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heirs and children. If, therefore, the proofs submitted should even be found deficient in legal formality, I cannot doubt that this want will be supplied by the noble mode of thinking of this illustrious house, and by their own inclination to generous actions.

Possibly another question may at present arise from the condition of the inheritance, which is no doubt heavily burdened, both owing to the melancholy and sudden death of the late Prince, and by the state of the times, which renders it equally just and indispensable to husband carefully all possible resources. On this account it is far from my wish to claim more than is absolutely necessary for my own livelihood, and grounded on the contract itself,–the legality of such a claim on the heirs of the late Prince not being in any way disputed.

I beg, then, that Y.H. will be pleased to direct the arrears of my salary, due since the 1st September, 1811, calculated in Vienna currency, in accordance with the scale of the contract, making in W.W. 1088 florins 42 kreuzers, to be paid, and _in the interim_, the question whether this salary ought to be paid in Vienna currency can be deferred until the affairs are settled, when the subject is again brought before the trustees, and my claims admitted to be just by their consent and authority. The late Prince having given me sixty ducats merely on account of my salary, which was to be paid by agreement in Vienna currency, and as this agreement (as every intelligent man will inform Y.H.) must be accepted to its full extent, or at all events not cause me loss, it follows as a matter of course that Y.H. will not object to my considering the sixty ducats as only an instalment of the arrears due to me beyond the usual scale of payment, agreed to be paid in Vienna currency, so that the amount must not be deducted from the sum still due to me.

I feel sure that Y.H.’s noble feelings will do justice to the equity of my proposal, and my wish to enter into every detail of this affair, so far as circumstances permit, and also my readiness to postpone my claims to suit your convenience. The same elevated sentiments which prompted you to fulfil the engagement entered into by the late Prince, will also make Y.H. apprehend the absolute necessity entailed on me by my position again to solicit immediate payment of the arrears of my salary, which are indispensable for my maintenance.

Anxiously hoping for a favorable answer to my petition, I have the honor to remain, with profound respect,

Y.R.H.’s obedient servant,





As the Prince’s counsel declared that my claim could not be heard till the choice of a guardian had been made, and as I now hear that Y.H. has been graciously pleased yourself to assume that office, but decline receiving any one, I present my humble petition in writing, requesting at the same time your early consideration; for you can easily understand that, relying on a thing as a certainty, it is painful to be so long deprived of it, especially as I am obliged entirely to support an unfortunate sickly brother and his whole family,[1] which (not computing my own wants) has entirely exhausted my resources, having expected to provide for myself by the payment of my salary. You may perceive the justice of my claims from the fact of my faithfully naming the receipt of the sixty ducats, advanced to me by the late Prince in Prague, the Prince’s counsel himself declaring that I might have said nothing about this sum, the late Prince not having mentioned it either to him or to his cashier.

Forgive my being obliged to intrude this affair on you, but necessity compels me to do so. Some days hence I shall take the liberty of making inquiries on the subject from the Prince’s counsel, or from any one Y.H. may appoint.

I remain, most esteemed and illustrious Princess,

Your devoted servant,


[Footnote 1: See a letter to Ries, Nov. 22d, 1815:–“He was consumptive for some years, and, in order to make his life easier, I can safely compute what I gave him at 10,000 florins W.W.”]




Forward the accompanying letter to-day without fail to Brunswick, that it may arrive as soon and as safely as possible. Excuse the trouble I give you. I have been again applied to, to send some of my works to Gratz, in Styria, for a concert to be given in aid of the Ursuline convent and its schools: last year they had very large receipts by this means. Including this concert, and one I gave in Carlsbad for the benefit of the sufferers from fire at Baden, three concerts have been given by me, and through me, for benevolent purposes in one year; and yet if I ask a favor, people are as deaf as a post. Your


I. Letter to Sclowonowitsch (Maitre des bureaux des postes) in Cassel. I can no longer do without the books of Tiedge and Frau von der Recke, as I am expected to give some opinion about them.




Rode was not quite correct in all that he said of me; my health is not particularly good, and from no fault of my own,–my present condition being the most unfortunate of my life. But neither this nor anything in the world shall prevent me from assisting, so far as it lies in my power, the innocent and distressed ladies of your convent by my poor works. I therefore place at your disposal two new symphonies, a bass aria with chorus, and several minor choruses; if you desire again to perform “Hungaria’s Benefactors,” which you gave last year, it is also at your service. Among the choruses you will find a “Dervise Chorus,” a capital bait for a mixed public.

In my opinion, your best plan would be to select a day when you could give the “Mount of Olives,” which has been everywhere performed. This would occupy one half of the concert, and the other half might consist of a new symphony, the overtures, and various choruses, and likewise the above-named bass aria and chorus; thus the evening would not be devoid of variety. But you can settle all this more satisfactorily with the aid of your own musical authorities. I think I can guess what you mean about a gratuity for me from a _third person_. Were I in the same position as formerly, I would at once say, “Beethoven never accepts anything _where the benefit of humanity is concerned_;” but owing to my own too great benevolence I am reduced to a low ebb, the cause of which, however, does not put me to shame, being combined with other circumstances for which men devoid of honor and principle are alone to blame; so I do not hesitate to say that I would not refuse the contribution of the rich man to whom you allude.[1] But there is no question here of any _claim_. If, however, the affair with the _third person_ comes to nothing, pray rest assured that I shall be equally disposed to confer the same benefit as last year on my friends the respected Ursuline ladies, and shall at all times be ready to succor the poor and needy so long as I live. And now farewell! Write soon, and I will zealously strive to make all necessary arrangements. My best wishes for the convent.

I am, with esteem, your friend,


[Footnote 1: Reichardt, on the 1st March, 1809, writes in his _Vertraute Briefe_,–“Beethoven, by ‘a rich third person,’ as the following letter proves, meant Louis Bonaparte, who, after abdicating the Dutch throne, lived in Gratz.”]




I received your letter with much pleasure, but with much displeasure the 100 florins allotted to me by our poor convent ladies; in the mean time I will apply part of this sum to pay the copyists–the surplus and the accounts for copying shall be sent to these good ladies.

I never accept anything for such a purpose. I thought that perhaps the _third person_ to whom you alluded might be the Ex-King of Holland, in which case I should have had no scruples, under my present circumstances, in accepting a gratuity from him, who has no doubt taken enough from the Dutch in a less legitimate way; but as it is, I must decline (though in all friendship) any renewal of this subject.

Let me know whether, were I to come myself to Gratz, I could give a concert, and what the receipts would probably be; for Vienna, alas! can no longer continue my place of abode. Perhaps it is now too late? but any information from you on the point will be very welcome.

The works are being copied, and you shall have them as soon as possible. You may do just what you please with the Oratorio; where it will be of most use it will best fulfil my intentions.

I am, with esteem, your obedient


P.S. Say all that is kind from me to the worthy Ursuline ladies. I rejoice in being able to serve them.



Confounded, invited guest! _Domanowetz!_–not musical Count, but gobbling Count! dinner Count! supper Count! &c., &c. The Quartet is to be tried over to-day at ten o’clock or half-past, at Lobkowitz’s.[1] His Highness, whose wits are generally astray, is not yet arrived; so pray join us, if you can escape from your Chancery jailer. Herzog is to see you to-day. He intends to take the post of my man-servant; you may agree to give him thirty florins, with his wife _obbligata_. Firing, light, and morning livery found. I must have some one who knows how to cook, for if my food continues as bad as it now is, I shall always be ill. I dine at home to-day, because I get better wine. If you will only order what you like, I very much wish you to come to me. You shall have the wine _gratis_, and of far better quality than what you get at the scoundrelly “Swan.”

Your very insignificant


[Footnote 1: Reichardt, in his _Vertraute Briefe_, writes: “The beautiful quartets and evening concerts for the Archduke Rudolph still continue at Prince von Lobkowitz’s, although the Prince himself is about to join his battalion in Bohemia.” Reichardt, Vol. I. p. 182, calls Lobkowitz “an indefatigable, insatiable, genuine enthusiast for art.”]



Feb. 25, 1813.

I have been constantly indisposed, dear Zmeskall, since I last saw you; in the mean time the servant who lived with you before your present one has applied for my situation. I do not recollect him, but he told me he had been with you, and that you had nothing to say against him, except that he did not dress your hair as you wished. I gave him earnest-money, though only a florin. Supposing you have no other fault to find with the man (and if so I beg you will candidly mention it), I intend to engage him, for you know that it is no object with me to have my hair dressed; it would be more to the purpose if my finances could be dressed, or _re-dressed_. I hope to get an answer from you to day. If there is no one to open the door to your servant, let him leave the note in the entrance to the left, and should he find no one there either, he must give it to the porter’s wife below stairs. May Heaven prosper you in your musical undertakings! Your





Feb. 28, 1813.

Let us leave things as they are for to-day, dear Z., till we meet [and so on about the servant].

Farewell! Carefully guard the fortresses of the realm, which, as you know, are no longer virgins, and have already received many a shot.

Your friend,





Be so good as to let me know how matters stand, as this afternoon at latest I shall take advantage of your reply to my question, by giving my servant warning for this day fortnight. His wages, &c., &c. [The rest relates to his servant.]



April 19, 1813.


I have been refused the University Hall. I heard this two days since; but being indisposed yesterday I could not go to see you, nor can I to-day either. We have no resource now but the Kaernthnerthor Theatre, or the one “an der Wien.” I believe there will only be one concert. If both these fail, we must then have recourse to the Augarten, in which case we ought certainly to give two concerts. Reflect on this, my dear friend, and let me have your opinion. To-morrow the symphonies may perhaps be tried over at the Archduke’s if I am able to go out, of which I will apprise you.

Your friend,




April 23, 1813.


All will go right, the Archduke being resolved to take this Prince _Fizlypuzly_ roundly to task. Let me know if you are to dine at the tavern to-day, or where? Pray tell me if “Sentivany” is properly spelt, as I wish to write to him at the same time about the Chorus. We must also consult together what day to choose. By the by, be cautious not to mention the intercession of the Archduke, for Prince _Fizlypuzly_ is not to be with him till Sunday, and if that evil-minded creditor had any previous hint of the affair, he would still try to evade us.

Yours ever,




April 26, 1813.

Lobkowitz will give me a day on the 15th of May, or after that period, which seems to me scarcely better than none at all; so I am almost disposed to give up all idea of a concert. But the Almighty will no doubt prevent my being utterly ruined.





Baden, May 27, 1813.

I have the honor to inform you of my arrival in Baden, which is indeed still very empty of human beings, but with all the greater luxuriance and full lustre does Nature shine in her enchanting loveliness. Where I fail, or ever have failed, be graciously indulgent towards me, for so many trying occurrences, succeeding each other so closely, have really almost bewildered me; still I am convinced that the resplendent beauties of Nature here, and the charming environs, will gradually restore my spirits, and a double share of tranquillity be my portion, as by my stay here I likewise fulfil the wishes of Y.R.H. Would that my desire soon to hear that Y.R.H. is fully restored were equally fulfilled! This is indeed my warmest wish, and how much I grieve that I cannot at this moment contribute to your recovery by means of _my_ art! This is reserved for the goddess Hygeia alone, and I, alas! am only a poor mortal, who commends himself to Y.R.H., and sincerely hopes soon to be permitted to wait on you.




Vienna, July 24, 1813.

From day to day I have been expecting to return to Baden; in the mean time, the discords that detain me here may possibly be resolved by the end of the ensuing week. To me a residence in a town during the summer is misery, and when I also remember that I am thus prevented waiting on Y.R.H., it is still more vexatious and annoying. It is, in fact, the Lobkowitz and Kinsky affairs that keep me here. Instead of pondering over a number of bars, I am obliged constantly to reflect on the number of peregrinations I am forced to make; but for this, I could scarcely endure to the end. Y.R.H. has no doubt heard of Lobkowitz’s misfortunes,[1] which are much to be regretted; but after all, to be rich is no such great happiness! It is said that Count Fries alone paid 1900 gold ducats to Duport, for which he had the security of the ancient Lobkowitz house. The details are beyond all belief. I hear that Count Rasumowsky[2] intends to go to Baden, and to take his Quartet with him, which is really very pretty, and I have no doubt that Y.R.H. will be much pleased with it. I know no more charming enjoyment in the country than quartet music. I beg Y.R.H. will accept my heartfelt wishes for your health, and also compassionate me for being obliged to pass my time here under such disagreeable circumstances. But I will strive to compensate twofold in Baden for what you have lost.


[Footnote 1: Prince Lobkowitz’s “misfortunes” probably refer to the great pecuniary difficulties which befell this music and pomp loving Prince several years before his death. Beethoven seems to have made various attempts to induce the Prince to continue the payment of his share of the salary agreed on, though these efforts were long fruitless. The subject, however, appears to have been again renewed in 1816, for on the 8th of March in this year Beethoven writes to Ries to say that his salary consists of 3400 florins E.S., and this sum he received till his death.]

[Footnote 2: Those who played in Count Rasumowsky’s Quartets, to whom Beethoven dedicated various compositions, were the _virtuosi_ Schuppanzigh (1st), Sina (2d violin), Linke (violoncello), Weiss (violin).]




I beg to inquire whether, being in some degree restored, I am to wait on you this evening? I at the same time take the liberty to make a humble request. I was in hopes that by this time, at all events, my melancholy circumstances would have brightened, but all continues in its old state, so I must determine on giving two concerts.[2] I find that I am compelled to give up my former resolution never to give any except for benevolent purposes; as self-maintenance demands that I should do so. The hall of the University would be the most advantageous and distinguished for my present object, and my humble request consists in entreating Y.R.H. to be so gracious as to send a line to the present _Rector Magnificus_ of the University, through Baron Schweiger, which would certainly ensure my getting the hall. In the hope of a favorable answer, I remain, &c., &c.


[Footnote 1: Late in the autumn of 1813.]

[Footnote 2: The concerts here referred to were given in the University Hall on the 8th and 12th December, 1813, when the _Battle of Vittoria_ and the A major Symphony were performed for the first time. Beethoven himself conducted.]



Late in the Autumn of 1813.


I have to-day applied (by letter) to my gracious master to interest himself in procuring the University Hall for two concerts which I think of giving, and in fact must give, for all remains as it was. Always considering you, both in good and evil fortune, my best friend, I suggested to the Duke that you should apply in his name for this favor to the present Rector of the University. Whatever may be the result, let me know H.R.H.’s decision as soon as possible, that I may make further efforts to extricate myself from a position so detrimental to me and to my art. I am coming this evening to the Archduke.

Your friend,






I request you will send me the parts of the Symphony in A, and likewise my score. His I.H. can have the MS. again, but I require it at present for the music in the Augarten to-morrow. I have just received two tickets, which I send to you, and beg you will make use of them.

I am, with esteem, yours,


[Footnote 1: Private Secretary to the Archduke Rudolph.]



Oct. 9, 1813.


Don’t be indignant with me for asking you to address the enclosed letter properly; the person for whom it is intended is constantly complaining that he gets no letters from me. Yesterday I took one myself to the post-office, when I was asked where the letter was meant to go. I see, therefore, that my writing seems to be as little understood as myself. Thence my request to you. Your




I esteem it my duty to express my gratitude for the great zeal shown by all those artists who so kindly cooeperated on the 8th and 12th December [1813] in the concerts given for the benefit of the Austrian and Bavarian soldiers wounded at the battle of Hanau. It was a rare combination of eminent artists, where all were inspired by the wish to be of use to their father-land, and to contribute by the exercise of their talents to the fulfilment of the undertaking, while, regardless of all precedence, they gladly accepted subordinate places.[1] While an artist like Herr Schuppanzigh was at the head of the first violins, and by his fiery and expressive mode of conducting kindled the zeal of the whole orchestra, Herr Kapellmeister Salieri did not scruple to give the time to the drums and cannonades; Herr Spohr and Herr Mayseder, each worthy from his talents to fill the highest post, played in the second and third rank. Herr Siboni and Herr Giuliani also filled subordinate places. The conducting of the whole was only assigned to me from the music being my own composition; had it been that of any one else, I would willingly, like Herr Hummel, have taken my place at the big drum, as the only feeling that pervaded all our hearts was true love for our father-land, and the wish cheerfully to devote our powers to those who had sacrificed so much for us. Particular thanks are due to Herr Maelzel, inasmuch as he first suggested the idea of this concert, and the most troublesome part of the enterprise, the requisite arrangements, management, and regulations, devolved on him. I more especially thank him for giving me an opportunity by this concert of fulfilling a wish I have long cherished, to compose for such a benevolent object (exclusive of the works already made over to him) a comprehensive work more adapted to the present times, to be laid on the altar of my father-land.[2] As a notice is to be published of all those who assisted on this occasion, the public will be enabled to judge of the noble self-denial exercised by a mass of the greatest artists, working together with the same benevolent object in view.


[Footnote 1: The A major Symphony and _Wellington’s Victory at Vittoria_ were performed.]

[Footnote 2: “Obsolete” is written in pencil by Beethoven.]




I beg you will send me the score of the “Final Chorus”[2] for half a day, as the theatrical score is so badly written.


[Footnote 1: The spring of 1814.]

[Footnote 2: The _Schlusschor_, the score of which Beethoven requests the Archduke to send him, is in all probability the Finale _Germania! Germania!_ intended for Treitschke’s Operetta _Die gute Nachricht_, which refers to the taking of Paris by the Allies, and was performed for the first time at Vienna in the Kaernthnerthor Theatre on the 11th April, 1814. The same _Final Chorus_ was substituted for another of Beethoven’s (_Es ist vollbracht_) in Treitschke’s Operetta _Die Ehrenpforten_, first given on the 15th July, 1815, in the Kaernthnerthor Theatre. Both these choruses are printed in score in Breitkopf & Haertel’s edition of Beethoven’s works.]




Having only so recently received the score of the “Final Chorus,” I must ask you to excuse your getting it back so late. The best thing H.R.H. can do is to have it transcribed, for in its present form the score is of no use. I would have brought it myself, but I have been laid up with a cold since last Sunday, which is most severe, and obliges me to be very careful, being so much indisposed. I never feel greater satisfaction than when Y.R.H. derives any pleasure through me. I hope very soon to be able to wait on you myself, and in the mean time I pray that you will keep me in remembrance.





The song “Germania” belongs to the whole world who sympathize with the subject, and to you beyond all others, just as I myself am wholly yours. I wish you a good journey to Palermo.




March, 1814.


I have read with the greatest satisfaction your amendments of the Opera [“Fidelio” which was about to be again performed]. It has decided me once more to rebuild the desolate ruins of an ancient fortress.

Your friend,




The affair of the Opera is the most troublesome in the world, and there is scarcely one part of it which quite satisfies me now, and that I have not been obliged to _amend by something more satisfactory_. But what a difference between this, and giving one’s self up to freely flowing thought and inspiration!




I request, my dear T., that you will send me the score of the song [in “Fidelio,” _Geld ist eine schoene Sache_], that the interpolated notes may be transcribed in all the instrumental parts; though I shall not take it at all amiss if you prefer that Girowetz or any other person, perhaps Weinmueller [who sang the part of Rocco], should do so. This I have nothing to say against, but I will not suffer my composition to be altered by any one whatever, be he who he may.

I am, with high consideration,

Your obedient





If you wish to attend our council [about the alterations in “Fidelio”], I beg to inform you that it assembles this afternoon at half-past three o’clock, in the Spielmann Haus, auf dem Graben, No. 188, 4th Etage, at Herr Weinmueller’s. I shall be very glad if you have leisure to be present.

[Footnote 1: The mention of Weinmueller decides the date of this note, as it was in the spring of 1814 that he, together with the singers Saal and Vogl, brought about the revival of _Fidelio_.]



My dear, victorious, and yet sometimes nonplussed (?) Count! I hope that you rested well, most precious and charming of all Counts! Oh! most beloved and unparalleled Count! most fascinating and prodigious Count!

[Music: Treble clef, E-flat Major, 2/2 time. Graf Graf Graf Graf (in 3-part harmony)
Graf (in 3-part counterpoint)
Graf Graf Graf, liebster Graf, liebstes Schaf, bester Graf, bestes Schaf! Schaf! Schaf!]

(_To be repeated at pleasure_.)

At what hour shall we call on Walter to-day? My going or not depends entirely on you. Your


[Footnote 1: In Schindler’s _Beethoven’s Nachlass_ there is also an autograph Canon of Beethoven’s in F major, 6/8, on Count Lichnowsky, on the words, _Bester Herr Graf, Sie sind ein Schaf_, written (according to Schindler) Feb. 20th, 1823, in the coffee-house “Die Goldne Birne,” in the Landstrasse, where Beethoven usually went every evening, though he generally slipped in by the backdoor.]




I hope you forgive me for not having come to you. Your displeasure would be totally undeserved, and I will amply compensate for lost time in a few days. My Opera of “Fidelio”[1] is again to be performed, which gives me a great deal to do; moreover, though I look well, I am not so in reality. The arrangements for my second concert[2] are partly completed. I must write something new for Mdlle. Milder.[3] Meanwhile it is a consolation to me to hear that Y.R.H. is so much better. I hope I am not too sanguine in thinking that I shall soon be able to contribute towards this. I have taken the liberty to apprise my Lord Falstaff[4] that he is ere long to have the honor of appearing before Y.R.H.


[Footnote 1: Letters 125 and 126 refer to the revival of the Opera of _Fidelio_, which had not been given since 1806, and was not again produced on the stage till the 23d May, 1814, in the Kaernthnerthor Theatre. Beethoven’s benefit took place on the 8th July, two newly composed pieces being inserted.]

[Footnote 2: Beethoven gave a concert on the 2d January, 1814, when _Wellington’s Victory_ was performed, and on the 26th March another for the benefit of the Theatrical Fund, at which the _Overture to Egmont_ and _Wellingtons’s Victory_ were given, directed by Beethoven himself.]

[Footnote 3: Anna Milder, Royal Court opera singer, a pupil of Vogl’s, who first sang the part of Leonore in _Fidelio_.]

[Footnote 4: By “my Lord Falstaff” he means the corpulent violinist Schuppanzigh.]



Vienna, July 14, 1814.

Whenever I inquire about you I hear nothing but good news. As for my own insignificant self, I have been hitherto hopelessly detained in Vienna, and unable to approach Y.R.H.; I am also thus deprived of the enjoyment of beautiful Nature, so dear to me. The directors of the theatre are so _conscientious_, that, contrary to their faithful promise, they have again given my Opera of “Fidelio,” without thinking of giving me any share in the receipts. They would have exhibited the same commendable good faith a second time, had I not been on the watch like a French custom-house officer of other days. At last, after a great many troublesome discussions, it was settled that the Opera of “Fidelio” should be given on Monday the 18th of July, for my benefit. These _receipts_ at this season of the year may more properly be called _deceits_; but if a work is in any degree successful it often becomes a little feast for the author. To this feast the master invites his illustrious pupil, and hopes–yes! I hope that Y.R.H. will graciously consent to come, and thus add lustre to everything by your presence. It would be a great boon if Y.R.H. would endeavor to persuade the other members of the Imperial family to be present at the representation of my Opera, and I on my part will not fail to take the proper steps on the subject which duty commands. Vogl’s illness[1] enabled me to satisfy my desire to give the part of Pizarro to Forti,[2] his voice being better suited to it; but owing to this there are daily rehearsals, which cannot fail to have a favorable effect on the performance, but which render it impossible for me to wait upon Y.R.H. before my benefit. Pray give this letter your favorable consideration, and think graciously of me.


[Footnote 1: Joh. Mich. Vogl, born August 10th, 1768, was Court opera singer (tenor) in Vienna from 1794 to 1822; he died November 19th, 1840.]

[Footnote 2: Forti, born June 8th, 1790, a member of the Royal Court Theatre (a barytone), pensioned off in 1834.]




I voluntarily presented Maelzel _gratis_ with a “Battle Symphony” for his panharmonica. After having kept it for some time, he brought me back the score, which he had already begun to engrave, saying that he wished it to be harmonized for a full orchestra. The idea of a battle had already occurred to me, which, however, could not be performed on his panharmonica. We agreed to select this and some more of my works [see No. 116] to be given at the concert for the benefit of disabled soldiers. At that very time I became involved in the most frightful pecuniary difficulties. Forsaken by every one in Vienna, and in daily expectation of remittances, &c., Maelzel offered me fifty gold ducats, which I accepted, saying that I would either repay them, or allow him to take the work to London, (provided I did not go there myself with him,) referring him to an English publisher for payment.

I got back from him the score written for the panharmonica. The concerts then took place, and during that time Herr Maelzel’s designs and character were first fully revealed. Without my consent, he stated on the bills of the concert that the work was _his property_. Indignant at this, I insisted on his destroying these bills. He then stated that I had given it to him as a friendly act, because he was going to London. To this I did not object, believing that I had reserved the right to state the conditions on which the work should be his own. I remember that when the bills were being printed, I violently opposed them, but the time was too short, as I was still writing the work. In all the fire of inspiration, and absorbed in my composition, I scarcely thought at all on the subject. Immediately after the first concert in the University Hall, I was told on all sides, and by people on whom I could rely, that Maelzel had everywhere given out he had paid me 400 gold ducats for the Symphony. I sent what follows to a newspaper, but the editor would not insert it, as Maelzel stands well with them all. As soon as the first concert was over, I repaid Maelzel his fifty ducats, declaring that having discovered his real character, nothing should ever induce me to travel with him; justly indignant that, without consulting me, he had stated in the bills that all the arrangements for the concert were most defective. His own despicable want of patriotism too is proved by the following expressions: “I care nothing at all about L.; if it is only said in London that people have paid ten gulden for admission here, that is all I care about; the wounded are nothing to me.” Moreover, I told him that he might take the work to London on certain conditions, which I would inform him of. He then asserted that it was a _friendly gift_, and made use of this phrase in the newspapers after the second concert, without giving me the most remote hint on the subject. As Maelzel is a rude, churlish man, entirely devoid of education or cultivation, it is easy to conceive the tenor of his conduct to me during this time, which still further irritated me. Who could bear to be forced to bestow a _friendly gift_ on such a man? I was offered an opportunity to send the work to the Prince Regent, [afterwards George IV.] It was therefore quite impossible for me to _give away the work unconditionally_.

He then called on a mutual friend to make proposals. He was told on what day to return for an answer, but he never appeared, set off on his travels, and performed the work in Munich. How did he obtain it? He could not possibly _steal_ it; but Herr Maelzel had several of the parts for some days in his house, and he caused the entire work to be harmonized by some obscure musical journeyman, and is now hawking it about the world. Herr Maelzel promised me ear-trumpets. I harmonized the “Battle Symphony” for his panharmonica from a wish to keep him to his word. The ear-trumpets came at last, but were not of the service to me that I expected. For this slight trouble Herr Maelzel, after my having arranged the “Battle Symphony” for a full orchestra, and composed a battle-piece in addition, declared that I ought to have made over these works to him as _his own exclusive property_. Even allowing that I am in some degree obliged to him for the ear-trumpets, this is entirely balanced by his having made at least 500 gulden in Munich by my mutilated or stolen battle-piece. He has therefore paid himself in full. He had actually the audacity to say here that he was in possession of the battle-piece; in fact he showed it, written out, to various persons. I did not believe this; and, in fact, with good reason, as the whole is not by me, but compiled by some one else. Indeed the credit he assumes for the work should alone be sufficient compensation.

The secretary at the War Office made no allusion whatever to me, and yet every work performed at both concerts was of my composition.

Herr Maelzel thinks fit to say that he has delayed his visit to London on account of the battle-piece, which is a mere subterfuge. He stayed to finish his patchwork, as the first attempt did not succeed.




The Summer of 1814.

A thousand thanks, my esteemed Kauka. At last I meet with a _legal representative_ and a _man_, who can both write and think without using unmeaning formulas. You can scarcely imagine how I long for the end of this affair, as it not only interferes with my domestic expenditure, but is injurious to me in various ways. You know yourself that a sensitive spirit ought not to be fettered by miserable anxieties, and much that might render my life happy is thus abstracted from it. Even my inclination and the duty I assigned myself, to serve suffering humanity by means of my art, I have been obliged to limit, and must continue to do so.[1]

I write nothing about our monarchs and monarchies, for the newspapers give you every information on these subjects.[2] The intellectual realm is the most precious in my eyes, and far above all temporal and spiritual monarchies. Write to me, however, what you wish _for yourself_ from my poor musical capabilities, that I may, in so far as it lies in my power, supply something for your own musical sense and feeling. Do you not require all the papers connected with the Kinsky case? If so I will send them to you, as they contain most important testimony, which, indeed, I believe you read when with me. Think of me and do not forget that you represent a disinterested artist in opposition to a niggardly family. How gladly do men withhold from the poor artist in one respect _what they pay him in another_, and there is no longer a Zeus with whom an artist can invite himself to feast on ambrosia. Strive, my dear friend, to accelerate the tardy steps of justice. Whenever I feel myself elevated high, and in happy moments revel in my artistic sphere, circumstances drag me down again, and none more than these two lawsuits. You too have your disagreeable moments, though with the views and capabilities I know you to possess, especially in your profession, I could scarcely have believed this; still I must recall your attention to myself. I have drunk to the dregs a cup of bitter sorrow, and already earned martyrdom in art through my beloved artistic disciples and colleagues. I beg you will think of me every day, and imagine it to be an _entire world_, for it is really asking rather too much of you to think of so humble an _individual_ as myself.

I am, with the highest esteem and friendship,

Your obedient


[Footnote 1: He supported a consumptive brother and his wife and child.]

[Footnote 2: At the Vienna Congress Beethoven was received with much distinction by the potentates present.]



Vienna, July 25, 1814.

Herr Maelzel, now in London, on his way thither performed my “Battle Symphony” and “Wellington’s Battle of Vittoria” in Munich, and no doubt he intends to produce them at London concerts, as he wished to do in Frankfort. This induces me to declare that I never in any way made over or transferred the said works to Herr Maelzel; that no one possesses a copy of them, and that the only one verified by me I sent to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent of England. The performance of these works, therefore, by Herr Maelzel is either an imposition on the public, as the above declaration proves that he does not possess them, or if he does, he has been guilty of a breach of faith towards me, inasmuch as he must have got them in a surreptitious manner.

But even in the latter case the public will still be deluded, for the works that Herr Maelzel performs under the titles of “Wellington’s Battle of Vittoria” and “Battle Symphony” are beyond all doubt spurious and mutilated, as he never had any portion of either of these works of mine, except some of the parts for a few days.

This suspicion becomes a certainty from the testimony of various artists here, whose names I am authorized to give if necessary. These gentlemen state that Herr Maelzel, before he left Vienna, declared that he was in possession of these works, and showed various portions, which, however, as I have already proved, must be counterfeit. The question whether Herr Maelzel be capable of doing me such an injury is best solved by the following fact,–In the public papers he named himself as sole giver of the concert on behalf of our wounded soldiers, whereas my works alone were performed there, and yet he made no allusion whatsoever to me.

I therefore appeal to the London musicians not to permit such a grievous wrong to be done to their fellow-artist by Herr Maelzel’s performance of the “Battle of Vittoria” and the “Battle Symphony,” and also to prevent the London public being so shamefully imposed upon.



Vienna, August 22, 1814.

You have shown a feeling for harmony, and you can resolve a great discord in my life, which causes me much discomfort, into more pleasing melody, if you will. I shortly expect to hear something of what you understand is likely to happen, as I eagerly anticipate the result of this most _unjust_ affair with the Kinskys. When the Princess was here, she seemed to be well disposed towards me; still I do not know how it will end. In the mean time I must restrict myself in everything, and await with entire confidence what is _rightfully my own_ and _legally devolves on me_; and though unforeseen occurrences caused changes in this matter, still two witnesses recently bore testimony to the wish of the deceased Prince that my appointed salary in _Banco Zettel_ should be paid in _Einloesung Schein_, making up the original sum, and the Prince himself gave me sixty gold ducats _on account_ of my claim.

Should the affair turn out badly for me by the conduct of the Kinsky family, I will publish it in every newspaper, to their disgrace. If there had been an heir, and the facts had been told to him _in all their truth_, just as I narrated them, I am convinced that he would at once have adopted the words and deeds of his predecessor. Has Dr. Wolf [the previous advocate] shown you the papers, or shall I make you acquainted with them? As I am by no means sure that this letter will reach you safely, I defer sending you the pianoforte arrangement of my opera “Fidelio,” which is ready to be dispatched.

I hope, in accordance with your usual friendliness, soon to hear from you. I am also writing to Dr. Wolf (who certainly does not treat any one _wolfishly_), in order not to arouse his _passion_, so that he may have _compassion_ on me, and neither take my purse nor my life.

I am, with esteem, your true friend,




Baden, Sept. 21, 1841.[1]


I unluckily only got your letter yesterday. A thousand thanks for your remembrance of me. Pray express my gratitude also to your charming Princess Christiane [wife of Prince Carl Lichnowsky]. I had a delightful walk yesterday with a friend in the Bruehl, and in the course of our friendly chat you were particularly mentioned, and lo! and behold! on my return I found your kind letter. I see you are resolved to continue to load me with benefits.

As I am unwilling you should suppose that a step I have already taken is prompted by your recent favors, or by any motive of the sort, I must tell you that a sonata of mine [Op. 90] is about to appear, _dedicated to you_. I wished to give you a surprise, as this dedication has been long designed for you, but your letter of yesterday induces me to name the fact. I required no new motive thus publicly to testify my sense of your friendship and kindness. But as for anything approaching to a gift in return, you would only distress me, by thus totally misinterpreting my intentions, and I should at once decidedly refuse such a thing.

I beg to kiss the hand of the Princess for her kind message and all her goodness to me. _Never have I forgotten what I owe to you all_, though an unfortunate combination of circumstances prevented my testifying this as I could have wished.

From what you tell me about Lord Castlereagh, I think the matter in the best possible train. If I were to give an opinion on the subject, I should say that Lord Castlereagh ought to hear the work given here before writing to Wellington. I shall soon be in Vienna, when we can consult together about a grand concert. Nothing is to be effected at Court; I made the application, but–but–

[Music: Treble clef, C major, 4/4 time, Adagio. al-lein al-lein al-lein]


Farewell, my esteemed friend; pray continue to esteem me worthy of your friendship. Yours,


A thousand compliments to the illustrious Princess.

[Footnote 1: The date reversed, as written by Beethoven, is here given.]




I perceive that Y.R.H. wishes to try the effect of my music even upon horses.[1] We shall see whether its influence will cause the riders to throw some clever summersets. Ha! ha! I can’t help laughing at Y.R.H. thinking of me on such an occasion; for which I shall remain so long as I live, &c., &c., &c. The horse-music that Y.R.H. desires shall set off to you full gallop.


[Footnote 1: A tournament was held on the 23d November, 1814, in the Royal Riding School. Beethoven was probably requested by the Archduke to compose some music for it, which, however, has not been traced.]




It is impossible for me to-day to wait on you, much as I wish it. I am dispatching the work on Wellington’s victory[1] to London. Such matters have their appointed and fixed time, which cannot be delayed without final loss. To-morrow I hope to be able to call on Y.R.H.


[Footnote 1: The Cantata _Der glorreiche Augenblick_, the poetry by Dr. Alois Weissenbach, set to music by Beethoven for chorus and orchestra (Op. 136), was first given in Vienna on the 29th November, 1814, and repeated on the 2d December.]



(In a different hand) Dec. 1814.

I really feel that I can never deserve your goodness towards me. I beg to offer my most respectful thanks for Y.R.H.’s gracious intervention in my affairs at Prague. I will punctually attend to the score of the Cantata.[1] I trust Y.R.H. will forgive my not having yet been to see you. After the concert for the poor, comes one in the theatre, equally for the benefit of the _impresario in angustia_, for they have felt some just shame, and have let me off with one third and one half of the usual charges. I have now some fresh work on hand, and then there is a new opera to be begun,[2] the subject of which I am about to decide on. Moreover, I am again far from well, but a few days hence I will wait on Y.R.H. If I could be of any service to Y.R.H., the most eager and anxious wish of my life would be fulfilled.


[Footnote 1: What concert Beethoven alludes to I cannot discover, but no mention of it being made in the very exact _Allgemeine Leipziger Musikalische Zeitung_, it appears not to have taken place.]

[Footnote 2: The new opera, with the subject of which Beethoven was occupied, was no doubt Treitschke’s _Romulus_.]




My warmest thanks for your present.[1] I only regret that you could not participate in the music. I have now the honor to send you the score of the Cantata [see No. 134]. Y.R.H. can keep it for some days, and afterwards I shall take care that it is copied for you as soon as possible.

I feel still quite exhausted from fatigue and worry, pleasure and delight!–all combined! I shall have the honor of waiting on you in the course of a few days. I hope to hear favorable accounts of Y.R.H.’s health. How gladly would I sacrifice many nights, were it in my power to restore you entirely!


[Footnote 1: The present he refers to was probably for the concert of November 29th, or December 2d, 1814.]




I see with real pleasure that I may dismiss all fears for your well-being. As for myself, I hope (always feeling happy when able to give you any pleasure) that my health is also rapidly recruiting, when I intend forthwith to compensate both you and myself for the _pauses_ that have occurred. As for Prince Lobkowitz, his _pauses_ with me still continue, and I fear he will never again come in at the right place; and in Prague (good heavens! with regard to Prince Kinsky’s affair) they scarcely as yet know what a figured bass is, for they sing in slow, long-drawn choral notes; some of these sustained through sixteen bars |======|. As all these discords seem likely to be very slowly resolved, it is best to bring forward only those which we can ourselves resolve, and to give up the rest to inevitable fate. Allow me once more to express my delight at the recovery of Y.R.H.


[Footnote 1: 1814 or 1815. Prince Lobkowitz was still alive at that time (died December 21st, 1816).]




As you were so kind as to let me know through Count Troyer[1] that you would write a few lines on my affairs in Prague to the _Oberstburggraf_ Count Kolowrat, I take the liberty to enclose my letter to Count K.; I do not believe that it contains anything to which Y.R.H. will take exception. There is no chance of my being allowed payment in _Einloesung Schein_, for, in spite of all the proofs, the guardians cannot be persuaded to consent to this; still it is to be hoped that by the friendly steps we have meanwhile had recourse to, _extra-judicially_, a more favorable result may be obtained,–as, for instance, the rate of the scale to be higher. If, however, Y.R.H. will either write a few words yourself, or cause it to be done in your name, the affair will certainly be _much accelerated_, which induces me earnestly to entreat Y.R.H. to perform your gracious promise to me. This affair has now gone on for three years, and is still–undecided.


[Footnote 1: Count Ferdinand Troyer was one of the Archduke’s chamberlains.]




I have again for a fortnight past been afflicted with severe headaches, though constantly hoping to get better, but in vain. Now, however, that the weather is improved, my physician promises me a speedy cure. Though as each day I expected to be the last of my suffering, I did not write to you on the subject; besides, I thought that Y.R.H. probably did not require me, as it is so long since Y.R.H. sent for me. During the festivities in honor of the Princess of Baden,[1] and the injury to Y.R.H.’s finger, I began to work very assiduously, and as the fruit of this, among others, is a new pianoforte trio.[2] Myself very much occupied, I had no idea that I had incurred the displeasure of Y.R.H., though I now begin almost to think this to be the case. In the mean time I hope soon to be able to present myself before your tribunal.


[Footnote 1: The festivities in honor of the Princess of Baden were probably during the Congress, 1814.]

[Footnote 2: The new trio, if the one in B flat for the pianoforte, violin, and violoncello, Op. 97, was first performed on the 11th April, 1814, in the hall of the “Komischer Kaiser.” Letter 139 also mentions this trio, composed in 1811 and published in July, 1816.]




I beg you will be so good as to let me have the Trio in B flat with all the parts, and also both parts of the violin Sonata in G,[1] as I must have them written out for myself with all speed, not being able to hunt out my own scores among so many others. I hope that this detestable weather has had no bad effect on Y.R.H.’s health; I must own that it rather deranges me. In three or four days at least I shall have the honor to restore both works to their proper place.

Do the musical pauses still continue?


[Footnote 1: The Sonata for pianoforte and violin in G major, Op. 96, was purchased by Haslinger, April 1st, 1815, and published the end of July, 1816. It was composed in 1814–perhaps in 1813. Thayer thinks in 1810.]



Vienna, Jan. 11, 1815.


I received Baron Pasqualati’s letter to-day, by which I perceive that you wish me to defer any fresh measures. In the mean time all the necessary papers are lodged with Pasqualati; so be so good as to inform him that he must delay taking any further steps. To-morrow a council is to be held here, and you and P. shall learn the result probably to-morrow evening. Meanwhile I wish you to look through the paper I sent to the Court through Pasqualati, and read the appendix carefully. You will then see that Wolf and others have not given you correct information.

One thing is certain, that there are sufficient proofs _for any one who wishes to be convinced_. How could it ever occur to me _to think of written legal testimony_ with such a man as Kinsky, whose integrity and generosity were everywhere acknowledged? I remain, with the warmest affection and esteem,

In haste, your friend,






What can I think, or say, or feel? As for W. [Wolf], it seems to me that he not only showed _his weak points_, but gave himself no trouble to conceal them. It is impossible that he can have drawn up his statement in accordance with all the actual evidence he had. The order on the treasury about the rate of exchange was given by Kinsky previous to his consent to pay me my salary in _Einloesung Schein_, as the documents prove; indeed it is only necessary to examine the date to show this, so the first instruction is of importance. The _species facti_ prove that I was more than six months absent from Vienna. As I was not anxious to get the money, I allowed the affair to stand over; so the Prince thus forgot to recall his former order to the treasury, but that he neither forgot his promise to me, nor to Varnhagen [an officer] in my behalf, is evident by the testimony of Herr von Oliva, to whom shortly before his departure from hence–and indeed into another world–he repeated his promise, making an appointment to see him when he should return to Vienna, in order to arrange the matter with the treasury, which of course was prevented by his untimely death.

The testimony of the officer Varnhagen is accompanied by a document (he being at present with the Russian army), in which he states that he is prepared to _take his oath_ on the affair. The evidence of Herr Oliva is also to the effect that he is willing to confirm his evidence by oath before the Court. As I have sent away the testimony of Col. Count Bentheim, I am not sure of its tenor, but I believe the Count also says that he is prepared at any time to make an affidavit on the matter in Court, and I am myself _ready to swear before the Court_ that Prince Kinsky said to me in Prague, “he thought it only fair to me that my salary should be paid in _Einloesung Schein_.” These were his own words.

He gave me himself sixty gold ducats in Prague, on account (good for about 600 florins), as, owing to my state of health, I could remain no longer, and set off for Toeplitz. The Prince’s word was _sacred_ in my eyes, never having heard anything of him to induce me either to bring two witnesses with me or to ask him for any written pledge. I see from all this that Dr. Wolf has miserably mismanaged the business, and has not made you sufficiently acquainted with the papers.

Now as to the step I have just taken. The Archduke Rudolph asked me some time since whether the Kinsky affair was yet terminated, having probably heard something of it. I told him that it looked very bad, as I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, of the matter. He offered to write himself, but desired me to add a memorandum, and also to make him acquainted with all the papers connected with the Kinsky case. After having informed himself on the affair, he wrote to the _Oberstburggraf_, and enclosed my letter to him.

The _Oberstburggraf_ answered both the Duke and myself immediately. In the letter to me he said “that I was to present a petition to the Provincial Court of Justice in Prague, along with all the proofs, whence it would be forwarded to him, and that he would do his utmost to further my cause.” He also wrote in the most polite terms to the Archduke; indeed, he expressly said “that he was thoroughly cognizant of the late Prince Kinsky’s intentions with regard to me and this affair, and that I might present a petition,” &c. The Archduke instantly sent for me, and desired me to prepare the document and to show it to him; he also thought that I ought to solicit payment in _Einloesung Schein_, as there was ample proof, if not in strictly legal form, of the intentions of the Prince, and no one could doubt that if he had survived he would have adhered to his promise. If he [the Archduke] were this day the heir, _he would demand no other proofs than those already furnished_. I sent this paper to Baron Pasqualati, who is kindly to present it himself to the Court. Not till after the affair had gone so far did Dr. Adlersburg receive a letter from Dr. Wolf, in which he mentioned that he had made a claim for 1500 florins. As we have come so far as 1500 florins with the _Oberstburggraf_, we may possibly get on to 1800 florins. I do not esteem this any _favor_, for the late Prince was one of those who urged me most to refuse a salary of 600 gold ducats per annum, offered to me from Westphalia; and he said at the time “that he was resolved I should have no chance of eating hams in Westphalia.” Another summons to Naples somewhat later I equally declined, and I am entitled to demand a fair compensation for the loss I incurred. If the salary were to be paid in bank-notes, what should I get? Not 400 florins in _Conventionsgeld_!!! in lieu of such a salary as 600 ducats! There are ample proofs for those who wish to act justly; and what does the _Einloesung Schein_ now amount to??!!! It is even at this moment no equivalent for what I refused. This affair was pompously announced in all the newspapers while I was nearly reduced to beggary. The intentions of the Prince are evident, and in my opinion the family are bound to act in accordance with them unless they wish to be disgraced. Besides, the revenues have rather increased than diminished by the death of the Prince; so there is no sufficient ground for curtailing my salary.

I received your friendly letter yesterday, but am too weary at this moment to write all that I feel towards you. I can only commend my case to your sagacity. It appears that the _Oberstburggraf_ is the chief person; so what he wrote to the Archduke must be kept a profound secret, for it might not be advisable that any one should know of it but you and Pasqualati. You have sufficient cause on looking through the papers to show how improperly Dr. Wolf has conducted the affair, and that another course of action is necessary. I rely on your friendship to act as you think best for my interests.

Rest assured of my warmest thanks, and pray excuse my writing more to-day, for a thing of this kind is very fatiguing,–more so than the greatest musical undertaking. My heart has found something for you to which yours will respond, and this you shall soon receive.

Do not forget me, poor tormented creature that I am! and _act for me_ and _effect for me_ all that is possible.

With high esteem, your true friend,




Vienna, Jan. 14, 1815.


The long letter I enclose was written when we were disposed to claim the 1800 florins. Baron Pasqualati’s last letter, however, again made me waver, and Dr. Adlersburg advised me to adhere to the steps already taken; but as Dr. Wolf writes that he has offered in your name to accept 1500 florins a year, I beg you will at least make every effort to get that sum. For this purpose I send you the long letter written before we received Baron P.’s dissuasive one, as you may discover in it many reasons for demanding _at least_ the 1500 florins. The Archduke, too, has written a second time to the _Oberstburggraf_, and we may conclude from his previous reply that he will certainly exert himself, and that we shall at all events succeed in getting the 1500 florins.

Farewell! I cannot write another syllable; such things exhaust me. May your friendship accelerate this affair!–if it ends badly, then I must leave Vienna, because I could not possibly live on my income, for here things have come to such a pass that everything has risen to the highest price, and that price must be paid. The last two concerts I gave cost me 1508 florins, and had it not been for the Empress’s munificent present I should scarcely have derived any profit whatever.

Your faithful friend,




Vienna, 1815.


Quite ignorant of law proceedings, and believing that all claims on an inheritance could not fail to be liquidated, I sent to my lawyer in Prague [Dr. Kauka] the contract signed by the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Lobkowitz, and Prince von Kinsky, in which these illustrious personages agreed to settle on me an annual allowance of 4000 florins. My constant efforts to obtain a settlement of my claim, and also, as I am bound to admit, my reproaches to Dr. Kauka for not conducting the affair properly (his application to the guardians having proved fruitless), no doubt prompted him to have recourse to law.

None but those who are fully aware of my esteem for the deceased Prince can tell how repugnant it is to my feelings to appear as a complainant against my benefactor.

Under these circumstances I have recourse to a shorter path, in the conviction that the guardians of the Prince’s estate will be disposed to mark their appreciation of art, and also their desire to fulfil the engagements of the late Prince. According to the terms of the contract in question, the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Lobkowitz, and Prince v. Kinsky granted me these 4000 florins until I should obtain a situation of equal value; and further, if by misfortune or old age I was prevented exercising my art, these distinguished contracting parties secured this pension to me for life, while I, in return, pledged myself not to leave Vienna.

This promise was generous, and equally generous was its fulfilment, for no difficulty ever occurred, and I was in the peaceful enjoyment of my pension till the Imperial Finance Patent appeared. The consequent alteration in the currency made no difference in the payments of the Archduke Rudolph, for I received his share in _Einloesung Schein_, as I had previously done in bank-notes, without any reference to the new scale. The late illustrious Prince v. Kinsky also at once assured me that his share (1800 florins) should also be paid in _Einloesung Schein_. As however, he omitted giving the order to his cashier, difficulties arose on the subject. Although my circumstances are not brilliant, I would not have ventured to bring this claim before the notice of the guardians of the estate, if respectable, upright men had not received the same pledge from the late Prince’s own lips, namely, that he would pay my past as well as my future claims in Vienna currency, which is proved by the papers B, C, D, appended to the pleas. Under these circumstances I leave the guardians to judge whether, after so implicitly relying on the promise of the deceased Prince, I have not cause to complain of my delicacy being wounded by the objection advanced by the curators to the witnesses, from their not having been present together at the time the promise was made, which is most distressing to my feelings.

In order to extricate myself from this most disagreeable lawsuit, I take the liberty to give an assurance to the guardians that I am prepared, both as to the past and the future, to be satisfied with the 1800 florins, Vienna currency; and I flatter myself that these gentlemen will admit that I on my part make thus no small sacrifice, as it was solely from my esteem for those illustrious Princes that I selected Vienna for my settled abode, at a time when the most advantageous offers were made to me elsewhere.

I therefore request the Court to submit this proposal to the guardians of the Kinsky estates for their opinion, and to be so good as to inform me of the result.


[Footnote 1: See No. 94. On the 18th January, 1815, the Court of Justice at Prague decreed that the trustees of Prince Kinsky’s estate should pay to L. v. Beethoven the sum of 1200 florins W.W. from November 3d, 1812, instead of the original written agreement of 1800 florins. Dr. Constant, of Wurzbach, in his _Biographical Austrian Lexicon_, states that Beethoven dedicated his splendid song _An die Hoffnung_, Op. 94, to Princess Kinsky, wife of Prince Ferdinand Kinsky, who died in 1812.]



January, 1815.


I beg you will kindly send me by the bearer the proper form for the Kinsky receipt (_but sealed_) for 600 florins half-yearly from the month of April. I intend to send the receipt forthwith to Dr. Kauka in Prague,[1] who on a former occasion procured the money for me so quickly. I will deduct your debt from this, but if it be possible to get the money here before the remittance arrives from Prague, I will bring it at once to you myself.

I remain, with the most profound esteem,

Your sincere friend,


[Footnote 1: This man, now ninety-four years of age and quite blind, was at that time Beethoven’s counsel in Prague. Pasqualati was that benefactor of Beethoven’s who always kept rooms for him in his house on the Moelker Bastei, and whose kind aid never deserted him to the close of his life.]



Vienna, Feb. 24, 1815.


I have repeatedly thanked you through Baron Pasqualati for your friendly exertions on my behalf, and I now beg to express one thousand thanks myself. The intervention of the Archduke could not be very palatable to you, and perhaps has prejudiced you against me. You had already done all that was possible when the Archduke interfered. If this had been the case sooner, and we had not employed that one-sided, or many-sided, or weak-sided Dr. Wolf, then, according to the assurances of the _Oberstburggraf_ himself, the affair might have had a still more favorable result. I shall therefore ever and always be grateful to you for your services. The Court now deduct the sixty ducats I mentioned of my own accord, and to which the late Prince never alluded either to his treasurer or any one else. Where truth could injure me it has been accepted, so why reject it when it could have benefited me? How unfair! Baron Pasqualati requires information from you on various points.

I am again very tired to-day, having been obliged to discuss many things with poor P.; such matters exhaust me more than the greatest efforts in composition. It is a new field, the soil of which I ought not to be required to till. This painful business has cost me many tears and much sorrow. The time draws near when Princess Kinsky must be written to. Now I must conclude. How rejoiced shall I be when I can write you the pure effusions of my heart once more; and this I mean to do as soon as I am extricated from all these troubles. Pray accept again my heartfelt thanks for all that you have done for me, and continue your regard for

Your attached friend,





I heard yesterday, and it was indeed confirmed by meeting Count Troyer, that Y.R.H. is now here. I therefore send the dedication of the Trio [in B flat] to Y.R.H., whose name is inscribed on it; but all my works on which I place any value, though the name does not appear, are equally designed for Y.R.H. I trust, however, that you will not think I have a motive in saying this,–men of high rank being apt to suspect self-interest in such expressions,–and I mean on this occasion to risk the imputation so far as _appearances_ go, by at once asking a favor of Y.R.H. My well-grounded reasons for so doing you will no doubt at once perceive, and graciously vouchsafe to grant my request. I have been very much indisposed in Baden since the beginning of last October; indeed, from the 5th of October I have been entirely confined to my bed, or to my room, till about a week ago. I had a very serious inflammatory cold, and am still able to go out very little, which has also been the cause of my not writing to Y.R.H. in Kremsir. May all the blessings that Heaven can shower upon earth attend you.




1815 TO 1822.




Vienna, March 3, 1815.

[Music: Treble clef, F Major, 3/4 time. Kurz, kurz, kurz, kurz ist der Schmerz, der Schmerz, e-wig, e-wig ist die Freu-de, ist die Freu-de, ja die Freu-de, e-wig ist die Freu-de.
Kurz, kurz, kurz, kurz ist der Schmerz, der Schmerz, der Schmerz, e-wig, e-wig ist die Freu-de, ist die Freu-de, e-wig ist die Freude, e-wig, e-wig ist die Freu-de. Kurz, kurz, kurz, kurz ist der Schmerz, der Schmerz, der Schmerz, e-wig, e-wig ist die Freude, e-wig ist die Freu-de.]

Whenever, dear Spohr, you chance to find true art and true artists, may you kindly remember

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: From the fac-simile in Spohr’s _Autobiography_, Vol. I.]



Vienna, April 8, 1815.

It seems scarcely admissible to be on the friendly terms on which I consider myself with you, and yet to be on such unfriendly ones that we should live close to each other and never meet!!!!![1] You write “_tout a vous_.” Oh! you humbug! said I. No! no! it is really too bad. I should like to thank you 9000 times for all your efforts on my behalf, and to reproach you 20,000 that you came and went as you did. So all is a delusion! friendship, kingdom, empire; all is only a vapor which every breeze wafts into a different form!! Perhaps I may go to Toeplitz, but it is not certain. I might take advantage of that opportunity to let the people of Prague hear something–what think you? if _indeed you still think of me at all_! As the affair with Lobkowitz is now also come to a close, we may write _Finis_, though it far from _fine is_ for me.

Baron Pasqualati will no doubt soon call on you again; he also has taken much trouble on my account. Yes, indeed! it is easy to talk of _justice_, but to obtain it from others is _no easy matter_. In what way can I be of service to you in my own art? Say whether you prefer my celebrating the monologue of a fugitive king, or the perjury of a usurper–or the true friends, who, though near neighbors, never saw each other? In the hope of soon hearing from you–for being now so far asunder it is easier to hold intercourse than when nearer!–I remain, with highest esteem,

Your ever-devoted friend,


[Footnote 1: Kauka evidently had been recently in Vienna without visiting Beethoven.]





I have just received from the Syndic Baier in R. the good news that you told him yourself about Prince F.K. As for the rest, you shall be perfectly satisfied.

I take the liberty to ask you again to look after my interests with the Kinsky family, and I subjoin the necessary receipt for this purpose [see No. 144]. Perhaps some other way may be found, though it does not as yet occur to me, by means of which I need not importune you in future. On the 15th October [1815] I was attacked by an inflammatory cold, from the consequences of which I still suffer, and my art likewise; but it is to be hoped that I shall now gradually recover, and at all events be able once more to display the riches of my little realm of sweet sounds. Yet I am very poor in all else–owing to the times? to poverty of spirit? or what???? Farewell! Everything around disposes us to _profound silence_; but this shall not be the case as to the bond of friendship and soul that unites us. I loudly proclaim myself, now as ever,

Your loving friend and admirer,






My second letter follows that of yesterday, May 2d. Pasqualati tells me to-day, after the lapse of a month and six days, that the house of Ballabene is too _high and mighty_ to assist me in this matter. I must therefore appeal to your _insignificance_ (as I myself do not hesitate to be so mean as to serve other people). My house-rent amounts to 550 florins, and must be paid out of the sum in question.

As soon as the newly engraved pianoforte pieces appear, you shall receive copies, and also of the “Battle,” &c., &c. Forgive me, forgive me, my generous friend; some other means must be found to forward this affair with due promptitude.

In haste, your friend and admirer,




Vienna, June 1, 1815.


I always hoped to meet you one day in London, but many obstacles have intervened to prevent the fulfilment of this wish, and as there seems now no chance of such a thing, I hope you will not refuse a request of mine, which is that you will be so obliging as to apply to some London publisher, and offer him the following works of mine. Grand Trio for piano, violin, and violoncello [Op. 97], 80 ducats. Pianoforte Sonata, with violin accompaniment [Op. 96], 60 ducats. Grand Symphony in A (one of my very best); a short Symphony in F [the 8th]; Quartet for two violins, viola, and violoncello in F minor [Op. 95]; Grand Opera in score, 30 ducats. Cantata with Choruses and Solos [“The Glorious Moment”], 30 ducats. Score of the “Battle of Vittoria” and “Wellington’s Victory,” 80 ducats; also the pianoforte arrangement of the same, if not already published, which, I am told here, is the case. I have named the prices of some of these works, on a scale which I hold to be suitable for England, but I leave it to you to say what sum should be asked both for these and the others. I hear, indeed, that Cramer [John, whose pianoforte-playing was highly estimated by Beethoven] is also a publisher, but my scholar Ries lately wrote to me that Cramer not long since _publicly expressed his disapproval of my works_: I trust from no motive but that of _being of service to art_, and if so I have no right to object to his doing this. If, however, Cramer should wish to possess any of my _pernicious_ works, I shall be as well satisfied with him as with any other publisher; but I reserve the right to give these works to be published here, so that they may appear at the same moment in London and Vienna.

Perhaps you may also be able to point out to me in what way I can recover from the Prince Regent [afterwards George IV.] the expenses of transcribing the “Battle Symphony” on Wellington’s victory at Vittoria, to be dedicated to him, for I have long ago given up all hope of receiving anything from that quarter. I have not even been deemed worthy of an answer, whether I am to be authorized to dedicate the work to the Prince Regent; and when at last I propose to publish it here, I am informed that it has already appeared in London. What a fatality for an author!!! While the English and German papers are filled with accounts of the success of the work, as performed at Drury Lane, and that theatre drawing great receipts from it, the author has not one friendly line to show, not even payment for the cost of copying the work, and is thus deprived of all profit.[2] For if it be true that the pianoforte arrangement is soon to be published by a German publisher, copied from the London one, then I lose both my fame and my _honorarium_. The well-known generosity of your character leads me to hope that you will take some interest in the matter, and actively exert yourself on my behalf.

The inferior paper-money of this country is now reduced to one fifth of its value, and I am paid according to this scale. After many struggles and considerable loss, I at length succeeded in obtaining the full value; but at this moment the old paper-money has again risen far beyond the fifth part, so that it is evident my salary becomes for the second time almost _nil_, and there is no hope of any compensation. My whole income is derived from my works. If I could rely on a good sale in England, it would doubtless be very beneficial to me. Pray be assured of my boundless gratitude. I hope soon, very soon, to hear from you.

I am, with esteem, your sincere friend,


[Footnote 1: J.P. Salomon was likewise a native of Bonn, and one of the most distinguished violin-players of his time. He had been Kapellmeister to Prince Heinrich of Prussia, and then went to London, where he was very active in the introduction of German music. It was through his agency that Beethoven’s connection with Birchall, the music publisher, first commenced, to whom a number of his letters are addressed.]

[Footnote 2: Undoubtedly the true reading of these last words, which in the copy before me are marked as “difficult to decipher.”]




Pray forgive my asking Y.R.H. to send me the two Sonatas with violin _obbligato_[1] which I caused to be transcribed for Y.R.H. I require them only for a few days, when I will immediately return them.


[Footnote 1: If by the two Sonatas for the pianoforte with violoncello _obbligato_, Op. 102 is meant, they were composed in July-August, 1815, and appeared on Jan. 13th, 1819. The date of the letter appears also to be 1815.]




I beg you will kindly send me the Sonata in E minor,[1] as I wish to correct it. On Monday I shall inquire for Y.R.H. in person. _Recent occurrences_[2] render it indispensable to complete many works of mine about to be engraved as quickly as possible; besides, my health is only partially restored. I earnestly entreat Y.R.H. to desire _some one_ to write me a few lines as to the state of your own health. I trust I shall hear a better–nay, the best report of it.


[Footnote 1: The letters 152 and 153 speak sometimes expressly of the pianoforte Sonata in E minor, Op. 90, these being engraved or under revision, and sometimes only indicate them. This Sonata, dedicated to Count Lichnowsky, was composed on August 14th, 1814, and published in June, 1815.]

[Footnote 2: What “recent occurrences” Beethoven alludes to, unless indeed his well-known misfortunes as to his salary and guardianship we cannot discover.]




You must almost think my illness a mere fiction, but that is assuredly not the case. I am obliged always to come home early in the evening. The first time that Y.R.H. was graciously pleased to send for me, I came home immediately afterwards, but feeling much better since then, I made an attempt the evening before last to stay out a little later. If Y.R.H. does not countermand me, I intend to have the honor of waiting on you this evening at five o’clock. I will bring the new Sonata with me, merely for to-day, for it is so soon to be engraved that it is not worth while to have it written out.





I intended to have given you this letter myself, but my personal attendance might possibly be an intrusion; so I take the liberty once more to urge on Y.R.H. the request it contains. I should also be glad if Y.R.H. would send me back my last MS. Sonata, for as I _must_ publish it, it would be labor lost to have it transcribed, and I shall soon have the pleasure of presenting it to you engraved. I will call again in a few days. I trust these joyous times may have a happy influence on your precious health.




Vienna, July 23, 1815.

When you were recently in town, the enclosed Chorus[1] occurred to me. I hurried home to write it down, but was detained longer in doing so than I at first expected, and thus, to my great sorrow, I missed Y.R.H. The bad custom I have followed from childhood, instantly to write down my first thoughts, otherwise they not unfrequently go astray, has been an injury to me on this occasion. I therefore send Y.R.H. my impeachment and my justification, and trust I may find grace in your eyes. I hope soon to present myself before Y.R.H., and to inquire after a health so precious to us all.


[Footnote 1: In 1815 the Chorus of _Die Meeresstille_ was composed by Beethoven. Was this the chorus which occurred to him? The style of the letter leaves his meaning quite obscure.]




It is neither presumption, nor the pretension of advocating any one’s cause, still less from the wish of arrogating to myself the enjoyment of any especial favor with Y.R.H., that induces me to make a suggestion which is in itself very simple. Old Kraft[1] was with me yesterday; he wished to know if it were possible for him to be lodged in your palace, in return for which he would be at Y.R.H.’s service as often as you please it. He has lived for twenty years in the house of Prince Lobkowitz, and during a great part of that time he received no salary; he is now obliged to vacate his rooms without receiving any compensation whatever. The position of the poor deserving old man is hard, and I should have considered myself equally hard, had I not ventured to lay his case before you. Count Troyer will request an answer from Y.R.H. As the object in view is to brighten the lot of a fellow-creature, pray forgive your, &c., &c.


[Footnote 1: Old Kraft was a clever violoncello-player who had an appointment in Prince Lobkowitz’s band, but when the financial crisis occurred in the Prince’s affairs he lost his situation, and was obliged to give up his lodging.]



Mr. Beethoven send word to Mr. Birchall that it is severall days past that he has sent for London Wellington’s Battel Sinphonie and that Mr. B[irchall] may send for it at Thomas Coutts. Mr. Beethoven wish Mr. B. would make ingrave the sayd Sinphonie so soon as possible and send him word in time the day it will be published that he may prevend in time the Publisher in Vienna.

In regard the 3. Sonata which Mr. Birchall receive afterwerths there is not wanted such a g’t hurry and Mr. B. will take the liberty to fixe the day when the are to be published.

Mr. B[irchall] sayd that Mr. Salomon has a good many tings to say concerning the Synphonie in G [? A].

Mr. B[eethoven] wish for a answer so soon as possible concerning the days of the publication.



October 16, 1815.

I only wish to let you know that I am _here_, and not _elsewhere_, and wish in return to hear if you are _elsewhere_ or _here_. I should be glad to speak to you for a few minutes when I know that you are at home and alone. _Farewell_–but not _too well_–sublime Commandant Pacha of various mouldering fortresses!!!

In haste, your friend,




Nov. 16, 1815.

Since yesterday afternoon I have been lying in a state of exhaustion, owing to my great distress of mind caused by the sudden death of my unhappy brother. It was impossible for me to send an answer to Y.R.H. yesterday, and I trust you will graciously receive my present explanation. I expect, however, certainly to wait on Y.R.H. to-morrow.




Vienna, Nov. 22, 1815.

You will herewith receive the pianoforte arrangement of the Symphony in A. “Wellington’s Battle Symphony,” and “Victory at Vittoria” were sent a month since, through Herr Neumann, to the care of Messrs. Coutts; so you have no doubt received them long ere this.

In the course of a fortnight you shall have the Trio and Sonata, when you are requested to pay into the hands of Messrs. Coutts the sum of 130 gold ducats. I beg you will make no delay in bringing out these works, and likewise let me know on what day the “Wellington Symphony” is to appear, so that I may take my measures here accordingly. I am, with esteem,

Your obedient




Vienna, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1815.


I hasten to apprise you that I have to-day forwarded by post the pianoforte arrangement of the Symphony in A, to the care of Messrs Coutts. As the Court is absent, few, indeed almost no couriers go from here; moreover, the post is the safest way. The Symphony ought to be brought out about March; the precise day I will fix myself. So much time has already been lost on this occasion that I could not give an earlier notice of the period of publication. The Trio in [??] and the violin Sonata may be allowed more time, and both will be in London a few weeks hence. I earnestly entreat you, dear Ries, to take charge of these matters, and also to see that I get the money; I require it, and it costs me a good deal before all is sent off.