• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7725

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts, Including Fine Plate books from an Historic Continental Library

    3 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 40

    SCHILLER, Friedrich (1759-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Schiller') to his close friend, the jurist Christian Gottfried Körner, Weimar, 7 February 1788, one page, 4to, integral address leaf ('an Herrn Oberconsistorialrath D. Körner in Dresden'), signet seal in red wax.

    Price Realised  

    SCHILLER, Friedrich (1759-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Schiller') to his close friend, the jurist Christian Gottfried Körner, Weimar, 7 February 1788, one page, 4to, integral address leaf ('an Herrn Oberconsistorialrath D. Körner in Dresden'), signet seal in red wax.

    'Es ist Nachts um halb vier Uhr ...'. Schiller writes to wish his close friends the Körners goodnight, having just sealed up a parcel for his publisher, Siegfried Lebrecht Crusius: he has been making up for lost time after a week of being shown off in high society, and is in very good health, though he feels 'somewhat overburdened, so that I cannot really catch my breath'. The salons in Weimar are very polite, and compare favourably with those in Dresden: Schiller has felt very much at his ease, no doubt because of the greater number of his friends in Weimar (mentioning that the publisher Göschen is expected to arrive soon). 'But I meant only to wish you good night. My head is spinning and my eyes shut of their own accord ... I long for news from you'.

    'Die hiesigen Redouten und einige Gesellschaften, bei denen ich herumgezogen worden bin haben mich diese Woche ein wenig zerstreut; da habe ich nun das Versäumte wieder einbringen müssen ... Ich finde mich ganz behaglich, bis auf das bischen Ueberhäufung, das mich nicht recht zu Athem kommen läßt ... Die hiesigen Redouten sind recht artig ... Ich habe mich recht gut darauf befunden, woran wohl auch die größere Anzahl meiner hiesigen Bekannten schuld seyn mag ... Aber ich wollte nur gute Nacht von Euch nehmen. Mein Kopf ist ganz wirblicht und die Augen fallen mir zu ... Ich sehne mich nach Nachrichten von Euch'.

    Published in Schillers Briefwechsel mit Körner, 2nd ed. (Leipzig: Veit & Comp, 1859), vol.i, p.253, with a few minor alterations and the omission of the subscription ('Tausend herzliche Grüße'). Having lived for two years with the Körners, Schiller had moved to Weimar in July 1787, remaining there until his appointment to a professorship in Jena in 1789. The package Schiller has just sent to Crusius may be part of the manuscript of his Geschichte des Abfalls der Vereinigten Niederlande von der spanischen Regierung, about which he was to write a series of letters to his publisher over the following months.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium