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SCHILLER IN 1787



With respect to the June publication of 'Don Carlos' we may note the following:

While we already looked at 'Don Carlos' in the section of the previous year and while we also became acquainted with the dialogue of scene 10 of Act III, we might consider here that this play marked the beginning of Schiller's 'classical drama' style (albeit here rather 'freely' interpreted, as far as precise 'historical facts' are concerned) in which he would subsequently come to visually illustrate for us the ideas working within each 'depicted' historical process (as in his later dramas 'Wallenstein', and 'William Tell').

Our minds might 'relax for a moment' in looking at the following:

On the occasion of Koerner's July 2nd 31st birthday, his circle of friends staged Schiller's dramatical joke 'Koerner's Morning (I have had a shave)' in which Schiller mockingly portrayed his friend's 'halting' writing style...





In 1784, Schiller came into 'close contact' with Charlotte von Kalb. In 1787, she introduced him in Weimar.

With respect to his 'reunion' with Charlotte von Kalb in Weimar, Schiller wrote on the evening of his arrival,

"All (of it) was so depressing and intoxicating that it is impossible for me to describe it to you . . . It was peculiar that, in the very first hour that I met her again, I felt as if I had just left her yesterday. Everything about her was so familiar to me, and then we quickly took up in our relationship were we had left off" (Goethe und seine Zeit 150).

To Koerner, Schiller intimated that he wanted to make him acquainted with the von Kalb couple. Charlotte von Kalb, on the other hand, may have thought of divorcing her husband and of marrying Schiller.

Schiller's 'itinerary' with respect to his Weimar/Jena stay reads as follows:

1. On July 23rd, he met Christoph Martin Wieland for the first time;

2. The very next day, he came into contact with Johann Gottfried Herder;

3. On July 27th and 28th, Schiller was invited as a guest, together with Wieland, of Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia;

4. On July 29th, Schiller moved into Charlotte von Kalb's former apartment at the 'Frauenplan'. He kept this apartment until 1789.

5. Towards the end of August, Schiller visited Jena and met Wieland's son-in-law, the philosphy professor Karl Leonhard Reinhold. The latter might have initiated Schiller's interest in the study of the philospophy of Immanuel Kant.

In his letters to his Dresden friends, Schiller reflected on his Weimar experiences with these words,

"I had considered myself 'too unimportant' and the people around me 'too great'. I considered myself judged by everyone, while everyone was merely busy with his own affairs."

"I shall learn to think better of myself and to stop putting myself down in my own mind" (Goethe und seine Zeit 150).

On Goethe's birthday that was celebrated at the 'Olympian's' summer lodge, Schiller had this to report:

"We ate heartily, and I drank to Goethe's health with Rhine wine. While in Italy, he will hardly be able to imagine that I was among his house guests, but fate arranges things very miraculously" (Goethe und seine Zeit 150).

Wieland's temporary reluctance to 'take a stand' with respect to Schiller's 'Don Carlos' threatened to cool their relationship, but the latter's favorable article on the work in his 'Teutscher Merkur' remedied the situation. Schiller's participation in the 'Merkur' and also the possible subsequent involvement of his 'Thalia' was discussed.

To put it in a nutshell, Schiller began to become used to life in Weimar and to the Weimar circle. From the beginning of October on, Schiller also attended a 'Wednesday Society for Commoners (as opposed to members of the nobility)' and he, in turn, founded a 'Friday Society'.

With respect to Schiller's coming into contact at the end of 1787 with his later wife Charlotte von Lengefeld should be mentioned that he already met her briefly in Mannheim in June, 1784, when she passed through the city on her return from the french-speaking cantons of Switzerland, where she was trained for a possible position as lady of the court, as she had prospects to be hired on as such at the Weimar Court, by the Dowager Duchess Luise. With respect to his Rudolstadt sojourn, Schiller wrote the following to his friend Koerner:

"Both creatures are (without being beautiful) attractive and I like them very much. One finds here a great deal of familiarity with the new literature, fine feeling, and intellect. They both play the piano very well, so that I was able to enjoy a very beautiful evening" (Goethe und seine Zeit 150-151).



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