385b. Heinrich Eberhard Gottlob Paulus to Jakob Friedrich Fries in Jena: Würzburg, 9 August 1804 [*]
Würzburg, 9 August 1804
Our noble general commissar, Count von Thürheim, is little disposed indeed toward Schelling’s doctrines. What he would like for students here by way of introduction is a leader who could continue along the Kantian path and whose philosophizing engages not in fantasies, but in rigorous thinking and pure observation. 
Yesterday he requested that I commit to writing my proposal that you be appointed. It is far more likely than not now that I will soon be permitted to call you my colleague. In the meantime, however, let me urge you not to relate this to anyone; Schelling, of course, would move heaven and earth to counter it. . . .
He has a great many acquaintances in the area where you are now residing, so do not confide what you know to anyone; there is nothing more urgent than that the reign of foolishness and arrogance here come to an end. Could one not adduce in his quasi-constructions the same sorts of blunders against physics, chemistry, etc. that can be as little disputed as can a vitium grammaticale?  The influence these phantasms are having on medical students here is so tragic that one cannot bring these parlor tricks to an end quickly enough. 
[*] Source: Ernst Ludwig Theodor Henke, Jakob Friedrich Fries. Aus seinem handschriftlichen Nachlasse dargestellt (Leipzig 1867), 94–95. Henke points out that, strictly speaking, the passage beginning “He has a great many acquaintances” was written “a few days later” than the preceding remarks of 9 August 1804 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):
 Paulus had already written Fries back on 20 May 1804 (letter 383g) concerning the prospect of countering Schelling in Würzburg with a continuation of Kantian philosophy. Back.
 Latin, “grammatical error.” Back.
 Paulus, the sclerotic rationalist theologian, never ceased derisively viewing Schelling’s philosophy as just such illusionist parlor tricks and sleights of hand (Jean-Henri Marlet, L’Escamoteur sur le boulevard près le château d’eau, part of the series Tableaux de Paris [ca. 1818]):
Translation © 2017 Doug Stott