Briefwechsel zwischen Schiller und seiner Schwester Christophine, herausgegeben von W. von Maltzahn, Leipzig, 1875. Schillers Briefwechsel mit dem Herzog von Augustenburg, herausgegeben von Max Mueller, Berlin, 1875. Geschaeftsbriefe Schillers, gesammelt, erlaeutert und herausgegeben von K. Goedeke, Leipzig, 1875.
While at Oggersheim he had occasionally sent out misleading letters, in which he spoke of journeys here and there, of remarkable prosperity and of brilliant prospects in Leipzig, Berlin and St. Petersburg. But his family knew of his whereabouts, and before leaving the Palatinate he contrived a meeting with his mother and his sister Christophine, who drove over to a half-way village to see him.
For eight years Schiller had been cut off from intercourse with his parents and sisters, save through the medium of officially inspected letters. Returning now at last he found his mother in frail health, but his father still vigorous and active. Sister Christophine had grown into a strong and self-reliant young woman, the mainstay of the household.
Reinwald was some twenty-two years older than Schiller, a bit of a poet and a man of some literary ambition; but he had not got on well in the world. It was fated that he should marry Christophine Schiller, become peevish and sour in the course of time and lose the respect of his brother-in-law. Ritter and the outside world.
The boy himself was very susceptible at this time to religious impressions. Sister Christophine carried with her through life a vivid memory of his appearance at family worship, when the captain would solemnly intone the rimed prayers that he himself had composed for a private ritual.
The Baroness von Wolzogen quoted from a manuscript by Christophine, which was at that time in the family archives and has since been published in the Archiv fuer Litteraturgeschichte, I, 452. Christophine wrote down her recollections in order to counteract the false stories of Schiller's childhood which began to get into print soon after his death.
Sister Christophine was a faithful helper. A stage could be made of big books, and actors out of paper. When the puppet-show was outgrown, the young dramatist took to framing plays for living performers of his own age, with a row of chairs for an audience, and himself as manager and protagonist.
'We lead the blessedest life together', he wrote to Christophine Reinwald in May, 'and I no longer know my former self. And a month later to Wilhelm von Wolzogen: 'My Lotte grows dearer to me every day; I can say that I am just beginning to prize my life, since domestic happiness beautifies it for me. His income, indeed, was pitifully small, but his courage was great, his fame well grounded, and there were prospects here and there.
In one such instance, at least, which had been utterly obscure and unknown but that it stood within the charmed circle of genius, it was not so that of Christophine, the eldest sister of Schiller, who, after a self-denying life, died the last survivor of her family in her ninety-first year, having lived in the loneliness of widowhood for thirty years on the slenderest of means, yet, we are told, "in a noble, humbly admirable, and even happy and contented manner;" and there are many such women.
The Merkur was eager for contributions from his pen, and so was the Litteratur-Zeitung, whose extensive review factory had been shown him during his sojourn in Jena. Then there was the comatose Thalia, which he determined to revive after New Year's. In November he spent a few days at Meiningen, where his sister Christophine was now living as the wife of Reinwald.