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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 119

    FICHTE, Johann Gottlieb (1762-1814). Autograph letter signed (twice, 'Fichte') to an unidentified recipient [Jens Immanuel Baggesen], Osmannstadt, 9-29 August 1795, four pages, 4to (some staining). Provenance: Piasa sale, Paris, 11/12 April 2002, lot 340; the Albin Schram Collection.

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    FICHTE, Johann Gottlieb (1762-1814). Autograph letter signed (twice, 'Fichte') to an unidentified recipient [Jens Immanuel Baggesen], Osmannstadt, 9-29 August 1795, four pages, 4to (some staining). Provenance: Piasa sale, Paris, 11/12 April 2002, lot 340; the Albin Schram Collection.

    ON THE CALUMNIES THAT ARE INVENTED AGAINST HIM. Fichte thanks Baggesen for opening his eyes, 'den man unbesonnen mit einem Gewebe von Lügen umstrickt hatte', and he blames the Zurich mentality for this: 'Meine theuren Zürcher aber konnte ich für solche dinge wohl fähig wären, bloß um ihre Vorhersagungen zu bestätigen, und ihre Meinung zu begründen, daß es Niemandem wohl gehen könne, der ihre Luft verlassen habe, ihre Mutmaßungen nach und nach zur Gewißheit zu erheben und, wenn ihnen widersprochen würde, sich lieber auf erdichtete Briefe zu berufen als die Lüge zu gestehen'; he asks Baggesen to see if he can find out the cause of these calumnies in Zurich, and expresses his fears that they will spread throughout Germany, something he will do his best to prevent, proposing a concerted campaign against 'die litterarischen Klatschweiber' who attack celebrities; the situation in the university of Jena is so bad that a military commission has been instituted. In a long postscript dated 29 August, Fichte resumes the question of the calumnies, having established that one Professor Schmid has been heard to repeat one, though it is not known whether he is the originator. He has been writing to Reinhold in Kiel about his idea of pure natural justice: 'Das Wort is unter vernünftig sinnlichen Wesen allerdings Sache; und die einzige, die sie einander unmittelbar mittheilen können; ihr charakteristisches Produkt in der Sinnen Welt'.


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