Letter 381h

381h. Andreas Röschlaub to Schelling in Würzburg: Landshut, 2 January 1804 [*]

Landshut, 2 January 1804 [1]

All the best for the New Year, my beloved friend!

I was in Munich over Christmas and think it advisable to give you at least a cursory report.

Herr von Zentner received me with unusual cordiality. You can probably guess that the discussion eventually turned to you. He is heartened by your activities and the unusual degree of trust you are eliciting. He is less comfortable with the fact that I am lecturing on philosophy. I tried to put him at ease on that account to the extent I thought prudent. He would prefer it if you would no longer become involved in polemics of any sort (ah, the things these gentlemen have to attend to!) and charged me with requesting such of you personally.

Have you perhaps read an essay in the Munich Literatur-Zeitung with the title “Parallel”? [2] It was published in one of the final issues last year. A true pasquinade, this essay. Since Herr von Zentner queried me about various disputes, and since our discussion touched on the dissatisfaction with various steps the government has taken, I recounted for him the impertinences that several rather debauched Bavarian writers have taken the liberty to publish, citing especially this particular pasquinian “Parallel.” It had the desired effect, and you can read the results in the “Correction” published on 20 December in that same journal. [3]

The Sochers, Weillers, Salats, Reiners, and all their conspirators have become enraged, and as a result are perpetrating one foolish act after another in the vain hope of saving themselves. Der Freimüthige, [4] the Munich newspapers, etc. are the crevices from which they are launching their assaults against you, me, Zimmer, and some of your other friends. The fools! Why not spend all that time and effort becoming a bit smarter instead?

My good friend! You will soon learn what life is like in a country where the Illuminati found accommodations, and where to a certain extent they are still inclined to get involved. That said, let nothing spoil your good spirits. I would, however, advise you to urge Count von Thürheim to initiate some serious precautions in this regard. These primitive beasts can be kept in check only by fear, and it would be good in any case if such were to happen. . . .

I have not heard anything from Jena in a long time now (I have only received some news of the A.L.Z.). [5] They are doubtless feeling your absence there. How do things stand in Würzburg with respect to the number of medical students? Is von Hoven satisfied with his situation there? I do hope so, since I have great respect for him. . . .


[*] Source: Fuhrmans 1:305–6. Back.

[1] Röschlaub had transferred from Bamberg to Landshut in 1802, where he was now professor of pathology and medicine and held a position in clinical practice; he remained there until 1824 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]; illustration: by Matthaeus Merian [1650]):




[2] Anonymous, “Eine Parallele,” Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1803) 149 (15 December 1803), 1149:

In connection with the reorganization of a certain German university (as just announced in public newspapers), references are made to philosophy in general and the philosophy of nature in particular, but none specifically to moral philosophy.

This situation recalls the reorganization of the national university in France, which incorporates the natural sciences, but no longer the moral sciences, which even amid the storms of the Revolution still had their place.

Is the same disposition now generating the same phenomenon? A recent reader of Schelling’s On University Studies [Vorlesungen über die Methode des akademischen Studiums (1803); trans. E. S. Morgan (Athens 1966)] remarked that this plan was likely formulated quite according to this particular publication (perhaps, given certain new circumstances and relationships, by Schelling himself?).

Dr. Eschenmayer, a follower of the Schellingian systems, nonetheless opined in his most recent publication, Die Philosophie in ihrem Uebergang zur Nichtphilosophie [Erlangen 1803], p. 90, that Schelling had indeed incorporated “truth and beauty” into the fundamental ideas of reason, but not “virtue”; he finds in virtue the “positive pole of the system of reason” and then, in an appended table, positions moral philosophy alongside the philosophy of nature. Back.

[3] The piece appeared on 29 December rather than 20 December. Anonymous, “Berichtigung,” Oberdeutsche allgemeine Litteraturzeitung (1803) 155 (29 December 1803), 1248:

The editor of these pages is authorized to correct the “Parallel” published in no. 149 (15 December 1803), p. 1149, as follows:

(1) The organizational plan for the university in Würzburg referenced there comes not from Professor Schelling, but instead was developed by the responsible department according to previously examined information.

(2) All parts of practical philosophy, hence also moral philosophy, have been incorporated into that plan. That the published catalog contains a gap in this respect derives from the fact that not all subjects have yet been assigned, and, as was pointed out in the announcement of the initial lecture, only at the beginning of the following semester will the organization of this school of higher learning be completed.

The adduced “Parallel” is thus declared to be both incorrect and malicious. Back.

[4] The Berlin newspaper edited initially by August von Kotzebue, who stepped aside rather early, and then by Garlieb Merkel, both of whom were resolute literary adversaries of the Romantics. Back.

[5] Christian Gottfried Schütz had taken a position in Halle and taken the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung with him (map: Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]; illustration: Matthäus Merian, Halle [1653]):




Translation © 2017 Doug Stott