Letter 387f

387f. Adalbert Friedrich Marcus to Schelling in Bamberg: Munich, 13–14 October 1804 [*]

Munich, 13 October 1804

Since receiving your missive yesterday, my decision has become fixed and unshakable — for now in the strictest confidence — to leave Bamberg. [1] I absolutely insist that you speak to no one about this. — For now, however, let my next destination remain a puzzle even for you. It is not a rash decision at all, and ultimately you will perhaps even approve of my choice. — . . .

Above all have Professor Röschlaub come immediately, regardless of where he may be just now. The moment has come where he can be transferred from Landshut; he should either come here immediately or submit a petition to the ministry here requesting an appointment . . . as director of the clinic school and directing physician of the General Hospital. The matter, which has been arranged with Herr von Zentner, can be implemented without difficulty. . . . He can provide assurances in his petition that he has heard that I would be receiving an appointment elsewhere etc.

Concerning your own person, the wish is that you would leave on a journey of 1–2 years while retaining your salary along with a supplement. [2] What I am writing you here is half official. — Write soon and let me know your opinion on this matter. — The affair with Kilian will take a new turn as soon as it arrives here.

Since my further decisions and future depend — in part — on your answer and Röschlaub’s decision, please linger not a single moment in answering me. — And absolutely forbid Röschlaub from saying a word about this to anyone. No one. No one is allowed to share this knowledge.

[Munich] 14 October 1804

Today I read aloud to Herr von Zentner the proposition I intended to submit to the ministry. He rejected it and gave me another, which has now been concluded. To wit, he demanded that I first enter into detail in explaining what prompted me to compose and to publish the essay. That much coincides with our earlier ideas. —

I have not yet read the material in the Intelligenzblatt. [3] It is here, however, and I will prepare my answer to it while I am still here. — I will relate the facts without embellishment and quite succinctly, and do flatter myself in being able to reconcile the public and win it over to my side. —

Yesterday an extremely interesting letter arrived here from Paulus to Herr von Thürheim concerning the educational plan for the schools. [4] The count sent me over to Herr von Zentner with it, to whom it was quite welcome. To wit, Vohs [Voss], who has arrived in Würzburg, has come out vehemently against the plan, and Paulus wholly concurs with him. [5] They are calling it a “disorganizational plan,” maintaining it would set Bavarian youth back a generation etc. etc. and urging that it not be implemented. . . . When handing me Paulus’s letter, Count von Thürheim remarked to me, “This is water on your mill.” . . .

Given this state of affairs, you must also yet keep a very low profile. — I for my part advised securing an expert opinion from Vohs and Paulus concerning the educational plan; that opinion could then be assigned status as a ministerial affair, prompting the exit of not a few fureurs. [6] This matter will have not inconsiderable consequences. The retraction of the educational plan, for which there is a definite inclination here, would doubtless be a hellish public spectacle. —

From my letter the day before yesterday you will already have seen that I have resolved to leave Bamberg. The plan is to go to Landshut . . . were it but not Landshut! Herr von Zentner is very keen on it. For it is almost certain that Walther will be coming to Landshut. . . . [7] Were there any way out for Hoven, I would prefer Würzburg. I was quite straightforward about the scholarly position of the latter.

I will in all likelihood be spending the winter in Würzburg organizing the Julius Hospital. All the general commissars will be returning with expanded authority, and will in the future constitute a board of governors to which I am to be assigned in order especially to present suggestions for the improved organization of the Julius Hospital and the other institutions in Würzburg. — Herr von Zentner has transferred the organization of the Bamberg Clinical School to Count von Thürheim. — Were I to remain in Franconia, and once I am out of this loutish affair, I will have ample opportunity to chastise the louts there, something I will also do quite according to merit. —

In general let me urge you to be calm and allow all your participating friends also to participate in this calm. Consider whether you might be able to write Herr von Zentner or Count von Thürheim concerning the educational plan. [8] — to wit, since you knew that Vohs is of the same opinion as you, you would be glad to let the matter lie etc. etc.? — If we do indeed remain together, we must prudently guide the matter in a different direction. The moment is extremely favorable. . . .



[*] Source: Fuhrmans 3:125–29. Back.

[1] By September it had become clear that Marcus was indeed the author of the anonymous article about Würzburg in the Zeitung für die elegante Welt; see Henrik Steffens’s letter to Schelling during the autumn of 1804 (letter 387a), note 3.

During that month, and while Caroline and Schelling were still in Bamberg, the court had found Marcus guilty, and it appeared he could well lose his position as director of the medical facilities in Bamberg. Hence Marcus himself, who was not without influence in Munich, went there personally to salvage what he could. To make matters worse for both Schelling and Marcus, Schelling’s letter to Count von Thürheim on 26 September 1804 (letter 387e) had in the meantime arrived in Munich and been passed along to higher ministerial authorities.

Marcus was, however, as is clear in the second letter here, able to avoid the worst in Munich even though he was sentenced by the court in Bamberg to a fine and what amounted to a public confession. See in general Fuhrmans 3:125–6, footnote 1. Back.

[2] The wish, that is, of the Bavarian administration. Schelling and Caroline did not acquiesce to this wish, but the attendant, unmistakable insult demonstrates how far his status had fallen with that administration since his appointment barely a year earlier. Back.

[3] Presumably Konrad Joseph Kilian’s “Vorläufige Rechtfertigung” (Preliminary justification, dated 10 September 1804) in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1804) no. 113, 943–44, in which Kilian not only denies authorship of the article on Würzburg, but also, in conclusion, reveals that “the author and submitter of said pasquinade has in the meantime been determined and will very soon be revealing himself by name publicly as such.”

Marcus’s admission was finally published in the Fränkische Staats und Gelehrten-Zeitung (1804) 205 (22 December 1804), in which he essentially blamed the editor of the Zeitung für die elegante Welt, Karl Spazier, for having jumped to an illegitimate conclusion in suspecting Kilian as the author. The Bavarian administration was not particularly receptive to his explanation, and though he was cleared of any legal wrongdoing, the entire affair damaged both his and Schelling’s status. Back.

[4] See Kuno Fischer’s discussion of this plan in the supplementary appendix on Bavarian Catholic opposition to Schelling, and Schelling’s letter to Count von Thürheim mentioned above (letter 387e), notes 6 and 9. Back.

[5] Johann Heinrich Voss not only published an extremely critical review of the educational plan in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung in April 1805 (see Dorothea and Friedrich Schlegel’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 20 September 1804 [letter 387d], note 10), but also was being interviewed in Würzburg for a possible appointment in connection with the secondary educational system. Voss went to Heidelberg instead in 1805. Back.

[6] Fr., “rage, fury.” Back.

[7] Landshut is located ca. 75 km northeast of Munich, and ca. 265 km southeast of Würzburg, Erlangen ca. 90 km southeast of Würzburg (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern, ed. T. Molls [Vienna 1805]):



[8] Schelling had just done so on 26 September 1804 (letter 387e), but with considerably less tact than Marcus is here advising. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott