Note: This letter is one among many that comprise an ongoing correspondence between Goethe and Schiller. The letter discusses other writings and projects that both together and separately pursuing.
Text of Goethe’s letter to Schiller, Oct. 26, 1794
With great pleasure, I have read the manuscript you
sent me : I took it in at one draught. As a delicious
drink, suitable to our nature, slips down the throat grate-
fully, and at once, while only on the tongue, gives
evidence of its wholesome operation by the fine tone it
imparts to the nervous system, thus w^ere these letters
agreeable and salutary to me. And how could it be other-
wise, when I found that which I for a long time have
thought true, what I either praised or wished to praise,
set forth in so clear and noble a manner. Meyer, too, is
delighted with it ; and his keen impartial perception was
a strong confirmation to me. This agreeable mood was
near being ruffled by the accompanying note from Herder,
who would impute onesidedness to us who enjoy this
mode of exposition. But as one must not be too exacting
in regard to this world’s phenomena, and as there is ever
a consolation when one errs in the company of tried men,
while laboring for the profit and not the injury of oneself
and one’s contemporaries, let us cheerfully and undiverted
thus continue to live and labor, and figure to ourselves our
being and aims as a whole, that we may give as nearly as
possible completeness to our patchwork. The letters I
will retain for a few days, in order to enjoy with Meyer
the pleasure of reading them again.
Here are the Elegies. I wish you not to let them out of
your hands, but read them to those who have to judge of
their admissibility. After which I beg to have them back
to revise and perhaps retouch. If you find anything to
remark upon, pray point it out.
The Epistle is nearly copied, and will follow soon, with
several trifles ; then I must make a stop, for the third
book of the Novel requires my attention. I have not yet
the proof-sheets of the first ; as soon as they arrive, you
shall have them.
As to the Almanac,* I will propose to you to insert in,
or add to it, a little book of Epigrams. Singly they have
no value ; but we could, out of some hundreds (many of
which are not presentable), select a number which have a
bearing one on the other, and form a whole. You shall
see the sportive brood all together, in their nest, the next
time we meet.
Farewell, and remember me in your circle.
Weimar, 26th October, 1794.
Write me what you wish from me next for the Hörem,
and when you want it. The second epistle will be writ-
ten in the first favorable mood.