Letter 380c

380c. Adalbert Friedrich Marcus to Schelling in Murrhardt: Bamberg, 20 July , 1, 13, 14 August 1803 [*]

Bamberg, 20 July 1803

Dearest Friend!

I am sure you quite cannot comprehend why I have not answered you for so long. [1] Though I do indeed sense the injustice of such delay, I confess I would have preferred to persist longer yet in my sin were I not obliged to leave for Bocklet in a few days. From one day to the next, from one week to the next, I have been hoping to be in a position to relate to you the outcome of our negotiations. [2]

But in vain. Nothing has officially been made public, and everything involving the academy is moving along so insufferably slowly that my patience, at least, has run out. It is solely from Herr Geheimrath von Zentner that I have received the assurance that the professors from outside whom I have suggested, at least with respect to the influence he intends to exert, will not fail to see their wishes realized. The entire matter is stuck because the organizational proposal has not yet been sent in from Würzburg itself; that proposal alone will reveal what funds the university has, how those funds might be increased, and how much will be left over.

It is only in the past few days that I have learned that Count von Thürheim has been attending to this plan and will be sending it off to Munich soon. [3] It will doubtless then take another month before things are decided. Herr Thomann and his consorts are leaving no stone unturned in Würzburg to impose their will. [4] They sense the obscurity that will befall them once the light is allowed to penetrate far enough there. If left to these people, the night already covering them will continue to do so long into the future as well.

One cannot ignore the fact that they do indeed have followers in Würzburg itself that provide powerful support for them. Thus have my own appointment proposals for the colleges of medicine and administrative medicine in Würzburg continued to be blocked. Every conceivable intrigue and cabal is being engaged, and the result will no doubt be that much good will be thwarted.

For six weeks now, we have been awaiting Count von Thürheim here, who has been unable to get away from his duties in Würzburg. He does not want to leave there before the organizational plan for the university is completely clarified. God knows how “clear” such “clarity” will really be.

Two weeks ago, Elias Siebold and Professor Döllinger arrived here by extra-post, and after obliging me to confidentiality revealed to me that Loder wanted to come to Würzburg! [5] Utter secrecy was to be maintained in this matter. I was supposed to support the vocatio [6] of Loder, who was demanding 300 carolin, in Munich. Count von Thürheim was allegedly certain to support Loder’s request. I myself wrote to Herr von Zentner that one could get these men more cheaply and with better terms. Even Herr Schütz wants an appointment in Würzburg. And that, too, apparently enjoys Count von Thürheim’s support because of the acquisition of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. —

Well, this commonality, mixed with the baseness of the Würzburger, could not but yield a fine product indeed. —

But surely heaven will protect us from such a thing. — I also wrote to Paulus [7] a few days ago, and there, too, I could give him no more assurance than I can give to you, my dear Schelling. I think it best if we simply wait quietly for two weeks, by which time I surely will have spoken with Count von Thürheim. It is simply too early to insist on a categorical answer. In the meantime, Herr von Zentner has been informed of everything, and ultimately all depends on him in any case. Let me know where you are currently staying, my dear Schelling.

By 10 August I will reliably be back in Bamberg, and perhaps I will learn by then whether you are still in Murrhardt.

With the most sincere feelings of friendship.


Bocklet, 1 August 1803

Dearest friend,

Even had I not received your missive of 26 July, [8] I was still intending to write to you from here. You have in the meantime probably received my letter from Bamberg [9] and are familiar with the situation here. The deputy legal administrator of the Würzburg university, Territorial Judge Wagner is here but basically knows even less than I do myself.

It is only to Paulus that he had to write to give assurances that Paulus would indeed receive an appointment. Paulus in his own turn recommended Eschenmayer as professor of the philosophy of nature. Schütz and Hufeland arrived in Würzburg a few days ago, though I know not yet how far their negotiations have progressed. [10] Loder is already out of the picture, though he is acting as if he rejected the appointment to Würzburg.

The time has come to destroy the nest that these gentlemen from Jena are intent on constructing in Franconia for the sake of brooding their rotten eggs there. Count von Thürheim thinks it a miracle that he is able to capture these dried-up men, who, moreover, are intent on selling themselves quite expensively indeed. — There is also some evidence that their intent, my dear friend, is to keep you out of Würzburg.

Although Count von Thürheim is in a completely favorable disposition toward you, I do not think this general peace can really be trusted. What I would like to see is for you yourself to travel immediately to Munich to speak with Herr Geheimrath von Zentner! This step is crucial for you yourself, for science, and for your friends.

My advice would be to remain incognito in Munich, then to write Gehimrath von Zentner a billet on your arrival explaining who you are while requesting that your incognito be maintained for the moment. Then speak quite openly with Geheimrat von Zentner and enlighten him concerning the baseness at work in both Jena and Würzburg. He will be grateful for the information. [11]

I also have evidence that Berg has established some sort of connection with Schütz, Paulus, etc. [12] — Be cautious in Munich with respect to Röschlaub. Do not forget that Geheimrath von Zentner is intent on elevating Landshut above all others, hence you must not mention Röschlaub’s transfer at all. [13]

Once they in Munich been informed of the state of the Würzburg University, they will quickly realize that, as we say, the bill has been drawn up in the absence of the innkeeper. . . .

Bamberg, 13 August 1803

My dear Schelling, I just received your missive of 8 August. In the meantime, you probably received my own letter from Bocklet. Loder has already been discarded, and things will probably go the same with the other Jena representatives. Count von Thürheim is here, will be staying for several months, and I will spare no efforts in keeping these onerous fellows away.

Schütz has already gone back with his wife to speak with Bertuch about the transfusion of the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. [14] I have been assured that the Würzburger have already declared they would vehemently oppose the Schütz project, adding that they had no need to adorn themselves with foreign feathers.

But they are wrong, since in reality the goose has already been plucked clean and now has to make do solely with the singed stubs.

Count von Thürheim has become engaged on your behalf with an ardor that speaks highly for both his head and his heart. He knows that I have advised you to go to Munich yourself, and approves of that advice. He merely fears that once Herr von Zentner becomes better acquainted with you, he will want to engage you in Landshut. — . . .

He thinks very highly of Justizrath Hufeland. — I will not write to Geheimrat von Zentner until I have received letters from you. Both Herr von Montgelas and Herr von Zentner are wholly in favor of appointing you in Würzburg. The prince elector, however, is said to be indisposed toward you. The Geheimrath and court physician Besnart allegedly allowed himself to be used against you. —

But these are rumors I cannot confirm. Every day I become more convinced that if the prince elector, Montgelas, and Zentner make your personal acquaintance, things will be decided very quickly indeed. —

But if you do not want to go to Munich itself, then do write to Herr von Zentner. Ask for a declaration without venting too bitterly against the scoundrels, for they are beneath your dignity, and I myself intend to keep my distance. It is quite fortunate that Count von Thürheim is here just now, at this critical moment.

It cannot hurt if you yourself take the opportunity to write to Count von Thürheim yourself — I do not believe that the Würzburger have yet agitated directly against you at least with Herr von Thürheim. In his report to Munich, the good count wrote: “One of my most urgent and pleasant wishes and hopes would not be realized were Herr Schelling not appointed.” The count is convinced that until then, philosophy has not really been taught in Würzburg, and that there is not really anyone who can take over the position in this area. Döllinger is currently lecturing on the philosophy of nature in Würzburg! —

Let us remain steadfast and unshakeable, but not idle and quiet, and the good cause will triumph.

Your friend,

Bamberg, 14 August 1803

After my long and animated discussion yesterday with excellent Count von Thürheim, it has now been resolved that Schütz and the Literatur-Zeitung will be staying in Jena. The rogues had pushed things further than even I myself had thought.

The request genuinely was sent to Munich to appoint Schütz to a position in Würzburg with a salary of 2000 fl. and, because of the Literatur-Zeitung, to grant him every conceivable perquisite. Bertuch and Schütz pursued the matter indefatigably. Hufeland did not participate at all. Indeed, Hufeland’s own remarks do not seem to have been entirely favorable for the Literatur-Zeitung. The count is still quite in favor of appointing Hufeland to a position in Würzburg, nor have I raised any objections. [15]

Count von Thürheim is a sensible, excellent man; he has simply not been well advised since his stay in Würzburg. I am hoping that what has happened will now thwart any ill relapses. — Even in general, Count von Thürheim is a man with whom great things can be accomplished if he is but in good hands. At the moment, he is quite capable of separating out the good and of promoting it with his heart and soul. He is simply a bit too distracted by famous names. If you could be around him, you would quickly become his friend and advisor.

Please answer soon; our correspondence must now remain uninterrupted.



[*] Sources: Plitt 1:469–75; Fuhrmans 3:7–13.

This four-letter sequence follows up on Marcus’s letter to Schelling on 30 April 1803 (letter 377c) concerning the possibility of Schelling receiving an appointment in Würzburg. At this point, Schelling and Caroline were still not entirely sure they would not be journeying to Switzerland and Italy after all as originally planned, though those prospects had considerably dimmed because of the war (see below) (Central Europe 1803 after the Peace of Lunéville 1801 and the Secularisations 1803 [Cambridge 1912]):


Although Schelling was officially still in a position to lecture at the university in Jena (he was a private lecturer rather than a full professor), the situation there had for several years become increasingly less to his liking. The irony, one reflected in these letters, is that precisely some of the Jena faculty members with whom Schelling had had trouble were now also vigorously maneuvering not only to obtain appointments in Würzburg as well, but also to prevent Schelling from receiving one.

As it turned out, Christian Gottfried Schütz, Gottlieb Hufeland, later also Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer, along with the Württemberg acquaintance of Schelling’s father, Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven, eventually joined Schelling on the newly constituted faculty in Würzburg. Concerning problems at the university in Jena itself and dissatisfaction among faculty members in 1803, see esp. supplementary appendix 377c.1.

Unfortunately, several of the wives of these professors became even more resolute adversaries of Caroline in Würzburg than they already had been, making what could have been an escape at least from the unsatisfactory conditions in Jena into yet another iteration of the same. See in this connection esp. the supplementary appendix on the “ladies’ war in Würzburg.”

The personal and professional complications this situation generated come to expression in the correspondence to and from Würzburg over the next couple of years and include exchanges between these adversaries, on the one hand, and Friedrich Schlegel and Dorothea Veit, on the other, who, though currently in Paris, eventually moved back to Germany (Cologne) in the spring of 1804, at which time Wilhelm Schlegel, by contrast, left Germany entirely for Coppet (opposite Geneva) in the entourage of Madame de Staël (W. R. Shepherd, Historical Map of Central Europe about 1786 [1926]):


The second irony reflected in these letters is that as a result of the Treaty of Pressburg in late December 1805, essentially all these new faculty members, despite their myriad machinations and intrigues, ended up seeking employment elsewhere in any case, with Schelling and Caroline themselves departing Würzburg for Munich in the late spring of 1806 (Post Karte Durch ganz Deutschland, ed. J. Walch [Augsburg 1795]):


These developments, of course, profoundly affected the course of Caroline’s life, and it seems safe to assume that she remained intimately familiar with the sequence of geopolitical events, pertinent correspondence, and intrigues that finally resulted in her and Schelling moving to Würzburg; indeed, the extant draft of Schelling’s letter to Herr Geheimrath von Zentner (letter 380d; see note 4 below) is in her handwriting. Back.

[1] It may be recalled that Schelling and Caroline had traveled through Bamberg on their way from Jena to Murrhardt, spending two days in Bamberg beginning on 24 or 25 May 1803. Back.

[2] That is, negotiations concerning new staffing, including a position for Schelling, at Würzburg’s formerly essentially Catholic university. See Marcus’s letter to Schelling on 30 April 1803 (letter 377c). Back.

[3] In the circle of Bavaria; concerning the territorial and geopolitical redistribution and realignment to which Marcus is here alluding, see his letter to Schelling on 30 April 1803 (letter 377c), note 3. Back.

[4] The faculty in Würzburg was threatened with change by the addition of Protestant faculty members by the Bavarian administration in Munich, which in its own turn was influenced by Enlightenment thinking. Back.

[5] Justus Christian Loder, currently in Jena, eventually went to Halle. Concerning his reasons for leaving Jena for Halle, see H. E. G. Paulus’s discussion concerning problems at the university in Jena and dissatisfaction among faculty members in 1803 (supplementary appendix 377c.1) (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[6] Latin, here: “appointment.” Back.

[7] Marcus was acquainted with H. E. G. Paulus and his family from their stays in Bocklet in the summers of 1800 and 1801; see Dorothea Veit to Schleiermacher in Berlin: Jena, 28 July 1800 (letter 265i), note 2 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):


Concerning Marcus and Karoline Paulus, Caroline remarks in her letter to Julie Gotter on 2 January 1803 (letter 374):

When we see each other in person again, we can laugh a bit about a different knot, namely, whether the father of the little boy for whom Paulus has to care and change diapers here is an apostle or an evangelist.

Concerning this allusion, see note 16 there. Concerning the possibility that Marcus had not always been straightforward with Caroline, see Dorothea Veit’s letter to Schleiermacher on 19 November 1801 (letter 330a), with note 6. Back.

[8] Fuhrmans 3:10fn1 points out that none of Schelling’s letters to Marcus seem to have been preserved. Back.

[9] See above (or another, brief letter, not included here, on 22 July [fragment in Plitt 1:471; Fuhrmans 3:9]). Back.

[10] Christian Gottfried Schütz and Gottlieb Hufeland coedited the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, though Hufeland had withdrawn from the enterprise in 1800; see Schelling’s letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 6 July 1800 (letter 265), note 5. Back.

[11] Schelling writes a lengthy letter from Murrhardt to Georg Friedrich von Zentner in mid-August 1803 (letter 380d). Back.

[12] It may be recalled that Franz Berg was the author of the Encomium for the Most Recent Philosophy, which had implicated Schelling in the death of Auguste. Back.

[13] Schelling also wanted to have Andreas Röschlaub appointed to a position in Würzburg. Röschlaub, however, had been a professor for pathology in Landshut since 1802 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[14] Friedrich Bertuch had cofounded the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, which Christian Gottfried Schütz took with him not to Würzburg, but to Halle, where Justus Christian Loder also ended up. Back.

[15] Gottlieb Hufeland received an appointment in Würzburg, Christian Gottfried Schütz did not, going to Halle instead. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott