Beethoven’s Letters 1790-1826 Volume 2 by Lady Wallace

This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

Produced by Juliet Sutherland, John Williams and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.














216. To Steiner & Co.
217. To the Same
218. To Tobias Haslinger
219. To the Same
220. To Baroness Dorothea von Ertmann 221. To Zmeskall
222. To Steiner & Co.
223. To G. del Rio
224. To the Same
225. To the Same
226. To the Same
227. To the Same
228. To Czerny
229. To the Same
230. To the Same
231. To Zmeskall
232. To G. del Rio
233. To Frau von Streicher
234. To the Same
235. To the Same
236. To F. Ries, London
237. To Zmeskall
238. To the Same
239. To Frau von Streicher
240. To G. del. Rio
241. To Zmeskall
242. To the Same
243. To the Same
244. To the Same
245. To Frau von Streicher
246. To the Same
247. To the Same
248. To the Same
249. To the Archduke Rudolph
250. To G. del Rio
251. To the Same
252. To the Archduke Rudolph
253. To G. del Rio
254. To the Same
255. To Czerny
256. To F. Ries, London
257. To the Rechnungsrath Vincenz Hauschka 258. To the Archduke Rudolph
259. To the Same
260. To Ferdinand Ries
261. To the Same
262. To the Same
263. To the Philharmonic Society in Laibach 264. To Ferdinand Ries, London
265. To the Archduke Rudolph
266. To the Same
267. To the Same
268. To the Same
269. To the Same
270. To the Same
271. To the Same
272. To the Same
273. To the Same
274. To the Same
275. To the Same
276. To Herr Bloechlinger
277. Canon on Herr Schlesinger
278. To Artaria, Vienna
279. A Sketch by Beethoven
280. To Artaria
281. Petition to the Magistracy
282. To F. Ries, London
283. To the Archduke Rudolph
284. Memorandum
285. To the Archduke Rudolph
286. To the Same
287. To the Royal and Imperial High Court of Appeal 288. To the Archduke Rudolph
289. Testimonial in favor of Herr von Kandeler 290. To Theodore Amadeus Hoffmann
291. To Haslinger
292. To the Same
293. To the Archduke Rudolph
294. To the Same
295. To Artaria & Co.
296. To Bolderini
297. To the Archduke Rudolph
298. To Artaria & Co.
299. To Haslinger
300. To the Archduke Rudolph
301. To the Same
302. To Steiner & Co.
303. To a Friend
304. To the Archduke Rudolph
305. To F. Ries, London
306. To Herren Peters & Co., Leipzig 307. To the Same
308. To the Same
309. To Artaria
310. To Herr Peters, Leipzig
311. To the Archduke Rudolph
312. To Herr Peters, Leipzig
313. To F. Ries, London
314. To Ignaz Ritter von Seyfried



315. To Zelter
316. To F. Ries, London
317. To Schindler
318. To the Same
319. To Herr Kind
320. To Cherubini
321. To Schindler
322. To Herr Peters, Leipzig
323. To Zelter
324. To the Archduke Rudolph
325. To Schindler
326. To F. Ries, London
327. To Herr Lissner, Petersburg
328. To Schindler
329. To the Same
330. To the Same
331. To the Same
332. To the Same
333. To the Same
334. To the Same
335. To the Same
336. To the Archduke Rudolph
337. To Schindler
338. To Pilat, editor of the “Austrian Observer” 339. To Schindler
340. To the Same
341. To the Same
342. To the Same
343. To the Same
344. To the Same
345. To the Archduke Rudolph
346. To F. Ries
347. To Herr von Koenneritz
348. To Herr von Koenneritz
349. To Schindler
350. To his Nephew
351. To the Archduke Rudolph
352. To the Same
353. To the Same
354. To F. Ries, London
355. To the Same
356. To the Archduke Rudolph
357. To the Same
358. To Schindler
359. To the Same
360. To the Same
361. To Herr Grillparzer
362. To Herr Probst, Leipzig
363. To Schindler
364. To Herr von Rzehatschek
365. To Prince Trautmannsdorf
366. To Count Moritz Lichnowsky
367. To Herr Schuppanzigh
368. To Schindler
369. To Herr von Sartorius
370. To Schindler
371. To the Same
372. To the Same
373. To the Same
374. To the Same
375. To Steiner & Co
376. To Haslinger
377. To Steiner & Co
378. To Haslinger
379. To the Same
380. To the Same
381. To M. Diabelli
382. To Herr Probst, Leipzig
383. To Haslinger
384. To Herr Schott, Mayence
385. To the Archduke Rudolph
386. To his Nephew
387. To Herr Peters
388. To Hans Georg Naegeli, Zurich
389. To his Nephew
390. To Herr Naegeli
391. To Herr Schott, Mayence
392. To Hauschka
393. To Herr Naegeli, Zurich
394. To the Archduke Rudolph
395. To Herr Schott, Mayence
396. To Carl Holz
397. To the Same
398. To Herr Schott, Mayence
399. To Friends
400. To Schindler
401. To Linke
402. To * * *
403. To F. Ries
404. To Herr Jenger, Vienna
405. To Schott
406. To Ludwig Rellstab
407. To * * *
408. To his brother Johann
409. To Herr von Schlemmer
410. To his Nephew
411. To the Same
412. To Dr. Braunhofer
413. To his Nephew
414. To the Same
415. To the Same
416. To the Same
417. To his Nephew
418. To the Same
419. To the Same
420. To the Same
421. To the Same
422. To the Same
423. To the Same
424. To the Same
425. To the Same
426. To the Same
427. To the Same
428. To the Same
429. To the Same
430. To the Same
431. To the Same
432. To the Same
433. To the Same
434. To his brother Johann, Gneixendorf 435. To his Nephew
436. To the Same
437. To the Same
438. To his Copyist
439. To his Nephew
440. To the Same
441. To Zmeskall
442. To Herr Friedrich Kuhlau
443. To his Nephew
444. To the Same
445. To Herr von Schlesinger
446. To his Nephew
447. To the Same
448. To the Same
449. To the Same
450. To the Abbe Maximilian Stadler 451. To Gottfried Weber
452. To Herr Probst, Leipzig
453. To Stephan von Breuning
454. To the Same
455. To the Same
456. Testimonial for C. Holz
457. To C. Holz
458. To the King of Prussia
459. To Wegeler
460. To Tobias Haslinger
461. To the Same
462. To Carl Holz
463. To Dr. Bach
464. To Wegeler
465. To Sir George Smart, London
466. To Herr Moscheles
467. To Schindler
468. To Baron von Pasqualati
469. To the Same
470. To Sir George Smart, London
471. To Baron von Pasqualati
472. To the Same
473. To Herr Moscheles
474. To Schindler
475. To Herr Moscheles
476. Codicil




The Adjutant’s innocence is admitted, and there is an end of it!

We beg you to be so good as to send us two copies in score of the Symphony in A. We likewise wish to know when we may expect a copy of the Sonata for Baroness von Ertmann, as she leaves this, most probably, the day after to-morrow.

No. 3–I mean the enclosed note–is from a musical friend in Silesia, not a rich man, for whom I have frequently had my scores written out. He wishes to have these works of Mozart in his library; as my servant, however, has the good fortune, by the grace of God, to be one of the greatest blockheads in the world (which is saying a good deal), I cannot make use of him for this purpose. Be so kind therefore as to send to Herr —- (for the _Generalissimus_ can have no dealings with a petty tradesman), and desire him to _write down the price of each work_ and send it to me with my two scores in A, and also an answer to my injunction about Ertmann, as early to-day as you can (_presto, prestissimo_!)–_nota bene_, the _finale_ to be _a march in double-quick time_. I recommend the best execution of these orders, so that no further obstacle may intervene to my recovery.


The best _generalissimus_ for the good, But the devil himself for the bad!



The Lieutenant-General is requested to send his _Diabolum_, that I may tell him myself my opinion of the “Battle,” which is _printed in the vilest manner_. There is much to be altered.





Best of all little fellows! Do see again about that house, and get it for me. I am very anxious also to procure _the treatise on education_. It is of some importance to me to be able to compare my own opinions on this subject with those of others, and thus still further improve them. As for our juvenile Adjutant, I think I shall soon have hit on the right system for his education. Your


_Manu propria._




Be kinder than kind, and throw off a hundred impressions of the accompanying small plate.[1] I will repay you threefold and fourfold. Farewell!



[Footnote 1: This is possibly the humorous visiting-card that Beethoven sometimes sent to his friends, with the inscription _Wir bleiben die Alten_ (“We are the same as ever”), and on reversing the card, a couple of asses stared them in the face! Frau Eyloff told me of a similar card that her brother Schindler once got from Beethoven on a New Year’s day.]



Feb. 23, 1817.


You have no doubt often misjudged me, from my apparently forbidding manner; much of this arose from circumstances, especially in earlier days, when my nature was less understood than at present. You know the manifestations of those self-elected apostles who promote their interests by means very different from those of the true Gospel. I did not wish to be included in that number. Receive now what has been long intended for you,[2] and may it serve as a proof of my admiration of your artistic talent, and likewise of yourself! My not having heard you recently at Cz—- [Czerny’s] was owing to indisposition, which at last appears to be giving way to returning health.

I hope soon to hear how you get on at St. Polten [where her husband’s regiment was at that time quartered], and whether you still think of your admirer and friend,


My kindest regards to your excellent husband.

[Footnote 1: It was admitted that she played Beethoven’s compositions with the most admirable taste and feeling. Mendelssohn thought so in 1830 at Milan, and mentions it in his _Letters from Italy and Switzerland_.]

[Footnote 2: Undoubtedly the Sonata dedicated to her, Op. 101.]




I introduce to your notice the bearer of this, young Bocklet, who is a very clever violin-player. If you can be of any service to him through your acquaintances, do your best for him, especially as he is warmly recommended to me from Prague.[1]

As ever, your true friend,


[Footnote 1: Carl Maria Bocklet, a well-known and distinguished pianist in Vienna. He told me himself that he came for the first time to Vienna in 1817, where he stayed six weeks. On April 8th he gave a violin concert in the _Kleine Redoutensaale_. He brought a letter of introduction to Beethoven, from his friend Dr. Berger in Prague.]



The Lieutenant-General is desired to afford all aid and help to the young artist Bocklet from Prague. He is the bearer of this note, and a virtuoso on the violin. We hope that our command will be obeyed, especially as we subscribe ourselves, with the most vehement regard, your




I only yesterday read your letter attentively at home. I am prepared to give up Carl to you at any moment, although I think it best not to do so till after the examination on Monday; but I will send him sooner if you wish it. At all events it would be advisable afterwards to remove him from here, and to send him to Moelk, or some place where he will neither see nor hear anything more of his abominable mother. When he is in the midst of strangers, he will meet with less support, and find that he can only gain the love and esteem of others by his own merits.

In haste, your




I request you, my dear friend, to inquire whether in any of the houses in your vicinity there are lodgings to be had at Michaelmas, consisting of a few rooms. You must not fail to do this for me to-day or to-morrow.

Your friend,


P.S.–N.B. Though I would gladly profit by your kind offer of living in your garden-house, various circumstances render this impossible. My kind regards to all your family.




The treatise on the piano is a general one,–that is, it is a kind of compendium. Besides, I am pleased with the Swiss [probably Weber, a young musician who had been recommended to him], but the “Guaden” is no longer the fashion.

In haste, the devoted servant and friend of the Giannatasio family,




You herewith receive through Carl, my dear friend, the ensuing quarter due to you. I beg you will attend more to the cultivation of his feelings and kindness of heart, as the latter in particular is the lever of all that is good; and no matter how a man’s kindly feeling may be ridiculed or depreciated, still our greatest authors, such as Goethe and others, consider it an admirable quality; indeed, many maintain that without it no man can ever be very distinguished, nor can any depth of character exist.

My time is too limited to say more, but we can discuss verbally how in my opinion Carl ought to be treated on this point.

Your friend and servant,


Alser Vorstadt–Beim Apfel, 2ter Etage, No. 12, Leiberz, Dressmaker.



This is at any rate the first time that it has been necessary to remind me of an agreeable duty; very pressing business connected with my art, as well as other causes, made me totally forget the account, but this shall not occur again. As for my servant bringing home Carl in the evening, the arrangement is already made. In the mean time I thank you for having been so obliging as to send your servant for him yesterday, as I knew nothing about it, so that Carl probably must otherwise have remained at Czerny’s. Carl’s boots are too small, and he has repeatedly complained of this; indeed, they are so bad that he can scarcely walk, and it will take some time before they can be altered to fit him. This kind of thing ruins the feet, so I beg you will not allow him to wear them again till they are made larger.

With regard to his pianoforte studies, I beg you will keep him strictly to them; otherwise his music-master would be of no use. Yesterday Carl could not play the whole day, I have repeatedly wished to hear him play over his lessons, but have been obliged to come away without doing so.

“_La musica merita d’esser studiata._”

Besides, the couple of hours now appointed for his music lessons are quite insufficient. I must therefore the more earnestly urge on you their being strictly adhered to. It is by no means unusual that this point should be attended to in an institute; an intimate friend of mine has also a boy at school, who is to become a professor of music, where every facility for study is afforded him; indeed, I was rather struck by finding the boy quite alone in a distant room practising, neither disturbing others, nor being himself disturbed.

I beg you will allow me to send for Carl to-morrow about half-past ten o’clock, as I wish to see what progress he has made, and to take him with me to some musicians.

I am, with all possible esteem, your friend,





I beg you will treat Carl with as much patience as possible; for though he does not as yet get on quite as you and I could wish, still I fear he will soon do even less, because (though I do not want him to know it) he is over-fatigued by the injudicious distribution of his lesson hours. Unluckily it is not easy to alter this; so pray, however strict you may be, show him every indulgence, which will, I am sure, have also a better effect on Carl under such unfavorable circumstances.

With respect to his playing with you, when he has finally acquired the proper mode of fingering, and plays in right time, and gives the notes with tolerable correctness, you must only then first direct his attention to the mode of execution; and when he is sufficiently advanced, do not stop his playing on account of little mistakes, but only point them out at the end of the piece. Although I have myself given very little instruction, I have always followed this system, which quickly forms a _musician_; and this is, after all, one of the first objects of art, and less fatiguing both to master and scholar. In certain passages, like the following,–

[Music: Treble clef, sixteenth notes.]

I wish all the fingers to be used; and also in similar ones, such as these,–

[Music: Treble clef, sixteenth notes.] &c. [Music: Treble clef, sixteenth notes.] &c.

so that they may go very smoothly; such passages can indeed be made to sound very _perles_, or like a pearl, played by fewer fingers, but sometimes we wish for a different kind of jewel.[1] More as to this some other time. I hope that you will receive these suggestions in the same kindly spirit in which they are offered and intended. In any event I am, and ever must remain, your debtor. May my candor serve as a pledge of my wish to discharge this debt at some future day!

Your true friend,


[Footnote 1: Carl Czerny relates in the Vienna _A.M. Zeitung_ of 1845, No. 113, as follows:–“Beethoven came to me usually every day himself with the boy, and used to say to me, ‘You must not think that you please me by making Carl play my works; I am not so childish as to wish anything of the kind. Give him whatever you think best.’ I named Clementi. ‘Yes, yes,’ said he, ‘Clementi is very good indeed;’ and, added he, laughing, ‘Give Carl occasionally what is _according to rule_, that he may hereafter come to what is _contrary to rule_.’ After a hit of this sort, which he introduced into almost every speech, he used to burst into a loud peal of laughter. Having in the earlier part of his career been often reproached by the critics with his _irregularities_, he was in the habit of alluding to this with gay humor.”]




I beg you will say nothing _on that particular subject_ at Giannatasio’s, who dined with us on the day you were so good as to call on me; he requested this himself. I _will tell you the reason_ when we meet. I hope to be able to prove my gratitude for your patience with my nephew, that I may not always remain your debtor. In haste,

Your friend,





Can you in any way assist the man I now send to you (a pianoforte maker and tuner from Baden) in selling his instruments? Though small in size, their manufacture is solid. In haste,

Your friend,




Wednesday, July 3, 1817.


I have changed my mind. It might hurt the feelings of Carl’s mother to see her child in the house of a stranger, which would be more harsh than I like; so I shall allow her to come to my house to-morrow; a certain tutor at Puthon, of the name of Bihler, will also be present. I should be _extremely_ glad if you could be with me about six o’clock, but not later. Indeed, I earnestly beg you to come, as I am desirous to show the Court that you are present, for there is no doubt that a _Court Secretary_ will be held in higher estimation by them than a man _without an official character, whatever his moral character may be!_

Now, jesting apart, independent of my real affection for you, your coming will be of great service to me. I shall therefore expect you without fail. I beg you will not take my _badinage_ amiss. I am, with sincere esteem,

Your friend,




Your friend has no doubt told you of my intention to send for Carl early to-morrow. I wish to place his mother in a more creditable position with the neighborhood; so I have agreed to pay her the compliment of taking her son to see her in the company of a third person. This is to be done once a month.

As to all that is past, I beg you will never allude to it again, either in speaking or writing, but forget it all–as I do.



I have been occupied in arranging my papers; an immense amount of patience is required for such an affair as putting them in order, but having once summoned it to our aid we must persevere, or the matter would never be completed. My papers, both musical and unmusical, are nearly arranged at last; it was like one of the seven labors of Hercules![1]

[Footnote 1: Ries (in Wegeler’s _Notizen_) relates: “Beethoven placed very little value on the MSS. of his pieces written out by himself; when once engraved they were usually scattered about the anteroom, or on the floor in the middle of his apartment, together with other music. I often arranged his music for him, but the moment Beethoven began to search for any piece, it was all strewed about again.”]



You see what servants are! [He had gone out and taken the key with him.] Such is housekeeping! So long as I am ill, I would fain be on a different footing with those around me; for dearly as I usually love solitude, it is painful to me now, finding it scarcely possible, while taking baths and medicine, to employ myself as usual,–to which is added the grievous prospect that I may perhaps never get better. I place no confidence in my present physician, who at length pronounces my malady to be _disease of the lungs_. I will consider about engaging a housekeeper. If I could only have the faintest hope, in this corrupt Austrian State, of finding an honest person, the arrangement would be easily made; but–but!! [He wishes to hire a piano and pay for it in advance; the tone to be as loud as possible, to suit his defective hearing.]

Perhaps you do not know, though I have not always had one of your pianos, that since 1809 I have invariably preferred yours.

It is peculiarly hard on me to be a burden on any one, being accustomed rather to serve others than to be served by them.



I can only say that I am better; I thought much of death during the past night, but such thoughts are familiar to me by day also.



Vienna, July 9, 1817.


The proposals in your esteemed letter of the 9th of June are very flattering, and my reply will show you how much I value them. Were it not for my unhappy infirmities, which entail both attendance and expense, particularly on a journey to a foreign country, I would _unconditionally_ accept the offer of the Philharmonic Society. But place yourself in my position, and consider how many more obstacles I have to contend with than any other artist, and then judge whether my demands (which I now annex) are unreasonable. I beg you will convey my conditions to the Directors of the above Society, namely:–

1. I shall be in London early in January.

2. The two grand new symphonies shall be ready by that time; to become the exclusive property of the Society.

3. The Society to give me in return 300 guineas, and 100 for my travelling expenses, which will, however, amount to much more, as I am obliged to bring a companion.

4. As I am now beginning to work at these grand symphonies for the Society, I shall expect that (on receiving my consent) they will remit me here the sum of 150 guineas, so that I may provide a carriage, and make my other preparations at once for the journey.

5. The conditions as to my non-appearance in any other public orchestra, my not directing, and the preference always to be given to the Society on the offer of equal terms by them, are accepted by me; indeed, they would at all events have been dictated by my own sense of honor.

6. I shall expect the aid of the Society in arranging one, or more, benefit concerts in my behalf, as the case may be. The very friendly feeling of some of the Directors in your valuable body, and the kind reception of my works by all the artists, is a sufficient guaranty on this point, and will be a still further inducement to me to endeavor not to disappoint their expectations.

7. I request that I may receive the assent to and confirmation of these terms, signed by three Directors in the name of the Society. You may easily imagine how much I rejoice at the thoughts of becoming acquainted with the worthy Sir George Smart [Music Director], and seeing you and Mr. Neate again; would that I could fly to you myself instead of this letter!

Your sincere well wisher and friend,




I cordially embrace you! I have purposely employed another hand in my answer to the Society, that you might read it more easily, and present it to them. I place the most implicit reliance on your kindly feelings toward me. I hope that the Philharmonic Society may accept my proposals, and they may rest assured that I shall employ all my energies to fulfil in the most satisfactory manner the flattering commission of so eminent a society of artists. What is the strength of your orchestra? How many violins, &c.? Have you _one or two sets of wind instruments_? Is the concert room large and sonorous?



NUSSDORF, July 23, 1817.


I shall soon see you again in town. What is the proper price for fronting a pair of boots? I have to pay my servant for this, who is always running about.

I am really in despair at being condemned by my defective hearing to pass the greater part of my life with this most odious class of people, and to be in some degree dependent on them. To-morrow, early, my servant will call on you, and bring me back a _sealed answer_.



August 12, 1817.


I heard of your indisposition with great regret. As for myself, I am often in despair, and almost tempted to put an end to my life, for all these remedies seem to have no end. May God have compassion on me, for I look upon myself to be as good as lost! I have a great deal to say to you. That this servant is a _thief_, I cannot doubt–he must be sent away; my health requires living _at home_ and greater comfort. I shall be glad to have your opinion on this point. If my condition is not altered, instead of being in London I shall probably be in my grave. I thank God that the thread of my life will soon be spun out.

In haste, your


N.B. I wish you to buy me a quarter of a yard of green wax-cloth, green on both sides. It seems incredible that I have not been able to get anything of the kind from these _green_ people here. It is far…. [illegible].

[X. brought the Trio in C minor (Op. 1, No. 3) to show to Beethoven, having arranged it as a quintet for stringed instruments (published by Artaria as Op. 104). Beethoven evidently discovered a good many faults in the work; still, the undertaking had sufficient attractions to induce him to correct it himself, and to make many changes in it. A very different score was thus of course produced from that of X., on the cover of whose work the genial master, in a fit of good humor, inscribed with his own hand the following title:–

A Terzet arranged as a Quintet,
by _Mr. Well-meaning_,

translated from the semblance into the reality of five parts, and exalted from the depths of wretchedness to a certain degree of excellence,

by _Mr. Goodwill_.

Vienna, Aug. 14, 1817.

N.B. The original three-part score of the Quintet has been sacrificed as a solemn burnt-offering to the subterranean gods.][1]

[Footnote 1: This Quintet appeared as Op. 104 at Artaria’s in Vienna.]



When we next meet, you will be surprised to hear what I have in the mean time learned. My poor Carl was only misled for the moment; but there are men who are brutes, and of this number is the priest here, who deserves to be well cudgelled.



August 19, 1817.

I unluckily received your letter yesterday too late, for she had already been here; otherwise I would have shown her to the door, as she richly deserved. I sincerely thank Fraulein N. for the trouble she took in writing down the gossip of this woman. Though an enemy to all tattling and gossip, still this is of importance to us; so I shall write to her, and also give her letter to me to Herr A.S. [Advocate Schoenauer?] I may possibly have let fall some words in her presence in reference to the recent occurrence, and the irregularity on your part, but I cannot in the slightest degree recall ever having written to her about you.

It was only an attempt on her side to exasperate you against me; and thus to influence you and obtain more from you, in the same way that she formerly reported to me all sorts of things that you had said about me; but I took no heed of her talk. On this recent occasion I wished to try whether she might not be improved by a more patient and conciliatory mode of conduct: I imparted my intention to Herr A.S., but it has utterly failed; and on Sunday I made up my mind to adhere to the former necessary severity, as even during the glimpse she had of Carl, she contrived to inoculate him with some of her venom. In short, we must be guided by the zodiac, and only allow her to see Carl twelve times a year, and then barricade her so effectually that she cannot smuggle in even a pin, whether he is with you or me, or with a third person. I really thought that by entirely complying with her wishes, it might have been an incitement to her to improve, and to acknowledge my complete unselfishness.

Perhaps I may see you to-morrow. Frau S. can order the shoes and stockings and all that Carl requires, and I will remit her the money at once. I beg that you will always order and buy anything Carl ought to have, without any reference to me, merely informing me of the amount, which I will forthwith discharge, without waiting for the end of the quarter. I will take care that Carl has a new coat for the next examination.

One thing more. The mother affects to receive her information from a person in your house. If you cannot arrange with Czerny to bring Carl home, he must not go at all; “_trau, schau, wem!_” [trust not till you try.] The only impression that his mother ought to make on Carl is what I have already told him,–namely, to respect her as _his mother_, but _not to follow her example in any respect_; he must be strongly warned against this.

Yours truly,




Sept. 11, 1817.


The answer from London arrived yesterday [see No. 236], but in English. Do you know any one who could translate it verbally for us? In haste,





Oct. 20, 1817.


The devil himself cannot persuade your _Famulus_ to take away the wine. Pray forgive my behavior yesterday; I intended to have asked your pardon this very afternoon. _In my present condition_ I require _indulgence_ from every one, for I am a poor unfortunate creature!

In haste, as ever, yours.




I give up the journey; at least I will not pledge myself on this point. The matter must be more maturely considered. In the mean time the work is already sent off to the Prince Regent. _If they want me they can have me_, and I am still at _liberty_ to say _yes_! or _no_! Liberty!!!! what more can any one desire!!!




Don’t be angry about my note. Are you not aware of my present condition, which is like that of Hercules with Queen Omphale??? I asked you to buy me a looking-glass like yours, which I now return, but if you do not require it, I wish you would send yours back to me to-day, for mine is broken. Farewell, and do not write in such high-flown terms about me, for never have I felt so strongly as now the strength and the weakness of human nature.

Continue your regard for me.



The Autumn of 1817.

I have had an interview with your husband, whose sympathy did me both good and harm, for Streicher almost upset my resignation. God alone knows the result! but as I have always assisted my fellow-men when I had the power to do so, I also rely on his mercy to me.

Educate your daughter carefully, that she may make a good wife.

To-day happens to be Sunday; so I will quote you something out of the Bible,–“Love one another.” I conclude with best regards to your best of daughters, and with the wish that all your wounds may be healed.

When you visit the ancient ruins [Frau Streicher was in Baden], do not forget that Beethoven has often lingered there; when you stray through the silent pine forests, do not forget that Beethoven often wrote poetry there, or, as it is termed, _composed_.



How deeply am I indebted to you, my excellent friend, and I have become such a poor creature that I have no means of repaying you. I am very grateful to Streicher for all the trouble he has taken on my behalf [about a house in the Gaertner Strasse], and beg he will continue his inquiries. God will, I hope, one day enable me to return benefit for benefit, but this being at present impossible, grieves me most of all….

Now Heaven be praised! [he thus winds up a long letter about a bad servant,] I have contrived to collect all these particulars for you with no little toil and trouble, and God grant that I may never, never more be obliged to speak, or write, or think again on such a subject, for mud and mire are not more pernicious to artistic soil, than such devilry to any man!!!



As to Frau von Stein [stone], I beg she will not allow Herr von Steiner to turn into stone, that he may still be of service to me; nor must Frau von Stein become too stony towards Herr von Steiner, &c.

My good Frau von Streicher, do not play any trick [Streiche] to your worthy little husband, but rather be to all others Frau von Stein [stone]!!!!

Where are the coverlets for the beds?

[Music: Treble clef.
Where? where?]



… It is now very evident from all this that if _you_ do not kindly superintend things for me, I, with my _infirmities_, must meet with the _same fate_ as usual at the hands of these people. Their _ingratitude_ towards you is what chiefly degrades both of them in my eyes. But I don’t understand your allusion about gossip? on one occasion alone can I remember having forgotten myself for the moment, but _with very different people_. This is all I can say on the subject. For my part I neither encourage nor listen to the gossip of the lower orders. I have often given you hints on the subject, without telling you a word of what I had heard. Away! away! away! with such things!



Nussdorf, Sept. 1, 1817.

I hope to be able to join you in Baden; but my invalid condition still continues, and though in some respects improved, my malady is far from being entirely cured. I have had, and still have, recourse to remedies of every kind and shape; I must now give up the long-cherished hope of ever being wholly restored. I hear that Y.R.H. looks wonderfully well, and though many false inferences may be drawn from this as to good health, still every one tells me that Y.R.H. is much better, and in this I feel sincerely interested. I also trust that when Y.R.H. again comes to town, I may assist you in those works dedicated to the Muses. My confidence is placed on Providence, who will vouchsafe to hear my prayer, and one day set me free from all my troubles, for I have served Him faithfully from my childhood, and done good whenever it has been in my power; so my trust is in Him alone, and I feel that the Almighty will not allow me to be utterly crushed by all my manifold trials. I wish Y.R.H. all possible good and prosperity, and shall wait on you the moment you return to town.




Vienna, Nov. 12, 1817.

My altered circumstances render it possible that I may not be able to leave Carl under your care beyond the end of this quarter; so, as in duty bound, I give you this _warning_ a quarter in advance. Though it is painful to admit it, my straitened circumstances leave me no choice in the matter; had it been otherwise, how gladly would I have presented you with an additional quarter’s payment when I removed Carl, as a slight tribute of my gratitude. I do hope you will believe that such are my _genuine and sincere_ wishes on the subject. If on the other hand I leave Carl with you for the ensuing quarter, commencing in February, I will apprise you of it early in January, 1818. I trust you will grant me this _favor_, and that I shall not solicit it in vain. If I ever enjoy better health, so that I can _earn more money_, I shall not fail to evince my gratitude, knowing well how much more you have done for Carl than I had any right to expect; and I can with truth say that to be obliged to confess my inability to requite your services at this moment, distresses me much.

I am, with sincere esteem, your friend,





I have been hitherto unable to answer your friendly letter, having been much occupied and still far from well.

As to your proposal, it merits both gratitude and consideration. I must say that the same idea formerly occurred to me about Carl; at this moment, however, I am in the most unsettled state. This was why I made the stipulation to which I begged you to agree, namely, to let you know in the last month of the present quarter whether Carl was to continue with you. In this way our plans would neither be hurried nor demolished. I am, besides, well aware that it can be no advantage to you to have Carl either on his present terms, or according to your last proposal, and on that very account I wished to point out to you in my letter how gladly, besides the usual remuneration, I would have testified my gratitude in some additional manner.

When I spoke of my _inability_, I knew that his education would cost me even more elsewhere than with you; but what I intended to convey was that every father has a particular object in the education of his child, and it is thus with me and Carl. No doubt we shall soon discover what is best for him; whether to have a tutor here, or to go on as formerly. I do not wish to tie myself down for the moment, but to remain free to act as his interests may dictate.

Carl daily costs me great sacrifices, but I only allude to them on his own account. I know too well the influence his mother contrives to acquire over him, for she seems resolved to show herself well worthy of the name of “Queen of the Night.” Besides, she everywhere spreads a report that I do nothing whatever for Carl, whereas she pays everything!! As we have touched on this point, I must thank you for your most considerate letter, which in any event will be of great use to me. Pray ask Herr L.S. to be so kind as to make my excuses to his brother for not having yet called on him. Partly owing to business and also to indisposition, it has been nearly impossible for me to do so. When I think of this oft-discussed affair, I should prefer going to see him on any other subject. She has not applied to me; so it is not my business to promote a meeting between her and her son.

With regard to the other matter, I am told that in _this_ case we must have recourse to compulsion, which will cost me more money, for which I have chiefly to thank Herr Adlersburg [his advocate]. As Carl’s education, however, must be carried on so far as possible independent of his mother, for the future as well as the present we must act as I have arranged.

I am, with esteem, your attached friend,




Last day of December, 1817.

The old year has nearly passed away, and a new one draws near. May it bring Y.R.H. no sorrow, but rather may it bestow on you every imaginable felicity! These are my wishes, all concentrated in the one I have just expressed. If it be allowable to speak of myself, I may say that my health is very variable and uncertain. I am unhappily obliged to live at a great distance from Y.R.H., which shall not, however, prevent my having the extreme gratification of waiting on you at the first opportunity. I commend myself to your gracious consideration, though I may not appear to deserve it. May Heaven, for the benefit of so many whom you befriend, enrich each day of your life with an especial blessing! I am always, &c., &c.




Jan. 6, 1818.

To prevent any mistake I take the liberty to inform you that it is finally settled my nephew Carl should leave your excellent institution the end of this month. My hands are also tied with regard to your other proposal, as if I accepted it, my further projects for Carl’s benefit would be entirely frustrated; but I sincerely thank you for your kind intentions.

Circumstances may cause me to remove Carl even before the end of the month, and as I may not be here myself, I will appoint some one to fetch him. I mention this to you now, that it may not appear strange when the time comes; and let me add, that my nephew and I shall feel grateful to you through life. I observe that Carl already feels thus, which is to me a proof that although thoughtless, his disposition is not evil; far less has he a bad heart. I am the more disposed to augur well of him from his having been for two years under your admirable guidance.

I am, with esteem, your friend,




Vienna, Jan. 24, 1818.

I do not come to you myself, as it would be a kind of leave-taking, and this I have all my life avoided. Pray accept my heartfelt thanks for the zeal, rectitude, and integrity with which you have conducted the education of my nephew. As soon as I am at all settled, we mean to pay you a visit; but on account of the mother, I am anxious that the fact of my nephew being with me should not be too much known.

I send you my very best wishes, and I beg especially to thank Frau A.Z. for her truly maternal care of Carl.

I am, with sincere esteem, yours,





I have this moment heard that you are in a position I really never suspected; you might certainly place confidence in me, and point out how matters could be made better for you (without any pretensions to patronage on my part). As soon as I have a moment to myself, I must speak to you. Rest assured that I highly value you, and am prepared to prove this at any moment by deeds.

Yours, with sincere esteem,


[Footnote 1: Zellner, in his _Blaetter fuer Musik_, relates what follows on Czerny’s own authority:–In 1818 Czerny was requested by Beethoven in a letter (which he presented some years ago to Cocks, the London music publisher) to play at one of his last concerts in the large _Redoutensaal_, his E flat major Concerto, Op. 73. Czerny answered, in accordance with the truth, that having gained his livelihood entirely for many years past by giving lessons on the piano, for more than twelve hours daily, he had so completely laid aside his pianoforte playing, that he could not venture to attempt playing the concerto properly within the course of a few days (which Beethoven desired). On which he received, in the above letter, a touching proof of Beethoven’s sympathy. He also learned subsequently that Beethoven had exerted himself to procure him a permanent situation.]



Vienna, March 5, 1818.


In spite of my wishes it was impossible for me to go to London this year [see No. 236]. I beg you will apprise the Philharmonic Society that my feeble health prevented my coming; I trust, however, I shall be entirely restored this spring, so that in the autumn I may avail myself of their offers and fulfil all their conditions.

Pray request Neate, in my name, to make no public use of the various works of mine that he has in his hands, at least not until I come. Whatever he may have to say for himself, I have cause to complain of him.

Potter[1] called on me several times; he seems to be a worthy man, and to have a talent for composition. My wish and hope for you is that your circumstances may daily improve. I cannot, alas! say that such is the case with my own…. I cannot bear to see others want, I must give; you may therefore believe what a loser I am by this affair. I do beg that you will write to me soon. If possible I shall try to get away from this earlier, in the hope of escaping utter ruin, in which case I shall arrive in London by the winter at latest. I know that you will assist an unfortunate friend. If it had only been in my power, and had I not been chained to this place, as I always have been, by circumstances, I certainly would have done far more for you.

Farewell; remember me to Neate, Smart, and Cramer. Although I hear that the latter is a _counter subject_ both to you and to myself, still I rather understand how to manage people of that kind; so notwithstanding all this we shall yet succeed in producing an agreeable harmony in London. I embrace you from my heart. Your friend,


Many handsome compliments to your charming, (and as I hear) handsome wife.

[Footnote 1: Schindler, in his _Biography_ (Vol. II. 254), states that Cipriani Potter came to Vienna in 1817.]




First and foremost member of our society, and grand cross of the violon–cello! You wish for an _heroic_ subject, whereas I have none but a _spiritual_ one! I am contented; still, I think an infusion of the spiritual would be quite appropriate in such a mass. I have no objections to H. v. Bernard, but you must pay him; I do not speak of myself. As you call yourselves “Friends of Music,” it is only natural that you should expect a great deal to be done on the score of friendship.

Now farewell, my good Hauschka! As for myself, I wander about here with music paper, among the hills and dales and valleys, and scribble a great deal to get my daily bread; for I have brought things to such a pass in this mighty and ignominious _land of the Goths and Vandals_, that in order to gain time for a great composition, I must always previously _scrawl away_ a good deal for the sake of money, to enable me to complete an important work.

However, my health is much improved, and if the matter is urgent, I can do as you wish now.

In haste, your friend,


[Footnote 1: Hauschka was at that time on the committee, and agent for the “Friends to Music” who commissioned Beethoven to write an Oratorio in 1815. Schindler is of opinion that the repeated performance of the Abbe Stadler’s heroic Oratorio, _Die Befreiung von Jerusalem_, was the cause of the Society in 1818 bespeaking, through Hauschka, “An oratorio of the heroic order.”]




I have the honor to send the masterly variations[1] of Y.R.H. by the copyist Schlemmer, and to-morrow I shall come in person to wait upon Y.R.H., and much rejoice at being able to serve as a companion to my illustrious pupil on the path of fame.


[Footnote 1: The letters 258 and 259, allude to the pianoforte variations composed by the Archduke Rudolph and dedicated to his instructor.]



Jan. 1, 1819.

All that can be comprehended in one wish, or individually named,–health, happiness, and prosperity,–all are included in the prayer I offer up for Y.R.H. on this day. May the wish that I also form for myself be graciously accepted by Y.R.H., namely, that I may continue to enjoy the favor of Y.R.H. A dreadful occurrence[1] has lately taken place in my family, which for a long time stunned my senses, and to this must be ascribed my not having waited on Y.R.H., nor taken any notice of the masterly variations of my much-honored and illustrious pupil, and favorite of the Muses. The gratitude I feel for the surprise and the honor you have done me, I dare not venture to express either verbally or in writing, for I am _too far beneath you_, even if I _could_ or wished ever so ardently _to return like for like_. May Heaven accept and listen with peculiar favor to my prayers for Y.R.H.’s health. In the course of a few days I trust I shall myself hear the masterpiece Y.R.H. has sent to me, and nothing will rejoice me more than to assist Y.R.H. as early as possible, in taking the place already prepared for you on Parnassus.


[Footnote 1: The “dreadful occurrence” which took place in the end of 1818 in Beethoven’s family cannot be discovered.]



Vienna, April [March?] 30, 1819.


I am only now able to answer your letter of December 18th. Your sympathy does me good. It is impossible for me to go to London at present, being involved here in various ways; but God will, I trust, aid me, and enable me to visit London next winter, when I shall bring the new symphonies with me.

I every day expect the text for a new _oratorio_, which I am to write for our Musical Society here, and no doubt it will be of use to us in London also. Do what you can on my behalf, for I greatly need it. I should have been glad to receive any commission from the Philharmonic, but Neate’s report of the all but failure of the three overtures vexed me much. Each in its own style not only pleased here, but those in E flat major and C major made a profound impression, so that the fate of those works at the Philharmonic is quite incomprehensible to me.

You have no doubt received the arrangement of the Quintet [Op. 104, see No. 238] and the Sonata [Op. 106]. See that both, especially the Quintet, be engraved without loss of time. There is no such hurry about the Sonata, though I should like it to appear within two or three months. Never having received the previous letter to which you allude, I had no scruple in disposing of both works here; but for Germany only. It will be at any rate three months before the Sonata appears here, but you must make haste with the Quintet. As soon as you forward me a check for the money, I will send an authority to the publisher, securing him the exclusive right to these works for England, Scotland, Ireland, France, &c., &c.

You shall receive by the next post the _Tempi_ of the Sonata marked in accordance with Maelzel’s metronome. Prince Paul Esterhazy’s courier, De Smidt, took the Quintet and the Sonata with him. You shall also have my portrait by the next opportunity, as I understand that you really wish for it.

Farewell! Continue your regard for me,

Your friend,


All sorts of pretty compliments to your pretty wife!!! From me!!!!



Vienna, April 16, 1819.


Here are the _Tempi_ of the Sonata.

1st Allegro, Allegro (alone), erase the _assai_. Maelzel’s metronome [half-note] = 138.

2d movement, Scherzoso. Maelzel’s metronome [half-note] = 80.

3d movement, Maelzel’s metronome [eighth-note] = 92.

Observe that a previous bar is to be inserted here, namely:–

[Music: New bar. Piano Staves (treble & bass), D major, 6/8 time.]

4th movement, Introduzione–largo. Maelzel’s metronome [sixteenth-note] = 76.

5th and last movement, 3/4 time. Maelzel’s metronome [half-note] = 144.

[Music: Treble clef, B-flat major.]

Pray forgive the confused way in which this is written. It would not surprise you if you knew my situation; you would rather marvel that I accomplish so much in spite of it. The Quintet can no longer be delayed, and must shortly appear; but not the Sonata, until I get an answer from you and the check, which I long to see. The name of the courier is De Smidt, by whom you will receive both the Quintet and Sonata. I beg you will give me an immediate answer. I will write more fully next time.

In haste, your




April 19, 1819.


I ask your forgiveness a thousand times for the trouble I cause you. I cannot understand how it is that there are so many mistakes in the copying of the Sonata. This incorrectness no doubt proceeds from my no longer being able to keep a copyist of my own; circumstances have brought this about. May God send me more prosperity, till —- is in a better position! This will not be for a whole year to come. It is really dreadful the turn affairs have taken, and the reduction of my salary, while no man can tell what the issue is to be till the aforesaid year has elapsed.

If the Sonata be not suitable for London, I could send another, or you might omit the _Largo_, and begin at once with the _Fugue_ in the last movement, or the first movement, _Adagio_, and the third the _Scherzo_, the _Largo_, and the _Allegro risoluto_. I leave it to you to settle as you think best. This Sonata was written at a time of great pressure. It is hard to write for the sake of daily bread; and yet I have actually come to this!

We can correspond again about my visit to London. To be rescued from this wretched and miserable condition is my only hope of deliverance, for as it is I can neither enjoy health, nor accomplish what I could do under more favorable auspices.



Vienna, May 4, 1819.

I fully appreciate the high compliment paid to me by the respected members of the Philharmonic Society, in acknowledgment of my poor musical deserts, by electing me honorary member of their Society, and sending me the diploma through Herr von Tuscher; and as a proof of my sense of this honor, I intend in due course to forward to the Society an unpublished work of mine.[2] Moreover, at any time when I can be of use to the Society, I shall be prepared to forward their wishes.

I remain,
the humble servant and honorary member of the Philharmonic Society,


[Footnote 1: In Dr. Fr. Keesbacher’s pamphlet, “_The Philharmonic Society in Laibach, from 1702 to 1862_,” he says:–“The Philharmonic Society, always anxious to add to its lustre by attracting honorary members, resolved to appoint the great master of harmony as one of these. This idea had previously occurred to them in 1808. At that time they asked Dr. Anton Schmidt whether he thought that the election of Beethoven, and also Hummel’s son, would contribute to the advancement of the Society. On that occasion the Society appear to have had recourse to Haydn for the composition of a Canon; whether they applied to him for a new one or an already existing one is not known. Schmidt replied, ‘I, for my part, with such an object in view, would prefer giving my vote for the latter, (Hummel’s son, who is second Kapellmeister, Haydn being the first, to the reigning Prince Niklas Esterhazy.) _Beethoven is as full of caprice as he is devoid of complaisance._ I have not seen Father Haydn for a long time, his residence being so distant. He is now in failing health and scarcely ever writes; I will, however, shortly call on him and make the attempt to get a Canon from him.’ This discouraging picture of Beethoven, who had indeed too often a repulsive manner, might well deprive the Society of all courage to think any more of him as one of their honorary members. On the 15th of March, 1819, however, the Society prepared the diploma for Beethoven, the usually stereotyped form being exceptionally varied in his honor, and running thus:–‘The Philharmonic Society here, whose aim it is to promote refinement of feeling and cultivation of taste in the science of music, and who strive by their incessant efforts to impart to the Society both inwardly and outwardly, by the judicious selection of new members, greater value, solidity, and distinction, are universally animated with the desire to see their list adorned by the name of Beethoven. The organ of this society, the undersigned directors, fulfil the general wish in thus performing _their most agreeable duty_, and giving you, sir, the strongest proof of their profound admiration, by appointing you one of their honorary members.–Laibach, March 15, 1819.'” A fac-simile of Beethoven’s handwriting is hung up in a frame under glass in the hall of the Society and affixed to Dr. Keesbacher’s pamphlet.]

[Footnote 2: We are told, “One work alone of Beethoven’s in the collection of the Society bears visible marks of coming from his own hand, and that is the _Pastoral Symphony_.” The above-mentioned copy is a MS. score (though not in his writing); on the cover is written by himself in red pencil, now almost illegible, “Sinfonie Pastorale;” and underneath are inscribed the following words in ink by another hand: “Beethoven’s writing in red pencil.” This score contains various corrections in pencil. Two of these appear to be by Beethoven, but unluckily the pencil marks are so much effaced that it is difficult to decide as to the writing. In the scene “By the Rivulet,” where the 12/8 time begins (in B flat major), these words are written, “Violoncelli tutti con Basso.” The B especially recalls his mode of writing. Moreover the _tempo_ at the beginning of “The Shepherd’s Song,” (in F, 6/8 time,) _allegretto_, is qualified by the same hand in pencil thus, _Quasi allegro_. No direct proof exists of this being sent by him.]



Vienna, May 25, 1819.

… I was at the time burdened with cares beyond all I had ever in my life known,[1] caused solely by my too lavish benefits to others. Do compose industriously! My dear pupil the Archduke Rudolph and I frequently play your works, and he says that my quondam pupil does honor to his master. Now farewell! as I hear that your wife is so handsome, I venture to embrace her in imagination only, though I hope to have that pleasure in person next winter.

Do not forget the Quintet, and the Sonata, and the money, I mean the _Honoraire, avec ou sans honneur_. I hope soon to hear good news from you, not in _allegro_ time, but _veloce prestissimo_.

This letter will be given to you by an intelligent Englishman; they are generally very able fellows, with whom I should like to pass some time in their own country.

De suo amico e Maestro,_


[Footnote 1: In Schindler’s _Beethoven’s Nachlass_ there is a large calendar of the years 1819 used by Beethoven, in which he has marked, “Arrived at Moedling May 12!!!–_miser sum pauper_.” Carl too was again ill at that time. Beethoven took him to Bloechlinger’s Institution, June 22.]




I learned with deep sorrow of your being again unwell; I trust it will only be a passing indisposition. No doubt our very variable spring is the cause of this. I intended to have brought the variations [see No. 259] yesterday; they may well boldly face the light of day, and no doubt Y.R.H. will receive an application for your consent on this point. I very much regret being only able to express a _pia desideria_ for Y.R.H’s. health. I earnestly hope the skill of your Aesculapius may at length gain the victory and procure permanent health for Y.R.H.




Moedling, July 15, 1819.

I have been very ill since my last visit to Y.R.H. in town; I hope however to be much better by next week, in which case I will instantly join Y.R.H. at Baden. Meanwhile I went several times to town to consult my physician. My continued distress about my nephew, whose moral character has been almost totally ruined, has been the main cause of my illness. At the beginning of this week I was obliged to resume my guardianship, the other guardian having resigned, and much has taken place for which he has asked my forgiveness. The solicitor has also given up his office, because, having interested himself in the good cause, he has been loudly accused of partiality. Thus these endless perplexities go on, and no help, no consolation! The whole fabric that I had reared now blown away as if by the wind! A pupil of Pestalozzi, at present an inmate of the Institute where I have placed my nephew, seems to think that it will be a difficult matter for him and for my poor Carl to attain any desirable goal. But he is also of opinion that the most advisable step is the removal of my nephew to a foreign country! I hope that the health of Y.R.H., always so interesting to me, leaves nothing to be desired, and I look forward with pleasure to soon being with Y.R.H., that I may be enabled to prove my anxiety to serve you.





May I beg the favor of Y.R.H. to inform H.R.H. Archduke Ludwig of the following circumstances. Y.R.H. no doubt remembers my mentioning the necessary removal of my nephew from here, on account of his mother. My intention was to present a petition to H.R.H. Archduke Ludwig on the subject; no difficulties however have hitherto arisen on the subject, as all the authorities concerned are in my favor. Among the chief of these are the College of Privy Councillors, the Court of Guardians, and the guardian himself, who all entirely agree with me in thinking that nothing can be more conducive to the welfare of my nephew than being kept at the greatest possible distance from his mother; moreover, all is admirably arranged for the education of my nephew in Landshut, as the estimable and renowned Professor Sailer is to superintend everything connected with the studies of the youth, and I have also some relations there, so no doubt the most desirable results may be thus attained for my nephew. Having, as I already said, as yet encountered no obstacles, I had no wish whatever to trouble H.R.H. the Archduke Ludwig, but I now understand that the mother of my nephew intends to demand an audience from H.R.H. in order to _oppose_ my scheme. She will not scruple to utter all sorts of _calumnies against me_, but I trust these can be easily refuted by my well known and acknowledged moral character, and I can fearlessly appeal to Y.R.H. for a testimony on this point for the satisfaction of H.R.H. Archduke Ludwig. As for the conduct of the mother of my nephew, it is easily to be inferred from the fact of her having been declared by the Court wholly incapable of undertaking the guardianship of her son. All that she _plotted_ in order to ruin her poor child can only be credited from her own depravity, and thence arises the _unanimous agreement_ about this affair, and the boy being entirely withdrawn from her influence. Such is the natural and unnatural state of the case. I therefore beg Y.R.H. to intercede with H.R.H. Archduke Ludwig, and to warn him against listening to the slanders of the mother, who would plunge her child into an abyss whence he could never be rescued. That sense of justice which guides every party in our just Austrian land, does not entirely exclude her either; at the same time, this _very same sense of justice_ must render all her remonstrances unavailing. A religious view of the Fourth Commandment is what chiefly decides the Court to send away the son as far as possible. The difficulty those must have who conduct the boy’s education in not offending against this commandment, and the necessity that the son should never be tempted to fail in this duty or to repudiate it, ought certainly to be taken into consideration. Every effort has been made by forbearance and generosity to amend this unnatural mother, but all has been in vain. If necessary I will supply H.R.H. Archduke Ludwig with a statement on the subject, and, favored by the advocacy of my gracious master Y.R.H. the Archduke Rudolph, I shall certainly obtain justice.





I regret to say that, owing to a judicial meeting about the affairs of my nephew (being unable to alter the hour fixed), I must give up the pleasure of waiting on Y.R.H. this evening, but shall not fail to do so to-morrow at half-past four o’clock. As for the affair itself, I know that I shall be treated with indulgence. May Heaven at length bring it to a close! for my mind suffers keenly from such a painful turmoil.




Moedling, July 29, 1819.

I heard with deep regret of Y.R.H.’s recent indisposition, and having received no further reliable information on the subject, I am extremely uneasy. I went to Vienna to search in Y.R.H.’s library for what was most suitable to me. The chief object must be to _hit off our idea at once_, and _in accordance with a high class of art_, unless the object in view should require different and more _practical_ treatment. On this point the ancient composers offer the best examples, as most of these possess real artistic value (though among them the _German Handel_ and Sebastian Bach can alone lay claim to _genius_); but _freedom_ and _progress_ are our true aim in the world of art, just as in the great creation at large; and if we moderns are not so far advanced as our _forefathers_ in _solidity_, still the refinement of our ideas has contributed in many ways to their enlargement. My illustrious musical pupil, himself a competitor for the laurels of fame, must not incur the reproach of _onesidedness, et iterum venturus judicare vivos et mortuos_. I send you three poems, from which Y.R.H. might select one to set to music. The Austrians have now learned that the _spirit of Apollo_ wakes afresh in the Imperial House; I receive from all sides requests for something of yours. The editor of the “Mode Zeitung” is to write to Y.R.H. on the subject. I only hope that I shall not be accused of being _bribed_–to be _at court and yet no courtier_! After that, what is not credible??!!!

_I met with some opposition from His Excellency the Obersthofmeister[1] in selecting the music._ It is not worth while to trouble Y.R.H. on the subject in writing; but this I will say, that such conduct might have the effect of repelling many talented, good, and noble-minded men, who had not enjoyed the good fortune to learn from personal intercourse with Y.R.H. all the admirable qualities of your mind and heart. I wish Y.R.H. a speedy, speedy recovery, and, _for my own peace of mind_, that I may hear some good tidings of Y.R.H.


[Footnote 1: Probably the Obersthofmeister, Count Laurencin, by no means approved of the manner in which Beethoven searched for music, which accounts for this outbreak on the part of the irritable _maestro_.]




I have unhappily only myself to blame! I went out yesterday for the first time, feeling pretty well, but I forgot, or rather paid no attention to the fact, that, being an invalid only just recovering, I ought to have gone home early; I have consequently brought on another attack. I think, however, that by staying at home to-day, all will be right by to-morrow, when I hope to be able to wait on my esteemed and illustrious pupil without fail. I beg Y.R.H. not to forget about Handel’s works, as they certainly offer to your mature musical genius the highest nourishment, and their study will always be productive of admiration of this great man.




Moedling, Aug. 31, 1819.

I yesterday received the intelligence _of a fresh recognition and homage[1] offered to the admirable qualities of your head and heart_. I beg that Y.R.H. will graciously accept my congratulations. They spring from the heart, and do not require to be suggested! I hope things will soon go better with me also. So much annoyance has had a most prejudicial effect on my health, and I am thus far from well; so for some time past I have been obliged to undergo a course of medicine which has only permitted me to devote myself for a few hours in the day to the most cherished boon of Heaven, my art and the Muses. I hope, however, to be able to finish the Mass[2] so that it can be performed on the 19th–if that day is still fixed. I should really be in despair[3] were I prevented by bad health from being ready by that time. I trust, however, that my sincere wishes for the accomplishment of this task may be fulfilled. As to that _chef-d’oeuvre_, the variations of Y.R.H., I think they should be published under the following title:–

Theme or Subject
composed by L. van Beethoven,
forty times varied,
and dedicated to his Instructor,
by the Illustrious Author.

The inquiries about this work are numerous, and yet, after all, this excellent composition may be ushered into the world in mutilated copies, for Y.R.H. yourself cannot possibly resist giving it first to one person and then to another; so, in Heaven’s name, together with the great homage Y.R.H. now publicly receives, let the homage to Apollo (or the Christian Cecilia) also be made public. Perhaps Y.R.H. may accuse me of _vanity_; but I do assure you that precious as this dedication is to my heart, and truly proud of it as I am, this is certainly not my chief object. Three publishers have offered to take the work,–Artaria, Steiner, and a third whose name does not at this moment occur to me. So of the two I have named, which is to have the variations? I await the commands of Y.R.H. on this point. They are to be engraved at the cost of either of those publishers, according to their own offer. The question now is whether Y.R.H. _is satisfied with the title_. My idea is that Y.R.H. should entirely close your eyes to the fact of the publication; when it does appear, Y.R.H. may deem it a misfortune, _but the world will consider it the reverse_. May Providence protect Y.R.H., and shower down the richest blessings of His grace on Y.R.H.’s sacred head, and preserve for me your gracious regard! [On the cover] My indisposition must be my excuse with Y.R.H. for this confused letter.


[Footnote 1: The Emperor Francis had sent the new Archbishop of Olmuetz, Archduke Rudolph, the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Stephen.]

[Footnote 2: The Mass for the solemnities of the Archduke Rudolph’s enthronization in Olmuetz (March 20, 1820) was not completed by Beethoven till 1822.]

[Footnote 3: Beethoven had, however, no cause for despair on the subject. The kind-hearted Archduke showed the utmost indulgence to him on this occasion as well as on many others, and even at a later period accepted the dedication of this long delayed composition.]




I perceive that Baron Schweiger has not informed Y.R.H. of the attack I had yesterday. I was suddenly seized with such sharp fever that I entirely lost consciousness; a bruised foot may have contributed to bring this on. It is therefore impossible for me to leave the house to-day. I hope, however, to be quite recovered by to-morrow, and I request Y.R.H. to appoint the orchestra to come to-morrow afternoon at a quarter to three o’clock, that the musicians may appear a little earlier, and leave sufficient time to try over the two Overtures. If Y.R.H. wishes to hear these, I shall require four horns; the Symphonies, however, require only two. For the proper performance of the Symphonies we must have at least four violins, four second, four first, two double basses, two violoncellos. I beg you will be so good as to let me know what you decide on. No pleasure can ever be greater to me than hearing my works performed before my illustrious pupil. May God speedily restore your health, which often causes me anxiety!


[Footnote 1: The letters 272, 273, 274, relate to arrangements for musical meetings at which Beethoven caused his new works to be played for the Archduke.]




I beg you will be so kind as to let Herr von Wranitzky[1] know your commands about the music, and whether to bespeak two or four horns. I have already spoken with him, and suggested his only selecting musicians who can accomplish a performance, rather than a mere rehearsal.


[Footnote 1: Anton Wranitzky (born 1760, died 1819), director of Prince Lobkowitz’s opera and band. His brother Paul (born 1756, died 1808) was from 1785 to 1808 Kapellmeister at the Royal Opera in Vienna.]




It is impossible to double the parts by eleven o’clock to-morrow, most of the copyists having so much to write this week. I think therefore you will perhaps appoint next Saturday for our _resurrection day_, and by that time I expect to be entirely recovered, and better able to conduct, which would have been rather an arduous task for me to-morrow, in spite of my good-will. On Friday I do hope to be able to go out and inquire for Y.R.H.





(_A Fragment._)

The day when a High Mass of mine is performed in honor of the solemnities for Y.R.H. will be the most delightful of my life, and God will enlighten me so that my poor abilities may contribute to the splendors of that solemn occasion. I send you the Sonata with heartfelt gratitude; I think the violoncello part is wanting,–at least I could not lay my hand on it at the moment. As the work is beautifully engraved, I have taken the liberty to add a published copy, and also a violin quintet. In addition to the two pieces written in my hand on Y.R.H.’s name-day, there are two more; the last a grand _Fugato_, so that it forms one great sonata,[1] which is now shortly to appear, and has been long _in my heart_ dedicated to Y.R.H. _The recent occurrence connected with Y.R.H.[2] is not in the slightest degree the cause of this._ I beg you will forgive my bad writing. I implore the Lord to bestow His richest blessings on Y.R.H., whose love of humanity is so comprehensive,–one of the choicest of all qualities; and in this respect Y.R.H. will always, either in a _worldly_ or _spiritual_ point of view, be one of our brightest examples.