SCHILLER IN 1789
Schiller's appointment as unsalaried professor of history at the University of Jena brought for him, at first, a good deal of ‘unwanted financial obligations'--fees had to be paid. "May the devil take this professorship, it pulls one Louis d'or after another out of my pocket... ," began Schiller's letter to Koerner of January 17th.
The professorship was actually an ‘extraordinary tenture' as professor of philosophy, even though he would hold lectures in history. The ‘ordinary tenure' in that field had already been filled.
When Schiller held his ‘acceptance speech' on May 26th, it was planned to take place in a university facility with 80 seats. However, it had to be moved to the Griesbach auditorium in the Johannisgasse, where about 500 students assembled in the largest auditorium in Jena. It turned out to be ‘quite an event' that would even lead to a fire alarm. Later that evening, the students honored the new professor, but perhaps also the writer of the ‘Robbers' with a serenade and with cheering. Schiller's acceptance speech and his second lecture entitled ‘Was heisst und zu welchem Zweck studiert man Universalgeschichte' (What is and for what purpose does one study universal history) were both published in a special print edition in November. Schiller's acceptance speech contained the following reference to ‘tenured lecturers':
"The plan of studies of the tentured lecturer is different from that of the philsophical mind. The former, whose diligence is solely directed at fulfilling the requirements that enable him to hold his tenure and to thereby reap its benefit, he who only mobilizes his intellectual powers in order to improve his material situation and to satisfy his petty need for fame, such a one will, when embarking on his academic career, have no more important aim than to carefully separate or set aside those academic disciplines that he calls his ‘living' from all other disciplines that please the intellect for their own sake. All the time that he would or might otherwise devote to the latter disciplines, he would consider as having ‘withdrawn' or ‘withheld' from his future profession and would never forgive himself for that ‘theft'. He will direct his diligence towards those requirements that the future ‘masters of his fate' will ask of him, so that he will believe to have done everything, so that he does not have to fear them. Once he has completed his course, and once he has reached his goal, he will leave behind his ‘inspirations', for why should he be further bothered with them? His greatest task is now to ‘display' this accumulated wealth of knowledge and to prevent its ‘marketable value' from deteriarating. Every outward ‘expansion' of the academic subject of his ‘gainful employment' is a delight to him since it will send more work his way or render his previous work needy of updating; every really i m p o r t a n t change, however, scares him, as it ‘breaks' with the thinking he has become accustomed to in such a ‘cumbersome' way; it puts him into the danger of losing his e n t i r e previous work. Who has cried more about reformers than the whole lot of ‘professional academics'? Who holds up more the progress of useful revolutions in the area of knowledge than these? Every flame that is ignited by a fortunate genius in whatever science, makes their ineptitude all the more visible; they fight bitterly, deceitfully, desperately, since, with the ‘established school of thought', they also defend their very own existence. Therefore, there is no enemy who is more irreconcilable, no peer who is more envious, none more willing to drive out heretics than the tenured academic. The less his knewledge brings him satisfaction by itself, the greater is his need for acknowledgement from outside; for the merits of craftsmen, tradesmen and those of the intellect alike, he only has o n e standard to measure them by: the hard work in the attaining of merit. That is why one hears no-one complain more about lack of appreciation (of one's attained merits) than the tentured academic; not in the wealth of his thoughts does he seek his reward, he seeks and expects his reward from outside acknowledgement and praise, from honorary appointments, in his material well-being. If all of that fails, who is more unhappy than the tentured academic? He has lived in vain, been vigilant in vain, worked in vain; in vain has he searched for the truth whenever that truth did not turn into ‘gold', media praise or princely favor for him."
Schiller's earnings from his two-hour-a-week summer semester lectures were limited to the lecture fees paid by students, so that he had to continue to rely on the publication of his works to earn a living. This situation was also still overshadowed by the debts that he still had to pay off.
Schiller's doubts as to his financial prospects (around the time that he had approached Karl von Dalberg) were reflected in his letter of November 15th to Charlotte and Karoline, in which he also tried to explain the dynamics of his relationship with both of them:
" . . . Karoline is closer to me in age and therefore also closer in the form of our feelings and thoughts. She has evoked more emotions in me than you, my Lotte--but I would not wish for anything that this was different, that you would be different than you are. In whatever Karoline has an advantage over you, that you must receive from me; your soul must unfold in my love, and you must be my creature, your blossoming must coincide with the spring tide of my love. Had we found each other later, you would have deprived me of the beauty of this joy, to see you blossoming for me.
How beautifully has our relationship been arranged by fate! Words cannot describe these tender ties, but the soul can feel them in all fineness and sharpness."
However, with respect to Karoline's wish to be separated from her husband, he continues:
"Only your fate, dear Karoline, is what troubles me. I cannot yet solve this confusing situation and it becomes even more complicated when I consider my position. If I stay at Jena, I shall be content to see you living alone with B[eulwitz]. Of this year, you can spend half of your time with us and the short times of separation in-between will make this more bearable for you. My stay at Jena, however, cannot be quite happily reconciled with the entire matter, and it is not even in my power to stay, should more advantageous openings present themselves to me. I could not yet arrange everything for next year to have Lotte live with me since I know what I can count on from the Duke if everything goes extremely well, and that is not enough, yet, since not all of my income is (truly) mine, yet, unfortunately! I cannot yet hope to attain what is still lacking by next year, by holding lectures. That will only be feasible in two years, and that is why I am working so seriously on this matter now. It would be terrible if next year should go by like this" (Goethe und seine Zeit 163).
Once Schiller had received Frau von Lengefeld's ‘blessings', the Duke of Meiningen was approached to provide a ‘decent rank or standing' for Schiller, since Charlotte would have to give up her nobility for him. Frau von Stein asked the Duke to set out a salary for Schiller, which was granted on January 1, 1790, in the amount of 200 talers.