 319.

Seen it its true light, their turning to India was no more than a pis-aller. They were clever enough to see that in the fields of German and Greek and Latin there was nothing brilliant for them to do; and so they threw themselves into the Far East, and here August Wilhelm’s talent displays itself in an honourable fashion.50

That was an elegant put-down. It would have been much more galling to find oneself reading, in the conversations attributed to Goethe by Johann Peter Eckermann and published in 1836, this remark following Schlegel’s visit to Weimar, on 24 April, 1827, but Eckermann suppressed it for the time being:

  • 51 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, XXIV, 626.

He is in many respects not a man, but one can compensate that to some extent on account of his many-sided scholarly knowledge and his achievements.51

  • 52 Otto Höfler, Homunculuseine Satire auf A. W. Schlegel. Goethe und die Romantik (Vienna, Cologne a (...)
  • 53 Gespräche mit Goethe in den letzten Jahren seines Lebens. 1823-1832. Von Johann Peter Eckermann, 2 (...)

25Would this perhaps confirm the otherwise implausible hypothesis, seriously advanced by a modern scholar, that Schlegel is the sexless ‘Homunculus’ in the second part of Faust, published in 1832?52 Or was it part of Goethe’s general dictum expressed to Eckermann on 2 April, 1827 (and published in 1836) that Romanticism equalled ‘sickness’.53 Where the early Goethe hagiographers, Carl Gustav Carus or Bettina von Arnim, were to stress his Olympian brow and his god-like physique, this correspondence and these conversations seemed to confirm a counter-image. It started with the Romantics’ mentors, Reichardt a ‘noxious insect’ (Schiller), Georg Forster sexually and politically compromised, Bürger morally disqualified; then came the Romantics proper, the consumptive Novalis (Schiller, too, but that was different), a rheumaticky Tieck, a gross Friedrich Schlegel, an unmanned August Wilhelm Schlegel—one could go on. The so‑called Young Germans, having the advantage of youth, perpetuated this image of an outdated generation, one also of converts and reactionaries (Friedrich Schlegel, Werner, Adam Müller, Gentz, now all safely dead). This general paying back with interest, this drawing up of fronts, formed the background to Heinrich Heine’s Die Romantische Schule of 1835 and the thrust it delivered. It had not come from nowhere: one feature of the 1820s and 1830s had been the reissue of the works of this older generation—some already deceased—with autobiographical self-justification or a retouched Life. It was a key motive in Schlegel’s own Kritische Schriften, a reminder that the Bonn professor of belles-lettres and Indian literature was still a critic of formidable dimensions. He could put in their place the proponents of Johann Heinrich Voss (who included Goethe) or the detractors of Bürger (principally Schiller), Shakespearean sceptics (Goethe, in part), or would-be classicists (like Goethe and Schiller) who could not scan correctly.

  • 54 Briefe, I, 642.

26It also brought out a less attractive side of Schlegel: the polemicist and satirist. It was related, as already seen, to his anti-Vossiade, his demolition of Langlois, his testy response to H. H. Wilson; it was to colour his later correspondence with Jean Antoine Letronne on the origins of the Zodiac (Indian versus Greek), until Letronne in 1838 finally spoke an irenic word: ‘There cannot be any question, between us, of war or tussle; we are only in a discussion that can be turned to the benefit of science, because you are taking the trouble of being involved in it’.54 It put an end to the buzzing of that particular bee in Schlegel’s bonnet. But one notes that word ‘war’ all the same.

  • 55 Ibid., 516.

27There was nothing of Brahmanic repose in the satirical verse (some of it in French) which Schlegel produced in the 1820s and 1830s, indeed right up to his death. It was more in the spirit of the Athenaeum, of the Ehrenpforte for Kotzebue. It saw him returning to almanacs and magazines, as he had done in the years up to his departure from Coppet, the Leipzig Blätter für literarische Unterhaltung or Amadeus Wendt’s Musenalmanach. It was, as he told Wendt, a response to ‘inimical and ridiculous things in recently- published correspondence’,55 but not only. There were other issues to settle. It was all very well informing his readers—and his victims—as he did in the poem Epilog:

  • 56 SW, II, 256.

Nur ein poetisch Feuerwerk
War, Publicum, mein Augenmerk.
Doch ärgerst du dich an den Scherzen,
Als kämen sie aus schwarzem Herzen,
So geh’ ich dir zu Leib’ im Ernst,
Damit du Spaß verstehen lernst.
56

[It was only poetic fireworks,
Reading public, that I had in mind.
But if my jokes displease you,
And seem to you black-hearted,
I’ll really go for you
So that you know what poking fun is.]

28It did not prevent his satires on Schiller (fewer on Goethe) from being largely puerile (although even their correspondence can stand being cut down to size). One example:

 Morgenbillet.
Damit mein Freund bequem in’s Schauspiel rutsche,
So steht ihm heut zu Diensten meine Kutsche.

  • 57 Ibid., 207.

 Antwort.
Ich zweifle, daß ich heut in’s Schauspiel geh’;
Mein liebes Fritzchen hat die Diarrhee.
57

 [Morning Note.
So that my friend can go with ease to the play, My carriage is at his disposal today.

 Answer.
I doubt that I will get to the play today.
My dearest little Fritz has the diarrhée.]

  • 58 der Goethesche Aufwasch und Auskehricht’, Lohner, 210.
  • 59 Rahel-Bibliothek. Rahel Varnhagen, Gesammelte Werke, ed. Konrad Feilchenfeldt, Uwe Schweikert and R (...)

29These reactions to the washing of Goethean linen in public,58 the impugnments of Goethe’s ‘sacred’ person, had their effect: Schlegel was himself more vulnerable to attacks from all quarters. Part of Heine’s strategy was to play Goethe off against an ‘unmanly’ Schlegel. Karl August Varnhagen von Ense, once in the audience of the Berlin Lectures, recorded an altercation with Schlegel in 1844 over Goethe, saying that his disrespect towards Goethe would not harm the great man’s name, but Schlegel’s own.59

  • 60 SW, II, 166f.
  • 61 See Czapla, ‘Annäherungen an das ferne Fremde’, 146. The contributions to Wendt’s Musenalmanache ar (...)
  • 62 SW, II, 164f., 177-180.

30It would not have consoled Niebuhr, the butt of nearly a dozen of Schlegel’s lampoons, especially after he had had a fire in his house and had lost his manuscripts. There is a poem (unpublished at the time) directed at a ‘Sanct Obesus’,60 who could well be Friedrich Schlegel. Ernst Moritz Arndt received some verses in season, even his colleague Welcker as well. The poets of the day—Grillparzer, Raupach, Müllner, the Voss family, Rückert, Mundt, Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Freiligrath—were not forgotten, and there were little jokes at Bopp’s,61 Schleiermacher’s and Schelling’s expense. It mattered little that many of these same names were among the contributors to Wendt’s Musenalmanach, suggesting an inclusiveness, an ecumenicity of talent, old and new. Schlegel’s fierce humour was also part of this age, its factionalisms, its fractiousness, the shrill tone of much of its public discourse. Schlegel could occasonally turn his wit against himself:62 there is a poem on the wearing of wigs, which observers of his vanity could note with satisfaction. Readers of his epigrams lampooning titles and orders could point to the list of honours attached to his own name on the title pages of the Indische Bibliothek or the later Essais littéraires et historiques.

The 1827 Art Lectures in Berlin

  • 63 Briefe, I, 443.
  • 64 Ibid., I, 459f.
  • 65 Or Fiorillo, or Georg Forster. KAV, II, i, 347.

31Writing to Johannes Schulze in November, 1826, complaining of having too few students, Schlegel wondered if he might again be able to give lectures in the style of Vienna or Berlin.63 There were hankerings here after the great moments of his public career, not as a professor, but as a man of letters, a connoisseur, a celebrity. They were to be revived again in 1828 when he had that flattering invitation to lecture in London which alas came to nothing. Schulze meanwhile replied that there was no objection to his lecturing in Berlin; as an honorary member of the Academy he was in fact entitled to do so. Ladies might be a problem, so the venue would have to be carefully chosen. In the event, he lectured in the then just new Singakademie (today’s Gorki-Theater), near the university precinct. The models that Schulze cited were hardly encouraging: Karl von Holtei and Franz Horn were minor Berlin literati who nevertheless had had some success as public lecturers. Schlegel would not be competing in the same class as Davy or Coleridge in London or Cuvier or Alexander von Humboldt in Paris (although Humboldt followed him with popular lectures on science at the same venue during the winter of 1827‑28). He had of course once done so, but that was in the past and could not be so easily revived. These lectures might provide a counterweight to those that his brother was giving at the same time in Vienna.64 Family pride prevailed nevertheless: August Wilhelm, at the appropriate moment in Berlin, mentioned with approval the view that the Gothic style was an imitation of the Nordic forests,65 a theory which many would associate with Friedrich Schlegel.

  • 66 Text in KAV, II, i, 289-348.
  • 67 Cf. his three long letters to J. Grimm October 1832-February 1834. Briefe, I, 501-515.
  • 68 To Welcker, 28 June, 1827. UB Bonn S 686.
  • 69 KAV, II, i, 312. Did AWS devise the inscription over the front of the Altes Museum? Wilhelm von Hum (...)
  • 70 KAV, II, i, 311.
  • 71 Achim und Bettina in ihren Briefen. Briefwechsel Achim von Arnim und Bettina Brentano, ed. Werner V (...)
  • 72 Friedrich von Raumer, Lebenserinnerungen und Briefwechsel, 2 vols (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1861), II, 3 (...)

32As it turned out, the lectures—Lectures on the Theory and History of the Fine Arts66—went off to his satisfaction. It was a triumphal progress in a lower key. On the way to Berlin he called on the Grimm brothers in Kassel and renewed his acquaintance. There were bridges to be repaired, Schlegel recognizing what the Grimms had achieved since his stringent review of Jacob in 1814 (and having recommended him to Schulze in 1825 for a chair in Berlin); the brothers accepting that behind the vanity and the affectation there was a solid if not formidable base of philological and textual knowledge.67 Continuing on his way, he was received in Weimar by the grand duke and by Goethe, whom the Berlin lectures were to mention honorifically. The people who mattered to him in Berlin came to his lectures or welcomed him personally: Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt;68 his publisher Reimer; the Berlin sculptors and architects Rauch, Schinkel and Friedrich Tieck (the Lectures alluded to Schinkel’s Altes Museum, soon to be built a short walk from where Schlegel was standing;69 and to Friedrich Tieck’s relief sculptures on the Royal Theatre, no great distance away).70 He did not mention the luminaries of Berlin University, like Hegel, Schleiermacher, Lachmann, Bopp or Raumer. There were the inevitable disrespectful voices, like Bettina von Arnim’s, that saw only the external foibles.71 Ludwig Tieck was to write an uncharacteristically stern letter to his friend Friedrich von Raumer, defending his old friend’s small failures, his playing the ‘Chevalier’; it was preferable, he said, to the usual professorial arrogance.72

  • 73 Le Couronnement de la Sainte Vierge et les Miracles de Saint Dominique ; tableau de Jean de Fiesole (...)

33It may come as a surprise that Schlegel wished to renew his credentials as an art historian, but despite everything to the contrary he had never ceased to see himself in this role. In 1817, at the end of his association with Madame de Staël, he had written a long essay on Fra Angelico’s Crowning of the Virgin, to accompany a giant folio lithograph of the painting, by Wilhelm Ternite.73 There was nothing Nazarene about this essay; it used the few sources then available; above all, it was based on close observation of the original (now in the Louvre). It was a technical description that sought to bring alive the dimensions, the colours, the groupings of the almost six-foot square work. It addressed the means at the disposal of a pre-Raphaelite painter, the limitations placed on him and the moments when he transcended them. It recognized that the painting was originally an object of religious veneration and spiritual contemplation.

  • 74 SW, IX, 360-368.
  • 75 Briefe, I, 412.
  • 76 Ibid., 428-432; Sulger-Gebing, 187-189.
  • 77 Opuscula, 368-377.
  • 78 Ibid., 376f.

34The essay on Gérard’s Corinne, written for Sulpiz Boisserée’s Kunstblatt in 1822,74 was of course different, tinged as it was with personal memory and association. Boisserée hoped that Schlegel would review his great work on Cologne cathedral—Schlegel would have no difficulty in switching from classical to Gothic—but it was not to be.75 It was natural that he should be consulted about the frescoes for Bonn university’s Aula76 and that he should visit the Düsseldorf academy and its director Peter Cornelius and give his professional judgment on the cartoons being produced there, based on his knowledge ‘from St. Petersburg to Naples’. Thus, in his rectorial speech in Bonn on the king’s birthday, 3 August, 1824, he could point to the paintings in the unfinished Great Hall as a symbolic linking of all the disciplines under the aegis of the fine arts.77 The king, he said, had continued the legacy of Frederick the Great, in the grand public buildings in Berlin.78

  • 79 If not the originals, certainly copies, such as the casts in the Louvre. Cf. William St. Clair, Lor (...)
  • 80 KAV, II, i, 320.

35That had been in Latin. Now, amid those same edifices in the Prussian capital, he was delivering a comprehensive account in German of the history of art. There was of course a certain element of déjà vu, in that Schlegel had given a similar series in Berlin nearly twenty-five years earlier. There were very few in his audience who would have heard both, and they could note that he was showing the same general deference to Goethe and Schiller as he had done then. In the intervening years, he had seen everything that most travellers could see. Not Greece, of course, but neither Winckelmann nor Goethe had been there, at most the Elgin Marbles (or casts of them),79 Greek temples in Italy, the Greek statuary extant in Rome, Naples and Florence, everything looted by Napoleon. He now had much less time for the aesthetics of art and dismissed most of the eighteenth century in a few chosen sentences—except of course Winckelmann. Winckelmann had been a Platonist, and Schlegel remained one, unrepentantly. If the history of art showed a linear progression80 and was not merely a series of technical descriptions, it was through the Platonic Idea of beauty that the historian or beholder was enabled to enter into its inner processes.

  • 81 Achim und Bettina, II, 656, 660.

36The relatively long sections on Egyptian and Indian art—he is said to have argued with Schinkel over the relative merits of Greek and Indian architecture81—inserted before the section on the Greeks, were new. Not everything now appealed—like Goethe he now had reservations about animal-headed gods—but it supported his general thesis, expressed in so many other contexts, of the monumentality, repose and gravity of ancient architecture. It was something shared by the most distinguished member of his audience, Alexander von Humboldt.

  • 82 First in Berliner Conversations-Blatt für Poesie, Literatur und Kritik, No. 113, 118, 121/3, 127, 1 (...)

37The Lectures, which Schlegel claimed to have delivered without recourse to notes (these exist nevertheless), came out in published form, then in an expanded French translation.82 Perhaps for that reason Böcking did not see fit to include them in his edition of Schlegel’s works.

Heinrich Heine83

  • 83 For the biographical and critical background to the Heine-Schlegel affair see Jeffrey L. Sammons, H (...)
  • 84 Heinrich Heine, Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe der Werke, ed. Manfred Windfuhr, 16 vols in 23 ( (...)

This was how I imagined a German poet to be. How agreeably surprised I was then when in the year of 1819, when I, quite a young fellow, came up to the university of Bonn and had the honour there of seeing the Poet himself, the public genius, face to face. He was, with the exception of Napoleon, the first great man whom I had seen at that time, and I will never forget that sight and its sublimity. Still today I feel the thrill of sacred awe that went through my soul, as I stood before his lectern and heard him speak. In those days I wore a white frieze coat, a red cap, long fair hair and no gloves. But Herr A. W. Schlegel was wearing kid gloves and was dressed according to the latest Paris fashion; he was still perfumed by good society and eau de mille fleurs; he was daintiness and elegance itself, and when he spoke of the Lord Chancellor of England, he added ‘My friend’, and next to him stood a servant in the most baronial Schlegel house livery and trimmed the wax candles that were burning in a silver candelabrum, and stood next to a glass of sugared water before the great man at the lectern. Liveried servants! Wax candles! My friend the Lord Chancellor of England! Kid gloves! What things unheard of in the lecture of a German professor! This brilliance dazzled us young people in no small way, myself especially, and I wrote at that time three odes to Herr Schlegel, each beginning with the words: O thou who, etc. But it was only in poetry that I would have dared to address such a distinguished man. His outward appearance conferred on him a certain distinction. On his thin little pate gleamed a few silver hairs, and his body was so thin, so emaciated, so transparent, that he seemed to be all spirit, and almost looked like an emblem of spiritualism.84

  • 85 Ibid., 175.
  • 86 Ibid., 176f.

38These are the recollections of the year 1819 by the young Heinrich Heine, from Die Romantische Schule in 1835. Even as satire, this is may just be acceptable. But it gets worse. Heine turns his attention to Schlegel’s marriage. He likens him to the god Osiris, who was castrated by Typhon: ‘Herewith a scandalous myth came into being in Egypt, and in Heidelberg a mythical scandal’.85 There then follows the account—real or imagined—of Heine’s meeting with Schlegel in Paris in 1831, the insignia, the wig, the mincing coquetry, the rejuvenation (‘second edition of his youth’), the rouge, with the peroration, ‘Herr A.W. Schlegel, the German Osiris’.86

  • 87 Ibid., XII, i, 95. This admittedly does not quite render the sense of the original, ‘Capaun im Korb (...)
  • 88 Ibid., VII, i, 139.
  • 89 Cf. the accounts by Ludwig Rellstab and Emanuel Geibel, Charakteristiken. Die Romantiker in Selbstz (...)

39An attentive reader of Heine’s writings from the early 1830s could observe that Schlegel’s name kept cropping up in unflattering contexts. In the Conditions in France of 1832, he was the ‘capon’ in Madame de Staël’s nest;87 in The Baths of Lucca, famous for the demolition of August, Count Platen, his name appears juxtaposed with those of Karl Wilhelm Ramler and Platen himself,88 associated in many minds with desiccated metrical formalism. To Platen’s name was now of course added the charge of (homo) sexual deviancy. Others had said similarly unkind things about Schlegel’s appearance and had expressed them in equally unflattering terms, but they had had the decency to keep them private or to suppress them during his lifetime: Varnhagen, Dorow, the Grimm brothers. Yet others, while noting the superficial mannerisms of vanity, as they must, remembered the essential point about Schlegel: once one overlooked his idiosyncrasies, there emerged a man of immense learning, acuity and perspicacity, whom one would not hesitate to mention in one breath with Lessing; a man, too, who was generous with his time and learning.89

  • 90 E. M. Butler, Heinrich Heine. A Biography (London: Hogarth Press, 1956), 121f.
  • 91 Adolf Strodtmann, H. Heine’s Leben und Werke, 2 vols (Berlin, Munich, Vienna: Tendler; New York: St (...)
  • 92 Cf. Chambers’s Encyclopaedia. A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, 10 vols (London, Edinburgh: Cham (...)

40Clearly Heine was having none of this. There were to be no mitigating circumstances—almost none—and the emphasis was to be on what he saw (or claimed to have seen), not on what he heard or read. Following Aristophanic principles—and here Schlegel would have agreed—the more outrageous and sexually compromising the better. As a Heine scholar of an older generation has remarked, it stretches satire to its very limits, but in making sexual imputations, it is also an attack on personal integrity.90 Thus, in the context of Schlegel and Bonn, it is the longer passage quoted above that stays in most minds: Adolf Strodtmann, Heine’s first editor and biographer, quoted it verbatim in 1867 (although he had the delicacy not to quote the other sections);91 it has even found its way subsequently into standard works of reference.92 Schlegel’s reputation has never quite recovered from it. Cruel, nasty and appalling though it may be, it has nevertheless not greatly affected Heine’s status. Nor need it, for there is so much more to Heine than this kind of demeaning—if outrageously witty— polemic. But Schlegel is less resilient: apart from the Vienna Lectures and the Shakespeare, it is Heine’s attack that remains in the general consciousness. It is also fair to say that the other Romantics ‘treated’ in Die Romantische Schule—Friedrich Schlegel, Tieck, Brentano—have survived in a way that Schlegel has not, rehabilitated by institutions or organisations and—in the case of Friedrich Schlegel—monumentalized or canonized. Not so August Wilhelm Schlegel. India cannot compensate, indeed the image here is of a professorial Schlegel in decline, déchéance, decrepitude, impotence.

  • 93 Briefe, I, 508 speaks of other attacks before mentioning Heine as ‘wildgewordener Jude’. To Golbéry (...)
  • 94 I see no evidence that the poem ‘An einen Dichter’ (SW, II, 214) is directed at Heine.
  • 95 ‘juiverie baronnisée’, ‘Parodies’, Oeuvres, I, 83.
  • 96 Ibid., 228f.

41Schlegel, even assuming that he read Die Romantische Schule, reacted with dignified silence, under the circumstances the only prudent thing to do.93 He had offered Heine no personal offence.94 He may have disliked Jewish bankers,95 but then Heine had disrespectful things to say about them too; what he did have to say on Judaism was in private, and it was about the bad state of Jewish-Christian relations.96 Heine’s attack had nothing to do with religion. It belonged instead to that line of German polemics where those who were already down (or perceived to be) were given another kick for good measure: Lessing (and later Goethe) with Gottsched, Schiller with Bürger. Of course Schlegel, by reissuing in his Kritische Schriften his lampoon of Voss from the year 1800, attacking his memory in Berichtigung einiger Missdeutungen, and by publishing bad verse on Schiller, might be said to be inviting satire on his own person, but then again he had never gone beyond the limits of this, admittedly flexible, genre.

42One could say that Heine’s account of Schlegel was merely a continuation of his notorious attack on Platen. Superficially, there are affinities: aristocracy of the mind (Heine) versus nobility of rank (Platen, and now Schlegel with his Légion d’honneur and what not), flexibility of form (Heine) versus perceived formalism (a charge both Platen and Schlegel could have rebutted). But Platen had nettled Heine with an anti- Jewish jibe, nothing of course compared with the rabid anti-Semitism of Achim von Arnim, whom Heine actually praises in Die Romantische Schule. Raising questions of consistency will not get us very far in this area.

43Thus provoked, Heine went for Platen’s sexuality. Schlegel had offered him no such direct provocation. The issue went even deeper. Writing to Varnhagen just a few years before, on 1 April, 1830, Heine had likened Goethe’s and Schiller’s literary campaigns of the 1790s to mere skirmishings in the realm of art:

  • 97 Heinrich Heine, Säkularausgabe, hg. von den Nationalen Forschungs- und Gedenkstätten der klassische (...)

now it is a matter of the highest interest, of life itself: the Revolution makes its way into literature, and the war is more in earnest. Perhaps, with the exception of Voss, I am the sole representative of this revolution in literature.97

44Heine, with his urbane and cosmopolitan stiletto-work, and Voss laying about him against ‘crypto-Jesuits’ and ‘symbolists’, are of course unlikely allies. But it suited Heine’s purpose to invoke the blustering old Romantic‑hater.

45Defending himself in Die Romantische Schule against the charge of disloyalty and disrespect towards his old mentor in Bonn, Heine says this of Schlegel:

  • 98 Heine, Gesamtausgabe, VIII, i, 385.

But did Herr A.W. Schlegel spare Bürger when old, his literary father? No, he followed hallowed custom. For in literature as in the forests of the North American savages the fathers are slain by the sons before they become old and feeble.98

46Or at Lake Nemi perhaps. For we are here in the realm of Frazer or Freud and the mythical and anthropological significance of patricide. Schlegel, in his essay of 1801, had of course not slain his literary father, Bürger: this is merely Heine’s selective quoting, a prominent feature of Die Romantische Schule. He had, as we saw, regretted Bürger’s tendency to embellish, not to leave well alone where simplicity would have been better. He had not written a hagiography, and for this we may be grateful: uncritical adulation served no good purpose, and these were sentiments which he had repeated in the reissue of his essay in 1828. By contrast, he had attacked Voss in self-defence and had dispraised Schiller because the older man’s disparagements had now been made public.

  • 99 Strodtmann, I, 59.
  • 100 See the older study by Georg Mücke, Heines Beziehungen zum deutschen Mittelalter, Forschungen zur n (...)

47Heine in his turn used this mythological analogy to slay his own spiritual father. For Strodtmann—also, incidentally, the editor of Bürger’s letters—had made the point that Schlegel had given Heine the young student and budding poet ‘many a useful hint’ that had stood him in good stead for the rest of his poetic career.99 It is also fair to say that a whole generation, one that included Platen as well, had learned the craft of verse from Schlegel: whichever form one chose, he had done it in well-turned fashion, classical metres, Italian sonnets, Spanish romances, and much else besides. Schlegel, says Strodtmann, had aroused his hearers’ interest in the Middle Ages:100 we know that Heine attended Schlegel’s lectures on the Nibelungenlied. Schlegel was, according to Strodtmann, at the height of his powers, not yet the ‘childish fop’ of his later years.

  • 101 Heine, Gesamtausgabe, I, i, 438f.
  • 102 Ibid., X, 194-196.
  • 103 Ibid., 195.

48He quotes the passage from Die Romantische Schule nevertheless, the biographer, as it were, carrying out Heine’s wishes and performing the ritual slaughter. Heine had in fact written two (not very good) sonnets addressed to Schlegel,101 neither beginning with ‘O thou’, but one containing the word ‘Master’; they thank him, respectively, for opening up the prodigal wealth of world literature, and for encouraging the ‘tender plant’ of Heine’s talent. He had in addition written a short article entitled Die Romantik,102 which set its face against modish romanticizing, and pleaded instead for plastic form: the clear outlines of Goethe’s Iphigenie or Hermann und Dorothea, or of Schlegel’s elegy Rom.103 Rom! Was this merely youthful flattery, or did the elegy for Madame de Staël still have some hold on young readers? Whatever, in 1835 these were things that needed to be lived down. Add to them Heine’s so-called ‘Petrarchist’ phase, perhaps inspired by Schlegel’s versions of the Italian master. Plus the fact that Schlegel was the successful poet turned academic: Heine had had hopes in this direction in 1829, but they had come to nothing. But all this hardly constituted the grounds for human sacrifice, even of the literary kind. It went still deeper.

  • 104 Ibid., XII, i, 146f.

49There are two strands. In Die Romantische Schule Heine was setting the record straight, very largely with French readers in mind (the work had appeared partly in French). The ‘record’ was Madame de Staël’s De l’Allemagne. It owed much to Schlegel, even identifying the Schlegel brothers as Germany’s foremost critics, which in 1809 or 1813 was surely right, but it was nevertheless the product of her own inventive mind. (In Conditions in France Heine had also had uncomplimentary things to say about her father, Jacques Necker).104 Her perception of Germany could not be Heine’s: it was too backward-looking, too tolerant of superannuated institutions, too cosily close to a political system based on autocrats and aristocrats. It was anti‑Napoleonic, one of the graver sins in Heine’s scheme of things, and not without its own set of inner contradictions.

  • 105 Ibid., VIII, i, 470.
  • 106 Ibid., X, 19.

50A cardinal sin of equal gravity was German Romanticism’s perceived pact with Catholicism and the Middle Ages. It had turned its back on progress, enlightenment, political emancipation, in favour of monkish obscurantism, feudal systems, intellectual and political enslavement. The Schlegel brothers, the one with his conversion and his devotion to Metternich, the other with his aesthetic Catholicising, had, in Heine’s view, been the leading force behind this reaction. By 1835, Friedrich Schlegel was of course dead. The full force of the assassination thrust intended for both brothers was therefore directed towards August Wilhelm alone. Hence the devastating weapons that Heine used against him, the blow aimed at the sexual parts (where, Heine claimed, there was nothing manly left to kick);105 hence, too, the image of the foppish, bemedalled courtier-professor, consorting with aristocrats, receiving the Légion d’honneur from Louis-Philippe. The attack extended to Schlegel’s real achievement, his Shakespeare. In his later Shakespeares Mädchen und Frauen [Shakespeare’s Girls and Ladies] of 1838, Heine reduced Schlegel’s translation to mere ‘artifice’.106 It involved the elevation of Goethe, natural and as of right, but also his sponsoring of some less likely anti-Romantics like Johann Heinrich Voss. At its most succinct and destructive the message was: Romantic Catholicism, especially the converted variety, got you the Carlsbad Decrees and the consequences. Thus it was that no other Romantics received such attention from Heine. Ludwig Tieck, their old friend and associate, was in Heine’s eyes too good a poet, and nobody took rumours of his ‘conversion’ too seriously.

51Had Heine wished to be fair—and he did not—he might have noted that he and Schlegel, despite the gap of generation and ideology, nevertheless had much in common. Neither ever wrote slack verse: Schlegel had proved to be too good a prosodic father. Both hated the English; both loved the French, but not without considerable qualifications; both were critics (there were Schlegel’s Kritische Schriften to prove it). Schlegel had in the 1820s recanted his Catholicizing and his critique of the Reformation; he was now a confessing Protestant (for whatever reason); he supported the freedom of the press. One could go on, but it would have been to no avail against Heine’s patricidal intentions.

  • 107 Körner tends to give Heine, rather than AWS, the benefit of the doubt. Cf. Briefe, II, 230.
  • 108 Deetjen, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel in Bonn’, 16f.
  • 109 The point made by Hans Mayer in his afterword to the reissue of Bernhard von Brentano, August Wilhe (...)

52Does it all matter? Only to the extent that Schlegel’s reputation has never quite recovered and that the spirit, not the letter, of Heine’s attack has lived on in his reception (even the great editor Josef Körner is not free of it).107 Similar disrespectful accounts kept coming out during Schlegel’s lifetime.108 The dart has remained embedded in the flesh. Heine must not be allowed the last word.109

5.1 The Last Years 1834-1845

  • 110 Lohner, 210.

53Two portraits of Schlegel from the latter years of his life record the processes of ageing and decline. There is the painting by August Hohneck, from around 1830, in half‑profile, showing a firm mouth, if slightly shrunken, a fine head of dark hair (not his own), the fashionable stock, the cloak slung over the shoulders, the left hand holding a sheet of writing symbolic of his calling. The painter also lavishes loving detail on those decorations: one sees on the original, and the engravings based on it, the White Horse of Hanover or the Red Eagle of Prussia, and so on, those ‘Orden-pompons’ about which he joked to Ludwig Tieck110 but of which he was nevertheless inordinately proud. There is a ‘look of cold command’ that bespeaks the poet, the critic, the professor, the man of letters feted in Paris or London.

54Then there is the old man at seventy, rendered around 1840 by Christian Hoffmeister, retreating from the public eye, in dressing-gown and skullcap, with woolly whiskers, the private scholar almost voluntarily subsiding into senescence (the so-called ‘Pavianbild’ [baboon portrait]). Perhaps it was better than trying to keep up a public image, for his attempts at fashion, like the brown court dress (‘Galarock’) that he sported in Berlin, were becoming a joke. His health was precarious and he was beset from all sides.

Fig. 34 Lithograph by Henry & Cohen in Bonn, after the portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Adolf August Hohneck (c. 1830).

Fig. 34 Lithograph by Henry & Cohen in Bonn, after the portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Adolf August Hohneck (c. 1830).

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

Fig. 35 Portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Christian Hoffmeister (1841).

Fig. 35 Portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Christian Hoffmeister (1841).

Image in the public domain.

55Perhaps we should add a third. The French sculptor Pierre-Jean David d’Angers came to Bonn in 1840 to model a profile medallion of Schlegel. As always with David, there is a tendency towards monumentality, fortunately not a colossal bust such as he did of Goethe and Tieck. Instead we have a Roman head with noble brow and hair receding, imperial-style, essentially the image on Schlegel’s own gravestone.

  • 111 Briefe, I, 381, 385, and graphic details there.

56The Romantic generation was not spared its share of infirmities, yet compared with Coleridge or Benjamin Constant in their last years, Schlegel was relatively active. He had outlived so many, not a victim to consumption like Novalis or Keats (or to the cholera, like Auguste and Caroline). But he was no longer well: ‘subterranean goings-on’, a souvenir of Coppet, a ‘troglodyte’, a tapeworm,111 was affecting his digestion (it is just as well that Heine never knew).

  • 112 Ibid., 522f.; ‘Beschreibung eines bei Lechenich im Regierungsbezirke Köln ausgegrabenen, jetzt dem (...)
  • 113 Sulger-Gebing, 189-191.
  • 114 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (14), 73-74.
  • 115 SW, I, 165f.
  • 116 See esp. Horst Hallensleben, ‘Das Bonner Beethoven-Denkmal als frühes “bürgerliches Standbild”’ ; S (...)
  • 117 Ibid., [catalogue], 213.
  • 118 Bernhard Maaz, Christian Friedrich Tieck 1776-1851. Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigun (...)

57He seemed to be generally distracted in all directions. No-one apparently appreciated all the thankless work that he had put in as director of the Royal Rhenish Museum (as late as 1839 he was writing a note on a recent archaeological discovery).112 He had to be a member of the ‘Greek committee’, setting up a university in Athens; or the ‘cathedral committee’ in Cologne, delegated to seek Prince Albert’s support;113 it was he who wrote to Franz Liszt asking for a benefit concert for a blind musician (and receiving a fairly dusty answer);114 when the queen of Prussia made an official visit to Bonn, he was the one who wrote the poem in homage.115 Then he was president of the panel set up to produce a Beethoven statue.116 The statue—it was not unveiled until August, 1845, three months after Schlegel’s death—proved to be particularly time-consuming, and the story of its commissioning also provided a microcosm of its age. There was no doubt that Beethoven deserved a monument, and a committee, with Schlegel as its president, was formed in Bonn in 1835 to that effect. He personally signed a pre-printed letter that had wide distribution.117 Beethoven may have been born in Bonn, but under an elector-archbishop. Now, the town was Prussian, and in Prussia only monuments to rulers were tolerated, the sole exception being Luther’s statue in Wittenberg of 1821. Would the authorities change their minds for Beethoven? Schlegel made enquiries of Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Berlin, to be told that King Frederick William III was not in favour. Schlegel now realized what he had let himself in for. He was supposed to be the expert: he wanted something in bronze, with a rotunda and bas-reliefs on the base. He asked Friedrich Tieck if he was interested, but his friend showed his characteristic dilatoriness.118 Schlegel suggested the Münsterplatz as a suitable site—where in fact the statue now stands—but that was again vetoed ‘from on high’. Faced with these seemingly insurmountable problems, Schlegel resigned in 1838. The accession of Frederick William IV in 1840 changed things, but Schlegel was not party to the choice of Ernst Julius Hähnel as sculptor (the statue was in bronze and had bas-reliefs, but no rotunda), nor could he be present at the official opening gala in the presence of the king and queen of Prussia, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and so many other notables.

  • 119 Verzeichniss einer von Eduard d’Alton […] hinterlassenen Gemälde-Sammlung. Nebst einer Vorerinnerun (...)
  • 120 Briefe, I, 548f.
  • 121 See Margaret Rose, ‘Eduard Joseph d’Alton and the Origin of Prince Albert’s Collection’, The Burlin (...)
  • 122 Opuscula, 413-420.
  • 123 Briefe, I, 531.
  • 124 SW, II, 237f.

58There were tussles with academic colleagues over fussy pedantic matters; he continued tenaciously to support Christian Lassen; in 1839, though over 70, he took on the deanship of his faculty. When the classicist August Ferdinand Naeke died in 1838, he stepped in until Friedrich Ritschl’s arrival. The death of his friend and colleague and ‘oracle’,119 the art historian Eduard d’Alton in 1840 saw him not only taking over the history of art but doing his utmost to prevent a replacement whom he considered inadequate.120 He also produced a catalogue of D’Alton’s considerable art collection, confirming his colleague’s view that three very special items in it, ascribed respectively to Pontormo, Correggio and Rubens, were indeed genuine. On the basis of this authority, several paintings collected by D’Alton found their way via Prince Albert into the British royal collections (Albert had had private lessons from D’Alton).121 As the university’s public orator, he delivered the academic oration for Naeke.122 Bonn’s luminaries did not enjoy being the butt of his satirical verses, but Arndt made no pretence of his dislike of Schlegel, while Niebuhr had stated publicly that the precedence Schlegel accorded to India and Sanskrit over Greek was a fraud;123 it was however unfair to lampoon Welcker,124 a good colleague, merely because his views on mythology seemed suspect.

  • 125 Correspondence and invoices SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, II, 32; Czapla/ Schankweiler, 166f.
  • 126 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (29), 44-78.

59Then there were the needs of his immediate family. After the deaths of his brothers Moritz (1826) and Karl (1829), he seemed to be regarded as the all-providing brother-in-law and uncle. He managed to ward off Karl’s adopted daughter, Wilhelmine Spall (later Büchting, then Hunter) when she and her husband saw in him a ‘soft touch’. It was different with Moritz’s children. There was his nephew Johann August Adolph Schlegel. He had secured a post in Hanoverian service at the Gymnasium in Verden, but his mental condition began to deteriorate. By late 1839 he was found to be suffering from ‘paroxyms’. Schlegel made arrangements for his welfare and found an institution in Verden, also paying for the expenses incurred. Johann Karl died at Hildesheim in 1841.125 His sister Amalie Wolper had lost her husband in 1832 and was supporting her mother and her son. It appears that Amalie and her son Hermann, briefly also her mother Charlotte Schlegel, stayed with Schlegel intermittently in the winter of 1834-35. Hermann had been a ‘handful’, but his great-uncle was kept abreast of his later progress, to a Gymnasium and then to Göttingen. The Schlegel genes seem to have prevailed.126

  • 127 Most of this set out in Czapla/Schankweiler, 104, 246f., 274f.; see also Josef Körner, ‘Ein uneheli (...)
  • 128 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIIb, II, 3.
  • 129 Bonn UB S 2537, 18.

60Schlegel felt obliged to support his extended family, but it was his essential generosity to others that caused him to assist the young painter and lithographer Peter Busch.127 Busch, the son of a stocking weaver in Bonn, had displayed a precocious natural talent. As early as 1828, while Busch was apprenticed to a local painter, Schlegel had arranged through his solicitor Lambertz for first payments to be made to him. He proceeded to the academy in Düsseldorf, to join the history painting section, after this to Stuttgart, and it was there that the tragedy of his last days unfolded. Schlegel’s support for him had by then lapsed. Depressed, and in bad health, in doubts about his career, Busch turned to Schlegel for help. Receiving no response, he arranged an elaborate suicide in his lodgings, by inhaling the monoxide fumes from a charcoal brazier. Allegations then began to circulate, not least in the printed ‘Words at the Graveside’, that Busch was Schlegel’s natural son and that his ‘father’ had coldly and disdainfully refused to recognize him. ‘May his shade pursue you for ever’, was one of the sentiments expressed.128 Of course anyone capable of elementary calculation could work out that there was no question of Schlegel’s paternity, and even his detractors had to admit this. His father- in-law Paulus in Heidelberg asked for the documentation, no doubt hoping for proof of moral turpitude and a chance to press charges. The excellent Lambertz managed to secure a public apology, which however did not appear until November of 1841,129 meanwhile allowing the reading public a good six months to indulge their worst thoughts about Schlegel’s alleged heartlessness.

  • 130 ‘Observations sur quelques médailles bactriennes et indo-scythiques nouvellement découvertes’, Oeuv (...)
  • 131 Nouvelles annales des voyages etc. publ. par M. Eyriès et de Humboldt, IV (Paris : Gide, 1838), 137 (...)
  • 132 ‘Le Dante, Pétrarque et Boccace, justifiés de l’imputation d’hérésie et d’une conspiration tendant (...)

61The days of great projects were over: he seemed to be caught up in questions of detail, off-cuts of the grand schemes, occasional pieces. It goes without saying that they showed the enormous and eclectic range of his competence. While still engaged on the Indische Bibliothek, he had produced a short notice on Bactrian Greek coins for the Nouveau Journal Asiatique in 1828.130 In that same journal, he respectfully challenged Silvestre de Sacy’s theory of the Arab origin of A Thousand and One Nights, not surprisingly promoting Indian sources. After serving its purpose for an English readership, De l’Origine des Hindous was republished in Paris in 1838.131 He was approached by the Journal des débats in 1834 to review Fauriel’s work on French courtly romance. It was a link with his earlier studies on Wolfram and the Nibelungenlied, for both the Old French Charlemagne and Arthurian cycles had left their impact on German medieval literature, on Dante similarly. It also gave him an opportunity to disparage those ‘chimères celtiques’ to which French scholars seemed to be wedded. This time in the Revue des deux mondes,132 he reviewed Gabriele Rossetti’s extraordinary thesis that Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio were part of a Cathar conspiracy aimed at overthrowing the papacy, unfolding his knowledge of all three poets, once liberally displayed in Die Horen or the first Berlin Lectures, and rebutted the patent absurdities of Rossetti’s claims.

  • 133 I. C. Prichard, Darstellung der Aegyptischen Mythologie […], trans. L. Haymann, pref. A. W. von Sch (...)
  • 134 Ibid., vii.
  • 135 Ibid., xxxiii.

62The invitation to provide a preface for the German translation of James Cowles Prichard’s The Analysis of the Egyptian Mythology (first 1819)133 brought Schlegel closer to home and provided the moment to set out his views on ‘Indo-Germanic’ (a term he now used),134 and retract some, but not all, of his anti-Celtic prejudices (Prichard’s etymological work had brought him round). Prichard’s linking of the Indian and Egyptian religions could however not stand unchallenged. There were of course undeniable affinities: both had their origins, like all religious worship, in the veneration of a Supreme Being, and both had lapsed into cosmological mythology and polytheism; both had sacred writings and a priestly caste to watch over them and to be guardians of scientific knowledge (that Zodiac again). In the detail, however, they differed and it was the task of historical criticism and textual chronology to set this out.135 Between the lines one reads the awareness that the Englishman had provided useful material, but that German methodology was needed to underpin it.

  • 136 Briefe, I, 575.
  • 137 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (12), 4.

63With one major exception, the essays and reviews from the 1830s were in French, which had established itself, along with Latin, as his language of antiquarian and philological expression and of civilized discourse as well. It was, as he said, his second mother tongue.136 In his very last years, he may not have been quite sure of which language he was using, as his letters in French to August Böckh and Alexander von Humboldt testify. It was in French, too, that he cast the corpus of epigrams on the current state of (French) politics and his so-called ‘Pensées détachées’, those random thoughts on mainly religious issues. Was it the escape—intellectually and socially—from the confines of Bonn into a wider sphere where one’s interlocutors were Silvestre de Sacy, Fauriel, Burnouf or Letronne, where, as he had said to Lassen, world society met? At least he was appreciated there: the Belgian orientalist Eugène Jacquet wrote to him in 1836 that the French were no longer used to the combination of ‘littérature élégante’ and ‘littérature scientifique’ that Schlegel so effectively represented.137

  • 138 Opuscula quae Augustus Guilelmus Schlegelius Latine scripta reliquit, ed. Eduardus Böcking (Lipsiae (...)
  • 139 reliqua desunt’, ibid. 286.
  • 140 ‘Progr. acad. Bonn’, ‘De Zodiaci antiquitate et origine’, Opuscula, 326-359.

64There was inevitably a less wide circulation for his material in Latin. In 1822, he had lectured in Bonn on Antiquitates Etruscae,138 planned in fifteen sections, of which only the prolegomena and the first three survive.139 It gave him the opportunity to retrace his steps from his early Göttingen dissertation on the geography of Homer; above all he could advance hypotheses on the basis of having explored the archaeological sites (on the second Italian journey), his communications with experts, and his projects on etymology. The Etruscans were not Pelasgians any more than they were Celts: their origins lay south of the Apennines, but where? The text breaks off. Not content with his animated correspondence in French with Letronne on the signs of the Zodiac, Schlegel set out his views in a learned paper in Latin in Bonn in 1839.140 Of course there was no question for him but that these symbols were of Indian origin (possibly Chaldean or Egyptian, too), and not Greek.

  • 141 Briefe, I, 593; Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare, 376.
  • 142 Briefe, II, 247.
  • 143 SW, V, 253f.
  • 144 See Körner, Botschaft, 75-80.
  • 145 Amoretti’s edition is based on the 1817 revision. A new edition in KAV is forthcoming.
  • 146 Briefe, I, 517, 564f.
  • 147 Ibid., 554f.

65All this—with so much more existing in note form in his papers—was part of an intended whole that never took shape that lacked a sense of completion. But even the achievement on which hitherto he firmly stood— Shakespeare and the Vienna Lectures—was beginning to fray at the edges. His revision of the Shakespeare translation, intended to counteract Tieckian liberties, hardly got under way. At least Reimer agreed to reissue a new edition without Tieck’s notes,141 but it was not a full restoration of his original text. He returned to the Vienna Lectures and began a major revision of the section on the Greek theatre, adding a considerable amount of technical detail, much of it supplied by his new colleague Ritschl.142 It interrupted the flow of his original narrative: the aristocratic audience of 1808 would have shifted uneasily in their seats had they been subjected to it. It was also by way of a critique of classical studies, now so taken up with, as he saw it, hair-splitting issues and not the main narrative and the aesthetic pleasure that it afforded.143 Schlegel’s revision was long and drawn out, his publisher Winter’s patience not inexhaustible. Schlegel’s plan to edit the works of Frederick the Great supervened, so that it was left to Schlegel’s editor Böcking to rescue these revisions and include them in his edition of Schlegel’s works of 1846-47.144 One may regret this, for it meant that the famous Lectures of 1809-11 were never subsequently reprinted in exactly their original form.145 Other publishers still had some hopes pinned on him. Reimer suggested a separate reissue of the Bürger essay, or a third edition of his poems (minus the satirical verse);146 Cotta asked for anything he might wish, the Nibelungenlied perhaps.147 It came to nothing.

  • 148 Essais littéraires et historiques par A. W. de Schlegel (Bonn : Weber, 1842) contains : v-xxiii Ava (...)
  • 149 Briefe, I, 613.
  • 150 Ibid., 590.
  • 151 Essais, Avant-propos, v.
  • 152 Ibid., xxiii.

66Instead, he produced a volume of Essais littéraires et historiques.148 He paid for it himself (the equivalent of 1,200 francs) and sold a mere 120 copies.149 It was his general feeling that the German reading public had lost interest in his writings, whereas readers from Cadiz to St Petersburg (where French was spoken: Tsar Nicholas I received a copy)150 had not. The nine and a half lines of orders and distinctions attached to his name on the title page would underline his status. In a way, the Essais are the French equivalent of his Kritische Schriften of 1828, the gathering together of pieces that had become scattered ‘like the leaves of the Sybil’, as the preface rather grandly states,151 the evidence that he had ‘undertaken many things and finished little’,152 an altogether too modest summary of his achievement.

  • 153 Ref. Rainer Kolk, ‘Liebhaber, Gelehrte, Experten. Das Sozialsystem der Germanistik bis zum Beginn d (...)
  • 154 Essais, Avant-propos, xxiii.
  • 155 Briefe, I, 532.
  • 156 Oeuvres, I, 83.
  • 157 Ibid., 13-73.
  • 158 Albert’s last extant letter, dated 12 May, 1842, is on the notepaper of the ‘Ministère des Affaires (...)

67But were these two volumes not also evidence that Schlegel was, in Josef Körner’s insensitive words, but a ‘Casanova des Geistes’,153 moving from conquest to conquest, without the application and staying-power of the true scholar? Rather, they were a testimony to a versatility and many- sidedness that was typical of an age not satisfied by academic ‘Wissenschaft’ and its specialisms, the same spirit that in the sphere of science animated Alexander von Humboldt to start writing his Kosmos in this very decade. The volumes assembled the recent pieces from the Paris journals of the 1830s, on courtly romance, on Dante, A Thousand and One Nights, or the Hindus; but also the long essay on Provençal of 1818, and the one on the horses of St Mark’s in Venice of 1816. But as if almost to coincide with the return of Napoleon’s remains to the Invalides, the volume opened with two of the pamphlets for Bernadotte, the one on the continental system, and the other on the intercepted despatches, a reminder that the professor had not always been sedentary,154 but had once also been a man of action, a policy-maker, a small cog in the anti-Napoleonic machine. Then there was his Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide. Nowhere had the reading public reacted with more vehemence, had been more divided among itself, than in France when this pamphlet appeared in 1807, a reaction rumbling on until that very day, that went to the heart of the nation’s literary life. Here it was. None of his German contemporaries had written anything quite so influential or so controversial, nor had any of their works had been banned by Fouché or Savary on the Usurper’s orders. Already in 1837 Schlegel had described himself as an ‘Antimodernist’.155 Certainly his recantation in French of all the ‘works of the devil’ (‘Formule d’abjuration’) from the early 1840s156seemed like a renunciation of all progress, all civilization, all technical and cultural advances, but with tongue in cheek. It was part of a whole ‘Résumé épigrammatique de l’histoire de nos jours’ [Epigrammatic Survey of the History of Our Times], a survey of recent French politics from the early 1840s,157 a wry review of constitutional crises, rumours of war, royal visits, changes of ministry, above all the repatriation of Napoleon’s mortal remains and what it portended (his informant on much of this was Albert de Broglie).158 There was, understandably, no such account of German politics: the age of Metternich hardly lent itself. His series does, however, end on this note:

Le Michel Tudesque
[The German Michael]

  • 159 Oeuvres, I, 73.

Jusqu’à quand ronflera ce gros Michel tudesque
Et ne sentira point sa force gigantesque ?
Chaque voisin le pince et rit de son sommeil.
Mais gare le réveil!159

[How long will this big German Michael snore
Unaware of his gigantic strength?
All his neighbours pinch him, laugh at his slumbers.
But watch out when he wakes up.]

  • 160 Ibid., 83.

68This is not Schlegel assuming powers of prophecy, no seer’s eye foretelling a German awakening as it actually happened. At most it is a sense that the German nation that once appeared in triumph in Paris in 1814‑15, might someday again flex its muscles and surprise the French builders of ‘les arcs de triomphe érigés par les battus’ [triumphal arches put up by the vanquished].160

  • 161 The exchange published as ‘Fragments extraits du porte-feuille d’un solitaire contemplatif’. Oeuvre (...)
  • 162 Ibid., 200f.
  • 163 Ibid., 191.
  • 164 Ibid., 192.
  • 165 Ibid., 193.

69Perhaps more significant is his late return to religious issues, the reassessment of his own spiritual development. It was a journey into the past, a self-examination, a turning in on himself. In August, 1838 he had exchanged letters with Albertine de Broglie (almost the last). She pleaded the cause of the Christian faith, while he, as a ‘solitaire contemplatif’,161 refused to be tied down to any revelation or cult that limited humankind’s natural capacity to seek the ultimate, the divine; not wishing to be confined, as he said, to a house made by hands, when the starry vault declared the existence of some higher agency.162 It meant retracing the steps of his own religious progression, from early scepticism, to a mystical aestheticism, a solace in the ‘magical power of the rite’163 (under the effects of Auguste Böhmer’s death), to a revulsion against ‘fanaticism and bigotry’ (his brother Friedrich’s),164 to his present, and last, position. What was left? A hatred of the ‘priestly yoke’,165 sacerdotal manipulations and constructions, their establishment of ‘sacred texts’ (there are a number of ‘Pensées’ devoted to the perceived inconsistencies of the New Testament), an abhorrence of any violence in the name of religion (which included the Christian Middle Ages), any restriction on the human imagination. One by one he had shed his mentors and preceptors:

 Mes Adieux

  • 166 Ibid., 188.

Je vous quitte à jamais, tristes Nazaréens,
Disciples de Saül, vains théologiens :
Vos sacrés auteurs juifs sont pour moi des profanes.
Pythagore, Platon, les sublimes Brahmanes
Sont mes oracles saints, interprètes des dieux,
Ma boussole sur mer et mon vol vers les cieux.166

[I leave you forever, sad Nazarenes,
Disciples of Saul, theologians in vain;
Your sacred Jewish writings are for me profane;
Pythagoras, Plato, the sublime Brahmins
Are my sacred oracles, interpreters of the gods,
My compass on the seas and my flight to the stars.]

  • 167 Kaufmann, ‘Zur Erinnerung’, 253.

70A belief in the immortality of the soul, its transmigration, a rebirth in some other sphere.167 Aesthetically, it was the Platonic position that had once drawn him to Hemsterhuis and which Winckelmann had translated into a sense of the divine in art. Now, it was extended back in time to take in India. It was a summation of where he had been and what he yet aspired to.

The Works of Frederick the Great

  • 168 Briefe, II, 281.
  • 169 SW, VIII, 294-333.

71Schlegel’s role in the Prussian Academy of Sciences’ huge and monumental, thirty-volume edition of the works of Frederick the Great has been described as a ‘tragicomedy’.168 One could add ‘farce’, for it certainly had elements of both. It showed him at his most obstinate and pedantic, obstructive even. The work that he put into it, the mass of general remarks but also of detailed stylistic suggestions that he made to the Academy, repose unheeded and unedited among his papers. His sole published memorandum on the subject—Vorläufiger Entwurf zu einer neuen Ausgabe der Werke Friedrichs des Großen [Preliminary Draft of a New Edition of the Works of Frederick the Great], dated 1844169—came out only after his death. Yet it is splendidly written, full of good sense, and shows a high degree of connoisseurship and a detailed knowledge of the eighteenth century. That the Academy approached him in the first place was an acknowledgment that no-one in their midst could claim to know French as well as he did or could write it with such elegance (Alexander von Humboldt perhaps, too busy carrying out the often capricious will of his sovereign).

72It was all part of an enterprise of erecting a monument in print and bronze to the memory of Frederick the Great, and over it stood the unpredictable figure of King Frederick William IV of Prussia, the ‘Romantic on the throne’. Monuments were in vogue: examples were Cotta’s edition of Schiller’s works and the Thorwaldsen statue in Stuttgart, or the musical apotheosis of Beethoven in Bonn. But these were the result largely of citizens’ initiatives—Schlegel had chaired the Bonn committee from 1835 to 1838—not of royal fiats. By contrast, King Ludwig I of Bavaria’s Walhalla of 1842, on the banks of the Danube, full of Friedrich Tieck’s busts, was done in consultation with no-one but himself.

  • 170 On the general background see Thomas Nipperdey, ‘Nationalidee und Nationaldenkmal in Deutschland’, (...)
  • 171 The history of the edition and of AWS’s involvement is traced in Briefe, I, 541-621 and II, 247-281 (...)
  • 172 Nürnberger, 120.
  • 173 Cf. Briefe, II, 247, 251, 253.

73Although thoughts of a commemoration of Frederick were not new, it was Frederick William’s cabinet order of 1840 that galvanized the efforts on behalf of his famous ancestor. 1840, the date of Frederick William’s own succession, was the centenary of Frederick’s accession to the throne and of the re-founding by him of the Prussian Academy of Sciences.170 The Prussian Academy had been working on the idea of an edition of the works since at least 1837,171 and it only needed the new king’s advent to set the great work in motion. On 1 June, 1840 the foundation stone of Christian Rauch’s equestrian statue of Frederick had been laid, that monument unveiled in 1851 and still standing (again) on Unter den Linden. The plinth of the statue was itself a piece of ideological myth-making, with extraordinary constellations of figures to bring out both the ‘Herrscher’ [ruler] and the ‘Weiser auf dem Thron’ [sage on the throne]. These were the very same words used by Alexander von Humboldt in a speech to the Academy in 1840;172 his sentiments on Frederick as a patron of the sciences and arts were to be echoed by the Academy when it received the king’s order later in the year. A standing committee of the Academy, including the classicist August Böckh, one of the secretaries (and the long-suffering recipient of Schlegel’s increasingly testy missives), the historians Leopold von Ranke and Friedrich von Raumer, also Alexander von Humboldt and later Jacob Grimm, agreed that Schlegel, with his knowledge of French and his experience of literary and typographical matters, should be invited to take part in the undertaking on an advisory basis. With his elegant French style, he also seemed the appropriate person to write a general preface to the edition, possibly also to edit the king’s letters and verse.173

  • 174 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LXXV, 27-30, LXXVI, 1-2. (LXXV contains a whole mass of other mor (...)
  • 175 SW, VIII, 306f.

74Schlegel far exceeded his brief. He saw wider implications and bombarded the Academy with memoranda (in French), a whole 400 pages.174 Clearly he had lost all sense of proportion. The issue at stake was the integrity of the text, and his short preliminary draft in German set out his views in eminently sensible fashion. But the Academy could not agree on what constituted a properly edited text, free of ‘errors’ but close to the originals.175 It brought out the philologist—and controversialist—in Schlegel, hence those huge missives that the Academy most likely never read.

  • 176 Lohner, 222.
  • 177 Briefe, II, 256.
  • 178 Czapla/Schankweiler, 272f.
  • 179 Roger Paulin, Ludwig Tieck: A Literary Biography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 402.

75It was not helped by Schlegel coming in person to Berlin from May to July of 1841. He lived in some style in the Hôtel de Russie, not far from the royal palace.176 He took part in Academy sessions, was feted and dined and met old friends and acquaintances. But he was plagued by ill-health and found Berlin’s climate taxing.177 It was a great honour to be invited to luncheon with the king at Sanssouci, but his donning a court dress that reflected the fashion of the Tuileries in 1815 was the subject of malicious comment.178 The company seemed to consist very largely of that ‘seniority’, those ‘superannuitants’, about whom Varnhagen and others made disrespectful comments,179 part of the king’s policy of reactivating culture— but through figures who were largely past it. He was made a member of the king’s new Order of Merit.

  • 180 Briefe, I, 572f., II, 265; SW, I, 173; Oeuvres, I, 85.

76Ludwig Tieck was not present on the occasion at Sanssouci, but now, at 69, he was the king’s pensioner and about to direct the famous performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Potsdam in 1843, with Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s music. It was to Charlotte von Hagn, the actress who was to play Puck there, that Schlegel now paid court, full of gallantries, writing a poem in French (and leaving her a jewelled brooch in his will).180 Although invited, Schlegel did not attend the gala dinner given in Tieck’s honour, but they did meet, and it would be for the last time. There were less happy notes: it was in Berlin that the news of the Peter Busch affair reached him.

  • 181 Briefe, I, 618-620.
  • 182 See Josef Körner, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel über Friedrich den Großen’, Die Neueren Sprachen 40 (193 (...)
  • 183 Oeuvres de Frédéric le Grand, 30 vols plus 1 (Berlin : Decker, 1846-57).
  • 184 Briefe, II, 281.

77After his return to Bonn, the irreconcilable differences between him and the Academy came to a head. Despite conciliatory tones from Böckh and interventions from Alexander von Humboldt, he declared that he could not continue, even with the promised preface. The king now got involved. He, too, had some views about certain of Frederick’s poems and wanted them excluded.181 Beyond a few notes, the preface never materialized.182 The edition as we have it does have a general preface, but not the one that Schlegel might have written, and there is no mention anywhere of him.183 The Academy later received from Böcking copies of papers relating to the edition, but made no use of them and generally showed little gratitude for what Schlegel had done.184

Illness and Death

78One has the impression of an old man going to pieces. To the outside observer, however, it looked different. An American visitor to Bonn in 1842 has left us this report:

  • 185 ‘Extrait d’un journal américain : Mills point Mercury, dans l’état de Kentucky’, SLUB Dresden, Mscr (...)

At Bonn, a few miles above Cologne, I went to see A. W. Schlegel. He is a striking-looking old gentleman of seventy-five, quite gray, but not bent by age, nor weakened in his mental powers. He still lectures in the University on subjects connected with the arts, and, as he told me, has just published a volume of his miscellaneous pieces, heretofore printed in different journals. The collection is in the French language. He farther said that he was soon to publish an enlarged and improved edition of his Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature. He kept us for about an hour, making many enquiries respecting Americains [sic], whom he knew, as the Everetts and Mr. Ticknor, and mentioning with evident delight the republication of his writings in America. In the preface of his new book, he declares his consciousness that even beyond the Atlantic his name is still a living thing.185

  • 186 Briefe, I, 556.
  • 187 UB Bonn, S 1392 (46), 13 June, 1842.

79This is the other side to the Academy affair, the proud awareness that he was not only read from Cadiz to St Petersburg, but in North America as well and even as far as Asia.186 There was also the rueful admission to Schulze that the edition of Frederick the Great had kept him from the revision of the Vienna Lectures. Perhaps he had identified too much with the great king, the historian, the thinker, the poet, the wit, the man of society, all roles in which he fancied himself. How much better to be away from the heat and dust of Berlin, to be back in Bonn and receive guests like Rehfues in ‘cool rooms, with the temperature never above 18 degrees, a sofa or divan among the roses in the garden, a fresh draught from the well-stocked cellar—my life in the country’.187

  • 188 Czapla/Schankweiler, 296.

80The one who had supplied those creature comforts and had ensured the smooth running of the household, who had kept a watchful eye on servants and tradesmen, who wrote faithfully when he was away, Maria Löbel, became seriously ill later in the summer of 1842. Despite signs of recovery, she died on 14 March, 1843, a pious Catholic to the last. Schlegel mourned her as he had mourned no member of his family, as he had Auguste Böhmer and Madame de Staël, all close but ultimately beyond his reach. Rehfues concluded: ‘Her heart, her loyalty, had raised her to him, and had she been his wife, he could not have mourned her with deeper grief, or honoured her’.188

  • 189 The course on Sanskrit until the winter of 1843-44; art history in the summer of 1842, the winter o (...)
  • 190 Briefe, I, 614; Deetjen, 20.
  • 191 Ibid., 20.
  • 192 UB Bonn S 1392 (51, 52); Deetjen, ibid.
  • 193 Briefe, I, 573f.
  • 194 Ibid., 617.
  • 195 Ibid., 605.
  • 196 A pun on ‘so that I may die in the Lord’. Kekulé, Welcker, 405.

81He was, as his American visitor observed, still lecturing; an advanced course in Sanskrit, courses on the history of art and on modern European history are announced in the university’s lecture lists up to the summer of 1844.189 He told Victor de Broglie that he was ‘abounding in epigrams’.190 It was a way of warding off thoughts of death. For he had seen all that he wished to see and he had outlived everyone.191 His state of health had however been precarious since late 1842. He complained to Rehfues of ‘melancholy and sleepiness’, ‘sea-sickness’;192 the ‘taena lata’ in his intestines caused associated digestive problems;193 there was asthma,194 all this despite following a quasi-Brahmanic regime of ablutions and baths.195 Physical dissolution was not however accompanied by a clouding of his mind; he seemed instead intent on dying ‘en philosophe’, with no late recantations, perhaps more of the scepticism of Frederick the Great, on whom he had lavished such a disproportionate amount of time and energy. Even as his bodily state announced the approaching end, his colleague Friedrich Welcker found him in good spirits and displaying a sharp mind. He told Welcker an anecdote about Montaigne on his deathbed, set about by his family, and calling for a domino cloak to be put round him, ‘ut moriamur in domino’.196 Recondite and witty to the end.

  • 197 UB Bonn Lambertz S 2537, II (24).
  • 198 Edith Ennen et al., Der Alte Friedhof in Bonn. Geschichtlich, biographisch, kunst- und geistesgesch (...)

82Schlegel died on 12 March 1845, aged 77. The cause of death was given as ‘debilitation caused by a gastric complaint’.197 He was buried in the Alter Friedhof (Old Graveyard) in Bonn. His grave, designed by the sculptor Ernst von Bandel, best known for his huge monument of Arminius in the Teutoburg Forest, adapted David d’Angers’s profile medallion, with that rather Roman image, stern, critical. Death merged friendships, enmities, and celebrities. A short walk from Schlegel’s grave will take one to those of Rehfues, Niebuhr (conjoined Roman-style with his wife), of Schiller’s widow and their son Ernst, of Beethoven’s mother, of Robert and Clara Schumann.198

Epilogue

  • 199 UB Bonn Lambertz S 2537, II (21-22).
  • 200 Now in Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. It is not clear how these relate t (...)
  • 201 Kaufmann, 239.
  • 202 Ribbeck, Ritschl, II, 72.

83What of Schlegel’s legacy? Already in 1829, when his solicitor Lambertz finally broke off relations with the Paulus family, Schlegel stated that he wished his will to benefit those who had contributed to his wellbeing, his scholarly collection to go to a public institution.199 The will copied out and dated 23 March 1845 was more specific. Christian Lassen received part of his Indian material; to his nieces Amalie Wolper and Auguste von Buttlar went the bulk of his estate; the thankless Academy in Berlin gained his papers on Frederick the Great; his order of Pour le Mérite was returned to the king; Bonn university library was given his bust by Friedrich Tieck and the family psalter of 1525. Auguste in addition received back her own paintings and drawings, but more importantly she inherited his collection of Indian miniatures;200 Friedrich Tieck acquired an antique head of Silenus and his own drawings. Countess d’Haussonville, née Broglie became the possessor of a golden medallion containing a lock of hair of her grandmother, Madame de Staël; Amalie Wolper came by a wisp of the hair of Johanna Erdmuthe Schlegel, her grandmother and Schlegel’s beloved mother. The coachman and factotum Heinrich von Wehrden was left his carriage, his horses, and his wardrobe.201 (The puce-coloured court dress finished up in a carnival stunt.)202

  • 203 Katalog der von Aug. Wilh. von Schlegel, Professor an der Königl. Universität zu Bonn, Ritter etc., (...)

84The bookseller J. M. Heberle in Bonn was entrusted with the sale by auction of Schlegel’s library.203 It has gone to the four winds. For sheer bulk, it ranks as one of the great Romantic collections, like Ludwig Tieck’s and Clemens Brentano’s, yet different from theirs for its emphasis on orientalia, history and geography, or classics; the parts on Romance and English literatures do not comparewith Tieck’s, but the sectionson German literature are full of rare items including incunabula. His interest in reprographic techniques is reflected in his collection of lithographs and aquatints. In its coverage it has affinities with Eschenburg’s library, auctioned twenty-five years earlier. The catalogue also represents as complete a bibliography of Schlegel’s works as one will find anywhere. This is the working library of a polymath scholar, not that of a compulsive collector or a book fanatic: Ludwig Tieck possessed Der jüngere Titurel of 1477 because he must have it, Schlegel, because he needed it for learned study and discourse.

  • 204 UB Bonn, Lambertz S 2537, II (24).
  • 205 Ibid. (27-28).
  • 206 Ibid. (29).
  • 207 Briefe, II, 158f.

85Lambertz was of course obliged to inform Schlegel’s widow, Sophie von Schlegel, and Böcking sent her a copy of the will.204 According to Baden law, his estate remained sealed until receipt of a statement of renunciation. This she produced on 19 May 1845.205 For Lambertz, this was in keeping with her character.206 Her father, Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus, in accordance with his less generous nature, wrote to Lambertz and Böcking in December 1845, enquiring whether there might not be a widow’s pension from the University of Bonn, to which his daughter might have entitlement. There was not, and on this suitably mercenary note ended the saga of Schlegel’s unhappy marriage.207

86Eduard Böcking, also wearing his hat as ‘Édouard’ and ‘Eduardus’, was Schlegel’s literary executor. It is to him that we owe the twelve volumes of Sämmtliche Werke in German, the three of Oeuvres in French and the single Opuscula in Latin that came out with the Leipzig publisher Weidmann in 1846‑48. This was not the edition that Reimer might have produced, or Cotta, had they been interested. Schlegel’s meticulousness and the general tidiness of his papers meant that Böcking found most of the material in the Nachlass (nearly all of Schlegel’s reviews and articles, for instance). He made small orthographical changes for consistency’s sake, so minor as to be of no consequence. One may regret, as already said, his decision to publish Schlegel’s revised version of the Vienna Lectures, which is not the text that secured his fame. The Indische Bibliothek and the Berliner Kalender were marked up for the printer, but never reissued as such, only extracts from the former, none of the latter. None of the pamphlets for Bernadotte is included, although they are all there in the Nachlass. The Nibelungenlied essays are missing, a regrettable omission. Doubtless copyright considerations meant the exclusion of the translations of Shakespeare and Calderón: clearly it was not an area into which Böcking wished to stray. We must be grateful for such hitherto unpublished material as he allotted space for, the Considérations of 1805, for instance, or the exchange of letters with Albertine in 1838. Schlegel’s Berlin and Bonn lectures remained largely unpublished, some of them until this day. It was to be Rudolf Haym’s account of the Berlin Lectures in 1870 that first alerted attention to them, with Jakob Minor publishing the main Berlin series in the 1880s. The Sämmtliche Werke therefore present us with a Schlegel full of lacunae, a series of gaps around which we must construct a man and his works as an integrated whole. How extensive that whole is can be established from the acres of Nachlass that Böcking presented to the then Royal Library in Dresden in 1873 and which have very largely survived changes of name and regime, and the onslaught of war.

Notes

1 Her letters in Krisenjahre, II, 382-408, Felix Theodor’s 405f.; unpublished letters SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (13), 25-26.

2 Flore und Blanscheflur. Ein episches Gedicht in zwölf Gesängen von Sophie v. Knorring, geb. Tieck. Herausgegeben und mit einer Vorrede begleitet von A. W. von Schlegel (Berlin: Reimer, 1822), iii-xxxiv. SW, VII, 272-280. On this work see Richert, Die Anfänge, 68f.

3 Krisenjahre, II, 406-408.

4 Ibid., 507f.

5 Jakob Minor, ‘August Wilhelm von Schlegel in den Jahren 1804-1845’, Zeitschrift für die Österreichischen Gymnasien 38 (1887), 590-613, 733-753, ref. 745 ; Walzel, xx.

6 Walzel, 652.

7 Ibid., 658.

8 Kaufmann, ‘Zur Erinnerung’, 247.

9 KA, XXX, 242.

10 SW, VIII, 207-219.

11 Ibid., 220-284.

12 Briefe, I, 412.

13 Walzel, 653.

14 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (3), 136.

15 Walzel, 655.

16 Ibid., 653.

17 Ibid., 656.

18 Ibid., 666.

19 Briefe, I, 443f., II, 223.

20 Anfälle von apoplektischer Natur’. Briefe, I, 477.

21 Ibid., I, 477.

22 Ibid., 479f., II, 211.

23 Ibid., 489.

24 SW, VIII, 285-293.

25 Lohner, 183-185, 187-189.

26 Ludwig Tieck, Schriften, 20 vols (Berlin: Reimer, 1828-46). IV is dedicated to Schleiermacher but contains (3f.), as part of the opening of Phantasus, the warm tribute, ‘An A.W. Schlegel’. V is dedicated to AWS and is similarly cordial in its remarks [iii-viii].

27 Most of this set out in ‘Schreiben an Herrn Buchhändler Reimer in Berlin’, SW, VII, 281-302.

28 Details in Christine Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare en Allemagne de 1815 à 1850. Propagation et assimilation de la référence étrangère, Theatrica, 24 (Berne etc. : Peter Lang, 2008), 367.

29 Lohner, 165f.

30 Bernd Goldmann, Wolf Heinrich Graf Baudissin. Leben und Werk eines großen Übersetzers (Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1981), 115f.

31 Walzel, 573.

32 Roger Paulin, The Critical Reception of Shakespeare in Germany 1682-1914. Native Literature and Foreign Genius, Anglistische und Amerikanistische Texte und Studien, 11 (Hildesheim etc.: Olms, 2003), 334.

33 See Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare, esp. 367-373. Cf. AWS’s poem on the many versions of the witches’ chorus in Macbeth. SW, II, 223f.

34 Roger, 376.

35 Tieck, Schriften, IV, [4].

36 Wieneke, 261.

37 Ibid., 260; SW, I, 156; Josef Körner, Romantiker und Klassiker. Die Brüder Schlegel in ihren Beziehungen zu Schiller und Goethe (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1971 [1924]), 211.

38 Wieneke, 261f.

39 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (9), 29-30.

40 Cf. Benedikt Jessing, ‘Der Kanon des späten Goethe’, in: Anett Lütteken et al. (eds), Der Kanon im Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Beiträge zur historischen Kanonforschung (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2009), 164-177, ref. 177.

41 Boisserée, Tagebücher, II, i, 228.

42 Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Goethe in den Jahren 1794 bis 1805, 6 parts (Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta, 1828-29). The correspondence from 1794 up to the end of 1796 was published in 1828 (parts 1-2), the rest, up to 1805, in 1829 (parts 3-6).

43 August Wilhelm von Schlegel, Kritische Schriften, 2 parts (Berlin: Reimer, 1828). I: iii-xviii Vorrede; 1-14 ‘Abriß von den Europäischen Verhältnissen der Deutschen Litteratur’; 15-73 ‘Ueber einige Werke von Goethe’; 74-163 ‘Homers Werke von Voß’; 164-178 ‘Die Gesundbrunnen’; 179-257 ‘Der Wettstreit der Sprachen’; 258-264 ‘Ueber kritische Zeitschriften’; 265-321 ‘Beurtheilung einiger Schauspiele und Romane’; 322-324 ‘Rollenhagens Froschmeuseler’; 325-330 ‘Jakob Balde’; 331-337 ‘Salomon Geßner’; 338-364 ‘Chamfort’; 365-386 ‘Ueber den dramatischen Dialog’; 387-416 ‘Ueber Shakspeare’s Romeo und Julia’; 417-436 ‘Urtheile, Gedanken und Einfälle’. II: 1-81 ‘Bürger’; 82-121 ‘Matthisson, Voß und F. W. A. Schmidt’; 122-127 ‘Regulus’; 128-144 ‘Ueber den Deutschen Ion’; 145-252 ‘Die Gemälde’; 253-309 ‘Ueber Zeichnungen zu Gedichten und John Flaxman’s Umrisse’; 310-336 ‘Ueber das Verhältniß der schönen Kunst zur Natur’; 337-370 ‘Schreiben an Goethe’; 371-411 ‘Johann von Fiesole’; 412-420 ‘Corinna auf dem Vorgebirge Miseno’.

44 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (11), 34.

45 Kritische Schriften, I, iiif.

46 Siegfried Unseld, Goethe und seine Verleger (Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig: Insel, 1991), 572-600.

47 As Humboldt makes clear to AWS. Leitzmann, 251f.

48 Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und Wilhelm v. Humboldt. Mit einer Vorerinnerung über Schiller und den Gang seiner Geistesentwicklung von W. von Humboldt (Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta, 1830), 312, 347.

49 Letter to Zelter of 26 October, 1831. Briefwechsel zwischen Goethe und Zelter in den Jahren 1796 bis 1832. Herausgegeben von Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Riemer, 6 vols (Berlin: Duncker und Humblot, 1833-34), VI, 318.

50 Ibid., 319.

51 Goethe, Gedenkausgabe, XXIV, 626.

52 Otto Höfler, Homunculuseine Satire auf A. W. Schlegel. Goethe und die Romantik (Vienna, Cologne and Graz : Böhlau, 1972).

53 Gespräche mit Goethe in den letzten Jahren seines Lebens. 1823-1832. Von Johann Peter Eckermann, 2 parts (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1836), II, 92.

54 Briefe, I, 642.

55 Ibid., 516.

56 SW, II, 256.

57 Ibid., 207.

58 der Goethesche Aufwasch und Auskehricht’, Lohner, 210.

59 Rahel-Bibliothek. Rahel Varnhagen, Gesammelte Werke, ed. Konrad Feilchenfeldt, Uwe Schweikert and Rahel E. Steiner, 10 vols (Munich: Matthes & Seitz, 1983), VI, 366f.

60 SW, II, 166f.

61 See Czapla, ‘Annäherungen an das ferne Fremde’, 146. The contributions to Wendt’s Musenalmanache are listed in: Karl Goedeke, Grundriss der deutschen Dichtung aus den Quellen, 2nd edn, 9 vols in 13 (Dresden: Ehlermann, 1884-1913), VIII, i, 129.

62 SW, II, 164f., 177-180.

63 Briefe, I, 443.

64 Ibid., I, 459f.

65 Or Fiorillo, or Georg Forster. KAV, II, i, 347.

66 Text in KAV, II, i, 289-348.

67 Cf. his three long letters to J. Grimm October 1832-February 1834. Briefe, I, 501-515.

68 To Welcker, 28 June, 1827. UB Bonn S 686.

69 KAV, II, i, 312. Did AWS devise the inscription over the front of the Altes Museum? Wilhelm von Humboldt asked his advice, but we have no evidence that it was given. Leitzmann, 219, 290.

70 KAV, II, i, 311.

71 Achim und Bettina in ihren Briefen. Briefwechsel Achim von Arnim und Bettina Brentano, ed. Werner Vordtriede, intr. Rudolf Alexander Schröder, 2 vols (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1961), II, 656, 660f., 671.

72 Friedrich von Raumer, Lebenserinnerungen und Briefwechsel, 2 vols (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1861), II, 311-313.

73 Le Couronnement de la Sainte Vierge et les Miracles de Saint Dominique ; tableau de Jean de Fiesole, publié par Guillaume Ternite, avec une notice sur la vie du peintre et une explication du tableau (Paris : Librairie grecque-latine-allemande, 1817), Oeuvres, II, 63-99 ; Sulger- Gebing, 170-172 ; letter of AWS to Ternite, ibid., 181.

74 SW, IX, 360-368.

75 Briefe, I, 412.

76 Ibid., 428-432; Sulger-Gebing, 187-189.

77 Opuscula, 368-377.

78 Ibid., 376f.

79 If not the originals, certainly copies, such as the casts in the Louvre. Cf. William St. Clair, Lord Elgin and the Marbles. The Controversial History of the Parthenon Sculptures (Oxford, New York: Oxford UP, 1998 [1967]), 268, 271.

80 KAV, II, i, 320.

81 Achim und Bettina, II, 656, 660.

82 First in Berliner Conversations-Blatt für Poesie, Literatur und Kritik, No. 113, 118, 121/3, 127, 130, 134, 137, 141/2, 144, 148, 155, 157/9, 9 June-13 August, 1827; Briefe, II, 199. Then in : Leçons sur l’histoire et la théorie des beaux arts, par A. G. Schlegel, professeur à l’université de Bonn ; suivies des articles du Conversations-Lexicon, concernant l’architecture, la sculpture et la peinture ; traduites par A. F. Couturier de Vienne (Paris : Pichon et Didier, 1830). AWS’s text published in KAV, II, i, 289-348 as: ‘A. W. von Schlegels Vorlesungen über Theorie und Geschichte der bildenden Künste. Gehalten in Berlin, im Sommer 1827’.

83 For the biographical and critical background to the Heine-Schlegel affair see Jeffrey L. Sammons, Heinrich Heine. A Modern Biography (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1979), esp. 57f., 141-147, 192-197.

84 Heinrich Heine, Historisch-kritische Gesamtausgabe der Werke, ed. Manfred Windfuhr, 16 vols in 23 (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1975-97), VIII, i, 174f.

85 Ibid., 175.

86 Ibid., 176f.

87 Ibid., XII, i, 95. This admittedly does not quite render the sense of the original, ‘Capaun im Korb’ for ‘Hahn im Korb’ (‘cock of the walk’).

88 Ibid., VII, i, 139.

89 Cf. the accounts by Ludwig Rellstab and Emanuel Geibel, Charakteristiken. Die Romantiker in Selbstzeugnissen und Äußerungen ihrer Zeitgenossen, Deutsche Literatur in Entwicklungsreihen. Reihe Romantik, 1, ed. Paul Kluckhohn (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1964 [1950]) 75f., 76.

90 E. M. Butler, Heinrich Heine. A Biography (London: Hogarth Press, 1956), 121f.

91 Adolf Strodtmann, H. Heine’s Leben und Werke, 2 vols (Berlin, Munich, Vienna: Tendler; New York: Steiger, 1867-69), II, 59f.

92 Cf. Chambers’s Encyclopaedia. A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, 10 vols (London, Edinburgh: Chambers; Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1925-27), IX, 148 (article ‘Schlegel’).

93 Briefe, I, 508 speaks of other attacks before mentioning Heine as ‘wildgewordener Jude’. To Golbéry, he claimed not to have read anything by Heine. Ibid., II, 230.

94 I see no evidence that the poem ‘An einen Dichter’ (SW, II, 214) is directed at Heine.

95 ‘juiverie baronnisée’, ‘Parodies’, Oeuvres, I, 83.

96 Ibid., 228f.

97 Heinrich Heine, Säkularausgabe, hg. von den Nationalen Forschungs- und Gedenkstätten der klassischen deutschen Literatur in Weimar und dem Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, 27 vols (Berlin : Akademie-Verlag ; Paris : Éditions du CNRS, 1970-), XX, 385.

98 Heine, Gesamtausgabe, VIII, i, 385.

99 Strodtmann, I, 59.

100 See the older study by Georg Mücke, Heines Beziehungen zum deutschen Mittelalter, Forschungen zur neueren Litteraturgeschichte, 34 (Berlin: Duncker, 1908) and the sources cited there.

101 Heine, Gesamtausgabe, I, i, 438f.

102 Ibid., X, 194-196.

103 Ibid., 195.

104 Ibid., XII, i, 146f.

105 Ibid., VIII, i, 470.

106 Ibid., X, 19.

107 Körner tends to give Heine, rather than AWS, the benefit of the doubt. Cf. Briefe, II, 230.

108 Deetjen, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel in Bonn’, 16f.

109 The point made by Hans Mayer in his afterword to the reissue of Bernhard von Brentano, August Wilhelm Schlegel. Geschichte eines romantischen Geistes (Frankfurt: Insel, 1986), 285f.

110 Lohner, 210.

111 Briefe, I, 381, 385, and graphic details there.

112 Ibid., 522f.; ‘Beschreibung eines bei Lechenich im Regierungsbezirke Köln ausgegrabenen, jetzt dem Alterthums-Museum der Universität Bonn zugehörigen Gefäßes von Erz mit halb erhobener Arbeit’, SW, IX, 369-371.

113 Sulger-Gebing, 189-191.

114 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (14), 73-74.

115 SW, I, 165f.

116 See esp. Horst Hallensleben, ‘Das Bonner Beethoven-Denkmal als frühes “bürgerliches Standbild”’ ; Susan Schaal, ‘Das Beethovendenkmal von Ernst Julius Hähnel in Bonn’, both in Ingrid Bodsch (ed.), Monument für Beethoven. Zur Geschichte des Beethoven- Denkmals (1845) und der frühen Beethoven-Rezeption in Bonn. Katalog zur Ausstellung des Stadtmuseums Bonn und des Beethoven-Hauses (Bonn: Stadtmuseum, 1995), 28-37, 39-133.

117 Ibid., [catalogue], 213.

118 Bernhard Maaz, Christian Friedrich Tieck 1776-1851. Leben und Werk unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seines Bildnisschaffens, mit einem Werkverzeichnis, Bildhauer des 19. Jahrhunderts (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1995), 41.

119 Verzeichniss einer von Eduard d’Alton […] hinterlassenen Gemälde-Sammlung. Nebst einer Vorerinnerung und ausführlichen Beurtheilung dreier darin befindlichen Bilder. Herausgegeben von A.W. von Schlegel (Bonn: Georgi, 1840), v.

120 Briefe, I, 548f.

121 See Margaret Rose, ‘Eduard Joseph d’Alton and the Origin of Prince Albert’s Collection’, The Burlington Magazine 129 (1987), 532-538.

122 Opuscula, 413-420.

123 Briefe, I, 531.

124 SW, II, 237f.

125 Correspondence and invoices SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, II, 32; Czapla/ Schankweiler, 166f.

126 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (29), 44-78.

127 Most of this set out in Czapla/Schankweiler, 104, 246f., 274f.; see also Josef Körner, ‘Ein unehelicher Sohn August Wilhelm Schlegels?’, Jahrbuch des Kölnischen Geschichtsvereins, 15 (1933), 120-129; three caches of ms. material in, respectively, UB Bonn S 2537 Nachlass Lambertz, 1-20; SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIIb, II, 1-10; UB Heidelberg, Heid. Hs. 860, 649 (Nachlass Paulus).

128 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIIb, II, 3.

129 Bonn UB S 2537, 18.

130 ‘Observations sur quelques médailles bactriennes et indo-scythiques nouvellement découvertes’, Oeuvres, III, 311-337.

131 Nouvelles annales des voyages etc. publ. par M. Eyriès et de Humboldt, IV (Paris : Gide, 1838), 137-214.

132 ‘Le Dante, Pétrarque et Boccace, justifiés de l’imputation d’hérésie et d’une conspiration tendant au renversement du Saint-Siége’, Oeuvres, II, 307-332.

133 I. C. Prichard, Darstellung der Aegyptischen Mythologie […], trans. L. Haymann, pref. A. W. von Schlegel (Bonn : Weber, 1837), v-xxxiv.

134 Ibid., vii.

135 Ibid., xxxiii.

136 Briefe, I, 575.

137 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX (12), 4.

138 Opuscula quae Augustus Guilelmus Schlegelius Latine scripta reliquit, ed. Eduardus Böcking (Lipsiae: Weidmann, 1848), 115-286.

139 reliqua desunt’, ibid. 286.

140 ‘Progr. acad. Bonn’, ‘De Zodiaci antiquitate et origine’, Opuscula, 326-359.

141 Briefe, I, 593; Roger, La Réception de Shakespeare, 376.

142 Briefe, II, 247.

143 SW, V, 253f.

144 See Körner, Botschaft, 75-80.

145 Amoretti’s edition is based on the 1817 revision. A new edition in KAV is forthcoming.

146 Briefe, I, 517, 564f.

147 Ibid., 554f.

148 Essais littéraires et historiques par A. W. de Schlegel (Bonn : Weber, 1842) contains : v-xxiii Avant-propos ; 1-70 ‘Du système continental’ ; 71-84 ‘Tableau de l’état politique et moral de l’Empire français en 1813’ ; 85-170 ‘Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d’Euripide’ ; 171-210 ‘Lettre […] sur les chevaux de bronze’ ; 211-340 ‘Observations sur la langue et la littérature provençales’ ; 341-406 ‘De l’Origine des romans de chevalerie’ ; 407-437 ‘Le Dante, Pétrarque et Boccace, justifiés’ ; 439-518 ‘De l’Origine des Hindous’ ; 519-544 ‘Les Mille et une nuits’.

149 Briefe, I, 613.

150 Ibid., 590.

151 Essais, Avant-propos, v.

152 Ibid., xxiii.

153 Ref. Rainer Kolk, ‘Liebhaber, Gelehrte, Experten. Das Sozialsystem der Germanistik bis zum Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts’, in: Jürgen Fohrmann and Wilhelm Vosskamp (eds), Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Germanistik im 19. Jahrhundert (Stuttgart, Weimar: Metzler, 1994), 48-114, ref. 53.

154 Essais, Avant-propos, xxiii.

155 Briefe, I, 532.

156 Oeuvres, I, 83.

157 Ibid., 13-73.

158 Albert’s last extant letter, dated 12 May, 1842, is on the notepaper of the ‘Ministère des Affaires Étrangères. Direction Politique’. SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, XIX, [4], 23.

159 Oeuvres, I, 73.

160 Ibid., 83.

161 The exchange published as ‘Fragments extraits du porte-feuille d’un solitaire contemplatif’. Oeuvres, I, 189-201.

162 Ibid., 200f.

163 Ibid., 191.

164 Ibid., 192.

165 Ibid., 193.

166 Ibid., 188.

167 Kaufmann, ‘Zur Erinnerung’, 253.

168 Briefe, II, 281.

169 SW, VIII, 294-333.

170 On the general background see Thomas Nipperdey, ‘Nationalidee und Nationaldenkmal in Deutschland’, Historische Zeitschrift 206 (1968), 529-585 ; on the monument Richard Nürnberger, ‘Rauch’s Friedrich-Denkmal historisch-politisch gesehen’, Jahrbuch preußischer Kulturbesitz, 8 (1979), 115-124.

171 The history of the edition and of AWS’s involvement is traced in Briefe, I, 541-621 and II, 247-281; on AWS’s sojourn in Berlin see Czapla/Schankweiler, 102-108, 270-284. These form the basis of my remarks.

172 Nürnberger, 120.

173 Cf. Briefe, II, 247, 251, 253.

174 SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, LXXV, 27-30, LXXVI, 1-2. (LXXV contains a whole mass of other more or less relevant material, some, but by no means all, published in Briefe).

175 SW, VIII, 306f.

176 Lohner, 222.

177 Briefe, II, 256.

178 Czapla/Schankweiler, 272f.

179 Roger Paulin, Ludwig Tieck: A Literary Biography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985), 402.

180 Briefe, I, 572f., II, 265; SW, I, 173; Oeuvres, I, 85.

181 Briefe, I, 618-620.

182 See Josef Körner, ‘August Wilhelm Schlegel über Friedrich den Großen’, Die Neueren Sprachen 40 (1932), 157-161.

183 Oeuvres de Frédéric le Grand, 30 vols plus 1 (Berlin : Decker, 1846-57).

184 Briefe, II, 281.

185 ‘Extrait d’un journal américain : Mills point Mercury, dans l’état de Kentucky’, SLUB Dresden, Mscr. Dresd. e. 90, II (18).

186 Briefe, I, 556.

187 UB Bonn, S 1392 (46), 13 June, 1842.

188 Czapla/Schankweiler, 296.

189 The course on Sanskrit until the winter of 1843-44; art history in the summer of 1842, the winter of 1842-43, and the summer of 1844; on history in the summers of 1843 and 1844. Vorlesungen auf der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn (Bonn: Georgi), Sommerhalbjahr 1842, 7; Winterhalbjahr 1842-43, 7; Sommerhalbjahr 1843, 6f.; Winterhalbjahr 1843-44, 6f.; Sommerhalbjahr 1844, 7. There is nothing for 1845.

190 Briefe, I, 614; Deetjen, 20.

191 Ibid., 20.

192 UB Bonn S 1392 (51, 52); Deetjen, ibid.

193 Briefe, I, 573f.

194 Ibid., 617.

195 Ibid., 605.

196 A pun on ‘so that I may die in the Lord’. Kekulé, Welcker, 405.

197 UB Bonn Lambertz S 2537, II (24).

198 Edith Ennen et al., Der Alte Friedhof in Bonn. Geschichtlich, biographisch, kunst- und geistesgeschichtlich (Bonn: Stadt Bonn, 1981), 55f., plates 2, 3, 9, 12, 26, 27.

199 UB Bonn Lambertz S 2537, II (21-22).

200 Now in Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. It is not clear how these relate to the 95 paintings offered for sale in Heberle’s catalogue (107).

201 Kaufmann, 239.

202 Ribbeck, Ritschl, II, 72.

203 Katalog der von Aug. Wilh. von Schlegel, Professor an der Königl. Universität zu Bonn, Ritter etc., nachgelaßenen Büchersammlung, welche Montag den 1sten Dezember 1845 und an den folgenden Tagen Abends 5 Uhr präcise bei J. M. Heberle in Bonn öffentlich versteigert und dem Letztbietenden gegen gleich baare Zahlung verabfolgt wird.

204 UB Bonn, Lambertz S 2537, II (24).

205 Ibid. (27-28).

206 Ibid. (29).

207 Briefe, II, 158f.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 34 Lithograph by Henry & Cohen in Bonn, after the portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Adolf August Hohneck (c. 1830).
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/2967/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 148k
Titre Fig. 35 Portrait engraving of August Wilhelm Schlegel by Christian Hoffmeister (1841).
Crédits Image in the public domain.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/2967/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 139k

Acheter

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search