Letter 378d

378d. Schelling to Hegel in Jena: Murrhardt, ca. 30 May 1803 [*]

Murrhardt, ca. 30 May 1803

Only a few minutes remain during which I can write to you with the returning coachman. [1]

After a rather arduous passage through the Thüringian Forest, on the 3rd day we successfully reached Bamberg, where we spent two extremely pleasant days. [2] Marcus rules both the country and its inhabitants, as it were, and has again set up his hospital in an excellent fashion, which, moreover, has been elevated to the status of a medical school. I hope Kilian is quite pleased with his own appointment, which is considerably more advantageous than Röschlaub’s was. [3] It would be nice if he could but leave Jena immediately and go to Bamberg.

From Bamberg, accompanied by Marcus, we traveled to Würzburg, where we spent 1/2 day, and in 3 days were transported here to Murrhardt, to this graceful, green, forested valley. [4] Despite the weather’s initially rather unpleasant aspects, it was on the whole actually quite favorable.

Your valise is being returned with hearty thanks from us both. [5]

Please be so kind as to give my regards to all my friends, though especially, from both Madam Schlegel and myself, to the Frommanns, who are likely still burdened with my request concerning a crate that was left behind. If it has not already been sent, please send it with freight by way of Nürnberg rather than Swabian Hall. [6]

Karl who is beside himself with joy, sends his regards; in two weeks he will be promoted to doctor. [7]

Stay well and write me soon — here in Murrhardt, but by way of Stuttgart



[*] Source: Fuhrmans 1:284–85. — Date and addressee according to Fuhrmans 1:284fn5. Back.

[1] Concerning Caroline and Schelling’s arrival in Murrhardt on the evening of 30 May 1803, see the letter to Schelling from his father on that day (letter 378c). Schelling seems not to have anticipated having the Jena coachman drive them the entire way to Murrhardt (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angroenzenden Laendern [Vienna 1805]; Bibliothèque nationale de France):



[2] The route from Jena south to Bamberg took travelers a considerable distance directly through the Thuringian Forest (Thüringer Wald below; Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):


The route through the forest is roughly bracketed by the postal stations Saalfeld, Gräfenthal, and Judenbach (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):


On the topographical map below, the “forest” is indicated by the brownish, elevated area with the word Wald and dissected roughly (the lighter-colored area) by the Rennsteig, a boundary ridge and river watershed (Handkarte von Thüringen, ed. H. Habenicht and G. Böhmer [Gotha 1903]):


Neither Caroline nor Schelling mentions the earlier passage through the Thuringian Forest (May 1800, , with Auguste) as having been particularly arduous, though routes through forests, such as the following in the Harz Mountains, could pass through difficult or foreboding stretches (Friedrich Jügel, H. Hinze, Der Ilsenstein im Harz [ca. 1776–1833]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Top. App. 2:106.1):


Such passages, of course, often also included the risk of highwaymen, here in the Mühlthal outside Jena (Johann Friedrich Schröter, Reisende werden im Wald von Räubern ausgeraubt [a robbery portrayal; late eighteenth century], Herzog August Bibliothek, Museumsnr./Signatur Graph. Res. A: 395.2):



[3] Konrad Joseph Kilian, Caroline’s physician in Jena, had been appointed Andreas Röschlaub’s successor in Bamberg; Röschlaub had received an appointment as full professor at the clinic at the new university in Landshut, northeast of Munich, where he was also director of the medical school (map: Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[4] Here Caroline and Schelling’s route from Jena (discounting Nürnberg; Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]; Murrhardt [not on a postal route, hence not on this map] is situated 25 km just southwest of Hall):


Here Murrhardt ca. 1850, water color by Pieter Francis Peters, with the multi-story parsonage visible to the right of the large Church of St. Januarius (Württembergische Landesbibliothek, catalogue 379840278, Graphische Sammlungen Württembergica, Signatur Schef.qt.5385c):



[5] Apparently on loan from Hegel for their trip. Back.

[6] See the map in Johann Wilhelm Ritter’s letter to Hans Christian Örsted on 22 May 1803 (letter 378b), note 1. Back.

[7] Karl Schelling, Schelling’s brother, initially studied medicine in Jena, then continued his studies in Bamberg from the spring of 1802. He went on to become a respected physician in the Stuttgart area (Mettenleiter, Arzt am Krankenbett [1788]; Munich, Kupferstichkabinett):



Translation © 2016 Doug Stott