Letter 265

• 265. Schelling to Wilhelm Schlegel in Jena: Bocklet, 6 July 1800 [*]

Boklet, 6 July 1800

I arrived back here a few days ago from my trip to Swabia and found Caroline completely recovered but Auguste sick. In a few days, however, she will probably have recovered to the point that we can return to Bamberg.

I would have answered you directly from Swabia had I not been so busy at the beginning and otherwise too distracted. I worked out not only the second issue of the journal there, [1] but also a beginning for my poem. [2] I believe I have found the mythology that alone contains the articulation of all the ideas I myself wish to present, and as soon as I have reflected further on the initial ideas, I will write you about it.

Caroline tells me you were asking for the “Pastor.” I regret that it is probably too late, otherwise I would immediately enclose it. I will now probably send it along to Schiller. [3] Cotta, with whom I spoke in Stuttgart, mentioned while discussing some literary plans I presented to him that you had already spoken with him regarding the journal that would replace the L.Z.. [4] I would, he said, learn more details from you. . . .

Hufeland’s exit from the L.Z. is indeed a capital coup for the latter, at least in the opinion of the people, and because Schütz will now surrender with even more abandon and less restraint to the natural baseness that was reined in at least to a certain extent by Hufeland’s cowardice and timidity. [5] I cannot but gather from a letter from Paulus (to whom I send my regards) that it was primarily the new plan that brought about the split between these two. This may thus be a rather peculiar product of that plan.

Since we do not read the L.Z., might I ask that you send it to us should you find anything of note in it, especially the new plan, should it in the meantime have otherwise appeared.

The aforementioned event, together with the tedious delay of any resolution to your complaint against Schütz, almost makes me want to ask you to go ahead and implement your own idea contra Schütz, since I do believe the shortest path would be to scour him to death once and for all into tiny pieces between us. [6] He will no longer know how to counter, and if such be the case, then it is our turn — I would be loath to see this recurring amusement abandoned anytime soon.

If you wish to write us, address your letters now simply to Bamberg, where we hope to be on the 12th. [7]

We send our regards, and I myself remain sincerely



[*] Sources: Excerpt only in Schmidt (1913), 606; full letter in Fuhrmans 1:195–99. This is the first extant letter from Schelling to Wilhelm Schlegel. Its cordial tone is quite at odds with the way Friedrich Schlegel and Dorothea Veit describe the relationship between the two men.

Schelling seems to have left his parents’ home in Schorndorf on 29 June 1800 (see his letter to his parents on 30 June 1800 [letter 264b]) (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[1] Zeitschrift für spekulative Physik (1800) I/2; this issue appeared in September 1800. Back.

[2] Schelling’s anticipated, extensive “world poem,” initially together with Goethe, presenting his entire philosophy and view of nature. Although he never finished it, he did present Caroline with thirteen stanzas for Christmas 1799. Back.

[3] It seems that after having arrived in Bamberg following Auguste’s death (ca. 23 or 24 July 1800), Wilhelm convinced Schelling to publish the piece in his and Ludiwg Tieck’s anticipated Musen-Almanach für das Jahr 1802. Back.

[4] The ultimately unsuccessful Jahrbücher project is discussed in coming letters; both Wilhelm and Schelling had cut their ties with the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (here: “L.Z.“; see letters/documents 252d, 255a) and were indeed still involved in disputes with the editors; see below. Back.

[5] Gottlieb Hufeland, co-editor, with Christian Gottfried Schütz, of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, had had a serious quarrel with Henrik Steffens during the summer of 1800 regarding Steffens’s anticipated review of Schelling’s works and subsequently withdrew from his editorial position with the journal, though his own words suggest he had already been considering doing so; see his letter to Schiller on 25 June 1800 (Briefe an Schiller, ed. Ludwig Urlichs [Stuttgart 1877], 368):

Perhaps you already know that several different, converging circumstances have finally prompted me to carry out an old resolution of mine, namely, to withdraw from the editorship of the A.L.Z..

The tedious quarrel with Steffens was prompted by Hufeland’s previous rejoinder to Schelling in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1800) 77 (Wednesday, 11 June 1800) 639–40 (see Wilhelm’s letter to Goethe on 13 June 1800 [letter 262b], note 1), to which Steffens responded in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1800) 104 (19 July 1800) 891–94, to which Hufeland in his own turn responded in the same issue of the Intelligenzblatt, 894–96 (documentation also in Fambach 4:394–98). Back.

[6] An allusion to Wilhelm’s own feud with the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (see Wilhelm’s declaration in the Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung [1799] 145 [Wednesday, 13 November 1799] 1179 [letter/document 255a]; illustration: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki in 1780, “Die Philosophen” (The philosophers), Illustrationen zu Erasmus’ Lob der Narrheit in sechs Abteilungen [1780]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki WB 3.31):


In the meantime, however, Schütz had published not only his private correspondence with Schelling from the previous autumn, but also that with Wilhelm (Intelligenzblatt of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung [1800] 62 [10 May 1800] 513–20, including the correspondence between Schütz and Wilhelm on 20–21 October 1799 [letters 249a–c]), and Wilhelm was considering legal action (see Wilhelm’s letter to Goethe on 30 May 1800 [letter 260c]). Wilhelm then considered instead publishing an entire brochure dedicated to the quarrel (see his letter to Schelling on 31 May 1800 [letter 260d]).

Only later, however, did he actually carry out his plan, and then in a different context, namely, when Schelling was attacked anew, and with considerably more serious charges, by the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. For Wilhelm’s piece, see letter/document 371b, To the Public. Rebuke of a Defamation of Honor Perpetrated in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Back.

[7] Auguste, of course, died on 12 July 1800; Caroline, Schelling, and Wilhelm — who had in the meantime journeyed there from Jena — did not return to Bamberg until late July 1800 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



Translation © 2014 Doug Stott