"I consider myself fortunate in knowing my Thalia is in such discriminating hands"

Schiller, Friedrich, German poet (1759-1805). Autograph letter signed.

Dresden, 23 Dec. 1785.

8vo. 2 pp. on bifolium. In German. Mounted on the flyleaf of: The same. Don Karlos Infant von Spanien. Leipzig, Georg Joachim Göschen, 1802. 8vo. 432 pp. With engraved frontispiece and 5 engraved plates. Contemporary marbled full calf, gilt. Marbled endpapers.


A fine and early letter to his publisher Georg Joachim Göschen, discussing matters of censorship: "I have fulfilled the wish of your and my Censor, dear friend, and send you the note you asked for. This, I hope, will silence the intolerant part of the public. Have the goodness to assure the Herr Censor (whose name pray give me in your next letter) that I consider myself fortunate in knowing my Thalia is in such discriminating hands. He has quickly grasped the point from which my two poems must be viewed; and how few will do that! I have received what I asked you for, and I see in your ready response a fresh confirmation of your friendship and brotherly sympathy. Farewell, dear friend, and continue to love me […]".

Schiller had anticipated that two poems intended for his journal "Thalia", namely "Freigeisterei der Leidenschaft" ("Passion's Free Thought") and "Resignation", might encounter difficulties with the censor. Saxon censorship was notoriously strict, and a performance of "Die Räuber" had been banned in Leipzig. In this case however, the censor in question, the Leipzig historian Friedrich August Wilhelm Wenck (1741-1810), "proved amenable and reasonable. It was contended that the tendency of the poems might be represented to be an apology for immorality if read by the ignorant and intolerant, and the Censor asked Goschen to procure an explanation from the author showing the baselessness of such a charge. Schiller at once complied with the request" (V. Goschen, pp. 122f.).

From the collection of the Copenhagen critic and theatre director Einar Christiansen (1861-1939) with his bookplate to the front pastedown.


Schillers Briefe, ed. Fritz Jonas. Vol. 1 (Stuttgart 1892), p. 276, no. 148. Viscount Goschen, The Life and Times of Georg Joachim Goschen (London, 1903) I, p. 123. Trömel 169.