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Beethoven's Letters 1790-1826 Vol. 2 by Lady Wallace

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of reason!--Everything was ready yesterday for Glaeser (the copyist). As for
you, I shall expect you in Hetzendorf to dinner at half-past two o'clock.
If you come later, dinner shall be kept for you.



Hetzendorf, July 2, 1823.


The incessant insolence of my landlord from the hour I entered his house up
to the present moment compels me to apply for aid to the police; so I beg
you will do so for me at once. As to the double winter windows, the
housekeeper was desired to see about them, and especially to state if they
were not necessary after such a violent storm, in case of the rain having
penetrated into the room; but her report was that the rain had not come in,
and, moreover, that it could not possibly do so. In accordance with her
statement, I locked the door to prevent this rude man entering my room
during my absence (which he had threatened). Say also further what his
conduct to you was, and that he put up a placard of the lodgings being to
let, without giving me notice, which, besides, he has no right to do till
St. James's Day. He is equally unfair in refusing to give up the receipt
from St. George's Day till St. James's, as the enclosure shows; I am
charged, too, for lighting, of which I know nothing. This detestable
lodging,[1] without any open stove, and the principal flue truly
abominable, has cost me (for extra outlay, exclusive of the rent) 259
florins, in order merely to keep me alive while I was there during the
winter. It was a deliberate fraud, as I never was allowed to see the rooms
on the first floor, but only those on the second, that I might not become
aware of their many disagreeable drawbacks. I cannot understand how a flue
_so destructive to health can be tolerated by the Government_. You remember
the appearance of the walls of your room owing to smoke, and the large sum
it cost even to lessen in any degree this discomfort, although to do away
with it wholly was impossible. My chief anxiety at present is that he may
be ordered to take down his placard, and to give me a receipt for the
house-rent I have paid; but nothing will induce me to pay for the
abominable lighting, without which it cost me enough actually to preserve
my life in such a lodging. My eyes do not yet suffer me to encounter the
town atmosphere, or I would myself apply in person to the police.

Your attached


[Footnote 1: The Pfarrgasse, in the Laimgrube, where Schindler lived with



I must have an attested copy of all the writings; I send you 45 kreutzers.
How could you possibly accept such a proposal from our churlish landlord
when accompanied by a threat? Where was your good sense? Where it always

To-morrow early I shall send for the Variations, copy and originals. It is
not certain whether the Pr. comes or not; so be so good as to stay at home
till eight o'clock. You can come to dinner either to-day or to-morrow; but
you must settle which you mean to do, as it is not easy _for me_ to provide
provisions. Not later than half-past two o'clock. The housekeeper will tell
you about a lodging in the Landstrasse. It is high time, truly! As soon as
you hear of anything to be had on the Bastei or the Landstrasse, you must
at once give me notice. We must find out what room the landlord uses on
account of the well.--_Vale!_



Hetzendorf, 1823.


You were dispatched yesterday to the South Pole, whereas we went off to the
North Pole, a slight difference now equalized by Captain Parry. There were,
however, no mashed potatoes there.

Bach [his lawyer], to whom I beg my best regards, is requested to say what
the lodging in Baden is to cost; we must also try to arrange that Carl
should come to me once every fortnight there (but cheaply; good heavens!
poverty and economy!). I intrust this matter to you, as you have your
friends and admirers among the drivers and liverymen. If you get this in
time, you had better go to Bach to-day, so that I may receive his answer
to-morrow forenoon. It is almost too late now.

You might also take that rascal of a copyist by surprise; I don't expect
much good from him. He has now had the Variations for eight days.

Your ["friend" stroked out] _amicus_,


[Footnote 1: He no doubt alludes to Captain Parry, the celebrated
traveller, who wrote an article in the _A.M. Zeitung_ on the music of the



June, 1823.


Don't trouble yourself to come here till you receive a _Hati Scherif_. I
must say you do not deserve the _golden_ cord. My fast-sailing frigate, the
worthy and well-born Frau Schnaps, will call every three or four days to
inquire after your health.

Farewell! Bring _no one whatever_ with you: farewell!

[Footnote 1: Schindler says in his _Biography_: "These _Variations_ [Op.
120] were completed in June, 1823, and delivered to the publisher,
Diabelli, without the usual amount of time bestowed on giving them the
finishing touches; and now he set to work at once at the ninth Symphony,
some jottings of which were already written down. Forthwith all the gay
humor that had made him more sociable, and in every respect more
accessible, at once disappeared. All visits were declined," &c.]



Hetzendorf, July 15, 1823.

I trust that you are in the best possible health. As for my eyes, they are
improving, though slowly, and in six or seven days at most I hope to have
the good fortune to wait on Y.R.H. If I were not obliged to use spectacles,
I should get better sooner. It is a most distressing occurrence, and has
thrown me back in everything. What soothes my feelings, however, is Y.R.H.
being fully aware that I am always to be of service to you. I have another
favor to ask of Y.R.H., which I hope you will graciously accede. Will
Y.R.H. be so kind as to grant me a testimonial to the following effect:
"That I wrote the Grand Mass expressly for Y.R.H.; that it has been for
some time in your possession; and that you have been pleased to permit me
to circulate it." This ought to have been the case, and being no untruth, I
hope I may claim this favor. Such a testimonial will be of great service to
me; for how could I have believed that my slight talents would have exposed
me to so much envy, persecution, and calumny. It has always been my
intention to ask Y.R.H.'s permission to circulate the Mass, but the
pressure of circumstances, and above all my inexperience in worldly
matters, as well as my feeble health, has caused this confusion.

If the Mass is engraved hereafter, I hope to dedicate it to Y.R.H. when
published,[1] and not till then will the limited list of royal subscribers
appear. I shall ever consider Y.R.H. as my most illustrious patron, and
make this known to the world whenever it is in my power. In conclusion, I
entreat you again not to refuse my request about the testimonial. It will
only cost Y.R.H. a few lines, and ensure the best results for me.

I will bring the Variations[2] of Y.R.H. with me. They require little
alteration, and cannot fail to become a very pretty pleasing work for all
lovers of music. I must indeed appear a most importunate suitor. I beg you
will kindly send me the testimonial as soon as possible, for I require it.


[Footnote 1: The Grand Mass (_Op._ 123) was published in 1827.]

[Footnote 2: The _Variations_ composed by the Archduke Rudolph, mentioned
in the letters 345 and 351, are not the same as the published ones, and are



Hetzendorf, July 16, 1823.


I received your letter with much pleasure the day before yesterday. The
Variations have, no doubt, arrived by this time. I could not write the
dedication to your wife, not knowing her name; so I beg you will write it
yourself on the part of your wife's friend and your own; let it be a
surprise to her, for the fair sex like that.--_Entre nous_, surprise is
always the greatest charm of the beautiful! As for the _Allegri di
Bravura_, I must make allowance for yours. To tell you the truth, I am no
great friend to that kind of thing, as it is apt to entail too much mere
mechanism; at least, such is the case with those I know. I have not yet
looked at yours, but I shall ask ---- about them. I recommend you to be
cautious in your intercourse with him. Could I not be of use to you in many
ways here? These printers, or rather _misprinters_, as they ought to be
called to deserve their names, pirate your works, and give you nothing in
return; this, surely, might be differently managed. I mean to send you some
choruses shortly, even if obliged to compose some new ones, for this is my
favorite style.

Thanks for the proceeds of the _bagatelles_, with which I am quite
satisfied. Give nothing to the King of England. Pray accept anything you
can get for the Variations. I shall be perfectly contented. I only must
stipulate to take no other reward for the dedication to your wife than the
kiss which I am to receive in London.

You name _guineas_, whereas I only get _pounds sterling_, and I hear there
is a difference between these. Do not be angry with _un pauvre musicien
autrichien_, who is still at a very low ebb. I am now writing a new violin
quartet. Might not this be offered to the musical or unmusical London
Jews?--_en vrai Juif_.

I am, with cordial regard,
Your old friend,




Hetzendorf, July 17, 1823.


I have too long deferred sending you a signed receipt and thanks, but I
feel sure you will pardon the delay from my great pressure of business,
owing to my health having improved, and God knows how long this may
continue. The description given by my dear friend Maria Weber[2] of your
generous and noble disposition encourages me to apply to you on another
subject, namely, about a Grand Mass which I am now issuing in manuscript.
Though I have met with a previous refusal on this matter [337], still, as
my esteemed Cardinal, H.R. Highness the Archduke Rudolph, has written to
H.R.H. Prince Anton, requesting him to recommend the Mass to his Majesty
the King of Saxony, I think this fresh application might at all events be
made, as I should consider it a great honor to number among my
distinguished subscribers (such as the King of Prussia, the Emperor of
Russia, the King of France, &c.) so great a connoisseur in music as the
King of Saxony.

I leave it to you, sir, to decide from this statement how and when you can
best effect my purpose. I am unable to send you to-day the application for
a subscription to my Mass to H.M. the King of Saxony, but I will do so by
the next post. In any event I feel assured that you will not think I am one
of those who compose for the sake of paltry gain; but how often do events
occur which constrain a man to act contrary to his inclinations and his
principles? My Cardinal is a benevolent Prince, but means are wanting! I
hope to receive your forgiveness for my apparent importunity. If my poor
abilities can in any way be employed in your service, what extreme pleasure
it would give me.

I am, sir, with esteem,
Your expectant


[Footnote 1: The director-general of the Dresden theatre at that time was
Von Koenneritz, who sent Beethoven forty ducats (requesting a receipt) for
his opera of _Fidelio_, performed with great applause April 29, 1823, and
conducted by C.M. von Weber. Madame Schroeder-Devrient made her _debut_ in
the character of Leonore.]

[Footnote 2: In Weber's _Biography_ it is stated (Vol. II. p. 465) that
Beethoven and Weber exchanged several letters about the performance of
_Fidelio_, and in fact Weber did receive letters from Beethoven on February
16, April 10, and June 9. Unhappily, no part of this correspondence has yet
been discovered, except a fragment of the sketch of a letter written by
Weber of January 28, 1823, which sufficiently proves that Beethoven was
right in calling him his _friend_. It is as follows:--"This mighty work,
teeming with German grandeur and depth of feeling, having been given under
my direction at Prague, had enabled me to acquire the most enthusiastic and
instructive knowledge of its inner essence, by means of which I hope to
produce it before the public here with full effect, provided as I am with
all possible accessories for the purpose. Each performance will be a
festival to me, permitting me to pay that homage to your mighty spirit
which dwells in the inmost recesses of my heart, where love and admiration
strive for the mastery." On October 5 of this year, Weber visited Beethoven
in Baden, with Haslinger and Benedict.]



Vienna, July 25, 1823.


Forgive my importunity in sending to your care the enclosed letter from me
to his R.H. Prince Anton of Saxony; it contains an application to his
Majesty the King of Saxony to subscribe to a mass of mine. I recently
mentioned to you that the Cardinal Archduke Rudolph had written to his M.
the King of Saxony about this Mass; I entreat you to use all your influence
in this matter, and I leave it entirely to your own judgment and knowledge
of local matters to act as you think best. Although I do not doubt that the
recommendation of my Cardinal will have considerable weight, still the
decision of his Majesty cannot fail to be much influenced by the advice of
the Administrator of objects connected with the fine arts. Hitherto, in
spite of apparent brilliant success, I have scarcely realized as much as a
publisher would have given me for the work, the expenses of copying being
so very great. It was the idea of my friends to circulate this Mass, for,
thank God! I am a mere novice in all speculations. In the mean time, there
is not a single _employe_ of our Government who has not been, like myself,
a loser. Had it not been for my continued bad health for many years past, a
foreign country would at least have enabled me to live free from all cares
except those for art. Judge me kindly, and not harshly; I live only for my
art, and my sole wish is to fulfil my duties as a man; but this, alas!
cannot always be accomplished without the influence of the _subterranean
powers_. While commending my cause to you, I also venture to hope that your
love of art, and above all your philanthropy, will induce you to be so good
as to write me a few lines, informing me of the result as soon as you are
acquainted with it.

I am, sir, with high consideration,

Your obedient




August, 1823.


Make haste and come, for the weather is just right. Better early than
late--_presto, prestissimo_! We are to drive from here.[1]

[Footnote 1: Beethoven had apartments in a summer residence of Baron
Pronay's on his beautiful property at Hetzendorf. Suddenly, however, the
_maestro_, deeply immersed in the _Ninth Symphony_, was no longer satisfied
with this abode, because "the Baron would persist in making him profound
bows every time that he met him." So, with the help of Schindler and Frau
Schnaps, he removed to Baden in August, 1823.]



Baden, August 16, 1823.


I did not wish to say anything to you till I found my health improving
here, which, however, is scarcely even yet the case. I came here with a
cold and catarrh, which were very trying to me, my constitution being
naturally rheumatic, which will, I fear, soon cut the thread of my life,
or, still worse, gradually wear it away. The miserable state of my
digestive organs, too, can only be restored by medicines and diet, and for
this I have to thank my _faithful_ servants! You will learn how constantly
I am in the open air when I tell you that to-day for the first time I
properly (or improperly, though it was involuntary) resumed my suit to my
Muse. I _must_ work, but do not wish it to be known. Nothing can be more
tempting (to me at least) than the enjoyment of beautiful Nature at these
baths, but _nous sommes trop pauvres, et il faut ecrire ou de n'avoir pas
de quoi_. Get on, and make every preparation for your examination, and be
unassuming, so that you may prove yourself higher and better than people
expect. Send your linen here at once; your gray trousers must still be
wearable, at all events at home; for, my dear son, you are indeed very
_dear_ to me! My address is, "At the coppersmith's," &c. Write instantly to
say that you have got this letter. I will send a few lines to that
contemptible creature, Schindler, though I am most unwilling to have
anything to do with such a wretch. If we could write as quickly as we think
and feel, I could say a great deal not a little remarkable; but for to-day
I can only add that I wish a certain Carl may prove worthy of all my love
and unwearied care, and learn fully to appreciate it.

Though not certainly exacting, as you know, still there are many ways in
which we can show those who are better and nobler than ourselves that we
acknowledge their superiority.

I embrace you from my heart.

Your faithful and true




August, 1823.

I am really very ill, and not suffering from my eyes alone. I intend to
drag myself to-morrow to Baden, to look out for a lodging, and to go there
altogether in the course of a few days. The air in town has a very bad
effect on my whole organization, and has really injured my health, having
gone twice to town to consult my physicians. It will be easier for me to
repair to Y.R.H. in Baden. I am quite inconsolable, both on account of
Y.R.H. and myself, that my usefulness is thus limited. I have marked some
things in the Variations, but I can explain these better verbally.




Baden, August 22, 1823.

Your gracious letter led me to believe that Y.R.H. intended to return to
Baden, where I arrived on the 13th, very ill; but I am now better. I had
recently another inflammatory cold, having just recovered from one. My
digestion, too, was miserable, and my eyes very bad; in short, my whole
system seemed impaired. I was obliged to make the effort to come here,
without even being able to see Y.R.H. Thank God, my eyes are so much better
that I can again venture to make tolerable use of them by daylight. My
other maladies, too, are improving, and I cannot expect more in so short a
period. How I wish that Y.R.H. were only here, when in a few days we could
entirely make up for lost time. Perhaps I may still be so fortunate as to
see Y.R.H. here, and be able to show my zeal to serve Y.R.H. How deeply
does this cause me to lament my unhappy state of health. Much as I wish for
its entire restoration, still I greatly fear that this will never be the
case, and on this account I hope for Y.R.H.'s indulgence. As I can now at
length prove how gladly I place myself at Y.R.H.'s disposal, my most
anxious desire is that you would be pleased to make use of me.





I have just been enjoying a short walk and composing a Canon, "Grossen
Dank, / / /," when, on returning home, with the intention of writing it out
for Y.R.H., I find a petitioner who is under the delusion that his request
will be better received if made through me. What can I do? A good action
cannot be too soon performed, and even a whim must be sometimes humored.
The bearer of this is Kapellmeister Drechsler, of the Josephstadt and Baden
Theatre; he wishes to obtain the situation of second Court organist. He has
a good knowledge of thorough bass, and is also a good organist, besides
being favorably known as a composer,--all qualities that recommend him for
this situation. He _rightly_ thinks that the best recommendation to secure
him the appointment is that of Y.R.H., who, being yourself so great a
connoisseur and performer, know better than any one how to appreciate true
merit; and assuredly H.I. Majesty would prefer such testimony to every
other. I therefore add my entreaties, though with some hesitation, to those
of Herr D., relying on the indulgence and kindness of Y.R.H., and in the
hope that the illustrious patron and protector of all that is good will do
what lies in his power to be of use on this occasion.

My Canon shall be sent to-morrow,[1] together with the confession of my
sins, intentional and unintentional, for which I beg your gracious
absolution. My eyes, alas! prevent me from saying to-day as I could wish my
hopes and desires that all good may attend you.

P.S. I ought also to mention that Herr Drechsler is the unsalaried
professor of thorough bass at St. Anna's, and has been so for the last ten


[Footnote 1: The Canon, _Grossen Dank, / / /_, is not to be found in either
Breitkopf & Haertel's or Thayer's catalogue, nor anywhere else.]



Baden, September 5, 1823.


You advise me to engage some one to look after my affairs; now I did so as
to the Variations; that is, my brother and Schindler took charge of them,
but how?

The Variations were not to have appeared here till after being published in
London; but everything went wrong. The dedication to Brentano [Antonie v.
Brentano, _nee_ Edlen von Birkenstock] was to be confined to Germany, I
being under great obligations to her, and having nothing else to spare at
the moment; indeed, Diabelli, the publisher, alone got it from me. But
everything went through Schindler's hands. No man on earth was ever more
contemptible,--an arch villain; but I soon sent him packing! I will
dedicate some other work to your wife in the place of this one. You, no
doubt, received my last letter [No. 346]. I think thirty ducats would be
enough for one of the _Allegri di Bravura_, but I should like to publish
them here at the same time, which might easily be arranged. Why should I
give up so much profit to these rogues here? It will not be published here
till I am told that it has arrived in London; moreover, you may yourself
fix the price, as you best know London customs.

The copyist to-day at last finished the score of the Symphony; so
Kirchhoffer and I are only waiting for a favorable opportunity to send it
off. I am still here, being very ill when I arrived, and my health still
continues in a most precarious condition, and, good heavens! instead of
amusing myself like others at these baths, my necessities compel me to
write every day. I am also obliged to drink the mineral waters besides
bathing. The copy will shortly be sent off; I am only waiting till I hear
of an opportunity from Kirchhoffer, for it is too bulky to forward by post.

My last letter must have given you an insight into everything. I will send
you some choruses; let me have any commissions for oratorios as soon as you
can, that I may fix the time at once. I am sorry about the Variations on
account of ----, as I wrote them more for London than here. This is not my
fault. Answer me very soon, both as to particulars and time. Kind regards
to your family.



Baden, September 5, 1823.


I have still no tidings of the Symphony, but you may depend on its soon
being in London. Were I not so poor as to be obliged to live by my pen, I
would accept nothing from the Philharmonic Society; but as it is, I must
wait till the money for the Symphony is made payable here; though as a
proof of my interest and confidence in that Society, I have already sent
off the new Overture, and I leave it to them to settle the payment as they

My brother, who keeps his carriage, wished also to profit by me; so without
asking my permission, he offered this Overture to Boosey, a London
publisher. Pray, tell him that my brother was mistaken with regard to the
Overture. I see now that he bought it from me in order to practise usury
with it. _O Frater!!_

I have never yet received the Symphony you dedicated to me. If I did not
regard this dedication as a kind of challenge to which I am bound to
respond, I would ere this have dedicated some work to you. I always,
however, wished first to see yours, and how joyfully would I then testify
my gratitude to you in one way or another.

I am, indeed deeply your debtor for your kind services and many proofs of
attachment. Should my health improve by my intended course of baths, I hope
to kiss your wife in London in 1824.

Yours, ever,





I have just heard that Y.R.H. is expected here to-morrow. If I am still
unable to follow the impulse of my heart, I hope you will ascribe it to the
state of my eyes. I am better, but for some days to come I dare not breathe
the town air, so prejudicial to my eyes. I only wish that the next time
Y.R.H. returns from Baden, you would be so good as to let me know, and also
name the hour at which I am to present myself, and once more have the good
fortune to see my gracious master. But as it is probable Y.R.H. will not
long remain here, it is the more incumbent on us to take advantage of the
short time at our disposal to carry out our artistic discussions and
practice. I will myself bring "Grossen Dank, / / /," as it must be sent to
Baden. Herr Drechsler thanked me to-day for the _liberty_ I had taken in
recommending him to Y.R.H., who received him so graciously that I beg to
express my warmest gratitude for your kindness. I trust that Y.R.H. will
continue firm, for it is said that Abbe Stadler is endeavoring to procure
the situation in question for some one else. It would also be very
beneficial to Drechsler if Y.R.H. would vouchsafe to speak to Count
Dietrichstein[1] on the subject. I once more request the favor of being
told the date of your return from Baden, when I will instantly hasten into
town to wait on the best master I have in this world. Y.R.H.'s health seems
to be good; Heaven be praised that it is so, for the sake of so many who
wish it, and among this number I may certainly be included.


[Footnote 1: Count Moritz Dietrichstein was in 1823 Court director of the
royal band.]



I was very much affected on receiving your gracious letter yesterday. To
flourish under the shade of a stately verdant fruit-tree is refreshing to
any one capable of elevated thought and feeling, and thus it is with me
under the aegis of Y.R.H. My physician assured me yesterday that my malady
was disappearing, but I am still obliged to swallow a whole bottle of some
mixture every day, which weakens me exceedingly, and compels me, as Y.R.H.
will see from the enclosed instructions of the physician, to take a great
deal of exercise. I have every hope, however, that soon, even if not
entirely recovered, I shall be able to be a great deal with Y.R.H. during
your stay here. This hope will tend to recruit my health sooner than usual.
May Heaven bestow its blessings on me through Y.R.H., and may the Lord ever
guard and watch over you! Nothing can be more sublime than to draw nearer
to the Godhead than other men, and to diffuse here on earth these godlike
rays among mortals. Deeply impressed by the gracious consideration of
Y.R.H. towards me, I hope very soon to be able to wait on you.




Baden, September, 1823.


That your scandalous reports may no longer distress the poor Dresdener, I
must tell you that the money reached me to-day, accompanied by every
possible mark of respect to myself.

Though I should have been happy to offer you a _substantial_ acknowledgment
for the [illegible, effaced by Schindler] you have shown me, I cannot yet
accomplish to the full extent what I have so much at heart. I hope to be
more fortunate some weeks hence. [See No. 329.]

_Per il Signore Nobile, Papageno Schindler._




The occurrence that took place yesterday, which you will see in the police
reports, is only too likely to attract the notice of the established police
to this affair. The testimony of a person whose name is not given entirely
coincides with yours. In such a case private individuals cannot act; the
authorities alone are empowered to do so.[1]



[Footnote 1: Schindler says, "Brother Johann, the apothecary, was ill in
the summer of 1823, and during that time his disreputable wife visited her
lover, an officer, in the barracks, and was often seen walking with him in
the most frequented places, besides receiving him in her own house. Her
husband, though confined to bed, could see her adorning herself to go in
search of amusement with her admirer. Beethoven, who was informed of this
scandal from various quarters, appealed vigorously to his brother, in the
hope of persuading him to separate from his ill-conducted wife, but failed
in his attempt, owing to the indolence of this ill-regulated man." It was
Schindler, too, who prevented Beethoven making any further application to
the police. The following note probably refers to this. In his note-book of
November, 1823, is a Canon written by Beethoven on his brother Johann and
his family, on these words, "Fettluemerl Bankert haben triumphirt," no doubt
an allusion to the disgraceful incident we have mentioned. Brother Johann's
wife had a very lovely daughter before she married him.]



WISEACRE! I kiss the hem of your garment!




The directors wish to know your terms with regard to "Melusina." [See No.
331.] In so far she has asserted herself, which is certainly better than
being obliged to importune others on such matters. My household has been in
great disorder for some time past, otherwise I should have called on you,
and requested you to visit me in return.[1] Pray, write your conditions at
once, either to the directors or to myself, in which case I will undertake
to deliver them. I have been so busy that I could not call on you, nor can
I do so now, but hope to see you before long. My number is 323.

In the afternoons you will find me in the coffee-house opposite the
"Goldene Birne." If you do come, I beg that you may be _alone_. That
obtrusive appendage, Schindler, has long been most obnoxious to me, as you
must have perceived when at Hetzendorf,[2] _otium est vitium_. I embrace
and esteem you from my heart.



[Footnote 1: In the note-book of 1823 is written, in Beethoven's hand:

8th or 9th November, bad humor.
Another bad day.
Another bad day.

And underneath, in Schindler's hand:

Devil take such a life!]

[Footnote 2: The _Elegante Zeitung_ of 1858, No. 73, relates the following
anecdote about this visit:--"During the composition of the Opera many
conferences took place between the two artistic colleagues, when the new
work was zealously discussed on both sides. On one occasion the poet drove
out to visit the composer in the country. Beethoven's writing-desk was
placed somewhat like a sentry-box opposite a cupboard for provisions, the
contents of which compelled the housekeeper to be perpetually coming and
going, attracting thereby many an admonitory look askance in the midst of
his conversation from the deaf _maestro_. At last the clock struck the
dinner-hour. Beethoven went down to his cellar, and soon after returned
carrying four bottles of wine, two of which he placed beside the poet,
while the other two were allotted to the composer himself and a third
guest. After dinner Beethoven slipped out of the room, and held a short
parley with the coachman hired for the occasion, who was still waiting at
the door. When the time arrived for returning to town, Beethoven proposed
driving part of the way with his guests, and did not get out of the
carriage till close to the Burgthor. Scarcely was he gone when the
companions he had just quitted found some papers lying on the seat he had
vacated, which proved to be six _gulden_, the amount of the carriage-hire.
They instantly stopped the carriage, and shouted to their friend (who was
making off as quick as he could) that he had forgotten some money; but
Beethoven did not stand still till he was at a safe distance, when he waved
his hat, rejoicing with the glee of a child at the success of his trick.
There was no possibility of refusing his _naif_ generosity, and they had
sufficient delicacy of feeling not to poison his enjoyment by any untimely



Vienna, March 10, 1824.

... These are all I can at present give you for publication. I must, alas!
now speak of myself, and say that this, the greatest work I have ever
written, is well worth 1000 florins C.M. It is a new grand symphony, with a
finale and voice parts introduced, solo and choruses, the words being those
of Schiller's immortal "Ode to Joy," in the style of my pianoforte Choral
Fantasia, only of much greater breadth. The price is 600 florins C.M. One
condition is, indeed, attached to this Symphony, that it is not to appear
till next year, July, 1825; but to compensate for this long delay, I will
give you a pianoforte arrangement of the work gratis, and in more important
engagements you shall always find me ready to oblige you.




Frau S. [Schnaps] will provide what is required, so come to dinner to-day
at two o'clock. I have good news to tell you,[1] but this is quite _entre
nous_, for the _braineater_ [his brother Johann] must know nothing about

[Footnote 1: This no doubt refers to a letter from Prince Gallizin, March
11, 1824:--"I beg you will be so good as to let me know when I may expect
the Quartet, which I await with the utmost impatience. If you require
money, I request you will draw on Messrs. Stieglitz & Co., in St.
Petersburg, for the sum you wish to have, and it will be paid to your





Schuppanzigh assures me that you intend to be so kind as to lend me the
instruments required for my concert;[1] thus encouraged, I venture to ask
you to do so, and hope not to meet with a refusal when thus earnestly
soliciting you to comply with my request.

Your obedient servant,


[Footnote 1: It seems highly probable that this concert is the celebrated
one in the spring of 1824, when the Ninth Symphony and a portion of the
Grand Mass were performed.]



I am deeply indebted to your Highness for your invariable politeness, which
I prize probably the more from Y.H. being by no means devoid of sympathy
for my art. I hope one day to have the opportunity of proving my esteem for
your H.

[Footnote 1: Enclosed in a note to Schindler, who was to apply for the
great _Redoutensaal_ for the concert on April 8, 1824.]



Insincerity I despise; visit me no more; my concert is not to take place.


[Footnote 1: The originals of these three well-known notes were found by
Schindler on the piano, where Beethoven usually left things of the kind,
which he intended his amanuensis to take charge of. Lichnowsky,
Schuppanzigh, and Schindler had all met at Beethoven's, as if by chance, in
order to discuss with him some difficulties which stood in the way of the
concert. The suspicious _maestro_ saw only collusion and treachery in this,
and wrote these notes, which Schindler did not allow to be sent.]



Come no more to see me. I give no concert.




Do not come to me till I summon you. No concert.





As I hear that obstacles are likely to arise on the part of the royal
censorship to a portion of sacred music being given at an evening concert
in the Theatre "an der Wien," I must inform you that I have been
particularly requested to give these pieces, that the copies for this
purpose have already caused serious expense, and the intervening time is
too short to produce other new works. Besides, only three sacred
compositions are to be given, and these under the title of hymns. I do
earnestly entreat you, sir, to interest yourself in this matter, as there
are always so many difficulties to contend with on similar occasions.
Should this permission not be granted, I do assure you that it will be
impossible to give a concert at all, and the whole outlay expended on the
copying be thrown away. I hope you have not quite forgotten me.

I am, sir, with high consideration, yours,





If you have any information to give me, pray write it down; but seal the
note, for which purpose you will find wax and a seal on my table. Let me
know where Duport[1] lives, when he is usually to be met with, and whether
I could see him alone, or if it is probable that people will be there, and

I feel far from well. _Portez-vous bien._ I am still hesitating whether to
speak to Duport or to write to him, which I cannot do without bitterness.

Do not wait dinner for me; I hope you will enjoy it. I do not intend to
come, being ill from our bad fare of yesterday. A flask of wine is ready
for you.

[Footnote 1: Schindler says that on April 24, 1824, he applied to Duport,
at that time administrator of the Kaernthnerthor Theatre, in Beethoven's
name, to sanction his giving a grand concert there, allowing him to have
the use of the house for the sum of 400 florins C.M. Further, that the
conducting of the concert should be intrusted to Umlauf and Schuppanzigh,
and the solos to Mesdames Unger and Sonntag, and to the bass singer



I beg you will come to see me to-morrow, as I have a tale to tell you as
sour as vinegar. Duport said yesterday that he had written to me, though I
have not yet got his letter, but he expressed his satisfaction, which is
best of all. The chief feat however is not yet performed, that which is to
be acted in front of the _Proscenium_!

[In Beethoven's writing:] Yours, _from C# below to high F_,


[Footnote 1: Written by his nephew.]



After six weeks of discussion, here, there, and everywhere, I am fairly
boiled, stewed, and roasted. What will be the result of this much-talked-of
concert if the prices are not raised? What shall I get in return for all my
outlay, as the copying alone costs so much?



At twelve o'clock to-day "in die Birne" [an inn on the
Landstrasse]--thirsty and hungry--then to the coffee-house, back again
here, and straight to Penzing, or I shall lose the lodging.



When you write to me, write exactly as I do to you, without any formal
address or signature--_vita brevis, ars longa_. No necessity for details;
only the needful!



Baden, May 27, 1824.


Have the goodness to give me a proof of your great complaisance, by using
your hand-rostrum (ruler) (not _Rostrum Victoriatum_) to rule 202 lines of
music for me, somewhat in the style I now send, and also on equally fine
paper, which you must include in your account. Send it, if possible,
to-morrow evening by Carl, for I require it.

Perhaps plenary indulgence may then be granted.




You would really do me great injustice were you to suppose that negligence
prevented my sending you the tickets; I assure you that it was my intention
to do so, but I forgot it like many other things. I hope that some other
opportunity may occur to enable me to prove my sentiments with regard to
you. I am, I assure you, entirely innocent of all that Duport has done, in
the same way that it was _he_ who thought fit to represent the Terzet [Op.
116] as new, _not I_. You know too well my love of truth; but it is better
to be silent now on the subject, as it is not every one who is aware of the
true state of the case, and I, though innocent, might incur blame. I do not
at all care for the other proposals Duport makes, as by this concert I have
lost both time and money. In haste, your friend,





Be so good as to read the enclosed, and kindly forward it at once to the

Your servant and _amicus_,




The horn part and the score are shortly to follow. We are immensely
indebted to you. Observe the laws. Sing often my Canon in silence,--_per
resurrectionem_, &c. Farewell!

Your friend,




Have the goodness to send me my shoes and my sword. You can have the loan
of the "Eglantine" for six days, for which, however, you must give an
acknowledgment. Farewell!





Baden, June 12.


Something worth having has been put in your way; so make the most of it.
You will no doubt come off with a handsome fee, and all expenses paid. As
for the March with Chorus [in the "Ruins of Athens," Op. 114], you have yet
to send me the sheets for final revision, also the Overture in E flat ["To
King Stephen," Op. 117]; the Terzet [Op. 116]; the Elegy [Op. 118]; the
Cantata ["_Meeresstille und glueckliche Fahrt_," Op. 112]; and the Opera.
Out with them all! or I shall be on very little ceremony, your right having
already expired. My liberality alone confers on you a larger sum than you
do on me. I want the score of the Cantata for a few days, as I wish to
write a kind of recitative for it; mine is so torn that I cannot put it
together, so I must have it written out from the parts. Has the Leipzig
musical paper yet retracted its lies about the medal I got from the late
King of France?

I no longer receive the paper, which is a shabby proceeding. If the editor
does not rectify the statement, I shall cause him and his consumptive chief
to be _harpooned_ in the northern waters among the whales.

Even this barbarous Baden is becoming enlightened, and now instead of
_gutten Brunn_, people write _guten Brun_. But tell me what are they about
in Paternoster Street?

I am, with all esteem for yourself, but with none for the barbarian

Your devoted, _incomparativo_,


Paternoster-Gaessel _primus_ will no doubt, like Mephistopheles, emit fiery
flames from his jaws.




Pray forgive my asking you to send me the score of my Mass,[1] being in
urgent need of it; but I repeat that no public use is to be made of it
until I can let you know _how_ and _when_. It will be at first performed
under my direction, with the addition of several new pieces composed
expressly for it, which I will with pleasure send to you afterwards. There
are certain conventionalities which must be observed, especially as I am so
dependent on foreign connections, for Austria does not furnish me with the
means of existence, and gives me nothing but vexation. I will soon appoint
a day for you to visit Carl.

I remain, sir, with the highest esteem, yours,


[Footnote 1: This letter seems to be addressed to Diabelli, who in the
summer of 1824 begged the loan of the Mass in D for a few days, but
neglected to return it.]



Vienna, July 3, 1824


Overwhelmed with work and concerts, it is only now in my power to inform
you that the works you wished to have are finished and transcribed, and can
be delivered at any time to Herr Gloeggl [music publisher in Vienna]. I
therefore request you will transmit the 100 Viennese ducats to Herr Gloeggl,
and let me know when you have done so. I must conclude for to-day, and
defer the pleasure of writing further till another opportunity. I am, with
esteem, yours obediently,


[Footnote 1: Probst answered the letter as follows:--

"August 18, 1824.

"The many gossiping reports about the differences between you and a
publisher here in a similar transaction are the cause, I frankly own, of my
wishing first to see your manuscript. The piracy in engraving, so universal
in Austria, often prevents the German publisher paying the price for a work
which it merits; and even at this moment in Vienna, with regard to your
compositions [Schindler mentions three songs with pianoforte accompaniment,
six _bagatelles_, and a grand overture], I can see that the birds of prey
are on the watch to rob me of them under the shelter of the law."

On one of these letters Beethoven writes in pencil, "Do not listen to
gossip; I have no time at this moment to enter on the subject, but I have
all the proofs in my own hands; more of this hereafter."]




Have the goodness to send me the Rochlitz article on the Beethoven works,
and we will return it to you forthwith by the flying, driving, riding, or
migrating post.



[Footnote 1: The _Rochlitz'sche article_ is probably the report in the
_A.M. Zeitung_ of the works performed at the grand concert of May 7.]




The Overture[1] that you got from my brother was recently performed here,
and I received many eulogiums on the occasion.

What is all this compared to the grandest of all masters of harmony above!
above! above! Rightfully the _Most High_! While here below all is a mere
mockery--_Dwarfs_--and the _Most High_!!

You shall receive the Quartet with the other works. You are open and
candid, qualities which I never before found in publishers, and this
pleases me. I say so in writing, but who knows whether it may not soon be
in person? I wish you would transmit the sum due for the Quartet to P., as
at this moment I require a great deal of money, for I derive everything
from foreign sources, and sometimes a delay occurs--caused by myself.

[Footnote 1: The Overture to which he alludes is no doubt Op. 124, in C
major, _Zur Weihe des Hauses_, published by Schott. It was performed in the
great concert of May 23 of this year (1824), which in the estimation of a
Beethoven, already absorbed in new great works, might well be termed
"recently performed." Schott himself says the letter is written between
July 3 and September 17, 1824.]



Baden, August 23, 1824.


I live--how?--the life of a snail. The unfavorable weather constantly
throws me back, and at these baths it is impossible to command one's
natural strength. A few days ago, Naegeli, a musical author and poet of
considerable repute, wrote to me from Zurich; he is about to publish 200
poems, and among these some are suitable for musical composition. He urged
me much to apply to Y.R.H. to request that you would be graciously pleased
to subscribe to this collection. The price is very moderate, 20 groschen,
or 1 florin 80 kreutzers. Were Y.R.H. to subscribe for six copies, it would
immediately be noised abroad, although I am well aware that my illustrious
master does not care for anything of the kind; it will suffice for the
present if Y.R.H. will condescend to inform me of your will on the subject.
The money can be paid when the copies arrive, probably a couple of months
hence. I have conveyed Herr Naegeli's request, and now I must ask another
favor, on his account, from myself. Everything cannot be measured by line
and plummet; but Wieland says: "A little book may be well worth a few
_groschen_." Will Y.R.H. therefore honor these poems by permitting your
august name to be prefixed to them, as a token of your sympathy for the
benefit of this man? the work is not likely to be quite devoid of value.
Being convinced of Y.R.H.'s interest in all that is noble and beautiful, I
hope I shall not fail in my intercession for Naegeli, and I beg that Y.R.H.
will give me a written permission to inform Naegeli that you will be one of
his subscribers.

I remain, with all dutiful fidelity and devotion, your R. Highness's
obedient servant,




Baden, August 29, 1824.


How active our _mahogany Holz_ [wood] is! My plans are decided. We will
give the present quartet to Artaria, and the last to Peters. You see I have
learned something; I now perceive why I first _explored the path_; it was
for your sake, that you might find it smooth. My digestion is terribly out
of order, and no physician! I wish to have some ready-made pens, so send
some in a letter. Don't write to Peters on Saturday; we had better wait a
little, to show him our indifference on the subject.

Since yesterday I have only taken some soup, and a couple of eggs, and
drank nothing but water; my tongue is discolored; and without medicine and
tonics, whatever my farcical doctor may say, my digestion will never

The third quartet [in C sharp minor, Op. 131] also contains six movements,
and will certainly be finished in ten or twelve days at most. Continue to
love me, my dear boy; if I ever cause you pain, it is not from a wish to
grieve you, but for your eventual benefit. I now conclude. I embrace you
cordially. All I wish is that you should be loving, industrious, and
upright. Write to me, my dear son. I regret all the trouble I give you, but
it will not go on long. Holz seems inclined to become our friend. I expect
a letter soon from [illegible].

Your faithful





I wrote to you that a quartet ["and a grand one too" is effaced] is ready
for you; as soon, therefore, as you let me know that you will accept it for
the 360 florins C.M., or 80 ducats, I will at once forward it to you. My
works are now paid at a higher rate than ever; besides, you have only
yourself to blame in this affair. Your own letters show what you formerly
desired to have, and the works I sent you were _what they ought to have
been_ (the numerous pirated editions prove the truth of this); but the
Quartet will convince you that, so far from wishing to take my revenge, I
now give you what could not possibly be better, were it intended even for
my best friend.

I beg that you will make no delay, so that I may receive your answer by the
next post; otherwise I must forthwith return you the 360 florins C.M. I
shall, at all events, be rather in a scrape, for there is a person who
wishes to have not only this but another newly finished work of mine,
though he does not care to take only one. It is solely because you have
waited so long (though you are yourself to blame for this) that I separate
the Quartet from the following one, now also completed. (Do you think that
the latter ought to be also offered here? but, of course, cunningly and
warily: _comme marchand coquin!_) You need have no misgivings that I am
sending you something merely to fulfil my promise; no, I assure you on my
honor as an artist that you may place me on a level with the lowest of men,
if you do not find that it is one of my very best works.



Baden, September 9, 1824.


The Cardinal Archduke is in Vienna, and owing to my health, I am here. I
only yesterday received from him a gracious written consent to subscribe to
your poems, on account of the services you have rendered to the progress of
music. He takes six copies of your work. I will shortly send you the proper
address. An anonymous friend is also on the list of subscribers. I mean
myself, for as you do me the honor to become my panegyrist, I will on no
account allow my name to appear. How gladly would I have subscribed for
more copies, but my means are too straitened to do so. The father of an
adopted son, (the child of my deceased brother,) I must for his sake think
and act for the _future_ as well as for the _present_. I recollect that you
previously wrote to me about a subscription; but at that time I was in very
bad health, and continued an invalid for more than three years, but now I
am better. Send also the complete collection of your lectures direct to the
Archduke Rudolph, and, if possible, dedicate them to him; you are certain
at all events to receive a present, not a very large one probably, but
still better than nothing; put some complimentary expressions in the
preface, for he understands music, and it is his chief delight and
occupation. I do really regret, knowing his talents, that I cannot devote
myself to him as much as formerly.

I have made various applications to procure you subscribers, and shall let
you know as soon as I receive the answers. I wish you would also send me
your lectures, and likewise Sebastian Bach's five-part Mass, when I will at
once remit you the money for both. Pray, do not imagine that I am at all
guided by self-interest; I am free from all petty vanity; in godlike Art
alone dwells the impulse which gives me strength to sacrifice the best part
of my life to the celestial Muse. From childhood my greatest pleasure and
felicity consisted in working for others; you may therefore conclude how
sincere is my delight in being in any degree of use to you, and in showing
you how highly I appreciate all your merits. As one of the votaries of
Apollo, I embrace you.

Yours cordially,


Write to me soon about the Archduke, that I may introduce the subject to
his notice; you need take no steps towards seeking permission for the
dedication. It will and ought to be a surprise to him.



Baden, evening, September 14, 1824.


Whether it rains heavily to-morrow or not, stifling dust or pouring rain
would be equally prejudicial to me. It does grieve me to know that you are
so long with this demon; but, pray, strive to keep out of her way. You must
give her a letter, written in my name, to the manager of the hospital, in
which you must state that she did not come on the 1st, partly because she
was unwell, and also from various people having come here to meet me,
_Basta cosi_!

I send you 40 florins for the singing-master [corepetiteur]. Get a written
receipt from him: how many mistakes are thus avoided! and this should be
done by every one who pays money for another. Did not Holz bring Rampel's
receipt [the copyist] unasked, and do not others act in the same way? Take
the white waistcoat for yourself, and have the other made for me. You can
bring the metronome with you; nothing can be done with it. Bring also your
linen sheets and two coverlets, and some lead-pencils and patterns; be sure
you get the former at the Brandstatt. And now farewell, my dear son; come
to my arms as early as you can,--perhaps to-morrow. [The paper is here torn

As ever, your faithful


P.S. All that could be done was to send you by the old woman's _char a
banc_, which, however, including everything, costs 8 florins 36 kreutzers.

Do not forget anything, and be careful of your health.



Vienna, September 16, 1824.


I gladly comply with your wish that I should arrange the vocal parts of my
last Grand Mass for the organ, or piano, for the use of the different
choral societies. This I am willing to do, chiefly because these choral
associations, by their private and still more by their church festivals,
make an unusually profound impression on the multitude, and my chief object
in the composition of this Grand Mass was to awaken, and deeply to impress,
religious feelings both on singers and hearers. As, however, a copy of this
kind and its repeated revision must cause a considerable outlay, I cannot,
I fear, ask less than 50 ducats for it, and leave it to you to make
inquiries on the subject, so that I may devote my time exclusively to it.

I am, with high consideration,

Your obedient




Baden, near Vienna, September 17, 1824.

The Quartet [Op. 127, in E flat major] you shall also certainly receive by
the middle of October. Overburdened by work, and suffering from bad health,
I really have some claim on the indulgence of others. I am here entirely
owing to my health, or rather to the want of it, although I already feel
better. Apollo and the Muses do not yet intend me to become the prey of the
bony Scytheman, as I have yet much to do for you, and much to bequeath
which my spirit dictates, and calls on me to complete, before I depart
hence for the Elysian fields; for I feel as if I had written scarcely more
than a few notes of music.

I wish your efforts all possible success in the service of art; it is that
and science alone which point the way, and lead us to hope for a higher
life. I will write again soon. In haste, your obedient




Baden, September 23, 1824.


As soon as I arrive in town, I will write Bernard's Oratorio [see No. 257],
and I beg you will also transmit him payment for it. We can discuss when we
meet in town what we further require and think necessary, and in the
mean-time, I appoint you High and Puissant Intendant of all singing and
humming societies, Imperial Violoncello-General, Inspector of the Imperial
_Chasse_, as well as Deacon of my gracious master, without house or home,
and without a prebendary (like myself). I wish you all these, most faithful
servant of my illustrious master, as well as everything else in the world,
from which you may select what you like best.[1] That there may be no
mistake, I hereby declare that it is our intention to set to music the
Bernard Oratorio, the "Sieg des Kreuzes" and speedily to complete the same.
Witness this our sign and seal,


1st P.S. Take care that the venison is not devoured by rats or mice--you
understand? Strive for better choice and variety.

Yours, as a Christian and in Apollo,


2d P.S. As for the little flag on the white tower, we hope soon to see it
waving again!

[Footnote 1: An allusion to Hauschka's subserviency to all persons in high
Court offices.]



Vienna, November 17, 1824.


Deeply absorbed in work, and not sufficiently protected against this late
season of the year, I have again been ill; so believe me it was impossible
for me to write to you sooner. With regard to your subscription, I have
only succeeded in getting one subscriber for two copies, Herr v. Bihler,
tutor in the family of His Imperial Highness the Archduke Carl; he tried to
get the Archduke also, but failed. I have exerted myself with every one,
but, unluckily, people are here actually deluged with things of the same
kind. This is all that I can write to you in my hurry. I urged the matter,
too, on Haslinger, but in vain; we are really poor here in Austria, and the
continued pressure of the war leaves but little for art and science. I will
see that the subscriptions are paid, but let me know distinctly where the
money is to be sent to. I embrace you in spirit. Always rely on the high
esteem of your true friend,




November 18, 1824.


On my return from Baden, illness prevented my waiting on Y.R.H. according
to my wish, being prohibited going out; thus yesterday was the first time I
dared to venture again into the open air. When your gracious letter
arrived, I was confined to bed, and under the influence of sudorifics, my
illness having been caused by a chill; so it was impossible for me to rise.
I feel sure that Y.R.H is well aware that I never would neglect the respect
so properly your due. I shall have the pleasure of waiting on you to-morrow
forenoon. Moreover, there will be no lack of opportunity here to awaken the
interest Y.R.H. takes in music, which cannot fail to prove so beneficial to
art,--ever my refuge, thank God!

I remain Y.R.H.'s obedient servant,




Vienna, November 18, 1824.

I regret being obliged to tell you that some little time must yet elapse
before I can send off the works. There was not in reality much to revise in
the copies; but as I did not pass the summer here, I am obliged to make up
for this now, by giving two lessons a day to H.R.H. the Archduke Rudolph.
This exhausts me so much that it almost entirely unfits me for all else.
Moreover, I cannot live on my income, and my pen is my sole resource; but
_no consideration is shown either for my health or my precious time_. I do
hope that this may not long continue, when I will at once complete the
slight revision required. Some days ago I received a proposal which
concerns you also; its purport being that a foreign music publisher was
disposed, &c., &c., to form a connection with you, in order to guard
against piracy. I at once declined the offer, having had sufficiently
painful experience on these matters. (Perhaps this was only a pretext to
spy into my affairs!)



I send you my greetings, and also wish to tell you that I am not going out
to-day. I should be glad to see you, perhaps this evening after your office

In haste, your friend,


I am by no means well.




The well-beloved government wishes to see me to-day at ten o'clock. I beg
you will go in my place; but first call on me, which you can arrange
entirely according to your own convenience. I have already written a letter
to the _powers that be_, which you can take with you. I much regret being
forced to be again so troublesome to you, but my going is out of the
question, and the affair must be brought to a close,





Vienna, December 17 [Beethoven's birthday], 1824.

I write to say that a week must yet elapse before the works can be
dispatched to you. The Archduke only left this yesterday, and much precious
time was I obliged to spend with him. I am beloved and highly esteemed by
him, _but_--I cannot live on that, and the call from every quarter to
remember "that he who has a lamp ought to pour oil into it" finds no
response here.

As the score ought to be correctly engraved, I must look it over repeatedly
myself, for I have no clever copyist at present. Pray, do not think ill of
me! _Never_ was I guilty of anything base!


March, 1825.


Each is herewith appointed to his own post, and formally taken into our
service, pledging his honor to do his best to distinguish himself, and each
to vie with the other in zeal.

Every individual cooperating in this performance must subscribe his name to
this paper.[1]

Schuppanzigh, (_Manu propria._)
Linke, (M.P.)
Confounded violoncello of the great masters.
Holz, (M.P.)
The _last_, but only as to his signature.

[Footnote 1: In reference to the rehearsals of the first production of the
E flat major Quartet, Op. 127, in March, 1825.]



The Spring of 1825.

I have waited till half-past one o'clock, but as the _caput confusum_ has
not come, I know nothing of what is likely to happen. Carl must be off to
the University in the Prater; so I am obliged to go, that Carl, who must
leave this early, may have his dinner first. I am to be found in the "Wilde
Mann" [an inn in the Prater].

To Herr Schindler, _Moravian numskull_.[1]

[Footnote 1: Schindler was a Moravian.]




Having heard Herr v. Bocklet very highly spoken of, I think it would be
advisable to ask him kindly to play in the trio at your concert. I do not
know him myself, or I would have applied to him on your behalf. Always rely
on me when it is in my power to serve you.

Yours truly,


[Footnote 1: Bocklet, a pianist in Vienna, tells me that he rehearsed the
Trio with Holz and Linke in 1825 or 1826 at Beethoven's.]


TO * * *


Through the stupidity of my housekeeper your mother was recently sent away
from my house, without my having been informed of her visit. I highly
disapprove of such incivility, especially as the lady was not even shown
into my apartments. The _rudeness_ and _coarseness_ of the persons whom I
am so unfortunate as to have in my service are well known to every one; I
therefore request your forgiveness.

Your obedient servant,


[Footnote 1: In the New Vienna _Musik Zeitung_ the occasion of this note is
thus related:--"In 1825, a well-known artist and _dilettante_ in the
composition of music published a book of waltzes, each of these being
composed by the most popular and celebrated musicians of the day; as no one
declined giving a musical contribution to the editor, the profits being
intended to enable him to go to Carlsbad for the benefit of the waters
there. The work met with unusual support and sympathy. It then occurred to
the editor to apply for a contribution to the great Ludwig van Beethoven,
with whom he had been acquainted in former days through his father and
grandfather. The great musician at once, in the most gracious and amiable
manner, promised to comply with the request, and sent him not only a waltz,
but (the only one who did so) also a trio, desiring the editor to send in
the course of a month for these works, which would by that time be
completed. As the editor was in the mean time taken ill, he was not able to
call for the work himself, and was thus obliged to give up this interesting
visit. He therefore requested his mother to apply for the waltz, &c., and
to express his thanks; but the housekeeper, to whom she gave her name,
refused to admit her, saying she could not do so, 'for her master was in
such a crazy mood.' As at this very moment Beethoven chanced to put his
head in at the door, she hurried the lady into a dark room, saying, 'Hide
yourself, as it is quite impossible that anyone can speak to him to-day,'
getting out of the way herself as fast as she could. A couple of days
afterwards Beethoven sent the waltz, &c., to the house of the musical
editor in question, with the above letter."]



Vienna, April 9, 1825.


I write only what is most pressing! So far as I can remember in the score
of the Symphony [the 9th] that I sent you, in the first hautboy, 242d bar,
there stands [Music: F E D] instead of [Music: F E E]. I have carefully
revised all the instrumental parts, but those of the brass instruments only
partially, though I believe they are tolerably correct. I would already
have sent you my score [for performance at the Aix musical festival], but I
have still a concert in prospect, if indeed my health admits of it, and
this MS. is the only score I possess. I must now soon go to the country, as
this is the only season when I profit by it.

You will shortly receive the second copy of the "Opferlied;" mark it at
once as corrected by myself, that it may not be used along with the one you
already possess. It is a fine specimen of the wretched copyists I have had
since Schlemmer's death. It is scarcely possible to rely on a single note.
As you have now got all the parts of the _finale_ of the Symphony copied
out, I have likewise sent you the score of the choral parts. You can easily
score these before the chorus commences, and when the vocal parts begin, it
could be contrived, with a little management, to affix the instrumental
parts just above the scored vocal parts. It was impossible for me to write
all these out at once, and if we had hurried such a copyist, you would have
got nothing but mistakes.

I send you an Overture in C, 6/8 time, not yet published; you shall have
the engraved parts by the next post. A _Kyrie_ and _Gloria_, two of the
principal movements (of the solemn Mass in D major), and an Italian vocal
duet, are also on their way to you. You will likewise receive a grand march
with chorus, well adapted for a musical performance on a great scale, but I
think you will find what I have already sent quite sufficient.

Farewell! You are now in the regions of the Rhine [Ries at that time lived
at Godesberg, near Bonn], which will ever be so dear to me! I wish you and
your wife every good that life can bestow! My kindest and best regards to
your father, from your friend,






It will give me much pleasure to send you some day soon the score of
Matthisson's "Opferlied." The whole of it, published and unpublished, is
quite at your service. Would that my circumstances permitted me to place at
once at your disposal the greater works I have written, before they have
been heard. I am, alas! fettered on this point; but it is possible that
such an opportunity may hereafter occur, when I shall not fail to take
advantage of it.

The enclosed letter is for Hofrath v. Kiesewetter. I beg you will be so
good as to deliver it, especially as it concerns yourself quite as much as
the Herr Hofrath.

I am, with high esteem, your devoted friend,


[Footnote 1: This note is addressed to Jenger in Vienna, a chancery
official and a musical amateur, connoisseur, factotum, and distinguished
pianist. The date is not known. The _Opferlied_ he refers to, is
undoubtedly the 2d arrangement, Op. 121-b, which according to the Leipzig
_A.M. Zeitung_ was performed as Beethoven's "most recent poetical and
musical work," at the concert in the Royal Redoutensaal, April 4, 1824.]



I have much pleasure in herewith contributing to the "Cecilia"[1] and its
readers some Canons written by me, as a supplement to a humorous and
romantic biography of Herr Tobias Haslinger residing here, which is shortly
to appear in three parts.

In the _first_ part, Tobias appears as the assistant of the celebrated and
solid Kapellmeister Fux, holding the ladder for his _Gradus ad Parnassum_.
Being, however, mischievously inclined, he contrives, by shaking and moving
the ladder, to cause many who had already climbed up a long way, suddenly
to fall down, and break their necks.

He now takes leave of this earthly clod and comes to light again in the
_second_ part in the time of Albrechtsberger. The already existing Fux,
_nota cambiata_, is now dealt with in conjunction with Albrechtsberger. The
alternating subjects of the Canon are most fully illustrated. The art of
creating musical skeletons is carried to the utmost limit, &c.

Tobias begins once more to spin his web as a caterpillar, and comes forth
again in the _third_ part, making his third appearance in the world. His
half-fledged wings bear him quickly to the Paternostergaessel, of which he
becomes the Kapellmeister. Having emerged from the school of the _nota
cambiata_, he retains only the _cambiata_ and becomes a member of several
learned societies, &c. But here are the Canons.

On a certain person of the name of Schwencke.[2]

[Music: treble clef, key of F major, 3/4 time.
Schwen-ke dich, Schwen-ke dich oh-ne
Schwaen-ke, oh-ne Schwaen-ke, oh-ne Schwaen-ke, oh-ne
Schwaen-ke / / / / /
Schwen-ke dich, schwen-ke dich, schwen-ke dich / /
/ / / / / / / /]

On a certain person of the name of Hoffmann.

[Music: treble clef, key of C, 3/4 time.
Hoff-mann! Hoff-mann! Sei ja kein Hof-mann!
ja kein Hof-mann! nein, nein / nein / / /
ich hei-sse Hoff-mann und bin kein Hof-mann]


[Footnote 1: A periodical published for the musical world, and edited by a
society of _savants_, art-critics, and artists; Mayence, B. Schott & Sons.
The publishers applied to Beethoven, in the name of the editors, for a
contribution to the _Cecilia_.]

[Footnote 2: It appears that Kapellmeister Schwencke in Hamburg, in many
complimentary and flowery phrases, had requested Beethoven to send him his
autograph. Perhaps Beethoven, to whom the sound of certain names appeared
comical, alludes here to this Hamburg Kapellmeister Schwencke.]



May 3, 1825.

As I was just starting for the country yesterday, I was obliged to make
some preparations myself; so unluckily your visit to me was in vain.
Forgive me in consideration of my very delicate health. As perhaps I may
not see you again, I wish you every possible prosperity. Think of me when
writing your poems.

Your friend,


Convey my affectionate regards and esteem to Zelter,--that faithful prop of
true art.

Though convalescent, I still feel very weak. Kindly accept the following
token of remembrance from

Your friend,


[Music: treble clef, C-major.
Das Schoe-ne mit dem Guten.]


TO * * *



Being on the point of going into the country, and only very recently
recovered from an attack of internal inflammation, I can merely write you a
few words. In the passage in the "Opferlied," 2d strophe, where it runs

[Music: C-clef on bottom line, A major, marked "Solostimme".

I wish it to be written thus:--

[Music: E-rde. (with different notes)]



Baden, May 6, 1825.

The bell and bell-pulls, &c., &c., are on no account whatever to be left in
my former lodging. No proposal was ever made to these people to take any of
my things. Indisposition prevented my sending for it, and the locksmith had
not come during my stay to take down the bell; otherwise it might have been
at once removed and sent to me in town, as they have no right whatever to
retain it. Be this as it may, I am quite determined not to leave the bell
there, for I require one here, and therefore intend to use the one in
question for my purpose, as a similar one would cost me twice as much as in
Vienna, bell-pulls being the most expensive things locksmiths have. If
necessary, apply at once to the police. The window in my room is precisely
in the same state as when I took possession, but I am willing to pay for
it, and also for the one in the kitchen,--2 florins 12 kreutzers for the
two. The key I will not pay for, as I found none; on the contrary, the door
was fastened or nailed up when I came, and remained in the same condition
till I left; there never was a key, so of course neither I myself, nor
those who preceded me, could make use of one. Perhaps it is intended to
make a collection, in which case I am willing to put my hand in my pocket.





It strikes me as very remarkable that Carl cannot be persuaded to go into
good society, where he might amuse himself in a creditable manner. This
almost leads me to suspect that he possibly finds recreations, both in the
evening and at night, in less respectable company. I entreat you to be on
your guard as to this, and on no pretext whatever to allow him to leave the
house at night, unless you receive a written request from me to that
effect, by Carl. He once paid a visit, with my sanction, to Herr Hofrath
Breuning. I strongly recommend this matter to your attention; it is far
from being indifferent, either to you or to me; so I would once more urge
you to practise the greatest vigilance.

I am, sir,

Your obedient


[Footnote 1: In 1825, his nephew lived with Schlemmer in the Alleengasse,
close to the Karlskirche.]



Frau Schlemmer is to receive, or has already received, her money by our
housekeeper. Some letters must be written to-morrow. Let me know what time
would suit you best? Your


I left my pocket-handkerchief with you.



I have this moment got your letter. I still feel very weak and solitary,
and only read the horrid letter I enclose! I send you 25 florins to buy the
books at once, and you can spend the surplus when you require to do so.
Pray bring me back Reisser's note.[2] On Saturday, the 14th of May, I will
send a carriage into town to fetch you here; the charge is as yet very
reasonable. The old woman is to inquire what hour will suit you best; you
can set off at any time before six in the evening, so that you need neglect
nothing. Perhaps I may come myself, and then your shirts might be
purchased; in which case it would be as well if you were to be at liberty
by four o'clock; but if I do not come, which is very possible, drive
straight here at five or six o'clock in the evening. You will not thus feel
so much fatigued, and you can leave this again on Monday, if nothing is
neglected by the delay. You can take the money with you for the
Correpetitor. Are you aware that this affair of the Correpetitor, including
board and lodging, amounts to 2000 florins a year? I can write no more
to-day, I can scarcely guide my pen. Show this letter to Reisser.

Your affectionate


[Footnote 1: I have arranged the following notes to his nephew in their
probable succession as to time. Schindler has given some of these in his
_Biography_, but quite at random, and disjointed, without any reliable
chronological order.]

[Footnote 2: Reisser was Vice-Director of the Polytechnic Institution,
where the nephew had been placed for some time. Reisser had also undertaken
the office of his co-guardian. Beethoven sometimes writes _Reissig_.]



Baden, May 13, 1825.


_Doctor._ "How does our patient get on?"

_Patient._ "Still in a bad way, feeling weak and irritable, and I think
that at last we must have recourse to stronger medicines, and yet not too
violent; surely I might now drink white wine with water, for that
deleterious beer is quite detestable. My catarrhal condition is indicated
by the following symptoms. I spit a good deal of blood, though probably
only from the windpipe. I have constant bleeding from the nose, which has
been often the case this winter. There can be no doubt that my digestion is
terribly weakened, and in fact my whole system, and, so far as I know my
own constitution, my strength will never be recruited by its natural

_Doctor._ "I will prescribe for you, and soon, very soon, shall your health
be restored."

_Patient._ "How glad I should be to sit down at my writing-table, with some
cheerful companions. Reflect on this proposal." _Finis._

P.S. I will call on you as soon as I come to town, only tell Carl at what
hour I am likely to see you. It would be a good plan to give Carl
directions what I am to do. (I took the medicine only once, and have lost

I am, with esteem and gratitude,

Your friend,


[Music: Treble clef, C major, 2/2 time.
Doctor sperrt das Thor dem Todt:
Rote hilft auch aus der Roth.
Doctor sperrt das Thor dem Todt:
Rote hilft auch aus der Roth.]

Written on May 11th, 1825, in Baden, Helenenthal, second floor,
Anton's-Bruecke, near Siechenfeld.



Baden, May 17.


The weather here is abominable, and the cold greater even than yesterday;
so much so that I have scarcely the use of my fingers to write; this is the

Book of the day: