Letter 417e

417e. Schelling to his Father in Murrhardt: Munich, 7 September 1806 [*]

Munich, 7 September 1806

. . . I genuinely have not yet received your Salomonic piece that I already long requested. [1] I wrote to Würzburg in the matter but have not yet received any response. . . . I would like to see about having the piece reviewed in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung; [2] although Paulus reviewed your Animadversiones in the former Jenaische, now Hallische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung, he will probably not bother to review your new piece. [3]

Are you aware of how much in the way of “pavement toll” he had to pay in Würzburg? — When the news on my definitive appointment arrived in Würzburg, he was beside himself, and after vehement urging from his wife, who had tormented him almost to death the entire time, he resolved to journey here immediately himself, and indeed the day of his departure had even been set. The day before, however, he was out for a ride on a bad horse and — broke his arm. [4]

In the meantime, he will now have to be taken on by Bavaria after all. The administration there (Würzburg) has declared that the two remaining Protestant theologians cannot be employed after all for the Würzburg territory, which has so few Protestants, but rather for the Bavarian state at large, nor will the two of them be paid any longer beginning in October! The question is now whether they will take Paulus at his word and let him move to Stuttgart with 1400 fl. I begrudge him nothing at all as long as he is no longer in my vicinity. Bavaria will, by the way, be getting the university in Altdorf, and when it genuinely does change hands, he may well receive a position there. [5] . . .

I now commend myself along with my wife to your love and gracious remembrance, and entreat heaven that you may live in peace, joy, and good health.



[*] Sources: Plitt 2:100–102; Fuhrmans 3:364–66. Back.

[1] Joseph Friedrich Schelling, Salomonis, regis et sapientis, quae supersunt ejusque esse perhibentur omnia / ex Ebraeo latine vertit notasque ubi opus esse visum est adjecit Josephus Fridericus Schelling (Stuttgart 1806). Back.

[2] The elder Schelling’s “Salomonic” piece was indeed eventually reviewed by the Jena professor Johann Christian Wilhelm Augusti in the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1808) 51 (1 March 1808), 401–5. Back.

[3] H. E. G. Paulus had earlier reviewed Joseph Friedrich Schelling’s Animadversiones philologico-criticae in loca difficiliora Jesaiae quibus praestantissimorum interpretum sententias (Leipzig 1797), in the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1799) 386 (Wednesday, 4 December 1799), 585–87.

H. E. G. Paulus was born in 1761 in Leonberg in the same house as Schelling in 1775, Paulus’s father having been the predecessor of Schelling’s father there as deacon. Paulus had also studied under Schelling’s father at the boarding school housed in the former monastery in Bebenhausen in 1777–79, never hesitating afterward to acknowledge with gratitude Joseph Friedrich Schelling’s influence on his thinking, as he does in the review Schelling is here referencing (Paulus similarly mentions Johann David Michaelis, Caroline’s father); Paulus begins the review as follows (ibid., 585):

In his sixtieth year of life, the author — one of the few who amid the practical obligations of a laborious church office and an extensive load of pastoral inspections still tries to put aside a few hours of leisure for biblical study — presents here a selection from his twenty-seven years of philological research into difficult passages in the Isaianic oracle collections [Isa. 13:1–23:18], a selection demonstrating not only the degree to which his earlier studies in this field progressed, but also his increased acquaintance with more recent studies of the same. He was one of the first in Württemberg to assimilate the enhanced and improved principles of Hebrew linguistic research so capably disseminated in Germany by Johann David Michaelis. Back.

[4] Schelling seems to understand that Paulus fell from a horse (illustration here and below: Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki, Kupfersammlung zu J[ohann] B[ernhard] Basedows Elementarwerke für die Jugend und ihre Freunde: Erste Lieferung in 53 Tafeln. Zweyte Lieferung in 47 Tafeln von L bis XCVI [Leipzig, Dessau, Berlin 1774], plate lxii):


See the version of this accident in Reichlin-Meldegg 1:390, along with news of military developments in anticipation of the imminent war between France and Prussia:

Before the future professional appointment of our scholar [Paulus] had been resolved, during the summer of 1806 he suffered the misfortune of falling from a carriage while driving through a street that was simply too crowded with horses, thereby breaking his left hand, an injury from which he suffered for a long time thereafter [as late as 1 October and 24 December 1806, according to his letters to Christian Friedrich Schnurrer].


With his arm in a sling, he took walks around the streets in Würzburg, observing the French troops who were marching through on their way to Saxony and Prussia [war between France and Prussia was imminent]. With this bound arm, he had an audience with the new regent, the grand duke of Würzburg, in which, since his professional future were still undecided, he asked for justice. Upon hearing the word “justice,” Ferdinand, the new regent, cried out, “You must not despair in that regard!”

The advance troops of the Prussians positioned opposite the French, commanded by the duke of Saxony-Weimar, Karl August, were still positioned beyond the Main River. Because at the time the French were advancing in quite small groups, Paulus, observing them, often wondered why the Prussians did not simply cross the river and defeat the French, which to him seemed an easy task. But soon Napoleon himself arrived, who shortly thereafter (14 October 1806) would conduct the battle of Jena. He resided in the prince-electoral castle in Würzburg

Hippolyte Lecomte, meeting between Napoleon and Ferdinand in Würzburg in October 1806 (1813):



[5] The Protestant section within the department of theology in Würzburg as set up in 1803 eventually included H. E. G. Paulus, Karl Heinrich Fuchs, Christoph David Anton Martini, and, from 1804, Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer, but was dissolved in 1806 after the Treaty of Pressburg.

Although Bavaria retained the services of all, Niethammer was the first to receive a definite appointment, viz., as an educational administrator in Bamberg. Although both Paulus and Martini were both initially slated for appointments in Altdorf as Schelling suggests, Nürnberg — in whose territory the Altdorf university was located — was ceded to Bavaria in the spring of 1806, and Bavaria dissolved the university, precluding any appointment there for Paulus (A. von Coulon, Post-Karte von Baiern [1810]):


Instead, he and his family spent the winter 1806–7 with extended family in Württemberg (see Dorothea and Friedrich Schlegel’s letter to Karoline Paulus on 30 June 1806 [letter 416d], note 9). In the spring of 1807, when Niethammer received a ministerial appointment in Munich, Paulus took over his positions as educational and consistory administrator in Bamberg. Later, in 1808, Paulus became a district and educational administrator in Nürnberg, where in the latter capacity he was Hegel’s superior (J. Walch, Neueste Post-Karte von Deutschland und dessen angrenzenden Laendern [Augsburg 1813 ]):


After moving to Ansbach in a similar capacity in 1810, Paulus returned to university life in 1811 in Heidelberg, where in 1816 he was again united with Hegel, to whose appointment there Paulus had contributed, and where in 1818 he became Wilhelm Schlegel’s father-in-law when the latter married Sophie Paulus (Fuhrmans 3:365fn3).

Here Heidelberg, Würzburg, and Jena, where Caroline originally made the Pauluses’ acquaintance (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):



Translation © 2018 Doug Stott