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Title: Beethoven's Letters 1790-1826, Volume 1
Author: Beethoven, Ludwig van, 1770-1827
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Since undertaking the translation of Dr. Ludwig Nohl's valuable edition of
"Beethoven's Letters," an additional collection has been published by Dr.
Ludwig Ritter von Köchel, consisting of many interesting letters addressed
by Beethoven to his illustrious pupil, H.R.H. the Archduke Rudolph,
Cardinal-Archbishop of Olmütz. These I have inserted in chronological
order, and marked with the letter K., in order to distinguish them from the
correspondence edited by Dr. Nohl. I have only omitted a few brief notes,
consisting merely of apologies for non-attendance on the Archduke.

The artistic value of these newly discovered treasures will no doubt be as
highly appreciated in this country as in the great _maestro's_ Father-land.

I must also express my gratitude to Dr. Th.G. v. Karajan, for permitting an
engraving to be made expressly for this work, from an original Beethoven
portrait in his possession, now for the first time given to the public. The
grand and thoughtful countenance forms a fitting introduction to letters so
truly depicting the brilliant, fitful genius of the sublime master, as well
as the touching sadness and gloom pervading his life, which his devotion to
Art alone brightened, through many bitter trials and harassing cares.

The love of Beethoven's music is now become so universal in England, that I
make no doubt his Letters will receive a hearty welcome from all those
whose spirits have been elevated and soothed by the genius of this
illustrious man.


AINDERBY HALL, March 28, 1866.





In accompanying the present edition of the Letters of Ludwig van Beethoven
with a few introductory remarks, I at once acknowledge that the compilation
of these letters has cost me no slight sacrifices. I must also, however,
mention that an unexpected Christmas donation, generously bestowed on me
with a view to further my efforts to promote the science of music, enabled
me to undertake one of the journeys necessary for my purpose, and also to
complete the revision of the Letters and of the press, in the milder air
and repose of a country residence, long since recommended to me for the
restoration of my health, undermined by overwork.

That, in spite of every effort, I have not succeeded in seeing the original
of each letter, or even discovering the place where it exists, may well be
excused, taking into consideration the slender capabilities of an
individual, and the astonishing manner in which Beethoven's Letters are
dispersed all over the world. At the same time, I must state that not only
have the hitherto inaccessible treasures of Anton Schindler's "Beethoven's
Nachlass" been placed at my disposal, but also other letters from private
sources, owing to various happy chances, and the kindness and complaisance
of collectors of autographs. I know better, however, than most
people--being in a position to do so--that in the present work there can be
no pretension to any thing approaching to a complete collection of
Beethoven's Letters. The master, so fond of writing, though he often rather
amusingly accuses himself of being a lazy correspondent, may very probably
have sent forth at least double the amount of the letters here given, and
there is no doubt whatever that a much larger number are still extant in
the originals. The only thing that can be done at this moment, however, is
to make the attempt to bring to light, at all events, the letters that
could be discovered in Germany. The mass of those which I gradually
accumulated, and now offer to the public (with the exception of some
insignificant notes), appeared to me sufficiently numerous and important to
interest the world, and also to form a substantial nucleus for any letters
that may hereafter be discovered. On the other hand, as many of Beethoven's
Letters slumber in foreign lands, especially in the unapproachable cabinets
of curiosities belonging to various close-fisted English collectors, an
entire edition of the correspondence could only be effected by a most
disproportionate outlay of time and expense.

When revising the text of the Letters, it seemed to me needless perpetually
to impair the pleasure of the reader by retaining the mistakes in
orthography; but enough of the style of writing of that day is adhered to,
to prevent its peculiar charm being entirely destroyed. Distorted and
incorrect as Beethoven's mode of expression sometimes is, I have not
presumed to alter his grammar, or rather syntax, in the smallest degree:
who would presume to do so with an individuality which, even amid startling
clumsiness of style, displays those inherent intellectual powers that often
did violence to language as well as to his fellow-men? Cyclopean masses of
rock are here hurled with Cyclopean force; but hard and massive as they
are, the man is not to be envied whose heart is not touched by these
glowing fragments, flung apparently at random right and left, like meteors,
by a mighty intellectual being, however perverse the treatment language may
have received from him.

The great peculiarity, however, in this strange mode of expression is, that
even such incongruous language faithfully reflects the mind of the man
whose nature was of prophetic depth and heroic force; and who that knows
anything of the creative genius of a Beethoven can deny him these

The antique dignity pervading the whole man, the ethical contemplation of
life forming the basis of his nature, prevented even a momentary wish on my
part to efface a single word of the oft-recurring expressions so painfully
harsh, bordering on the unaesthetic, and even on the repulsive, provoked by
his wrath against the meanness of men. In the last part of these genuine
documents, we learn with a feeling of sadness, and with almost a tragic
sensation, how low was the standard of moral worth, or rather how great was
the positive unworthiness, of the intimate society surrounding the master,
and with what difficulty he could maintain the purity of the nobler part of
his being in such an atmosphere. The manner, indeed, in which he strives to
do so, fluctuating between explosions of harshness and almost weak
yieldingness, while striving to master the base thoughts and conduct of
these men, though never entirely succeeding in doing so, is often more a
diverting than an offensive spectacle. In my opinion, nevertheless, even
this less pleasing aspect of the Letters ought not to be in the slightest
degree softened (which it has hitherto been, owing to false views of
propriety and morality), for it is no moral deformity here displayed.
Indeed, even when the irritable master has recourse to expressions
repugnant to our sense of conventionality, and which may well be called
harsh and rough, still the wrath that seizes on our hero is a just and
righteous wrath, and we disregard it, just as in Nature, whose grandeur
constantly elevates us above the inevitable stains of an earthly soil. The
coarseness and ill-breeding, which would claim toleration because this
great man now and then showed such feelings, must beware of doing so, being
certain to make shipwreck when coming in contact with the massive rock of
true morality on which, with all his faults and deficiencies, Beethoven's
being was surely grounded. Often, indeed, when absorbed in the
unsophisticated and genuine utterances of this great man, it seems as if
these peculiarities and strange asperities were the results of some
mysterious law of Nature, so that we are inclined to adopt the paradox by
which a wit once described the singular groundwork of our nature,--"The
faults of man are the night in which he rests from his virtues."

Indeed, I think that the lofty morality of such natures is not fully
evident until we are obliged to confess with regret, that even the great
ones of the earth must pay their tribute to humanity, and really do pay it
(which is the distinction between them and base and petty characters),
without being ever entirely hurled from their pedestal of dignity and
virtue. The soul of that man cannot fail to be elevated, who can seize the
real spirit of the scattered pages that a happy chance has preserved for
us. If not fettered by petty feelings, he will quickly surmount the casual
obstacles and stumbling-blocks which the first perusal of these Letters may
seem to present, and quickly feel himself transported at a single stride
into a stream, where a strange roaring and rushing is heard, but above
which loftier tones resound with magic and exciting power. For a peculiar
life breathes in these lines; an under-current runs through their
apparently unconnected import, uniting them as with an electric chain, and
with firmer links than any mere coherence of subjects could have effected.
I experienced this myself, to the most remarkable degree, when I first made
the attempt to arrange, in accordance with their period and substance, the
hundreds of individual pages bearing neither date nor address, and I was
soon convinced that a connecting text (such as Mozart's Letters have, and
ought to have) would be here entirely superfluous, as even the best
biographical commentary would be very dry work, interrupting the electric
current of the whole, and thus destroying its peculiar effect.

And now, what is this spirit which, for an intelligent mind, binds together
these scattered fragments into a whole, and what is its actual power? I
cannot tell; but I feel to this day just as I felt to the innermost depths
of my heart in the days of my youth when I first heard a symphony of
Beethoven's,--that a spirit breathes from it bearing us aloft with giant
power out of the oppressive atmosphere of sense, stirring to its inmost
recesses the heart of man, bringing him to the full consciousness of his
loftier being, and of the undying within him. And even more distinctly than
when a new world was thus disclosed to his youthful feelings is the _man_
fully conscious that not only was this a new world to him, but a new world
of feeling in itself, revealing to the spirit phases of its own, which,
till Beethoven appeared, had never before been fathomed. Call it by what
name you will, when one of the great works of the sublime master is heard,
whether indicative of proud self-consciousness, freedom, spring, love,
storm, or battle, it grasps the soul with singular force, and enlarges the
laboring breast. Whether a man understands music or not, every one who has
a heart beating within his breast will feel with enchantment that here is
concentrated the utmost promised to us by the most imaginative of our
poets, in bright visions of happiness and freedom. Even the only great hero
of action, who in those memorable days is worthy to stand beside the great
master of harmony, having diffused among mankind new and priceless earthly
treasures, sinks in the scale when we compare these with the celestial
treasures of a purified and deeper feeling, and a more free, enlarged, and
sublime view of the world, struggling gradually and distinctly upwards out
of the mere frivolity of an art devoid of words to express itself, and
impressing its stamp on the spirit of the age. They convey, too, the
knowledge of this brightest victory of genuine German intellect to those
for whom the sweet Muse of Music is as a book with seven seals, and reveal,
likewise, a more profound sense of Beethoven's being to many who already,
through the sweet tones they have imbibed, enjoy some dawning conviction of
the master's grandeur, and who now more and more eagerly lend a listening
ear to the intellectual clearly worded strains so skilfully interwoven,
thus soon to arrive at the full and blissful comprehension of those grand
outpourings of the spirit, and finally to add another bright delight to the
enjoyment of those who already know and love Beethoven. All these may be
regarded as the objects I had in view when I undertook to edit his Letters,
which have also bestowed on myself the best recompense of my labors, in the
humble conviction that by this means I may have vividly reawakened in the
remembrance of many the mighty mission which our age is called on to
perform for the development of our race, even in the realm of
harmony,--more especially in our Father-land.


March, 1865.




  1. To the Elector of Cologne, Frederick Maximilian.
  2. To Dr. Schade, Augsburg
  3. To the Elector Maximilian Francis
  4. To Eleonore von Breuning, Bonn
  5. To the Same
  6. To Herr Schenk
  7. To Dr. Wegeler, Vienna
  8. To the Same
  9. Lines written in the Album of L. von Breuning
 10. To Baron Zmeskall von Domanowecz
 11. Ukase to Zmeskall, Schuppanzigh, and Lichnowsky
 12. To Pastor Amenda, Courland
 13. To the Same
 14. To Wegeler
 15. To Countess Giulietta Guicciardi
 16. To Matthisson
 17. To Frau Frank, Vienna
 18. To Wegeler
 19. To Kapellmeister Hofmeister, Leipzig
 20. To the Same
 21. To the Same
 22. To the Same
 23. Dedication to Dr. Schmidt
 24. To Ferdinand Ries
 25. To Herr Hofmeister, Leipzig
 26. To Carl and Johann Beethoven
 27. Notice
 28. To Ferdinand Ries
 29. To Herr Hofmeister, Leipzig
 30. Caution
 31. To Ries
 32. To the Same
 33. To the Same
 34. To the Same
 35. To the Composer Leidesdorf, Vienna
 36. To Ries
 37. To the Same
 38. To the Same
 39. To Messrs. Artaria & Co.
 40. To Princess Liechtenstein
 41. To Herr Meyer
 42. Testimonial for C. Czerny
 43. To Herr Röckel
 44. To Herr Collin, Court Secretary and Poet
 45. To Herr Gleichenstein
 46. To the Directors of the Court Theatre
 47. To Count Franz von Oppersdorf
 48. Notice of a Memorial to the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky,
     and Prince Lobkowitz
 49. Memorial to the Same
 50. To Zmeskall
 51. To Ferdinand Ries
 52. To Zmeskall
 53. To the Same
 54. To the Same
 55. To the Same
 56. To the Same
 57. To the Same
 58. To the Same
 59. To Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall
 60. To the Same
 61. To Baroness von Drossdick
 62. To Mdlle. de Gerardi
 63. To Zmeskall
 64. To Wegeler
 65. To Zmeskall
 66. To Bettina Brentano
 67. To the Same
 68. To Zmeskall
 69. To the Same
 70. To the Archduke Rudolph
 71. To a Dear Friend
 72. To the Dramatic Poet Treitschke
 73. To Zmeskall
 74. To the Same
 75. To the Same
 76. To the Same
 77. To the Same
 78. To the Same
 79. To the Same
 80. To Kammerprocurator Varenna, Gratz
 81. To Zmeskall
 82. To the Same
 83. To Varenna, Gratz
 84. To Zmeskall
 85. To Varenna
 86. To Archduke Rudolph
 87. To the Same
 88. To Varenna, Gratz
 89. To Joseph Freiherr von Schweiger
 90. To Varenna, Gratz
 91. Lines written in the Album of Mdme. Auguste Sebald
 92. To Archduke Rudolph
 93. To Bettina von Arnim
 94. To Princess Kinsky
 95. To Archduke Rudolph
 96. To the Same
 97. To the Same
 98. To Princess Kinsky
 99. To the Same
100. To Zmeskall
101. To Herr Joseph Varenna, Gratz
102. To the Same
103. To Zmeskall
104. To the Same
105. To the Same
106. To the Same
107. To the Same
108. To the Same
109. To the Same
110. To Archduke Rudolph
111. To the Same
112. To the Same
113. To Freiherr Josef von Schweiger
114. To Herr von Baumeister
115. To Zmeskall
116. Letter of Thanks
117. To the Archduke Rudolph
118. To the Same
119. To the Same
120. To Treitschke
121. To the Same
122. To the Same
123. To Count Lichnowsky.
124. To the Same
125. To the Archduke Rudolph
126. To the Same
127. Deposition
128. To Dr. Kauka, Prague.
129. Address and Appeal to London Artists
130. To Dr. Kauka
131. To Count Moritz Lichnowsky
132. To the Archduke Rudolph
133. To the Same
134. To the Same
135. To the Same
136. To the Same
137. To the Same
138. To the Same
139. To the Same
140. To Dr. Kauka
141. To the Same
142. To the Same
143. To the Members of the Landrecht
144. To Baron von Pasqualati
145. To Dr. Kauka
146. To the Archduke Rudolph



147. Music written in Spohr's Album
148. To Dr. Kauka
149. To the Same
150. To the Same
151. To Mr. Salomon, London
152. To the Archduke Rudolph
153. To the Same
154. To the Same
155. To the Same
156. To the Same
157. To the Same
158. To Mr. Birchall, Music Publisher, London
159. To Zmeskall
160. To the Archduke Rudolph
161. To Messrs. Birchall, London
162. To Herr Ries
163. To Zmeskall
164. To Mdlle. Milder-Hauptmann
165. To Ries
166. To Mr. Birchall, London
167. To Czerny
168. To the Same
169. To Ries, London
170. To Giannatasio del Rio, Vienna
171. To the Same
172. To the Same
173. To the Same
174. To Ferdinand Ries, London
175. To the Same
176. Power of Attorney
177. To Ferdinand Ries
178. To Giannatasio del Rio
179. To the Same
180. To the Archduke Rudolph
181. To Mr. Birchall London
182. To the Same
183. To Giannatasio del Rio
184. To the Same
185. To Zmeskall
186. To Dr. Kauka
187. Query
188. To Giannatasio del Rio
189. To the Same
190. To Wegeler
191. To Mr. Birchall, London
192. To Zmeskall
193. To the Archduke Rudolph
194. To Freiherr von Schweiger
195. To Giannatasio del Rio
196. To the Same
197. To the Same
198. To the Same
199. To Herr Tschischka
200. To Mr. Birchall
201. To Zmeskall
202. To Frau von Streicher
203. To the Same
204. To the Same
205. To the Same
206. To the Same
207. To the Archduke Rudolph
208. To Giannatasio del Rio
209. To the Same
210. To the Same
211. To Hofrath von Mosel
212. To S.A. Steiner, Music Publisher, Vienna
213. To the Same
214. To the Same
215. To Zmeskall


1783 TO 1815.






Music from my fourth year has ever been my favorite pursuit. Thus early
introduced to the sweet Muse, who attuned my soul to pure harmony, I loved
her, and sometimes ventured to think that I was beloved by her in return. I
have now attained my eleventh year, and my Muse often whispered to me in
hours of inspiration,--Try to write down the harmonies in your soul. Only
eleven years old! thought I; does the character of an author befit me? and
what would more mature artists say? I felt some trepidation; but my Muse
willed it--so I obeyed, and wrote.

May I now, therefore, Illustrious Prince, presume to lay the first-fruits
of my juvenile labors at the foot of your throne? and may I hope that you
will condescend to cast an encouraging and kindly glance on them? You will;
for Art and Science have ever found in you a judicious protector and a
generous patron, and rising talent has always prospered under your
fostering and fatherly care. Encouraged by this cheering conviction, I
venture to approach you with these my youthful efforts. Accept them as the
pure offering of childlike reverence, and graciously vouchsafe to regard
with indulgence them and their youthful composer,


[Footnote 1: The dedication affixed to this work, "Three Sonatas for the
Piano, dedicated to my illustrious master, Maximilian Friedrich, Archbishop
and Elector of Cologne, by Ludwig van Beethoven in his eleventh year," is
probably not written by the boy himself, but is given here as an amusing
contrast to his subsequent ideas with regard to the homage due to rank.]



Bonn, 1787. Autumn.


I can easily imagine what you must think of me, and I cannot deny that you
have too good grounds for an unfavorable opinion. I shall not, however,
attempt to justify myself, until I have explained to you the reasons why my
apologies should be accepted. I must tell you that from the time I left
Augsburg[1] my cheerfulness, as well as my health, began to decline; the
nearer I came to my native city, the more frequent were the letters from my
father, urging me to travel with all possible speed, as my mother's health
was in a most precarious condition. I therefore hurried forwards as fast as
I could, although myself far from well. My longing once more to see my
dying mother overcame every obstacle, and assisted me in surmounting the
greatest difficulties. I found my mother indeed still alive, but in the
most deplorable state; her disease was consumption, and about seven weeks
ago, after much pain and suffering, she died [July 17]. She was indeed a
kind, loving mother to me, and my best friend. Ah! who was happier than I,
when I could still utter the sweet name of mother, and it was heard? But to
whom can I now say it? Only to the silent form resembling her, evoked by
the power of imagination. I have passed very few pleasant hours since my
arrival here, having during the whole time been suffering from asthma,
which may, I fear, eventually turn to consumption; to this is added
melancholy,--almost as great an evil as my malady itself. Imagine yourself
in my place, and then I shall hope to receive your forgiveness for my long
silence. You showed me extreme kindness and friendship by lending me three
Carolins in Augsburg, but I must entreat your indulgence for a time. My
journey cost me a great deal, and I have not the smallest hopes of earning
anything here. Fate is not propitious to me in Bonn. Pardon my intruding on
you so long with my affairs, but all that I have said was necessary for my
own justification.

I do entreat you not to deprive me of your valuable friendship; nothing do
I wish so much as in any degree to become worthy of your regard. I am, with
all esteem, your obedient servant and friend,


_Cologne Court Organist._

[Footnote 1: On his return from Vienna, whither Max Franz had sent him for
the further cultivation of his talents.]





Some years ago your Highness was pleased to grant a pension to my father,
the Court tenor Van Beethoven, and further graciously to decree that 100 R.
Thalers of his salary should be allotted to me, for the purpose of
maintaining, clothing, and educating my two younger brothers, and also
defraying the debts incurred by our father. It was my intention to present
this decree to your Highness's treasurer, but my father earnestly implored
me to desist from doing so, that he might not be thus publicly proclaimed
incapable himself of supporting his family, adding that he would engage to
pay me the 25 R.T. quarterly, which he punctually did. After his death,
however (in December last), wishing to reap the benefit of your Highness's
gracious boon, by presenting the decree, I was startled to find that my
father had destroyed it.

I therefore, with all dutiful respect, entreat your Highness to renew this
decree, and to order the paymaster of your Highness's treasury to grant me
the last quarter of this benevolent addition to my salary (due the
beginning of February). I have the honor to remain,

Your Highness's most obedient and faithful servant,


_Court Organist._

[Footnote 1: An electoral decree was issued in compliance with this request
on May 3, 1793.]



Vienna, Nov. 2, 1793.


A year of my stay in this capital has nearly elapsed before you receive a
letter from me, and yet the most vivid remembrance of you is ever present
with me. I have often conversed in thought with you and your dear family,
though not always in the happy mood I could have wished, for that fatal
misunderstanding still hovered before me, and my conduct at that time is
now hateful in my sight. But so it was, and how much would I give to have
the power wholly to obliterate from my life a mode of acting so degrading
to myself, and so contrary to the usual tenor of my character!

Many circumstances, indeed, contributed to estrange us, and I suspect that
those tale-bearers who repeated alternately to you and to me our mutual
expressions were the chief obstacles to any good understanding between us.
Each believed that what was said proceeded from deliberate conviction,
whereas it arose only from anger, fanned by others; so we were both
mistaken. Your good and noble disposition, my dear friend, is sufficient
security that you have long since forgiven me. We are told that the best
proof of sincere contrition is to acknowledge our faults; and this is what
I wish to do. Let us now draw a veil over the whole affair, learning one
lesson from it,--that when friends are at variance, it is always better to
employ no mediator, but to communicate directly with each other.

With this you will receive a dedication from me [the variations on "Se vuol
ballare"]. My sole wish is that the work were greater and more worthy of
you. I was applied to here to publish this little work, and I take
advantage of the opportunity, my beloved Eleonore, to give you a proof of
my regard and friendship for yourself, and also a token of my enduring
remembrance of your family. Pray then accept this trifle, and do not forget
that it is offered by a devoted friend. Oh! if it only gives you pleasure,
my wishes will be fulfilled. May it in some degree recall the time when I
passed so many happy hours in your house! Perhaps it may serve to remind
you of me till I return, though this is indeed a distant prospect. Oh! how
we shall then rejoice together, my dear Eleonore! You will, I trust, find
your friend a happier man, all former forbidding, careworn furrows smoothed
away by time and better fortune.

When you see B. Koch [subsequently Countess Belderbusch], pray say that it
is unkind in her never once to have written to me. I wrote to her twice,
and three times to Malchus (afterwards Westphalian Minister of Finance),
but no answer. Tell her that if she does not choose to write herself, I beg
that she will at least urge Malchus to do so. At the close of my letter I
venture to make one more request--I am anxious to be so fortunate as again
to possess an Angola waistcoat knitted by your own hand, my dear friend.
Forgive my indiscreet request; it proceeds from my great love for all that
comes from you; and I may privately admit that a little vanity is connected
with it, namely, that I may say I possess something from the best and most
admired young lady in Bonn. I still have the one you were so good as to
give me in Bonn; but change of fashion has made it look so antiquated, that
I can only treasure it in my wardrobe as your gift, and thus still very
dear to me. You would make me very happy by soon writing me a kind letter.
If mine cause you any pleasure, I promise you to do as you wish, and write
as often as it lies in my power; indeed everything is acceptable to me that
can serve to show you how truly I am your admiring and sincere friend,


P.S. The variations are rather difficult to play, especially the shake in
the _Coda_; but do not be alarmed at this, being so contrived that you only
require to play the shake, and leave out the other notes, which also occur
in the violin part. I never would have written it in this way, had I not
occasionally observed that there was a certain individual in Vienna who,
when I extemporized the previous evening, not unfrequently wrote down next
day many of the peculiarities of my music, adopting them as his own [for
instance, the Abbé Gelinek]. Concluding, therefore, that some of these
things would soon appear, I resolved to anticipate this. Another reason
also was to puzzle some of the pianoforte teachers here, many of whom are
my mortal foes; so I wished to revenge myself on them in this way, knowing
that they would occasionally be asked to play the variations, when these
gentlemen would not appear to much advantage.




The beautiful neckcloth, embroidered by your own hand, was the greatest
possible surprise to me; yet, welcome as the gift was, it awakened within
me feelings of sadness. Its effect was to recall former days, and to put me
to shame by your noble conduct to me. I, indeed, little thought that you
still considered me worthy of your remembrance.

Oh! if you could have witnessed my emotions yesterday when this incident
occurred, you would not think that I exaggerate in saying that such a token
of your recollection brought tears to my eyes, and made me feel very sad.
Little as I may deserve favor in your eyes, believe me, my dear _friend_,
(let me still call you so,) I have suffered, and still suffer severely from
the privation of your friendship. Never can I forget you and your dear
mother. You were so kind to me that your loss neither can nor will be
easily replaced. I know what I have forfeited, and what you were to me, but
in order to fill up this blank I must recur to scenes equally painful for
you to hear and for me to detail.

As a slight requital of your kind _souvenir_, I take the liberty to send
you some variations, and a Rondo with violin accompaniment. I have a great
deal to do, or I would long since have transcribed the Sonata I promised
you. It is as yet a mere sketch in manuscript, and to copy it would be a
difficult task even for the clever and practised Paraquin [counter-bass in
the Electoral orchestra]. You can have the Rondo copied, and return the
score. What I now send is the only one of my works at all suitable for you;
besides, as you are going to Kerpen [where an uncle of the family lived], I
thought these trifles might cause you pleasure.

Farewell, my friend; for it is impossible for me to give you any other
name. However indifferent I may be to you, believe me, I shall ever
continue to revere you and your mother as I have always done. If I can in
any way contribute to the fulfilment of a wish of yours, do not fail to let
me know, for I have no other means of testifying my gratitude for past

I wish you an agreeable journey, and that your dear mother may return
entirely restored to health! Think sometimes of your affectionate friend,




June, 1794.


I did not know that I was to set off to-day to Eisenstadt. I should like to
have talked to you again. In the mean time rest assured of my gratitude for
your obliging services. I shall endeavor, so far as it lies in my power, to
requite them. I hope soon to see you, and once more to enjoy the pleasure
of your society. Farewell, and do not entirely forget your


[Footnote 1: Schenk, afterwards celebrated as the composer of the "Dorf
Barbier," was for some time Beethoven's teacher in composition. This note
appears to have been written in June, 1794, and first printed in the
"Freischütz," No. 183, about 1836, at the time of Schenk's death, when his
connection with Beethoven was mentioned.]



... In what an odious light have you exhibited me to myself! Oh! I
acknowledge it, I do not deserve your friendship. It was no intentional or
deliberate malice that induced me to act towards you as I did, but
inexcusable thoughtlessness alone.

I say no more. I am coming to throw myself into your arms, and to entreat
you to restore me my lost friend; and you will give him back to me, to your
penitent, loving, and ever-grateful


[Footnote 1: Dr. Wegeler, in answer to my request that he would send me the
entire letter, replied that "the passages omitted in the letter consisted
chiefly in eulogiums of his father, and enthusiastic expressions of
friendship, which did not seem to him to be of any value; but besides this,
the same reasons that induced his father to give only a portion of the
letter were imperative with him also." I do not wish to contest the point
with the possessor of the letter; still I may remark that all the
utterances and letters of a great man belong to the world at large, and
that in a case like the present, the conscientious biographer, who strives
faithfully to portray such a man, is alone entitled to decide what portion
of these communications is fitted for publication, and what is not. Any
considerations of a personal character seem to me very trivial.]



Vienna, May 1797.

God speed you, my dear friend! I owe you a letter which you shall shortly
have, and my newest music besides, _I am going on well; indeed, I may say
every day better._ Greet those to whom it will give pleasure from me.
Farewell, and do not forget your




Vienna, Oct. 1, 1797.

  Truth for the wise,
  Beauty for a feeling heart,
  And both for each other.


Never can I forget the time I passed with you, not only in Bonn, but here.
Continue your friendship towards me, for you shall always find me the same
true friend,





[Music: Alto, Tenor, Bass clefs, C Major, 4/4 time, Grave.
ALTO. Ba-ron.
TENORE. Ba-ron.
BASSO. Ba-ron. Ba-ron. Ba-ron.]


Desire the guitar-player to come to me to-day. Amenda (instead of an
_amende_ [fine], which he sometimes deserves for not observing his rests
properly) must persuade this popular guitarist to visit me, and if possible
to come at five o'clock this evening; if not then, at five or six o'clock
to-morrow morning; but he must not waken me if I chance to be still asleep.
_Adieu, mon ami à bon marché._ Perhaps we may meet at the "Swan"?

[Footnote 1: As it appears from the following letters that Amenda was again
at home in 1800, the date of this note is thus ascertained. It is
undoubtedly addressed to Baron Zmeskall von Domanowecz, Royal Court
Secretary, a good violoncello-player, and one of Beethoven's earliest
friends in Vienna. The "guitarist" was probably the celebrated Giuliani,
who lived in Vienna.]


The musical Count is from this day forth _cashiered_ with infamy. The first
violin [Schuppanzigh] ruthlessly transported to _Siberia_. The Baron [see
No. 10] for a whole month _strictly interdicted from asking questions_; no
longer to be so hasty, and to devote himself exclusively to his _ipse


[Footnote 1: Written in gigantic characters in pencil on a large sheet of
paper. The "musical Count" is probably Count Moritz Lichnowsky, brother of
Prince Carl Lichnowsky, in whose house were held those musical performances
in which Beethoven's works were first produced. Even at that time he
behaved in a very dictatorial manner to those gentlemen when his
compositions were badly executed. Thence the name given him by Haydn of
"The Great Mogul."]



Does Amenda think that I can ever forget him, because I do not write? in
fact, never have written to him?--as if the memory of our friends could
only thus be preserved! The _best man I ever knew_ has a thousand times
recurred to my thoughts! Two persons alone once possessed my whole love,
one of whom still lives, and you are now the third. How can my remembrance
of you ever fade? You will shortly receive a long letter about my present
circumstances and all that can interest you. Farewell, beloved, good, and
noble friend! Ever continue your love and friendship towards me, just as I
shall ever be your faithful






I received and read your last letter with deep emotion, and with mingled
pain and pleasure. To what can I compare your fidelity and devotion to me?
Ah! it is indeed delightful that you still continue to love me so well. I
know how to prize you, and to distinguish you from all others; you are not
like my Vienna friends. No! you are one of those whom the soil of my
fatherland is wont to bring forth; how often I wish that you were with me,
for your Beethoven is very unhappy. You must know that one of my most
precious faculties, that of hearing, is become very defective; even while
you were still with me I felt indications of this, though I said nothing;
but it is now much worse. Whether I shall ever be cured remains yet to be
seen; it is supposed to proceed from the state of my digestive organs, but
I am almost entirely recovered in that respect. I hope indeed that my
hearing may improve, but I scarcely think so, for attacks of this kind are
the most incurable of all. How sad my life must now be!--forced to shun all
that is most dear and precious to me, and to live with such miserable
egotists as ----, &c. I can with truth say that of all my friends
Lichnowsky [Prince Carl] is the most genuine. He last year settled 600
florins on me, which, together with the good sale of my works, enables me
to live free from care as to my maintenance. All that I now write I can
dispose of five times over, and be well paid into the bargain. I have been
writing a good deal latterly, and as I hear that you have ordered some
pianos from ----, I will send you some of my compositions in the
packing-case of one of these instruments, by which means they will not cost
you so much.

To my great comfort, a person has returned here with whom I can enjoy the
pleasures of society and disinterested friendship,--one of the friends of
my youth [Stephan von Breuning]. I have often spoken to him of you, and
told him that since I left my fatherland, you are one of those to whom my
heart specially clings. Z. [Zmeskall?] does not seem quite to please him;
he is, and always will be, too weak for true friendship, and I look on him
and ---- as mere instruments on which I play as I please, but never can
they bear noble testimony to my inner and outward energies, or feel true
sympathy with me; I value them only in so far as their services deserve.
Oh! how happy should I now be, had I my full sense of hearing; I would then
hasten to you; whereas, as it is, I must withdraw from everything. My best
years will thus pass away, without effecting what my talents and powers
might have enabled me to perform. How melancholy is the resignation in
which I must take refuge! I had determined to rise superior to all this,
but how is it possible? If in the course of six months my malady be
pronounced incurable then, Amenda! I shall appeal to you to leave all else
and come to me, when I intend to travel (my affliction is less distressing
when playing and composing, and most so in intercourse with others), and
you must be my companion. I have a conviction that good fortune will not
forsake me, for to what may I not at present aspire? Since you were here I
have written everything except operas and church music. You will not, I
know, refuse my petition; you will help your friend to bear his burden and
his calamity. I have also very much perfected my pianoforte playing, and I
hope that a journey of this kind may possibly contribute to your own
success in life, and you would thenceforth always remain with me. I duly
received all your letters, and though I did not reply to them, you were
constantly present with me, and my heart beats as tenderly as ever for you.
I beg you will keep the fact of my deafness a profound secret, and not
confide it to any human being. Write to me frequently; your letters,
however short, console and cheer me; so I shall soon hope to hear from you.

Do not give your quartet to any one [in F, Op. 18, No. 1], as I have
altered it very much, having only now succeeded in writing quartets
properly; this you will at once perceive when you receive it. Now,
farewell, my dear kind friend! If by any chance I can serve you here, I
need not say that you have only to command me.

Your faithful and truly attached




Vienna, June 29, 1800.


How much I thank you for your remembrance of me, little as I deserve it, or
have sought to deserve it; and yet you are so kind that you allow nothing,
not even my unpardonable neglect, to discourage you, always remaining the
same true, good, and faithful friend. That I can ever forget you or yours,
once so dear and precious to me, do not for a moment believe. There are
times when I find myself longing to see you again, and wishing that I could
go to stay with you. My father-land, that lovely region where I first saw
the light, is still as distinct and beauteous in my eyes as when I quitted
you; in short, I shall esteem the time when I once more see you, and again
greet Father Rhine, as one of the happiest periods of my life. When this
may be I cannot yet tell; but at all events I may say that you shall not
see me again till I have become eminent, not only as an artist, but better
and more perfect as a man; and if the condition of our father-land be then
more prosperous, my art shall be entirely devoted to the benefit of the
poor. Oh, blissful moment!--how happy do I esteem myself that I can
expedite it and bring it to pass!

You desire to know something of my position; well! it is by no means bad.
However incredible it may appear, I must tell you that Lichnowsky has been,
and still is, my warmest friend (slight dissensions occurred occasionally
between us, and yet they only served to strengthen our friendship). He
settled on me last year the sum of 600 florins, for which I am to draw on
him till I can procure some suitable situation. My compositions are very
profitable, and I may really say that I have almost more commissions than
it is possible for me to execute. I can have six or seven publishers or
more for every piece, if I choose; they no longer bargain with me--I
demand, and they pay--so you see this is a very good thing. For instance, I
have a friend in distress, and my purse does not admit of my assisting him
at once; but I have only to sit down and write, and in a short time he is
relieved. I am also become more economical than formerly. If I finally
settle here, I don't doubt I shall be able to secure a particular day every
year for a concert, of which I have already given several. That malicious
demon, however, bad health, has been a stumbling-block in my path; my
hearing during the last three years has become gradually worse. The chief
cause of this infirmity proceeds from the state of my digestive organs,
which, as you know, were formerly bad enough, but have latterly become much
worse, and being constantly afflicted with diarrhoea, has brought on
extreme weakness. Frank [Director of the General Hospital] strove to
restore the tone of my digestion by tonics, and my hearing by oil of
almonds; but alas! these did me no good whatever; my hearing became worse,
and my digestion continued in its former plight. This went on till the
autumn of last year, when I was often reduced to utter despair. Then some
medical _asinus_ recommended me cold baths, but a more judicious doctor the
tepid ones of the Danube, which did wonders for me; my digestion improved,
but my hearing remained the same, or in fact rather got worse. I did indeed
pass a miserable winter; I suffered from most dreadful spasms, and sank
back into my former condition. Thus it went on till about a month ago, when
I consulted Vering [an army surgeon], under the belief that my maladies
required surgical advice; besides, I had every confidence in him. He
succeeded in almost entirely checking the violent diarrhoea, and ordered me
the tepid baths of the Danube, into which I pour some strengthening
mixture. He gave me no medicine, except some digestive pills four days ago,
and a lotion for my ears. I certainly do feel better and stronger, but my
ears are buzzing and ringing perpetually, day and night. I can with truth
say that my life is very wretched; for nearly two years past I have avoided
all society, because I find it impossible to say to people, _I am deaf!_ In
any other profession this might be more tolerable, but in mine such a
condition is truly frightful. Besides, what would my enemies say to
this?--and they are not few in number.

To give you some idea of my extraordinary deafness, I must tell you that in
the theatre I am obliged to lean close up against the orchestra in order to
understand the actors, and when a little way off I hear none of the high
notes of instruments or singers. It is most astonishing that in
conversation some people never seem to observe this; being subject to fits
of absence, they attribute it to that cause. I often can scarcely hear a
person if speaking low; I can distinguish the tones, but not the words, and
yet I feel it intolerable if any one shouts to me. Heaven alone knows how
it is to end! Vering declares that I shall certainly improve, even if I be
not entirely restored. How often have I cursed my existence! Plutarch led
me to resignation. I shall strive if possible to set Fate at defiance,
although there must be moments in my life when I cannot fail to be the most
unhappy of God's creatures. I entreat you to say nothing of my affliction
to any one, not even to Lorchen [see Nos. 4 and 5]. I confide the secret to
you alone, and entreat you some day to correspond with Vering on the
subject. If I continue in the same state, I shall come to you in the
ensuing spring, when you must engage a house for me somewhere in the
country, amid beautiful scenery, and I shall then become a rustic for a
year, which may perhaps effect a change. Resignation!--what a miserable
refuge! and yet it is my sole remaining one. You will forgive my thus
appealing to your kindly sympathies at a time when your own position is sad
enough. Stephan Breuning is here, and we are together almost every day; it
does me so much good to revive old feelings! He has really become a capital
good fellow, not devoid of talent, and his heart, like that of us all,
pretty much in the right place. [See No. 13.]

I have very charming rooms at present, adjoining the Bastei [the ramparts],
and peculiarly valuable to me on account of my health [at Baron
Pasqualati's]. I do really think I shall be able to arrange that Breuning
shall come to me. You shall have your Antiochus [a picture], and plenty of
my music besides--if, indeed, it will not cost you too much. Your love of
art does honestly rejoice me. Only say how it is to be done, and I will
send you all my works, which now amount to a considerable number, and are
daily increasing. I beg you will let me have my grandfather's portrait as
soon as possible by the post, in return for which I send you that of his
grandson, your loving and attached Beethoven. It has been brought out here
by Artaria, who, as well as many other publishers, has often urged this on
me. I intend soon to write to Stoffeln [Christoph von Breuning], and
plainly admonish him about his surly humor. I mean to sound in his ears our
old friendship, and to insist on his promising me not to annoy you further
in your sad circumstances. I will also write to the amiable Lorchen. Never
have I forgotten one of you, my kind friends, though you did not hear from
me; but you know well that writing never was my _forte_, even my best
friends having received no letters from me for years. I live wholly in my
music, and scarcely is one work finished when another is begun; indeed, I
am now often at work on three or four things at the same time. Do write to
me frequently, and I will strive to find time to write to you also. Give my
remembrances to all, especially to the kind Frau Hofräthin [von Breuning],
and say to her that I am still subject to an occasional _raptus_. As for
K----, I am not at all surprised at the change in her: Fortune rolls like a
ball, and does not always stop before the best and noblest. As to Ries
[Court musician in Bonn], to whom pray cordially remember me, I must say
one word. I will write to you more particularly about his son [Ferdinand],
although I believe that he would be more likely to succeed in Paris than in
Vienna, which is already overstocked, and where even those of the highest
merit find it a hard matter to maintain themselves. By next autumn or
winter, I shall be able to see what can be done for him, because then all
the world returns to town. Farewell, my kind, faithful Wegeler! Rest
assured of the love and friendship of your




Morning, July 6, 1800.


Only a few words to-day, written with a pencil (your own). My residence
cannot be settled till to-morrow. What a tiresome loss of time! Why this
deep grief when necessity compels?--can our love exist without sacrifices,
and by refraining from desiring all things? Can you alter the fact that you
are not wholly mine, nor I wholly yours? Ah! contemplate the beauties of
Nature, and reconcile your spirit to the inevitable. Love demands all, and
has a right to do so, and thus it is _I feel towards you_ and _you towards
me_; but you do not sufficiently remember that I must live both _for you_
and _for myself_. Were we wholly united, you would feel this sorrow as
little as I should. My journey was terrible. I did not arrive here till
four o'clock yesterday morning, as no horses were to be had. The drivers
chose another route; but what a dreadful one it was! At the last stage I
was warned not to travel through the night, and to beware of a certain
wood, but this only incited me to go forward, and I was wrong. The carriage
broke down, owing to the execrable roads, mere deep rough country lanes,
and had it not been for the postilions I must have been left by the
wayside. Esterhazy, travelling the usual road, had the same fate with eight
horses, whereas I had only four. Still I felt a certain degree of pleasure,
which I invariably do when I have happily surmounted any difficulty. But I
must now pass from the outer to the inner man. We shall, I trust, soon meet
again; to-day I cannot impart to you all the reflections I have made,
during the last few days, on my life; were our hearts closely united
forever, none of these would occur to me. My heart is overflowing with all
I have to say to you. Ah! there are moments when I find that speech is
actually nothing. Take courage! Continue to be ever my true and only love,
my all! as I am yours. The gods must ordain what is further to be and shall

Your faithful


Monday Evening, July 6.

You grieve! dearest of all beings! I have just heard that the letters must
be sent off very early. Mondays and Thursdays are the only days when the
post goes to K. from here. You grieve! Ah! where I am, there you are ever
with me; how earnestly shall I strive to pass my life with you, and what a
life will it be!!! Whereas now!! without you!! and persecuted by the
kindness of others, which I neither deserve nor try to deserve! The
servility of man towards his fellow-man pains me, and when I regard myself
as a component part of the universe, what am I, what is he who is called
the greatest?--and yet herein are displayed the godlike feelings of
humanity!--I weep in thinking that you will receive no intelligence from me
till probably Saturday. However dearly you may love me, I love you more
fondly still. Never conceal your feelings from me. Good-night! As a patient
at these baths, I must now go to rest [a few words are here effaced by
Beethoven himself]. Oh, heavens! so near, and yet so far! Is not our love a
truly celestial mansion, but firm as the vault of heaven itself?

July 7.


Even before I rise, my thoughts throng to you, my immortal
beloved!--sometimes full of joy, and yet again sad, waiting to see whether
Fate will hear us. I must live either wholly with you, or not at all.
Indeed I have resolved to wander far from you [see No. 13] till the moment
arrives when I can fly into your arms, and feel that they are my home, and
send forth my soul in unison with yours into the realm of spirits. Alas! it
must be so! You will take courage, for you know my fidelity. Never can
another possess my heart--never, never! Oh, heavens! Why must I fly from
her I so fondly love? and yet my existence in W. was as miserable as here.
Your love made me the most happy and yet the most unhappy of men. At my
age, life requires a uniform equality; can this be found in our mutual
relations? My angel! I have this moment heard that the post goes every day,
so I must conclude, that you may get this letter the sooner. Be calm! for
we can only attain our object of living together by the calm contemplation
of our existence. Continue to love me. Yesterday, to-day, what longings for
you, what tears for you! for you! for you! my life! my all! Farewell! Oh!
love me forever, and never doubt the faithful heart of your lover, L.

Ever thine.
Ever mine.
Ever each other's.

[Footnote 1: These letters to his "immortal beloved," to whom the C sharp
minor Sonata is dedicated, appear here for the first time in their
integrity, in accordance with the originals written in pencil on fine
notepaper, and given in Schindler's _Beethoven's Nachlass_. There has been
much discussion about the date. It is certified, in the first place, in the
church register which Alex. Thayer saw in Vienna, that Giulietta was
married to Count Gallenberg in 1801; and in the next place, the 6th of July
falls on a Monday in 1800. The other reasons which induce me decidedly to
fix this latter year as the date of the letter, I mean to give at full
length in the second volume of _Beethoven's Biography_. I may also state
that Beethoven was at baths in Hungary at that time. Whether the K---- in
the second letter means Komorn, I cannot tell.]



Vienna, August 4, 1800.


You will receive with this one of my compositions published some years
since, and yet, to my shame, you probably have never heard of it. I cannot
attempt to excuse myself, or to explain why I dedicated a work to you which
came direct from my heart, but never acquainted you with its existence,
unless indeed in this way, that at first I did not know where you lived,
and partly also from diffidence, which led me to think I might have been
premature in dedicating a work to you before ascertaining that you approved
of it. Indeed, even now I send you "Adelaide" with a feeling of timidity.
You know yourself what changes the lapse of some years brings forth in an
artist who continues to make progress; the greater the advances we make in
art, the less are we satisfied with our works of an earlier date. My most
ardent wish will be fulfilled if you are not dissatisfied with the manner
in which I have set your heavenly "Adelaide" to music, and are incited by
it soon to compose a similar poem; and if you do not consider my request
too indiscreet, I would ask you to send it to me forthwith, that I may
exert all my energies to approach your lovely poetry in merit. Pray regard
the dedication as a token of the pleasure which your "Adelaide" conferred
on me, as well as of the appreciation and intense delight your poetry
always has inspired, and _always will inspire in me_.

When playing "Adelaide," sometimes recall

Your sincere admirer,




October, 1800.


At the second announcement of our concert, you must remind your husband
that the public should be made acquainted with the names of those whose
talents are to contribute to this concert. Such is the custom here; and
indeed, were it not so, what is there to attract a larger audience? which
is after all our chief object. Punto [the celebrated horn-player, for whom
Beethoven wrote Sonata 17] is not a little indignant about the omission,
and I must say he has reason to be so; but even before seeing him it was my
intention to have reminded you of this, for I can only explain the mistake
by great haste or great forgetfulness. Be so good, then, dear lady, as to
attend to my hint; otherwise you will certainly expose yourself to _many
annoyances_. Being at last convinced in my own mind, and by others, that I
shall not be quite superfluous in this concert, I know that not only I, but
also Punto, Simoni [a tenorist], and Galvani will demand that the public
should be apprised of our zeal for this charitable object; otherwise we
must all conclude that we are not wanted.





Vienna, Nov. 16, 1800.


I thank you for this fresh proof of your interest in me, especially as I so
little deserve it. You wish to know how I am, and what remedies I use.
Unwilling as I always feel to discuss this subject, still I feel less
reluctant to do so with you than with any other person. For some months
past Vering has ordered me to apply blisters on both arms, of a particular
kind of bark, with which you are probably acquainted,--a disagreeable
remedy, independent of the pain, as it deprives me of the free use of my
arms for a couple of days at a time, till the blisters have drawn
sufficiently. The ringing and buzzing in my ears have certainly rather
decreased, particularly in the left ear, in which the malady first
commenced, but my hearing is not at all improved; in fact I fear that it is
become rather worse. My health is better, and after using the tepid baths
for a time, I feel pretty well for eight or ten days. I seldom take tonics,
but I have begun applications of herbs, according to your advice. Vering
will not hear of plunge baths, but I am much dissatisfied with him; he is
neither so attentive nor so indulgent as he ought to be to such a malady;
if I did not go to him, which is no easy matter, I should never see him at
all. What is your opinion of Schmidt [an army surgeon]? I am unwilling to
make any change, but it seems to me that Vering is too much of a
practitioner to acquire new ideas by reading. On this point Schmidt appears
to be a very different man, and would probably be less negligent with
regard to my case. I hear wonders of galvanism; what do you say to it? A
physician told me that he knew a deaf and dumb child whose hearing was
restored by it (in Berlin), and likewise a man who had been deaf for seven
years, and recovered his hearing. I am told that your friend Schmidt is at
this moment making experiments on the subject.

I am now leading a somewhat more agreeable life, as of late I have been
associating more with other people. You could scarcely believe what a sad
and dreary life mine has been for the last two years; my defective hearing
everywhere pursuing me like a spectre, making me fly from every one, and
appear a misanthrope; and yet no one is in reality less so! This change has
been wrought by a lovely fascinating girl [undoubtedly Giulietta], who
loves me and whom I love. I have once more had some blissful moments during
the last two years, and it is the first time I ever felt that marriage
could make me happy. Unluckily, she is not in my rank of life, and indeed
at this moment I can marry no one; I must first bestir myself actively in
the world. Had it not been for my deafness, I would have travelled half
round the globe ere now, and this I must still do. For me there is no
pleasure so great as to promote and to pursue my art.

Do not suppose that I could be happy with you. What indeed could make me
happier? Your very solicitude would distress me; I should read your
compassion every moment in your countenance, which would make me only still
more unhappy. What were my thoughts amid the glorious scenery of my
father-land? The hope alone of a happier future, which would have been mine
but for this affliction! Oh! I could span the world were I only free from
this! I feel that my youth is only now commencing. Have I not always been
an infirm creature? For some time past my bodily strength has been
increasing, and it is the same with my mental powers. I feel, though I
cannot describe it, that I daily approach the object I have in view, in
which alone can your Beethoven live. No rest for him!--I know of none but
in sleep, and I do grudge being obliged to sacrifice more time to it than
formerly.[1] Were I only half cured of my malady, then I would come to you,
and, as a more perfect and mature man, renew our old friendship.

You should then see me as happy as I am ever destined to be here below--not
unhappy. No! that I could not endure; I will boldly meet my fate, never
shall it succeed in crushing me. Oh! it is so glorious to live one's life a
thousand times over! I feel that I am no longer made for a quiet existence.
You will write to me as soon as possible? Pray try to prevail on Steffen
[von Breuning] to seek an appointment from the Teutonic Order somewhere.
Life here is too harassing for his health; besides, he is so isolated that
I do not see how he is ever to get on. You know the kind of existence here.
I do not take it upon myself to say that society would dispel his
lassitude, but he cannot be persuaded to go anywhere. A short time since, I
had some music in my house, but our friend Steffen stayed away. Do
recommend him to be more calm and self-possessed, which I have in vain
tried to effect; otherwise he can neither enjoy health nor happiness. Tell
me in your next letter whether you care about my sending you a large
selection of music; you can indeed dispose of what you do not want, and
thus repay the expense of the carriage, and have my portrait into the
bargain. Say all that is kind and amiable from me to Lorchen, and also to
mamma and Christoph. You still have some regard for me? Always rely on the
love as well as the friendship of your


[Footnote 1: "Too much sleep is hurtful" is marked by a thick score in the
Odyssey (45, 393) by Beethoven's hand. See Schindler's _Beethoven's



Vienna, Dec. 15, 1800.


I have often intended to answer your proposals, but am frightfully lazy
about all correspondence; so it is usually a good while before I can make
up my mind to write dry letters instead of music. I have, however, at last
forced myself to answer your application. _Pro primo_, I must tell you how
much I regret that you, my much-loved brother in the science of music, did
not give me some hint, so that I might have offered you my quartets, as
well as many other things that I have now disposed of. But if you are as
conscientious, my dear brother, as many other publishers, who grind to
death us poor composers, you will know pretty well how to derive ample
profit when the works appear. I now briefly state what you can have from
me. 1st. A Septet, _per il violino, viola, violoncello, contra-basso,
clarinetto, corno, fagotto;--tutti obbligati_ (I can write nothing that is
not _obbligato_, having come into the world with an _obbligato_
accompaniment!) This Septet pleases very much. For more general use it
might be arranged for one more _violino, viola_, and _violoncello_, instead
of the three wind-instruments, _fagotto, clarinetto_, and _corno_.[2] 2d. A
Grand Symphony with full orchestra [the 1st]. 3rd. A pianoforte Concerto
[Op. 19], which I by no means assert to be one of my best, any more than
the one Mollo is to publish here [Op. 15], (this is for the benefit of the
Leipzig critics!) because _I reserve the best for myself_ till I set off on
my travels; still the work will not disgrace you to publish. 4th. A Grand
Solo Sonata [Op. 22]. These are all I can part with at this moment; a
little later you can have a quintet for stringed instruments, and probably
some quartets also, and other pieces that I have not at present beside me.
In your answer you can yourself fix the prices; and as you are neither an
_Italian_ nor a _Jew_, nor am I either, we shall no doubt quickly agree.
Farewell, and rest assured,

My dear brother in art, of the esteem of your


[Footnote 1: The letters to Hofmeister, formerly of Vienna, who conducted
the correspondence with Beethoven in the name of the firm of "Hofmeister &
Kühnel, Bureau de Musique," are given here as they first appeared in 1837
in the _Neue Zeitschrift für Musik_. On applying to the present
representative of that firm, I was told that those who now possess these
letters decline giving them out of their own hands, and that no copyist can
be found able to decipher or transcribe them correctly.]

[Footnote 2: This last phrase is not in the copy before me, but in Marx's
_Biography_, who appears to have seen the original.]



Vienna, Jan. 15 (or thereabouts), 1801.

I read your letter, dear brother and friend, with much pleasure, and I
thank you for your good opinion of me and of my works, and hope I may
continue to deserve it. I also beg you to present all due thanks to Herr K.
[Kühnel] for his politeness and friendship towards me. I, on my part,
rejoice in your undertakings, and am glad that when works of art do turn
out profitable, they fall to the share of true artists, rather than to that
of mere tradesmen.

Your intention to publish Sebastian Bach's works really gladdens my heart,
which beats with devotion for the lofty and grand productions of this our
father of the science of harmony, and I trust I shall soon see them appear.
I hope when golden peace is proclaimed, and your subscription list opened,
to procure you many subscribers here.[1]

With regard to our own transactions, as you wish to know my proposals, they
are as follows. I offer you at present the following works:--The Septet
(which I already wrote to you about), 20 ducats; Symphony, 20 ducats;
Concerto, 10 ducats; Grand Solo Sonata, _allegro, adagio, minuetto, rondo_,
20 ducats. This Sonata [Op. 22] is well up to the mark, my dear brother!

Now for explanations. You may perhaps be surprised that I make no
difference of price between the sonata, septet, and symphony. I do so
because I find that a septet or a symphony has not so great a sale as a
sonata, though a symphony ought unquestionably to be of the most value.
(N.B. The septet consists of a short introductory _adagio_, an _allegro,
adagio, minuetto, andante_, with variations, _minuetto_, and another short
_adagio_ preceding a _presto_.) I only ask ten ducats for the concerto,
for, as I already wrote to you, I do not consider it one of my best. I
cannot think that, taken as a whole, you will consider these prices
exorbitant; at least, I have endeavored to make them as moderate as
possible for you.

With regard to the banker's draft, as you give me my choice, I beg you will
make it payable by Germüller or Schüller. The entire sum for the four works
will amount to 70 ducats; I understand no currency but Vienna ducats, so
how many dollars in gold they make in your money is no affair of mine, for
really I am a very bad man of business and accountant. Now this
_troublesome_ business is concluded;--I call it so, heartily wishing that
it could be otherwise here below! There ought to be only one grand _dépôt_
of art in the world, to which the artist might repair with his works, and
on presenting them receive what he required; but as it now is, one must be
half a tradesman besides--and how is this to be endured? Good heavens! I
may well call it _troublesome_!

As for the Leipzig oxen,[2] let them talk!--they certainly will make no man
immortal by their prating, and as little can they deprive of immortality
those whom Apollo destines to attain it.

Now may Heaven preserve you and your colleagues! I have been unwell for
some time; so it is rather difficult for me at present to write even music,
much more letters. I trust we shall have frequent opportunities to assure
each other how truly you are my friend, and I yours.

I hope for a speedy answer. Adieu!


[Footnote 1: I have at this moment in my hands this edition of Bach, bound
in one thick volume, together with the first part of Nägeli's edition of
the _Wohltemperirtes Clavier_, also three books of exercises (D, G, and C
minor), the _Toccata in D Minor_, and _Twice Fifteen Inventions_.]

[Footnote 2: It is thus that Schindler supplies the gap. It is probably an
allusion to the _Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung_, founded about three
years previously.]



Vienna, April 22, 1801.

You have indeed too good cause to complain not a little of me. My excuse is
that I have been ill, and in addition had so much to do, that I could
scarcely even think of what I was to send you. Moreover, the only thing in
me that resembles a genius is, that my papers are never in very good order,
and yet no one but myself can succeed in arranging them. For instance, in
the score of the concerto, the piano part, according to my usual custom,
was not yet written down; so, owing to my hurry, you will receive it in my
own very illegible writing. In order that the works may follow as nearly as
possible in their proper order, I have marked the numbers to be placed on
each, as follows:--

Solo Sonata,  Op. 22.
Symphony,     Op. 21.
Septet,       Op. 20.
Concerto,     Op. 19.

I will send you their various titles shortly.

Put me down as a subscriber to Sebastian Bach's works [see Letter 20], and
also Prince Lichnowsky. The arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas as quartets
will do you much credit, and no doubt be profitable also. I wish I could
contribute more to the promotion of such an undertaking, but I am an
irregular man, and too apt, even with the best intentions, to forget
everything; I have, however, mentioned the matter to various people, and I
everywhere find them well disposed towards it. It would be a good thing if
you would arrange the septet you are about to publish as a quintet, with a
flute part, for instance; this would be an advantage to amateurs of the
flute, who have already importuned me on the subject, and who would swarm
round it like insects and banquet on it.

Now to tell you something of myself. I have written a ballet
["Prometheus"], in which the ballet-master has not done his part so well as
might be. The F---- von L---- has also bestowed on us a production which by
no means corresponds with the ideas of his genius conveyed by the newspaper
reports. F---- seems to have taken Herr M---- (Wenzel Müller?) as his ideal
at the Kusperle, yet without even rising to his level. Such are the fine
prospects before us poor people who strive to struggle upwards! My dear
friend, pray lose no time in bringing the work before the notice of the
public, and write to me soon, that I may know whether by my delay I have
entirely forfeited your confidence for the future. Say all that is civil
and kind to your partner, Kühnel. Everything shall henceforth be sent
finished, and in quick succession. So now farewell, and continue your
regards for

Your friend and brother,




Vienna, June, 1801.

I am rather surprised at the communication you have desired your business
agent here to make to me; I may well feel offended at your believing me
capable of so mean a trick. It would have been a very different thing had I
sold my works to rapacious shopkeepers, and then secretly made another good
speculation; but, from _one artist to another_, it is rather a strong
measure to suspect me of such a proceeding! The whole thing seems to be
either a device to put me to the test, or a mere suspicion. In any event I
may tell you that before you received the septet from me I had sent it to
Mr. Salomon in London (to be played at his own concert, which I did solely
from friendship), with the express injunction to beware of its getting into
other hands, as it was my intention to have it engraved in Germany, and, if
you choose, you can apply to him for the confirmation of this. But to give
you a further proof of my integrity, "I herewith give you the faithful
assurance that I have neither sold the septet, the symphony, the concerto,
nor the sonata to any one but to Messrs. Hofmeister and Kühnel, and that
they may consider them to be their own exclusive property. And to this I
pledge my honor." You may make what use you please of this guarantee.

Moreover, I believe Salomon to be as incapable of the baseness of engraving
the septet as I am of selling it to him. I was so scrupulous in the matter,
that when applied to by various publishers to sanction a pianoforte
arrangement of the septet, I at once declined, though I do not even know
whether you proposed making use of it in this way. Here follow the
long-promised titles of the works. There will no doubt be a good deal to
alter and to amend in them; but this I leave to you. I shall soon expect a
letter from you, and, I hope, the works likewise, which I wish to see
engraved, as others have appeared, and are about to appear, in connection
with these numbers. I look on your statement as founded on mere rumors,
which you have believed with too much facility, or based entirely on
supposition, induced by having perchance heard that I had sent the work to
Salomon; I cannot, therefore, but feel some coolness towards such a
credulous friend, though I still subscribe myself

Your friend,






Je sens parfaitement bien, que la Celebrité de Votre nom ainsi que l'amitié
dont Vous m'honorez, exigeroient de moi la dédicace d'un bien plus
important ouvrage. La seule chose qui a pu me déterminer à Vous offrir
celui-ci de préférence, c'est qu'il me paroît d'une exécution plus facile
et par la même plus propre à contribuer à la Satisfaction dont Vous
jouissez dans l'aimable Cercle de Votre Famille.--C'est surtout, lorsque
les heureux talents d'une fille chérie se seront developpés davantage, que
je me flatte de voir ce but atteint. Heureux si j'y ai réussi et si dans
cette faible marque de ma haute estime et de ma gratitude Vous reconnoissez
toute la vivacité et la cordialité de mes sentiments.


[Footnote 1: Grand Trio, Op. 38.]





I send you herewith the four parts corrected by me; please compare the
others already written out with these. I also enclose a letter to Count
Browne. I have told him that he must make an advance to you of fifty
ducats, to enable you to get your outfit. This is absolutely necessary, so
it cannot offend him; for after being equipped, you are to go with him to
Baden on the Monday of the ensuing week. I must, however, reproach you for
not having had recourse to me long ago. Am I not your true friend? Why did
you conceal your necessities from me? No friend of mine shall ever be in
need, so long as I have anything myself. I would already have sent you a
small sum, did I not rely on Browne; if he fails us, then apply at once to


[Footnote 1: Ries names 1801 as the date of this letter, and it was no
doubt during that summer that Count Browne was in Baden. Ries's father had
assisted the Beethoven family in every way in his power at the time of the
mother's death.]



Vienna, April 8, 1802.

Do you mean to go post-haste to the devil, gentlemen, by proposing that I
should write _such_ a _sonata_? During the revolutionary fever, a thing of
the kind might have been appropriate, but now, when everything is falling
again into the beaten track, and Bonaparte has concluded a _Concordat_ with
the Pope--such a sonata as this? If it were a _missa pro Sancta Maria à tre
voci_, or a _vesper_, &c., then I would at once take up my pen and write a
_Credo in unum_, in gigantic semibreves. But, good heavens! such a sonata,
in this fresh dawning Christian epoch. No, no!--it won't do, and I will
have none of it.

Now for my answer in quickest _tempo_. The lady can have a sonata from me,
and I am willing to adopt the general outlines of her plan in an
_aesthetical_ point of view, without adhering to the keys named. The price
to be five ducats; for this sum she can keep the work a year for her own
amusement, without either of us being entitled to publish it. After the
lapse of a year, the sonata to revert to me--that is, I can and will then
publish it, when, if she considers it any distinction, she may request me
to dedicate it to her.

I now, gentlemen, commend you to the grace of God. My Sonata [Op. 22] is
well engraved, but you have been a fine time about it! I hope you will
usher my Septet into the world a little quicker, as the P---- is waiting
for it, and you know the Empress has it; and when there are in this
imperial city people like ----, I cannot be answerable for the result; so
lose no time!

Herr ---- [Mollo?] has lately published my Quartets [Op. 18] full of faults
and _errata_, both large and small, which swarm in them like fish in the
sea; that is, they are innumerable. _Questo è un piacere per un
autore_--this is what I call engraving [_stechen_, stinging] with a
vengeance.[1] In truth, my skin is a mass of punctures and scratches from
this fine edition of my Quartets! Now farewell, and think of me as I do of
you. Till death, your faithful


[Footnote 1: In reference to the musical piracy at that time very prevalent
in Austria.]



Heiligenstadt, Oct. 6, 1802.

Oh! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical,
how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what
appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to
the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to
accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was
attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskilful physicians,
deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced
to the conviction of a _lasting affliction_ (the cure of which may go on
for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable).

Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the
pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself,
and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount
all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder
than ever, of my defective hearing!--and yet I found it impossible to say
to others: Speak louder; shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim
the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me
than with other men,--a sense which I once possessed in the highest
perfection, to an extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed!
Alas, I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from
you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from
causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social
intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought.
Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must
live like an exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful
apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition
being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the
country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as
much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present
disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for
society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when
any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard
_nothing_, or when others heard _a shepherd singing_, and I still heard
_nothing_! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and wellnigh
caused me to put an end to my life. _Art! art_ alone, deterred me. Ah! how
could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it
was my vocation to produce?[2] And thus I spared this miserable life--so
utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from
my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose
_Patience_ for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail
me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut
the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared
for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth
year![3] This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any
one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for
man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one
day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one
similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in
defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be
included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and
Johann, as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt [see Nos. 18 and 23]
be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these
pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the
world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you
both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly,
agree together and assist each other. You know that anything you did to
give me pain has been long forgiven. I thank you, my brother Carl in
particular, for the attachment you have shown me of late. My wish is that
you may enjoy a happier life, and one more free from care, than mine has
been. Recommend _Virtue_ to your children; that alone, and not wealth, can
ensure happiness. I speak from experience. It was _Virtue_ alone which
sustained me in my misery; I have to thank her and Art for not having ended
my life by suicide. Farewell! Love each other. I gratefully thank all my
friends, especially Prince Lichnowsky and Professor Schmidt. I wish one of
you to keep Prince L----'s instruments; but I trust this will give rise to
no dissension between you. If you think it more beneficial, however, you
have only to dispose of them. How much I shall rejoice if I can serve you
even in the grave! So be it then! I joyfully hasten to meet Death. If he
comes before I have had the opportunity of developing all my artistic
powers, then, notwithstanding my cruel fate, he will come too early for me,
and I should wish for him at a more distant period; but even then I shall
be content, for his advent will release me from a state of endless
suffering. Come when he may, I shall meet him with courage. Farewell! Do
not quite forget me, even in death; I deserve this from you, because during
my life I so often thought of you, and wished to make you happy. Amen!


(_Written on the Outside._)

Thus, then, I take leave of you, and with sadness too. The fond hope I
brought with me here, of being to a certain degree cured, now utterly
forsakes me. As autumn leaves fall and wither, so are my hopes blighted.
Almost as I came, I depart. Even the lofty courage that so often animated
me in the lovely days of summer is gone forever. O Providence! vouchsafe me
one day of pure felicity! How long have I been estranged from the glad echo
of true joy! When! O my God! when shall I again feel it in the temple of
Nature and of man?--never? Ah! that would be too hard!


To be read and fulfilled after my death by my brothers Carl and Johann.

[Footnote 1: This beautiful letter I regret not to have seen in the
original, it being in the possession of the violin _virtuoso_ Ernst, in
London. I have adhered to the version given in the Leipzig _Allgemeine
Musikalische Zeitung_, Oct. 1827.]

[Footnote 2: A large portion of the _Eroica_ was written in the course of
this summer, but not completed till August, 1804.]

[Footnote 3: Beethoven did not at that time know in what year he was born.
See the subsequent letter of May 2, 1810. He was then far advanced in his
thirty-third year.]



November, 1802.

I owe it to the public and to myself to state that the two quintets in C
and E flat major--one of these (arranged from a symphony of mine) published
by Herr Mollo in Vienna, and the other (taken from my Septet, Op. 20) by
Herr Hofmeister in Leipzig--are not original quintets, but only versions of
the aforesaid works given by the publishers. Arrangements in these days (so
fruitful in--arrangements) an author will find it vain to contend against;
but we may at least justly demand that the fact should be mentioned in the
title-page, neither to injure the reputation of the author nor to deceive
the public. This notice is given to prevent anything of the kind in future.
I also beg to announce that shortly a new original quintet of my
composition, in C major, Op. 29, will appear at Breitkopf & Härtel's in




Summer of 1803.

You no doubt are aware that I am here. Go to Stein, and ask if he can send
me an instrument, on hire. I am afraid of bringing mine here. Come to me
this evening about seven o'clock. I lodge in Oberdöbling, on the left side
of the street, No. 4, going down the hill towards Heiligenstadt.



Vienna, Sept. 22, 1803.

I hereby declare all the works you have ordered to be your property. The
list of these shall be made out and sent to you with my signature, as the
proof of their being your own. I also agree to accept the sum of fifty
ducats for them. Are you satisfied?

Perhaps, instead of the variations with violoncello and violin,[1] I may
send you variations for the piano, arranged as a duet on a song of mine;
but Goethe's poetry must also be engraved, as I wrote these variations in
an album, and consider them better than the others. Are you satisfied?

The arrangements are not by me, though I have revised and much improved
various passages; but I do not wish you to say that I have arranged them,
for it would be false, and I have neither time nor patience to do so. Are
you satisfied?

Now farewell! I sincerely wish that all may go well with you. I would
gladly make you a present of all my works, if I could do so and still get
on in the world; but--remember most people are provided for, and know what
they have to live on, while, good heavens! where can an appointment be
found at the Imperial Court for such a _parvum talentum com ego_?

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: These are the six variations in D, on the air _Ich denke Dein_
written in 1800 in the album of the Countesses Josephine Deym and Thérèse
of Brunswick.]



November, 1803.

Herr Carl Zulehner, a piratical engraver in Mayence, has announced an
edition of my collected works for the pianoforte and also stringed
instruments. I consider it my duty publicly to inform all friends of music
that I have no share whatever in this edition.

I would never have in any way authorized any collection of my works (which,
moreover, I consider premature) without previously consulting the
publishers of single pieces, and ensuring that correctness in which
editions of my individual works are so deficient. I must also observe that
this illegal edition cannot be complete, as several new works of mine are
shortly to appear in Paris, and these Herr Zulehner, being a French
subject, dare not pirate. I intend to take another opportunity of
enumerating the details of the collection of my works to be brought out
under my own auspices and careful revision.





Be so good as to make out a list of the mistakes and send it at once to
Simrock, and say that the work must appear as soon as possible. I will send
him the Sonata [Op. 47] and the Concerto the day after to-morrow.


[Footnote 1: Ries relates that the three following notes refer to the
pianoforte Sonata, Op. 31, No. 1, carefully engraved by Nägeli in Zurich,
which Beethoven consequently sent forthwith to Simrock in Bonn, desiring
him to bring out "_une édition très-correcte_" of the work. He also states
that Beethoven was residing in Heiligenstadt at the time the work was first
sent [see No. 26]. In Nottebohm's _Skizzenbuch von Beethoven_, he says (p.
43) that the first notice of the appearance of this sonata was on May 21st,
1803; but Simrock writes to me that the date of the document making over
the sonata to him is 1804.]



I must again ask you to undertake the disagreeable task of making a fair
copy of the errors in the Zurich Sonata. I have got your list of _errata_
"_auf der Wieden_."




The signs are wrongly marked, and many of the notes misplaced; so be
careful! or your labor will be vain. _Ch' a detto l' amato bene?_




May I beg you to be so obliging as to copy this _andante_ [in the Kreuzer
Sonata] for me, however indifferently? I must send it off to-morrow, and as
Heaven alone knows what its fate may then be, I wish to get it transcribed.
But I must have it back to-morrow about one o'clock. The cause of my
troubling you is that one of my copyists is already very much occupied with
various things of importance, and the other is ill.




Let the bearer of this, Herr Ries, have some easy duets, and, better still,
let him have them for nothing. Conduct yourself in accordance with the
reformed doctrines. Farewell!



[Footnote 1: Date unknown. Leidesdorf was also a music-seller.]



Baden, July 14, 1804.


If you can find me better lodgings, I shall be very glad. Tell my brothers
not to engage these at once; I have a great desire to get one in a
spacious, quiet square or on the Bastei. It it really inexcusable in my
brother not to have provided wine, as it is so beneficial and necessary to
me. I shall take care to be present at the rehearsal on Wednesday. I am not
pleased to hear that it is to be at Schuppanzigh's. He may well be grateful
to me if my impertinences make him thinner! Farewell, dear Ries! We have
bad weather here, and I am not safe from visitors; so I must take flight in
order to be alone.

Your true friend,




Baden, July, 1804.


As Breuning [see Nos. 13, 14, and 18] by his conduct has not scrupled to
display my character to you and the house-steward as that of a mean, petty,
base man, I beg you will convey my reply at once in person to Breuning. I
answer only one point, the first in his letter, and I do so solely because
it is the only mode of justifying myself in your eyes. Say also to him that
I had no intention of reproaching him on account of the delay of the notice
to quit, and even if Breuning were really to blame for this, our harmonious
relations are so dear and precious in my sight, that, for the sake of a few
hundreds more or less, I would never subject any friend of mine to
vexation. You are aware, indeed, that I jestingly accused you as the cause
of the notice arriving too late. I am quite sure that you must remember
this. I had entirely forgotten the whole matter, but at dinner my brother
began to say that he thought Breuning was to blame in the affair, which I
at once denied, saying that you were in fault. I think this shows plainly
enough that I attributed no blame to Breuning; but on this he sprang up
like a madman, and insisted on sending for the house-steward. Such
behavior, in the presence of all those with whom I usually associate, and
to which I am wholly unaccustomed, caused me to lose all self-control; so I
also started up, upset my chair, left the room, and did not return. This
conduct induced Breuning to place me in a pretty light to you and the
house-steward, and also to send me a letter which I only answered by
silence. I have not another word to say to Breuning. His mode of thinking
and of acting, with regard to me, proves that there never ought to have
been such friendly intimacy between us, and assuredly it can never more be
restored. I wished to make you acquainted with this, as your version of the
occurrence degraded both my words and actions. I know that, had you been
aware of the real state of the affair, you would not have said what you
did, and with this I am satisfied.

I now beg of you, dear Ries, to go to my brother, the apothecary, as soon
as you receive this letter, and say to him that I mean to leave Baden in
the course of a few days, and that he is to engage the lodging in Döbling
as soon as you have given him this message. I had nearly left this to-day;
I detest being here--I am sick of it. For Heaven's sake urge him to close
the bargain at once, for I want to take possession immediately. Neither
show nor speak to any one of what is written in the previous page of this
letter. I wish to prove to him in every respect that I am not so meanly
disposed as he is. Indeed I have written to him, although my resolve as to
the dissolution of our friendship remains firm and unchangeable.

Your friend,




Berlin, July 24, 1804.

... You were no doubt not a little surprised about the affair with
Breuning; believe me, my dear friend, that the ebullition on my part was
only an outbreak caused by many previous scenes of a disagreeable nature. I
have the gift of being able to conceal and to repress my susceptibility on
many occasions; but if attacked at a time when I chance to be peculiarly
irritable, I burst forth more violently than any one. Breuning certainly
possesses many admirable qualities, but he thinks himself quite faultless;
whereas the very defects that he discovers in others are those which he
possesses himself to the highest degree. From my childhood I have always
despised his petty mind. My powers of discrimination enabled me to foresee
the result with Breuning, for our modes of thinking, acting, and feeling
are entirely opposite; and yet I believed that these difficulties might be
overcome, but experience has disproved this. So now I want no more of his
friendship! I have only found two friends in the world with whom I never
had a misunderstanding; but what men these were! One is dead, the other
still lives. Although for nearly six years past we have seen nothing of
each other, yet I know that I still hold the first place in his heart, as
he does in mine [see No. 12]. The true basis of friendship is to be found
in sympathy of heart and soul. I only wish you could have read the letter I
wrote to Breuning, and his to me. No! never can he be restored to his
former place in my heart. The man who could attribute to his friend so base
a mode of thinking, and could himself have recourse to so base a mode of
acting towards him, is no longer worthy of my friendship.

Do not forget the affair of my apartments. Farewell! Do not be too much
addicted to tailoring,[1] remember me to the fairest of the fair, and send
me half a dozen needles.

I never could have believed that I could be so idle as I am here. If this
be followed by a fit of industry, something worth while may be produced.

_Vale!_ Your


[Footnote 1: Ries says, in Wegeler's _Biographical Notices_:--"Beethoven
never visited me more frequently than when I lived in the house of a
tailor, with three very handsome but thoroughly respectable daughters."]



Vienna, June 1, 1805.

I must inform you that the affair about the new quintet is settled between
Count Fries and myself.

The Count has just assured me that he intends to make you a present of it;
it is too late to-day for a written agreement on the subject, but one shall
be sent early in the ensuing week. This intelligence must suffice for the
present, and I think I at all events deserve your thanks for it.

Your obedient servant,


[Footnote 1: The quintet is probably not that in C, Op. 29, dedicated to
Count v. Fries, previously published in 1803 by Breitkopf & Härtel [see No.
27]. It is more likely that he alludes to a new quintet which the Count had
no doubt ordered.]



November, 1805.

Pray pardon me, illustrious Princess, if the bearer of this should cause
you an unpleasant surprise. Poor Ries, my scholar, is forced by this
unhappy war to shoulder a musket, and must moreover leave this in a few
days, being a foreigner. He has nothing, literally nothing, and is obliged
to take a long journey. All chance of a concert on his behalf is thus
entirely at an end, and he must have recourse to the benevolence of others.
I recommend him to you. I know you will forgive the step I have taken. A
noble-minded man would only have recourse to such measures in the most
utter extremity. Confident of this, I send the poor youth to you, in the
hope of somewhat improving his circumstances. He is forced to apply to all
who know him.

I am, with the deepest respect, yours,


[Footnote 1: Communicated by Ries himself, who, to Beethoven's extreme
indignation, did not deliver the note. See Wegeler's work, p. 134. The
following remark is added:--"Date unknown; written a few days before the
entrance of the French in 1805" (which took place Nov. 13). Ries, a native
of Bonn, was now a French subject, and recalled under the laws of
conscription. The Sonata, Op. 27, No. 1, is dedicated to Princess





Pray try to persuade Herr v. Seyfried to direct my Opera, as I wish on this
occasion to see and hear it myself _from a distance_; in this way my
patience will at all events not be so severely tried as when I am close
enough to hear my music so bungled. I really do believe that it is done on
purpose to annoy me! I will say nothing of the wind-instruments; but all
_pp._'s, _cresc._, _discresc._, and all _f._'s and _ff._'s may as well be
struck out of my Opera, for no attention whatever is paid to them. I shall
lose all pleasure in composing anything in future, if I am to hear it given
thus. To-morrow or the day after I will come to fetch you to dinner. To-day
I am again unwell.

Your friend,


If the Opera is to be performed the day after to-morrow, there must be
another private rehearsal to-morrow, or _each time it will be given worse
and worse_.

[Footnote 1: Meyer, the husband of Mozart's eldest sister-in-law, Josepha
(Hofer's widow), sang the part of Pizarro at the first performance of
_Fidelio_, Nov. 20, 1805, and also at a later period. Seyfried was at that
time Kapellmeister at the Theatre "an der Wien."]



Vienna, Dec. 7, 1805.

I, the undersigned, am glad to bear testimony to young Carl Czerny having
made the most extraordinary progress on the pianoforte, far beyond what
might be expected at the age of fourteen. I consider him deserving of all
possible assistance, not only from what I have already referred to, but
from his astonishing memory, and more especially from his parents having
spent all their means in cultivating the talent of their promising son.





Be sure that you arrange matters properly with Mdlle. Milder, and say to
her previously from me, that I hope she will not sing anywhere else. I
intend to call on her to-morrow, to kiss the hem of her garment. Do not
also forget Marconi, and forgive me for giving you so much trouble.

Yours wholly,


[Footnote 1: Röckel, in 1806 tenor at the Theatre "an der Wien," sang the
part of Florestan in the spring of that year, when _Fidelio_ was revived.
Mdlle. Milder, afterwards Mdme. Hauptmann, played Leonore; Mdme. Marconi
was also prima donna.]




I hear that you are about to fulfil my greatest wish and your own purpose.
Much as I desire to express my delight to you in person, I cannot find time
to do so, having so much to occupy me. Pray do not then ascribe this to any
want of proper attention towards you. I send you the "Armida"; as soon as
you have entirely done with it, pray return it, as it does not belong to
me. I am, with sincere esteem,



[Footnote 1: Collin, Court Secretary, was the author of _Coriolanus_, a
tragedy for which Beethoven in 1807 wrote the celebrated Overture dedicated
to that poet. According to Reichardt, Collin offered the libretto of
_Bradamante_ to Beethoven in 1808, which Reichardt subsequently composed.
This note evidently refers to a _libretto_.]



I should like very much, my good Gleichenstein, to speak to you this
forenoon between one and two o'clock, or in the afternoon, and where you
please. To-day I am too busy to call early enough to find you at home. Give
me an answer, and don't forget to appoint the place for us to meet.
Farewell, and continue your regard for your


[Footnote 1: Probably in reference to a conference with regard to a
contract for the publication of his works, Op. 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62, that
Beethoven had made on the 20th April, 1807, with Muzio Clementi, who had
established a large music firm in London; it was also signed by Baron

Beethoven's first intention was to dedicate Op. 58 to him, which is evident
from a large page in Schindler's work, on which is written in bold
characters, by the master's own hand, "_Quatrième Concerto pour le Piano,
avec accompagnement, etc., dédié à son ami Gleichenstein_," &c. The name of
the Archduke Rudolph had been previously written, and was eventually
adopted, and Gleichenstein afterwards received the dedication of the Grand
Sonata with violoncello, Op. 69.]



Vienna, December, 1807.

The undersigned has cause to flatter himself that during the period of his
stay in Vienna he has gained some favor and approbation from the highest
nobility, as well as from the public at large, his works having met with an
honorable reception both in this and other countries. Nevertheless he has
had difficulties of every kind to contend against, and has not hitherto
been so fortunate as to acquire a position that would enable him _to live
solely for art_, and to develop his talents to a still higher degree of
perfection, which ought to be the aim of every artist, thus ensuring future
independence instead of mere casual profits.

The mere wish _to gain a livelihood_ has never been the leading clew that
has hitherto guided the undersigned on his path. His great aim has been the
_interest of art_ and the ennobling of taste, while his genius, soaring to
a higher ideal and greater perfection, frequently compelled him to
sacrifice his talents and profits to the Muse. Still works of this kind won
for him a reputation in distant lands, securing him the most favorable
reception in various places of distinction, and a position befitting his
talents and acquirements.

The undersigned does not, however, hesitate to say that this city is above
all others the most precious and desirable in his eyes, owing to the number
of years he has lived here, the favor and approval he has enjoyed from both
high and low, and his wish fully to realize the expectations he has had the
good fortune to excite, but most of all, he may truly say, from his
_patriotism as a German_. Before, therefore, making up his mind to leave a
place so dear to him, he begs to refer to a hint which the reigning Prince
Lichnowsky was so kind as to give him, to the effect that the directors of
the theatre were disposed to engage the undersigned on reasonable
conditions in the service of their theatre, and to ensure his remaining in
Vienna by securing to him a permanent position, more propitious to the
further exercise of his talents. As this assurance is entirely in
accordance with the wishes of the undersigned, he takes the liberty, with
all due respect, to place before the directors his readiness to enter into
such an engagement, and begs to state the following conditions for their
gracious consideration.

1. The undersigned undertakes and pledges himself to compose each year at
least _one grand opera_, to be selected by the directors and himself; in
return for this he demands a _fixed salary_ of 2400 florins a year, and
also a free benefit at the third performance of each such opera.

2. He also agrees to supply the directors annually with a little _operetta_
or a _divertissement_, with choruses or occasional music of the kind, as
may be required, _gratis_; he feels confident that on the other hand the
directors will not refuse, in return for these various labors, to grant him
_a benefit concert_ at all events once a year in one of the theatres.
Surely the above conditions cannot be thought exorbitant or unreasonable,
when the expenditure of time and energy entailed by the production of an
_opera_ is taken into account, as it entirely excludes the possibility of
all other mental exertion; in other places, too, the author and his family
have a share in the profits of every individual performance, so that even
_one_ successful work at once ensures the future fortunes of the composer.
It must also be considered how prejudicial the present rate of exchange is
to artists here, and likewise the high price of the necessaries of life,
while a residence in foreign countries is open to them.

But in any event, whether the directors accede to or decline this present
proposal, the undersigned ventures to request that he may be permitted to
give a concert for his own benefit in one of the theatres. For if his
conditions be accepted, the undersigned must devote all his time and
talents to the composition of such an opera, and thus be prevented working
in any other way for profit. In case of the non-acceptance of these
proposals, as the concert he was authorized to give last year did not take
place owing to various obstacles, he would entreat, as a parting token of
the favor hitherto vouchsafed to him, that the promise of last year may now
be fulfilled. In the former case, he would beg to suggest _Annunciation
Day_ [March 25.] for his concert, and in the latter a day during the
ensuing Christmas vacation.


[_Manu propria._]

[Footnote 1: This application was fruitless. See Reichardt's _Vertraute
Briefe_. "These two (Lobkowitz and Esterhazy) are the heads of the great
theatrical direction, which consists entirely of princes and counts, who
conduct all the large theatres on their own account and at their own risk."
The close of this letter shows that it was written in December.]



Vienna, Nov. 1, 1808 [_sic!_].


I fear you will look on me with displeasure when I tell you that necessity
compelled me not only to dispose of the symphony I wrote for you, but to
transfer another also to some one else. Be assured, however, that you shall
soon receive the one I intend for you. I hope that both you and the
Countess, to whom I beg my kind regards, have been well since we met. I am
at this moment staying with Countess Erdödy in the apartments below those
of Prince Lichnowsky. I mention this in case you do me the honor to call on
me when you are in Vienna. My circumstances are improving, without having
recourse to the intervention of people _who treat their friends
insultingly_. I have also the offer of being made _Kapellmeister_ to the
King of Westphalia, and it is possible that I may accept the proposal.
Farewell, and sometimes think of your attached friend,


[Footnote 1: The fourth Symphony is dedicated to Count Oppersdorf.]


I fear I am too late for to-day, but I have only now been able to get back
your memorial from C----, because H---- wished to add various items here
and there. I do beg of you to dwell chiefly on the great importance to me
of adequate opportunities to exercise my art; by so doing you will write
what is most in accordance with my head and my heart. The preamble must set
forth what I am to have in Westphalia--600 ducats in gold, 150 ducats for
travelling expenses; all I have to do in return for this sum being to
direct the King's [Jerome's] concerts, which are short and few in number. I
am not even bound to direct any opera I may write. So, thus freed from all
care, I shall be able to devote myself entirely to the most important
object of my art--to write great works. An orchestra is also to be placed
at my disposition.

N.B. As member of a theatrical association, the title need not be insisted
on, as it can produce nothing but annoyance. With regard to the _Imperial
service_, I think that point requires delicate handling, and not less so
the solicitation for the title of _Imperial Kapellmeister_. It must,
however, be made quite clear that I am to receive a sufficient salary from
the Court to enable me to renounce the annuity which I at present receive
from the gentlemen in question [the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and
Prince Lobkowitz], which I think will be most suitably expressed by my
stating that it is my hope, and has ever been my most ardent wish, to enter
the Imperial service, when I shall be ready to give up as much of the above
salary as the sum I am to receive from His Imperial Majesty amounts to.
(N.B. We must have it to-morrow at twelve o'clock, as we go to Kinsky then.
I hope to see you to-day.)

[Footnote 1: This note, now first published, refers to the call Beethoven
had received, mentioned in the previous No. The sketch of the memorial that
follows is not, however, in Beethoven's writing, and perhaps not even
composed by him [see also No. 46]. It is well known that the Archduke
Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and Prince Lobkowitz had secured to the _maestro_ a
salary of 4000 gulden.]


The aim and endeavor of every true artist must be to acquire a position in
which he can occupy himself exclusively with the accomplishment of great
works, undisturbed by other avocations or by considerations of economy. A
composer, therefore, can have no more ardent wish than to devote himself
wholly to the creation of works of importance, to be produced before the
public. He must also keep in view the prospect of old age, in order to make
a sufficient provision for that period.

The King of Westphalia has offered Beethoven a salary of 600 gold ducats
for life, and 150 ducats for travelling expenses, in return for which his
sole obligations are, occasionally to play before His Majesty, and to
conduct his chamber concerts, which are both few and short. This proposal
is of a most beneficial nature both to art and the artist.

Beethoven, however, much prefers a residence in this capital, feeling so
much gratitude for the many proofs of kindness he has received in it, and
so much patriotism for his adopted father-land, that he will never cease to
consider himself an Austrian artist, nor take up his abode elsewhere, if
anything approaching to the same advantages are conferred on him here.

As many persons of high, indeed of the very highest rank, have requested
him to name the conditions on which he would be disposed to remain here, in
compliance with their wish he states as follows:--

1. Beethoven must receive from some influential nobleman security for a
permanent salary for life: various persons of consideration might
contribute to make up the amount of this salary, which, at the present
increased price of all commodities, must not consist of less than 4000
florins _per annum_. Beethoven's wish is that the donors of this sum should
be considered as cooperating in the production of his future great works,
by thus enabling him to devote himself entirely to these labors, and by
relieving him from all other occupations.

2. Beethoven must always retain the privilege of travelling in the
interests of art, for in this way alone can he make himself known, and
acquire some fortune.

3. His most ardent desire and eager wish is to be received into the
Imperial service, when such an appointment would enable him partly or
wholly to renounce the proposed salary. In the mean time the title of
_Imperial Kapellmeister_ would be very gratifying to him; and if this wish
could be realized, the value of his abode here would be much enhanced in
his eyes.

If his desire be fulfilled, and a salary granted by His Majesty to
Beethoven, he will renounce so much of the said 4000 florins as the
Imperial salary shall amount to; or if this appointment be 4000 florins, he
will give up the whole of the former sum.

4. As Beethoven wishes from time to time to produce before the public at
large his new great works, he desires an assurance from the present
directors of the theatre on their part, and that of their successors, that
they will authorize him to give a concert for his own benefit every year on
Palm Sunday, in the Theatre "an der Wien." In return for which Beethoven
agrees to arrange and direct an annual concert for the benefit of the poor,
or, if this cannot be managed, at all events to furnish a new work of his
own for such a concert.



December, 1808.


All would go well now if we had only a curtain, without it the _Aria_ ["Ah!
Perfido"] _will be a failure_.[1] I only heard this to-day from S.
[Seyfried], and it vexes me much: a curtain of any kind will do, even a
bed-curtain, or merely a _kind of gauze screen_, which could be instantly
removed. There must be something; for the Aria is in the _dramatic style_,
and better adapted for the stage than for effect in a concert-room.
_Without a curtain, or something of the sort, the Aria will be devoid of
all meaning, and ruined! ruined! ruined!! Devil take it all!_ The Court
will probably be present. Baron Schweitzer [Chamberlain of the Archduke
Anton] requested me earnestly to make the application myself. Archduke Carl
granted me an audience and promised to come. The Empress _neither promised
nor refused_.

A hanging curtain!!!! or the Aria and I will both be hanged to-morrow.
Farewell! I embrace you as cordially on this new year as in the old one.
_With or without a curtain!_ Your


[Footnote 1: Reichardt, in his _Vertraute Briefe_ relates among other
things about the concert given by Beethoven in the Royal Theatre "an der
Wien," Oct. 22, 1808, as follows:--"Poor Beethoven, who derived from this
concert the first and only net profits which accrued to him during the
whole year, met with great opposition and very slender support in arranging
and carrying it out. First came the _Pastoral Symphony; or, Reminiscences
of Rural Life_; then followed, as the sixth piece, a long Italian _scena_,
sung by Demoiselle Killitzky, a lovely Bohemian with a lovely voice." The
above note [to Zmeskall?] certainly refers to this concert.]





Your friends have at any rate given you very bad advice; but I know all
about them: they are the very same to whom you sent that fine news about me
from Paris; the very same who inquired about my age--information that you
contrived to supply so correctly!--the very same who have often before
injured you in my opinion, but now permanently. Farewell!


[Footnote 1: Ries himself gives the date of this note as 1809, though he
cannot recall what gave rise to it. It is probably connected with a fact
mentioned by Wegeler, p. 95, that Reichardt, who was at that time in
Vienna, had advised Beethoven's young pupil, Ries, to apply to the King of
Westphalia for the appointment of Kapellmeister, which he had recently
given up. This was reported to Beethoven, and roused his ire. Ries, too,
had written from Paris that the taste in music there was very indifferent;
that Beethoven's works were little known or played in that city. Beethoven
was also very susceptible with regard to his age. At the request of some of
Beethoven's friends, Ries, in 1806, obtained Beethoven's baptismal
certificate, and sent it to Vienna. But the _maestro's_ wrath on this
occasion passed away as quickly as usual.]



March 7, 1809.

It is just what I expected! As to the blows, that is rather far-fetched.
The story is at least three months' old, and very different from what he
now makes it out to be. The whole stupid affair was caused by a female
huckster and a couple of low fellows. I lose very little. He no doubt was
corrupted in the very house where I am now living.

[Footnote 1: [See No. 10.] The notes to Zmeskall generally have the dates
written by himself. This one bears the date March 7, 1809. In all points
connected with domestic life, and especially in household matters and
discords, Zmeskall was always a kind and consolatory friend. Beethoven at
that time lived in the same house with Countess Erdödy. [See No. 74.]]



My most excellent, high, and well-born Herr v. Zmeskall, Court Secretary
and Member of the Society of the Single Blessed,--If I come to see you
to-day, ascribe it to the fact that a person wishes to speak to me at your
house whom I could not refuse to see. I come without any _card_ from you,
but I hope you will not on that account _discard_ me.

Yours truly--most truly,




It seems to me, dear Zmeskall, if war really does break out, when it comes
to an end you will be the very man for an appointment in the Peace
Legation. What a glorious office!!! I leave it entirely to you to do the
best you can about my servant, only henceforth Countess Erdödy must not
attempt to exercise the smallest influence over him. She says she made him
a present of twenty-five florins, and gave him five florins a month, solely
to induce him to stay with me. I cannot refuse to believe this trait of
generosity, but I do not choose that it should be repeated. Farewell! I
thank you for your friendship, and hope soon to see you.

Yours ever,




April 16, 1809.

If I cannot come to-day, dear Zmeskall which is very possible, ask Baroness
von ---- [name illegible] to give you the pianoforte part of the Trios, and
be so good as to send them and the other parts to me to-day.

In haste, your


[Footnote 1: April 16, 1809. By the Terzetts he no doubt means the Trios,
Op. 70, dedicated to Countess Erdödy.]



April 17, 1809.

DEAR Z.,--

A suitable lodging has just been found out for me, but I need some one to
help me in the affair. I cannot employ my brother, because he only
recommends what costs least money. Let me know, therefore, if we can go
together to look at the house. It is in the Klepperstall.[1]

[Footnote 1: An der Mölker Bastei.]



April 25, 1809.

I shall be glad, right glad, to play. I send you the violoncello part; if
you find that you can manage it, play it yourself, or let old Kraft[1] do
so. I will tell you about the lodging when we meet.

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: Anton Kraft (and likewise his son, Nicolaus Kraft) was a most
admirable violoncello-player, with whom Beethoven from the earliest days of
his residence in Vienna had played a great deal at Prince Lichnowsky's.
Kraft was at that time in Prince Lobkowitz's band.]



May 14, 1809.


I think after all it would be advisable to let old Kraft play, as the trios
are to be heard for the first time (in society), and you can play them
afterwards; but I leave it all to your own option. If you meet with any
difficulties, one of which may possibly be that Kraft and S. [Schuppanzigh]
do not harmonize well together, then Herr v. Zmeskall must distinguish
himself, not as a mere musical Count, but as an energetic musician.

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: Kraft and Schuppanzigh were then each giving quartet




I feel almost ashamed of your complaisance and kindness in permitting me to
see the MS. of your as yet unknown literary treasures. Pray receive my
sincere thanks. I also beg to return both your operettas. Wholly engrossed
by my professional avocations, it is impossible for me to give an opinion,
especially with regard to the Indian Operetta; as soon as time permits, I
will call on you for the purpose of discussing this subject, and also the
Oratorio of "The Deluge." Pray always include me among the warm admirers of
your great talents.

I am, sir, with sincere esteem, your obedient


[Footnote 1: I see in Schindler's _Beethoven_, that he wished to have "an
Indian Chorus of a religious character" from this renowned Orientalist,
who, in sending his _Persian Operetta_, written "rather with an ideal than
a musical object," and likewise an oratorio, _The Deluge_,
remarks:--"Should you not find these works in all respects executed quite
to your taste, still I feel convinced that through the genius of a
Beethoven alone can music portray the rising of the great flood and the
pacifying of the surging waters."]




Forgive me, my dear H----, for not having brought you the letter for Paris.
I have been, and still am, so much occupied, that day after day I am
obliged to delay writing it, but you shall have it to-morrow, even if I am
unable to come myself to see you, which I am most anxious to do.

There is another matter that I would most earnestly press on you; perhaps
you might succeed in doing something for a _poor unfortunate man_. I allude
to Herr Stoll, son of the celebrated physician. With many persons the
question is whether a man has been ruined by his own fault or by that of
others, but this is not so with either you or me; it is sufficient that
Stoll is unfortunate, and looks on a journey to Paris as his sole resource,
having last year made many influential acquaintances, who, when he goes
there, are to endeavor to procure him a professorship in Westphalia. Stoll
has therefore applied to Herr v. Neumann, in the State Chancery Office, to
send him with a government courier to Paris, but the latter refuses to take
him for less than twenty-five louis d'or. Now I request you, my dear
friend, to speak to Herr v. Neumann to arrange, if possible, that the
courier should either take Stoll _gratis_, or for a small sum. I am
persuaded that if there is nothing particular against it, you will be glad
to interest yourself in poor Stoll. I return to the country to-day, but
hope soon to be so fortunate as to enjoy an hour of your society. In the
mean time I send you my best wishes, and beg you will believe in the
sincere esteem of

Your obedient


[Footnote 1: Reichardt states that Stoll was in Vienna in the spring of
1809, which fixes the date of this letter. Napoleon bestowed a pension on
the young poet (who appears to have gone to Paris), mistaking him for his
father, the celebrated physician.]




You will receive with this what I promised. Had not many serious obstacles
intervened, I would have sent you more, in order to show you that where my
friends are concerned _I always perform more than I promise_. I hope, and
do not doubt, that you are agreeably occupied and enjoying society, but not
too much, I trust, to prevent your thinking of us. It would show too much
confidence in you, or too high an estimation of my own merits, were I to
attribute the sentiment to you, "That people are not together only when
present, but that the absent and the dead also live with us." Who could
ascribe such a thought to the volatile Thérèse, who takes the world so
lightly? Among your various occupations, do not forget the piano, or
rather, music in general, for which you have so fine a talent: why not then
seriously cultivate it? You, who have so much feeling for the good and the
beautiful, should strive to recognize the perfections of so charming an
art, which in return always casts so bright a reflection on us.

I live in entire quiet and solitude, and even though occasional flashes of
light arouse me, still since you all left this I feel a hopeless void which
even my art, usually so faithful to me, has not yet triumphed over. Your
pianoforte is ordered, and you shall soon have it. What a difference you
must have discovered between the treatment of the theme I extemporized on
the other evening and the mode in which I have recently written it out for
you? You must explain this yourself, only do not find the solution in the
punch! How happy you are to get away so soon to the country! I cannot enjoy
this luxury till the 8th. I look forward to it with the delight of a child.
What happiness I shall feel in wandering among groves and woods, and among
trees, and plants, and rocks! No man on earth can love the country as I do!
Thickets, trees, and rocks supply the echo man longs for!

You shall soon receive some more of my compositions, which will not cause
you to complain so much of difficulties. Have you read Goethe's "Wilhelm
Meister," and Schlegel's "Translations of Shakspeare"? People have so much
leisure in the country, that perhaps you would like me to send you these
works? It happens that I have an acquaintance in your neighborhood; so
perhaps you may see me some morning early for half an hour, after which I
must be off again. You will also observe that I intend to bore you for as
short a time as possible.[1]

Commend me to the regard of your father and mother, though I have as yet no
right to claim it. Remember me also to your cousin M. [Mathilde]. Farewell,
my esteemed Thérèse; I wish you all the good and charm that life can offer.
Think of me kindly, and forget my follies. Rest assured that no one would
more rejoice to hear of your happiness, even were you to feel no interest
in your devoted servant and friend,


N.B. It would be very amiable in you to write me a few lines, to say if I
can be of any use to you here.

[Footnote 1: Herr v. Malfatti Rohrenbach, nephew of the renowned physician
who was so prominent in Beethoven's last illness, lately related to me in
Vienna as follows:--Beethoven went to pay a visit to young Frau Thérèse,
Baroness Drossdick, at Mödling, but not finding her at home, he tore a
sheet of music-paper out of a book, and wrote some music to a verse of
Matthisson's, and on the other side, inscribed, in large letters, "To my
dear Thérèse." The "Mathilde" mentioned farther on was, according to
Bärmann, a Baroness Gleichenstein. [See No. 45.]]




I cannot with truth deny that the verses you sent have considerably
embarrassed me. It causes a strange sensation to see and hear yourself
praised, and yet to be conscious of your own defects, as I am. I consider
such occurrences as mere incitements to strive to draw nearer the
unattainable goal set before us by Art and Nature, difficult as it may be.
These verses are truly beautiful, with the exception of one fault that we
often find in poets, which is, their being misled by Fancy to believe that
they really do see and hear _what they wish to see and hear_, and yet even
this is far below their ideal. You may well believe that I wish to become
acquainted with the poet or poetess; pray receive also yourself my thanks
for the kindly feeling you show towards your sincere friend,


[Footnote 1: Nothing has hitherto been ascertained respecting either the
date of this note, or the lady to whom it is addressed.]



January 23, 1810.

What are you about? My gayety yesterday, though only assumed, has not only
vexed but offended you. The _uninvited guests_ seemed so little to deserve
your ill-humor, that I endeavored to use all my friendly influence to
prevent your giving way to it, by my pretended flow of spirits. I am still
suffering from indigestion. Say whether you can meet me at the "Swan"

Your true friend,


[Footnote 1: The cause that gave rise to this note is not known.]



Vienna, May 2, 1810.


These lines may very possibly cause you some surprise, and yet, though you
have no written proof of it, I always retain the most lively remembrance of
you. Among my MSS. is one that has long been destined for you, and which
you shall certainly receive this summer. For the last two years my secluded
and quiet life has been at an end, and I have been forcibly drawn into the
vortex of the world; though as yet I have attained no good result from
this,--nay, perhaps rather the reverse,--but who has not been affected by
the storms around us? Still I should not only be happy, but the happiest of
men, if a demon had not taken up his settled abode in my ears. Had I not
somewhere read that man must not voluntarily put an end to his life while
he can still perform even one good deed, I should long since have been no
more, and by my own hand too! Ah! how fair is life; but for me it is
forever poisoned!

You will not refuse me one friendly service, which is to procure me my
baptismal certificate. As Steffen Breuning has an account with you, he can
pay any expenses you may incur, and I will repay him here. If you think it
worth while to make the inquiry in person, and choose to make a journey
from Coblenz to Bonn, you have only to charge it all to me. I must,
however, warn you that I had an _elder brother_ whose name was also Ludwig,
with the second name of _Maria_, who died. In order to know my precise age,
the date of my birth must be first ascertained, this circumstance having
already led others into error, and caused me to be thought older than I
really am. Unluckily, I lived for some time without myself knowing my age
[see Nos. 26 and 51]. I had a book containing all family incidents, but it
has been lost, Heaven knows how! So pardon my urgently requesting you to
try to discover _Ludwig Maria's_ birth, as well as that of the present
Ludwig. The sooner you can send me the certificate of baptism the more
obliged shall I be.[1] I am told that you sing one of my songs in your
Freemason Lodge, probably the one in E major, which I have not myself got;
send it to me, and I promise to compensate you threefold and fourfold.[2]
Think of me with kindness, little as I apparently deserve it. Embrace your
dear wife and children, and all whom you love, in the name of your friend,


[Footnote 1: Wegeler says:--"I discovered the solution of the enigma (why
the baptismal certificate was so eagerly sought) from a letter written to
me three months afterwards by my brother-in-law, Stephan von Breuning, in
which he said: 'Beethoven tells me at least once a week that he means to
write to you; but I believe his _intended marriage is broken off_; he
therefore feels no ardent inclination to thank you for having procured his
baptismal certificate.'"]

[Footnote 2: Beethoven was mistaken; Wegeler had only supplied other music
to the words of Matthisson's _Opfer Lied_.]



July 9, 1810.

DEAR Z.,--

You are about to travel, and so am I on account of my health. In the mean
time all goes topsy-turvy with me. The _Herr_[1] wants to have me with him,
and Art is not less urgent in her claims. I am partly in Schönbrunn and
partly here; every day assailed by messages from strangers and new
acquaintances, and even as regards art I am often driven nearly distracted
by my undeserved fame. Fortune seeks me, and for that very reason I almost
dread some new calamity. As for your "Iphigénie," the facts are these. I
have not seen it for the last two years and a half, and have no doubt lent
it to some one; but to whom?--that is the question. I have sent in all
directions, and have not yet discovered it, but hope still to find it. If
lost, you shall be indemnified. Farewell, my dear Z. I trust that when we
meet again you will find that my art has made some progress in the interim.

Ever remain my friend, as much as I am yours,


[Footnote 1: The "Herr" is his pupil, the Archduke Rudolph.]



Vienna, August 11, 1810.


Never was there a lovelier spring than this year; I say so, and feel it
too, because it was then I first knew you. You have yourself seen that in
society I am like a fish on the sand, which writhes and writhes, but cannot
get away till some benevolent Galatea casts it back into the mighty ocean.
I was indeed fairly stranded, dearest friend, when surprised by you at a
moment in which moroseness had entirely mastered me; but how quickly it
vanished at your aspect! I was at once conscious that you came from another
sphere than this absurd world, where, with the best inclinations, I cannot
open my ears. I am a wretched creature, and yet I complain of others!! You
will forgive this from the goodness of heart that beams in your eyes, and
the good sense manifested by your ears; at least they understand how to
flatter, by the mode in which they listen. My ears are, alas! a
partition-wall, through which I can with difficulty hold any intercourse
with my fellow-creatures. Otherwise, perhaps, I might have felt more
assured with you; but I was only conscious of the full, intelligent glance
from your eyes, which affected me so deeply that never can I forget it. My
dear friend! dearest girl!--Art! who comprehends it? with whom can I
discuss this mighty goddess? How precious to me were the few days when we
talked together, or, I should rather say, corresponded! I have carefully
preserved the little notes with your clever, charming, most charming
answers; so I have to thank my defective hearing for the greater part of
our fugitive intercourse being written down. Since you left this I have had
some unhappy hours,--hours of the deepest gloom, when I could do nothing.
I wandered for three hours in the Schönbrunn Allée after you left us, but
no _angel_ met me there to take possession of me as you did. Pray forgive,
my dear friend, this deviation from the original key, but I must have such
intervals as a relief to my heart. You have no doubt written to Goethe
about me? I would gladly bury my head in a sack, so that I might neither
see nor hear what goes on in the world, because I shall meet you there no
more; but I shall get a letter from you? Hope sustains me, as it does half
the world; through life she has been my close companion, or what would have
become of me? I send you "Kennst Du das Land," written with my own hand, as
a remembrance of the hour when I first knew you; I send you also another
that I composed since I bade you farewell, my dearest, fairest sweetheart!

  Herz, mein Herz, was soll das geben,
  Was bedränget dich so sehr;
  Welch ein neues fremdes Leben,
  Ich erkenne dich nicht mehr.

Now answer me, my dearest friend, and say what is to become of me since my
heart has turned such a rebel. Write to your most faithful friend,


[Footnote 1: The celebrated letters to Bettina are given here exactly as
published in her book, _Ilius Pamphilius und die Ambrosia_ (Berlin, Arnim,
1857) in two volumes. I never myself had any doubts of their being genuine
(with the exception of perhaps some words in the middle of the third
letter), nor can any one now distrust them, especially after the
publication of _Beethoven's Letters_. But for the sake of those for whom
the weight of innate conviction is not sufficient proof, I may here mention
that in December, 1864, Professor Moritz Carrière, in Munich, when
conversing with me about _Beethoven's Letters_, expressly assured me that
these three letters were genuine, and that he had seen them in Berlin at
Bettina v. Arnim's in 1839, and read them most attentively and with the
deepest interest. From their important contents, he urged their immediate
publication; and when this shortly after ensued, no change whatever struck
him as having been made in the original text; on the contrary, he still
perfectly remembered that the much-disputed phraseology (and especially the
incident with Goethe) was precisely the same as in the originals. This
testimony seems to me the more weighty, as M. Carrière must not in such
matters be looked on as a novice, but as a competent judge, who has
carefully studied all that concerns our literary heroes, and who would not
permit anything to be falsely imputed to Beethoven any more than to Goethe.
Beethoven's biography is, however, the proper place to discuss more closely
such things, especially his character and his conduct in this particular
case. At present we only refer in general terms to the first chapter of
_Beethoven's Jugend_, which gives all the facts connected with these
letters to Bettina and the following ones--a characteristic likeness of
Beethoven thus impressed itself on the mind of the biographer, and was
reproduced in a few bold outlines in his _Biography_. These letters could
not, however, possibly be given _in extenso_ in a general introduction to a
comprehensive biography.]



Vienna, Feb. 10, 1811.


I have now received two letters from you, while those to Tonie show that
you still remember me, and even too kindly. I carried your letter about
with me the whole summer, and it often made me feel very happy; though I do
not frequently write to you, and you never see me, still I write you
letters by thousands in my thoughts. I can easily imagine what you feel at
Berlin in witnessing all the noxious frivolity of the world's rabble,[1]
even had you not written it to me yourself. Such prating about art, and yet
no results!!! The best description of this is to be found in Schiller's
poem "Die Flüsse," where the river Spree is supposed to speak. You are
going to be married, my dear friend, or are already so, and I have had no
chance of seeing you even once previously. May all the felicity that
marriage ever bestowed on husband and wife attend you both! What can I say
to you of myself? I can only exclaim with Johanna, "Compassionate my fate!"
If I am spared for some years to come, I will thank the Omniscient, the
Omnipotent, for the boon, as I do for all other weal and woe. If you
mention me when you write to Goethe, strive to find words expressive of my
deep reverence and admiration. I am about to write to him myself with
regard to "Egmont," for which I have written some music solely from my love
for his poetry, which always delights me. Who can be sufficiently grateful
to a great poet,--the most precious jewel of a nation! Now no more, my dear
sweet friend! I only came home this morning at four o'clock from an orgy,
where I laughed heartily, but to-day I feel as if I could weep as sadly;
turbulent pleasures always violently recoil on my spirits. As for Clemens
[Brentano, her brother], pray thank him for his complaisance; with regard
to the Cantata, the subject is not important enough for us here--it is very
different in Berlin; and as for my affection, the sister engrosses so large
a share, that little remains for the brother. Will he be content with this?

Now farewell, my dear, dear friend; I imprint a sorrowful kiss on your
forehead, thus impressing my thoughts on it as with a seal. Write soon,
very soon, to your brother,


[Footnote 1: An expression which, as well as many others, he no doubt
borrowed from Bettina, and introduced to please her.]




I am disposed to engage a man who has just offered me his services,--a
music-copyist. His parents live in Vienna, which might be convenient in
many respects, but I first wish to speak to you about the terms; and as you
are disengaged to-morrow, which I, _alas_! am every day, I beg you will
take coffee with me in the afternoon, when we can discuss the matter, and
then proceed from _words to deeds_. We have also the honor to inform you
that we intend shortly to confer on you some of the decorations of the
Order of our Household,--the first class for yourself, the others for any
one you choose, except a priest. We shall expect your answer early
to-morrow. We now present you with some blotches of ink. Your






We beg you to confer some goose-quills on us; we will in return send you a
whole bunch of the same sort, that you may not be obliged to pluck out your
own. It is just possible that you may yet receive the Grand Cross of the
Order of the Violoncello. We remain your gracious and most friendly of all




The Spring of 1811.


As in spite of every effort I can find no copyist to write in my house, I
send you my own manuscript; all you have to do is to desire Schlemmer to
get you an efficient copyist, who must, however, write out the Trio in your
palace, otherwise there would be no security against piracy. I am better,
and hope to have the honor of waiting on you in the course of a few days,
when we must strive to make up for lost time. I always feel anxious and
uneasy when I do not attend your Royal Highness as often or as assiduously
as I wish. It is certainly the truth when I say that the loss is mine, but
I trust I shall not soon again be so unwell. Be graciously pleased to
remember me; the time may yet come when I shall be able to show you doubly
and trebly that I deserve this more than ever.

I am your Royal Highness's devoted servant,


[Footnote 1: Schlemmer was for many years Beethoven's copyist.]



I have taken this trouble only that I might figure correctly, and thus be
able sometimes to lead others. As for mistakes, I scarcely ever required to
have them pointed out to me, having had from my childhood such a quick
perception, that I exercised it unconscious that it ought to be so, or in
fact could be otherwise.

[Footnote 1: Written on a sheet of music-paper (oblong folio) numbered 22,
and evidently torn out of a large book. On the other side (21) is written,
in Beethoven's hand, instructions on the use of the fourth in retardations,
with five musical examples. The leaf is no doubt torn from one of the books
that Beethoven had compiled from various text-books, for the instruction of
the Archduke Rudolph. I have therefore placed Beethoven's remark here.]



June 6, 1811.


Have you read the book, and may I venture to hope that you will be
persuaded to undertake it? Be so good as to give me an answer, as I am
prevented going to you myself. If you have already read it, then send it
back to me, that I may also look over it again before you begin to work at
it. Above all, if it be your good pleasure that I should soar to the skies
on the wings of your poetry, I entreat you to effect this as soon as

Your obedient servant,




Sept. 10, 1811.


Let the rehearsal stand over for the present. I must see my doctor again
to-day, of whose bungling I begin to tire. Thanks for your metronome; let
us try whether we can measure Time into Eternity with it, for it is so
_simple_ and _easily managed_ that there seems to be no impediment to this!
In the mean time we will have a conference on the subject. The mathematical
precision of clockwork is of course greater; yet formerly, in watching the
little experiments you made in my presence, I thought there was something
worthy of notice in your metronome, and I hope we shall soon succeed in
_setting it thoroughly right_. Ere long I hope to see you.

Your friend,




Oct. 26, 1811.

I shall be at the "Swan" to-day, and hope to meet you there _to a
certainty_, but don't come too late. My foot is better; the author of so
many poetical _feet_ promises the _head_ author a sound foot within a
week's time.



Nov. 20, 1811.

We are deucedly obliged to you. We beg you to be careful not to lose your
well-earned fame. You are exhorted to pursue the same course, and we remain
once more your deucedly attached




Jan. 19, 1812.

I shall be at the "Swan" to-day, dear Z. I have, alas! _too much_ leisure,
and you _none_! Your






What the deuce has become of you? Are you to be at the "Swan" to-day? No?
... Yes! See from this enclosure what I have done for Hungary. When a
German undertakes a thing, even without pledging his word, he acts very
differently from one of those Hungarian Counts, such as B. [Brunswick], who
allowed me to travel by myself--from what paltry, miserable motive who can
tell?--and kept me waiting, though he did not wait for me!

My excellent little quondam musical Count,

I am now, as ever, your attached


Return the enclosure, for we wish to bring it, and something else, pretty
forcibly under the notice of the Count.

[Footnote 1: The date of this and the following note is decided by the
allusion to his compositions written for Hungary (Pesth). See the
subsequent letter to Varenna.]



You are summoned to appear to-day at the "Swan;" Brunswick also comes. If
you do not appear, you are henceforth excluded from all that concerns us.
Excuses _per excellentiam_ cannot be accepted. Obedience is enjoined,
knowing that we are acting for your benefit, and that our motive is to
guard you against temptations and faithlessness _per excellentiam--dixi_.





The well-known watchmaker who lives close to the Freiung is to call on you.
I want a first-rate repeater, for which he asks forty ducats. As you like
that kind of thing, I beg you will exert yourself on my behalf, and select
a really good watch for me.

With the most enthusiastic admiration for a man like yourself, who is soon
to give me an opportunity of displaying in his favor my particular
knowledge of horn-playing, I am your





If the wish to benefit the poor were not so evident in your letter, I
should have felt not a little offended by your accompanying your request to
me by the offer of payment. From my childhood, whenever my art could be
serviceable to poor suffering humanity, I have never allowed any other
motive to influence me, and never required anything beyond the heartfelt
gratification that it always caused me. With this you will receive an
Oratorio--(A), the performance of which occupies half an evening, also an
Overture and a Fantasia with Chorus--(B). If in your benevolent institution
you possess a _dépôt_ for such things, I beg you will deposit these three
works there, as a mark of my sympathy for the destitute; to be considered
as their property, and to be given at any concerts intended for their sole
benefit. In addition to these, you will receive an Introduction to the
"Ruins of Athens," the score of which shall be written out for you as soon
as possible. Likewise a Grand Overture to "Ungarn's erste Wohlthäter"
[Hungary's First Benefactors].

Both form part of two works that I wrote for the Hungarians at the opening
of their new theatre [in Pesth]. Pray give me, however, your written
assurance that these works shall not be performed elsewhere, as they are
not published, nor likely to be so for some time to come. You shall receive
the latter Grand Overture as soon as it is returned to me from Hungary,
which it will be in the course of a few days.

The engraved Fantasia with Chorus could no doubt be executed by a lady, an
amateur, mentioned to me here by Professor Schneller.[2] The words after
the Chorus No. 4, in C major, were altered by the publishers, and are now
quite contrary to the musical expression; those written in _pencil_,
therefore, on the music must be sung. If you can make use of the Oratorio,
I can send you _all the parts written out_, so that the outlay may be less
for the poor. Write to me about this.

Your obedient


[Footnote 1: The correspondence with Varenna, consisting of fourteen
letters and four notes, was purchased some years ago by a collector of
autographs in Leipzig, and sold again by public auction, probably to
different persons. It would be like pursuing leaves scattered by the wind
to try to recover these letters. Those here given have for the most part
appeared in newspapers; I cannot, therefore, be responsible for the text,
farther than their publication goes, which, however, has evidently been
conducted by a clever hand. The date of the first letter is to be gleaned
from the second, and we also learn from them that _The Ruins of Athens_ and
_King Stephen_ (or at all events the Overture) were already finished in
January, 1812.]

[Footnote 2: This _dilettante_ was Mdlle. Marie Koschak, subsequently the
wife of Dr. Pachler, an advocate in Gratz, from whom two letters are given
by Schindler of the dates of August 15th, 1825, and November 5th, 1826, in
which she invites Beethoven to visit her in Gratz. Schindler considers as
applicable to this lady the words of a note in Beethoven's writing of which
he has given a fac-simile in his _Biography_, I. 95; the date 1817 or 1818.
They are as follows:--"Love alone, yes! love alone can make your life
happier. O God! grant that I may at last find her who can strengthen me in
virtue, whom I can legitimately call my own. On July 27th, when she drove
past me in Baden, she seemed to gaze at me." This lady also plays a
friendly part in Franz Schubert's _Life_. See her _Biography_ by Dr.



Feb. 2, 1812.

By no means _extraordinary_, but _very ordinary_ mender of pens! whose
talent has failed on this occasion (for those I send require to be fresh
mended), when do you intend at last to cast off your fetters?--when? You
never for a moment think of me; accursed to me is life amid this Austrian
barbarism. I shall go now chiefly to the "Swan," as in other taverns I
cannot defend myself against intrusion. Farewell! that is, _fare as well_
as I wish you to do without

Your friend,


Most wonderful of men! We beg that your servant will engage a person to fit
up my apartment; as he is acquainted with the lodgings, he can fix the
proper price at once. Do this soon, you Carnival scamp!!!!!!!

The enclosed note is at least a week old.



Feb. 8, 1812.

Most extraordinary and first and foremost man of the pendulum in the world,
and without a lever too!!!

I am much indebted to you for having imparted to me some share of your
motive power. I wish to express my gratitude in person, and therefore
invite you this morning to come to the "Swan,"--a tavern, the name of which
itself shows that it is a fitting place when such a subject is in question,

Yours ever,




Vienna, Feb. 8, 1812.

Herr Rettich has already got the parts of the Oratorio, and when you no
longer require them I beg you will send them back to me. It is not probable
that anything is wanting, but even in that case, as you have the score, you
can easily remedy this. I only yesterday received the Overtures from
Hungary, and shall have them copied and forwarded to you as soon as
possible. I likewise send a March with a vocal Chorus, also from the "Ruins
of Athens." Altogether you will now have sufficient to fill up the time.

As these pieces are only in manuscript, I shall let you know at the time I
send them what precautions I wish you to take with regard to the Overtures
and the March with Chorus.

As I do not publish any new work until a year after its composition, and,
when I do so, am obliged invariably to give a written assurance to the
publisher that no one is in possession of it, you can yourself perceive
that I must carefully guard against any possible contingency or casualty as
to these pieces. I must, however, assure you that I shall always be
disposed to show the warmest zeal in aid of your charity, and I here pledge
myself to send you every year works that exist solely in manuscript, or
compositions written expressly for this charitable purpose. I beg you will
also let me know what your future plans are with regard to your
institution, that I may act accordingly.

Farewell! I remain, with the highest consideration,

Your obedient




Feb. 19, 1812.

DEAR Z.,--

I only yesterday received the written information that the Archduke pays
his share in the new paper-money of the full value [_Einlösungsschein_]. I
beg you will write out for me, as nearly as you can, the substance of what
you said on Sunday, and which we thought it advisable to send to the other
two. I am offered a certificate that the Archduke is to pay in
_Einlösungsschein_, but I think this unnecessary, more especially as the
people about Court, in spite of all their apparent friendship for me,
declare that my demands are _not just_!!!! O Heaven! aid me in enduring
this! I am no Hercules, to help Atlas in carrying the world, or to strive
to do so in his place. It was only yesterday that I heard the particulars
of the handsome manner in which Baron von Kraft had judged and spoken of me
to Zisius! But never mind, dear Z.! My endurance of these shameful attacks
cannot continue much longer; persecuted art will everywhere find an
asylum--Daedalus, though imprisoned in a labyrinth, found wings to carry
him aloft. Oh! I too shall find wings!

Yours ever,


If you have time, send me this morning the draft of the memorial;--probably
for nothing, and to receive nothing! so much time is already lost, and only
to be kept in suspense by civil words!

[Footnote 1: The Finance Patent appeared in Austria in 1811, by which the
value of money was depreciated by a fifth. This also affected the salary
that Beethoven drew from the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and Prince
Lobkowitz. The first of these gentlemen paid his full share in
_Einlösungsschein_. Lobkowitz, at the request of Beethoven, soon after did
the same; with Kinsky's share alone difficulties arose subsequently, owing
to his death.]



Lent, 1812.

In spite of my anxiety to serve the cause of your charity, I have been
quite unable to do so. I have no copyist of my own to write for me as
formerly, and the limited time renders it impossible for me to do so
myself; thus I am obliged to have recourse to strangers as copyists. One of
these promised to write out the Overtures, &c., &c., for you; but Passion
Week intervening, when there are so many concerts, prevented his being able
to keep his word, in spite of every effort on my part. Even if the
Overtures and the March with Chorus were transcribed, it would not be
possible to send them by this post, and if we wait for the next, the music
will arrive too late for Easter Sunday. Let me know if there are any means
you could adopt to gain a little more time, or any chance opportunity of
sending these works to you, and I will do all that lies in my power to aid
the cause of your charity.

I am, with esteem, yours obediently,






I was much vexed not to receive Y.I.H.'s message to come to you till very
late yesterday evening--indeed nearly at eleven o'clock. Contrary to my
usual custom, I did not go home at all during the afternoon, the fine
weather having tempted me to spend the whole afternoon in walking, and the
evening at the Banda, "auf der Wieden," and thus I was not aware of your
wish till I returned home. In the mean time, whenever Y.I.H. desires it, I
am ready at any hour or moment to place myself at your disposal. I
therefore await your gracious commands.

I am your Imperial Highness's most obedient


[Footnote 1: The date 1812 is marked on the sheet by another hand, and the
close of the second note proves that it was at the commencement of this





I was unable till to-day, when I leave my bed for the first time, to answer
your gracious letter. It will be impossible for me to wait on you
to-morrow, but perhaps the day after. I have suffered much during the last
few days, and I may say two-fold from not being in a condition to devote a
great part of my time to you, according to my heartfelt wish. I hope now,
however, to have cleared off all scores for spring and summer (I mean as to

I am your Imperial Highness's most obedient servant,




Vienna, May 8, 1812.


Being still far from well, and much occupied, I have been unable to reply
to your letters. How in the world did such an unfounded idea ever occur to
you as that I was displeased? It would certainly have been better had you
returned the music as soon as it had been performed; for at that period I
could have produced it here, whereas now, unluckily, it comes too late; but
I only say _unluckily_ because it prevents my being able to spare the
worthy ladies the expenses of copying. At any other time I would on no
account have allowed them to pay for writing out the works, but it so
happens that at this moment I am visited with every kind of _contretemps_,
so I cannot avoid doing so. Possibly Herr O., although with the best
intentions, has delayed informing you of this, which obliged me to apply to
him for repayment of the expenses of copying; perhaps, too, in my haste, I
did not express myself distinctly. You can now, esteemed sir, have the
Overture and the Chorus again if you require them.

I feel convinced that in any event you will prevent my confidence being
abused; in the mean time you may keep the Overture on the conditions I have
stated. If I find that I am able to pay for the copying, I will redeem it
for my own use.

The score of the Oratorio is a gift, and also the Overture to "Egmont."
Keep the parts of the Oratorio beside you till you can have it performed.

Select whatever you choose for the concert which I hear you now intend to
give, and if you decide on the Chorus and the Overture, they shall be
forwarded to you at once. For the future concert, for the benefit of the
venerable Ursulines, I promise you an entirely new symphony at all events,
and perhaps also a work of some importance for voices, and as I have now a
favorable opportunity, the copying shall not cost you a farthing. My joy
would be beyond all bounds if the concert were to be successful, and I
could spare you all expense;--at all events, take my good-will for granted.

Remember me to the admirable teachers of the children, and say to them that
I shed tears of joy at the happy result of my poor good-will, and that so
far as my humble capabilities can serve them, they shall always find in me
the warmest sympathy.

My cordial thanks for your invitation; I would fain become acquainted with
the interesting scenery of Styria, and possibly I may one day enjoy that
pleasure. Farewell! I heartily rejoice in having found in you a friend to
the poor and needy, and am always yours to command.





The most insignificant of mortals has just been to wait on his gracious
master, when he found everything closed; so he came here, where indeed all
was _open_, but no one to be found except the trusty servant. I had a heavy
packet of music with me, in order to ensure a good musical evening before
we parted; but in vain. Malfatti[2] is resolved that I shall go to Töplitz,
which is anything but agreeable to me. As, however, I must obey, I hope at
least that my gracious master will not enjoy himself quite so much without
me. _O vanitas!_ for it is nothing else. Before I set off for Töplitz I
will either go to Baden to see you or write. Farewell! Pray present my
homage to my gracious master, and continue your regard for

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: The journey to Töplitz took place in the year 1812.]

[Footnote 2: A very celebrated physician in Vienna at that time, consulted
by Beethoven.]



Töplitz, July 19, 1812.

My thanks have been too long delayed for all the dainties which the worthy
ladies sent for my enjoyment; being constantly ill in Vienna, I was at last
forced to take refuge here.

However, better late than never; so I beg you will say all sorts of kind
things in my name to the admirable Ursuline ladies, though I did not
deserve so much gratitude; indeed it is rather for me to thank Him who
enables me to render my art occasionally useful to others. When you next
wish to make use of my poor abilities for the benefit of the venerable
ladies, you have only to write to me.

A new symphony is now ready for you, and as the Archduke Rudolph has had it
copied out, it will cost you nothing. Perhaps I may one of these days be
able to send you something vocal. I only wish and hope that you will not
ascribe my anxiety to serve these venerable ladies to a certain degree of
vanity or desire for fame, as this would grieve me exceedingly. If these
good ladies wish to do me any service in return, I beg they will include me
with their pupils in their pious orisons. I remain, with esteem,

Your friend,


I shall remain here for some weeks; so if there is any occasion to write,
address to me here.



Töplitz, August 8, 1812.


  Who even if you would,
  Forget you never should.



Franzensbrunn, Aug. 12, 1812.

It was my bounden duty long ago to have recalled myself to Y.R.H.'s
recollection, but partly my occupations and the state of my health, as well
as my own insignificance, made me reluctant to do so. I missed Y.R.H. by
one night only in Prague; for when proceeding to pay my respects to you in
the morning, I found you had set off the very night before. In Töplitz I
heard a military band four times a day,--the only musical report which I
can give you. I was a great deal with Goethe.[1] My physician Staudenheim,
however, ordered me off to Carlsbad,[2] and from thence here, and probably
I shall have to go back to Töplitz from this. What flights! And yet it
seems very doubtful whether any improvement in my condition has hitherto
taken place. I receive the best accounts of Y.R.H.'s health, and also of
the persistent devotion you exhibit towards the musical Muse. Y.R.H. has no
doubt heard of a concert that I gave for the benefit of the sufferers by
fire in the Stadt Baden,[3] assisted by Herr Polledro.[4] The receipts were
nearly 1000 florins W.W., and if I had not been restricted in my
arrangements we might easily have taken 2000 florins. It was literally a
_poor concert for the poor_. I could only find at the publisher's here some
of my earlier sonatas with violin accompaniments, and as Polledro had set
his heart on these, I was obliged to content myself with playing an old
Sonata.[5] The entire concert consisted of a trio, in which Polledro
played, my Sonata with violin, then again something was played by Polledro,
and, lastly, I extemporized. Meanwhile I do sincerely rejoice that by this
means something has fallen to the share of the poor _Badeners_. Pray deign
to accept my best wishes for your welfare, and my entreaty that you will
sometimes think of me.


[Footnote 1: Beethoven speaks very briefly of his meeting with Goethe.
Goethe in his _Tag- und Jahrschriften_ of 1812 makes no allusion to
Beethoven during his stay at Töplitz. It does not, therefore, appear that
either of these master-minds found any particular pleasure in each other
when they met personally. Beethoven, indeed, dedicated to "the immortal
Goethe" (1812) his composition the _Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt_, but
only wrote once to him in 1823 to obtain a subscription from the Grand Duke
of Weimar for his Grand Mass, and received no answer from Goethe. In the
complete edition of Goethe's works Beethoven's name is only once mentioned
by Goethe, when he refers to his funeral obsequies.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Staudenheim was, like Malfatti, one of the most celebrated
physicians in Vienna. Beethoven, too, was well acquainted with Staudenheim,
but in his regimen he neither followed the prescriptions of Staudenheim nor
of Malfatti.]

[Footnote 3: The Stadt Baden, near Vienna, had been visited on July 16th by
a most destructive conflagration.]

[Footnote 4: Giov. Batt. Polledro, Kapellmeister in Turin, born 1776,
travelled through Germany as a violinist from 1809 to 1812. He gave a
concert in Vienna in March, 1812.]

[Footnote 5: The violin Sonata with pianoforte was probably Op. 47
(composed in 1803 and published in 1805, according to Thayer, No. 111), or
one of his earlier compositions, Op. 30, or 24, or 23.]



Töplitz, August 15, 1812.


Kings and princes can indeed create professors and privy-councillors, and
confer titles and decorations, but they cannot make great men,--spirits
that soar above the base turmoil of this world. There their powers fail,
and this it is that forces them to respect us.[1] When two persons like
Goethe and myself meet, these grandees cannot fail to perceive what such as
we consider great. Yesterday, on our way home, we met the whole Imperial
family; we saw them coming some way off, when Goethe withdrew his arm from
mine, in order to stand aside; and, say what I would, I could not prevail
on him to make another step in advance. I pressed down my hat more firmly
on my head, buttoned up my great-coat, and, crossing my arms behind me, I
made my way through the thickest portion of the crowd. Princes and
courtiers formed a lane for me; Archduke Rudolph took off his hat, and the
Empress bowed to me first. These great ones of the earth _know me_. To my
infinite amusement, I saw the procession defile past Goethe, who stood
aside with his hat off, bowing profoundly. I afterwards took him sharply to
task for this; I gave him no quarter, and upbraided him with all his sins,
especially towards you, my dear friend, as we had just been speaking of
you. Heavens! if I could have lived with you as _he_ did, believe me I
should have produced far greater things. A musician is also a poet, he too
can feel himself transported into a brighter world by a pair of fine eyes,
where loftier spirits sport with him and impose heavy tasks on him. What
thoughts rushed into my mind when I first saw you in the Observatory during
a refreshing May shower, so fertilizing to me also![2] The most beautiful
themes stole from your eyes into my heart, which shall yet enchant the
world when Beethoven no longer _directs_. If God vouchsafes to grant me a
few more years of life, I must then see you once more, my dear, most dear
friend, for the voice within, to which I always listen, demands this.
Spirits may love one another, and I shall ever woo yours. Your approval is
dearer to me than all else in the world. I told Goethe my sentiments as to
the influence praise has over men like us, and that we desire our equals to
listen to us with their understanding. Emotion suits women only; (forgive
me!) music ought to strike fire from the soul of a man. Ah! my dear girl,
how long have our feelings been identical on all points!!! The sole real
good is some bright kindly spirit to sympathize with us, whom we thoroughly
comprehend, and from whom we need not hide our thoughts. _He who wishes to
appear something, must in reality be something._ The world must acknowledge
us, it is not always unjust; but for this I care not, having a higher
purpose in view. I hope to get a letter from you in Vienna; write to me
soon and fully, for a week hence I shall be there. The Court leaves this
to-morrow, and to-day they have another performance. The Empress has
studied her part thoroughly. The Emperor and the Duke wished me to play
some of my own music, but I refused, for they are both infatuated with
_Chinese porcelain_. A little indulgence is required, for reason seems to
have lost its empire; but I do not choose to minister to such perverse
folly--I will not be a party to such absurd doings to please those princes
who are constantly guilty of eccentricities of this sort. Adieu! adieu!
dear one; your letter lay all night next my heart, and cheered me.
Musicians permit themselves great license. _Heavens! how I love you!_ Your
most faithful friend and deaf brother,


[Footnote 1: Fräulein Giannatasio del Rio, in the journal she sent to the
_Grenz Boten_ in 1857, states that Beethoven once declared, "It is very
pleasant to associate with the great of the earth, but one must possess
some quality which inspires them with respect."]

[Footnote 2: According to Bettina (see _Goethe's Correspondence with a
Child_, II. 193), their first acquaintance was made in Beethoven's



Vienna, Dec. 30, 1812.


The dreadful event which deprived you of your husband, Prince von Kinsky,
snatching him from his father-land and from all those who love him,[1] as
well as from many whom he generously supported, filling every heart capable
of appreciating goodness and greatness with the deepest sorrow, affected me
also in the most profound and painful degree. The stern duty of
self-interest compels me to lay before your Highness a humble petition, the
reasonable purport of which may, I hope, plead my excuse for intruding on
your Highness at a time when so many affairs of importance claim your
attention. Permit me to state the matter to your Highness.

Y.H. is no doubt aware that when I received a summons to Westphalia in the
year 1809, his Highness Prince von Kinsky, your late husband, together with
his I.H. Archduke Rudolph and H.H. the Prince von Lobkowitz, offered to
settle on me for life an annual income of 4000 gulden, provided I declined
the proposal in question, and determined to remain in Austria. Although
this sum was by no means in proportion to that secured to me in Westphalia,
still my predilection for Austria, as well as my sense of this most
generous proposal, induced me to accept it without hesitation. The share
contributed by H.H. Prince Kinsky consisted of 1800 florins, which I have
received by quarterly instalments since 1809 from the Prince's privy purse.
Though subsequent occurrences partially diminished this sum, I rested
satisfied, till the appearance of the Finance Patent, reducing bank-notes
into _Einlösung Schein_. I applied to H.I.H. the Archduke Rudolph to
request that the portion of the annuity contributed by H.I.H. should in
future be paid in _Einlösung Schein_. This was at once granted, and I
received a written assurance to that effect from H.I.H. Prince von
Lobkowitz agreed to the same with regard to his share,--700 florins [see
No. 84]. H.H. Prince von Kinsky being at that time in Prague, I addressed
my respectful petition to him last May, through Herr Varnhagen von Ense, an
officer in the Vogelsang Regiment, that his Highness's contribution to my
salary--1800 florins--should be paid like the rest in _Einlösung Schein_.
Herr von Varnhagen wrote as follows, and the original of the letter is
still extant:--

"I had yesterday the desired interview with Prince Kinsky. With the highest
praise of Beethoven, he at once acceded to his demand, and is prepared to
pay up the arrears, and also all future sums from the date of the
_Einlösung Schein_, in that currency. The cashier here has received the
necessary instructions, and Beethoven can draw for the whole sum on his way
through Prague, or, if he prefers it, in Vienna, as soon as the Prince
returns there.

"Prague, June 9, 1812."

When passing through Prague some weeks afterwards, I took the opportunity
of waiting on the Prince, and received from him the fullest confirmation of
this promise. H.H. likewise assured me that he entirely admitted the
propriety of my demand, and considered it quite reasonable. As I could not
remain in Prague till this affair was finally settled, H.H. was so kind as
to make me a payment of sixty ducats on account, which, according to H.H.'s
calculation, were good for 600 florins Vienna currency. The arrears were to
be paid up on my return to Vienna, and an order given to the cashier to pay
my salary in future in _Einlösung Schein_. Such was H.H.'s pleasure. My
illness increasing in Töplitz, I was obliged to remain there longer than I
originally intended. In the month of September I therefore addressed to
H.H., who was then in Vienna, through one of my friends here, Herr Oliva, a
written memorial, claiming his promise, when H.H. graciously repeated to
this friend the assurance he had already given me, adding that in the
course of a few days he would give the necessary instructions on the
subject to his cashier.

A short time afterwards he left Vienna. When I arrived there, I inquired
from the Prince's secretary whether H.H. had given directions about my
salary before leaving Vienna, when, to my surprise, I was told that H.H.
had done nothing in the matter.

My title to the liquidation of my claim is proved by the testimony of the
Herren von Varnhagen and Oliva, to whom H.H. spoke on the subject,
reiterating his consent. I feel convinced that the illustrious heirs and
family of this prince will in the same spirit of benevolence and generosity
strive to fulfil his intentions. I therefore confidently place in Y.H.'s
hands my respectful petition, viz., "to pay up the arrears of my salary in
_Einlösung Schein_, and to instruct your cashier to transmit me the amount
in future, in the same currency." Relying on your sense of justice
according me a favorable decision, I remain Y.H.'s

Most obedient servant,


[Footnote 1: Prince Josef Ferdinand Kinsky, born December, 1781, and killed
by a fall from his horse, November 3, 1812.]




I have been far from well since last Sunday, but have suffered more in mind
than in body. I beg your forgiveness a thousand times for not having sooner
sent my apologies; each day I had the strongest inclination to wait on you,
but Heaven knows that in spite of the best will that I always entertain for
the best of masters I was unable to do so, distressing as it is to me not
to have it in my power to sacrifice all to him for whom I cherish the
highest esteem, love, and veneration. Y.R.H. would perhaps act wisely in
making a pause at present with the Lobkowitz concerts; even the most
brilliant talent may lose its effect by too great familiarity.


[Footnote 1: Prince Franz Josef Lobkowitz died December 25th, 1816. His
musical meetings were certainly continued till 1813, or longer.]




At early dawn to-morrow the copyist shall begin the last movement. As I am
in the mean time writing several other works, I did not hurry myself much
with this last movement merely for the sake of punctuality, especially as I
must write this more deliberately, with a view to Rode's[2] playing; we
like quick, full-toned passages in our _Finales_, which do not suit R., and
this rather cramps me. At all events, all is sure to go well next Tuesday.
I very much doubt whether I shall be able to present myself at Y.R.H.'s on
that evening, in spite of my zeal in your service; but to make up for this,
I mean to come to you to-morrow forenoon and to-morrow afternoon, that I
may entirely fulfil the wishes of my illustrious pupil.


[Footnote 1: 1813. January-February.]

[Footnote 2: Pierre Rode, the violinist, arrived in Vienna in January,
1813, and gave a concert in the Redoutensaal on February 6th, but did not
give universal satisfaction (_A.M.Z._, 1813, p. 114), and a second concert
that he had projected does not appear to have taken place. He played in
Gratz on February 20th and 27th. It seems that Rode was to play with
Beethoven at the Archduke Rudolph's, for which occasion Beethoven prepared
a composition for them both. Was this the Sonata for pianoforte and violin,
Op. 36, which he afterwards dedicated to the Archduke? Thayer states that
it was written by Beethoven in 1810, and sold to the music-publisher
Steiner in Vienna in April, 1815. No other composition for the violin and
pianoforte is so likely to be the one as this. It is, however, a mistake in
the _Bibliothèque Universelle_, tome xxxvi. p. 210, to state that Beethoven
during Rode's stay in Vienna composed the "délicieuse Romance" which was
played with so much expression by De Baillot on the violin. There are only
two Romances known for the violin by Beethoven, the one in G major, Op. 40,
in the year 1803, and the second in F major, Op. 50, published in 1805.
(Thayer, 102 and 104.)]




I had just gone out yesterday when your gracious letter reached me. As for
my health, it is pretty much the same, particularly as moral causes affect
it, which do not seem likely to be removed; particularly as I can have
recourse to no one but myself for aid, and can find help in my own head
alone; and more particularly still, because in these days neither words,
nor honor, nor written pledges, seem binding on any one. As for my
occupations, I have come to an end with some of them, and, even without
your gracious invitation, I intended to appear at the usual hour to-day.
With regard to Rode [see No. 96], I beg Y.R.H. to be so good as to let me
have the part by the bearer of this, and I will send it to him at once,
with a polite note from me. _He certainly will not take amiss my sending
him the part. Oh! certainly not! Would to Heaven that I were obliged to ask
his forgiveness on this account! for in that case things would really be in
a better position._ Is it your pleasure that I should come to you this
evening at five o'clock as usual, or does Y.R.H. desire another hour? I
shall endeavor to arrange accordingly, and punctually to fulfil your




Vienna, Feb. 12, 1813.


You were so gracious as to declare with regard to the salary settled on me
by your deceased husband, that you saw the propriety of my receiving it in
Vienna currency, but that the authority of the court of law which has
assumed the guardianship of the estate must first be obtained. Under the
conviction that the authorities who represent their princely wards could
not fail to be influenced by the same motives that actuated the late Prince
in his conduct towards me, I think I am justified in expecting the
ratification of my claim from the aforesaid court, as I can prove, by the
testimony of well-known, respectable, and upright men, the promise and
intentions of H.H. in my behalf, which cannot fail to be binding on his
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."]



DEAR Z.,--

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 (Maître 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

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 Kärnthnerthor 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.

DEAR Z.,--

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



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 coöperated 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 Kärnthnerthor 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 Kärnthnerthor Theatre. Both these choruses are
printed in score in Breitkopf & Härtel'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





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 schöne 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
Weinmüller [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
Weinmüller's. I shall be very glad if you have leisure to be present.

[Footnote 1: The mention of Weinmüller 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 Kärnthnerthor 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



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 _Einlösung 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 Brühl, 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

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


[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 _Einlösung 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




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

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 _Einlösung 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
_Einlösung 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 Töplitz. 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 _Einlösung 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 _Einlösung
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

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 _Einlösung 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 _Einlösung 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 Mölker
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




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 à
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 Töplitz, 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





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

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




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,

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




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

I have lost 600 florins of my yearly salary; at the time of the
_bank-notes_ there was no loss, but then came the _Einlösungsscheine_
[reduced paper-money], which deprives me of these 600 florins, after
entailing on me several years of annoyance, and now the total loss of my
salary. We are at present arrived at a point when the _Einlösungsscheine_
are even lower than the _bank-notes_ ever were. I pay 1000 florins for
house-rent: you may thus conceive all the misery caused by paper-money.

My poor unhappy brother [Carl v. Beethoven, a cashier in Vienna] is just
dead [Nov. 15th, 1815]; he had a bad wife. For some years past he has been
suffering from consumption, and from my wish to make his life less irksome
I may compute what I gave him at 10,000 florins (_Wiener Währung_). This
indeed does not seem much to an Englishman, but it is a great deal for a
poor German, or rather Austrian. The unhappy man was latterly much changed,
and I must say I lament him from my heart, though I rejoice to think I left
nothing undone that could contribute to his comfort.

Tell Mr. Birchall that he is to repay the postage of my letters to you and
Mr. Salomon, and also yours to me; he may deduct this from the sum he owes
me; I am anxious that those who work for me should lose as little as
possible by it. "Wellington's Victory at Vittoria"[1] must have arrived
long ago through the Messrs. Coutts. Mr. Birchall need not send payment
till he is in possession of all the works; only do not delay letting me
know when the day is fixed for the publication of the pianoforte
arrangement. For to-day, I only further earnestly recommend my affairs to
your care; I shall be equally at your service at any time. Farewell, dear

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: "This is also to be the title of the pianoforte arrangement."
(Note by Beethoven.)]



Jan. 1816.


I was shocked to discover to-day that I had omitted replying to a proposal
from the "Society of Friends to Music in the Austrian States" to write an
Oratorio for them.

The death of my brother two months ago, which, owing to the guardianship of
my nephew having devolved on me, has involved me in all sorts of annoyances
and perplexities, has caused this delay in my answer. In the mean time, the
poem of Herr van Seyfried is already begun, and I purpose shortly to set it
to music. I need not tell you how very flattering I consider such a
commission, for how could I think otherwise? and I shall endeavor to acquit
myself as honorably as my poor talents will admit of.

_With regard to our artistic resources_, when the time for the performance
arrives I shall certainly take into consideration those usually at our
disposal, without, however, strictly limiting myself to them. I hope I have
made myself clearly understood on this point. As I am urged to say what
gratuity I require in return, I beg to know whether the Society will
consider 400 gold ducats a proper remuneration for such a work? I once more
entreat the forgiveness of the Society for the delay in my answer, but I am
in some degree relieved by knowing that, at all events, you, my dear
friend, have already verbally apprised the Society of my readiness to write
a work of the kind.[1]

Ever, my worthy Z., your


[Footnote 1: In the _Fischof'sche Handschrift_ we are told:--"The allusion
to 'our artistic resources' requires some explanation. Herr v. Zmeskall had
at that time received instructions to give a hint to the great composer
(who paid little regard to the difficulty of executing his works) that he
must absolutely take into consideration the size of the orchestra, which at
grand concerts amounted to 700 performers. The Society only stipulated for
the exclusive right to the work for one year, and did not purchase the
copyright; they undertook the gratuity for the poem also, so they were
obliged to consult their pecuniary resources, and informed the composer
that they were prepared to give him 200 gold ducats for the use of the work
for a year, as they had proposed. Beethoven was quite satisfied, and made
no objection whatever; he received an advance on this sum according to his
own wish, the receipt of which he acknowledged in 1819. Beethoven rejected
the first poem selected, and desired to have another. The Society left his
choice quite free. Herr Bernhard undertook to supply a new one. Beethoven
and he consulted together in choosing the subject, but Herr Bernhard,
overburdened by other business, could only send the poem bit by bit.
Beethoven, however, would not begin till the whole was in his hands."]



Vienna, Jan. 6, 1816.


I have too long delayed writing to you. How gladly would I personally
participate in the enthusiasm you excite at Berlin in "Fidelio!" A thousand
thanks on my part for having so faithfully adhered to _my_ "Fidelio." If
you will ask Baron de la Motte-Fouqué, in my name, to discover a good
subject for an opera, and one suitable likewise to yourself, you will do a
real service both to me and to the German stage; it is also my wish to
write it expressly for the _Berlin Theatre_, as no new opera can ever
succeed in being properly given here under this very penurious direction.
Answer me soon, very soon--quickly, very quickly--as quickly as
possible--as quick as lightning--and say whether such a thing is
practicable. Herr Kapellmeister B. praised you up to the skies to me, and
he is right; well may he esteem himself happy who has the privilege of
enjoying your muse, your genius, and all your splendid endowments and
talents;--it is thus I feel. Be this as it may, those around can only call
themselves your fellow-creatures [Nebenmann], whereas I alone have a right
to claim the honored name of captain [_Hauptmann_].

In my secret heart, your true friend and admirer,


My poor unfortunate brother is dead, which has been the cause of my long
silence. As soon as you have replied to this letter, I will write myself to
Baron de la Motte-Fouqué. No doubt your influence in Berlin will easily
obtain for me a commission to write a grand opera (in which you shall be
especially studied) on favorable terms; but do answer me soon, that I may
arrange my other occupations accordingly.

[Music: Tenor clef, C Major, 4/4 time.
Ich küs-se Sie, drü-cke Sie an's Herz!
Ich der Haupt-mann, der Haupt-mann.]

Away with all other false _Hauptmänner_! [captains.]

[Footnote 1: Mdlle. Milder married Hauptmann, a jeweller in Munich, in
1810, travelled in 1812, and was engaged at Berlin in 1816.]



Vienna, Jan. 20, 1816.


The Symphony is to be dedicated to the Empress of Russia. The pianoforte
score of the Symphony in A must not, however, appear before June, for the
publisher here cannot be ready sooner. Pray, dear Ries, inform Mr. Birchall
of this at once. The Sonata with violin accompaniment, which will be sent
from here by the next post, can likewise be published in London in May, but
the Trio at a later date (it follows by the next post); I will myself name
the time for its publication. And now, dear Ries, pray receive my heartfelt
thanks for your kindness, and especially for the corrections of the proofs.
May Heaven bless you more and more, and promote your progress, in which I
take the most sincere interest. My kind regards to your wife. Now as ever,

Your sincere friend,




Vienne, le 3. Febr. den 1816


Le grand Trio p. Pf. V. et Vllo. Sonata pour Pf. et Violin--qui form le
reste de ce qu'il vous a plus à me comettre. Je vous prie de vouloir payer
la some de 130 Ducats d'Holland come le poste lettre a Mr. Th. Cutts et Co.
de votre ville e de me croire avec toute l'estime et consideration

Votre tres humble Serviteur,





Pray give the enclosed to your parents for the dinners the boy had recently
at your house; I positively will not accept these _gratis_. Moreover, I am
very far from wishing that your lessons should remain without
remuneration,--even those already given must be reckoned up and paid for;
only I beg you to have a little patience for a time, as nothing can be
_demanded_ from the widow, and I had and still have heavy expenses to
defray;--but I _borrow_ from you for the moment only. The boy is to be with
you to-day, and I shall come later.

Your friend,


[Footnote 1: Carl Czerny, the celebrated pianist and composer, for whom
Beethoven wrote a testimonial in 1805 (see No. 42). He gave lessons to
Beethoven's nephew in 1815, and naturally protested against any payment,
which gave rise to the expressions on the subject in many of his notes to
Czerny, of which there appear to be a great number.]



Vienna, Feb. 12, 1816.


I cannot see you to-day, but I will call to-morrow being desirous to talk
to you. I spoke out so bluntly yesterday that I much regretted it
afterwards. But you must forgive this on the part of an author, who would
have preferred hearing his work as he wrote it, however charmingly you
played it. I will, however, _amply_ atone for this by the violoncello

Rest assured that I cherish the greatest regard for you as an artist, and I
shall always endeavor to prove this.

Your true friend,


[Footnote 1: Czerny, in the _A.M. Zeitung_, 1845, relates:--"On one
occasion (in 1812), at Schuppanzigh's concert, when playing Beethoven's
quintet with wind-instruments, I took the liberty, in my youthful levity,
to make many alterations,--such as introducing difficulties into the
passages, making use of the upper octaves, &c., &c. Beethoven sternly and
deservedly reproached me for this, in the presence of Schuppanzigh, Linke,
and the other performers."]

[Footnote 2: Opera 69, which Czerny (see _A.M. Zeitung_) was to perform
with Linke the following week.]



Vienna, Feb. 28, 1816.

... For some time past I have been far from well; the loss of my brother
affected both my spirits and my works. Salomon's death grieves me much, as
he was an excellent man whom I have known from my childhood. You are his
executor by will, while I am the guardian of my late poor brother's child.
You can scarcely have had as much vexation from Salomon's death as I have
had from that of my brother!--but I have the sweet consolation of having
rescued a poor innocent child from the hands of an unworthy mother.
Farewell, dear Ries; if I can in any way serve you, look on me as

Your true friend,




Feb. 1816.


I have great pleasure in saying that at last I intend to-morrow to place
under your care the dear pledge intrusted to me. But I must impress on you
not to permit any influence on the mother's part to decide when and where
she is to see her son. We can, however, discuss all this more minutely
to-morrow.... You must keep a watchful eye on your servant, for mine was
_bribed by her_ on one occasion. More as to this verbally, though it is a
subject on which I would fain be silent; but the future welfare of the
youth you are to train renders this unpleasant communication necessary. I
remain, with esteem,

Your faithful servant and friend,





Your estimable lady, Mdme. A.G. [Giannatasio] is politely requested to let
the undersigned know as soon as possible (that I may not be obliged to keep
it all in my head) how many pairs of stockings, trousers, shoes, and
drawers are required, and how many yards of kerseymere to make a pair of
black trousers for my tall nephew; and for the sake of the "Castalian
Spring" I beg, without any further reminders on my part, that I may receive
an answer to this.

As for the Lady Abbess [a nickname for their only daughter], there shall be
a conference held on Carl's affair to-night, viz., if things are to
continue as they are.

Your well (and ill) born





I heard yesterday evening, unluckily at too late an hour, that you had
something to give me; had it not been for this, I would have called on you.
I beg, however, that you will send it, as I have no doubt it is a letter
for me from the "Queen of the Night."[1] Although you gave me permission to
fetch Carl twice already, I must ask you to let him come to me when I send
for him at eleven o'clock to-morrow, as I wish to take him with me to hear
some interesting music. It is also my intention to make him play to me
to-morrow, as it is now some time since I heard him. I hope you will urge
him to study more closely than usual to-day, that he may in some degree
make up for his holiday. I embrace you cordially, and remain,

Yours truly,


[Footnote 1: The "Queen of the Night" was the name given to Carl's mother
by Beethoven. She was a person of great levity of conduct and bad
reputation, and every effort was made by Beethoven to withdraw her son from
her influence, on which account he at once removed him from her care, and
placed him in this institution. She consequently appealed to the law
against him,--the first step in a long course of legal proceedings of the
most painful nature.]




I send you, dear sir, the cloak, and also a school-book of my Carl's, and
request you will make out a list of his clothes and effects, that I may
have it copied for myself, being obliged, as his guardian, to look
carefully after his property. I intend to call for Carl to-morrow about
half-past twelve o'clock, to take him to a little concert, and wish him to
dine with me afterwards, and shall bring him back myself. With respect to
his mother, I desire that _under the pretext_ of the boy being _so busy_,
you will not let her see him; no man on earth can know or judge of this
matter better than myself, and by any other line of conduct all my
well-matured plans for the welfare of the child might be materially
injured. I will myself discuss with you when the mother is henceforth to
have access to Carl, for I am anxious on every account to prevent the
occurrence of yesterday ever being repeated. I take all the responsibility
on myself; indeed, so far as I am concerned, the Court conferred on me full
powers, and the authority at once to counteract anything adverse to the
welfare of the boy. If they could have looked on her in the light of an
estimable mother, they assuredly would not have excluded her from the
guardianship of her child. Whatever she may think fit to assert, nothing
has been done in a clandestine manner against her. There was but one voice
in the whole council on the subject. I hope to have no further trouble in
this matter, for the burden is already heavy enough.

From a conversation I had yesterday with Adlersburg [his lawyer], it would
appear that a long time must yet elapse before the Court can decide what
really belongs to the child. In addition to all these anxieties am I also
to endure a persecution such as I have recently experienced, and from which
I thought I _was entirely rescued by your Institution_? Farewell!

I am, with esteem, your obedient


[Footnote 1: Beethoven's arbitrary authority had been previously sanctioned
by a decree of the Court, and the mother deprived of all power over her



Vienna, March 8, 1816.

My answer has been too long delayed; but I was ill, and had a great press
of business. Not a single farthing is yet come of the ten gold ducats, and
I now almost begin to think that the English are only liberal when in
foreign countries. It is the same with the Prince Regent, who has not even
sent me the cost of copying my "Battle Symphony," nor one verbal or written
expression of thanks. My whole income consists of 3400 florins in
paper-money. I pay 1100 for house-rent, and 900 to my servant and his wife;
so you may reckon for yourself what remains. Besides this, the entire
maintenance of my young nephew devolves on me. At present he is at school,
which costs 1100 florins, and is by no means a good one; so that I must
arrange a proper household and have him with me. How much money must be
made to live at all here! and yet there seems no end to
it--because!--because!--because!--but you know well what I mean.

Some commissions from the Philharmonic would be very acceptable to me,
besides, the concert. Now let me say that my dear scholar Ries must set to
work and dedicate something valuable to me, to which his master may
respond, and repay him in his own coin. How can I send you my portrait? My
kind regards to your wife. I, alas! have none. One alone I wished to
possess, but never shall I call her mine![1] This, however, has not made me
a woman-hater.

Your true friend,


[Footnote 1: See the statement of Fräulein del Rio in the _Grenzboten_. We
read:--"My father's idea was that marriage alone could remedy the sad
condition of Beethoven's household matters; so he asked him whether he knew
any one, &c., &c. Our long-existing presentiment was then realized." His
love was unfortunate. Five years ago he had become acquainted with a person
with whom he would have esteemed it the highest felicity of his life to
have entered into closer ties; but it was vain to think of it, being almost
an impossibility! a chimera! and yet his feelings remained the same as the
very first day he had seen her! He added, "that never before had he found
such harmony! but no declaration had ever been made, not being able to
prevail on himself to do so." This conversation took place in Sept. 1816,
at Helenenthal, in Baden, and the person to whom he alluded was undoubtedly
Marie L. Pachler-Koschak in Gratz. (See No. 80.)]



Vienna, April 3, 1816.

Neate[1] is no doubt in London by this time. He took several of my works
with him, and promised to do the best he could for me.

The Archduke Rudolph [Beethoven's pupil, see No. 70] also plays your works
with me, my dear Ries; of these "Il Sogno" especially pleased us. Farewell!
Remember me to your charming wife, and to any fair English ladies who care
to receive my greetings.

Your true friend,


[Footnote 1: Charles Neate, a London artist, as Schindler styles him in his
_Biography_ (II. 254), was on several different occasions for some time
resident in Vienna, and very intimate with Beethoven, whom he tried to
persuade to come to London. He also was of great service in promoting the
sale of his works. A number of Neate's letters, preserved in the Berlin
State Library, testify his faithful and active devotion and attachment to
the master.]



Vienna, May 2, 1816.

I authorize Herr v. Kauka, Doctor of Laws in the kingdom of Bohemia,
relying on his friendship, to obtain for me the receipt of 600 florins
W.W., payable at the treasury of Prince Kinsky, from the house of Ballabene
in Prague, and after having drawn the money to transmit the same to me as
soon as possible.

Witness my hand and seal.




Vienna, June 11, 1816.


I regret much to put you to the expense of postage on my account; gladly as
I assist and serve every one, I am always unwilling myself to have recourse
to others. I have as yet seen nothing of the ten ducats, whence I draw the
inference that in England, just as with us, there are idle talkers who
prove false to their word. I do not at all blame you in this matter. I have
not heard a syllable from Neate; so I do wish you would ask him whether he
has disposed of the F minor Concerto. I am almost ashamed to allude to the
other works I intrusted to him, and equally so of myself, for having given
them to him so confidingly, devoid of all conditions save those suggested
by his own friendship and zeal for my interests.

A translation has been sent to me of an article in the "Morning Chronicle"
on the performance of the Symphony. Probably it will be the same as to this
and all the other works Neate took with him as with the "Battle Symphony;"
the only profit I shall derive will be reading a notice of their
performance in the newspapers.





I beg you will send Carl to me with the bearer of this letter; otherwise I
shall not be able to see him all day, which would be contrary to his own
interest, as my influence seems to be required; in the same view, I beg you
will give him a few lines with a report of his conduct, so that I may enter
at once on any point where improvement is necessary.

I am going to the country to-day, and shall not return till rather late at
night; being always unwilling to infringe your rules, I beg you will send
some night-things with Carl, so that if we return too late to bring him to
you to-day, I can keep him all night, and take him back to you myself early
next morning.

In haste, always yours,





I must apologize to you, my good friend, for Carl having come home at so
late an hour. We were obliged to wait for a person who arrived so late that
it detained us, but I will not soon repeat this breach of your rules. As to
Carl's mother, I have now decided that your wish not to see her again in
your house shall be acceded to. This course is far more safe and judicious
for our dear Carl, experience having taught me that every visit from his
mother leaves a root of bitterness in the boy's heart, which may injure,
but never can benefit him. I shall strive to arrange occasional meetings at
my house, which is likely to result in everything being entirely broken off
with her. As we thoroughly agree on the subject of Carl's mother, we can
mutually decide on the mode of his education.

Your true friend,




Vienna, July 11, 1816.

Your kindness towards me induces me to hope that you will not attribute to
any _selfish_ design on my part the somewhat audacious (though only as to
the surprise) dedication annexed. The work[1] was written for Y.R.H., or
rather, it owes its existence to you, and this the world (the musical
world) ought to know. I shall soon have the honor of waiting on Y.R.H. in
Baden. Notwithstanding all the efforts of my physician, who will not allow
me to leave this, the weakness in my chest is no better, though my general
health is improved. I hope to hear all that is cheering of your own health,
about which I am always so much interested.


[Footnote 1: Does Beethoven here allude to the dedication of the Sonata for
pianoforte and violin in G major, Op. 96, which, though sold to a publisher
in April, 1815, was designated as quite new in the _Allgemeine Zeitung_ on
July, 29, 1816?]




Received, March, 1816, of Mr. Robert Birchall, music-seller, 133 New Bond
Street, London, the sum of one hundred and thirty gold Dutch ducats, value
in English currency sixty-five pounds, for all my copyright and interest,
present and future, vested or contingent, or otherwise within the United
kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the four following compositions or
pieces of music composed or arranged by me, viz.:--

1st. A Grand Battle Sinfonia, descriptive of the battle and victory at
Vittoria, adapted for the pianoforte and dedicated to his Royal Highness
the Prince Regent--40 ducats.

2d. A Grand Symphony in the key of A, adapted to the pianoforte and
dedicated to--

3d. A Grand Trio for the pianoforte, violin, and violoncello in the key of

4th. A Sonata for the pianoforte, with an accompaniment for the violin in
the key of G, dedicated to--

And, in consideration of such payment I hereby, for myself, my executors,
and administrators, promise and engage to execute a proper anignment
thereof to him, his executors and administrators or anignees, at his or
their request and costs, as he or they shall direct. And I likewise promise
and engage as above, that none of the above shall be published in any
foreign country, before the time and day fixed and agreed on for such
publication between R. Birchall and myself shall arrive.




Vienne 22. Juilliet, 1816.


J'ai reçu la déclaration de proprieté de mes Oeuvres entierement cedé a
Vous pour y adjoindre ma Signature. Je suis tout a fait disposer a seconder
vos voeux si tôt, que cette affaire sera entierement en ordre, en egard de
la petite somme de 10 # d'or la quelle me vient encore pour le fieux de la
Copieture de poste de lettre etc. comme j'avois l'honneur de vous
expliquier dans une note detaillé sur ses objectes. Je vous invite donc
Monsieur de bien vouloir me remettre ces petits objects, pour me mettre
dans l'état de pouvoir vous envoyer le Document susdit. Agrées Monsieur
l'assurance de l'estime la plus parfait avec la quelle j'ai l'honneur de me


Copying   . . . .     1. 10.  0.
Postage to Amsterdam  1.  0.  0.
  ---- Trio . . .     2. 10.  --
                     £5.  0.  0.



July 28, 1816.


Various circumstances compel me to take charge of Carl myself; with this
view permit me to enclose you the amount due at the approaching quarter, at
the expiry of which Carl is to leave you. Do not, I beg, ascribe this to
anything derogatory either to yourself or to your respected institution,
but to other pressing motives connected with Carl's welfare. It is only an
experiment, and when it is actually carried out I shall beg you to fortify
me by your advice, and also to permit Carl sometimes to visit your
institution. I shall always feel the most sincere gratitude to you, and
never can forget your solicitude, and the kind care of your excellent wife,
which has fully equalled that of the best of mothers. I would send you at
least four times the sum I now do, if my position admitted of it; but at
all events I shall avail myself at a future and, I hope, a brighter day, of
every opportunity to acknowledge and to do justice to the foundation _you_
have laid for the moral and physical good of my Carl. With regard to the
"Queen of the Night," our system must continue the same; and as Carl is
about to undergo an operation in your house which will cause him to feel
indisposed, and consequently make him irritable and susceptible, you must
be more careful than ever to prevent her having access to him; otherwise
she might easily contrive to revive all those impressions in his mind which
we are so anxious to avoid. What confidence can be placed in any promise to
reform on her part, the impertinent scrawl I enclose will best prove [in
reference, no doubt, to an enclosed note]. I send it merely to show you how
fully I am justified in the precautions I have already adopted with regard
to her. On this occasion, however, I did not answer like a Sarastro, but
like a Sultan. I would gladly spare you the anxiety of the operation on
Carl, but as it must take place in your house, I beg you will inform me of
the outlay caused by the affair, and the expenses consequent on it, which I
will thankfully repay. Now farewell! Say all that is kind from me to your
dear children and your excellent wife, to whose continued care I commend my
Carl. I leave Vienna to-morrow at five o'clock A.M., but shall frequently
come in from Baden.

Ever, with sincere esteem, your




Mdme. A.G. is requested to order several pairs of good linen drawers for
Carl. I intrust Carl to her kindness, and entirely rely on her motherly



Baden, September 5, 1816.

DEAR Z.,--

I don't know whether you received a note that I recently left on the
threshold of your door, for the time was too short to enable me to see you.
I must therefore repeat my request about another servant, as the conduct of
my present one is such that I cannot possibly keep him.[1] He was engaged
on the 25th of April, so on the 25th of September he will have been five
months with me, and he received 50 florins on account. The money for his
boots will be reckoned from the third month (in my service), and from that
time at the rate of 40 florins per annum; his livery also from the third
month. From the very first I resolved not to keep him, but delayed
discharging him, as I wished to get back the value of my florins. In the
mean time if I can procure another, I will let this one leave my service on
the 15th of the month, and also give him 20 florins for boot money, and 5
florins a month for livery (both reckoned from the third month), making
altogether 35 florins. I ought therefore still to receive 15 florins, but
these I am willing to give up; in this way I shall at all events receive
some equivalent for my 50 florins. If you can find a suitable person, I
will give him 2 florins a day while I am in Baden, and if he knows how to
cook he can use my firewood in the kitchen. (I have a kitchen, though I do
not cook in it.) If not, I will add a few kreutzers to his wages. As soon
as I am settled in Vienna, he shall have 40 florins a month, and board and
livery as usual, reckoned from the third month in my service, like other
servants. It would be a good thing if he understood a little tailoring. So
now you have my proposals, and I beg for an answer by the 10th of this
month at the latest, that I may discharge my present servant on the 2d,
with the usual fortnight's warning; otherwise I shall be obliged to keep
him for another month, and every moment I wish to get rid of him. As for
the new one, you know pretty well what I require,--_good, steady conduct_,
a _good character_, and _not to be of a bloodthirsty nature_, that I may
feel my life to be safe, as, for the sake of various scamps in this world,
I should like to live a little longer. By the 10th, therefore, I shall
expect to hear from you on this affair. If you don't run restive, I will
soon send you my treatise on the four violoncello strings, very profoundly
handled; the first chapter devoted exclusively to entrails in general, the
second to catgut in particular. I need scarcely give you any further
warnings, as you seem to be quite on your guard against wounds inflicted
before certain fortresses. The most _profound peace_ everywhere prevails!!!
Farewell, my good _Zmeskällchen_! I am, as ever, _un povero musico_ and
your friend,


N.B. I shall probably only require my new servant for some months, as, for
the sake of my Carl, I must shortly engage a housekeeper.

[Footnote 1: During a quarrel, the servant scratched Beethoven's face.]



Baden, Sept. 6, 1816.


I send you herewith the receipt, according to your request, and beg that
you will kindly arrange that I should have the money by the 1st October,
and without any deduction, which has hitherto been the case; I also
particularly beg _you will not assign the money to Baron P._ (I will tell
you why when we meet; for the present let this remain between ourselves.)
Send it either direct to myself, or, if it must come through another
person, do not let it be Baron P. It would be best for the future, as the
house-rent is paid here for the great house belonging to Kinsky, that my
money should be paid at the same time. This is only my own idea. The Terzet
you heard of will soon be engraved, which is infinitely preferable to all
written music; you shall therefore receive an engraved copy, and likewise
some more of my unruly offspring. In the mean time I beg that you will see
only what is truly good in them, and look with an indulgent eye on the
human frailties of these poor innocents. Besides, I am full of cares, being
in reality father to my late brother's child; indeed I might have ushered
into the world a second part of the "Flauto Magico," having also been
brought into contact with a "Queen of the Night." I embrace you from my
heart, and hope soon in so far to succeed that you may owe some thanks to
my Muse. My dear, worthy Kauka, I ever am your truly attached friend,




What would be the result were I to leave this, and indeed the kingdom of
Austria altogether? Would the life-certificate, if signed by the
authorities of a non-Austrian place, still be valid?

_A tergo._

I beg you will let me know the postage all my letters have cost you.



Sunday, September 22, 1816.

Certain things can never be fully expressed. Of this nature are my
feelings, and especially my gratitude, on hearing the details of the
operation on Carl from you. You will excuse my attempting even remotely to
shape these into words. I feel certain, however, that you will not decline
the tribute I gladly pay you; but I say no more. You can easily imagine my
anxiety to hear how my dear son is going on; do not omit to give me your
exact address, that I may write to you direct. After you left this I wrote
to Bernhard [Bernard], to make inquiries at your house, but have not yet
got an answer; so possibly you may have thought me a kind of half-reckless
barbarian, as no doubt Herr B. has neglected to call on you, as well as to
write to me. I can have no uneasiness about Carl when your admirable wife
is with him: that is quite out of the question. You can well understand how
much it grieves me not to be able to take part in the sufferings of my
Carl, and that I at least wish to hear frequently of his progress. As I
have renounced such an unfeeling, unsympathizing friend as Herr B.
[Bernard], I must have recourse to your friendship and complaisance on this
point also, and shall hope soon to receive a few lines from you. I beg to
send my best regards and a thousand thanks to your admirable wife.

In haste, your


I wish you to express to Smetana [the surgeon] my esteem and high



If you do not object, I beg you will allow Carl to come to me with the
bearer of this. I forgot, in my haste, to say that all the love and
goodness which Mdme. A.G. [Giannatasio] showed my Carl during his illness
are inscribed in the list of my obligations, and I hope one day to show
that they are ever present in my mind. Perhaps I may see you to-day with

In haste, your sincere friend,




I take the opportunity through J. Simrock to remind you of myself. I hope
you received the engraving of me [by Letronne], and likewise the Bohemian
glass. When I next make a pilgrimage through Bohemia you shall have
something more of the same kind. Farewell! You are a husband and a father;
so am I, but without a wife. My love to your dear ones--to _our_ dear ones.

Your friend,




Vienna, 1. Oct. 1816.


I have duly received the £5 and thought previously you would non increase
the number of Englishmen neglecting their word and honor, as I had the
misfortune of meeting with two of this sort. In replic to the other topics
of your favor, I have no objection to write variations according to your
plan, and I hope you will not find £30 too much, the Accompaniment will be
a Flute or Violin or a Violoncello; you'll either decide it when you send
me the approbation of the price, or you'll leave it to me. I expect to
receive the songs or poetry--the sooner the better, and you'll favor me
also with the probable number of Works of Variations you are inclined to
receive of me. The Sonata in G with the accompan't of a Violin to his
Imperial Highnesse Archduke Rodolph of Austria--it is Op'a 96. The Trio in
Bb is dedicated to the same and is Op. 97. The Piano arrangement of the
Symphony in A is dedicated to the Empress of the Russians--meaning the Wife
of the Emp'r Alexander--Op. 98.

Concerning the expences of copying and packing it is not possible to fix
him before hand, they are at any rate not considerable, and you'll please
to consider that you have to deal with a man of honor, who will not charge
one 6p. more than he is charged for himself. Messrs. Fries & Co. will
account with Messrs. Coutts & Co.--The postage may be lessened as I have
been told. I offer you of my Works the following new ones. A Grand Sonata
for the Pianoforte alone £40. A Trio for the Piano with accomp't of Violin
and Violoncello for £50. It is possible that somebody will offer you other
works of mine to purchase, for ex. the score of the Grand Symphony in
A.--With regard to the arrangement of this Symphony for the Piano I beg you
not to forget that you are not to publish it until I have appointed the day
of its publication here in Vienna. This cannot be otherwise without making
myself guilty of a dishonorable act--but the Sonata with the Violin and the
Trio in B fl. may be published without any delay.

With all the _new works_, which you will have of me or which I offer you,
it rests with you to name the day of their publication at your own choice:
I entreat you to honor me as soon as possible with an answer having many
ordres for compositions and that you may not be delayed. My address or
direction is

Monsieur Louis van Beethoven

No. 1055 & 1056 Sailerstette 3d. Stock. Vienna.

You may send your letter, if you please, direct to your most humble servant




Oct. 24, 1816.


We are in Baden to-day, and intend to bring the celebrated naturalist
Ribini a collection of dead leaves. To-morrow we purpose paying you not
only a _visit_ but a _visitation_.

Your devoted




November, 1816.[1]

I have been again much worse, so that I can only venture to go out a little
in the daytime; I am, however, getting better, and hope now to have the
honor of waiting on Y.R.H. three times a week. Meanwhile, I have many and
great cares in these terrible times (which surpass anything we have ever
experienced), and which are further augmented by having become the father
since last November of a poor orphan. All this tends to retard my entire
restoration to health. I wish Y.R.H. all imaginable good and happiness, and
beg you will graciously receive and not misinterpret

Your, &c., &c.


[Footnote 1: A year after Carl von Beethoven's death (Nov. 15, 1815).]






The bearer of this is a poor devil! (like many another!!!) You could assist
him by asking your gracious master whether he is disposed to purchase one
of his small but neat pianos. I also beg you will recommend him to any of
the Chamberlains or Adjutants of the Archduke Carl, to see whether it is
possible that H.R.H. would buy one of these instruments for his Duchess. We
therefore request an introduction from the illustrious _Turner Meister_ for
this poor devil[1] to the Chamberlains and Adjutants of the household.



poor devil,


[Footnote 1: A name cannot now be found for the "poor devil."]



Nov. 16, 1816.


My household seems about to make shipwreck, or something very like it. You
know that I was duped into taking this house on false pretexts; besides, my
health does not seem likely to improve in a hurry. To engage a tutor under
such circumstances, whose character and whose very exterior even are
unknown to me, and thus to intrust my Carl's education to hap-hazard, is
quite out of the question, no matter how great the sacrifices which I shall
be again called on to make. I beg you, therefore, to keep Carl for the
ensuing quarter, commencing on the 9th. I will in so far comply with your
proposal as to the cultivation of the science of music, that Carl may come
to me two or three times a week, leaving you at six o'clock in the evening
and staying with me till the following morning, when he can return to you
by eight o'clock. It would be too fatiguing for Carl to come every day, and
indeed too great an effort and tie for me likewise, as the lessons must be
given at the same fixed hour.

During this quarter we can discuss more minutely the most suitable plan for
Carl, taking into consideration both his interests and my own. I must,
alas! mention my own also in these times, which are daily getting worse. If
your garden residence had agreed with my health, everything might have been
easily adjusted. With regard to my debt to you for the present quarter, I
beg you will be so obliging as to call on me, that I may discharge it; the
bearer of this has the good fortune to be endowed by Providence with a vast
amount of stupidity, which I by no means grudge him the benefit of,
provided others do not suffer by it. As to the remaining expenses incurred
for Carl, either during his illness or connected with it, I must, for a few
days only, request your indulgence, having great calls on me at present
from all quarters. I wish also to know what fee I ought to give Smetana for
the successful operation he performed; were I rich, or not in the same sad
position in which all are who have linked their fate to this country
(always excepting _Austrian usurers_), I would make no inquiries on the
subject; and I only wish you to give me a rough estimate of the proper fee.
Farewell! I cordially embrace you, and shall always look on you as a friend
of mine and of Carl's.

I am, with esteem, your




Though I would gladly spare you all needless disagreeable trouble, I
cannot, unluckily, do so on this occasion. Yesterday, in searching for some
papers, I found this pile, which has been sent to me respecting Carl. I do
not quite understand them, and you would oblige me much by employing some
one to make out a regular statement of all your outlay for Carl, so that I
may send for it to-morrow. I hope you did not misunderstand me when I
yesterday alluded to _magnanimity_, which certainly was not meant for you,
but solely for the "Queen of the Night," who is never weary of hoisting the
sails of her vindictiveness against me; so on this account I require
vouchers, more for the satisfaction of others than for her sake (as I never
will submit to render her any account of my actions). No stamp is required,
and the sum alone for each quarter need be specified, for I believe most of
the accounts are forthcoming; so all you have to do is to append them to
your _prospectus_ [the conclusion illegible].




Nov. 14, 1816.


I beg you will allow Carl to come to me to-morrow, as it is the anniversary
of his father's death [Nov. 15th], and we wish to visit his grave together.
I shall probably come to fetch him between twelve and one o'clock. I wish
to know the effect of my treatment of Carl, after your recent complaints.
In the mean time, it touched me exceedingly to find him so susceptible as
to his honor. Before we left your house I gave him some hints on his want
of industry, and while walking together in a graver mood than usual, he
pressed my hand vehemently, but met with no response from me. At dinner he
scarcely eat anything, and said that he felt very melancholy, the cause of
which I could not extract from him. At last, in the course of our walk, he
owned that _he was vexed because he had not been so industrious as usual_.
I said what I ought on the subject, but in a kinder manner than before.
This, however, proves a certain delicacy of feeling, and such _traits_ lead
me to augur all that is good. If I cannot come to you to-morrow, I hope you
will let me know by a few lines the result of my conference with Carl.

I once more beg you to let me have the account due for the last quarter. I
thought that you had misunderstood my letter, or even worse than that. I
warmly commend my poor orphan to your good heart, and, with kind regards to
all, I remain

Your friend,





Pray forgive me for having allowed the enclosed sum to be ready for you
during the last twelve days or more, and not having sent it. I have been
very much occupied, and am only beginning to recover, though indeed the
word _recovery_ has not yet been pronounced.

In haste, with much esteem, ever yours,





It is certainly of some moment to me _not to appear in a false light_,
which must account for the accompanying statement being so prolix. As to
the future system of education, I can at all events congratulate myself on
having done all that I could possibly effect at present _for the best_, and
trust _that the future may be in accordance with it_. But if the welfare of
my nephew demands a _change_, I shall be the first not only to propose such
a step, but _to carry it out_. I am no self-interested guardian, but I wish
to establish a new monument to my name through my nephew. I _have no need
of my nephew_, but he has need of me. Idle talk and calumnies are beneath
the dignity of a man with proper self-respect, and what can be said when
these extend even to the subject of linen!!! This might cause me great
annoyance, _but a just man ought to be able to bear injustice_ without in
the _most remote degree_ deviating from the path of _right_. In this
conviction I will stand fast, and nothing shall make me flinch. To deprive
me of my nephew would indeed entail a heavy responsibility. As a matter of
_policy_ as well as of morality, such a step would be productive of evil
results to my nephew. _I urgently recommend his interests to you._ As for
me, _my actions_ for _his_ benefit (not for my _own_) must speak for me.

I remain, with esteem,

Your obedient


Being very busy, and rather indisposed, I must claim your indulgence for
the writing of the memorial.



Vienna 14. December 1816--1055 Sailerstette.


I give you my word of honor that I have signed and delivered the receipt to
the home Fries and Co. some day last August, who as they say have
transmitted it to Messrs. Coutts and Co. where you'll have the goodness to
apply. Some error might have taken place that instead of Messrs. C. sending
it to you they have been directed to keep it till fetched. Excuse this
irregularity, but it is not my fault, nor had I ever the idea of
withholding it from the circumstance of the £5 not being included. Should
the receipt not come forth as Messrs. C., I am ready to sign any other, and
you shall have it directly with return of post.

If you find Variations--in my style--too dear at £30, I will abate for the
sake of your friendship one third--and you have the offer of such
Variations as fixed in our former lettres for £20 each Air.

Please to publish the Symphony in A immediately--as well as the Sonata--and
the Trio--they being ready here. The Grand Opera Fidelio is my work. The
arrangement for the Pianoforte has been published here under my care, but
the score of the Opera itself is not yet published. I have given a copy of
the score to Mr. Neate under the seal of friendship and whom I shall direct
to treat for my account in case an offer should present.

I anxiously hope your health is improving, give me leave to subscrive

Dear Sir

Your very obedient Serv.




Dec. 16, 1816.

With this, dear Zmeskall, you will receive my friendly dedication [a
stringed quartet, Op. 95], which may, I hope, serve as a pleasant memorial
of our long-enduring friendship here; pray accept it as a proof of my
esteem, and not merely as the extreme end of a thread long since spun out
(for you are one of my earliest friends in Vienna).

Farewell! Beware of mouldering fortresses! for an attack on them will be
more trying than on those in a better state of preservation! As ever,

Your friend,


N.B. When you have a moment's leisure, let me know the probable cost of a
livery, without linen, but including hat and boots. Strange changes have
come to pass in my house. The man is off to the devil, I am thankful to
say, whereas his wife seems the more resolved to take root here.



Dec. 28, 1816.

N---- ought to have given you the New Year's tickets yesterday, but it
seems she did not do so. The day before I was occupied with Maelzel, whose
business was pressing, as he leaves this so soon; otherwise you may be sure
that I would have hurried up again to see you. Your dear kind daughter was
with me yesterday, but I scarcely ever remember being so ill; my _precious
servants_ were occupied from seven o'clock till ten at night in trying to
heat the stove. The bitter cold, particularly in my room, caused me a
chill, and the whole of yesterday I could scarcely move a limb. All day I
was coughing, and had the most severe headache I ever had in my life; so by
six o'clock in the evening I was obliged to go to bed, where I still am,
though feeling somewhat better. Your brother dined with me yesterday, and
has shown me great kindness. You are aware that on the same day, the 27th
of December, I discharged B. [Baberl]. I cannot endure either of these vile
creatures; I wonder if Nany will behave rather better from the departure of
her colleague? I doubt it--but in that case I shall send her _packing_
without any ceremony. She is too uneducated for a housekeeper, indeed quite
a _beast_; but the other, in spite of her pretty face, is even _lower than
the beasts_. As the New Year draws near, I think five florins will be
enough for Nany; I have not paid her the charge for _making her spencer_,
on account of her _bad behavior to you_. The other certainly _deserves no
New Year's gift_; besides, she has nine florins of mine on hand, and when
she leaves I don't expect to receive more than four or five florins of that
sum. I wish to have _your opinion about all this_. Pray accept my best
wishes for your welfare, which are offered in all sincerity. I am your
debtor in so many ways, that I really often feel quite ashamed. Farewell; I
trust I may always retain your friendship.

Now, as ever, your friend,




I thank you for the interest you take in me. I am rather better, though
to-day again I have been obliged to endure a great deal from Nany; but I
shied half a dozen books at her head by way of a New Year's gift. We have
stripped off the leaves (by sending off Baberl) and lopped off the
branches, but we must extirpate the _roots_, till nothing is left but the
actual soil.



Nany is not strictly _honest_, and an odiously stupid _animal_ into the
bargain. Such people must be managed not by _love_ but by _fear_. I now see
this clearly. Her account-book alone cannot show you everything clearly;
you must often drop in unexpectedly at dinner-time, like an avenging angel,
to see with your own eyes _what_ we actually have. I never dine at home
now, _unless_ I have some friend as my guest, for I have no wish to pay as
much for one person as would serve for four. I shall _now soon_ have my
dear son Carl with me, so economy is more necessary than ever. I cannot
prevail on myself to go to you; I know you will forgive this. I am very
sensitive, and not used to such things, so the less ought I to expose
myself to them. In addition to twelve kreutzers for bread, Nany has a roll
of white bread every morning. Is this usual?--and it is the same with the
cook. A daily roll for breakfast comes to eighteen florins a year.
_Farewell_, and _work well_ for me. Mdlle. Nany is wonderfully changed for
the better since I sent the half-dozen books at her head. Probably they
chanced to come in collision with her _dull brain_ or her _bad heart_; at
all events, she now plays the part of a penitent swindler!!!

In haste, yours,




Nany yesterday took me to task in the vulgar manner usual with people of
her _low class_, about my complaining to you; so she evidently knew that I
had written to you on the subject. All the devilry began again yesterday
morning, but I made short work of it by throwing the heavy arm-chair beside
my bed at B.'s head, which procured me peace for the rest of the day. They
always take their revenge on me when I write to you, or when they discover
any communication between us.

I do thank Heaven that I everywhere find men who interest themselves in me;
one of the _most distinguished Professors_ in this University has in the
kindest manner undertaken _all that concerns Carl's education_. If you
happen to meet any of the Giannatasios at Czerny's, you had better _know
nothing of what is going on about Carl_, and say that it is _contrary_ to
my _usual habit to disclose my plans, as when a project is told to others
it is no longer exclusively your own_. They would like to interfere in the
matter, and I do not choose that these _commonplace people should do so,
both for_ my _own sake and Carl's_. Over their portico is inscribed, in
golden letters, "Educational Institution," whereas "_Non_-Educational
Institution" would be more appropriate.

As for the servants, there is only _one voice_ about their immorality, to
which _all_ the other annoyances here may be ascribed.

Pray receive my benediction in place of that of the Klosterneuburgers.[1]

In haste, your friend,


[Footnote 1: Frau von Streicher was at that time in Klosterneuburg.]



Judgment was executed to-day on the notorious criminal! She bore it nearly
in the same spirit as Caesar did Brutus's dagger, except that in the former
case truth formed the basis, while in hers only wicked malice. The
kitchen-maid seems more handy than the former _ill-conducted beauty_; she
no longer shows herself,--a sign that she does not expect a _good
character_ from me, though I really had some thoughts of giving her one.
The kitchen-maid at first made rather a wry face about carrying wood, &c.



Last day of December, 1816.

I have been again obliged to keep my room ever since the Burgher
concert,[1] and some time must no doubt elapse before I shall be able to
dismiss all precautions as to my health. The year is about to close; and
with this new year my warmest wishes are renewed for the welfare of Y.R.H.;
but indeed these have neither beginning nor end with me, for every day I
cherish the same aspirations for Y.R.H. If I may venture to add a wish for
myself to the foregoing, it is, that I may daily thrive and prosper more in
Y.R.H.'s good graces. The master will always strive not to be unworthy of
the favor of his illustrious master and pupil.


[Footnote 1: Beethoven directed his A major Symphony in the Burgher concert
in the Royal Redoutensaal on the 25th December, 1816.]



... As to his mother, she urgently requested to see Carl in my house. You
have sometimes seen me tempted to place more confidence in her, and my
feelings would lead me to guard against harshness towards her, especially
as it is not in her power to injure Carl. But you may well imagine that to
one usually so independent of others, the annoyances to which I am exposed
through Carl are often utterly insupportable, and above all with regard to
his mother; I am only too glad to hear nothing of her, which is the cause
of my avoiding her name. With respect to Carl, I beg you will enforce the
strictest discipline on him, and if he refuses to obey your orders or to do
his duty, I trust you will at once _punish_ him. Treat him as if he were
your own child rather than a _mere pupil_, for I already told you that
during his father's lifetime he only submitted to the discipline of blows,
which was a bad system; still, such was the fact, and we must not forget

If you do not see much of me, pray ascribe it solely to the little
inclination I have for society, which is sometimes more developed and
sometimes less; and this you might attribute to a change in my feelings,
but it is not so. What is good alone lives in my memory, and not what is
painful. Pray impute therefore solely to these hard times my not more
practically showing my gratitude to you on account of Carl. God, however,
directs all things; so my position may undergo a favorable change, when I
shall hasten to show you how truly I am, with sincere esteem, your grateful


I beg you will read this letter to Carl.



Carl must be at H.B.'s to-day before four o'clock; I must request you
therefore to ask his professor to dismiss him at half-past three o'clock;
if this cannot be managed he must not go into school at all. In the latter
case, I will come myself and fetch him; in the former, I will meet him in
the passage of the University. To avoid all confusion, I beg for an
explicit answer as to what you settle. As you have been loudly accused of
showing great party feeling, I will take Carl myself. If you do not see me,
attribute it to my distress of mind, for I am now only beginning to feel
the full force of this terrible incident.[1]

In haste, your


[Footnote 1: Probably the reversal of the first decree in the lawsuit with
Carl's mother, who in order to procure a verdict more favorable to her
claims, pointed out to the Austrian "Landrecht," where the lawsuit had been
hitherto carried on, an error in their proceedings, the "Van," prefixed to
Beethoven's name, having been considered by them a sign of nobility.
Beethoven was cited to appear, and on the appointed day, pointing to his
head and his heart, he said, "My nobility is here, and here." The
proceedings were then transferred to the "magistrate," who was in universal
bad odor from his mode of conducting his business.]



The assertions of this wicked woman have made such a painful impression on
me, that I cannot possibly answer every point to-day; to-morrow you shall
have a detailed account of it all; but on no pretext whatever allow her to
have access to Carl, and adhere to your rule that she is only to see him
once a month. As she has been once this month already, she cannot come
again till the next.

In haste, your






I sincerely rejoice that we take the same view as to the terms in use to
denote the proper time in music which have descended to us from barbarous
times. For example, what can be more irrational than the general term
_allegro_, which only means _lively_; and how far we often are from
comprehending the real time, so that the piece itself _contradicts the
designation_. As for the four chief movements,--which are, indeed, far from
possessing the truth or accuracy of the four cardinal points,--we readily
agree _to dispense with them_, but it is quite another matter as to the
words that indicate the character of the music; these we cannot consent to
do away with, for while the time is, as it were, part and parcel of the
piece, the _words denote the spirit in which it is conceived_.

So far as I am myself concerned, I have long purposed giving up those
inconsistent terms _allegro_, _andante_, _adagio_, and _presto_; and
Maelzel's metronome furnishes us with the best opportunity of doing so. I
here _pledge_ myself _no longer_ to make use of them in any of my new
compositions. It is another question whether we can by this means attain
the necessary universal use of the metronome. I scarcely think we shall! I
make no doubt that we shall be loudly proclaimed as _despots_; but if the
cause itself were to derive benefit from this, it would at least be better
than to incur the reproach of Feudalism! In our country, where music has
become a national requirement, and where the use of the metronome must be
enjoined on every village schoolmaster, the best plan would be for Maelzel
to endeavor to sell a certain number of metronomes by subscription, at the
present higher prices, and as soon as the number covers his expenses, he
can sell the metronomes demanded by the national requirements at so cheap a
rate, that we may certainly anticipate their _universal use_ and
_circulation_. Of course some persons must take the lead in giving an
impetus to the undertaking. You may safely rely on my doing what is in my
power, and I shall be glad to hear what post you mean to assign to me in
the affair.

I am, sir, with esteem, your obedient





We beg you to give us bank-notes for twenty-four gold ducats at yesterday's
rate of exchange, and to send them to us this evening or to-morrow, in
order that we may forthwith _remit_ and _transmit_ them. I should be glad
and happy if your trustworthy Adjutant were to bring me these, as I have
something particular to say to him. He must forget all his resentment, like
a good Christian; we acknowledge his merits and do not contest his
demerits. In short, and once for all, we wish to see him. This evening
would suit us best.

We have the honor to remain, most astounding Lieutenant-General! your


[Footnote 1: Beethoven styled himself "Generalissimus," Herr A. Steiner
"Lieutenant-General," and his partner, Tobias Haslinger, "Adjutant" and




After due consideration, and by the advice of our Council, we have
determined and decreed that henceforth on all our works published with
German titles, the word _Pianoforte_ is to be replaced by that of _Hammer
Clavier_, and our worthy Lieutenant-General, his Adjutant, and all whom it
may concern, are charged with the execution of this order.

Instead of Pianoforte--_Hammer Clavier_.

Such is our will and pleasure.

Given on the 23d of January, 1817, by the _Generalissimus_.

_Manu propria._



The following dedication occurred to me of my new Sonata:--

         "Sonata for the Pianoforte,
            _Hammer Clavier_.
Composed and dedicated to Frau Baronin Dorothea
            Ertmann--née Graumann,
            Ludwig van Beethoven."

If the title is already engraved, I have the two following proposals to
make; viz., that I pay for one title--I mean that it should be at my
expense, or reserved for another new sonata of mine, for which purpose the
mines of the Lieutenant-General (or _pleno titulo_, Lieutenant-General and
First Councillor of State) must be opened to usher it into the light of
day; the title to be previously shown to a good linguist. _Hammer Clavier_
is certainly German, and so is the device. Honor to whom honor is due! How
is it, then, that I have as yet received no reports of the carrying out of
my orders, which, however, have no doubt been attended to?

Ever and always your attached

ad Amicum
de Amico._

[Music: Treble clef.
O Ad-ju-tant!]

N.B. I beg you will observe the most profound silence about the dedication,
as I wish it to be a surprise!



Jan. 30, 1817.

DEAR Z.,--

You seem to place me on a level with Schuppanzigh, &c., and have distorted
the plain and simple meaning of my words. You are not my debtor, but I am
yours, and now you make me so more than ever. I cannot express to you the
pain your gift has caused me, and I must candidly say that I cannot give
you one friendly glance _in return_. Although you confine yourself to the
practice of music, still you have often recourse to the power of
imagination, and it seems to me that this not unfrequently leads to
uncalled-for caprice on your part; at least, so it appeared to me from your
letter after my dedication. Loving as my sentiments are towards you, and
much as I prize all your goodness, still I feel provoked!--much
provoked!--terribly provoked!

Your debtor afresh,

Who will, however, contrive to have his revenge,


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