Letter 380g

380g. Schelling to Hegel in Jena: Stuttgart, 31 August 1803 [*]

Stuttgart, 31 August 1803

I was doubly pleased to receive your letter, [1] in part because I have long wished to hear something from you in any case, and in part because it arrived à la veille de mon départ. [2] This circumstance still allows me to write you only a bit about external matters.

As far as Würzburg is concerned, I can assure you that neither at the time I last wrote you nor even now has anything been decided, and that I have remained steadfast concerning my earlier travel plans, except that as the result of a specific prompt and summons from Munich I have altered them such that I will now be traveling not through Switzerland, but rather by way of Munich itself and Tyrol. [3] Although things are resolutely in my favor, I am nonetheless counting on first going ahead and continuing the trip as far as Rome, since the new arrangements in Würzburg probably cannot be implemented before next summer. [4]

The various efforts set into motion by these new arrangements have indeed been extraordinarily amusing, as has the collapse of the previous point of non-difference [5] between north and south in Jena, where now one part will be cast toward the south, another toward the north. [6] The rabble Loder and Schütz genuinely did apply to Würzburg almost simultaneously — the former afterward withdrew and, as I have heard, is boasting of having declined the appointment. [7] Schütz will do the same, though nothing is more certain than that his own plans, which may initially have been well received by some in Würzburg, collapsed immediately after their formal introduction there and in Munich.

The Prussian monarchy is now gradually becoming a comprehensive institute for disabled and injured scholars, and a natural law genuinely seems to be emerging in the climatic distribution according to which one will soon be able to assign the proper situation to each individual. [8]

Although to my knowledge it is not so much the case that offers have been made to Hufeland, it is quite certain that he himself has made advantageous offers. Along with Paulus, it would actually be a quite good and desirable acquisition for Würzburg, since he is doubtless a quite honest and upright man away from the Jena surroundings. [9] . . .

My wife sends her effusive regards to you. [10] We have hiked through almost the entirety of Württemberg, [11] which is why you must excuse her (as well as me) to the Frommanns for not yet having gotten round to writing. . . .


[*] Sources: Plitt 1:481–83; Fuhrmans 3:22–23.

Schelling and Caroline had departed Murrhardt on 28 August 1803; concerning their itinerary, see Schelling’s letter to Therese Huber on 18 August 1803 (letter 380f), note 4 (excerpt from “Wurtemberg,” in William Shepherd, Historical Atlas [1911], 143; image: University of Texas at Austin):



[1] Hegel had written Schelling on 16 August 1803 (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Werke, vol. 19, part 1: Briefe von und an Hegel, ed. Karl Hegel (Leipzig 1887), 31–32; Fuhrmans 3:19–21), beginning his letter with the following congratulatory remarks:

Above all let me congratulate you on your marriage; although I should at least send you a sonnet on the occasion, you have, after all, already become accustomed to making do with my prose, which unfortunately permits nothing more extensive than a firm handshake and an embrace.

(Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Die Freundschaft [1793]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur DChodowiecki AB 3.968):



[2] Fr., “the day before my departure” (for Munich). Back.

[3] In his letter to Schelling on 16 August 1803, Hegel had remarked that

had your positive assurance . . . not arrived beforehand, everything we hear from Franconia would have led us to expect you to be in Würzburg by the autumn rather than Italy.

Schelling and Caroline were now on their way to Munich for a meeting with Georg Friedrich Zentner concerning Schelling’s appointment in Würzburg; see Schelling’s letter to Zentner in mid-August 1803 (letter 380d).

Concerning Schelling and Caroline’s original travel plans, see Johann Wilhelm Ritter’s letter to Hans Christian Örsted on 22 May 1803 (letter 378b).

Instead of traveling through Switzerland (now the Helvetian Republic), Schelling and Caroline were planning to travel to Rome by way of Munich (Germany and Italy in 1803 after the Principal Decree of the Imperial Deputation, source: University of Texas at Austin, Historical Atlas by William Shepherd [1911]):



[4] Schelling was mistaken; things moved quickly, and he and Caroline moved to Würzburg on 31 October 1803. Back.

[5] A tongue-in-cheek allusion to a central term in Schelling’s own philosophy of identity. Back.

[6] Here the north-south configuration of which Schelling speaks (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Besetztere und illuminierte Landkarte von Deutschland Elementarwerk, from the (Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate xlv)


Here Halle on the Saale River in 1653 (Matthäus Merian, Halle [1653]):


Hegel had related in his letter of 16 August that

The latest news is that the Literaturzeitung [Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, here: its editor, Christian Gottfried Schütz] had been in Würzburg and had quite firmly asserted upon its return that it would be moving there under quite excellent terms, whereas now it, along with Ersch and the whole kit and caboodle etc., would instead be moving to Halle; several days ago, Loder brought the definitive arrangement for this move with him from Potsdam, whither he had journeyed to see the king (but probably did not see him). Back.

[7] Schelling had heard this news from Adalbert Friedrich Marcus in the latter’s letter to him on 1 August 1803 (letter 380c). Back.

[8] Another tongue-in-cheek allusion to the sort of deductions one might find in the philosophy of nature. Back.

[9] In his letter to Schelling on 16 August, Hegel had remarked that

Hufeland has received quite attractive offers in Würzburg, and although a 200 Thaler bonus was sent to him from Weimar [to entice him to stay in Jena], it seems that both he and Paulus, should an official offer be made, will accept appointments in Würzburg.

Such did indeed happen. Back.

[10] Concerning Hegel’s relationship with Caroline, see her letter to Wilhelm Schlegel on 23 November 1801, note 16. Back.

[11] Caroline regrettably nowhere seems to mention these excursions in her extant letters (Clemens Kohl, Ein Mann und eine Frau bei einem Spaziergang [1795]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Graph. A1: 1394):



Translation © 2017 Doug Stott