Letter 405

405. Caroline to Schelling in Munich: Würzburg, 30 April–1 May 1806

[Würzburg, 30 April–1 May 1806]

|435| I also have your second letter, my dear, and would have written again right then and there were I not a bit ashamed, that is, in front of you yourself, for doing it so often. It is not without a pounding heart that I unseal your letters, though I do know for certain it has more to do with you than with the situation, which can be of consequence to me only through the good or bad impression it makes on you.

I never really believed things would be quickly resolved had they perhaps not already been resolved; but that is of no real consequence and will sooner come out positive than not. [1] You do not write and relate to me the disposition of Clemens’s clement inclinations [2] — nor whether you will be seeing Jacobi. Just make yourself quite at home there. The freer my Schelling appears, the more will he, like the sun, win over both the good and the bad.

I am arranging everything, dear one, such that I can depart within the shortest possible time after receiving your directive — should things yet drag on excessively, however, I see not why you would not allow me to wrap up things here and instead, should it be necessary, wait in Ansbach. [3] In the first letter, you wrote that I ought provisionally to make sure that Madam Liebeskind can accompany me to Munich — then in the second that I was to go by way of Augsburg, which is incompatible with what you said in the first. I prefer the former in any case; I, too, want to see Eichstädt. It will ultimately all work out fine. [4]

I can tell you with absolute certainty that the furnishings will bring in considerably more money than is needed to cover the debts, and that the money from Krüll would not have been necessary. [5]

|436| Tomorrow the prince elector will be coming, il n’y a plus de remêde. [6] I was over at the Seufferts for a moment, for since I saw an exquisite medaillon with an enormous F. being affixed over the door along with the other trellis work, [7] I thought there must be reliable news there, which Herr von Hennebritt had indeed sent over to their house this morning at 8:00. Although the president was not there, there were so many Würzburg citizens present that I soon hastened away. She said she did not want to drive over to see me because she was of a mind to come in person when going to mass as she is wont to do. [8]

The illumination will take place not tomorrow, but next week on his birthday. [9] Today I saw all the preparations before the town hall [10] — not even a saint of the church itself has yet been served so horribly and tastelessly. Moreover, the thing has been set up in the form of a high altar with several dozen wooden “virtues” erected on it. It would be more appropriate for them to erect a colossal figure of Hope before the entry gate. [10a] With all these preparations, the town now looks like a second-rate theater by daylight.

Herr von Hügel wrote and told the president that the agreement between Austria and France was a truly excellent one. [11] There could allegedly be no thought of any other determination for Würzburg. — But rest assured that as soon as the lord and his servants are all here things will not be that good at all. I am not at all interested in remaining in the apartment here dependent on the favor of these rulers. What a despicable bunch.

Sturz still does not believe the prince elector is really coming and instead merely laughs sardonically whenever anyone even mentions it. From this you can see, of course, that he is still alive and has returned to his old ways, as convalescents are wont to do. . . . |437| All of us are seriously convinced that if Sturz remains here, he will soon be at the point of madness; one particular passion plaguing him would easily enough suffice, namely, his desire to take revenge on the Würzburg residents. Precisely this desire, however, is quite reciproque; [12] I have an inkling that they must be brewing up something specific against him — but these things are too complicated to try to relate just now . . .

How nice that I have the latest news about you par le moyen de Klebe. [13] He wrote approximately as follows to Sturz: [14]

I spoke to Professor Schelling in the inn Zum goldenen Hahn. [15] Even though his philosophy still has a great many enemies, his personal presence has drawn general attention to him, and everyone, or everyone around him, is interested in him. As far as I have been able to ascertain, he is well connected from above. The minister [Georg Friedrich von Zentner?] has allegedly already assured him that he will continue to enjoy his previous salary. Thus must genius and talent always come to the fore.

Just as I neither valued my own noble quill too highly nor viewed it merely as a kind of servitude in writing that out, so also have I copied out for you on the enclosed pages the latest from Der Freimüthige, with respect to which no further comment is needed. Klein and I just decided the following, namely, to send you the sections on Fichte (the second arrived today), except that you must also send them back. [16] I was far too aware of how irksome it is for you to go to the Museum.

I continue to entertain no doubts that Schleiermacher is the reviewer. The conclusion is really excellent. While there is no guile directed toward you, there is some again toward A. W. And how brazenly and forcefully does the reviewer treat Fichte! With such reviews, Eichstädt can certainly count his blessings. [17] (Àpropos today a letter from these editors to Prof. Fi— [18] passed through my hands quite by accident. But the seal is an owl, with a helmet |438| underneath, an Aesculapian staff and laurel? Or is it the seal of the Halle newspaper? [19]

Schleiermacher is rendering outstanding service to the fatherland with all this grand activity — indeed, the diminutive man is grander in this particular field than in his small Christian pocket edition [20] — where, really, everything came out both internally and externally in what can only be called “miniature dimensions.”

There is still no agitated or indignant response in Der Freimüthige in the matter of Kotzebue, [21] but one does find the passion story of Chevenix with secondary mention of the supercilious and highly presumptive Literatur-Zeitung. [22] That already sounds good. If this breed will but commence its laments.

Did you know about how wondrously God arranged for Marcus to receive a new rélief? [23] The Thürheims are living at his place; the duke came so quickly that the count was suddenly forced to vacate. [24] Everyone in Bamberg is wondering what is going on because everyone thought Marcus’s relationship with the count was brouillé or on rather tense terms. [25] The powers that be here allegedly denied Marcus payment of his salary here; he allegedly is to spend it here — but I do not believe it, for if I am not mistaken, it was indeed paid out to him in Bamberg. [26]

I have this from Madam Döllinger, whose husband sent her to keep me company yesterday because he was too indisposed to come himself. This much is certain, however, namely, that three territorial administrative directors in Bamberg have gone slightly crazy, and specifically the Röschlaubean friend Geyer utterly crazy. [27] I hope that is not a bad sign. [28] The latest issue of the Heilkunde is allegedly already declaredly apocalyptic. [29] . . .

Sleep well, my sweet friend; I am turning in myself now, so that is the same good night that I wish for myself. You are perhaps already sleeping peacefully, or are engaged in rapturous enthusiasm, and with that, too, I am satisfied.

1 May

|439| And here — and without you. May the waning of this moon no longer find me separated from you. I have no interest in any other spring observations or musings. [30] There is an awful noise in town that already woke me at daybreak, for you cannot imagine the number of fifes and drums. I think they are trying to replace the thunder of the cannons with the pounding of drums, for everyone’s heart is broken that not a single cannon was left with which to proclaim this grand day. [31]

Our neighbor told me that even Pactod found this particular circumstance highly atroce, which also tells me that even Pactod, who cannot be counted among his nation’s finest, was enough of a Frenchman to tell the people exactly what they wanted to hear. [32] The 100 Louis d’or, of course, are admittedly also a consideration. If all goes well, the prince himself is expected during the afternoon. I shall see what glimpse of things I can get in a secure and seemly fashion. The weather is certainly favorable.

The Gazetier also reported that Count von Thürheim engaged himself most forcefully on your behalf. [33] — Have you not paid a visit to Bayard? He must still be in Munich. Someone recently maintained that neither he nor Schilcher was appointed in Ansbach. [34]

One of the reliably reported events here is that Mannert specifically applied to remain here and has indeed already been granted such. But now he is apparently having trouble getting his lectures going. He made two lists, one for solvent and one for insolvent students, maintaining that he would lecture only if 18 of the former could be found. But they could not be found, so he then said he needed only 15 — and he presumably had to give in even more, like Noah negotiating with the angel: “If but 5 righteous persons might be found!” [35] I saw |440| him again today in the old lecturing costume. Metz has also dashed all of Wagner’s fondest hopes, all the enhanced enticements on the lecture blackboard notwithstanding. [36] Döllinger has 8 and 10. When I write about the professors this way, I do find that in this particular office the extremes of the most worthy, on the one hand, and the ridicule, [37] on the other, do indeed quietly and deftly touch on each other.

The general march was just sounded. [38]

A great many farmers are in town now; they lead their children around by the hand and stop in front of all the buildings that have something colorful about them. The university is illuminated in only a quite modest fashion, similarly also the tower: this clever virgin is saving her oil. [39]

You would find this entire spectacle frightfully amusing.

After dinner

Just as it occurs to me that I am in an enormously embarrassing situation [40] insofar as Köhler is sick and Klein must be in the theater along with the schoolboys, [41] Köhler now writes the following, which I have enclosed and which I have indeed accepted. [42] Because I will now have trouble getting back here before the mail goes off, let me go ahead and seal this for the time being. Here in my room I can hear the noise from Residence Square; they say that Frank can already no longer get through. [43]

I took the letter along with me to the Schotts and will now seal it. [44] The prince elector arrived just at 4:30 and then really did come by here on his way up the Semmelgasse. You cannot possibly imagine this crush of people, shoulder to shoulder, all of Würzburg crowded into these small streets. [45]

Since the prince elector was sitting on our side, I was just able to see his hands, which he was, as it were, quietly wringing, and then he rubbed them — from here one can see Residence Square, plastered with heads. We |441| no doubt now also have a rather noisy evening ahead. [46] The citizenry has now all followed behind and is assembling again on the square. Stay well, my dear, dear friend. The wife is quite nice, I mean his, Schott’s — yours as well? — but you know that already.


[1] Caroline is referring to the still uncertain status of Schelling’s future employment with the Bavarian government. See his letter to Georg Friedrich von Zentner on 19 January 1806 (letter 400d), note 7, and esp. Caroline’s letter to Meta Liebeskind on 27 April 1806 (letter 404), note 9. Schelling ultimately received an appointment to the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Back.

[2] Clement (clément) in French in original. — Uncertain identity; Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:653, wonders whether the reference is perhaps to Maximilian I or the minister Maximilian von Montgelas. Back.

[3] Caroline had been tentatively planning to travel to Munich by way of Ansbach; see her letter to Meta Liebeskind on 27 April 1806 (letter 404), note 13. Back.

[4] Schelling himself had traveled to Munich by way of Ansbach and Eichstädt (illustration of Eichstädt by Matthäus Merian [1648]):


Caroline remarks in her letter to Schelling on 25 April 1806 (letter 403): “You left Ansbach early Sunday morning [20 April] at 4:00 and were thus already secure in your lodging on Monday evening,” putting him in Eichstädt on the evening of 21 April 1806; traveling to Munich by way of Augsburg would involve a slightly different route (Neueste Post. Karte von Deutschland und den angrenzenden Laendern [Vienna 1805]):


Here a more detailed map of the postal routes between Ansbach, Eichstädt, Augsburg, and Munich. Dachau, just northwest of Munich, is also indicated, since later Caroline mentions traveling as far as Dachau, where Schelling was then to meet her. It is not entirely clear what contradiction in routes Caroline is referencing (Post-Karte von Baiern. Entworfen auf Befehl Seiner Majestät des Königs von A. von Coulon [Munich 1810]):


In any case, her coming letters (to Schelling on 15 May 1806 [letter 413]; on 19 May 1806 [letter 416]) make it almost certain that she traveled by way of Augsburg and Dachau. Back.

[5] The reference is to Caroline’s imminent auction of their Würzburg furnishings. — Philipp Krüll, Schelling’s publisher in Landshut; presumably a reference to an advance. Back.

[6] Fr., lit. “there is no longer a remedy” in the sense “it cannot be helped.” Back.

[7] “F” for Ferdinand. Because the Seufferts lived directly across the street from Caroline and Schelling’s apartment, at Schulgasse no. 367, Caroline could see the building from her west windows (Carl Heffner, Würzburg und seine Umgebungen: ein historisch-topographisches Handbuch [Würzburg 1871], 334; Vollständiges Adreß-Buch der churfürstlichen Haupt- und Residenzstadt Würzburg: 1806 [Würzburg 1806], 60; illustration: Kreishauptstadt Würzburg: Gemessen durch Carl Handwerk im Jahre 1832; Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online):


Here an exterior view of the Neubaukirche and its tower to the right, the adjoining west wing with the windows of Caroline’s apartment to the left, third and fourth stories, and the Seufferts’ building on the corner at left (Historisches Album der Stadt Würzburg. Zweiunddreissig photographische Ansichten, ed. V. Jos. Stahgel, introd. Franz X. Wegel [Würzburg 1867], illus. 15):



[8] The reference seems to be to Madam Seuffert. Back.

[9] 6 May. The initial celebration of Ferdinand’s birthday in Würzburg in 1806 took place essentially at Caroline’s doorstep, on the square in front of the university entrance.

See the article “Staatsbegebenheiten. Vom vierten bis zum sechsten May, als den [sic] erfreulichen Geburtstag unseres Durchlauchtigsten Churfürsten,” Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg 1 (1806) 9 (10 May 1806), 101–4, “Der sechste May, der Geburtstag unseres theuersten LandesVaters”:

Today our most gracious territorial father and prince elector celebrated his 38th birthday as an individual, and as father amid his precious children. Because this day was to be devoted silently to our gentle father’s emotions and sacred feelings toward the deity, the previously blissfully intoxicated people reverently kept quiet lest they disturb the quiet joy of this father and lover of peace and quiet.

The gracious muses alone chose this day to demonstrate their joyous participation in the public celebration in a manner appropriate to the gentle goddesses. Around 9 a.m., the academic band commenced its music on the square before the university building and members of the university along with their praiseworthy trustee Herr von Wagner and the other persons of lofty status who had been invited through a distributed program.

[The square in front of the main entrance to the university; Caroline’s apartment was in the wing to the left; illustration of front of university building: from Festschrift zur General-Versammlung des Bayer. Verkehrs-Beamten-Vereins am 20., 21. und 22. April 1895 in Würzburg [Würzburg 1895], 59; second map: F. Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg (München), 1845; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; illustration: Universität Würzburg, Universitätsarchiv:]




At 10 a.m. Herr Professor and Rector Samhaber delivered a speech in Latin quite in keeping with the occasion, after which everyone adjourned to the Seminary church, where a Te deum [Latin, here: beginning text of a hymn at matins or on special occasions such as those of thanksgiving] was sung . . . At midday the professors held a meal in the hall of the familiar Cassino . . . where everyone spent this day of joy amid a cheerful atmosphere and for the further establishment of collegial harmony, till the muses invited everyone to yet a second celebration, namely, in the temple of Thalia [the Würzburg theater], where the opera Fanchon oder das Leyermädchen [August von Kotzebue, Fanchon, das Leyermädchen. Vaudeville in drey Acten, von Bouilly (Leipzig 1805), with music by Friedrich Heinrich Himmel], was performed with suspended subscription, and the play itself preceded by a prologue celebration. . . .

During the evening there was a ball . . . . and even the naiads held a modest celebration on the the Main River on 2 delightfully illuminated hunting ships along with the bathing ship, where the lights reflected quite solemnly on the gentle river in the windless night, and the waves themselves served to emphasize the reflected radiance onto the cheerful nymphs as a splendid celebratory garment. A modest round of fireworks were also set off amid the cheerful music, prompting a hearty vivat! from the numerous assembled spectators.

Concerning naiads (nymphs) in such contexts, see William Smith, A Smaller Classical Dictionary of Biography, Mythology, and Geography, 11th ed. (London 1868), 287–88, s.v. nymphae (illustration: Jacob Wilhelm Heckenauer, Najadenfontäne in der Gartenanlage des Schlosses Salzdahlum [1706]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur JWHeckenauer AB 3.64):

The Naiades or Naides, the nymphs of fresh water, whether rivers, lakes, brooks, or springs. Many of these nymphs presided over springs which were believed to inspire those who drank of them. The nymphs themselves were, therefore, thought to be endowed with prophetic power, and to be able to inspire men.


Here the fireworks celebration on a similar occasion, viz., the entry of Emperor Leopold I into Brussels (Ferdinand, of course, was the brother of Emperor Franz II) (Romeyn de Hooghe, Feierlichkeiten in Belgien zu Ehren Kaiser Leopold’s [ca. 1683–86]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur RdHooghe AB 2.87):



[10] The old town hall is located near the Main River in Würzburg on Domgasse, here in relation to Caroline’s apartment (Kreishauptstadt Würzburg: Gemessen durch Carl Handwerk im Jahre 1832; Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online):


Here in a nineteenth-century engraving (Carl Heffner, Würzburg und seine Umgebungen: ein historisch-topographisches Handbuch [Würzburg 1871], 179):



[10a] I.e., as one of the three Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love; Caroline is clearly taking a slight dig at the Würzburg residents (Melchior Kübel, Spes [1670]; Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum; Museums./Signatur MKüsel AB 3.149):



[11] See sections 19–23 in the supplementary appendix on the Third Coalition. Back.

[12] In French in original. Back.

[13] Par le moyen de, Fr., “by means of; through”; in French in original. Back.

[14] Friedrich Albert Klebe, previously in Würzburg, had been transferred to Munich (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[15] The Fremdenanzeige (registry of non-resident visitors) of the Königlich-Baierische Staats-Zeitung von München 96 (Wednesday, 23 April 1806), 396, relates that Schelling, “professor from Würzburg,” had been staying at the Munich inn of innkeeper Franz Albert, Zum goldenen Hahn (“[at] the golden rooster”), since 22 April.


The inn was located at Weinstrasse 57 (or 10; see below), and the public could eat a midday meal at 1:30 p.m. for 1 Florin (Münchner Polizey-Uebersicht [1805] xxv and xxvi [Saturday, 29 June 1805], no pagination; map: H. Widmayr, Plan der Königl. Haupt-und Residenz-Stadt München im Jahre 1837 [München 1837]; the centrally located Frauenkirche is at left):


Illustration from Georg Kaspar Nagler, Acht Tage in München: eine kurzgefaßte Beschreibung der in dieser Hauptstadt befindlichen Sehenswürdigkeiten, als unentbehrliches Handbuch für jeden Fremden; mit vielen xylographischen Vignetten und einem Plane der Stadt (München, 1845), 204, which gives the address as Weinstrasse 10:



[16] The Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 91 (Thursday, 17 April 1806), 113–20; and 92 (Friday, 18 April 1806), 121–25, published a lengthy and substantive review of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Über das Wesen des Gelehrten, und seine Erscheinungen im Gebiete der Freyheit. In öffentlichen Vorlesungen, gehalten zu Erlangen, im Sommer-Halbjahre 1805 (Berlin 1806).

Caroline had already mentioned the first installment of this review (in issue 91) in her letter to Schelling on 25–26 April 1806 (letter 403) (see also note 15 there), but was hesitant to send it to Schelling. She now has also received the second issue, no. 92. Back.

[17] The review was signed by “Κλ” =Heinrich Luden (according to Fuhrmans 3:329n2). On p. 124 of issue 92, one reads:

When A. W. Schlegel once also spoke against having things published, a witticism excused his own weakness in this point: it was allegedly “smoaking [sic] to his own defence. How different Herr Fichte!

Heinrich Karl Abraham Eichstädt, editor of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, had also solicited reviews from Schelling and Caroline.

Concerning this criticism of Wilhelm Schlegel, the “brazen” and “forceful” treatment of Fichte in the review, and the conclusion Caroline considered especially good, see supplementary appendix 405.1. Back.

[18] Uncertain reference. Back.

[19] I.e., the Halle Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung. Back.

[20] Schleiermacher’s Die Weihnachtsfeier. Ein Gespräch (Halle 1806). Schelling reviews this piece in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1807) 58 (9 March 1807), 457–64; 59 (10 March 1807), 465–67.

Concerning Schleieermacher’s stature, see section 3 of supplementary appendix 252g.1. Caroline never met Schleiermacher in person. Back.

[21] The reference is to Schelling’s grand, anonymous review (signed “N + d”) that developed into a general annihilation of August von Kotzebue’s Kleine Romane, Erzählungen, Anekdoten und Miscellen, vol. 1 (Leipzig 1805), in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 82 (Monday, 7 April 1806), 41–48. See the synopsis and excerpts in Caroline’s Literary Reviews vol. 2. Back.

[22] Caroline incorrectly spells the name Chenevix as Chevenix.

The Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1806) 61 (Thursday, 13 March 1806), 486–88, had published a derisive review of a special printing from Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert’s Annalen der Physik (1805) vol. 20, no. 4, 417–54, directed against Schelling’s philosophy of nature, namely, Richard Chenevix, Kritische Bemerkungen, Gegenstände der Naturlehre betreffend: geschrieben während eines Aufenthalts in Deutschland, von Richard Chenevix, Mitglied der Londoner Societät der Wissenschaften (“Critical remarks concerning elements of the doctrine of nature, written during a stay in Germany, by Richard Chenevix [ca. 1774–1830], member of the London Academy of Science”), trans. Ludwig Wilhelm Gilbert (Halle 1805). For the text of the review, see supplementary appendix 405.2. Back.

[23] Fr., rélief here in the sense of “profile”; in French in original. Back.

[24] Presumably a reference to the article “Deutschland,” Königlich-Baierische Staats-Zeitung von München (1806) 101 (Tuesday, 29 April 1805), 413:

Bamberg, 25 April [1806]. His Most Serene Illustriousness, Herr Herzog Wilhelm of Palatinate Bavaria, arrived yesterday afternoon at 5:00 from Düsseldorf with his wife the Illustrious Duchess, their family, and their entourage, and will be staying in the Residence. Bamberg has also been hosting the Prince Bishop of Bamberg and Würzburg for a month now, similarly in the Residence.

Here the Bamberg Royal Residence in 1831 (Joseph Heller, Taschenbuch von Bamberg: Eine topographische, statistische, ethnographische und historische Beschreibung der Stadt und ihrer Umgebungen [Bamberg 1831], plate a following p. 84):


The principality of the Duchy of Berg, part of the Holy Roman Empire on the right bank of the Rhine, underwent a complicated net loss of territory during the 1790s in connection with the Coalition Wars. In 1799 it passed to Maximilian Joseph, later king of Bavaria, who in November 1803 gave it as an appanage to his brother-in-law Duke Wilhelm (1752–1837), who, residing in Düsseldorf, functioned as governor while Maximilian retained sovereignty.

On 15 March 1806, Maximilian ceded the Duchy of Berg to Napoleon in exchange for Ansbach, who on the same day passed it to his brother-in-law Joachim Murat (William R. Shepherd, “Germany and Italy in 1803,” Historical Atlas [New York 1923]):


Friedrich Karl von Thürheim, in Bamberg on administrative business for the Bavarian government, was overseeing the reception of Ansbach from Prussia for the Bavarian government and seems to have been residing in the Residence in Bamberg until Duke Wilhelm’s arrival (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[25] Fr., “at odds, on bad terms, fallen out”; in French in original. Back.

[26] Adalbert Friedrich Marcus had been angling, unsuccessfully, for a position in Würzburg. See Caroline’s letter to Schelling on 25–26 April 1806 (letter 403), and, earlier, Caroline’s letter to Beate Gross on 13 April 1805 (letter 393), note 6. Back.

[27] Johann Joseph Geyer had earned a doctorate in philosophy at the university in Bamberg before studying law. Back.

[28] Schelling, of course, had broken with Andreas Röschlaub. See esp. Schelling’s and Röschlaub’s exchange of letters on 24 August 1805 (letter 395c) and in late September 1805 (letter 397b). Back.

[29] Röschlaub’s Magazin zur Vervollkommnung der theoretischen und praktischen Heilkunde:



[30] Writing on 1 May 1806, but a single day away from the full moon and seventeen from the new moon, Caroline’s touching wish was almost fulfilled, since she seems to have departed Würzburg for Munich on 20 May 1806 (see her letters to Carl Joseph Windischmann on 14 May 1806 [letter 412], and to Schelling on 15 May 1806 [letter 413] and 19 May 1806 [letter 416]).

Illustration: Herzoglich-Sachsen-Gotha und Altenburgischer Hof- und Adress-Calender auf das Jahr 1806 (Gotha 1806), where under the phases of the moon in the right-hand column one finds that the moon would be full on 2 May at 8:01 p.m., and new on 18 May at 8:24 a.m., and with corresponding full- and new-moon icons for 1 and 18 May under column V (Veränderung):



[31] As noted in Anton Chroust, Das Grossherzogtum Würzburg (1806–1814): ein Vortag (Würzburg 1913), 8–10, Ferdinand was scheduled to enter the town on 1 May 1806 “amid the ringing of bells and cries of rejoicing, since the Bavarians [when withdrawing from Würzburg back in late October 1806] had unfortunately carried off the cannons in the fortress that were normally used to greet the territorial lord.” See Caroline’s letter to Julie Gotter on 12 March 1806 (letter 401), note 9.

Concerning the preparations for Ferdinand’s entry, including those that did indeed begin at dawn, see note 45 below. Back.

[32] Atroce, Fr., “atrocious, terrible”; in French in original.

During the French army’s march from Hannover to Swabia (map below: Württemberg) on 2–7 April 1806, General Michel Marie Pacthod entered Würzburg on the afternoon of 2 April 1806 with 1600 French soldiers and promptly took over all the guard houses and towers (Central Europe 1803: After the Peace of Lunéville 1801 and the Secularisations 1803, from The Cambridge Modern History Atlas, ed. Sir Adolphus William Ward et al.[London 1913]):


On 6 April he held a review on Residence Square with these soldiers and the citizen corps (illustration of Residence Square from Ludwig Lange and Ernst Rauch, Original-Ansichten der vornehmsten Städte in Deutschland, ihrer wichtigsten Dome, Kirchen und sonstigen Baudenkmäler alter und neuer Zeit [Darmstadt 1832], n.p.):]


Here the square and Rennweg Town Gate at center and top right, Caroline’s apartment at bottom left (Friedrich Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg [München 1845]; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek; see also below):


Concerning Pacthod’s and the French presence in Würzburg during this period, see the article “StaatsBegebenheiten. Vom 2ten April bis den 7ten April. Anwesenheit französischer Truppen in Würzburg,” Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg 1 (1806) 4 (19 April 1806), 41–48. See esp. also Caroline’s letter to Julie Gotter on 12 March 1806 (letter 401), note 9. Back.

[33] Uncertain reference. Back.

[34] As mentioned above, Bavaria was taking possession of previously Prussian Ansbach after ceding the Duchy of Berg to Napoleon. Back.

[35] The reference is actually to Abraham, who in Genesis 18:23–32 pleads on behalf of Sodom (NRSV; illustration: Hans Bol, Abrahams Fürbitte für Sodom (Genesis 18) [ca. 1551–1600]; Herzog August Bibliothek; Museums./Signatur Graph. A1: 315c):

Then the men set out from there, and they looked toward Sodom . . . Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”


So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”

And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”

And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” Again he spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.”

He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.”

He answered “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” He said, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.”

He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.”

He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it. Back.

[36] Back in 1804, the missive “Nachrichten aus Würzburg,” Zeitung für die elegante Welt (1804) 63 (Saturday, 26 May 1803), 502 (not 16 May 1803, as in Schmidt, [1913], 2:653) had reported that

Schelling, whose appointment even here in other territories resulted in all sorts of strange phenomena, whom some were praising to the heavens and others deriding as an utterly nonsensical falsifier of philosophy, in a word: who after his initial six months here has traversed all the various stages of fate that are the inheritance of all initiators of philosophical epochs, and who for precisely that reason was able to remain indifferent and amused at the various machinations set into motion against him, — now seems to be acquiring a serious adversary. Professor Wagner will now be lecturing privatissime on the nullity of Schelling’s system. Whether this attempt will be successful cannot be demonstrated until he breaks forth from the strictures of secretive lecturing and out into the open.

In the Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1804) 147:1239–40, Wagner had delimited his own philosophy from that of Schelling in response to an anonymous review of his book System der Idealphillosophie (Leipzig 1804) (concerning this previous review, see Dorothea and Friedrich Schlegel’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 20 September 1804 [letter 387d], note 2). Wagner addressed the “philosophical public” to clarify his position:

To the Philosophical Public.

Prompted by an anonymous essay on my aesthetic philosophy (the third book of my System of Ideal Philosophy in the November issues of the Zeitung für die elegante Welt, I herewith declare the following:

(1) I reject not only Schelling’s warmed-over Platonism, which he presents as his philosophy, but also speculation as such to the extent it claims to be philosophy. I do, by the way, consider the activity of speculation, as pure and rigorous formalism, to be a necessary intellectual discipline without which one can never attain a secure, clear view of the world. It is for precisely that reason that any given world epoch exhaust itself in all one-sided forms of speculation so that ultimately all sides emerge; or, there must be a history of philosophy so that finally wisdom itself emerge as a clear view of the world.

(2) Since the world has but two sides, namely, the spatial tableau of the world, or the history of nature, where the all things express their true nature through their position and content; then the fulfillment of time, or world history, so also can philosophy, which after traversing speculation must be a clear view of the world, be only world history of the history of nature, and all philosophical construction must be accompanied at every step of the way by the world view, such that every genuinely philosophical postulate can be interpreted with equal validity as world history or the history of nature.

From this there follows the exclusion of all abstraction, whose place is then taken by living perception. What in the ancient is truly classic (e.g., in Herodotus, Tacitus, Seneca, etc.) derives from this world-historical view and the living nature of observation, and we in modernity are charged with not only becoming similarly classical through that world-historical view, but also with combining the view from the history of nature with it. The products of speculation go the way of all that is transient, though they do indeed prepare the age where [Carl] Linnaeus’s nomenclature and tables will acquire a life of their own.

(3) My system of ideal philosophy is to be viewed as a final contribution to speculation, whose files are now consider closed. I assumed responsibility for providing this contribution because I saw how Schelling had long ceased speculating freely and rigorously, and also noticed that he was taking speculation to be philosophy. What I understand as philosophy I have introduced in a publication (about philosophy and medicine) that even now is at the presses.

What is said there will perhaps persuade many that I clearly know what my goal is. Amid such clarity, I sooner view the anonymous shallowness mentioned at the beginning with such profound indifference that it can at most provide an object for my mischief.

Würzburg, 1 December 1804

In the meantime, however, Johann Jakob Wagner had been utterly unable to attract students because of Schelling’s success. Back.

[37] In French in original. Back.

[38] The general march was sounded in Würzburg at 12 p.m. on 1 May 1806. See below. Back.

[39] “University”: that is, the old university complex in which Caroline and Schelling’s apartment was located.

Caroline is otherwise presumably referring to the Chapel of St. Mary in on the market square in Würzburg; her apartment location is at bottom (Friedrich Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg [München], 1845):

Here a closer excerpt of the church:


The church’s single tower was struck by lightning and burned down to the stonework in 1711. The top part was then rebuilt in 1713 in an Italian style that many thought ill suited to the older style of the rest of the church. It was crowned with an image of Mary fashioned by the Würzburg goldsmith Martin Nötzel after a carving by Jakob von der Anvera.

This new tower, eventually structurally unstable, was replaced in 1856, and on 2 July 1857 the original image of Mary was solemnly placed back on the top of the tower. Hence the tower to which Caroline is referring is that prior to 1856, here in an 1845 painting by Peter Geist (Fürstenbaumuseum Würzburg):


And a closer excerpt of the Virgin herself of whom Caroline is speaking:



[40] I.e., with respect to finding a chaperon who might accompany her to see Ferdinand’s entrance into the town. Back.

[41] Georg Michael Klein, as rector of the Gymnasium in Würzburg, likely had to assemble students, e.g., as a chorus, as part of the entry celebration for the new prince elector. Several such children’s choruses performed for the prince on 1 May and on the following days, e.g., a group of young girls dressed as shepherdesses with a lamb as a symbol of “gentle hearts” greeting the prince on the steps of the Residence itself on 1 May (Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg 1 [1806] 7 [3 May 1806], 86). Back.

[42] Erich Schmidt, (1913), 2:653, includes Köhler’s missive (illustration: Almanach und Taschenbuch zum geselligen Vergnügen für 1799; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):

It is utterly certain that the prince elector will pass by our house. If it pleases you to view the attendant spectacule, and if you might be inclined to offer your arm to a young husband who would be glad to accompany you to his exceedingly charming wife, then Schott will come to you at 2:00 and request that you take the cushioned seat at his own wife’s window and to that end accept his offer to accompany you here. I myself, however, can say only “O Mistress, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and let my poor soul be healed” [Luke 7:7 (NRSV)], and kindly request the pleasure of a favorable response. Köhler.


Window niches often had stepped platforms on which chairs might be positioned for just such viewing (Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Von Berlin nach Danzig. Eine Künstlerfahrt im Jahre 1773 von Daniel Chodowiecki. 108 Lichtdrucke nach den Originalen in der Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Mit erläuterndem Text und einer Einführung von Professor Dr. W[olfgang] von Oettingen [Berlin, Amsler & Ruthardt, Kunsthändler o.J. [1883], plate 55):


Würzburg likely resembled the scenes below with virtually every window filled with spectators (anonymous, illustration of the procession of the oath of homage for Joseph I in Vienna [1705]):




[43] Frank, apparently the Schellings’ manservant, is also mentioned in Caroline’s letter to Schelling on 12 May 1806 (letter 410). He appears to be their permanently employed servant, however, rather than one of the liveried footmen or servants for hire in Würzburg, since his name is not included in the official listing of the latter (Carl Gottfried Scharold, Würzburg und die umliegende Gegend, für Fremde und Einheimische kurz beschrieben [Würzburg 1805], 137). Back.

[44] Caroline is now no longer writing in her apartment, but at the house of the Schotts. Herr Schott was apparently not associated with the university in Würzburg, and unfortunately no “Schott” is listed in the Vollständiges Adreß-Buch der Churf. Haupt- und REsidenzstadt Würzburg (Würzburg 1806) that might otherwise identify his address. In any case see Schelling’s letter to Carl Joseph Windischmann on 17 April 1806 (letter 401f), note 4.

Caroline’s text “I took the letter with me to the Schotts etc.” was written on the reverse side of the billet Martin Köhler had sent her; see above. Back.

[45] Concerning the arrival of Ferdinand in Würzburg on 1 May 1806, see the article “Staatsbegebenheiten. Der dritte May, Tag der Ankunft [i.e., on 1 May] unseres Durchlauchtigsten Churfürsten,” Chronik des Churfürstenthums Würzburg 1 (1806) 7 (3 May 1806), 81–88:

Almost the entirety of the month of April was filled with preparations. Everyone’s wish, everyone’s attention were focused on the point in time when the new regent would enter his country, and though false rumors [of Würzburg not passing to Ferdinand after all] were unable to shake Franconians’ affection, the concern was all the greater that the joyful day might be disrupted by the unstable weather that lasted the entire month, or at least its radiance diminished.

And indeed, the final day of April seemed to worsen this concern, plagued as it was by storms and rain, that is, the very day the courier arrived announcing that His Royal Highness would be arriving in town the next day. But the dawn of the first day in May brought Franconians a clear sky and thereby dispelled all dark clouds of worrisome concern — the dawn greeted our hills with gracious pink lips more festively than ever before, the sun itself rose solemnly, accompanied by the beating of drums and cheerful military music, calling to our citizens, “Arise, Franconians! Ferdinand comes!” —

And quickly the sun was glittering serenely against the purple sky; arise for joy! nature herself has cloaked herself in a garment of celebration, enhancing and beautifying this joyous, unforgettable day. . . .

At daybreak everyone began preparations for the reception of our prince, who even now was genuinely approaching our borders; everyone, everything was in motion. Children assumed the courage of men, old men became as children, and one may say without exaggeration that every town and rural citizen streamed out of their residences to hasten toward the approaching, longed-for prince. From the border all the way to his capital, surrounded by his subjects, he made his way in triumph through countless hosts as the unrestricted ruler of every heart. [Locales outside Würzburg.] . . .

While the good prince was being welcomed and accompanied thus by his bliss-intoxicated subjects, everything in the capital was in motion. Toward 12 p.m. the general march summoned all citizenry to mobilize and assume their positions. After 12 p.m., all the other parts of the town were emptied of people, with everyone instead pushing and hastening toward the place where they might see and greet the prince. Between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., the entire uniformed citizenry with their leaders were in their proper positions, namely: just inside the New Gate [Neuthor on map below] the merchant corps with scarlet red uniforms, golden epaulettes, and white trousers . . .

[F. Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg (München), 1845; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek:]


Along the Semmelsgasse the citizen corps in blue with national cockades on their hats . . . On the [outer] Graben the infantry in dark blue with gold and white trousers, along with grenadiers . . . On Residence Square the uniformed marksmen corps . . . extending all the way to the Residence itself. Each group had its musical chorus, the latter, however, also with a musical group with tasteful silver uniforms.


The nobility, all landed estates, the university, clerisy, etc. assembled in the prince-electoral Residence itself, and henceforth everyone was focused on the moment when a cannon shot would announce the prince’s approach. Such was genuinely sounded at 4 p.m., and now in but a quarter hour the nation’s wishes were fulfilled: we welcomes our new prince elector into his castle.

Residence Square, the broad street of the Oberer Graben, and the Semmelsgasse through which the prince entered, were all teeming with people, every window of every house filled with spectators, and everyone focused on the moment they might cry out a loud Vivat! to him. The town ramparts, the promenade on the chaussée, were all so packed with people that it appeared a string had pulled them tightly together.

The arrival happened after 4 p.m. A courier preceded, then the Herr Postmaster of Kitzingen [an outlying locale] in a 4-steed chaise, then newly uniformed mounted huntsmen from Dettelbach and Kitzingen, then a company of newly uniformed citizen cavalry of Würzburg itself, all of whom rode out to greet the regent. . . . and several other officials, all of whom approached the New Gate.

[A similar archducal entry processional in Vienna earlier the previous century; Einführung dess Ertz Herzog Huetls; engraving by J. A. Müller after A. Altomonte (after 1740); Brown University Library, Digital Repository:]


Here the town magistrate and the mounted merchant corps awaited Him. Herr Senior Mayor Brock handed Him 2 handsomely fashioned keys with golden tassels with a brief speech, to which the prince elector responded. Then the procession into the Residence commenced. The ringing of all the bells, the accompanying blasts of the cannons, the maelstrom of drums, the festive sounding of trumpets, the various musical choruses and bands — what a solemn and festive atmosphere. But what was all this compared to the voice of nature herself, the powerful cries of Vivat! sounding from thousands and thousands of throats and resounding to heaven itself! Back.

[46] In the billet cited above, Martin Köhler mentions that the prince elector would almost certainly pass by “our house.” Köhler lived at Stephansgasse 16 (Vollständiges Adreß-Buch der churfürstlichen Haupt- und Residenzstadt Würzburg: 1806 [Würzburg 1806], 149), on the corner of Neubaugasse just around the corner from Caroline (Kreishauptstadt Würzburg: Gemessen durch Carl Handwerk im Jahre 1832; Bayerische Landesbibliothek Online):


That Caroline viewed the new prince elector from this location, however, is difficult to reconcile with the official account of the latter’s entry into the town on 1 May 1806 above, according to which he traversed or at least traveled near the following streets in town: the New Gate, the Semmelsgasse; the [outer or upper] Graben, Residence Square.

The prince’s route seems to have been approximately the following (the name of the Graben changed over time). Caroline’s apartment is at lower left, Köhler’s address at bottom left-center, the New Gate through which the prince entered at top, the Semmelsgasse the street leading in from the New Gate to the Graben (Friedrich Harrach and Leonhard Zertahelly, Plan Der Kreis-Hauptstadt Würzburg [München], 1845):


Here the prince’s entry route from the opposite direction, with the New Gate at bottom left and Köhler’s address at top center (Johann Baptist Homann, Accurate Vorstellung der Hoch-Fürstl[ichen] Bischöffl[ichen] Residenz- und Haupt-Stadt Würtzburg des Herzogthums Francken: wie solche unter Höchst Rühmlicher Regirung des jetzigen Hochwürdigsten Fürsten und Herren Herrn Ioh. Phil. Franz. Gr. von Schonborn mit vielen neu-erbauten herrlichen Palästen und Gebäuden vermehret worden; Cum Privilegio Sac. Caes. Majestatis [Nürnberg 1723]; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek bsb00046963-5):


Caroline’s remark that the prince “really did come by here on his way up the Semmelsgasse” and that she was close enough to see his hands does indeed accord with the account in the Chronik above if Schott and his wife lived closer to the New Gate or on Semmelsgasse itself. Indeed, she seems to have had an excellent view of the procession. Köhler, then, is simply referring to “our house” as the place they would be viewing the entry rather than as his own address.

On the other hand, it is difficult to see how Caroline’s remark ” from here one can see Residence Square, plastered with heads” accords with a window seat — even in an upper story — from the Semmelsgasse, which would sooner be possible from Köhler’s apartment, particularly if the building complex “A” on the illustration above were no longer there after the expansion of the royal garden during the second half of the eighteenth century. Back.

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott