Letter 412

• 412. Caroline to Carl Joseph Windischmann in Aschaffenburg: Würzburg, 14 May 1806 [*]

Würzb[urg], 14 May [1806]

|463| Your remembrance and your letter — though in reality only the latter — anticipated my own. For I have been wanting to take leave of you and yours in a letter myself for several days now and to ask what messages you would like me to pass on to Schelling, since he will not be returning to these parts and I hope to be with him soon. His situation was clarified during his very first days in Munich insofar as the king went ahead and signed his appointment and even informed him of such himself. It remained only for the manner and means to be determined insofar as there could be no talk of anything in Landshut, and such would already have been done except for the illness of Herr von Zentner. [1]

In the meantime, I myself suggested to Schelling that he spare himself the trouble of the return trip as well as the inconvenience of having to pack and sell things here, something I prefer to take care of myself and which I have addressed to the extent that I am now hoping to depart on the 20th. For now, Munich is the place Schelling will be staying.

Hence we will not be seeing you, my good Windischmann, and I was all the more pleased to hear from you even though I was less pleased with what I actually heard. My own yearning and the distraction of a thousands things to do have in no way lessened my concern for you, and I can assure you also that Schelling’s friendship will not fail to seize whatever appropriate opportunity presents itself to act on your behalf. —

My most ardent hope is that the disposition and prejudices of the sort your uncle is currently entertaining will not be of long duration, and that perhaps their dispersal might even be aided by the fact that Schelling himself, whose name one happens to be using to refer to that which your uncle finds so displeasing, will be living closer to him and that the favorable |464| opinion that has emerged in Munich might extend its influence to Regensburg as well. [2]

If he returns, then you must simply certainly not retreat any further, my dear friend — one must counter such silly thoughts, particularly when they come from an older gentleman and an otherwise favorably disposed relative, more with distraction than with actual refutation, more serenely than heroically — although, certainly, it is inappropriate for me to be advising you in such things — forgive me; it only reflects my innermost wishes for you.

You yourself doubtless perceive how utterly discouraging things now look with the world, and how little hope for improvement there seems to be for any given individual other than that which is utterly fortuitous. In Bavaria it will now be extremely difficult to place even those to whom one is thereby merely acting commensurate with their rights [3] — there is absolutely no thought of any attainment or establishment of a new university. [4] The country itself is to a large extent devastated, almost more so in the provinces that are not even in Bavarian possession yet. What can be expected amid such conditions? Unfortunately one cannot get around the fact that the probable possibilities are few, though that may well be less a concern during a time when there are indeed so many improbable possibilities.

The 2nd issue of the Jahrbücher is now available in bookstores, from what I hear, but since Cotta knows that Schelling is now in Munich, he did not send any complimentary copies here; [5] moreover you should very soon be receiving one yourself. [6] The World Soul should at least be available at the book fair; [7] Perthes wrote two weeks ago that it would definitely be appearing, but I know no more about this either. [8] Schelling, however, has doubtless seen to it that complimentary copies get sent to the appropriate people.

The manuscript of your Plotinus is ready for the first foray that Schott will make to Aschaffenburg. [9] If only the books you have still manage to arrive here before the 20th.

I have had to write this in great haste and urgency. |465| I will certainly be more deliberate in noting and relating to Schelling what you wrote me in your letter. Stay well, and may heaven preserve your health and your family. Be assured of the unchanging inclinations of your friends, the Schellings.

Schelling has gotten on quite well with Jacobi; they take walks together and have even had philosophical discussions during which, admittedly, although little philosophy is gained, all the more mutual love and cordiality is cultivated. [10]


[*] This letter is Caroline’s response to Windischmann’s undated letter to her in May 1806 (letter 411), q.v. concerning the issues Caroline addresses. Back.

[1] Concerning the disinclination of the Bavarian government to appoint Schelling to a professorship in Landshut, see Schelling’s letter to Georg Friedrich von Zentner on 19 January 1806 (letter 400d), note 7, and esp. Schelling’s letter to Windischmann on 21 February 1806 (letter 400g), note 5.

Schelling did, however, remain an employee of the government itself in accepting a position at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, whose administration was to pass from private hands to the state. Back.

[2] Johann Heinrich Kurtz, Church History, 3 vols., trans. John Macpherson (New York 1889–90), §192 “The German Confedersation,” 3:271–75, here 3:272–73:

The Prince-Primate of the Confederation of the Rhine — Baron Carl Theod. von Dalberg, distinguished for his literary culture and his liberal patronage of art and science, was made in 1802 Elector of Mainz and Lord High Chancellor of the German empire. When by the recess of 1803 the territories of the electorate on the left of the Rhine were given over to France and those on the right secularized, the electoral rank was abolished.

The same happened with respect to the lord high chancellorship through the creation of the Rhenish Confederation. Dalberg was indemnified for the former by the favour of Napoleon by the gift of a small territory on the right of the Rhine, and for the latter by the renewal of the prince-primacy of the Confederation of the Rhine with a seat in the Federal council. He still retained his episcopal office and fixed its seat at Regensburg. The founding of a metropolitan chapter at Regensburg embracing the whole domain of the Rhenish Confederation he did not succeed in carrying out, and in 1813 he felt compelled to surrender also his territorial possessions. His spiritual functions, however, as Archbishop of Regensburg, he continued to discharge until his death in 1817.

Caroline is referring to this move to Regensburg; Joseph Hieronymus Karl Kolborn followed Dalberg there. Regensburg is located ca. 120 km northeast of Munich (J. Walch, Neueste Post-Karte von Deutschland und dessen angrenzenden Laendern [Augsburg 1813 ]):



[3] E.g., those of the Protestant professors displaced from Würzburg since the cession of Würzburg to Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Back.

[4] The Bavarian state university had been founded in Ingoldstadt in 1472, then transferred to Landshut in 1800 because of the unsettled geopolitical situation and French threat. It was not moved to Munich until 1826 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



[5] Johann Friedrich Cotta was publishing the Jahrbücher in Tübingen. Back.

[6] At the beginning of her letter to Schelling on 9 May 1806 (letter 409), Caroline writes that “today I received your aphorisms as a kind of introduction to my trip, my most amiable friend, and now have such good directions that I am like someone who has been shown the way”; hence issue 2 of the Jahrbücher für Medicin als Wissenschaft 1 (1806) must have appeared at the beginning of May 1806. See note 1 there. For a listing of the contents, see Windischmann’s letter to her in May 1806 (letter 411), note 7. Back.

[7] I.e., at the Easter or Jubilate book fair, which began on the afternoon of Jubilate Sunday, 3 weeks after Easter Sunday (6 April); here: back on 27 April 1806. Back.

[8] Friedrich Perthes was publishing the second edition (1806) of Schelling’s Von der Weltseele. Eine Hypothese der höhern Physik zur Erklärung des allgemeinen Organismus in Hamburg:



[9] Concerning this manuscript and the identity of Schott, see Schelling’s letter to Windischmann on 17 April 1806 (letter 401f), note 4. Back.

[10] This initially good relationship with Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi would endure for a time but ultimately end in a vitriolic break (Bergisches Taschenbuch für 1798 zur Belehrung und Unterhaltung 1798; Inhaltsverzeichnis deutscher Almanache, Theodor Springmann Stiftung):



Translation © 2018 Doug Stott