Munich, 22 March 1807
The experiments about which I recently wrote you are progressing after all, and are indeed on the right track.  Campetti’s stronger powers permit one to conduct these experiments such that all deception is eliminated. He is able to make strips of tinfoil or even broad, heavy metal plates, balanced solely on his index or middle finger, turn with utter regularity. —
The most profound thing about this entire matter is the undeniable, non-mechanical, magical influence of the will, indeed of the faintest thought on these experiments. The pendulum or even the baguette behaves exactly like a voluntary muscle, just as in a reverse fashion these are indeed true divining rods that operate sometimes toward the outside — extensors — sometimes toward the inside — flexors. And what is even more remarkable is that hitherto no phenomenon has been discovered that has not already been known for ages; but that apparent influence of the will cast everything under suspicion, such that people even thought the devil had a hand in it. This provides you with a complete explanation of the experiment with the ring striking the hour, for if you know and specifically imagine that it is just now 12:00, the ring really will strike no more than that number — You have probably already also observed a similar experiment with the turning of a sword. . . .
Answer to Hegel’s letter of 23 February 1807 (letter 421a) (both letters excerpted). Back.
 Unable to secure an academic position, Hegel had moved to Bamberg at some point between February and March 1807 to become editor of the Bamberger Zeitung (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):
 Concerning the episode involving the alleged dowser Francesco Campetti, see
- the supplementary appendix on Caroline and Schelling’s interest in Francesco Campetti;
- Karl Schelling’s letter to Schelling on 15 January 1807 (letter 420b);
- Johann Wilhelm Ritter’s letter to Hans Christian Örsted on 19 January 1807 (letter 420c); and
- Caroline’s letter to Luise Wiedemann on 31 January 1807 (letter 421). Back.
Translation © 2018 Doug Stott