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

Part 4 out of 5

case, however, only in the mountains, and more especially in Baden. I
forgot the chocolate to-day, and am sorry to be obliged to trouble you
about it, but all will go better soon. I enclose you 2 florins, to which
you must add 15 kreutzers; send it if possible with the post in the
afternoon; otherwise I shall have none the day after to-morrow; the people
of the house will assist you in this. May God bless you! I begin to write
again very tolerably; still, in this most dreary, cold stormy weather, it
is almost impossible to have any clear conceptions. Now as ever,

Your good and loving




Noon, 1 o'clock.


I merely wish to let you know that the old woman is not yet returned,--why,
I cannot tell. Inquire immediately at Hoebel's in the Kothgasse, whether the
Hoebel who belongs to this place set off from Vienna to Baden? It is really
so distressing to me to depend on such people, that if life did not possess
higher charms, it would be utterly insupportable in my eyes. You no doubt
got my yesterday's letter, and the 2 florins for the chocolate. I shall be
obliged to drink coffee to-morrow; perhaps after all it is better for me
than chocolate, as the prescriptions of this B. [Braunhofer] have been
repeatedly wrong. Indeed he seems to me very ignorant, and a blockhead into
the bargain; he must have known about the asparagus. Having dined at the
inn to-day, I have a threatening of diarrhoea. I have no more white wine,
so I must get it from the inn, and such wine too! for which, however, I pay
3 florins! Two days ago the old woman wrote to me that she wished to end
her days in an alms-house; perhaps she will not return to me; so be it in
God's name! she will always be a wicked old woman. She ought to make
arrangements with the person whom she knows of. She wrote to me in a very
different strain from that in which she spoke to you on Sunday, and said
"that the people refused to give up the bell-pull." Who knows whether she
may not have some interest in the matter? She went into town yesterday at
six o'clock, and I begged her to make haste back here this forenoon; if she
still comes, I must go to town the day after to-morrow. Leave a written
message to say when I am to see you.... Write me a few lines immediately.
How much I regret troubling you, but you must see that I cannot do
otherwise.... Your attached


How distressing to be in such a state here!

To Herr Carl van Beethoven,

Vienna, Alleengasse 72, Karlskirche, 1ter Etage, at Herr Schlemmer's.




I sent for the cabinet-maker to-day with the old--witch--to Asinanius'[1]
house. Don't forget the paintings, and the things sent in last summer; at
all events look for them. I may perhaps come on Saturday; if not, you must
come to me on Sunday. May God watch over you, my dear son.

Your attached


I cannot write much. Send me a few words.[2]

[Footnote 1: It was thus Beethoven named his _pseudo_-brother.]

[Footnote 2: Underneath is written in pencil by another hand, "I shall be
at the usual place at three o'clock, _s'il vous plait_." The whole appears
to be afterwards stroked out.]



Do send the chocolate at last by the old woman. If Ramler is not already
engaged, he may perhaps drive her over. I become daily thinner, and feel
far from well; and no physician, no sympathizing friends! If you can
possibly come on Sunday, pray do so; but I have no wish to deprive you of
any pleasure, were I only sure that you would spend your Sunday properly
away from me.

I must strive to wean myself from everything; if I were only secure that my
great sacrifices would bring forth worthy fruits!

Your attached




Wednesday, May 17.


The old woman is just come, so you need be under no uneasiness; study
assiduously and rise early, as various things may occur to you in the
morning, which you could do for me. It cannot be otherwise than becoming in
a youth, now in his nineteenth year, to combine his duties towards his
benefactor and foster-father with those of his education and progress. I
fulfilled my obligations towards my own parents. In haste,

Your attached


The old bell-pull is here. The date of my letter is wrong; it is not May
the 17th, but the 18th.



May 19.

Ask the house agent about a lodging in the Landstrasse, Ungargasse, No.
345, adjoining the Braeuhaus,--four rooms and a kitchen, commanding a view
of the adjacent gardens. I hear there are various others too in the
Hauptstrasse. Give a gulden to the house agent in the Ungargasse, to
promise me the refusal of the lodgings till Saturday, when, if the weather
is not too bad, I mean to come on to fetch you. We must decide to-morrow
whether it is to be hired from Michaelmas or now. If I do come on Saturday,
take care that I find you at home.

Your attached




Say everything that is kind and amiable from me to my esteemed
fellow-guardian, Dr. v. Reissig; I feel still too feeble to write to him
myself. I hope he will not object to your coming to me here every Saturday
evening. You are well aware that I _never abused_ such a permission when
you were at Bloechlinger's [see No. 276]. Besides, I feel sure of your
intercession _in support of my request_.

Your attached father,




Baden, May 23.

I have been assured, though as yet it is only a matter of conjecture, that
a clandestine intercourse has been renewed between your mother and
yourself. Am I doomed again to experience such detestable ingratitude? No!
if the tie is to be severed, so be it! By such ingratitude you will incur
the hatred of all impartial persons. The expressions my brother made use of
yesterday before Dr. Reissig (as he says); and your own with respect to
Schoenauer (who is naturally adverse to me, the judgment of the Court being
the _exact reverse of what he desired_), were such, that I will not mix
myself up with such shameful doings! No! never more!

If you find the _Pactum_ oppressive, then, in God's name, I resign you to
His holy keeping! I have done my part, and on this score I do not dread
appearing before the Highest of all Judges. Do not be afraid to come to me
to-morrow; as yet I only _suspect_; God grant that those suspicions _may
not prove true_, for to you it would be an incalculable misfortune, with
whatever levity my rascally brother, and perhaps your mother also, may
treat the matter to the old woman. I shall expect you without fail.



Baden, May 31, 1825.


I intend to come to town on Saturday, and to return here either on Sunday
evening, or early on Monday. I beg you will therefore ask Dr. Bach
[advocate] at what hour I can see him, and also fetch the key from brother
Baecker's [a brother-in-law of Johann Beethoven's], to see whether in the
room inhabited by my unbrotherly brother, the arrangements are such that I
can stay a night there; and if there is clean linen, &c., &c. As Thursday
is a holiday, and it is unlikely that you will come here (indeed I do not
desire that you should), you may easily execute these two commissions for
me. You can let me know the result when I arrive on Saturday. I don't send
you money, for if you want any, you can borrow a gulden at home. Moderation
is necessary for young people, and you do not appear to pay sufficient
attention to this, as you had _money without my knowledge, nor do I yet
know whence it came_. Fine doings! It is not advisable that you should go
to the theatre at _present_, on account of the distraction it causes. The 5
florins procured by Dr. Reissig, I will pay off by instalments, punctually
every month. So enough of this! Misled as you have been, it would be no bad
thing were you at length to cultivate _simplicity and truth_, for my heart
has been so deeply wounded by your deceitful conduct, that it is difficult
to forget it. Even were I disposed to submit like an ox to so hard a yoke
without murmuring, if you pursue the same course towards others, you will
never succeed in gaining the love of any one. As God is my witness, I can
think of nothing but you, and my contemptible brother, and the detestable
family that I am afflicted with. May God vouchsafe to listen to my prayer,
for _never_ again can I trust you!

Your Father, alas!

Yet fortunately not your Father.



Baden, June 9, 1825.

I wish you at least to come here on Sundays. In vain do I ask for an
answer. God help you and me! As ever,

Your attached


I have written to Herr v. Reissig to desire you to come here on Sundays.
The _caleche_ leaves his house at six o'clock, from the _Kugel, auf der
Wieden_. You have only to work and study a little in advance, to lose
nothing. I regret being obliged to cause you this annoyance; you are to
return the same afternoon at five o'clock, with the _caleche_. Your place
is already paid for; you can shave here in the morning, and a shirt and
neckcloth will be ready for you, so that you may arrive at the right time.

Farewell. If I reproach you it is not without good cause, and it would be
hard to have sacrificed so much, merely to bestow a _commonplace man_ on
the world. I hope to see you without fail.

If the intrigues are already matured, say so frankly (and naturally), and
you will find one who will always be true to the good cause. The lodging A.
was again advertised in the paper on Tuesday; could you not have arranged
about this? You might at all events have done so through some one else, or
by writing, if you were at all indisposed. I should much prefer not moving,
if I were not compelled to do so. You know my mode of living here, and it
is far worse in this cold stormy weather. My continued solitude only still
further enfeebles me, and really my weakness often amounts to a swoon. Oh!
do not further grieve me, for the scythe of Death will grant me no long

If I could find a good lodging in the Alleengasse, I would at once engage


Tuesday Morning.


The two patterns, one placed at the top and the other below, each 21
florins, seem to me the best; the landlord can advise you. For the trousers
88--4-1/2. I enclose 62 florins W.W. 30 kreutzers. Give me an exact account
of how you spend this money, for it was hard to earn; still it is not worth
while, for the sake of a florin a yard, not to select the best material; so
choose, or get some one to choose for you, the best of the two at 21
florins. Order the highest quality for your trousers also; remember you
ought never to wear your best clothes at home; no matter who comes, you
need never be well dressed in the house.[1] The moment you come home change
your good clothes, and be at your ease in those set aside for the purpose.
Farewell. Your attached


P.S. The creature went off yesterday and has not returned; we shall see how
this turns out. The old beast was determined to be off, being like a
restless wild animal devoid of purpose or reason. May Heaven have pity on
me! The new cooking began yesterday.

[Footnote 1: See Weber's narrative in his _Biography_, Vol. II. 510. "The
square Cyclopean figure was attired in a shabby coat with torn sleeves."]



Baden, June 15.


I hope you received the 62 florins 30 kreutzers. If you wish to order
trousers of the same cloth, do so. You probably chose that at 25 florins,
and on such occasions the best quality should not be rejected for the sake
of a couple of florins. You may also order two pairs of trousers of the
gray cloth. You must let me know the amount of the tailor's bill, &c., &c.,
which shall be paid by me. "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand
doeth." Such is the sentiment of noble-minded men. You have, alas! only
yourself to blame for my being forced to draw your attention to this. Do
not forget to call on Riess (??). May Aurora not only awaken you but speed
your industry.

Now for my every-day household matters. The maid came indeed, but is not to
remain; in the mean time I have spoken pretty plainly to the old woman, _so
far_ as it is possible to speak to such people.

But let us say no more of all this bedevilment. My brother _Asinanio_ has
written to me. What I find most trying of all is being alone at dinner, and
it is really surprising that I can write to you even tolerably from here.
Possibly I may come to town on Saturday, and if so you will perhaps drive
out here with me at six o'clock in the evening?

Now farewell, my darling! deserve this name. Retain what money you require;
anything you want shall be purchased for you when I come in. I embrace you,
and hope you will be my good, studious, noble son.

Now as ever, your attached


I should like to know that you received the money safely. Did the
Correpetitor come?




I send you herewith the 90 florins. Get a written receipt from the landlady
to prevent all mistakes afterwards; this is the invariable custom with
those still under the control of guardians. My wafers are done; cannot you
manage to send me a box in some way or other? Acknowledge the receipt of
the money at once. God bless you! Do all you possibly can to rid me of that
old demon.

Do not involve yourself in any clandestine doings with my brother; above
all do nothing clandestine towards me; towards your attached father.
Goodnight. Farewell! farewell! The old witch and Satan and I?!



I rejoice, my dear son, that you take pleasure in this new sphere, and such
being the case you must zealously strive to acquire what is necessary for
it. I did not recognize your writing; I indeed look only to the _sense_ and
_meaning_, but you must now attain some outward elegance also. If it is too
hard a task for you to come here, give it up; but if you can by any
possibility do so, I shall rejoice in my desert home to have a feeling
heart near me. If you do come, the housekeeper will settle that you leave
Vienna at five o'clock, which leaves you ample time for your studies.

I embrace you cordially.

Your attached


P.S. Don't forget to bring the "Morgenblatt" and Ries's letter.[1]

[Footnote 1: A letter from Ries of this date, in the _Fischhof'sche
Handschrift_, is of sufficient interest to be given here at full length:--

Godesberg, June 9, 1825.

Dearest Beethoven,--I returned a few days ago from Aix-la-Chapelle, and
feel the greatest pleasure in telling you that your new Symphony [the 9th]
was executed with the most extraordinary precision, and received with the
greatest applause. It was a hard nut to crack, and the last day I rehearsed
the _finale_ alone for three hours; but I in particular, and all the
others, were fully rewarded by the performance. It is a work beside which
no other can stand, and had you written nothing but this you would have
gained immortality. Whither will you lead us?

As it will interest you to hear something of the performance, I will now
briefly describe it. The orchestra and choruses consisted of 422 persons,
and many very distinguished people among them. The first day commenced with
a new Symphony of mine, and afterwards Handel's _Alexander's Feast_. The
second day began with your new Symphony, followed by the _Davide Penitente_
of Mozart, the overture to the _Flaute Magico_, and the _Mount of Olives_.
The applause of the public was almost terrific. I had been in
Aix-la-Chapelle from the 3d of May on purpose to conduct the rehearsals,
and as a mark of the satisfaction and enthusiasm of the public, I was
called forward at the close of the performance, when an ode and a laurel
crown were presented to me by a lady (a very pretty one too), and at the
same moment another poem and a shower of flowers followed from the upper
boxes. All was pleasure and contentment, and every one says that this is
the finest of the seven Whitsuntide festivals held here.

I cannot sufficiently lament that your other music arrived too late to make
use of it. It was indeed utterly impossible to do so. I herewith send you,
my dear friend, a check for 40 Louis d'or on Heppenmayer & Co. in Vienna,
according to our agreement, and beg you will acknowledge the receipt, that
I may settle everything relating to Aix-la-Chapelle.

I am glad that you have not accepted any engagement in England. If you
choose to reside there, you must previously take measures to ensure your
finding your account in it. From the Theatre alone Rossini got L2500. If
the English wish to do anything at all remarkable for you, they must
combine, so that it may be well worth your while to go there. You are sure
to receive enough of applause, and marks of homage, but you have had plenty
of these during your whole life. May all happiness attend you. Dear
Beethoven, yours ever,




Baden, June 28, 1825.


As in this heat you may perhaps wish to bathe, I send you two more florins.
You must be careful to take a written receipt from those to whom you pay
money; for that errors do occur is proved by the blue cloth, and the three
florins for the looking-glass. You are a thorough Viennese, and although I
do not expect you to become a W.W. (depreciated Vienna currency), still it
is no disgrace at your age to give an exact account of all that you
receive, as no one is considered to be of age till five and twenty, and
even if you had property of your own, you would be obliged to account for
it to your guardian at your present years. Let us not refer to the past; it
would be easy to do so, but only cause me pain; at last it would come to
this, "You are indeed a first-rate guardian," &c. If you had any depth of
feeling you would have acted very differently in most things.

Now as to my domestic rabble; yesterday the kitchenmaid was off again and
got a fresh place; the cause is difficult to discover from my old witch,
who is now once more all smiles, and no longer persists in declaring that
she has incurred any _loss_ from the weekly bills; what do you think of

[The last page of this letter is an illegible fragment.]





I have just got your letter this evening, and could not help laughing at
it. It was not right in the people at Mayence to have acted thus, but since
the thing has occurred, it does not signify. Our epoch requires strong
minds to scourge those frivolous, contemptible, malicious beings, repulsive
as it is to my feelings to cause pain to any man. Besides, I intended a
mere jest, and it was far from my intention to let such a thing be

You must ascertain instantly from a magistrate the proper mode of
converting the Bank obligations into Rothschild's Austrian Loan, that you
may get the authority from a magistrate (not from the _Court_ of those

Be good and honest; you have here an instance how people rejoice when such
men are properly estimated. Be my own dear precious son, and imitate my
virtues, but not my faults; still, though man is frail, do not at least
have worse defects than those of

Your sincere and fondly attached


Write to me about the conversation on Sunday--it is of the _Court,
courtly_, so you must be on your guard. Holz did not come to-day; whether
he is trustworthy I cannot say.

[Footnote 1: There is no doubt that he alludes to the severe castigation of
Haslinger in No. 405 and the _canonization_ of the two others. See also No.
440, which shows that there was something amiss with Haslinger.]



To-day is Friday, to-morrow Saturday.

Here comes _Satanas_. To-day her raging fury and madness have somewhat
subsided, but if she applies to you, refer her to me the day after
to-morrow. During the whole week I was forced to submit and to suffer like
a saint. Avaunt! such dregs of the people! What a reproach to our
civilization to stand in need of a class like this, and to have those whom
we despise so constantly near us. Go with her to-morrow as formerly to the
Carolin Thor about the Seltzer water; if the small bottles are as genuine
as the larger ones, order some of them, but I think the larger size are
more likely to be the _safest_; _ce depend de votre esprit, votre
distinction_, &c. Now farewell, my dear son; take care to get me the
genuine, and _not_ the artificial Seltzer water, and go yourself to see
about it, or I might get Heaven knows what! Farewell again, my good fellow;
we are well affected towards you, and shall expect you the day after
to-morrow at eight o'clock. Breakfast shall be ready for you, if that early
meal does not become as usual a late meal. _Ah! au diable avec ces grands
coquins de neveux, allez-vous en, soyez mon fils, mon fils bien aime.
Adieu; je vous baise, votre pere sincere comme toujours._



The old goose is the bearer of this. She has given you the quills, and you
have again told an untruth. Alas! farewell. I await your report about the
book. She is going to-day to Katel, so she will have very little time for
her stupid blundering. May the Lord one day deliver me from her! _Libera me
Domine de illis_, &c.



Do not omit the point about "the happiness." I know from my experience of
the late Lichnowsky, that those so-called great personages do not like to
see an artist, who is at all events their equal, prosperous. _Voila le meme
cas, votre Altesse_, sometimes in the context V.A. The address "a son
Altesse Monseigneur le Prince," &c., &c. We cannot tell whether he may have
that weakness or not. A blank sheet ought to follow with my signature. You
might add that he must not regard the newspaper trash, the writers of
which, if I chose, would loudly trumpet forth my merits. The Quartet did
indeed fail the first time that it was played by Schuppanzigh; for on
account of his corpulence he requires more time than formerly to decipher a
piece at a glance, and many other circumstances concurred in preventing its
success, which were indeed predicted by me; for although Schuppanzigh and
two others receive pensions from royal personages [Rasumowsky], their
quartet-playing is not what it was when all four were in the habit of
constantly playing together. On the other hand, it has been six times
performed in the most admirable manner by other artists, and received with
the greatest applause; it was played twice over in one evening, and then
again after supper. A violinist of the name of Boehm means also to give it
at his benefit, and I must now let many others have it.

Mention the Grand Quartet in your letter to Peters at Leipzig; lose no time
about this, and desire him to send me an early reply. Mischances of this
kind cannot well be avoided, and we must appear rather coy. Seal the
enclosed letter to my brother and send it to the post. Desire the tailor in
the Kaerntnerstrasse to get lining for trousers for me, and to make them
long and without straps, one pair to be of kerseymere and the other of
cloth. The great-coat can be fetched from Wolf's. The shoemaker's shop is
in the "Stadt" in the Spiegelgasse, in front when coming from the Graben.
His name is Magnus Senn, at the Stadthaus, No. 1093. Call on Hoenigstein [a
banker] and be _candid_, that we may really know _how this wretch has
acted_; it would be wise to ascertain this before the letter to Galitzin is
sent off. It is probable that something else may be found for you this
winter, but we can talk over the matter. Before coming here on Saturday
call on Zinbrachen in the Naglergasse about the knives, which you can send
at once; the old woman made a fine mess of it! When driving home yesterday
I met Clement, Holz, Linke, and Rtschaschek [Rzehatschek] in Neudorf; they
had all been to call on me while I was in town. They wish to have the
Quartet again. Holz drove straight back here from Neudorf and supped with
me in the evening, when I gave him the Quartet to take back with him.

The attachment of genuine artists is not to be despised, and cannot be
otherwise than gratifying.

Let me hear from you as soon as you have spoken with Hoenigstein; write the
dedication of the Overture in C [Op. 124] to Galitzin. If the H.'s
undertake to forward it, give it to them, but look sharp about it. God be
with you, my dear son; I shall expect a letter from you without fail. May
God bless you and me. The end must soon come of your attached father.
Good-by, you scamp!

N.B. Do not forget in your letter to Galitzin to mention that the Overture
is already announced and about to appear, engraved and dedicated to him.

[Footnote 1: He refers to Prince Boris Gallizin and the Quartets he had
ordered. The production of the first of them in E flat major had been a
failure. See No. 399.]




Send this letter at once to my _pseudo_-brother, and add something
yourself. It is impossible to permit this to continue any longer; no soup
to-day, no beef, no eggs, and at last _broiled meat_ from the inn!

When Holz was with me lately, there was really almost nothing to eat at
supper; and such is the woman's bold and insolent behavior, that I have
told her to-day I will not suffer her to remain beyond the end of the
month. No more to-day. All that is necessary about the magistrate is for me
to write a note authorizing you to draw the money, but it would be as well
were you to take the opportunity of asking what you are to do about
converting the bank shares into a share in Rothschild's Loan. I shall say
nothing further, except that I always look on you as my dear son, and one
who deserves to be so. _Little_ as I require what nourishes the body, as
you know, still the present state of things is really too bad, besides
being every moment in danger of being poisoned.

Farewell! Be careful, my dear son, of your health in this heat; I trust you
will continue well. Shun all that may enervate or diminish your youthful
energies. Farewell! A pleasant talk together would be far better than all
this writing. Ever your loving and attached father, who fondly presses you
to his heart.




The enclosed will show you all. Write this letter to Schlesinger.

To ---- Schlesinger, Berlin,
Emporium of Art and Science.

You can couch some things in better terms. I think we may calculate on 80
ducats. If indispensable, delay the letter to Galitzin, but be sure to
dispatch the one to Schlesinger on Saturday. I suppose you received the
packet? I beg you will bring me some shaving-soap, and at least one pair of
razors; the man who grinds them gets 2 florins. You will know if anything
is to be paid. Now pray practise economy, for you certainly receive too
much money. All in vain--a Viennese will always be a Viennese! I rejoiced
when I could assist my poor parents; what a contrast are you in your
conduct towards me! Thriftless boy, farewell!

Your attached


Bring the newspaper with you. You have a great deal to do this time. You no
doubt will write before Sunday. Do not flatter that wretch ----. He is a
miserable, weak-minded fellow. I embrace you. My health is _no better_.



Baden, July 13, 1825.


As you have taken such good care of the book, I beg you will take equal
care that it be returned to the proprietor here. Another pretty business!
As to your wish that I should come to see you, I long ago fully explained
myself on that point; so I request that you will never again allude to the
subject, for you will find me as immovable as ever. Pray spare me all
details, as I am unwilling to repeat what is disagreeable. You are happy,
and it is my desire that you should be so; continue thus, for every one is
best _in his own sphere_.

I only once made use of your lodgings, but the baking-oven nearly made me
ill, so I did not go again; as I have now a lodging of my own, it is not
probable that I shall even _once_ make use of the room you offer me. When
you write, be sure to _seal_ your letters, and address them to the care of
Carl, in Vienna, as such letters cost a great deal here. I once more urge
you to restore the book belonging to the machinist, _an dem Graben_, for
such occurrences are really almost incredible, and place me in no small
embarrassment. So the book! the book! to be sent to Carl in Vienna with all
possible haste and speed. Farewell, most worthy brother! Yours,




Baden, July 15.


In your letter to Schlesinger don't forget to ask whether Prince Radziwill
is in Berlin. As to the 80 ducats, you can also write that they may be paid
in _Conventionsgulden_, at only 4 florins 30 kreutzers to the ducat; but I
leave this entirely to yourself, though gold ducats would not be too much
from one who has the right of publishing in England and also in France. You
must be quite decided too with respect to the four months' bill. A.
Mayseder receives 50 ducats for a set of violin variations! Do not fail to
call attention to the fact that my bad health and other circumstances
constrain me to look more closely after my interests than formerly.
Bargaining is odious to me, but it must be so! What are my feelings when I
find myself thus alone among these men! Be sure to forward my letter to my
brother, that the book may be restored--what a trick! I should have liked,
too, to do all I could to benefit my hearing, and here I should have had
time to do so. How melancholy to have such a brother! Alas! alas! Farewell!
I embrace you from my heart.

Your attached


P.S. Do not be dilatory, and rise early. If you would rather not, pray do
not come on Sunday; but at all events write, though not at present, for if
you can come we can discuss all matters together.



Baden, July 18, Monday.


You will see from the enclosure all that you wish to know; only observe
_moderation_. Fortune crowns my efforts, but do not lay the foundation of
misery by mistaken notions; be truthful and exact in the account of your
expenses, and give up the theatre for the present. Follow the advice of
your guide and father; be counselled by him whose exertions and aspirations
have always been directed to your moral welfare, though without neglecting
your temporal benefit.

This Herr Thal will call on you, and he will also be at Herr Hoenigstein's;
you can give him the Overture if you think fit. He is to stay three weeks.
You may invite him to dine here. Sunday would be best, as a certain scamp
comes on that day at an early hour, in a carriage that I will send for him.
Pray show some amiability of manner towards this man; art and science form
a link between the noblest spirits, and your future vocation[1] by no means
exempts you from this. You might take a _fiacre_ and drive to the copyist's
if you can spare time. With respect to the transcription of the Quartet,
you may tell him that I write very differently now, much more legibly than
during my illness; this Quartet must be written out twice, and I can send
it at once. I have had the offer of a copyist here, but I don't know what
he can do. I should be careful not to be too confidential at first with the
_Holz Christi_, or the splinter of the _Holz Christi_.

Write to me forthwith. Perhaps the old goose may go to Vienna the day after
to-morrow. Farewell! Attend to my advice.

Your attached


Who cordially embraces you.

You may possibly go to D---- with this Herr Thal; do not, however, show too
much anxiety about the money.

[Footnote 1: The nephew had now resolved on a commercial career, and on
this account entered the Polytechnic Institution.]




So let it be! Bring G----'s letter with you, for I have scarcely read it
myself. My _Signor Fratello_ came the day before yesterday with his
brother-in-law [see No. 435]--what a contemptible fellow! The old witch,
who went almost crazy again yesterday, will bring you the answer about the
book from his brother-in-law. If it does not convey a positive certainty on
the subject, send this letter at once to the base creature! When Cato
exclaimed, with regard to Caesar, "This man and myself!" what can be done
in such a case? I don't send the letter, for it will be time enough a
couple of days hence. It is too late to-day. I impress my love, as with a
seal, on your affectionate attachment to me. If you are likely to miss your
work by coming here, then stay where you are.

As ever, your loving and anxious


Three times over:
|: Come soon! :|



Read _violino 2do_--the passage in the first _Allegretto_ in the 1st

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

So write it in this way; in the first _Allegretto_, mark the signs of
expression in all the four parts:

[Music: Treble and Bass clefs.]

The notes are all right; so do not misunderstand me.

Now, my good friend, as to your mode of writing--_obbligatissimo_; but the
signs [Music: piano crescendo decrescendo] &c., are shamefully neglected,
and often, very often, in the wrong place, which is no doubt owing to
haste. For Heaven's sake impress on Kempel [a copyist] to copy everything
just as it stands; look carefully over my present corrections, and you will
find all that you have to say to him. When [Music: staccato mark] is put
over a note, [Music: staccatissimo mark] is not to take its place, and
_vice versa_. It is not the same thing to write [Music: three staccatissimo
quarter notes] and [Music: three staccato quarter notes]. The [Music:
crescendo] are often purposely placed after the notes. For
instance:--[Music: three notes, decrescendo on second note]. The ties to be
just as they are now placed. It is not synonymous to write [Music: three
notes, slurred] or thus [Music: three notes, slur over first two notes].
Such is our will and pleasure! I have passed no less than the whole
forenoon to-day, and yesterday afternoon, in correcting these two pieces,
and I am actually quite hoarse from stamping and swearing.

In haste, yours,


Pray excuse me for to-day, as it is just four o'clock. [The close of this
letter has not been deciphered by its possessor, who has traced over the
hieroglyphics with a pencil; it reads somewhat to this effect, "to go to
Carl at four o'clock. We were much amused," &c.]

[Footnote 1: This letter is evidently written about the same time that the
copying of the A minor Quartet (Op. 132) took place, of which the letter
treats, and is probably "the enclosure" named in the following note. The
corrections, or we ought rather to say revisions, of Beethoven, are all
fully and accurately reproduced, at all events in Breitkopf & Haertel's



Tuesday, August 2.


Send the enclosed to-morrow morning (Wednesday) to the post; as it refers
to corrections, _haste is absolutely necessary_. We must have done with
this evil old creature! I have scarcely enough to eat, and am forced also
to endure the sauciness and insolence of this most malicious old witch--and
with such wages too! I think I must ask my _pseudo_-brother to come, and
would be glad to engage again the woman from Winter's, in the Kothgasse,
who at least knew how to cook.

Write me a few lines to-morrow, and direct here. I send you another florin.
Do not neglect your bathing; continue well, and guard against _illness_.
Spend your money _on good objects alone_. Be my dear son! What a frightful
discord would it be, were you to prove _false_ to me, as many persons
maintain that you already are! May God bless you! Your attached


N.B. Send off the letter to-morrow (Wednesday). I have heard nothing as yet
of the knives, and my made pens also begin to fail.



Baden, August


I am in mortal anxiety about the Quartet--namely, the third, fourth, fifth,
and sixth parts, that Holz took away, while the first bars of the third
movement have been left here; the number of these sheets is 13. _I hear
nothing of Holz._ I wrote to him yesterday, and he is not usually remiss in
writing. What a sad business it will be if he has lost it! He drinks hard,
_entre nous_. Tranquillize me on this point as quickly as possible. You can
find out Linke's lodgings from Haslinger; he was here to-day and very
friendly, and brought some of the sheets and other things, and begged hard
for the new quartets. Never interfere in this kind of business; it can only
lead to what is unpleasant. For Heaven's sake pacify me about the
Quartet--a serious loss. The sketch is only written on small fragments of
paper, and I could not manage to write out the whole exactly from these.

Your attached


I must remind you that next Sunday and Monday are holidays, so that you may
arrange accordingly. On this occasion you could perhaps, when I come in,
return with me here on Saturday evening, which would give you the whole of
Sunday morning to yourself.





I had scarcely got home when I bethought me of the stuff I may have written
yesterday. Give the enclosed to Kuhlau; you know all the rest. Write to me
as soon as possible, or come here, next Thursday being a holiday, but write
beforehand. Ask if the cook understands anything about game, that she may
take the command of my game preserves for me. As to Carl, it would be
better for him to tell me about it at the _Atrapper_ at _Rosen_. All this
_prestissimo_! As for my friendship, think of me always as _Cantum firmum_.

Ever your friend,




Baden, September 3, 1825.

[Music: Alto clef, B-flat major, 4/4 time.
Kuhl nicht lau, nicht lau, Kuhl nicht lau, Kuh-lau nicht lau.
Kuhl nicht lau, Kuhl nicht lau, nicht lau.
Kuhl nicht lau, Kuhl nicht lau, Kuhl nicht lau.]

I must admit that the champagne went a little to my head yesterday, and I
learned once more from experience, that such things rather prostrate than
promote my energies; for, though able to respond fluently at the moment,
still I can no longer recall what I wrote yesterday.

Sometimes bear in mind your attached




September 6, 1825.


I see perfectly well how troublesome it would be for you all to come here;
we must therefore make an appointment to meet every Friday at
Schlesinger's, when I will come to town; for, in case any thing goes amiss,
I must be present. This is the best plan, and settles the affair. He was
here yesterday, and said that he would pay for the Quintet as soon as you
sent it to him.

It will be enough if they play the new one only, but you can judge what is
best. If they prefer Thursday, I can be present then. Only see that they
come to an arrangement as quickly as possible, so that the money may be
transmitted to Peters in Leipzig, to whom, however, you must on no account
allude. Schlesinger scarcely expects to be still in Vienna on Sunday; haste
is therefore necessary. The ducats must be in gold; mention, as a
precedent, that others do this.

Be sure to write to me by the old woman to-day. All I want is a rehearsal,
to see whether corrections are required. Make no delays, and take care that
the old woman sets off in good time. The best plan would be to fix where I
am to come to in town every Friday for rehearsals. If Schlesinger has
brought you the Quartet (the first), pray stand on no ceremony, for it is
clear he means to pay.

Your letter has this moment come. So Holz is not to be here till Thursday,
and who can tell whether even this is certain? Your letter changes
everything, as Friday is now decided on. Holz can inform me whether we meet
here or in Vienna. Our main point now is with Schlesinger, for we must
delay no longer. If he is only waiting for the rehearsal, he certainly
shall not have it. He said yesterday that he would not publish the quartets
here; I told him it was a matter of entire indifference to me. May God
bless you and keep you!

Your attached






Do not forget to give Tobias [Haslinger] the receipt together with the
money. The gentleman ought to have come a little sooner; but as the affair
stands, you must do as he advises. I do not wish now that you should come
to me on the 19th of September. It is better to finish your studies. God
has never yet forsaken me, and no doubt some one will be found to close my
eyes. The whole thing seems to me to have been some artful collusion, in
which my brother (_pseudo_) has played a part. I also know that you have no
pleasure now in coming to me--which is only natural, for my atmosphere is
too pure for you. Last Sunday you again borrowed 1 florin 15 kreutzers from
the housekeeper, from a mean old kitchen wench,--this was already
forbidden,--and it is the same in all things. I could have gone on wearing
the out-of-doors coat for two years--to be sure I have the shabby custom of
putting on an old coat at home--but Herr Carl! What a disgrace it would be!
and why should he do so? Herr Ludwig van Beethoven's money-bags are
expressly for this purpose.

You had better not come next Sunday, for true harmony and concord can never
exist with conduct such as yours. Why such hypocrisy? Avoid it, and you
will then become a better man, and not require to be deceitful nor
untruthful, which will eventually benefit your moral character. Such is the
impression you have made on my mind--for what avail even the most gentle
reproofs? They merely serve to embitter you. But do not be uneasy; I shall
continue to _care for you_ as much as ever. _What feelings_ were aroused in
me when I again found a florin and 15 kreutzers charged in the bill!

Do not send any more such flimsy notes, for the housekeeper can see through
them in the light. I have just received this letter from Leipzig, but I
don't mean to send the Quartet yet; we can talk of this on Sunday. Three
years ago I only asked 40 ducats for a quartet; we must therefore refer to
the exact words you have written.

Farewell! He who, though he did not give you life, has certainly provided
for it, and above all striven to perfect your mental culture, and been more
than a father to you, earnestly implores you to pursue steadily the only
true path to all that is good and right. Farewell!

Bring back the letter with you on Sunday.

Your attached and kind




Vienna, September 26, 1825.

[Music: Tenor clef, F major, 4/4 time.
Si non per Por-tus, per mu-ros, per mu-ros, per mu-ros.]

My worthy friend, I wish you the loveliest bride! And I take this
opportunity of asking you to present my compliments to Herr Marx, in
Berlin, and beg him not to be too hard on me, and sometimes to allow me to
slip out at the backdoor.





Baden, October 4.


Like the sage Odysseus, I know the best course to take; if you come on
Saturday, you need not fear the cold, for a portion of the old
window-shutters is still here, with which we can protect ourselves. I hope
also to get rid of my cold and catarrh here; at the same time this place is
a great risk in my rheumatic condition, for wind, or rather hurricanes,
still prevail here. As to Biedermann, you must inquire whether Schlesinger
gave him a commission; for if this be not the case, we ought to write at
once to Peters. You could scarcely write to me to-day, but I hope to hear
from you to-morrow, and to see you positively on Saturday. I wish you never
may have cause to feel ashamed of your want of love for me; if I alone
suffer, what matters it? I wish and hope that all the pretexts you made
here to go into Vienna may prove true.

Rest assured that you may at all times expect every possible kindness from
me, but can I hope for the same from you? When you see me irritable,
ascribe it solely to my great anxiety on your account, for you are exposed
to many dangers. I hope at all events to get a letter from you to-morrow;
do not cause me uneasiness, but think of my sufferings. I ought not,
properly, to have any such apprehensions, but what sorrow have I not
already experienced?!

As ever, your attached


Remember that I am all alone here, and subject to sudden illness. [On the
outside:] _N'oubliez pas de demander des quittances, et donnez-moi aussi
vite que possible des nouvelles._




Say no more! only come to my arms; not one harsh word shall you hear! For
God's sake do not bring misery on your own head. You shall be received as
lovingly as ever. We can discuss in a friendly manner what is to be done
and settled as to the future. I pledge my word of honor you shall meet with
no reproaches from me, which, indeed, could no longer avail. You need
expect only the most affectionate care and assistance from me. Only come!
Come to the faithful heart of--

Your father,


_Volti sub._

Set off the moment you receive this letter. _Si vous ne viendrez pas, vous
me tuerez surement. Lisez la lettre et restez a la maison chez vous. Venez
embrasser votre pere, vous vraiment adonne. Soyez assure que tout cela
restera entre nous._ For God's sake come home to-day, for we cannot tell
what risks you run,--hasten,--hasten to me!



October 5.


I have just received your letter. I was a prey to anguish, and resolved to
hurry into Vienna myself this very day. God be praised! this is not
necessary; follow my advice, and love and peace of mind, as well as worldly
happiness, will attend us, and you can then combine an inward and spiritual
existence with your outer life. But it is well that the _former_ should be
esteemed superior to the _latter_. _Il fait trop froid._ So I am to see you
on Saturday? Write to say whether you come early or in the evening, that I
may hasten to meet you. I embrace and kiss you a thousand times over, _not
my lost, but my new-born son_.

I wrote to Schlemmer; do not take it amiss, but my heart is still too full
[a piece is here torn away]. Live! and my care of the son _I have found
again_ will show only love on the part of your father. [On the cover:]
_Ayez la bonte de m'envoyer_ a lucifer-match bottle and matches from
Rospini, _ou en portez avec vous, puisque de celle de Kaernthnerthor on ne
veut pas faire usage_.



_Immediate._ Baden, October 14.

I write in the greatest haste to say, that even if it rains, I shall
certainly come in to-morrow forenoon; be sure, therefore, that I find you
at home.

I rejoice at the thoughts of seeing you again, and if you detect any heavy
clouds lowering, do not attribute them to deliberate anger, for they will
be wholly chased away by your promise to strive more earnestly after the
true and pure happiness, based on active exertion. Something hovered before
me in my last letter, which though perhaps _not quite justly_ yet called
forth a dark mood; this, after all that has passed, was indeed very
possible; still who would not rejoice when the transgressor returns to the
right path?--and this I hope I shall live to see. I was especially pained
by your coming so late on Sunday, and hurrying away again so early. I mean
to come in to-morrow with the joiner and to send off these old hags; they
are too bad for anything. Until the other housekeeper arrives, I can make
use of the joiner. More of this when we meet, and I know you will think I
am right. Expect me then to-morrow without fail, whether it rains or not.

Your loving


Who fondly embraces you.



February 6, 1826.


You have really done well in rendering justice to the _manes_ of Mozart by
your inimitable pamphlet, which so searchingly enters into the matter [the
Requiem], and you have earned the gratitude of the lay and the profane, as
well as of all who are musical, or have any pretensions to be so. To bring
a thing of this kind forward as H.W.[1] has done, a man must either be a
great personage, or a nonentity. Be it remembered also that it is said this
same person has written a book on composition, and yet has ascribed to
Mozart such passages as the following:--

[Music: Bass clef]

and has added such things as,--

[Music: Treble clef, B-flat major.
A-gnus de-i
pec-ca-ta mun-di.]

[Music: Treble clef, B-flat major.
Qui tol-lis pec-ca-ta, qui tol-lis pec-ca-ta,]

as samples of his own composition! H.W.'s astonishing knowledge of harmony
and melody recall the old composers of the Empire,--Sterkel, [illegible,]
Kalkbrenner (the father), Andre, &c.

_Requiescant in pace!_ I especially thank you, my dear friend, for the
pleasure you have conferred on me by your pamphlet. I have always accounted
myself one of Mozart's greatest admirers, and shall continue to be so to my
last breath. I beg, venerable sir, for your blessing, and I am, with
sincere esteem and veneration, yours,


[Footnote 1: Gottfried Weber, the well-known theorist, who was one of those
engaged in the dispute as to the genuineness of Mozart's Requiem.]



April 3, 1826.

Holz tells me that it is your intention to publish a larger size of the
engraving representing Handel's monument, in St. Peter's Church in London.
This affords me extreme pleasure, independent of the fact that I was the
person who suggested this. Accept my thanks beforehand.

I am your obedient




Vienna, June 3, 1826.


I always consider myself in some degree bound to make you the offer of my
compositions when it is possible to do so. I am at this moment more at
liberty than usual. I was obliged to give my minor works to those who took
the greater ones also, as without the former they refused to accept the
latter. So far as I remember, however, you wished to have nothing to do
with the greater works. In this view, I offer you an entirely new Quartet
for two violins, viola and violoncello; you must not, however, be surprised
at my demanding the sum of 80 gold ducats for it. I assure you, upon my
honor, that the same sum has been remitted to me for several quartets. I
must request you, in any event, to write to me on this point as soon as
possible. Should you accept my offer, I beg you will send the money to some
bank here, where I can receive it on delivery of the work. If the reverse
be the case, I shall equally expect an immediate reply, as other publishers
have already made me offers. I have also the following trifles ready, with
which I can supply you. A Serenade-congratulatory-Minuet, and an
_Entr'acte_, both for a full orchestra,--the two for 20 gold ducats. In the
hope of a speedy answer,

I am, sir, your obedient





May our temporary estrangement be forever effaced by the portrait I now
send. I know that I have rent your heart. The emotion which you cannot fail
now to see in mine has sufficiently punished me for it. There was no malice
towards you in my heart, for then I should be no longer worthy of your
friendship. It was _passion_ both on _your_ part and on _mine_; but
mistrust was rife within me, for people had come between us, unworthy both
of _you_ and of _me_.

My portrait[2] was long ago intended for you; you knew that it was destined
for some one--and to whom could I give it with such warmth of heart as to
you, my faithful, good, and noble Stephan?

Forgive me for having grieved you; but I did not myself suffer less when I
no longer saw you near me. I then first keenly felt how dear you were, and
ever will be to my heart. Surely you will once more fly to my arms as you
formerly did.

[Footnote 1: Schindler places this letter in the summer of 1826, when his
nephew attempted self-destruction in Baden, which reduced Beethoven to the
most miserable state of mind, and brought afresh to his recollection those
dear friends of his youth, whom he seemed almost to have forgotten in the
society of Holz and his colleagues. Schindler states that the more
immediate cause of this estrangement was Breuning having tried to dissuade
him from adopting his nephew. Dr. v. Breuning in Vienna is of opinion that
the reunion of the two old friends had already occurred in 1825, or even
perhaps at an earlier period. I am not at present capable of finally
deciding on this discrepancy, but I believe the latter assertion to be

[Footnote 2: Schindler says, "It was Stieler's lithograph, which the
_maestro_ had previously sent to Dr. Wegeler." See No. 459.]




You are harassed by work, and so am I--besides, I am still far from well. I
would have invited you to dinner ere this, but I have been obliged to
entertain people whose most highly prized author is _the cook_, and not
finding his interesting productions at home, they hunt after them in the
kitchens and cellars of others [Holz for instance]. Such society would not
be very eligible for you, but all this will soon be altered. In the mean
time do not buy Czerny's "School for the Pianoforte;"[1] for in a day or
two I expect to get some information about another. Along with the "Journal
des Modes" that I promised to your wife, I also send something for your
children. I can always regularly transmit you the journal--you have only to
express your wish on any point, for me to comply with it at once.

I am, with love and esteem, your friend,


I hope we shall soon meet.

[Footnote 1: Czerny, _The Vienna Pianoforte Teacher; or, theoretical and
practical mode of learning how to play the piano skilfully and beautifully
in a short time by a new and easy method_. Vienna: Haslinger. See No. 455.]




I can at length realize my boast, and send you Clement's long-promised
"Pianoforte School" for Gerhard [Breuning's eldest son]. If he makes the
use of it that I advise, the results cannot fail to be good. I shall see
you very shortly now, and cordially embrace you. Your




Vienna, August 30, 1826.

I am happy to give my friend Carl Holz the testimonial he wishes, namely,
that I consider him well fitted to write my Biography hereafter, if indeed
I may presume to think that this will be desired. I place the most implicit
confidence in his faithfully transmitting to posterity what I have imparted
to him for this purpose.


[Footnote 1: Carl Holz ceded his rights to Dr. Gassner, who however died in
1851 without having completed any biography of Beethoven. In the
_maestro's_ bequest, which Gassner's widow was so kind as to show me, there
was nothing new (at least to me) except two letters included in this
collection and a couple of anecdotes. Schindler also states that Beethoven
subsequently repented of the authority he had given Holz and declared he
did so too hastily.]



Both the gentlemen were here, but they have been admonished on every side
to observe the most strict secrecy with regard to the Order. Haslinger
declares that in this respect you are a son of the deceased Papageno.
_Prenez garde!_

I told Carl to-day it was definitively settled that he could not quit the
hospital except with you or me. I dine at home to-morrow, so I shall be
very glad if you can come. As you have no official work to-morrow you might
arrive later, but it is very necessary that you should come. _Portez-vous
bien, Monsieur terrible amoureux._[1]

Your _indeclinable_ friend,


[Footnote 1: This letter contains all kinds of dashes and flourishes, which
prove that the _maestro_ was in his happiest mood when he wrote it. His
nephew was at that time in the hospital, probably owing to his attempt at




One of the greatest pieces of good fortune of my life is your Majesty
having graciously permitted me respectfully to dedicate my present work
[the 9th Symphony] to you.

Your Majesty is not only the father of your subjects, but also a patron of
art and science; and how much more precious is your gracious permission to
me, from being myself so fortunate as to be numbered among your subjects,
being a citizen of Bonn.

I beg your Majesty will vouchsafe to accept this work as a slender token of
the profound admiration with which I regard your virtues.

I am, your Majesty's obedient humble servant,




Vienna, October 7, 1826.


I really cannot express the pleasure your letter and that of your Lorchen
caused me. An answer speedy as an arrow's flight ought indeed to have
responded, but I am always rather indolent about writing, because I think
that the better class of men know me sufficiently without this. I often
compose the answer in my head, but when I wish to write it down I generally
throw aside the pen, from not being able to write as I feel. I recall all
the kindness you have ever shown me; for example, your causing my room to
be whitewashed, which was an agreeable surprise to me. It was just the same
with all the Breuning family. Our separation was in the usual course of
things; each striving to pursue and to attain his object; while at the same
time the everlasting and immutable principles of good still held us closely
united. I cannot unfortunately write so much to you to-day as I could wish,
being confined to bed,[1] so I limit my reply to some points in your

You write that in some book I am declared to be the natural son of the late
King of Prussia; this was mentioned to me long ago, but I have made it a
rule never either to write anything about myself, or to answer anything
written by others about me. I therefore gladly devolve on you the duty of
making known to the world the respectability of my parents, and especially
that of my mother.

You write to me about your son. There is no possible doubt that when he
comes here he will find a friend and a father in me, and whenever it may be
in my power to serve or to assist him, I will gladly do so.

I still have the _silhouette_ of your Lorchen, by which you will see how
dear to me to this hour are all those who were kind and loving to me in the
days of my youth. As to my diploma, I may briefly state that I am an
Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Science in Sweden [see No. 338] and
in Amsterdam, and that I have been presented with the Honorary Citizenship
of Vienna. A Dr. Spiecker lately took with him to Berlin my last Grand
Symphony with Choruses; it is dedicated to the King, and I wrote the
dedication with my own hand. I had previously applied at the Embassy for
permission to dedicate the work to the King, which has now been
accorded.[2] By desire of Dr. Spiecker I gave him the manuscript I had
myself corrected, and with my own amendments, to present to the King, as it
is to be deposited in the Royal Library. I received a hint at the time
about the second class of the Order of the Red Eagle; I do not know what
the result may be, for I have never sought such distinctions, though in
these days for many reasons they would not be unwelcome to me. Besides, my
maxim has always been,--_Nulla dies sine linea_; and if I allow my Muse to
slumber, it is only that she may awake with fresh vigor. I hope yet to
usher some great works into the world, and then to close my earthly career
like an old child somewhere among good people.[3] You will soon receive
some music through the Brothers Schott, in Mayence. The portrait which I
now send you is indeed an artistic masterpiece, but not the last that has
been taken of me. I must tell you further, what I know you will rejoice to
hear, with regard to marks of distinction. The late King of France sent me
a medal with the inscription, _Donne par le Roi a M. Beethoven_,
accompanied by a very polite letter from _le premier gentilhomme du Roi, le
Duc de Chatres_.

My beloved friend, excuse my writing more to-day, for the remembrance of
the past has deeply affected me, and not without many tears have I written
this letter. The oftener you write the more pleasure will you confer on me.
There can be no question on either side as to our friendship, so farewell.
I beg you will embrace your dear children and your Lorchen in my name, and
think of me when you do so. May God be with you all.

As ever, your attached friend, with sincere esteem,


[Footnote 1: On which account this letter is dictated, and only signed by
Beethoven, who was at that time at his brother's house in the
country--Gneixendorf, near Krems, on the Danube.]

[Footnote 2: In consequence of his application to the King of Prussia to
subscribe to his Mass, of which he had sent the MS., Beethoven received the
following intimation:--

_To the Composer Ludwig van Beethoven._

Berlin, Nov. 25, 1826.

"It gave me great pleasure to receive your new work, knowing the
acknowledged value of your compositions. I thank you for having sent it to
me, and present you with a ring of brilliants, as a token of my sincere


Schindler adds that the stones in the ring were false, and casts a
suspicion of fraud on the Chancery Director of that day, W----.]

[Footnote 3: It was during those weeks that he wrote the second _Finale_ to
the B. flat major Quartet, Op. 130, little anticipating that this was to be
his "Swan song."]



[Music: Bass clef. C major.

No time is left to-day for further words and vocalization. I beg you will
at once deliver the enclosed letter. Pray forgive my causing you this
trouble; but, as you are the owner of an artistic post-office, it is
scarcely possible not to take advantage of this.

You will perceive that I am now at Gneixendorf. The name sounds like the
breaking of an axletree. The air is healthy. The _memento mori_ must be
applied to all else. Most marvellous and best of all Tobiases, we salute
you in the name of the arts and poets!

I remain yours,


[Footnote 1: The music alone and the words "I remain" at the close, are in
Beethoven's writing. The rest is probably written by his nephew, with whom
he had been obliged to take refuge in the house of his odious brother near
Krems, because the police had intimated to the young delinquent that he
must leave Vienna. See No. 435 on the subject of Beethoven's repugnance to
live in his brother's family circle, whose ignoble wife treated the
gray-haired and suffering _maestro_ as badly as possible.]



GNEIXENDORF, October 13, 1826.


[Here follow eight bars of music.]

We are writing to you from the castle of our _Signor Fratello_. I must
again intrude on you by the polite request to post the two enclosed letters
without delay.

I will repay you for the time I kept the "School for the Pianoforte" and
all the other expenses as soon as I return to Vienna. I am staying here
longer, owing to the weather being so fine, and also not having gone to the
country at all during the summer. A quartet[1] for Schlesinger is already
finished; only I don't know which is the safest way to send it to you, that
you may give it to Tendler and Manstein and receive the money in return.
Schlesinger will probably not make the remittance in _gold_, but if you can
contrive that I should get it, you would very much oblige me, as all my
publishers pay me in gold. Besides, my worthy _Tobiasserl_, we stand in
need of money, and it is by no means the same thing whether we have money
or not. If you get a sight of Holz make sure of him, and nail him at once.
The passion of love has so violently assailed him that he has almost taken
fire, and some one jestingly wrote that Holz was a son of the deceased

Most astounding, most admirable, and most _unique_ of all Tobiases,
farewell! If not inconvenient, pray write me a few lines here. Is Dr.
Spiecker still in Vienna? I am, with highest consideration and fidelity,



[Footnote 1: Probably the one in F, Op. 135.]



Dec. 1826.


I wrote to you on my arrival here a few days ago, but the letter was
mislaid; I then became so unwell that I thought it best to stay in bed. I
shall therefore be very glad if you will pay me a visit. You will find it
less inconvenient, because every one has left Doebling to go to town. I only
add, in conclusion,[1]

[Music: Bass clef, C major, 3/4 time.
Wir ir-ren al-le Samt, Nur je-der ir-ret an-derst.]

As ever, your friend,


[Footnote 1: Here Beethoven's own writing begins. The slight indisposition
that he mentions, in the course of a few days became a serious illness, the
result of which was dropsy, and from this the _maestro_ was doomed never to
recover. Indeed from that time he never again left his bed.]



Vienna, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 1827.


I hereby declare, at my decease, my beloved nephew, Carl van Beethoven,
sole heir of all my property, and of seven bank shares in particular, as
well as any ready money I may be possessed of. If the law prescribes any
modifications in this matter, pray endeavor to regulate these as much as
possible to his advantage.

I appoint you his curator, and beg that, together with Hofrath Breuning,
his guardian, you will supply the place of a father to him.

God bless you! A thousand thanks for all the love and friendship you have
shown towards me.


[Footnote 1: The signature alone is in Beethoven's writing.]



Vienna, February 17, 1827.


I received your second letter safely through Breuning. I am still too
feeble to answer it, but you may be assured that its contents were most
welcome and agreeable to me.[1] My convalescence, if indeed I may call it
such, makes very slow progress, and there is reason to suspect that a
fourth operation will be necessary, although the medical men have not as
yet decided on this. I arm myself with patience, and reflect that all evil
leads to some good. I am quite surprised to find from your last letter that
you had not received mine. From this one you will see that I wrote to you
on the 10th of December last. It is the same with the portrait, as you will
perceive from the date, when you get it. "Frau Steffen spake the word:"
Michael Steffen insisted on sending them by some private hand; so they have
been lying here until this very day, and really it was a hard matter to get
them back even now. You will receive the portrait by the post, through the
Messrs. Schott, who have also sent you the music.

How much is there that I would fain say to you to-day; but I am too
weak,[2] so I can only embrace you and your Lorchen in spirit. With true
friendship and attachment to you and yours,

Your old and faithful friend,


[Footnote 1: Wegeler had reminded him of Blumenauer, who, after being
operated on for dropsy, lived for many years in perfect health. He at the
same time suggested to him the plan of going with him in the ensuing summer
to one of the Bohemian baths, proposing to travel by a circuitous route to
the Upper Rhine, and from thence to Coblenz.]

[Footnote 2: Beethoven's last letter to Wegeler. The signature alone is



Feb. 22, 1827.

I remember that some years ago the Philharmonic Society proposed to give a
concert for my benefit. This prompts me to request you, dear sir, to say to
the Philharmonic Society that if they be now disposed to renew their offer
it would be most welcome to me. Unhappily, since the beginning of December
I have been confined to bed by dropsy,--a most wearing malady, the result
of which cannot yet be ascertained. As you are already well aware, I live
entirely by the produce of my brains, and for a long time to come all idea
of writing is out of the question. My salary is in itself so small, that I
can scarcely contrive to defray my half-year's rent out of it. I therefore
entreat you kindly to use all your influence for the furtherance of this
project,--your generous sentiments towards me convincing me that you will
not be offended by my application. I intend also to write to Herr Moscheles
on this subject, being persuaded that he will gladly unite with you in
promoting my object. I am so weak that I can no longer write, so I only
dictate this. I hope, dear sir, that you will soon cheer me by an answer,
to say whether I may look forward to the fulfilment of my request.

In the mean time, pray receive the assurance of the high esteem with which
I always remain, &c., &c.



Vienna, Feb. 22, 1827.


I feel sure that you will not take amiss my troubling you as well as Sir G.
Smart (to whom I enclose a letter) with a request. The matter is briefly
this. Some years since, the London Philharmonic Society made me the
handsome offer to give a concert in my behalf. At that time I was not, God
be praised! so situated as to render it necessary for me to take advantage
of this generous proposal. Things are, however, very different with me now,
as for fully three months past I have been entirely prostrated by that
tedious malady, dropsy. Schindler encloses a letter with further details.
You have long known my circumstances, and are aware how, and by what, I
live: a length of time must elapse before I can attempt to write again, so
that, unhappily, I might be reduced to actual want. You have not only an
extensive acquaintance in London, but also the greatest influence with the
Philharmonic; may I beg you, therefore, to exercise it, so far as you can,
in prevailing on the Society to resume their former intention, and to carry
it soon into effect.

The letter I enclose to Sir Smart is to the same effect, as well as one I
already sent to Herr Stumpff.[1] I beg you will yourself give the enclosed
letter to Sir Smart, and unite with him and all my friends in London in
furthering my object. Your sincere friend,


[Footnote 1: Stumpff, a Thuringian maker of harps, came to Vienna in 1824,
recommended to our _maestro_ by Andreas Streicher in a letter of Sept. 24,
in these words:--"The bearer of this is Herr Stumpff, an excellent German,
who has lived for thirty-four years in London. The sole reason of his going
to Baden is to see you, my revered Beethoven, the man of whom Germany is so
proud. Pray receive him in a kind and friendly manner, as beseems the saint
to whose shrine the pious pilgrim has made so long a journey." In 1826 he
presented Beethoven with the English edition of Handel's works in 40 folio
volumes, which the _maestro_ constantly studied during his last illness.
Gerhard v. Breuning, when a youth of fourteen, either held up the separate
volumes for him, or propped them against the wall.]



The end of February, 1827.

When we meet we can discuss the mischance that has befallen you. I can send
you some person without the smallest inconvenience. Do accept my offer; it
is, at least, something. Have you had no letters from Moscheles or Cramer?
There will be a fresh occasion for writing on Wednesday, and once more
urging my project. If you are still indisposed at that time, one of my
people can take the letter, and get a receipt from the post-office.

_Vale et fave._ I need not assure you of my sympathy with your misfortune.
Pray allow me to supply board for you in the mean time. I offer this from
my heart. May Heaven preserve you! Your sincere friend,




March 6, 1827.


My warmest thanks for the kind present you have sent me for the benefit of
my health; as soon as I have found what wine is most suitable for me I will
let you know, but not abuse your kindness. I like the _compote_ much, and
shall again apply to you for some. Even this costs me an effort. _Sapienti

Your grateful friend,


[Footnote 1: Traced in feeble and trembling characters. Some other hand has
written on it, "March 6, 1827."]




I beg you will send me some more of the cherry _compote_, but without
lemons, and quite simple. I should also like a light pudding, almost
liquid, my worthy cook not being very experienced in invalid diet. I am
allowed to drink _champagne_, and I wish you would send me for to-day a
champagne glass with it. Now, as to wine, Malfatti wished me to drink
moselle, but declared that no genuine moselle could be got here; so he gave
me several bottles of _Krumbholzkirchner_,[1] deeming this best for my
health, as no really good moselle is to be had. Pray forgive my troubling
you, and ascribe it chiefly to my helpless condition.

I am, with much esteem, your friend,


[Footnote 1: Gumpoldskirchner--a celebrated and generous Austrian wine.]



March 6, 1827.


I make no doubt that you have already received through Herr Moscheles my
letter of February 22, but as I found your address by chance among my
papers, I do not hesitate to write direct to yourself, to urge my request
once more on you in the strongest terms.

I do not, alas! even up to the present hour, see any prospect of the
termination of my terrible malady; on the contrary, my sufferings, and
consequently my cares, have only increased. I underwent a fourth operation
on the 27th of February, and possibly fate may compel me to submit to this
a fifth time, and perhaps oftener. If this goes on, my illness will
certainly continue one half the summer, and in that case, what is to become
of me? How am I to subsist until I can succeed in arousing my decayed
powers, and once more earn my living by my pen? But I do not wish to plague
you by fresh complaints; so I only refer you to my letter of the 22d
February, and entreat you to use all your influence with the Philharmonic
Society to carry now into execution their former proposal of a concert for
my benefit.




I am still confined to my room; be so good, therefore, as to tell me, or
rather, I should say, write to me, the name of the person who values this
house, and where he is to be found. If you have any Muterhall [?] medicine
I beg you will think of your poor Austrian musician and citizen of the




March 14, 1827.


Many thanks for the dish you sent me yesterday, which will suffice for
to-day also. I am allowed to have game; and the doctor said that fieldfares
were very wholesome for me. I only tell you this for information, as I do
not want them to-day. Forgive this stupid note, but I am exhausted from a
sleepless night. I embrace you, and am, with much esteem, your attached

[Footnote 1: In a tremulous hand,--"March 14, 1827."]



Vienna, March 14, 1827.


I recently heard, through Herr Lewisey,[1] that in a letter to him of the
10th February, you had made inquiries as to the state of my health, about
which such various rumors have been circulated. Although I cannot possibly
doubt that you have by this time received my letter of February 22d, which
explains all you wish to know, still I cannot resist thanking you for your
sympathy with my sad condition, and again imploring you to attend to the
request contained in my first letter. I feel already certain that, in
conjunction with Sir Smart and other friends, you are sure to succeed in
obtaining a favorable result for me from the Philharmonic Society. I wrote
again to Sir Smart also on the subject.

I was operated on for the fourth time on the 27th of February, and now
symptoms evidently exist which show that I must expect a fifth operation.
What is to be done? What is to become of me if this lasts much longer? Mine
has indeed been a hard doom; but I resign myself to the decrees of fate,
and only constantly pray to God that His holy will may ordain that while
thus condemned to suffer death in life, I may be shielded from want. The
Almighty will give me strength to endure my lot, however severe and
terrible, with resignation to His will.

So once more, dear Moscheles, I commend my cause to you, and shall
anxiously await your answer, with highest esteem. Hummel is here, and has
several times come to see me.

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: Schindler mentions, on Beethoven's authority, that this
gentleman translated Beethoven's letters to Smart into English, which his
nephew had previously done.]



March 17, 1827.


Both the learned gentlemen are defeated, and I shall be saved solely by
Malfatti's skill! You must come to me for a few minutes without fail this



[Footnote 1: Schindler dates this note March 17, 1827, and says that these
are the last lines Beethoven ever wrote. They certainly were the last that
he wrote to Schindler. On the back of the note, in another writing
(probably Schindler's), the receipt is given in pencil for the bath with
hay steeped in it, ordered by Malfatti, which the poor invalid thought had
saved his life. The "learned gentlemen" are Dr. Wawruch and the surgeon
Seibert, who had made the punctures.]



Vienna, March 18, 1827.

No words can express my feelings on reading your letter of the 1st of
March. The noble liberality of the Philharmonic Society, which almost
anticipated my request, has touched me to my inmost soul.[1] I beg you,
therefore, dear Moscheles, to be my organ in conveying to the Society my
heartfelt thanks for their generous sympathy and aid.

[Say[2] to these worthy men, that if God restores me to health, I shall
endeavor to prove the reality of my gratitude by my actions. I therefore
leave it to the Society to choose what I am to write for them--a symphony
(the 10th) lies fully sketched in my desk, and likewise a new overture and
some other things. With regard to the concert the Philharmonic had resolved
to give in my behalf, I would entreat them not to abandon their intention.
In short, I will strive to fulfil every wish of the Society, and never
shall I have begun any work with so much zeal as on this occasion. May
Heaven only soon grant me the restoration of my health, and then I will
show the noble-hearted English how highly I value their sympathy with my
sad fate.] I was compelled at once to draw for the whole sum of 1000
gulden, being on the eve of borrowing money.

Your generous conduct can never be forgotten by me, and I hope shortly to
convey my thanks to Sir Smart in particular, and to Herr Stumpff. I beg you
will deliver the metronomed 9th Symphony to the Society. I enclose the
proper markings.

Your friend, with high esteem,


[Footnote 1: A hundred pounds had been sent at once.]

[Footnote 2: In the original the words placed within brackets are dictated
by Beethoven himself, and were indeed the last he ever dictated--but they
are crossed out.]



Vienna, March 23, 1827.

I appoint my nephew Carl my sole heir. The capital of my bequest, however,
to devolve on his natural or testamentary heirs.


[Footnote 1: See No. 463. Schindler relates:--"This testament contained no
restrictions or precautionary measures with regard to his heir-at-law, who,
after the legal forms connected with the inheritance were terminated, was
entitled to take immediate possession of the whole. The guardian and
curator, however, knowing the unexampled levity of the heir, had a valid
pretext for raising objections to these testamentary depositions. They
therefore suggested to the _maestro_, to alter his intentions in so far as
to place his property in trust; his nephew to draw the revenue, and at his
death the capital to pass to his direct heirs. Beethoven, however,
considered such restraints as too severe on the nephew whom he still so
dearly loved in his heart [since December of the previous year the young
man had been a cadet in a royal regiment at Iglau, in Moravia], so he
remonstrated against this advice; indeed he reproached Hofrath Breuning as


Back to Full Books