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Title: Life of Beethoven
Author: Schindler, Anton, 1795-1864
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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[Illustration: image of the book's cover]

[Illustration: Ludwig van Beethoven]








Pianist to his Royal Highness Prince Albert.





Stamford Street.


Although on appearing for the first time as the Editor of a literary
publication, my feelings may be somewhat like those of a child putting
on a new dress, yet I feel the responsibility of my position far more
than its novelty; for the subject of my first essay is one not to be
approached by me, at least, without seriousness and reverence. That the
amount, however, of this editorial responsibility may be thought neither
greater nor less than it really is, I must beg leave to state my precise
share in this publication, and to advert to the qualifications with
which I have entered on my task.

In acceding to Mr. Colburn's request that I would add to the English
translation of Schindler's Biography of Beethoven which he was about to
publish, such explanatory notes, characteristics, and letters as might
tend more fully to illustrate and complete the whole, I had to subscribe
to one clause in the agreement between Mr. Schindler and the publisher,
namely, that the work should be given as he wrote it, without omission
or alteration. The Notes bearing my signature, then, are all that belong
to me in these volumes. The Appendix is, however, of my collection, and
will be found to consist of the following documents:--

     VOLUME I.

     Letters from Beethoven to Kapellmeister Hoffmeister and C. F.
     Peters, music-publishers, relative to the sale of some of his

     Letter on the first appearance of Beethoven's "Fidelio."

     Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine Von Arnim.

     Letter of Madame Bettine Von Arnim to Göthe.

     A Day with Beethoven.


     Beethoven's Letters to Mademoiselle Von Breuning, Wegeler, and

     Beethoven's Correspondence with Messrs. Neate and Ries.

     Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the Kaernthnerthor
     Theatre, Vienna.

     Characteristics of Beethoven from Wegeler and Ries's "Notizen."

     Additional Characteristics, Traits, and Anecdotes of Beethoven.

     Beethoven's Last Moments.

     Funeral Honours to Beethoven, and Miserere. Amplius. Libera, for
     four voices, with an Organ accompaniment, performed at the funeral.

     Concert in aid of Beethoven's Monument, at Drury Lane Theatre, July
     19th, 1837.

     Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library.

     Systematic Catalogue of all the original Works of Beethoven,
     published by T. Haslinger, from Vienna.

     Moscheles' complete Edition of Beethoven's Works, published by
     Messrs. Cramer and Co.

So far the task of explanation is easy; but I am now entering upon more
delicate ground--my own qualifications for the editorship. If in stating
these I appear to be somewhat prolix, I hope that a little indulgence
may be conceded to me from my desire to show that my impressions of
reverence for Beethoven's genius are not things of yesterday; but that I
began early to follow him in his glorious creations, and to study his
personal, as well as his artistical character, with an enthusiasm which
years and experience have done nothing to diminish. To satisfy the
craving which I felt, when a boy nine or ten years old, at Prague, for
the best musical productions of the time, I subscribed to a library
which afforded me the compositions of Dussek, Steibelt, Woelffl,
Kozeluch, and Eberl--works of no insurmountable difficulty to me;
though, indeed, so far from mastering them, I only ran through them,
without particular attention to finish, enjoying in each its peculiar
style. I had been placed under the guidance and tuition of Dionysius
Weber, the founder and present director of the Prague Musical
Conservatory; and he, fearing that, in my eagerness to read new music, I
might injure the systematic development of my Piano-forte playing,
prohibited the library; and, in a plan for my musical education which he
laid before my parents, made it an express condition, that for three
years I should study no other authors but Mozart, Clementi, and S. Bach.
I must confess, however, that, in spite of such prohibitions, I visited
the library, gaining access to it through my pocket-money. It was about
this time that I learnt from some school-fellows that a young composer
had appeared at Vienna, who wrote the oddest stuff possible--such as no
one could either play or understand; crazy music, in opposition to all
rule; and that this composer's name was _Beethoven_. On repairing to the
library to satisfy my curiosity as to this so-called eccentric genius, I
found there Beethoven's _Sonate pathétique_. This was in the year 1804.
My pocket-money would not suffice for the purchase of it, so I secretly
copied it. The novelty of its style was so attractive to me, and I
became so enthusiastic in my admiration of it, that I forgot myself so
far as to mention my new acquisition to my master, who reminded me of
his injunction, and warned me not to play or study any eccentric
productions until I had based my style upon more solid models. Without,
however, minding his injunctions, I seized upon the piano-forte works
of Beethoven as they successively appeared, and in them found a solace
and a delight such as no other composer afforded me.

In the year 1809, my studies with my master, Weber, closed; and, being
then also fatherless, I chose Vienna for my residence to work out my
future musical career. Above all, I longed to see and become acquainted
with _that man_ who had exercised so powerful an influence over my whole
being; whom, though I scarcely understood, I blindly worshipped. I
learnt that Beethoven was most difficult of access, and would admit no
pupil but Ries; and, for a long time, my anxiety to see him remained
ungratified. In the year 1810, however, the longed-for opportunity
presented itself. I happened to be one morning in the music-shop of
Domenico Artaria, who had just been publishing some of my early
attempts at composition, when a man entered with short and hasty steps,
and, gliding through the circle of ladies and professors assembled on
business or talking over musical matters, without looking up, as though
he wished to pass unnoticed, made his way direct for Artaria's private
office at the bottom of the shop. Presently Artaria called me in, and
said, "_This is Beethoven!_" and, to the composer, "This is the youth of
whom I have just been speaking to you." Beethoven gave me a friendly
nod, and said he had just heard a favourable account of me. To some
modest and humble expressions which I stammered forth he made no reply,
and seemed to wish to break off the conversation. I stole away with a
greater longing for that which I had sought than I had felt before this
meeting, thinking to myself--"Am I then indeed such a nobody that he
could not put one musical question to me?--nor express one wish to know
who had been my master, or whether I had any acquaintance with his
works?" My only satisfactory mode of explaining the matter and
comforting myself for this omission was in Beethoven's tendency to
deafness, for I had seen Artaria speaking close to his ear.

But I made up my mind that the more I was excluded from the private
intercourse which I so earnestly coveted, the closer I would follow
Beethoven in all the productions of his mind. I never missed the
Schuppanzigh Quartetts, at which he was often present, or the delightful
Concerts at the Augarten, where he conducted his own Symphonies. I also
heard him play several times, which however he did but rarely, either in
public or private. The productions which made the most lasting
impression upon me, were his Fantasia with orchestral accompaniments and
chorus, and his Concerto in C minor. I also used to meet him at the
houses of MM. Zmeskall and Zizius, two of his friends, through whose
musical meetings Beethoven's works first made their way to public
attention: but, in place of better acquaintance with the great man, I
had mostly to content myself on his part with a distant salute.

It was in the year 1814, when Artaria undertook to publish a piano-forte
arrangement of Beethoven's "Fidelio," that he asked the composer whether
I might be permitted to make it: Beethoven assented, upon condition that
he should see my arrangement of each of the pieces, before it was given
into the engraver's hands. Nothing could be more welcome to me, since I
looked upon this as the long wished-for opportunity to approach nearer
to the great man, and to profit by his remarks and corrections. During
my frequent visits, the number of which I tried to multiply by all
possible excuses, he treated me with the kindest indulgence. Although
his increasing deafness was a considerable hindrance to our
conversation, yet he gave me many instructive hints, and even played to
me such parts as he wished to have arranged in a particular manner for
the piano-forte. I thought it, however, my duty not to put his kindness
to the test by robbing him of his valuable time by any subsequent
visits; but I often saw him at Maelzel's, where he used to discuss the
different plans and models of a Metronome which the latter was going to
manufacture, and to talk over the "Battle of Vittoria," which he wrote
at Maelzel's suggestion. Although I knew Mr. Schindler, and was aware
that he was much with Beethoven at that time, I did not avail myself of
my acquaintance with him for the purpose of intruding myself upon the
composer. I mention these circumstances to show how very difficult of
access this extraordinary man was, and how he avoided all musical
discussion; for even with his only pupil, Ries, it was very seldom that
he would enter into any explanations. In my later intercourse with him,
he gave me but laconic answers on questions of art; and on the character
of his own works, made only such condensed remarks as required all my
imagination and fancy to develop what he meant to convey. The impatience
naturally accompanying his infirmity of deafness, no doubt greatly
increased his constitutional reserve in the latter part of life.

On subsequent visits to Vienna, after I had established myself in
London, in the year 1821, Beethoven received me with increased
cordiality; and that he counted on me as a friend I think is proved, by
his intrusting me, during his last illness, with an important mission to
the Philharmonic Society of London, of which mention is made in the
following pages.

My feelings with respect to Beethoven's music have undergone no
variation, save to become warmer. In the first half-score of years of my
acquaintance with his works, he was repulsive to me as well as
attractive. In each of them, while I felt my mind fascinated by the
prominent idea, and my enthusiasm kindled by the flashes of his genius,
his unlooked-for episodes, shrill dissonances, and bold modulations,
gave me an unpleasant sensation. But how soon did I become reconciled to
them! All that had appeared hard, I soon found indispensable. The
gnome-like pleasantries, which at first appeared too distorted--the
stormy masses of sound, which I found too chaotic--I have, in
after-times, learned to love. But, while retracting my early critical
exceptions, I must still maintain as my creed, that eccentricities like
those of Beethoven are reconcileable with _his_ works alone, and are
dangerous models to other composers, many of whom have been wrecked in
their attempts at imitation. Whether the musical world can ever
recognise the most modern examples of effort to outdo Beethoven in
boldness and originality of conception, I leave to future generations to

But all that I have ever felt or thought of Beethoven, his elevation
above all his contemporaries, and his importance to art, are so
beautifully expressed by the celebrated critic, H. G. Nägeli, that I
shall not forbear to avail myself of a passage in one of his
lectures,[1] although the fear of being charged with vanity, from its
containing a compliment to myself, might have deterred me from so doing.
It may be necessary to premise that the critic considers J. S. Bach as
the fountain-head of instrumental music, and ascribes its further and
gradual development to C. P. E. Bach, J. Haydn, Mozart, Clementi,
Cramer, Pleyel, until the art attained its climax under Beethoven at the
beginning of the present century.--"Beethoven (says Nägeli) appeared a
hero in the art; and where shall the historian find words to depict the
regeneration he produced, when the poet himself must here feel at a
loss? Music had received two-fold injury in its purity of style--I mean
instrumental music, unaided by the charms of vocalisation, as it had
existed at the point to which it had been elevated by the Bachs.
Mozart's Cantabile, as contrasted with the strict school, and Pleyel's
divertimento style, had diluted and debased it; and to Beethoven, the
hero, do we owe its regeneration now and for ever. Instinctively
original, keenly searching for novelty, resolutely opposing antiquated
forms, and freely exploring the new world which he had created not only
for himself but for all his brethren in the art, he may be said to have
set to all a task, the solution of which is a constant regeneration of
design and idea; thus giving full scope to the emanations of the mind.
Beethoven's music wears an ever-varying aspect, bright in all its
changes, yet could its language not at once become familiar to those,
who had lulled their higher powers to rest with the hum of
Divertimento's and Fantasias, whilst on all sides the worshippers of the
_Cantilena_ were heard to exclaim, 'And is such originality beautiful?
and should there not be beauty to render originality palatable?'--little
thinking that Beethoven's weapons were of a higher order, and that he
conquered, not by winning over his hearers to the soft Cantilena alone,
but by speaking in sounds unearthly, thrilling, penetrating, filling
the soul, and carrying along--not individuals, but cities--even the
whole of Europe. As to the art of piano-forte playing, that too gained a
new aspect under him; running passages were set aside; the Toccata style
took unexpected forms in his hands. He introduced combinations of
distant intervals, original in their very aspect, and heightened by
peculiarities of rhythm and staccato's, absorbing in their sparkling
brilliancy the Cantabile, to which they formed a glaring contrast.
Unlike Steibelt, Dussek, and some of their cotemporaries, in their
endeavours to _draw_ out the tone (_filez le son_), Beethoven would
_throw_ it out in detached notes, thus producing the effect of a
fountain gushing forth and darting its spray on all sides, well
contrasting with the melodious episodes which he still preserved. But a
genius like his soon found the limits of piano-forte music too narrow a
sphere to move in, and he produced, in turn, works for stringed
instruments, and for a whole band. Nevertheless, he never _would_ dive
into the mysteries of the science of counterpoint; had he done so, he
would have trodden the path of a J. S. Bach, and his imaginative vein,
as well as his creative genius, might have been checked. Let us then bow
to him, as the inventor, _par excellence_, of our era. The cotemporaries
who vied with him at the beginning of the new century were--Eberl, Haak,
Hummel, Liste, Stadler, Tomaschek, Weyse, and Wölffl; but he towered
above them all, and did not cease to pour out endless stores of
invention and originality, exciting in later years anew body of
aspirants to enter the lists of inventive composition,--and with
success. We name Feska, Hummel, Onslow, Reicha, Ries, the two Rombergs,
Spohr, C. M. v. Weber; and of a yet later date, Kuhlau, Tomaschek, and
Worzischek: these have been joined in the last few years by Carl Czerny
and Moscheles. Thus do we live in an era fertile in genius, fertile in
productions--an era, regenerated by the master spirit--Beethoven!"

But I will detain the reader no longer. If, in my preface, I have
appeared to him tedious, I would beg him to remember the words of Pliny
the younger--"I have not time to write a short letter, therefore I send
you a long one."


_3, Chester Place, Regent's Park,
January, 1841._





INTRODUCTION by Schindler                                              1




Beethoven's Parentage--Contradiction of a Report
on that subject--His musical Education--Tale
of a Spider--Appointed Organist to the Chapel
of the Elector of Cologne--Patronised by Count
von Waldstein--Clever Trick played by him--His
first Musical Productions--Haydn--Sterkel--Beethoven's
Aversion to give Lessons--Youthful
Friendships--He is sent to Vienna to improve
himself under Haydn--Acquaintances
made by him there--Dr. van Swieten--Prince
and Princess Lichnowsky--Envy excited by his
success--His indifference to Calumny, and to
the Accidents of Birth or Wealth--M. Schenk,
the corrector of his Compositions--His early
Attachments--His Compositions during this Period--Prices
paid for them--The Rasumowsky
Quartett--Professional Tour--State of Musical
Science at Vienna.                                                    25


[FROM 1800 TO OCTOBER, 1813.]

General View of the Second Period of Beethoven's
Life--Composition of his "Christ on the Mount
of Olives" and "Fidelio"--His brothers, Carl
and Johann; their mischievous influence--His
severe Illness--Remarkable Will addressed to
them--His "Sinfonia Eroica," in honour of Napoleon--Count
Moritz von Lichnowsky--Opera
of "Fidelio"--Beethoven's Neglect of Vocal Performers--Their
Intrigues and Cabals--His Passion
for Julia--Letters to her--Disappointed
Love--Countess Marie Erdödy--Beethoven as
Director of the Orchestra--Animadversions on
Statements of Ferdinand Ries--Beethoven forms
a Friendship with Count Franz von Brunswick
and Baron Gleichenstein--Prices paid for his
Compositions during the Second Period--Misconduct
of his Brothers--Defence of his Character
against the charge of Cowardice--Annuity
settled upon him, to keep him in Austria--His
dislike of, and reconciliation with, Hummel--Foreign
Visitors--Bettina Brentano--Göthe--Beethoven's
frequent change of Residence--His
Domestic Circumstances.                                               71




Causes of Beethoven's preceding Troubles--Performance
of his "Battle of Vittoria," for the
Benefit of disabled Soldiers--Dishonest Conduct
of M. Mälzel; its effect on Beethoven--Commencement
of the Author's Acquaintance with
him--Attention paid to Beethoven by the Allied
Sovereigns at Vienna--Pitiful Conduct of Carl
M. von Weber--Scotch Songs set to Music by
Beethoven--Death of his elder Brother--He
undertakes the Guardianship of his Son, whom
he adopts--Diminution of his Annuity by the
Failure of Prince Lobkowitz--He commences
House-keeping--Law-suit with his Brother's
Widow--Society for the Performance of Beethoven's
Chamber Music, directed by Carl Czerny--Further
Diminution of his Pension--His Pupil,
the Archduke Rudolph, nominated Archbishop
of Olmütz--Beethoven commences a
Grand Mass for his Installation--Household
Troubles--Waltzes and Bagatelles--Straitened
Finances--Ignoble Application of Musical MS.--Performance
of "The Ruins of Athens"--The
"Land-owner" and the "Brain-owner"--Subscription
of Sovereigns to Beethoven's new Mass--His
Letter to Cherubini.                                                 143



Vindication of the Court of Austria from the charge
of neglecting Beethoven--His quarrel with a
Publisher at Vienna--Mortification arising from
his Deafness--Wretched Lodging--Beethoven
undertakes to write a new Opera, but is deterred
by the prospect of coming in contact with German
Singers--His ninth Symphony--Letter from the
Archduke Rudolph--Italian Opera at Vienna--Flattering
Memorial addressed to Beethoven--Concerts--His
discourtesy to Vocal Performers--His
credulity and hasty condemnation of his
Friends--Is invited to visit England by the Philharmonic
Society--Disgraceful conduct of Prince
Nicholas von Galitzin--Severe illness--He sets
aside a Fund as a Provision for his Nephew--Ingratitude
and Misbehaviour of that Youth--Distressing
circumstances in which he was involved
by him--Beethoven's forlorn Situation--His
last Illness--His letters to Moscheles--He
is assisted by the Philharmonic Society--Total
value of his Property--His Death--Post-mortem
Examination.                                                         209


Letters from Beethoven to Kapellmeister Hofmeister
and C. F. Peters, Music Publishers, relative
to the Sale of some of his Compositions.                             239

Letter on the First Appearance of Beethoven's
"Fidelio"                                                            262

Beethoven's Letters to Madame Bettine von Arnim                      265

Letter of Madame Bettine von Arnim to Göthe                          275

A Day with Beethoven                                                 286



Portrait of Beethoven                                      _Frontispiece_


Fac-simile of Beethoven's Hand-writing                               163

First Sketches of the Vocal Subjects of Beethoven's
9th Symphony                                           _End of Appendix._





During the painful illness of full four months which terminated in the
death of Ludwig van Beethoven, he was one day conversing with Hofrath
von Breuning and myself on the subject of Plutarch's Lives. Breuning
took advantage of the long-wished-for opportunity to ask Beethoven,
apparently without any particular object, which of his contemporaries he
should prefer for his biographer. Without the least hesitation, he
replied, "Rochlitz, if he should survive me." He went on to say that it
might be anticipated with certainty, that after his decease many
officious pens would hasten to amuse the world with stories and
anecdotes concerning him, utterly destitute of truth--for such is the
usual lot of those who have had any influence upon their times. It was,
therefore, his sincere wish that whatever might hereafter be said
concerning him "should be in every respect strictly consonant with
truth, no matter how hard it might bear upon this or the other person,
or even upon himself."

This sentiment of Beethoven's, uttered at a moment when his dissolution
appeared to us to be near at hand--though his physicians still held out
to him some hopes of recovery, while at the same time they felt
thoroughly convinced of its impossibility--this sentiment was too
important for us to neglect following it up. In so doing, however, we
were obliged to proceed with the utmost caution; as indeed we were in
everything which, in his state of severe suffering, had any reference,
however remote, to death: for his imagination, more excited than when in
health, ranged through the universe, formed projects of tours, of
prodigious compositions, and other enterprises. In short, he had no idea
that death was so near, neither would he take any warning of its
approach. In fact, all his desire was to live; for he still intended to
do much, that none but himself, perhaps, was capable of accomplishing.

Prudence, therefore, enjoined us to refrain from touching upon that
point, which he himself avoided, and to watch for a suitable opportunity
when we should find him again disposed to speak further upon it. This
opportunity occurred but too soon, as his end was evidently approaching.
Sensible of the rapid decline of his physical powers, he now himself
declared that all hope of his recovery was vain, and began to look death
in the face with stoic fortitude.

Plutarch and other favourite Greek authors lay around him, and thus one
day--it might be the seventh or eighth before his decease--he made some
observations on Lucius Brutus, whose character he highly admired. This
was a signal to Breuning and myself to resume the conversation, which we
had dropped, with respect to his biographer, and to direct it according
to our wishes. Resigned already to his fate, Beethoven read with great
attention a paper on this subject, drawn up by his older friend
Breuning, and then very calmly said, "There lies such a paper, there
such another--take them, and make the best use you can of them; but let
the truth be strictly adhered to in every point. For this I hold both of
you responsible, and write on the subject to Rochlitz." Our object was
now accomplished, for he gave us himself the necessary explanations
respecting the papers. This memorable scene by the sick-bed of our
beloved friend terminated in his desiring me to take charge of all the
letters that were there, and Breuning of all his other papers, among
which was the first version of the opera of "Fidelio," in score--an
injunction with which we punctually complied.

After Beethoven's death, we resolved jointly to communicate to M.
Rochlitz the wish of our deceased friend, when M. von Breuning was taken
ill, and in two months followed him to the grave. This totally
unexpected event placed me in a particularly unpleasant situation with
regard to the joint duty undertaken for Beethoven. M. von Breuning's
widow soon afterwards gave up to me the papers committed to the care of
her deceased husband; and I was now obliged to apply singly on the
subject to M. Rochlitz. This I did by a letter, dated the 12th of
September, 1827. On the 18th of the same month I received the following

"I have long been aware how much there was great and noble in the
character of our respected Beethoven, notwithstanding the eccentricity
and roughness of his manner; and though, during my visit to Vienna in
1822, I conversed with him only a few times with frankness and
confidence, this was owing solely to the complaint with which he was
afflicted, and which was so great an obstacle to any intercourse with
him. This, together with the cheerful acknowledgment of his
extraordinary genius and professional merit, caused me to follow, to the
best of my ability, the course of his mind and of his whole inward life,
in so far as it is exhibited in his works, from his youth to his death.
And as I availed myself also of every opportunity to gain, from time to
time, authentic particulars concerning his outward life, I deemed
myself, at his death, not wholly incompetent to be his biographer. I
resolved, therefore, to undertake the office for Beethoven in the same
manner that I had done for Karl Maria von Weber, by making their lives
principal articles in the third volume of my work, _Für Freunde der
Tonkunst_ (For Friends of Music). To this is now added a further
inducement in your proposal to supply me with materials, and the wish of
Beethoven himself, conveyed to me through you. From all this put
together, you may judge whether I feel disposed to comply with the wish
expressed by you, as well as by several other friends of Beethoven's. So
much the more mortifying is it, then, to me, that it is not in my power
to do so. A life devoted in early years to close and almost unremitting
application has, of late, been severely revenging itself upon me....
Hence I am at length compelled to submit to an almost total change of
my former pursuits; and the most important part of this change is, that
I sit and write much less than formerly; and, that I may not be again
forced or enticed to break this rule, I decline undertaking any work of
consequence. And thus I am obliged to renounce the fulfilment of your
wish as well as my own.... I cannot tell you how it grieves me to give
this answer; but we must all bow to necessity. Accept my thanks for your

Notwithstanding this positive refusal, I ventured to repeat my request
to M. Rochlitz, at the same time offering to assist him in the task; as,
in addition to the materials destined for his use, I was in possession
of many important facts collected during an intercourse of many years
with Beethoven, with which no other person was or could be acquainted,
because they had arisen from my own connexion with the great man.

I was favoured as early as the 3rd of October with the answer of M.
Rochlitz, from which I shall only make the following extract:--

"I thank you, in the first place, for the copy you have sent me of
Beethoven's will.[2] I cannot tell you how much I was delighted with the
cordial child-like goodness of heart which it so unequivocally displays,
or how deeply I have been affected by the painful sufferings of his
excellent soul. Most assuredly this document will produce the same
effect on all who shall peruse it, the absolutely bad alone excepted.
Indeed, I know not anything more favourable or more convincing that
could be said of the deceased, in speaking of him, not as an artist, but
as a man. I cannot undertake to comply with your wish as expressed in a
new form; and it is of no use to either of us if I add I am sorry for

Upon these refusals of M. Rochlitz, adhering to the resolution that I
had previously formed, in case that writer should decline the
commission, not to resign the papers in my hands to any other person,--I
took no further steps, and made up my mind to wait for suitable time and

If we are to have a complete biography of Beethoven,--of the man who
must be classed among the greatest that ages have produced,--we want no
flights of poetry and imagination on the subject of his works, or the
analysis of them, such as have already appeared by thousands, and will
continue to appear, some good, some bad, according to the respective
qualifications and powers of the authors, each of whom considered the
genius of the great composer as his own rainbow, and consequently each
in a different manner; but the main point is to show under what
circumstances, and in what position, Beethoven produced his splendid and
imperishable creations; consequently, to furnish facts, the greatest
part of which one must have collected on the spot, and moreover have
witnessed by the side of this extraordinary man, in order to be able to
form a just estimate of their greater or less influence on his whole
existence. In this position, affording a guarantee for truth and
authenticity, there stands, as regards Beethoven, not one of his
surviving friends excepting myself; neither is there any besides myself,
who, at the time of the most important occurrences of his life, was
constantly about his person, and assisting him in his occupations. This
being the case, the most important part of the biography must
necessarily have been furnished by me, whoever might ultimately have
been its author.

I had a particular motive for not hurrying the publication of this work,
namely, by withholding my friend's papers for a longer period, to soften
the severe but just censure passed on many living persons who had
previously sinned against the great master, and to spare them as much as
possible, in order in some degree to mitigate Beethoven's express
injunction, "to tell the rigid truth about everything." I say, _to spare
as much as possible_; for the twelve years that have flown over
Beethoven's grave have not undone the manifold wrongs, the bitter
sorrows, and the deep injuries which he had to endure when living, and
which brought his life and labours to a premature termination.

The notion which I had conceived twelve years ago, of the requisites
necessary for a biography of Beethoven, at length became a settled
conviction of my mind, amidst the various opinions concerning him,
confusedly flung together by his numberless admirers. I was satisfied
that it was the only correct view. On the other hand, in the possession
of such copious materials (of only a small portion of which, however, I
have availed myself)--urged, moreover, by his admirers, in nearly every
country in Europe, not any longer to postpone the publication of this
biography--I was induced to venture, with my own humble, unaided
abilities, on the important enterprise. Without, therefore, stopping to
examine all that has been said concerning Beethoven, and to correct
inaccuracies, which would in the end have proved to be labour in vain, I
adhere, on this point, to my preconceived notions, and shall endeavour
to lay before the public in this work a series of unembellished facts,
as the case requires, which shall enable the admirers of the illustrious
deceased to comprehend and appreciate this lofty model of greatness of
soul and of creative genius, in all its truth and reality. In the
execution of this design, I follow a division not arising out of the
history of the development of his genius, but purely from the various
phases of his life, such as Beethoven himself would have adopted--that
is to say, I divide his life and works into three periods; the first
extending from his birth to the year 1800, the second from 1800 to
October 1813, and the third from the last-mentioned date to his death in
1827.[3] It shall accordingly be facts that I shall chiefly endeavour to
record, as nearly as possible, in chronological order, and with the
closest adherence to truth; and among the statements advanced by
others, it is only such as bear materially upon his character, or his
way of thinking and acting, that I shall either rectify, or, if need be,

As the third period will claim the largest portion of this work, it
obliges me, in order not be too voluminous, to treat more briefly of the
first two periods, and this I can do without detriment to the important
subject, since Dr. Wegeler and M. Ferdinand Ries, in their biographical
sketches of Beethoven, published two years ago, have given so many
characteristic traits of him. Wegeler, the respected friend of Beethoven
from his youthful days, there records all that is requisite to be told
concerning his birth and abode in Bonn; so that I think it quite
sufficient to confine myself in places to communications made by him to
me so far back as 1828, with reference to that period, because the
thread of the narrative requires it; and that gentleman may infer from
the reasons already assigned why I could not earlier comply with his
repeated solicitations to accelerate the publication of this work.
Unpleasant as was the notice, dated the 28th of October, 1834, which he
gave me, that, on account of my long-protracted delay, he was determined
to put his sketches to press, still I was obliged to let him act as he
pleased. His sketches of the first years of Beethoven's life may be
referred to as an authentic source; for the greater part of the
particulars which they contain I have heard from the lips of the master

As to the publication of Ferdinand Ries, I am sorry to be obliged to
declare that Ries has in this performance said too much. Less would have
been much more to the purpose. He seems almost to justify the remark of
a friend and admirer of Beethoven's, who, soon after the appearance of
that pamphlet, wrote to me as follows:--"From the tone assumed by Ries,
one would imagine that Beethoven had lived exclusively for him; and, in
writing those sketches and anecdotes, he seems to have kept his eye much
more upon his own dear self than upon his friend and master."

Had Ries not recommended his performance in an unqualified manner, as an
authentic source for a complete biography of Beethoven (which he does in
his preface), and thus set himself up for an authority to be relied on
by the future biographer of Beethoven, as well as by the public in
general (though he had had no personal intercourse with him for full
thirty-two years), I should not have made a single remark on him or his
work, attaching no more importance to the latter than belongs to
anecdotes in general: for aphorisms, notices, and anecdotes, constitute
no logical connected whole, consequently they establish no opinion,
though they assist to form one. The remarks, then, which, in my
position, I think it my duty to make on the publication of Ries, in so
far as it pretends to delineate the character of Beethoven, I submit on
my part with all respect for the deceased, who was too early taken from
us, for I too regarded him as my valued friend. He meant not designedly
to tarnish the memory of one of the noblest characters, but yet he has
done so. The motive of this _mal-à-propos_ may possibly have originated
as follows:--

At the time when Ries was a pupil of Beethoven's, he was quite as young
as his judgment: he was, therefore, incapable of grasping, of
comprehending, consequently also of judging, the immense sphere which
even at that time was beginning to open upon the genius and upon the
whole existence of his instructor. Hence it was only superficial
matters, words dropped in vexation or in playfulness--in short,
anecdotes, sometimes of greater, sometimes of less consequence--which
struck him and impressed themselves on his memory; but which could by no
means justify him in representing Beethoven's character as being so rude
as he does in pages 81,[4] 83, 84, and 92, of his sketches--to say
nothing of other passages. If the statements made there only by Ries are
absolutely true, what a rude character was Beethoven!--how repulsive and
inaccessible to juvenile talent!

In my conversations with Ries concerning Beethoven, at Frankfort, in the
year 1833, I perceived all this but too plainly, and took the
opportunity to set him right on many points. His memory had only
retained a correct impression of the boisterous, heaven-assaulting
giant, the recesses of whose mind the scholar, who had scarcely arrived
at adolescence, was as yet incapable of exploring. He saw only the shell
before him, but he had not discovered the right way to get at the
inestimable kernel. Ten years later, and the man would probably have
found it out. His short stay at Vienna in 1809, during the French
occupation, was anything but calculated to furnish a better and more
suitable basis for his opinions concerning Beethoven, or even to erase
from his mind many an erroneous impression which it had received. With
such indistinct notions Ries parted from his preceptor, at a time when,
a mere student of the art, he could scarcely go alone, as indeed it was
but natural to expect at the age of scarcely twenty years. Certain it
is, that the Beethoven of 1805, when Ries left Vienna, was totally
different from him of 1825; and I could sincerely wish that Ries, whose
abilities I respect, had once more seen Beethoven, deeply bowed down by
the severe vicissitudes which he had undergone, like a burnt-out
volcano, which is only at times in commotion;--that he could have heard
him, and learned from his own lips what was the most particular desire
of our mutual friend.

To conclude, I entreat all the friends and admirers of Beethoven to
accept the assurance that, in my account of my instructor and friend, my
pen shall be guided by nothing but pure love for him, and pure and
unfeigned love for truth. Too deeply penetrated with the high importance
of the subject to be treated of, I shall adhere steadfastly to the
determination to exert my best ability, and to keep aloof from prejudice
of every kind.

Thus, then, I submit this work to the public, hoping that it may not
merely furnish a biography of the great composer, but also a
contribution to the history of his art. Conscious that I have spared no
pains to fulfil this two-fold object, I trust that it will be
acknowledged that I have written in the feeling of justice and of truth,
notwithstanding the many rugged and dangerous rocks which I have had to
encounter in the undertaking.





     Beethoven's Parentage--Contradiction of a Report on that
     subject--His Musical Education--Tale of a Spider--Appointed
     Organist to the Chapel of the Elector of Cologne--Patronised by
     Count von Waldstein--Clever Trick played by him--His first Musical
     Productions--Haydn--Sterkel--Beethoven's Aversion to give
     Lessons--Youthful Friendships--He is sent to Vienna to improve
     himself under Haydn--Acquaintances made by him there--Dr. van
     Swieten--Prince and Princess Lichnowsky--Envy excited by his
     success--His Indifference to Calumny, and to the Accidents of Birth
     or Wealth--M. Schenk, the corrector of his Compositions--His early
     Attachments--His Compositions during this Period--Prices paid for
     them--The Rasumowsky Quartett--Professional Tour--State of Musical
     Science at Vienna.

Ludwig van Beethoven was born on the 17th of December, 1770, at Bonn.
His father, Johann van Beethoven, was tenor singer in the electoral
chapel, and died in 1792. His mother, Maria Magdalena, whose maiden
name was Keverich, was a native of Coblentz; she died in 1787. His
grandfather, Ludwig van Beethoven, who is conjectured on very good
grounds to have been a native of Maestricht, was music-director and bass
singer, and performed operas of his own composition, at Bonn, in the
time of the elector Clemens August, whose fondness for magnificence is
well known. Of this grandfather, who died in 1773, Beethoven retained a
lively recollection even in his later years; and he frequently spoke
with filial affection and fervent gratitude of his mother, "who had so
much patience with his obstinacy."

The report that Beethoven was a natural son of Frederick William II.,
King of Prussia, first broached by Fayolle and Choron, which was
reported in seven editions of the "Conversations-Lexicon," published by
Brockhaus, and caused great vexation to Beethoven, was conclusively
confuted by Dr. Wegeler, after Beethoven had requested him, in a letter
written by me from his dictation, and dated the 7th of October, 1826,[5]
"to make known to the world the unblemished character of his parents,
and especially of his mother."[6]

Beethoven's education was neither particularly neglected nor
particularly good. He received elementary instruction and learned
something of Latin at a public school--music he learnt at home, and was
closely kept to it by his father, whose way of life, however, was not
the most regular. The lively and often stubborn boy had a great dislike
to sitting still, so that it was continually necessary to drive him in
good earnest to the piano-forte. He had still less inclination for
learning the violin, and on this point I cannot help adverting to a
tale, so ingeniously invented and so frequently repeated, relative to a
spider, which, "whenever little Ludwig was playing in his closet on the
violin, would let itself down from the ceiling and alight upon the
instrument, and which his mother, on discovering her son's companion,
one day destroyed, whereupon little Ludwig dashed his violin to
shatters." This is nothing more than a tale. _Great_ Ludwig, highly as
this fiction amused him, never would admit that he had the least
recollection of such a circumstance. On the contrary, he declared that
it was much more likely that everything, even to the very flies and
spiders, should have fled out of the hearing of his horrid scraping.

He made his first acquaintance with German literature, and especially
the poets, in the house of M. von Breuning, in Bonn, whose family
contributed greatly in every respect to the cultivation of his mind, and
to whom Beethoven, till the last moment of his life, acknowledged his
obligations with the warmest gratitude.

Beethoven received his first lessons from his father, but he had
afterwards a far better instructor in a M. Pfeiffer, a man of talent,
well known as music-director and oboist. Beethoven owed more to this
composer than to any other, and he was grateful for his services, for he
remitted money from Vienna to him, when in need of assistance, through
M. Simrock, of Bonn. That van der Eder, organist to the court, really
taught our Beethoven the management of the organ, as Dr. Wegeler merely
conjectured, is a fact, as Beethoven himself related with many
concomitant anecdotes. By the instructions of Neefe, the court-organist,
Beethoven declared that he had profited little or nothing.

In the year 1785, Beethoven was appointed, by the Elector Max Franz,
brother of the Emperor Joseph II., organist to the electoral chapel, a
post obtained for him by Count von Waldstein, a patron of the arts, not
only a connoisseur in music, but himself a practical musician, a knight
of the Teutonic order, and favourite of the Elector.[7] To this nobleman
Beethoven was indebted for the first appreciation of his talents, and
his subsequent mission to Vienna. A circumstance which affords evidence
of his extraordinary talent may be introduced here, since at a later
period it appeared to Beethoven himself to be worth recording, and he
often mentioned it with pleasure as a clever juvenile trick.

On the last three days of the Passion week, the Lamentations of the
prophet Jeremiah were always chanted: these consisted of passages of
from four to six lines, and they were sung in no particular time. In the
middle of each sentence, agreeably to the choral style peculiar to the
old church-music in general, a rest was made upon one note, which rest
the player on the piano--for the organ was not used on those three
days--had to fill up with a voluntary flourish, as is likewise usual in
the accompaniment of other choral performances.

Beethoven told Heller, a singer at the chapel, who was boasting of his
professional cleverness, that he would engage that very day to put him
out at such a place, without his being aware of it, yet so effectually
that he should not be able to proceed. Heller, who considered this as an
absolute impossibility, laid a wager accordingly with Beethoven. The
latter, when he came to a passage that suited his purpose, led the
singer, by an adroit modulation, out of the prevailing mode into one
having no affinity to it, still, however, adhering to the tonic of the
former key; so that the singer, unable to find his way in this strange
region, was brought to a dead stand. Exasperated by the laughter of
those around him, Heller complained of Beethoven to the Elector, who, to
use Beethoven's expression, "gave him a most gracious reprimand, and
bade him not play any more such clever tricks."

When Haydn first returned from England, the electoral band gave him a
breakfast at Godesberg, near Bonn. On this occasion Beethoven laid
before him a Cantata, which gained him the commendation of the
celebrated master, who exhorted the youthful composer to persevere in
his professional studies. On account of several difficult passages for
the wind instruments, which the performers declared themselves unable to
play, this Cantata was laid aside and not published. Such is the
statement of Dr. Wegeler. Though I have not the least doubt of Dr.
Wegeler's accuracy, I never heard Beethoven himself say a word
concerning any such first production; but well I recollect having been
told by him that his best essay at composition at that period was a Trio
for piano-forte, violin, and violoncello. This Trio was not published
till after his death, about ten or eleven years ago, by Dunst, of
Frankfort: its second movement, the Scherzo, may be regarded as the
embryo of all Beethoven's Scherzos. The third movement of that Trio
belongs in idea and form to Mozart--a proof how early Beethoven began
to make him his idol. He seemed in fact to have totally forgotten the
Cantata in question.

Beethoven's first compositions were the Sonatas copied into the
_Blumenlese_ of Speyer; in the next place the song, "_Wenn Jemand eine
Reise thut_" (When a man on travel goes), and further, the music to a
ballet performed during the carnival by the high nobility, the
piano-forte part of which is said to be in the possession of M. Dunst,
of Frankfort. This music, which was reputed to be the work of Count von
Waldstein, was not at first published. Then came the Variations on
_Vieni amore_, theme by Righini, which afforded the youthful author
occasion to display his extraordinary talent. This was at his interview
at Aschaffenburg with Sterkel, a celebrated performer of that day, and
indeed the most accomplished piano-forte player whom Beethoven had ever
yet heard. The doubt expressed by this highly-finished and elegant
performer, whether the composer of these Variations could play them
fluently himself, spurred on Beethoven not only to play by heart such as
were printed, but to follow them up with a number of others extemporised
on the spot; and at the same time he imitated the light and pleasing
touch of Sterkel, whom he had never heard till then, whereas his own
usual way of playing the piano was hard and heavy, owing, as Beethoven
declared, not to his want of feeling, but to his practising a great deal
upon the organ, of which instrument he was very fond.

Beethoven had, from his youth, as Dr. Wegeler relates--and as he himself
often showed by the fact--a decided aversion to give lessons; and, in
his later years, as well as formerly at Bonn, he always went to this
occupation "like an ill-tempered donkey."[8] We shall see in the third
period of his biography how he conducted himself when giving instruction
to his most illustrious pupil, the Archduke Rudolph,[9] who entertained
the deepest respect for his master, and with whom Beethoven had no need
to lay himself under more restraint than if he had been in the house of
a friend.[10]

With this brief account, the period which Beethoven passed in his
birthplace, Bonn, might aptly close. He himself considered that time as
the happiest portion of his life, though it was frequently embittered by
disagreeable circumstances, originating chiefly in his father's
irregular course of life. The members of the Breuning family were his
guardian angels; for the numerous friendships which his superior talents
gained him began already to be detrimental to his higher cultivation.
This is too often the case with youthful genius, which disdains moderate
praise and accepts flattery as a tribute justly due to it; and of course
such a person seeks in preference the society of those from whom he
hopes to obtain that gratification.

Under such circumstances, most fortunate was it for Beethoven that he
received permission from the Elector, Max Franz, to reside for a few
years at Vienna, for the purpose of improving himself under the tuition
of Haydn. In the year 1792, Beethoven went to Vienna, the central point
of everything great and sublime that Music had till then achieved on the
soil of Germany. Mozart, the source of all light in the region of
harmony, whose personal acquaintance Beethoven had made on his first
visit to Vienna in the winter of 1786-7, who, when he heard Beethoven
extemporise upon a theme that was given him, exclaimed to those present,
"This youth will some day make a noise in the world"--Mozart, though he
had been a year in his grave, yet lived freshly in the memory of all who
had a heart susceptible of his divine revelations, as well as in
Beethoven's--Gluck's spirit still hovered around the inhabitants of old
Vindobona--Father Haydn, and many other distinguished men in every art,
and in every branch of human knowledge, yet lived and worked together
harmoniously--in short, no sooner had Beethoven, then but twenty-two,
looked around him in this favoured abode of the Muses, and made a few
acquaintances, than he said to himself--"Here will I stay, and not
return to Bonn, even though the Elector should cut off my pension."

One of his first, and for a long time most influential acquaintances,
was the celebrated van Swieten, formerly physician in ordinary to the
Empress Maria Theresa, a man who could appreciate art and artists
according to their real worth. Van Swieten was, as it were, the cicerone
of the new comer, and attached young Beethoven to his person and to his
house, where indeed the latter soon found himself at home. The musical
treats in van Swieten's house consisted chiefly of compositions by
Handel, Sebastian Bach, and the greatest masters of Italy, up to
Palestrina, performed with a full band; and they were so truly exquisite
as to be long remembered by all who had been so fortunate as to partake
of them. For Beethoven those meetings had this peculiar interest, that
he not only gained an intimate acquaintance with those classics, but
also that he was obliged to stay longest, because the old gentleman had
an insatiable appetite for music, so that the night was often pretty
far advanced before he would suffer him to depart; nay, frequently he
would not suffer him to go at all; for, to all that he had heard before,
Beethoven was obliged to add half a dozen fugues by Bach, "by way of a
blessing." Among the notes addressed by that eminent physician to
Beethoven, and carefully preserved by the latter, one runs thus:--"If
you are not prevented next Wednesday, I should be glad to see you here
at half-past eight in the evening, with your night-cap in your pocket."

Nearly at the same time with van Swieten, our Beethoven made the
acquaintance of the princely family of Lichnowsky, and this point in his
life is of such importance, and led to such manifold consequences, that
it behoves me to dwell upon it at some length.

The members of this remarkable family belonged altogether to those rarer
natures which are susceptible to everything that is great and sublime,
and therefore patronised and honoured art and science, as well as all
that is chivalrous, to which the greater part of the nobility devote
their exclusive attention. Prince Karl von Lichnowsky, Mozart's pupil,
was a genuine nobleman, and, what is still more, a Mecænas in the
strictest sense of the term; and at that time, when the Austrian
nobility were universally noble-minded, there could have been found few
to match him in that extensive empire. Of like disposition was his
consort, the Princess Christiane, by birth Countess of Thun. In this
resort of accomplished minds and polished manners, Beethoven found an
asylum in which he continued for several years. Prince Lichnowsky became
a paternal friend, the princess, a second mother, to the young musician.
The prince assigned to him a yearly allowance of six hundred florins,
which he was to receive till he should obtain some permanent
appointment; and at that time this was no insignificant sum. The
kindness of both these princely personages pursued him, as it were, and
did not abate even when the adopted son, who was frequently obstinate,
would have certainly lost that of any other patrons, and when he had
deserved the severest reprehension. It was the princess in particular
who found all that the often ill-tempered and sullen young man chose to
do or to let alone, right, clever, original, amiable--and who,
accordingly, contrived to make excuses for all his peccadilloes to the
more rigid prince. At a later period Beethoven, in describing this mode
of treatment, employed the following characteristic expression:--"They
would have brought me up there," said he, "with grandmotherly fondness,
which was carried to such a length that very often the princess was on
the point of having a glass shade made to put over me, so that no
unworthy person might touch or breathe upon me."[11]

Such extreme indulgence could not fail to produce its effects upon a
temperament like Beethoven's, and it could not but operate detrimentally
to the steady and undisturbed cultivation of his talent, which excited
the attention and admiration of thousands. Whence was the necessary
firmness to come in the conflicts with external life? Of course, then,
the impetuous son of the Muse was every moment running his head against
the wall, and was doomed to feel, as he would not hear. Van Swieten's
counsels and admonitions, too, were frequently disregarded; and old
"Papa" was content if the intractable Beethoven would but come to his
evening parties.

If we find, in consequence, that Beethoven's manners were sometimes
deficient in polish, the reason lies--in the first place, in his
energetic nature, which broke through all barriers, and, spurning the
etiquette of high life, would not submit to any shackles. Another not
less powerful cause is to be sought in the indulgence and even in the
admiration which his eccentricities met with from high and low; for
there was a time when the name "Beethoven" had become a general password
to which everything gave way.

That, in opposition to his admirers, there should be some who, eclipsed
by the extraordinary success of the youthful master, felt themselves
thrust into the background and mortified, was no more than might have
been expected. Envy and jealousy brandished their weapons against the
unaffected young artist pushing on in his career, whose internal as
well as external originality afforded more than one assailable point. It
was more especially the external, of such a nature as had never been
observed in any artist, that envy and jealousy would not by any means
acknowledge to be the natural consequence of his internal organization.
In direct opposition to every exaggerated formality, and avoiding the
broad, beaten track of mediocrity and every-day talent, while pursuing
his own course, Beethoven could not but be misconceived by many whose
view was not capable of embracing his horizon. He was also misjudged, as
so many a true master-mind has been, in its intercourse with the various
classes, because its peculiar notions of things, originating in the
nature of Art, never tally with those of the multitude, which cannot
assimilate with those of the artist. This peculiar mode of viewing
things shows itself, sometimes more, at other times less, in every one
of his works.

At this early period, a trait of character, that distinguished him
throughout his whole life, manifested itself in young Beethoven. It was
this--that he never defended himself against criticisms or attacks so
long as they were not directed against his honour, but against his
professional abilities, and never suffered them to have more than a
superficial effect upon him. Not indifferent to the opinions of the
good, he took no notice of the attacks of the malicious, and allowed
them to go on unchecked even when they proceeded so far as to assign him
a place, sometimes in one mad-house, sometimes in another. "If it amuses
people to say or to write such stuff concerning me, let them continue so
to do as long as they please:" this was his maxim, to which he adhered
through all the vicissitudes of his professional life.

With this trait of character was associated already in early youth
another, not less important for his professional career than the former,
namely, that rank and wealth were to him matters of absolute
indifference--accidents for which he had no particular respect; hence,
in a man he would recognise and honour nothing but the man. To bow to
Mammon and its possessors was nothing less, in his opinion, than
downright blasphemy--the deepest degradation of the man endowed with
genius; and, before he could pay the wealthy the ordinary respect, it
was requisite that they should at least be known to him as humane and
benevolent. On this point more particularly Beethoven was orthodox, and
no temptation whatever could have produced a change of sentiment on that
head any more than in his political creed. It was, therefore, perfectly
natural that the prince should occupy no higher place in his estimation
than the private citizen; and he held that mind alone, that divine
emanation in man, rises, according to its powers, above all that is
material and accidental; that it is an immediate gift of the Creator,
destined to serve as a light to others. Hence it follows that Beethoven
recognised the position allotted to him from above, and its importance
in the universe, and that too in all humility, as may be clearly seen in
the letters addressed to a lady of whom he was passionately enamoured,
which will be given hereafter.

In the first number of the Leipzig _Musikalische Zeitung_ of 1835, I
took occasion, from an expression attributed to Beethoven in a Vienna
journal[12] respecting the age at which a person ought to learn the
theory of harmony and counterpoint, to say, that Beethoven, on his
arrival at Vienna, knew nothing of counterpoint and very little of the
theory of harmony. His imagination warm and active, his ear sensitive,
and Pegasus ever ready, he composed away, without concerning himself
about the indispensable scholastic rules. Such was the state of things,
when he began to receive instructions from Haydn, and Haydn is said to
have been always satisfied with his new scholar, because he permitted
him to do as he liked; till the tables were turned, and the scholar
became dissatisfied with the master, owing to the following

Among the professional men whom Beethoven knew and respected, was M.
Schenk, composer of the music to the _Dorfbarbier_, a man of mild,
amiable disposition, and profoundly versed in musical science. M. Schenk
one day met Beethoven, when he was coming with his roll of music under
his arm from Haydn. Schenk threw his eye over it, and perceived here and
there various inaccuracies. He pointed them out to Beethoven, who
assured him that Haydn had just corrected that piece. Schenk turned over
the leaves, and found the grossest blunders left untouched in the
preceding pieces. Beethoven now conceived a suspicion of Haydn, and
would have given up taking instructions from him, but was dissuaded from
that resolution, till Haydn's second visit to England afforded a fitting
occasion for carrying it into effect. From this moment a coolness took
place between Haydn and Beethoven. Ries heard Beethoven say that he had
indeed taken lessons of Haydn, but never learned anything of him. (See
his _Notizen_, p. 86.)[13] The conduct of Haydn in this case was
variously construed, as he was known to be in other respects a
conscientious man: but no certain motive can be alleged for it. M.
Schenk continued to be from that time the confidential corrector of
Beethoven's compositions, even after Albrechtsberger had undertaken to
give him instructions in counterpoint. Here I must record a remarkable
fact which serves to characterise both these old friends.

Owing to Beethoven's unsettled life, it was too frequently the case that
for years he knew nothing about intimate friends and acquaintance,
though they, like himself, resided within the walls of the great
capital; and if they did not occasionally give him a call, to him they
were as good as dead. Thus it happened, that one day--it was in the
beginning of the spring of 1824--I was walking with him over the Graben,
when we met M. Schenk, then far advanced between sixty and seventy.
Beethoven, transported with joy to see his old friend still among the
living, seized his hand, hastened with him into a neighbouring tavern
called the Bugle Horn, and conducted us into a back room, where, as in a
catacomb, it was necessary to burn a light even at noon-day. There we
shut ourselves in, and Beethoven began to open all the recesses of his
heart to his respected corrector. More talkative than he often was, a
multitude of stories and anecdotes of long by-gone times presented
themselves to his recollection, and among the rest the affair with
Haydn; and Beethoven, who had now raised himself to the sovereignty in
the realm of music, loaded the modest composer of the _Dorfbarbier_, who
was living in narrow circumstances, with professions of his warmest
thanks for the kindness which he had formerly shown him. Their parting,
after that memorable hour, as if for life, was deeply affecting; and, in
fact, from that day, they never beheld one another again.

As, in that classic period of musical activity, Beethoven was the sun
which all strove to approach, and rejoiced if they could but catch a
glance of his brilliant eye; it was natural that he should converse much
with ladies, several of whom were always contending for his affections
at once, as it is well known, and he more than once found himself, like
Hercules, in a dilemma. Dr. Wegeler says in his publication (page 42)
that "Beethoven was never without an attachment, and that mostly he was
very deeply smitten." This is quite true. How could any rational person
who is acquainted with Beethoven solely from his works, maintain the
contrary?[14] Whoever is capable of feeling how powerfully the pure
flame of love operates upon the imagination, more especially of the
sensitive and highly-endowed artist, and how in all his productions it
goes before him like a light sent down from Heaven to guide him, will
take it for granted, without any evidence, that Beethoven was
susceptible of the purest love, and that he was conducted by it. What
genius could have composed the Fantasia in C without such a passion![15]
And here be it observed, merely by the way, it was love for the
Giulietta to whom that imaginative composition is dedicated, which
inspired him while engaged upon it. Beethoven seems to have retained his
affection for that lady as long as he lived. Of this I think I can
produce striking evidence, but it belongs to the second period.

Wegeler's remark (p. 44) is perfectly true, that the objects of
Beethoven's attachment were always of the higher rank. No prejudice on
the part of Beethoven had anything to do with this, which arose solely
from the circumstance of his having at that time most intercourse with
persons in high life,--an intercourse promoted moreover by his connexion
with the princely house of Lichnowsky. Beethoven frequently declared
that at this time he was best appreciated and best comprehended as an
artist by noble and other high personages. High, however, as the
converse with such personages was calculated to raise him
intellectually, still, in regard to love, and a permanent happiness
arising out of it, that circumstance was not advantageous to him. I
shall take occasion to treat by and by more explicitly of this
interesting topic, and shall merely observe here that, though exposed to
such manifold seductions, Beethoven had, like the demi-god of old, the
firmness to preserve his virtue unscathed; that his refined sense of
right and wrong could not endure anything impure, and in a moral respect
equivocal, about it; and that, considered on this score, he passed
through life, conscious of no fault, with truly virgin modesty and
unblemished character. The higher Muse, who had selected him for such
important service, gave his views an upward direction, and preserved
him, even in professional matters, from the slightest collision with the
vulgar, which, in life as in art, was his abomination. Would that she
had done as much for him in regard to the civil relations of life, as
they are called, to which every inhabitant of earth is subject! How
infinitely higher would Beethoven's genius have soared, if, in the
ordinary intercourse of life, he had not been brought into conflict with
so many base and contemptible minds!

Among the compositions of such various kinds that belong to this period
were, besides the three Sonatas dedicated to Haydn, the first three
Trios, several Quartetts for stringed instruments, two Concertos for the
piano-forte, the Septett, the First and Second Symphony, more than
twenty Sonatas, and the music to Vigano's ballet "Die Geschöpfe des
Prometheus" (The Creations of Prometheus), which was performed in 1799,
at the Imperial Operahouse; but the most important of these were not
printed till a later period. It may not be amiss here to remark that
the numbers affixed to Beethoven's works do not indicate the order in
which they were composed by the master, but that in which they were
published. Many works he kept back, frequently for several years, for
the purpose of severe correction, while later compositions were sent
into the world without delay.[16] This mode of proceeding, it is true,
produced a confusion in the continuous numbering of his works, which he
himself knew not how to remedy. At first, he purposed to number the
works in the order in which they were composed, though some that were
earlier written might not be published till after later ones were
already printed. From the chasms which it was on this account found
necessary to leave open, arose disorder; and hence we meet with many a
number twice and even thrice over in the catalogues, and others not at
all. Thus, for example, in the catalogue annexed to the "_Beethoven
Studien_," Op. 29 is prefixed first to three Sonatas, then to the
Preludes, and once more to the Quintett in C. In M. Artaria's catalogue,
No. 29 is even attached to four, No. 3 to six, and No. 75 to three
works. The latter catalogue specifies in the whole one hundred and
fifty-two different works of Beethoven's, with numbers and opus-figures,
while catalogues containing merely opus-numbers exhibit only one hundred
and thirty-eight.

That Beethoven had already at this time many more commissions for works
than he could execute, we learn from his letter of the 29th of June,
1800, to Dr. Wegeler,[17] where he likewise mentions that he is paid
what he charges for them; and it is interesting to remark how small are
the sums then paid for the copyright of his works by publishers in
comparison with those which he received twenty years later, as we shall
see in the third period. In his letter of the 15th of January, 1801, to
the music publisher, Hofmeister, in Leipzig,[18] there is a statement of
the prices charged for some works, which may serve as a kind of standard
for others. He asks, for instance, for the Septett twenty ducats (ten
louis-d'ors), for the First Symphony twenty ducats, for the First
Concerto ten ducats, and for the grand B major Sonata (Op. 22) twenty

During a period of at least ten or twelve years it was at Prince
Lichnowsky's musical parties that almost all Beethoven's works were
first tried, and the refined taste of the prince, as well as his solid
musical acquirements, commanded such respect from Beethoven, that he
readily followed his advice in regard to the alteration or improvement
of this or that in his compositions--a point on which he was extremely
self-willed. Thus, too, at a later period, he would rather hear censures
than praise from those to whom he gave credit for comprehending him; and
but very few performers could boast of being so fortunate as to be
allowed to teach him the peculiarities and the treatment of their
respective instruments. M. Kraft, the elder, and subsequently M. Linke,
taught him the mechanism of the violoncello, M. Punto that of the horn,
and M. Friedlowsky the elder that of the clarinet: and it was these
artists whom Beethoven chiefly consulted respecting his compositions,
and to whose arguments he listened, even when it went ever so much
against the grain to alter this or that passage.[19]

The Quartett which so early as that time had attained high distinction,
consisting of Schuppanzigh, first violin, Sina second violin, Weiss,
Bratsche (viola) Kraft, the elder, alternating with Linke, violoncello;
which at a later period acquired universal and well-deserved celebrity
by the appellation of "the Rasumowsky Quartett"--this Quartett
enraptured the musical circle of Prince Lichnowsky, and into the souls
of these four superior artists did Beethoven in time breathe his own
sublime spirit. Him only who can boast of such good fortune I call the
scholar, the disciple, of a great master, who can and must further
diffuse his precepts in all their purity. How to place the fingers on
the instrument, how to perform difficult passages upon it, can be taught
by thousands without possessing a single spark of genius. Not the
skilful management of technicalities, the spirit alone is the truth of
every art. And this spirit, which in Beethoven himself attained its full
vigour only with the lapse of time, gradually grew up in this
association composing that Quartett till it arrived at its full
development, and thus it continued till Beethoven's death, though
Messrs. Sina and Weiss had left Vienna, and their places had been
supplied by two worthy successors, Messrs. Holz and Kaufmann.[20] The
reunion of these four artists, over the musical purity of whose manners
Beethoven never ceased to watch with anxiety, was justly regarded as the
only genuine school for acquiring a knowledge of Beethoven's
quartett-music, that new world full of sublime conceptions and
revelations. A letter addressed by the great master to this
Quartett--when, in 1825, one of his last difficult Quartetts was to be
performed for the first time before a select audience, I must not here
omit, on account of its humorous tenor, particularly as it proves at the
same time Beethoven's anxiety in their behalf which has been alluded to
above. It is verbatim as follows:--

"My dear Friends,

"Herewith each of you will receive what belongs to him, and is hereby
engaged, upon condition that each binds himself upon his honour to do
his best to distinguish himself and to surpass the rest.

"This paper must be signed by each of those who have to co-operate in
the affair in question.


(Here follow the four signatures.)

If I further mention that, towards the end of this first period of his
life, Beethoven made a professional tour, of but short duration, it is
true, to Leipzig and Berlin; that he excited a great sensation in both
these cities; and that his merits were duly appreciated, I think I may
fairly conclude the first part of the life of that gigantic genius, who
had thus far already marked out for himself the course which he meant to
pursue, and from which he was not to be diverted, even by the storms
that soon afterwards burst over the musical world. I shall therefore
pause only to cast a rapid glance at the state of the art, and at the
prevailing taste of that period.

In all Germany, and particularly in Vienna, music was much cultivated,
and that chiefly good music (because then there was not so much bad
produced as succeeding years have brought forth); for the lower classes,
among whom there had previously been many attentive auditors, began to
pay more and more attention to the divine art, but at the same time
rarely possessed high mental cultivation, or had a just conception of
the nature of music and its sublimest object, and upon the whole was
still full of prejudices against every art;--when the number of
composers was not yet swollen to legion, and was confined to those who
were really qualified by Nature, though not always endowed with the
lofty powers of genius. But all these persons meant honestly by art,
which, now-a-days, is too rarely the case; and, to mean honestly by a
matter to which one dedicates one's abilities, tends greatly to promote
its success. The magicians of those days, Herder, Wieland, Lessing,
Göthe, and many more; together with Gluck, Sebastian Bach and his sons,
Mozart, Haydn, Salieri, and the aspiring Beethoven, had exercised such a
beneficial influence on the nobler, the intellectual cultivation,
especially of the superior classes, that art and science were reckoned
by very many among the highest, the chief requisites of intellectual
existence. In the German Opera, which, through Gluck and Mozart, had
attained its acme, and arrived at the same degree of perfection and
estimation as the Italian, truth of expression, dignity, and sublimity
in every point, were far more highly prized than the mere fluency of
throat, hollow pathos, and excitements of sense, studied in that of the
present day. These two institutions operated powerfully on all who were
susceptible of what is truly beautiful and noble. Haydn's "Creation,"
and Handel's Oratorios, attracted unprecedented auditories, and afforded
the highest gratification, with bands of one hundred and fifty, or at
most two hundred performers; whereas, in our over-refined times, from
six to eight hundred, nay, even upwards of a thousand, are required by
people in order to enjoy the din which this legion produces, while
little or no attention is paid to the main point.[21] In short, at that
time people thankfully accepted great things offered with small means,
sought mind and soul in music as the highest gratification, and had no
conception of that materialism which now-a-days presides over musical
matters, any more than they had of the tendency of the gradual
improvements in the mechanism of musical instruments and their abuse to
lower taste. The dillettantism of that period remained modestly in its
place, and did not offer itself for hire, as at the present day, in
every province and in every country, paid sincere respect to art and
artists, and arrogated to itself no position which the accomplished
professional man alone should have occupied--a mal-practice now so
common in many places. In a word, people really loved music without
ostentation; they allowed it to operate upon them with its magic charms,
no matter whether it was executed by four performers or by four hundred,
and employed it in general as the surest medium for improving heart and
mind, and thus giving a noble direction to the feelings. The German
nation could still derive the inspiration of simple greatness, genuine
sensibility, and humane feelings from its music; it still thoroughly
understood the art of drawing down from the magic sphere of harmony the
inexpressible and the spiritually sublime, and securing them for itself.

In and with those times, and among their noblest and best, lived
Beethoven, in cheerful Vienna, where his genius found thousand-fold
encouragement to exert its power, free and unfettered, and exposed to no
other misrepresentations and enmity than those of envy alone.

This was a splendid era of art, such an era as may perhaps never recur;
and, with special reference to Beethoven, the golden age. Under such
circumstances, surrounded and beloved by persons of such delicate
sentiments, he ought to have been completely happy; and he certainly
would have been so but for a hardness of hearing, which, even
then,--that is to say, in the latter years of this first period of his
life,--began to afflict him, and was sometimes of long continuance. This
complaint, which affected his temper, was subsequently aggravated into a
dreadful disease, which rendered him inexpressibly miserable.


FROM 1800 TO OCTOBER, 1813.

     General View of the Second Period of Beethoven's Life--Composition
     of his "Christ on the Mount of Olives" and "Fidelio"--His brothers,
     Carl and Johann; their mischievous influence--His severe
     Illness--Remarkable Will addressed to them--His "Sinfonia Eroica,"
     in honour of Napoleon--Count Moritz von Lichnowsky--Opera of
     "Fidelio"--Beethoven's Neglect of Vocal Performers--Their Intrigues
     and Cabals--His Passion for Julia--Letters to her--Disappointed
     Love--Countess Marie Erdödy--Beethoven as Director of the
     Orchestra--Animadversions on Statements of Ferdinand
     Ries--Beethoven forms a friendship with Count Franz von Brunswick
     and Baron Gleichenstein--Prices paid for his Compositions during
     the Second Period--Misconduct of his Brothers--Defence of his
     Character against the charge of Cowardice--Annuity settled upon
     him, to keep him in Austria--His dislike of, and reconciliation
     with, Hummel--Foreign Visitors--Bettina
     Brentano--Göthe--Beethoven's frequent change of Residence--His
     Domestic Circumstances.

This second period is, from beginning to end, a complete labyrinth, in
which the great composer was lost, and where the biographer, too, might
lose his way along with him, if he were not to hold all the threads of
this drama firmly and tightly in his hands, and if he were not
intimately acquainted with the characters of all the actors in it. The
"evil principle," in the shape of his two brothers, Carl and Johann,
incessantly besets him, and pursues him wherever he goes. Fate deprives
him of hearing, and thus bars the access to word or tone. A host of
friends and admirers of all classes throng around him for the purpose of
delivering him from both these evils; they pour their counsels into the
ear of poor Beethoven, who listens only to those of the last friend,
which, however, the "evil principle" is always at hand to counteract.
The entanglements multiply: envy, intrigue, and all sorts of passions,
strive to perform their parts to the best of their power, and close
every avenue and outlet. With regret, the biographer is obliged here to
inform the reader beforehand, that this drama unfortunately is not
concluded in this second period: at the same time he admits with
pleasure that, in the thousand conflicts and collisions, the sacred Muse
conducted her high-priest with protecting hand, since she caused him to
meet with several excellent friends, who found means to secure his
confidence for a length of time, and assisted to bring him as unharmed
as could be expected out of this labyrinth of human frailties and
passions to the third period of his life.[22]

The scene before us shows but too plainly how difficult a task is here
imposed upon the biographer, to unravel this tangled web, and, with its
threads, to continue to weave the history with a due regard to truth
and justice. He shall therefore be obliged to treat very summarily of
the greater part of those unhappy circumstances, together with their
causes; and to throw them overboard, wherever it can be done, as
superfluous ballast, entreating the reader to have recourse to his own
imagination for filling up the details of many a scene.

In the year 1800 we find Beethoven engaged in the composition of his
"Christ on the Mount of Olives," the first performance of which took
place on the 5th of April, 1803. He wrote this work during his
summer-residence at Hetzendorf, a pleasant village, closely contiguous
to the gardens of the imperial palace of Schönbrunn, where he passed
several summers of his life in profound seclusion. There he again
resided in 1805, and wrote his "Fidelio." A circumstance connected with
both these great works, and of which Beethoven many years afterwards
still retained a lively recollection, was, that he composed them in the
thickest part of the wood in the park of Schönbrunn, seated between the
two stems of an oak, which shot out from the main trunk at the height of
about two feet from the ground. This remarkable tree, in that part of
the park to the left of the Gloriett, I found with Beethoven in 1823,
and the sight of it called forth interesting reminiscences of the former
period. With respect to the above-mentioned Oratorio, I ought not to
omit mentioning the circumstance, that Beethoven, in the last year of
his life, found fault with himself for having treated the part of Christ
too dramatically, and would have given a great deal to be able to
correct that "fault." Towards the end of the autumn of 1800 his Second
Symphony, and the Concerto in C minor, were performed for the first

It was during this period that his brother Carl (his real name was
Caspar), who had some years previously followed him to Vienna, began to
govern him, and to make Beethoven suspicious of his sincerest friends
and adherents, from wrong notions, or, perhaps, even from jealousy. It
was only the still undiminished authority of Prince Lichnowsky over
Beethoven and his true interests, that intimidated the latter, and
somewhat checked the perversity of his brother Carl, and thereby peace
was still for a short time ensured to our Beethoven and those around
him. At any rate, here already commences the history of Beethoven's
sufferings, which terminated only with his death, and which originated
not only in the conduct of his brother, but also in his own gradually
increasing deafness, and the distrust which it engendered. This first
brother was joined in time by a second, Johann, whose sentiments soon
became identified with those of Carl; so that the mass of the
counterpoise to the scale containing what was truly necessary and
salutary for Beethoven became too compact, and defied all who were
acquainted with his noble disposition and his aspiring genius, and who
had striven to elevate the latter by means of the former. And how did
Beethoven behave amidst the innumerable contradictions and contrasts
that already everywhere pursued him? Like a boy, who, having dropped
from an ideal world upon the earth, utterly destitute of experience, is
tossed like a ball from hand to hand, consequently is entirely under the
influence of others; and such was Beethoven's case throughout his whole

Let this serve the reader for a key to many an enigma that will
hereafter present itself to him in regard to Beethoven's conduct. We
perceive from this explanation how complicated those circumstances are
already becoming, which must necessarily operate upon his mental and
intellectual exertions, and ultimately on his whole physical existence.
But, at the same time, we see how much depends on those about such a
man, who continues in a sort of childhood, but whose mind attains a
greatness that cannot harmonise with anything about him; whose will in
everything becomes absolute law, even for the purpose of trying and
condemning himself. Such was Beethoven throughout his whole life. Hence
his never-ceasing opposition to every existing political institution;
for, in his ideal world, everything was different--everything better;
and whoever coincided in these notions, to him he attached himself, and
frequently with the warmest affection. Such impressions, however, were
but transient, owing, in many cases, to a too ready accordance with his
notions, when this appeared to be the result not of conviction, but of
personal respect for himself. This he termed _flattery_, and to him it
was at all times particularly offensive.

In the first months of 1802, Beethoven was attacked by a severe illness,
in which he was attended by Dr. Schmidt, the celebrated physician, whom
he numbered among his esteemed friends, and to whom, in token of
gratitude, he dedicated the Septett arranged by himself as a Trio. On
his recovery he removed to Heiligenstadt, a village about seven miles
distant from Vienna, where he passed the whole of the summer. There he
wrote that remarkable will, which I sent after his death to the editor
of the _Wiener Theater Zeitung_, and to M. Rochlitz, at Leipzig, for the
_Musikalische Zeitung_, of that city. That document, which must not be
omitted here, is to this effect:[23]--

     "_For my Brothers, Carl and ... Beethoven._

     "O ye, who consider or declare me to be hostile, obstinate, or
     misanthropic, what injustice ye do me!--ye know not the secret
     causes of that which to you wears such an appearance. My heart and
     my mind were from childhood prone to the tender feelings of
     affection. Nay, I was always disposed even to perform great
     actions. But only consider that, for the last six years, I have
     been attacked by an incurable complaint, aggravated by the
     unskilful treatment of medical men, disappointed from year to year
     in the hope of relief, and at last obliged to submit to the
     endurance of an evil, the cure of which may last perhaps for years,
     if it is practicable at all. Born with a lively, ardent
     disposition, susceptible to the diversions of society, I was forced
     at an early age to renounce them, and to pass my life in seclusion.
     If I strove at any time to set myself above all this, O how cruelly
     was I driven back by the doubly painful experience of my defective
     hearing! and yet it was not possible for me to say to
     people--'Speak louder--bawl--for I am deaf!' Ah! how could I
     proclaim the defect of a sense, that I once possessed in the
     highest perfection, in a perfection in which few of my colleagues
     possess or ever did possess it! Indeed, I cannot! Forgive me, then,
     if ye see me draw back when I would gladly mingle among you. Doubly
     mortifying is my misfortune to me, as it must tend to cause me to
     be misconceived. From recreation in the society of my
     fellow-creatures, from the pleasures of conversation, from the
     effusions of friendship, I am cut off. Almost alone in the world, I
     dare not venture into society more than absolute necessity
     requires. I am obliged to live as in exile. If I go into company, a
     painful anxiety comes over me, since I am apprehensive of being
     exposed to the danger of betraying my situation. Such has been my
     state, too, during this half year that I have spent in the country.
     Enjoined by my intelligent physician to spare my hearing as much as
     possible, I have been almost encouraged by him in my present
     natural disposition; though, hurried away by my fondness for
     society, I sometimes suffered myself to be enticed into it. But
     what a humiliation, when any one standing beside me could hear at a
     distance a flute that I could not hear, or any one heard the
     shepherd singing and I could not distinguish a sound! Such
     circumstances brought me to the brink of despair, and had well nigh
     made me put an end to my life: nothing but my art held my hand. Ah!
     it seemed to me impossible to quit the world before I had produced
     all that I felt myself called to accomplish. And so I endured this
     wretched life--so truly wretched, that a somewhat speedy change is
     capable of transporting me from the best into the worst condition.
     Patience--so I am told--I must choose for my guide. I have done so.
     Stedfast, I hope, will be my resolution to persevere, till it shall
     please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread. Perhaps there may be
     amendment--perhaps not; I am prepared for the worst--I, who so
     early as my twenty-eighth year, was forced to become a
     philosopher--it is not easy--for the artist, more difficult than
     for any other. O! God, thou lookest down upon my misery; thou
     knowest that it is accompanied with love of my fellow-creatures and
     a disposition to do good! O, men! when ye shall read this, think
     that ye have wronged me: and let the child of affliction take
     comfort on finding one like himself, who, in spite of all the
     impediments of nature, yet did all that lay in his power to obtain
     admittance into the rank of worthy artists and men. You, my
     brothers, Carl and ..., as soon as I am dead, if Professor Schmidt
     be yet living, request him, in my name, to write a description of
     my disease, and to that description annex this paper, that after my
     death the world may, at least, be as much as possible reconciled
     with me. At the same time, I declare both of you the heirs of the
     little property (if it can be so called) belonging to me. Divide it
     fairly; agree together, and help one another. What you have done to
     grieve me, that, you know, has long been forgiven. Thee, brother
     Carl, I thank in particular, for the affection thou hast shown me
     of late. My wish is that you may live more happily, more exempt
     from care, than I have done. Recommend virtue to your children;
     that alone--not wealth--can give happiness; I speak from
     experience. It was this that upheld me even in affliction; it is
     owing to this and to my art that I did not terminate my life by
     suicide. Farewell, and love one another. I thank all friends,
     especially Prince Lichnowsky and Professor Schmidt. I wish that
     Prince L.'s instruments may remain in the possession of one of you;
     but let no quarrel arise between you on account of them. In case,
     however, they can be more serviceable to you in another way,
     dispose of them. How glad I am to think that I may be of use to you
     even in my grave! So let it be done! I go to meet death with joy.
     If he comes before I have had occasion to develop all my
     professional abilities, he will come too soon for me, in spite of
     my hard fate, and I should wish that he had delayed his arrival.
     But even then I am content, for he will release me from a state of
     endless suffering. Come when thou wilt, I shall meet thee with
     firmness. Farewell, and do not quite forget me after I am dead; I
     have deserved that you should think of me, for in my lifetime I
     have often thought of you to make you happy. May you ever be so!

      m. p.            (L.S.)

     "_Heiligenstadt, October 6th, 1802._"

On the outside was the following:--

     "For my brothers, Carl and ..., to read and to execute after my

     "_Heiligenstadt, October 10th, 1802._

     "Thus, then, I take my leave of thee, and that with sorrow. Yes,
     the fond hope that I brought hither with me of cure, at least to a
     certain point, will now entirely forsake me. As the leaves of
     autumn fall withered to the ground, so is that hope become withered
     for me. Nearly as I came hither do I go away; even that lofty
     courage, which frequently animated me in the fine days of summer,
     has abandoned me. O, Providence! grant that a day of pure joy may
     once break for me! How long have I been a stranger to the
     delightful sound of real joy! When, O, God! when can I again feel
     it in the temple of Nature and of men?--never? Nay that would be
     too hard!"[24]

It was not till the autumn of 1802 that his state of mind had so far
improved as to permit him to resume a plan which he had formed of doing
homage to Napoleon, the hero of the day, in a grand instrumental work,
and to set about its execution. But it was not till the following year
that he applied himself in good earnest to that gigantic composition,
known by the title of "_Sinfonia Eroica_," which, however, in
consequence of various interruptions, was not finished till 1804. In the
mean time Beethoven wrote several Sonatas and Quartetts, which were
bespoken by various noble personages and publishers. The original idea
of that Symphony is said to have been suggested by General Bernadotte,
who was then French ambassador at Vienna, and had a high esteem for our
Beethoven. So I was informed by several of his friends. Count Moritz
Lichnowsky, (brother of Prince Lichnowsky), who was frequently with
Beethoven in Bernadotte's company, and who is my authority for many
circumstances belonging to this second period, gave me the same account.
He was always about Beethoven, and was not less attached to him than his
brother.[25] The particulars relative to this subject, communicated to
me by Beethoven himself, I shall reserve for the third period, where I
shall have occasion to make mention of a letter addressed, in 1823, to
the King of Sweden, formerly General Bernadotte.

In his political sentiments Beethoven was a republican; the spirit of
independence natural to a genuine artist gave him a decided bias that
way. Plato's "Republic" was transfused into his flesh and blood, and
upon the principles of that philosopher he reviewed all the
constitutions in the world. He wished all institutions to be modelled
upon the plan prescribed by Plato. He lived in the firm belief that
Napoleon entertained no other design than to republicanise France upon
similar principles, and thus, as he conceived, a beginning would be
made for the general happiness of the world. Hence his respect and
enthusiasm for Napoleon.

A fair copy of the musical work for the first consul of the French
republic, the conqueror of Marengo, with the dedication to him, was on
the point of being despatched through the French embassy to Paris, when
news arrived in Vienna that Napoleon Bonaparte had caused himself to be
proclaimed Emperor of the French. The first thing Beethoven did on
receiving this intelligence was to tear off the title-leaf of this
Symphony, and to fling the work itself, with a torrent of execrations
against the new French Emperor, against the "new tyrant," upon the
floor, from which he would not allow it to be lifted.[26] It was a long
time before Beethoven recovered from the shock, and permitted this work
to be given to the world with the title of "Sinfonia Eroica," and
underneath it this motto: "Per festegiare il sovvenire d'un gran
uomo."[27] I shall only add that it was not till the tragic end of the
great Emperor at St. Helena, that Beethoven was reconciled with him, and
sarcastically remarked, that, seventeen years before, he had composed
appropriate music to this catastrophe, in which it was exactly
predicted, musically, but unwittingly--alluding to the Dead March in
that Symphony.

In the years 1804 and 1805, Beethoven was almost exclusively engaged in
the composition of his Opera "Fidelio," in three acts, which was
performed, for the first time, by the title of "Leonore," at the Theater
an der Wien, in the autumn of 1805.[28] The fortunes which befel this
extraordinary work and its author, till it was rounded into the form in
which we now enjoy it, were more singular than perhaps any production of
this kind before or since ever experienced; and I fear that I shall be
too prolix, even if I relate only the more important circumstances and
their consequences to the author.

It was the Overture in the first place that put our master in a painful
situation. It was finished, but the composer himself was not thoroughly
satisfied with it, and therefore agreed that it should be first tried by
a small orchestra, at Prince Lichnowsky's. There it was unanimously
pronounced by a knot of connoisseurs to be too light, and not
sufficiently expressive of the nature of the work; consequently it was
laid aside and never made its appearance again in Beethoven's
lifetime.[29] M. Tob. Haslinger, of Vienna, to whom this Overture was
transferred, among other things, by his predecessor, published it a few
years since, numbered, Op. 138.

The second Overture (in C major, like the first) with which the Opera
was first performed upon the stage, is indisputably the cleverest of the
four Overtures that Beethoven wrote to Fidelio, and the one which best
characterises the subject. But it was too difficult in the part of the
wind-instruments, which always executed their task to the great vexation
of the composer; it was therefore obliged to give way to a third (that
published by Breitkopf and Härtel), which has the same motivo in the
introduction as also in the allegro-movement, with small variations; but
upon the whole is totally different from the second, which has not yet
been published.

In the third Overture, which was substituted for the two former, too
hard a task was imposed upon the stringed instruments, so that these
also were found deficient in the requisite precision.

The fourth and last Overture (in E major) Beethoven wrote because the
third was moreover deemed too long, and he would not agree to curtail
it. It was not published till 1815, with the Opera, after the latter had
been for many years replaced on the list of acting pieces; and this
time, with partial alterations of the libretto, by Friedrich

In my account of the first period, where I had occasion to mention
Beethoven's anxiety for the improvement of the Schuppanzigh Quartett, I
remarked that he never asked the singers if they could sing what he
wrote, or if it would be necessary for him to make alterations here and
there, to render their parts easier of execution. Thus, too, in
composing he gave full scope to his genius, and paid too little
attention to the precepts given him many years before by Salieri
relative to the treatment of the vocal parts. Hence, at rehearsals, he
came into unpleasant collisions with the singers; and it is well known
that the kapell-meister Ignatz von Seyfried, who then had an engagement
at the Theater an der Wien, was frequently obliged to act the part of
mediator between Beethoven and the vocal performers, and that he gave
him on this subject many a useful piece of advice, founded upon long
experience.[31] If Beethoven had thus far encountered abundance of
vexations, the measure of them was filled by the coldness with which the
Opera was received at its first representation. The cause of this
indifference was not the immoderate length and breadth of the whole
upon so slender a pedestal as the meagre libretto was, but it was as
much owing to the unlucky circumstance that the audience consisted
chiefly of French military, who had entered Vienna a few days before,
and were more familiar with the thunder of cannon than with sublime
musical conceptions, especially when they could not understand anything
of their nature and subject. This may serve in part to account for its
slender success. But is not some blame to be attributed to Beethoven
himself? He would not listen to advice from any quarter, and he had
therefore to take a lesson from experience. But was all the experience
in the world of any benefit to him? Alas, no!--as we shall see on a
decisive occasion, which occurred in 1824, at the rehearsals of his
second Mass, and the ninth Symphony.

At that time the friend of his juvenile years, Stephen von Breuning, was
particularly serviceable to him. He spared neither advice nor active
exertions in his behalf, and helped the inexperienced Beethoven through
all the "intrigues and cabals" which he had to encounter on the part of
the managers of the theatre and the vocal performers.[32] But, still too
young, and of a disposition as inflammable as Beethoven himself, he was
unable to avert any mortifications from the head of his friend, and
only drew them down upon his own in an equal degree, and thus doubled
his burden, which the interference of the "evil principle" rendered
still more oppressive. Others, who wished as well to Beethoven in this
affair as Breuning, were not sparing of their advice, and thus the
unfortunate composer was involved in a maze of counsels and opinions, as
he frequently was in the course of his life, from which nothing but his
good genius and love ultimately extricated him. At that time he should
have had at his elbow a friend like Wegeler, who, according to
Beethoven's account, possessed the talent of giving a comic turn to
everything that was likely to produce discord and strife between
friends, thus putting them all in good humour with one another again.
All the intrigues and cabals to which Beethoven was exposed on occasion
of his first opera, might perhaps not have left behind that
disagreeable impression which made him shrink from the mere idea of
writing a second. It may be asked, where was then his powerful patron
and friend, Prince Lichnowsky, who would probably have cut the knot?
Shortly before the entrance of the French troops he quitted Vienna, with
many thousand others, and did not return till the autumn of the
following year.

After these fatal storms were over, and Beethoven's mind had somewhat
recovered its composure, he wrote the fourth Symphony in B major, in
point of form, indisputably the most finished of all; and thus storm and
tempest were suddenly succeeded by the brightest sunshine. Rapid as such
transitions are in nature, so rapid was the change in his tone of mind,
and hence ensued not a few contrasts. A musical idea, for instance,
which engrossed his imagination, could suddenly chase all clouds from
his brow, and make him forget everything around him, excepting that
central point in which all his feelings converged. This was the passion
for his Julia, which had then attained its greatest intensity, and
seemed to occupy all his thoughts. In the summer of 1806 he took a
journey to an Hungarian bathing-place, on account of his gradually
increasing deafness. There he addressed to the object of his affection
the following three interesting letters, which I possess in his own


"_July 6th, 1806, morning._

"My angel, my all, my other self!--Only a few words to-day, and in
pencil (written with yours). My future abode will certainly not be fixed
till to-morrow. What a frivolous waste of time, &c.!--Why this profound
sorrow, when necessity commands? Can our love subsist otherwise than by
sacrifices, by not wishing for everything? Canst thou help it that thou
art not wholly mine, that I am not wholly thine? Cast thine eyes on
beautiful Nature, and let not thy mind be ruffled by that which must be.
Love requires everything, and very justly: so it is I with thee, thou
with me; only thou forgettest so easily that I must live for myself and
for thee. If we were completely united, thou wouldst not feel this
sorrow any more than I. My journey was terrible. I did not arrive here
till four o'clock yesterday morning, for want of horses. At the last
stage, I was warned not to travel at night, and told to beware of a
certain wood; but this only spurred me on, and I was wrong: owing to the
execrable roads--a bottomless by-road--the carriage broke down. Prince
Esterhazy, who travelled hither by the other road, had the same
accident with eight horses that I had with four. Nevertheless, I feel
some pleasure again, as I always do when I have conquered some
difficulty. But now let us pass rapidly from externals to internals. We
shall soon meet again. I cannot communicate to thee to-day the
observations which I have been making for some days past on my life. If
our hearts were close to one another, I should certainly not make any
such. I have much to say to thee. Ah! there are moments when I find that
language is nothing! Cheer up!--continue to be my true, my only love, my
all, as I to thee: as for the rest--we must leave it to the gods to
dispose for us as they please.

"Thy faithful



"_Monday evening, July 6th, 1806._

"Thou grievest, my dearest!--I have just learned that letters must be
put into the post very early. Thou grievest! Ah! where I am, there art
thou with me; with me and thee, I will find means to live with thee.
What a life!!!! So!!!--Without thee, persecuted by the kindness of
people here and yonder, which, methinks, I no more wish to deserve than
I really do deserve it--humility of man towards men--it pains me--and
when I consider myself in connexion with the universe, what am I, and
what is he who is called the greatest? And yet again herein lies the
divine in man!... Love me as thou wilt, my love for thee is more
ardent--but never disguise thyself from me. Good night!--As an invalid
who has come for the benefit of the baths, I must go to rest. Ah God!
So near! So distant! Is not our love a truly heavenly structure, but
firm as the vault of heaven!"


"_Good morning, on the 7th of July, 1806._

"Before I was up, my thoughts rushed to thee, my immortal beloved; at
times cheerful, then again sorrowful, waiting to see if Fate will listen
to us. I cannot live unless entirely with thee, or not at all; nay, I
have resolved to wander about at a distance, till I can fly into thine
arms, call myself quite at home with thee, and send my soul wrapped up
in thee into the realm of spirits. Yes, alas! it must be so! Thou must
cheer up, more especially as thou knowest my love to thee. Never can
another possess my heart--never!--never!--O God! why must one flee from
what one so fondly loves! And the life that I am leading at present is
a miserable life. Thy love makes me the happiest, and at the same time
the unhappiest, of men. At my years, I need some uniformity, some
equality, in my way of life; can this be in our mutual situation? Be
easy; it is only by tranquil contemplation of our existence that we can
accomplish our object of living together. What longing with tears after
thee, my life, my all! Farewell. O continue to love me, and never
misdoubt the most faithful heart of thy

"Beloved LUDWIG."

With such a heart as Beethoven's, is that to be believed which M. Ries
says of him in his '_Notizen_,' p. 117,--"He" (namely Beethoven) "was
very often in love, but these attachments were mostly of very brief
duration. One day when I was rallying him on the conquest of a fair
lady, he confessed to me that this one had enthralled him longer and
more powerfully than any--that is to say, full seven months."

But, with Beethoven's extraordinary susceptibility on the point of love,
may he not actually have fared the same as others? How many phenomena
pass before the eyes of a man, and leave behind an impression upon him
only for moments or for days; till at length there comes one which
instantly strikes deep into his heart, and incessantly goes before him,
as his pole-star in all he does! This seemed indeed to be really the
case with Beethoven. That he never forgot the lady in question is
evident from his having frequently caused inquiries concerning her to be
made by myself and others, and from the lively interest that he always
took in everything relating to her. Circumstances forbid me to say more
on this subject at present.

Another paper, likewise in his own hand-writing, of a rather later
period, attesting his ardent longing for domestic happiness, runs
literally thus:--"Love, and love alone, is capable of giving thee a
happier life. O God, let me at length find her--her, who may strengthen
me in virtue--who may _lawfully_ be mine!"

It cannot admit of a doubt that, if Beethoven had had the good fortune
to meet with a female of like condition with himself, whom he could have
called his own, who had thoroughly known and loved him--this, with his
eminent qualities for domestic life, would have proved the foundation of
his happiness; and that, under these circumstances, the world would have
many more productions of his genius to boast of than it now possesses.
Beethoven needed such a Constanze as Mozart once called his (as artists
and literary men in particular ought to have), who could, in like
manner, have ventured to say to him, in a tone of kindness, "Stay at
home, Ludwig, and work: such and such a one is waiting for what you
promised," as Wolfgang's wife is reported to have frequently said to
him. Such a woman would have deserved a monument, which he himself had
no need of. To say that his deafness caused things to turn out
otherwise, and that it was almost the only reason that Beethoven never
enjoyed true happiness, is lamentable, but, alas! too true. It is
remarkable that, notwithstanding the great confidence which he placed in
me, on the subject of his attachments, I never heard anything drop from
him but names which seemed to point that way; and it would not have
become my youth to have questioned him concerning them. Thus even of the
Giulietta, to whom I have adverted above, I have heard only casual
mention by himself, and to this tender topic he would not suffer even
his oldest friends to make allusion. What I have stated respecting her
is nevertheless derived from the most authentic sources. The letters
which I have inserted offer moreover incontestable evidence of the truth
of what I have mentioned.

It is further said that Beethoven cherished a tender attachment to a
Countess Marie Erdödy, to whom he dedicated the two splendid Trios, Op.
70. But to me it appears to have been no more than a friendly intimacy
between the two.[33] On this subject I know nothing particular,
excepting that this lady, who was fond of the arts, erected in honour of
her instructor and friend, in the park of one of her seats in Hungary, a
handsome temple, the entrance to which is decorated with a
characteristic inscription, pertinently expressing her homage to the
great composer.

As Beethoven once observed of himself that he was composing several
things at the same time, so this continued to be his practice. Thus, in
the years 1806, 1807, and 1808, in which the fourth, fifth, and sixth
Symphonies--those giants of musical poesy--sprang from his brain, he
wrote many other works, as the catalogue attests. His C minor
_Symphony_, and the _Pastorale_, were not brought out at the same time,
as M. Ries states (p. 83), but at different, distant, intervals, as they
were composed. It may be rationally assumed, _à priori_, that, to bring
out for the first time, and close on the heels of each other, three
works of such extent--M. Ries even adds to them the _Fantasia for the
Piano-forte_, with orchestra and vocal music--at a period when the
orchestra had not attained that degree of perfection which it has in our
days, borders on the impossible.

In this, as in the former period, Beethoven conducted almost all his
greater works himself on their first performance. As director of the
orchestra, he was neither good nor bad. His impetuosity did not permit
him to arrive at the tranquillity and self-command requisite. Feeling
himself what each individual instrument had to do, he strove to make
each of the performers equally sensible of it, and lost himself in
gesticulations, which caused a wavering in the orchestra. His hardness
of hearing, whence his listening for the prescribed falling-in of
particular instruments, moreover occasioned frequent delays in passages
where the director ought to have urged the whole onward. At the time
when his hearing was yet perfect, he had not often occasion to come in
contact with the orchestra, and especially to acquire practice in the
conducting department at the theatre, which is the best school for that
purpose. In the concert-room the talent most fitted for this difficult
function is never fully developed, and remains one-sided and awkward.
Thus we see composers of eminence incapable of conducting the orchestra
in the performance of their own works, if they have not previously
acquired the necessary routine, in listening to, and in superintending,
numerous bands. If, therefore, Beethoven was frequently involved in
unpleasant altercations with his orchestra, this was no more than might
have been expected, but never did he descend to coarseness and abuse;
still less does a creature in Vienna know anything about such
occurrences with the orchestra as are related by his friend and pupil,
M. Ries (pp. 83 and 84), occurrences which "are said" to have happened
in Vienna long after M. Ries had gone to Petersburg. And what conductor
is there but sometimes gets into unpleasant squabbles with his
orchestra, without any one ever attaching importance to them, or
employing them as sources for a characteristic account of the man?[34]

[Illustration: musical notation; _Rhythm of 3 bars._]

This seems to be the proper place for mentioning that it was in this
period that the friendships formed by Beethoven were increased by two,
which had in general great influence over him, in the persons of Count
Franz von Brunswick and Baron J. von Gleichenstein. Though not
constantly resident in Vienna, they were frequently there, and Beethoven
had opportunities of consulting them on matters of importance. Both
possessing superior abilities and rare equanimity, and having penetrated
deeply into his whole nature and his works, acquired such a control over
Beethoven, without any assumption on their part, as enabled them to
accomplish much that the officiousness of other friends could never have
brought about. The former in particular possessed a profound
comprehension of Beethoven's genius which I have never met with in so
high a degree in any other of his admirers. Beethoven seems to have even
then perceived this mental preponderance of that friend over others,
when he dedicated to him the gigantic _Sonata_, Op. 57, and the
_Fantasia_, Op. 77. "It must be of no ordinary quality," he probably
thought, "if I am to honour a worthy friend according to his
deserts."[35] To his friend, Baron von Gleichenstein, Beethoven
dedicated the grand _Sonata with Violoncello_, Op. 69. Here I must
further mention the Imperial Secretary M. von Zmeskall, who was one of
Beethoven's warmest friends at that time, and who, like the two just
mentioned, exercised considerable influence over him. To all these three
excellent men the great master continued to be attached and grateful as
long as he lived.

It was not the admiration of his genius, but a decided comprehension and
appreciation of it, that attached Beethoven to a friend. For idolatrous
admirers his heart was but a broad thoroughfare, along which thousands
could go in and out without jostling against one another. And this is a
sure sign of the truly superior genius, whose chief desire it is to be
understood, and completely understood. Astonishment and admiration will
then follow in due time and measure.

It will now be interesting to observe how much Beethoven's works had
risen in value since the conclusion of the first and the beginning of
the second period. Among his papers there is an agreement between him
and Muzio Clementi, dated Vienna, the 20th of April, 1807, signed by
both, and witnessed by Baron Gleichenstein. According to this
agreement, Beethoven received from M. Clementi for duplicates of the
following works:--1st. Three Quartetts; 2nd. The Fourth Symphony; 3rd.
The Overture to Coriolanus; 4th. The Fourth Concerto for the
Piano-forte; 5th. The Violin Concerto--for sale in England, the sum of
two hundred pounds sterling. (All these works had already been disposed
of to German publishers.) Clementi further engaged by this agreement to
pay Beethoven the sum of sixty pounds sterling for three Sonatas that
were not yet composed.

The valuable presents that Beethoven received about this time were
numerous, but all of them vanished without leaving any traces behind;
and I have heard friends of his assert that the "evil principle" strove
to keep not only kindly disposed persons but valuables of every sort
away from him. It is said that, when he was asked,--"What is become of
such a ring, or such a watch?" he would always reply, after some
consideration, "I do not know." At the same time he well knew how it had
been purloined from him, but he never would accuse his brothers of such
dishonesty; on the contrary, he defended them in all their proceedings,
and, in their bickerings with others, even with his most tried friends,
he generally admitted, if not loudly, yet tacitly, that his brothers
were in the right, and thus confirmed them in their practices against
his personal interests. In particular, all that his elder brother Carl
did he most obstinately defended, as he was extremely fond of him, and
placed great reliance on his abilities.[36]

At the time of the second French invasion, in 1809, Beethoven did not
quit Vienna any more than he had done during the first. Had he on this
occasion been concerned for his personal safety, and capable of such
cowardice as M. Ries leaves the reader to suppose that he betrayed,[37]
he could have taken a thousand opportunities to quit the capital before
its occupation; and if, during its bombardment, he retreated to the
cellar, he did no more than was done, at that critical moment, by the
whole population; and Dr. Wegeler conjectures that he may have been
moreover induced to take this precaution by the painful effect of the
thunder of the cannon upon his ailing ear. No person that had any
opportunity to observe Beethoven closely ever saw him timorous or
cowardly; he was precisely the reverse, and knew neither fear nor
apprehension: and this was quite in accordance with his natural
character. Or is it to be presumed that he was timid and alarmed in the
year 1809 alone? Did he not stay in Vienna and bring out his Fidelio
during the first occupation of the French in 1805, though it was just as
likely to have been preceded by a bombardment of the city?

In the year 1809 Beethoven was offered the appointment of Kapell-meister
to the King of Westphalia, with a salary of 600 ducats. This offer of a
secure provision was the first and the last he ever received in his
life--the last, because his defective hearing incapacitated him for the
functions of a director of music. But as it was considered discreditable
for Austria to suffer the great composer, whom with pride she called her
own, to be transferred to another country, an offer was made to him on
the part of the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and Prince Lobkowitz,
to settle upon him an annuity of 4000 florins in paper-money so long as
he should not have any permanent appointment in the country, on this
single condition, that he was not to leave Austria.[38] To this
condition Beethoven acceded, and remained. But, so soon as the year
1811, the Austrian finance-patent reduced these 4000 florins to
one-fifth; nevertheless Beethoven could not prevail upon his illustrious
patrons to make any modification in the stipulations of 1809. How he
fared in the sequel in regard to this fifth of his pension, how
materially it was further diminished, we shall see at the proper place
in the third period.

In the year 1810 Beethoven brought out his first Mass (Op. 86) at
Eisenstadt, the summer residence of Prince Esterhazy. M. Hummel was
then Kapell-meister to the prince. After the service, Prince Paul
Esterhazy, who, it is well known, had a particular predilection for
Haydn's church music, received our Beethoven and other eminent persons
in his mansion. When the composer entered, the prince said to him in an
indifferent tone--"But, my dear Beethoven, what have you been about here
again?" in allusion to the work which had just been performed.
Disconcerted by this expression of the prince's, Beethoven was still
more so, when he saw Hummel stand laughing by the side of the prince.
Fancying that he was laughing at him, and moreover that he could
perceive a malicious sneer in his professional colleague, he could stay
no longer in a place where his production was so ill appreciated. He
left the prince's residence the same day, without ascertaining whether
that obnoxious laugh had applied to him, or whether it might not more
probably have been occasioned by the way and manner in which the prince
expressed himself. His hatred to Hummel on this account struck such deep
root, that I am not acquainted with any second instance of the kind in
the course of his life. Fourteen years afterwards, he related this
circumstance to me with as much asperity as though it had happened only
the preceding day. But this dark cloud was dispelled by the energy of
his mind, and this would have been the case much sooner had Hummel made
friendly advances, and not kept continually aloof, which he did, owing
to the fact that both had once been in love with the same lady; but
Hummel was, and continued to be, the favoured suitor, because he had an
appointment, and had not the misfortune to be hard of hearing.

When Beethoven heard, in the last days of his life, that Hummel was
expected at Vienna, he was overjoyed, and said--"Oh! if he would but
call to see me!" Hummel did call, the very day after his arrival, in
company with M. And. Streicher; and the meeting of the old friends,
after they had not seen each other for so many years, was extremely
affecting. Hummel, struck by Beethoven's suffering looks, wept bitterly.
Beethoven strove to appease him, by holding out to him a drawing of the
house at Rohrau in which Haydn was born, sent to him that morning by
Diabelli, with the words--"Look, my dear Hummel, here is Haydn's
birth-place; it is a present that I received this morning, and it gives
me very great pleasure. So great a man born in so mean a cottage!"
Hummel afterwards paid him several visits, and every unpleasant
circumstance that had occurred between them was totally forgotten at the
first interview. They agreed to meet again the following summer at
Carlsbad, but ten or twelve days afterwards Beethoven expired, and
Hummel attended him to the grave.

As it is my intention, as well as my principle, to follow merely the
more important incidents in Beethoven's life that stand in direct
relation to his individuality, I shall record but one more fact which
occurred in the year 1810, and which in its results was important to

That Beethoven was beset by visitors from the most distant countries,
and but too often annoyed by them, must appear extremely natural,
considering his position with regard to his contemporaries. If space
permitted, I could relate interesting particulars of Germans, Russians,
Swedes, Poles, Danes, French, and especially of English, who approached
Beethoven with all the deference they would pay to a sovereign, and who,
when they were in his presence and saw his unhappy situation, of which
they could not before form any conception, were most of them overwhelmed
with melancholy. With tears did many a lady of rank inscribe the
assurance of her profound respect in his conversation-book, since he
could no longer hear her voice; and with tears in their eyes, too, did
most of them take leave of him.[39] Many such scenes did I witness while
I was about him. Is the reader curious to learn how Beethoven behaved
towards such visitors? Always with more than usual kindliness--talkative,
cordial, witty--never as a prince in his realm, and never did he allow
his visitors to perceive how deeply galling was his misfortune.

Among his female visitors, in 1810, was Bettina Brentano (von Arnim), of
Frankfurt on the Mayne, who, in her letters to Göthe, has described
what passed, and whose reports of her interviews with Beethoven in
_Göthe's Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde_ (Göthe's Correspondence with a
Child), must be well known to many of the admirers of the great master.
It is the latter circumstance that, for the reason assigned in the
Introduction, induces me to make a brief remark on Bettina's statements.

Whoever reads, in the work just mentioned, (_Göthe's Briefwechsel_, Band
ii. 190) what the evidently somewhat over-strained Bettina, in her
letter of the 28th of May, 1810, puts into the mouth of Beethoven,
cannot fail to set him down for a _bel esprit_ and a most verbose
talker, but very erroneously. Beethoven's mode of expressing and
explaining himself, on all and every occasion, was throughout his whole
life the simplest, shortest, and most concise, both in speaking and
writing, as is everywhere proved by the latter. To listen to
highly-polished and flowery phrases, or to read anything written in that
style, was disagreeable to him, being contrary to his nature; still less
was he himself an adept in it: in all respects simple, plain, without a
trace of pompousness--such was Beethoven likewise in conversation. That
he thought of his art in the way that Bettina describes, that he
recognised in it a higher revelation, and placed it above all wisdom and
all philosophy; this was a theme on which he did, indeed, often speak,
but always very briefly. With what respect he regarded at the same time
other arts and sciences, all of which he held to be closely connected
with his own art, is peculiarly worthy of remark.

How would Beethoven have been astonished at all the fine speeches which
the sprightly Bettina puts into his mouth--which would be well enough in
a poetical work on the master--but, given as matter of fact, are indeed
contrary to his whole nature! He would undoubtedly say,--"My dear
Bettina, you, who have such a flow of words and ideas, must certainly
have had a _raptus_ when you wrote in that manner to Göthe."[40]
Beethoven's letters to Bettina also attest the simplicity and
unaffectedness of his way of expressing himself.[41] A single example
will suffice to show this: Beethoven writes in 1812 from Töplitz, in
Bohemia, to her among others--"Kings and princes can, to be sure, make
professors, privy councillors, &c., and confer titles and orders, but
they cannot make great men--minds which rise above the common
herd[42]--these they must not pretend to make, and therefore must these
be held in honour. When two men such as Göthe and I come together, even
the high and mighty perceive what is to be considered as great in men
like us. Yesterday, on our way home, we met the whole imperial family.
We saw them coming from a distance, and Göthe separated from me to stand
aside: say what I would, I could not make him advance another step. I
pressed my hat down upon my head, buttoned up my great-coat, and walked
with folded arms through the thickest of the throng. Princes and pages
formed a line, the Archduke Rudolph took off his hat, and the Empress
made the first salutation. Those gentry know me. I saw to my real
amusement the procession file past Göthe. He stood aside, with his hat
off, and bending lowly. I rallied him smartly for it; I gave him no
quarter; flung in his face all his sins, and most of all, that against
you, dearest Bettina: we had been just talking about you. Good God! if
it had been my lot to pass such a time with you as he did, depend upon
it, I should have produced many, many more great works. A composer is a
poet too; he too can feel himself suddenly transported by a couple of
eyes into a fairer world, where greater geniuses make game of him, and
set him excessively hard tasks."

The results of the acquaintance with that interesting woman were,
however, so important for Beethoven, that they might well excuse a
whole volume of such inspired effusions of his and concerning him.
Through her Beethoven became acquainted with the house of Brentano in
Frankfort, in which he found a friend indeed. The following lines,
addressed by Beethoven to me, in February 1823, show in the clearest
manner what the Brentano family was to him:--"Try to find out some
humane creature, who will lend me money upon a bank share, that, in the
first place, I may not encroach too much on the liberality of my friend
Brentano, and that by the delay of this money,[43] I may not get myself
into distress, thanks to the notable measures and arrangements of my
dearly beloved brother."

It was Bettina who, in like manner, paved the way to the personal
acquaintance with Göthe, which actually took place in the summer of
1812, at Töplitz, as we have seen from Beethoven's letter quoted above:
but, though Beethoven has praised Göthe's patience with him, (on account
of his deafness) still it is a fact, that the great poet and minister
too soon forgot the great composer: and when, in 1823, he had it in his
power to render him an essential service, with little trouble to
himself, he did not even deign to reply to a very humble epistle from
our master. That letter was forwarded to him at Weimar, through the
grand-ducal chargé d'affaires, and must, of course, have reached his

In the years 1811 and 1812, nothing occurred of particular moment for
the biographer of Beethoven. He lived in his usual way, in winter in the
city, and in summer in the country, and adhered to his old custom of
changing his place of abode as often in the twelvemonth as others do
inns and places of diversion. Hence it was no uncommon thing for him to
have three or four lodgings to pay for at once. The motives for these
frequent changes were in general trivial. In one lodging, for instance,
he had less sun than he wished, and, if his landlord could not make that
luminary shine longer into his apartment, Beethoven removed from it. In
another, he disliked the water, which was a prime necessary for him,
and, if nothing could be done to please him on this point, Beethoven was
off again; to say nothing of other insignificant causes, such as I shall
have to illustrate by two comic anecdotes when I come to the years 1823
and 1824. In regard to his summer abodes, he was particularly whimsical.
It was a usual thing with him to remove in May to some place or other on
the north side of the city; in July or August to pack up all of a sudden
and go to the south side. It is easy to conceive how much unnecessary
expense this mode of proceeding must have entailed. In his last years,
Beethoven was so well known throughout the whole great city as a
restless lodger, that it was difficult to find a suitable place of abode
for him. At an earlier period, it was his friend Baron Pasqualati who
kept apartments in constant readiness for the fickle Beethoven; if he
could not find any that he liked better, he returned, with bag and
baggage, to the third or fourth floor at Pasqualati's, where, however,
not a ray of sunshine was ever to be seen, because the house has a
northern aspect. Beethoven, nevertheless, frequently resided there for a
considerable time.

In these three years of the second period he laboured assiduously, and
we see already nearly one hundred of his works in the catalogue. The
price of them increased from year to year, and in the like proportion
increased Beethoven's necessities, whims, and eccentricities, or
whatever you choose to call them. Large as were the sums that he earned,
he had not laid by anything; nor did his brother Carl, who at that time
had the entire management of all his affairs, strive to prevail upon him
to do so. The first impulse to secure by economy a competence for the
future, was given by an excellent woman, whose name must not be omitted
here: it was Madame Nanette Streicher (her maiden name was Stein), whose
persuasions were beneficial to Beethoven in another point besides that
just mentioned, inasmuch as they induced him again to mingle in society,
though indeed but for a short time, after he had almost entirely
withdrawn himself from it. Madame Streicher found Beethoven in the
summer of 1813 in the most deplorable condition with reference to his
personal and domestic comforts. He had neither a decent coat nor a
whole shirt, and I must forbear to describe his condition such as it
really was. Madame Streicher put his wardrobe and his domestic matters
to rights, assisted by M. Andreas Streicher (a friend of Schiller's from
his youth), and Beethoven complied with all her suggestions. He again
took lodgings for the ensuing winter at Pasqualati's; hired a
man-servant, who was a tailor and had a wife, but she did not live in
the house with him. This couple paid the greatest attention to
Beethoven, who now found himself quite comfortable, and for the first
time began to accustom himself to a regular way of life, that is to say,
in so far as it was possible for him. While his attendant followed his
business undisturbed in the ante-room, Beethoven produced in the
adjoining apartment many of his immortal works; for instance, the
Symphony in A major, the Battle Symphony, the Cantata "_Der glorreiche
Augenblick_" (the Glorious Moment), and several others. In this
situation I will now leave him, and close the second period of his life,
from the motley events of which the reader may, of himself, draw this
conclusion:--that, if the first period of Beethoven's life may be justly
called his golden age, that which immediately followed it was not a
silver age, but an age of brass.




     Causes of Beethoven's preceding Troubles--Performance of his
     'Battle of Vittoria,' for the Benefit of disabled
     Soldiers--Dishonest Conduct of M. Mälzel; its Effect on
     Beethoven--Commencement of the Author's Acquaintance with
     him--Attention paid to Beethoven by the Allied Sovereigns at
     Vienna--Pitiful Conduct of Carl M. von Weber--Scotch Songs set to
     Music by Beethoven--Death of his elder Brother--He undertakes the
     Guardianship of his Son, whom he adopts--Diminution of his Annuity
     by the Failure of Prince Lobkowitz--He commences
     House-keeping--Law-suit with his Brother's Widow--Society for the
     Performance of Beethoven's Chamber Music, directed by Carl
     Czerny--Further Diminution of his Pension--His Pupil, the Archduke
     Rudolph, nominated Archbishop of Ollmütz--Beethoven commences a
     grand Mass for his Installation--Household Troubles--Walzes and
     Bagatelles--Straitened Finances--Ignoble Application of Musical
     MS.--Performance of 'The Ruins of Athens'--The 'Land-owner' and the
     'Brain-owner'--Subscription of Sovereigns to Beethoven's new
     Mass--His Letter to Cherubini.

The various troubles which Beethoven had to encounter in the second
period of his life, of which we have just been treating, originated,
firstly, in disappointed love; secondly, in his increasing deafness, for
his right ear totally refused to perform its functions; and, thirdly, in
his inexperience in matters of business, for the just comprehension of
which nature had not endowed him with the requisite faculties. All the
unpleasant things which had hitherto befallen him, to which belong the
various collisions with his friends, were mere private matters, capable,
indeed, of deeply affecting such a mind, but not of checking creative
genius in its flights. Thus far he was a stranger to suits and courts of
law, attempts upon the productions of his mind, and public quarrels with
utterly unprincipled men. All these, and many other trials, awaited him
in the period at which we have now arrived. They were not all of them
provoked by him, but partly brought upon him by the pressure of
circumstances, partly by intriguing persons, who strove on every
occasion to turn his inexperience to their own private advantage. From
these contests sprang circumstances deplorable for Beethoven, which had
a most pernicious influence on his creative genius, as well as upon his
temper, as we shall have occasion to observe in the course of this third
period of his life.

The moment at which I have to resume the thread of his history, and to
connect it with the preceding period, is that when Beethoven, in the
autumn of 1813, was preparing for the performance of his Battle of
Vittoria, and his A major Symphony, both which works he had just
completed. The performance of these, with some other pieces of his
composition, took place on the 8th and again on the 12th of December in
the same year, in the hall of the University, for the benefit of the
Austrian and Bavarian soldiers disabled in the battle of Hanau. A
letter of thanks to all the co-operators in those two concerts, written
by Beethoven's own hand, and destined for insertion in the _Wiener
Zeitung_, lies before me, and possesses historical interest. Owing to
the length of this document I can only venture here to introduce a few
extracts from it. After Beethoven has, at the opening of this address,
expressed his thanks for the assistance he has received, he proceeds
thus:--"It was a rare assemblage of eminent performers, each of whom was
inspired solely by the idea of being able to contribute by his talents
something towards the benefit of the country; and who, without any order
of precedence, co-operated, even in subordinate places, in the execution
of the whole.... On me devolved the conduct of the whole, because the
music was of my composition; had it been by any one else, I should have
taken my place at the great drum, just as cheerfully as M. Hummel
did[44], for we were all actuated solely by the pure feeling of
patriotism and willingness to exert our abilities for those who had
sacrificed so much for us." Respecting the composition of the orchestra,
Beethoven expressly says--"M. Schuppanzigh was at the head of the first
violins, M. Spohr and M. Mayseder co-operated in the second and third
places; M. Salieri, the chief Kapell-meister, beat time to the drums and
the cannonades; and Messrs. Siboni and Giuliani were likewise stationed
in subordinate places."

No sooner was this patriotic act accomplished than Beethoven returned to
his accustomed occupation, not dreaming to what unheard-of results
(results specially injurious to him) his latest work, The Battle of
Vittoria, would give occasion, and what treachery, on the part of a man
whom he had always considered as his friend, would follow, nay, in a
manner, spring out of, that solemn act.

M. Maelzel, the mechanist, inventor of the musical metronome, was one of
Beethoven's warmest friends and adherents. In the year 1812, M. Maelzel
promised the great composer to make him an apparatus for assisting his
hearing. To spur him on to the fulfilment of this promise, Beethoven
composed a piece--"Battle Symphony" (so he calls it himself)--for the
Panharmonicon, recently invented by M. Maelzel. The effect of this piece
was so unexpected that Maelzel requested its author to arrange it for
the orchestra. Beethoven, who had long entertained the plan of writing a
grand Battle Symphony, acceded to Maelzel's proposal, and immediately
set about completing the work. By degrees four acoustic machines were
produced, but only one of which Beethoven found serviceable, and used
for a considerable time, especially in his interviews with the Archduke
Rudolph and others, when it would have been too tedious to keep up a
conversation in writing.

It was M. Maelzel who undertook the arrangement of the two concerts
above-mentioned, and as this was no trifling job, Beethoven relinquished
it to him without suspicion, occupied at home meanwhile with his
composition. Hence it was that, in the first public announcement,
Maelzel presumed to proclaim this work of Beethoven's his own property,
as having been presented to him by the author. This assertion was flatly
contradicted by Beethoven, upon which Maelzel declared that he claimed
this work in payment for the machines which he had furnished, and for a
considerable sum of money lent. As, however, he adduced no evidence to
this point, Beethoven regarded what had taken place as an unbecoming
joke of his friend's, and suspected nothing worse, though from that time
the behaviour of this friend to Beethoven was beneath the dignity of an
educated man.

Immediately after the first of those concerts, Beethoven received
intimation from several quarters that Maelzel was seeking ways and means
to appropriate that new work to himself in an illicit manner--a thing
which the master, however, held to be impossible, for he had never
suffered the scores to go out of his possession, and began to keep a
watchful eye on the individual parts for the orchestra. But this caution
came rather too late; for Maelzel had already found means to come at
several of those parts, and to get them arranged in score.

It may be asked what object Maelzel could have to carry his dishonesty
to such a length? He had projected a journey to England, and meant to
make money there, and likewise on the road thither, with Beethoven's
Battle-Symphony. By way of excusing his conduct in Vienna, he scrupled
not to declare loudly that Beethoven owed him four hundred ducats, and
that he had been obliged to take that work in payment.

These scandalous proceedings were for a considerable time a subject of
general reprobation, and afterwards forgotten. In a few months, however,
Maelzel set out for England, and Beethoven presently received
intelligence from Munich that he had had the Battle-Symphony performed
in that city, but in a mutilated shape, and that he had given out that
the work was his property. It was now high time for Beethoven to take
legal steps against Maelzel. From the deposition relative to that fact,
which he delivered to his advocate, and which I possess in his own
handwriting, I shall merely quote the following passage:--"We agreed to
give this work (the Battle-Symphony), and several others of mine, in a
concert for the benefit of the soldiers. While this matter was in
progress I was involved in the greatest embarrassment for want of money.
Abandoned by everybody here in Vienna, in expectation of a bill, &c.,
Maelzel offered to lend me fifty ducats in gold. I took them, and told
him that I would return them to him here, or that he should have the
work to take with him to London, if I should not accompany him; and
that, in this latter case, I would give him an order upon it to an
English publisher, who should pay him those fifty ducats." I must
further mention a declaration made in this matter by Baron Pasqualati,
and Dr. von Adlersburg, advocate to the court, and an address of
Beethoven's to the performers of London. From that declaration, dated
October 20th, 1814, it appears that Beethoven had in no wise
relinquished to Maelzel the copyright of that work; and in the address
to the performers of London, of the 25th of July, 1814, Beethoven
adverts to the circumstance at Munich, and expressly says--"The
performance of these works (the Battle-Symphony, and Wellington's Battle
of Vittoria) by M. Maelzel is an imposition upon the public, and a wrong
done to me, inasmuch as he has obtained possession of them in a
surreptitious manner." He further warns them against that "mutilated"
work; for it was ascertained that Maelzel had not been able to get at
all the orchestral parts, and had therefore employed some one to compose
what was deficient.[45]

This disgraceful proceeding I have deemed it my duty to state here
without reserve, as its effect, both on Beethoven's temper, and on his
professional activity, was extremely injurious. It served also to
increase his mistrust of those about him to such a degree that for a
considerable time it was impossible to hold intercourse with him. It
was, moreover, owing to this cause that from this time forward Beethoven
had most of his compositions copied at home, or, as this was not always
practicable, that he was incessantly overlooking his copyists, or
setting others to overlook them, for he considered them all as dishonest
and open to bribery, of which indeed he had sufficient proofs. By that
circumstance, of course, his suspicion on this point was kept
continually awake; and, after such an encroachment upon his property,
who would imagine that Beethoven could ever allow this pseudo-friend to
hold intercourse with him, though indeed only by letter? This,
nevertheless, was the case. When M. Maelzel was striving to bring his
metronome into vogue, he applied, in preference, to Beethoven, at the
same time intimating that he had then in hand an acoustic machine, by
means of which the Composer would be enabled to conduct his Orchestra.
Maelzel's letter on this subject, dated Paris, April 19th, 1818, lies
before me, and communicates this intelligence. Nay, he even proposes in
it that Beethoven should accompany him in a journey to England.
Beethoven expressed his approbation of the metronome in a letter to
Maelzel, but of the promised machine he never heard another syllable.

I shall here take leave to state that it was in the year 1814 that I
first made Beethoven's personal acquaintance, which I had long been
particularly desirous to do.[46] He was the man whom I worshipped like
an idol, the composer all of whose works I heard and even practised
during my studies at the Gymnasium of Olmütz, and all the public
performances of which I now, as a member of the University of Vienna,
made a point of attending. It was in the first months of 1814 that I
found an opportunity to deliver, instead of another person, to
Beethoven, who was then lodging in the house of Baron von Pasqualati, a
note to which an immediate answer was required. He wrote an answer,
asking meanwhile several questions, and, short as was this conversation,
and though Beethoven took no farther notice of the bearer of the note,
who had scarcely arrived at manhood, my longing merely to hear the voice
of the man for whom I felt infinitely more esteem than for Kant and the
whole _corpus juris_ put together, was gratified, and the acquaintance,
subsequently so important and eventful to me, was made. It was, however,
not till the beginning of the year 1816 that I met him almost daily at a
particular hour at the Flowerpot Tavern, and thus came into closer
contact with him. But if I followed him with my veneration before my
personal acquaintance with him, after that I was bound to him as though
by a spell. Nothing that concerned him now escaped me, and, wherever I
merely conjectured him to be, there I insinuated myself, and always
accosted him frankly: a hearty shake of the hand invariably told me that
I was not troublesome to him. The principal object for meeting at the
above-mentioned place, where M. Pinterics, a friend of Beethoven's, a
man universally respected, and a Captain in the Emperor's German Guard,
were our never-failing companions, was the reading of the newspapers, a
daily necessity to Beethoven. From that place he frequently permitted me
to attend him in his walks, a privilege which I accounted one of the
greatest felicities of my life, and for which, though overloaded with
studies, I always contrived to find plenty of time. To render him
service, whenever and wherever he needed it, became from that moment,
till his decease, my bounden duty; and any commission that _he_ gave me
took precedence of every other engagement.

In the year 1814, Beethoven lost his old patron, Prince Carl von
Lichnowsky, who died on the 15th of April.

The remarkable political epoch, when, in the autumn of 1814, the allied
sovereigns and many other distinguished personages from the confederated
states of Europe met in congress at Vienna, was likewise of importance
and of pecuniary benefit to Beethoven. He was requested by the
magistracy of the city of Vienna to set to music, as a Cantata, a poem
by Dr. Weissenbach, of Salzburg, the purport of which was to welcome the
illustrious visitors on their arrival within the walls of ancient
Vindobona. It is the Cantata _Der glorreiche Augenblick_ (The Glorious
Moment), which has but very recently been published, with a different
text, by the title of "_Preis der Tonkunst_" (Praise of Music). That
this is one of the least meritorious of Beethoven's works every one
must admit: he himself attached no value to it, though it procured him
the diploma of citizenship of Vienna. As reasons for the inferiority of
this composition may be assigned the very short time allowed him for the
work, and the "barbarous text," from which his imagination could not
derive a single spark of inspiration.[47] With respect to the latter,
several curious scenes took place with the author, who was so hampered
by the composer, that at last he was glad to relinquish the task of
polishing to another. This Cantata was performed, together with the
Battle of Vittoria and the A major Symphony, on the 29th of November, in
the presence of the foreign sovereigns, some of whom made handsome
presents to the composer.

Those memorable winter months at the end of 1814, and the commencement
of 1815, were important to Beethoven in another respect. Numbers of the
distinguished foreign visitors thronged to him to pay him their homage,
and it was more especially at the parties of the Russian ambassador,
Prince Rasumowsky, that the sovereign of the realm of harmony was
accustomed to receive this. It is well known that the testimonies of
warm esteem paid to Beethoven in the apartments of the Archduke Rudolph,
by the highest personages who sought him there, were equally cordial
and affecting. An interview of this kind with the Empress of Russia was
particularly interesting, and Beethoven could not call it to mind
without emotion. He used afterwards to relate, jocosely, how he had
suffered the crowned heads to pay court to him, and what an air of
importance he had at such times assumed. How differently, alas! did he
fare ten years later! It was a new world, as it were, in which we all
lived ten years afterwards in Vienna, where but one name--the name of
Rossini--was destined to be thought of any value.

These extraordinary tokens of favour, conferred about that time on our
Beethoven, made no change whatever in him: he continued to be just what
he was before--Beethoven. In the spring of 1815 he gave several public
performances of his A major Symphony, which had puzzled certain
reviewers abroad as well as at home, to such a degree, that some of
them went so far as to declare that "the extravagances of his genius had
reached the _ne plus ultra_, and that Beethoven was now quite ripe for
the mad-house." Oh! the pitiful creatures! It is much to be regretted
that there should have been among them professional men, who sought in
every possible way to mortify Beethoven, who themselves would fain have
scaled Parnassus by force, and had scarcely ascended a few steps before
they were seized with dizziness and tumbled backward to the bottom. One
of these egotists, after a fall of this kind, cringed and bowed down to
the very dust before Beethoven, beseeching that he would assist him to
rise again, but it was too late.[48]

From this brief intimation, the reader may infer that, notwithstanding
the gigantic greatness to which Beethoven had then attained, he was
pursued by envy and hatred, though he turned out of every one's way,
and ceased to hold intercourse with any of his professional brethren. He
perceived but too clearly that all these gentry felt humbled and
uncomfortable in his presence. Even M. Kanne, with whom he had most
associated in early years, and to whose eminent talents he always paid
the highest respect, was not oftener than twice or three times a-year in
his company.

In the summer of 1815, Beethoven occupied himself exclusively with the
composition, or instrumentation, of the "Scotch Songs," for Mr. George
Thompson, of Edinburgh, the collector of national songs, who paid him a
considerable sum for the work, as is evident from the correspondence.
How many of these Scotch songs Beethoven set to music it was not
possible for me to ascertain; but I believe that not near all of them
have been published.

In the autumn of 1815, died his elder brother Carl, who held the office
of cashier in the national bank of Austria. With the death of this
brother commenced a new epoch for our Beethoven, an epoch of incidents
and facts difficult to relate; and, could I here lay down my pen and
leave the continuation of my work to another, I should feel myself truly
happy. Here begins a most painful situation for the biographer who
adopts this motto: "Do justice to the dead, and spare the living: with
the former fulfil the desire of the deceased; with the latter, do the
duty of the Christian, and leave Him who is above to judge."

To evade this dilemma is utterly impossible: it would be the same thing
as to close here at once the biography of Beethoven, which the whole
musical world desires to have as complete as possible, and which from
this time acquires a higher interest; for not only is Beethoven brought,
for the first time, by a conflict of circumstances, into closer contact
with civil life, and binds up the rod for scourging his own back, but,
through these new conflicts, the moral man Beethoven first gains
occasion to show himself in all his energy, and even momentarily to
outweigh the creative genius.

The value of that brother Carl, while living, to Beethoven we have
several times had occasion to show. Whether it might not have been
desirable for his creative genius, as well as for his peace with the
world, that this brother had died many years earlier, I will not pretend
to decide, but shall merely assert, that he ought not, on many
accounts, to have died before Beethoven, as he left him burdens that
could not fail to crush him but too speedily. In his will, dated
November 14, 1815, Carl van Beethoven begged his brother Ludwig to take
upon himself the guardianship of the son whom he left behind. How our
Beethoven fulfilled this request will be shown in the sequel.

In a letter of the 22nd of November, 1815,[49] to M. Ries, Beethoven
himself mentions the death of this brother, adding, "And I cannot
estimate what I have given him to render his life more comfortable at
less than 10,000 florins" (10,000 francs)--by which Beethoven cannot
possibly mean all that he had given to his brother during his whole
life, for that he was himself least capable of calculating. In the same
letter he says, "He"--namely, his deceased brother,--"had a bad wife;"
and if he had added, "both had a son who is now to be my son," he would
have comprehended in one sentence the sources of the severest affliction
of his future life.

At the death of his father, Beethoven's nephew was about eight years
old, a handsome boy, the quality of whose mind also authorised great
hopes. Perceiving this, and considering, on the other hand, what would
become of him if he continued with his mother, he resolved to adopt him
as his son.[50] But, as the boy's mother protested against this, while
Beethoven persevered in his resolution, supporting himself upon the last
will of his brother, the matter led to a lawsuit, the proceedings in
which were commenced by the widow.

Before I continue the narrative of this unhappy transaction, it is
necessary to mention another unpleasant circumstance relating to our
master. Precisely at the time when Beethoven's young nephew became the
bone of contention between his mother and his uncle, the interests of
music in Vienna suffered severely through the failure of Prince
Lobkowitz. This nobleman, who had become lessee of the Imperial Court
Theatre--not for the sake of lucre, but out of genuine love to the
arts--carried his zeal for all that is sublime and beautiful too far,
and was obliged suddenly to stop. Owing to this circumstance, Beethoven
lost the portion contributed by the prince to the pension settled upon
him in 1809; and, as for any restitution, that was wholly out the
question. Thus we see that the amount of that pension, reduced to
one-fifth by the finance-patent in 1811, was now still further

At the time when the suit in question commenced (1816) Beethoven was
engaged in setting up a household establishment of his own, which
appeared to him to be indispensably necessary if he meant to keep his
nephew, unassailed by the world, under his own care. Upon this prosaic
business, so incongruous with all his habits, he fell to work, as he did
upon everything else, earnestly and zealously. By way of intermezzo, I
shall just introduce a little specimen of the manner in which he set
about it. He seems to have made his first inquiries of a person
conversant with housekeeping: a paper, containing on the left
Beethoven's questions, and on the right the answers to them, written in
masculine hand, is an interesting document of his spirit of enterprise.
He asks, for instance:--

     "1. What is a proper allowance for two servants for dinner and
     supper, both as to quality and quantity?"

On the right-hand side is given the answer, in most minute detail.

     "2. How often should one give them meat?--Ought they to have it
     both at dinner and supper?

     "3. Do the servants take their meals off the victuals cooked for
     the master, or have they their own separately: that is, have they
     different victuals from what the master has?

     "4. How many pounds of butchers' meat are allowed for three

In this way the new housekeeper proceeds, and we discover in it a
pleasing proof of his humanity.

The suit between Beethoven and his sister-in-law was carried before the
court of nobles, the _Landrecht_ of Lower Austria; the complaint was
heard, and the proceedings were continued for a considerable time. The
notion that the _van_ prefixed to Beethoven's name was, like the German
_von_, an indication of noble birth, seems to have been current in
Austria from ancient times; the court, therefore, required no further
evidence on that point. This suit did not hinge upon a point of law, a
matter of _meum_ and _tuum_, but Beethoven had to prove that his
sister-in-law was an immoral woman, and consequently unfit to bring up
her son. From the preceding part of this biography we have learned
sufficient of his moral character, and likewise of his temper, to
conceive how painful was the task which the necessity of furnishing
evidence to this effect imposed upon our Beethoven--upon him to whom
anything doubtful and equivocal in morals and character was so
disgusting in any person that he could not bear to hear that person
mentioned, and still less suffer him to come near him; and now, in order
to rescue a child from certain perdition, to be compelled to expose in a
court of justice the life led by one so nearly related to himself! The
agitation in which he was kept for a long time by this circumstance
deprived him of all equanimity; and had he not been absolutely forced to
work, in order to support himself and his nephew, who had been
provisionally given up to him on the part of the court, we should not
have seen one great work produced by him during that inauspicious
period; for even the 8th Symphony, which was performed for the first
time in 1817, was fortunately conceived and partly composed before the
commencement of that lawsuit.

In the course of the legal proceedings, which had already lasted a
considerable time, it was intimated to the court that the word _van_, of
Dutch origin, does not ennoble the family to whose name it is prefixed,
according to the laws of Holland; that, in the province of the Rhine, in
which Beethoven was born, it was held to be of no higher value; that,
consequently, the halo of nobility ought to be stripped from this _van_
in Austria also. Beethoven was accordingly required to produce proofs of
his nobility. "My nobility," he exclaimed, with emphasis, "is here and
here!" pointing to his breast and his head: but the court refused to
allow the validity of the claim, and transferred the acts to the city
magistracy of Vienna, as the proper court for commoners--after it had,
however, by decision in the first instance, already acknowledged
Beethoven's guardianship over his nephew.

This procedure, the transfer of the acts to the civil tribunal, though
perfectly according to law, drove Beethoven beside himself; for he
considered it as the grossest insult that he had ever received, and as
an unjustifiable depreciation and humiliation of the artist--an
impression too deep to be ever erased from his mind. But for his
advocate,[51] who strove, with the affection of a friend, to allay his
resentment on account of a resolution in exact accordance with the law,
Beethoven would have quitted the country.

Just at the moment when the deeply-mortified master was indulging the
hope that this suit, which had already lasted for some years, and
occasioned him so much vexation and loss of time (during which time his
nephew had been passed from hand to hand, and the system of instruction
and education been changed as often as his coat), would soon be
definitively terminated, the magistracy of Vienna reversed the decision
of the tribunal of the nobles, and appointed Beethoven's sister-in-law
guardian of her son. The consequence was that the suit was commenced
afresh, and it was only after repeated unpleasant discussions, and
through the indefatigable exertions of his advocate, that it was brought
to a close in the year 1820; the Court of Appeal having confirmed the
first decision of the _Landrecht_ of Lower Austria. From Beethoven's
memorial to the Court of Appeal, dated January 7th, 1820, which was
written by himself, and the original of which lies before me,[52] I
extract the following characteristic passage:--

     "My wishes and my efforts have no other aim than that the boy may
     receive the best possible education, as his capacity authorises
     the indulgence of the fairest hopes, and that the expectation which
     his father built upon my fraternal love may be fulfilled. The shoot
     is still flexible, but, if more time be wasted, it will grow
     crooked for want of the training hand of the gardener; and upright
     bearing, intellect, and character will be lost for ever. I know not
     a more sacred duty than the superintendence of the education and
     formation of a child. The duty of guardianship can only consist in
     this--to appreciate what is good and to take such measures as are
     conformable with the object in view; then only has it devoted its
     zealous attention to the welfare of its ward: but in obstructing
     what is good it has ever neglected its duty."

Amidst these troubles, Beethoven needed other supporters besides his
friend and legal adviser, Dr. Bach, to cheer him up and to keep him from
sinking under them. These tried friends were too much concerned with
his professional pursuits, as well as with the transactions of his life,
not to be named here. They are M. C. Bernard, the esteemed poet and
editor of the "_Wiener Zeitung_;" M. Peters, counsel to Prince
Lobkowitz; and M. Oliva, at present professor of German literature in
St. Petersburg. It was the second whom the Court of Appeal appointed
co-guardian with Beethoven, at the special desire of the latter, on the
ground of his deafness.

As it has been already observed, the boy, the object of this long
dispute, had, during the course of it frequently to change his home,
studies, and whole plan of education. Sometimes he was with his uncle,
sometimes with his mother, and at others again at some school. But,
notwithstanding this incessant change, his progress in music and in the
sciences, especially in philology, was fully adequate to his capacity;
and thus it seemed as though Beethoven would one day receive
well-merited thanks, and that he would have joy, nothing but joy, over
his nephew, in return for the inexpressible afflictions and
mortifications which he had undergone during this suit of four years'
continuance, and for the unexampled affection, care, nay even
sacrifices, with which he prosecuted his education. Whether this
prospect was realised, whether his hopes were accomplished, we shall see

Before I again take up the thread of events in Beethoven's life, I think
this may not be an unfit place for a cursory notice of the proceedings
of a small association, composed of professional men and accomplished
amateurs, which, though it was not intimately connected with the events
of Beethoven's life, and neither had, nor could have, any influence upon
them, yet furnishes occasion for showing in what favour and honour
Beethoven's compositions, especially the chamber music, that really
inexhaustible mine of the profoundest and most expressive musical
poetry, was held by the better portion of the Vienna dilettanti and
performers. The task undertaken by this modest society was to execute
classic music in the chamber style, and Beethoven's in preference,
before a small circle of auditors, capable of relishing its beauties. M.
Carl Czerny gave the impulse to this society, so worthy of record in the
history of the art, and was upon the whole its guiding principle. The
meetings were held at his residence in the forenoon of every Sunday, and
were continued with gradually increasing interest for three successive
winters. It was another sort of divine worship, to which every one
without exception and without announcement had free access. To the
peculiar gratification of M. Czerny, Beethoven previously went through
several of his greatest works with him, and frequently attended the
performance at his side, and his presence had the effect of heightening
the interest felt by all the members of the society to the warmest
enthusiasm. At the pianoforte M. Czerny had worthy assistants in the
accomplished Baroness Dorothea von Ertmann (to whom Beethoven dedicated
his Sonata, Op. 101), and in Messrs. Steiner, von Felsburg, and Pfaller,
in the civil service of the Imperial government. The concourse to this
musical stoa, where every one might make himself acquainted with all
that was most sublime, or at least acquire clearer conceptions of it,
was always extraordinary; and kindred spirits there found opportunity
for learning to know and to esteem each other. All foreign professional
men and connoisseurs, who in their own countries could gain but obscure
notions of the spirit of Beethoven's music, here found themselves at the
fountain-head of the purest poesy, which never flowed so clear and so
brilliant since those memorable parties at Prince Lichnowsky's (of which
mention has been made in the first period), and perhaps never may again
in that place where this gigantic genius, so far in advance of his age,
lived and wrought. For, indeed, so totally is everything, both in prose
and poetry, changed there since his time, that this master-mind is
become almost a stranger in his earthly home. The doors of that
memorable school, which powerfully elevated the mind and heart of all
who frequented it, closed at the end of the third winter course for
ever, because M. Czerny began thenceforward to devote himself to
composition; and, with the opening of the Italian Opera, which speedily
followed, all incitement to the cultivation of Beethoven's pianoforte
music ceased. Thus it would be very likely that foreigners might now in
vain seek an opportunity to hear a Sonata of Beethoven's in Vienna; for
the banners of the present day are no longer inscribed with his immortal

The next event, directly affecting Beethoven, before the suit with his
sister-in-law was quite over, and requiring to be recorded here, is the
death of Prince Kinsky, whose heirs refused to pay the stipulated
portion of the pension granted in 1809. The matter was accordingly
brought into court, and Beethoven was more fortunate in this instance
than he had been with regard to the share of Prince Lobkowitz. He
recovered rather more than 300 florins, so that, with the 600
contributed by the Archduke Rudolph, he received thenceforward a yearly
pension of 900 florins (about 600 rix-dollars), which he enjoyed without
further diminution as long as he lived.[53]

The nomination of his most illustrious pupil, the Archduke just
mentioned, whom he had raised to a high degree of proficiency, and who
was the only one of his scholars that Beethoven had at the same time
instructed in the theory of harmony--the nomination of this accomplished
prince to be Archbishop of Olmütz, brought back our master to that
branch of music which is the most sublime and likewise the most
difficult, and for which, together with the Symphony, he had the
greatest predilection, as he frequently declared. He resolved, namely,
to write a grand Mass for the installation of the Archduke in his
archiepiscopal see, which was fixed for the 9th of March, 1820. It was
in the winter of 1818-19, that he set about this new work; the first
movement of which, however, was of such vast dimensions, that it was
impossible to calculate what time it would take to complete the work
upon the same scale. It is necessary here to observe that, in those
years, Beethoven, in spite of the troubles which he had undergone,
enjoyed excellent health. At the very commencement of this new labour,
he seemed to be quite a different man. The change was more particularly
noticed by his earlier friends; and I must confess that, never, before
or since that time, have I seen Beethoven in such a state of absolute
abstraction from the world as was the case, more especially in the year
1819. Nay, were I not already past the age of forty, and had to judge of
that state of mind and soul of my noble friend with the understanding of
a youth of twenty, I should have many anecdotes of that remarkable
period to relate, as another has done of earlier years, but which, after
all, are but anecdotes, and ought no more to have been brought before a
public forum than the table-talk of Martin Luther should have been.[54]

In the year 1819, while engaged in the composition of his second Mass,
Beethoven was truly the boisterous, heaven-storming giant, and more
particularly in the autumn, when he wrote the _Credo_, with the
exceedingly difficult fugue. He lived at that time at Mödling, in the
Hafner House, as it is called, where I paid him frequent visits, and
witnessed most extraordinary incidents, many of them arising from the
mismanagement of his domestic affairs: for he had continued to keep
house ever since 1816, though his nephew was at an academy, and he, of
course, quite alone. To enable the reader to form a clear conception of
his domestic life at that period, and thence to draw the conclusion
under what a yoke, imposed in a great measure by himself, this man
sighed and suffered, and in what a state of constant irritation his
temper was kept by it, I need but lay before him a short extract from
his journal, which, for a period of several years, I possess in his own


     "31st January. Given warning to the housekeeper.

     15th February. The kitchen-maid came.

     8th March. The kitchen-maid gave a fortnight's warning.

     22nd of this month, the new housekeeper came.

     12th May. Arrived at Mödling.

     Miser et pauper sum.

     14th May. The housemaid came; to have six florins per month.

     20th July. Given warning to the housekeeper.


     17th April. The kitchen-maid came. A bad day. (This means that he
     had nothing to eat, because all the victuals were spoiled through
     long waiting.)

     16th May. Given warning to the kitchen-maid.

     19th. The kitchen-maid left.

     30th. The woman came.

     1st July. The kitchen-maid arrived.

     28th. At night, the kitchen-maid ran away.

     30th. The woman from Unter-Döbling came.

     The four bad days, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th August. Dined at

     28th. The woman's month expires.

     6th September. The girl came.

     22nd October. The girl left.

     12th December. The kitchen-maid came.

     18th. Given warning to the kitchen-maid.

     27th. The new housemaid came."

But enough of this lamentable spectacle of domestic confusion!--and
enough too of matter for incessant vexation for the master of a house,
who concerns or is obliged to concern himself about such details. But
such was Beethoven's domestic state, with very little alteration, till
his death. The impossibility of making himself understood by his
servants was the principal cause of the incessant changes, by which, it
is true, nothing whatever was gained.

Let us now turn from the prosaic to the poetical side of his life.

At the time when the Archduke Rudolph was preparing for his journey to
Olmütz, the Mass destined for the ceremony of his installation was
scarcely one third finished; which, taking into account the time usually
occupied by him in correcting each of his great works, was as much as to
say that the first movement was not yet completed. And to state here at
once when Beethoven gave the last finish to this his greatest work, I
may add that it was not till the summer of 1822 at Baden (near Vienna),
after he had been labouring more than three years at this gigantic
performance. Thus the mass was finished only two years too late for its
original destination.

In the winter months of 1821-22, Beethoven wrote the three piano-forte
Sonatas, Op. 109, 110, and 111. The Grand Sonata in B major, Op. 106, he
wrote during the suit with his sister-in-law. In the summer of 1819,
just at the time when he was engaged in the composition of the _Credo_,
he complied also with the urgent solicitations of a musical society
consisting of seven members, who were then accustomed to play at the
tavern balls, in the Briel, near Mödling, and composed some Waltzes for
them, and even wrote out the parts. On account of the striking contrast
displayed by that genius, which could move at one and the same time in
the highest regions of musical poetry and in the ball-room, I made
inquiry some years afterwards, when the master had once mentioned the
circumstance, after this light-winged progeny; but the society in
question was then broken up, and thus my search proved fruitless.
Beethoven, too, had lost the score of these Waltzes. While he was
engaged in the composition of the grand mass, I do not recollect his
having written anything further than a few numbers of Bagatelles. Mr.
P., the publisher of Leipzig, for whom they were destined, wrote to him
after he had received them, intimating that he did not consider them
worth the price agreed upon (ten ducats, I believe), and added the
remark, that Beethoven ought to deem it beneath him to waste his time on
trifles such as anybody might produce. Would that Mr. P. could have
witnessed the effect of this well-meant lecture on the outrageous
composer! It was, nevertheless, a salutary lecture, and came just at the
right time, for the great master took pleasure in such relaxations of
his powers (which at that time, it is true, he needed), and had written
many more Bagatelles of the same kind. _Dormitat aliquando Homerus._

From the foregoing particulars the reader may infer that the price of
the four last-mentioned Sonatas and his pension constituted the whole of
Beethoven's income from the year 1818 to 1822, just at a time when he
had a considerable annual sum to pay for the education of his nephew,
and when the preceding years of dearth had an injurious influence upon
him. The state of his finances may be more clearly seen from the letters
addressed to M. Ries, which, however (especially those written in 1819
and 1820), ought not to have been exposed to the public eye, but should
have been suppressed by his friends Wegeler and Ries;[55] for the tenor
of those letters would lead one to suppose either that Beethoven was
almost starving, or that, like the modern composers, he had written
notes solely for money.[56] This, however, was not the case, though it
is a fact that his income during that period was far from covering his
expenses. It was not until 1825 that the Mass was sold to a publisher.
It was consequently in the years 1820 and 1821 that Beethoven suffered
real want, as he was determined not to add any new debts to those which
he had previously incurred. And yet, if the truth must be told, the
privations which he suffered were voluntary; for he was in possession of
some bank shares, which might have placed him above any want, if he had
chosen to dispose of them. When, therefore, we hear that those four days
marked in his Journal for 1820 as "bad days" were such, when, quite
destitute of money, he was obliged to make his dinner of a few biscuits
and a glass of beer, as I have heard from his own lips, I, for my part,
am disposed to seek in that fact the origin of his subsequent parsimony,
which served only to enrich an unworthy laughing heir; but more upon
this subject in the proper place.

Of the year 1821 there is nothing particular to relate excepting an
anecdote characteristic of his household system: it went on in its usual
way. In the spring of that year, he again removed with bag and baggage
to Döbling. On arranging his musical matters there, he missed the score
of the first movement (_Kyrie_) of his grand Mass. All search for it
proved vain, and Beethoven was irritated to the highest degree at the
loss, which was irreparable; when lo! several days afterwards the whole
Kyrie was found, but in what condition! The large sheets, which looked
just like waste paper, seemed to the old housekeeper the very thing for
wrapping up boots, shoes, and kitchen utensils, for which purpose she
had torn most of them in half. When Beethoven saw the treatment to which
this production of his genius had been subjected, he could not refrain
from laughing at this droll scene, after a short gust of passion, and
after the sheets had been cleaned from all the soils contracted in such
unseemly company.

The 3rd of October, 1822--the name-day[57] of the Emperor Francis--was
fixed for the opening of the new theatre in the Josephstadt, on which
occasion the music to _Die Ruinen von Athen_, (The Ruins of Athens)[58]
which Beethoven wrote in 1812, for the opening of the new theatre in
Pesth, with a new text adapted to time and place, by Carl Meisel,
several new pieces, and a new Overture, was to be performed.

In the month of July, Beethoven set about this new work; but that
summer, which he passed in Baden, was remarkably hot, and therefore, he
liked to seek the shade of the neighbouring woods, rather than to
swelter in the house. It was not till the hottest part of the season was
over, and then the day fixed for the opening was not far distant, that
he fell to work in good earnest; and I recollect well, that the
ballet-master was put to a pinch about a new composed chorus with a
dance. He was in urgent want of the music for rehearsal, but Beethoven
would not part with it, because he had not done filing and polishing.
Thus it was not till the afternoon of the day when the first performance
was to take place, that the orchestra, collected at random from all
quarters, received the extremely difficult Overture in C major, with the
double fugue, and that, moreover, with a thousand metrical errors. On
the evening of the solemn opening, when, for want of the necessary
rehearsals, not a single member of the orchestra was acquainted with his
part, Beethoven was seated at the piano, having at his side the
music-director Franz Gläser, as assistant-conductor, and I, escaping
from my office, led the orchestra. This, as it were, ex-tempore
solemnization, might justly be pronounced a total failure, as far as the
music was concerned; and it was not till the next day that all the
orchestral parts were corrected and studied. Beethoven, indeed,
perceived the vacillation on the stage and in the orchestra, but was not
sensible that he was the principal cause of it, through his intent
listening and retarding the time.

On New-Year's day, 1823, Beethoven, his nephew, and myself were seated
at dinner, when a New-Year's card was brought from his brother, who
lived in the next house, signed "Johann van Beethoven, landowner"
(_Gutsbesitzer_); Beethoven immediately wrote on the back of it, "Ludwig
van Beethoven, brainowner" (_Hirnbesitzer_), and sent it back forthwith
to the landowner. It was only a few days before this whimsical
circumstance, that this brother braggingly told our master, that he
would never be worth so much as he (Johann van Beethoven) was.[59] It
may easily be conceived that our Beethoven was mightily amused by this

During this winter (1823), Beethoven carried into effect the resolution
which he had long before formed, of offering the new Mass, in
manuscript, to the European courts, great and small, for the sum of
fifty ducats--a business which he left entirely to my management, which
was attended with innumerable formalities and difficulties, and required
great patience. In his invitation to the subscription, Beethoven
declared this work to be his "greatest" and his "best." And, in that
addressed to the King of France, he called it "oeuvre le plus
accompli." Only four sovereigns, namely, the Emperor of Russia, and the
Kings of Prussia, Saxony, and France, accepted the offer.[60] Prince
Anton von Radziwill, governor of Posen, subscribed for the fifth copy,
and M. Schelble, on behalf of his Cecilia club, at Frankfort on the
Mayn, for the sixth and last.[61] The first of the sovereigns who
subscribed was his majesty the King of Prussia.

A characteristic anecdote is connected with the notification made on
this subject, through his majesty's ambassador. Whether the Prussian
ambassador, the Prince von Hatzfeld, had instructions from Berlin, or
whether he wished, from his own impulse, to see Beethoven decorated with
a Prussian order, I never knew; but it is a fact, that the Prince
commissioned the director of chancery, Hofrath W., to ask Beethoven
whether he might not be disposed to prefer a royal order to the fifty
ducats; in which case he would transmit his wish to Berlin. Beethoven,
without a moment's consideration, replied with great emphasis--"Fifty
ducats!" A striking proof how lightly he prized insignia of honour or
distinctions in general. Offers of this sort he would have invariably
declined, proceed from what quarter soever they might. Without despising
the well-merited decoration of an order on the breast of this or that
artist of his time, he never envied any man that distinction, but
frequently lashed unmercifully one or the other of his contemporaries
for their "longing and snapping after ribands," which, according to his
notions, were gained only at the expense of the truth and the sacredness
of art.

This is the proper place to state that Beethoven applied among others to
Göthe, relative to the affair of the subscription to the Mass,
soliciting his recommendation of it to the Grand-Duke of Weimar; but
Göthe had already forgotten our Beethoven, for he did not even deign to
answer him, and Beethoven felt extremely mortified. This was the first
and the last time that Beethoven ever asked a favour of Göthe. In like
manner, his letter on the same subject, in his own hand-writing, to the
King of Sweden, remained unanswered. This correspondence, however,
carried back Beethoven's remembrance to the time when the King of
Sweden, as General Bernadotte, was ambassador of the French republic at
Vienna; and he distinctly recollected that it was really Bernadotte who
awakened in him the first idea of the _Sinfonia eroica_.

The King of France, Louis XVIII., acknowledged the transmission of this
Mass from Beethoven by sending him a heavy gold medal, with his
portrait, and on the reverse the inscription, "Donné par le Roi à
Monsieur Beethoven," which royal present was the more gratifying to him
because he conceived that he was indebted for it to the influence of
Cherubini with his Majesty, which he had previously solicited. I subjoin
this certainly not uninteresting letter, copied from Beethoven's draft
of it, which he sent from the country to me in the city, with
instructions what to do with it.

     "Most respected Sir,

     "With great pleasure I seize the opportunity of approaching you in
     writing. In spirit I do so very often, as I prize your works above
     all others of the theatrical class. The professional world,
     however, has to lament that, for a long time past, in our Germany
     at least, no new theatrical work of yours has made its appearance.
     Highly as your other works are estimated by competent judges, still
     it is a real loss to the art not to possess any new production of
     your genius for the stage. Genuine art is imperishable, and the
     genuine artist takes heartfelt delight in high productions of mind.
     Just so am I too transported whenever I hear a new work of yours,
     and take a greater interest in it than if it were my own; in short,
     I honour and love you. Did not my continual ill health prevent me
     from seeing you in Paris, with what extraordinary pleasure should I
     converse with you on musical subjects! Imagine not that, because I
     am going to ask a favour of you, this is merely the introduction to
     my request. I hope and am convinced that you do not impute to me
     so mean a way of thinking.

     "I have just completed a grand solemn Mass, and purpose sending it
     to the European courts, because I do not intend to publish it for
     the present. I have, therefore, despatched, through the French
     embassy here, an invitation to his Majesty the King of France to
     subscribe to this work, and am persuaded that the King will be sure
     to take it upon your recommendation. Ma situation critique demande
     que je ne fixe pas seulement comme ordinaire mes voeux au ciel;
     au contraire, il faut les fixer aussi en bas pour les nécessités de
     la vie.

     "Be the fate of my request to you what it will, I shall never cease
     to love and to respect you, et vous resterez toujours celui de mes
     contemporains que je l'estime le plus. Si vous me voulez faire un
     estrême plaisir, c'était, si vous m'écrivez quelques lignes, ce
     que me soulagera bien. L'art unit tout le monde,--how much more
     genuine artists! et peut-être vous me dignez aussi, de me
     mettre--to reckon me also among the number.

     Avec le plus haut estime,

     Votre ami et serviteur,


A French translation of this letter was sent to Cherubini, but he
returned no answer.




     Vindication of the Court of Austria from the charge of neglecting
     Beethoven--His quarrel with a Publisher at Vienna--Mortification
     arising from his Deafness--Wretched Lodging--Beethoven undertakes
     to write a new Opera, but is deterred by the prospect of coming in
     contact with German Singers--His ninth Symphony--Letter from the
     Archduke Rudolph--Italian Opera at Vienna--Flattering Memorial
     addressed to Beethoven--Concerts--His discourtesy to Vocal
     Performers--His credulity and hasty condemnation of his Friends--Is
     invited to visit England by the Philharmonic Society--Disgraceful
     conduct of Prince Nicholas von Galitzin--Severe illness--He sets
     aside a Fund as a Provision for his Nephew--Ingratitude and
     Misbehaviour of that Youth--Distressing circumstances in which he
     was involved by him--Beethoven's forlorn Situation--His last
     Illness--His letters to Moscheles--He is assisted by the
     Philharmonic Society--Total value of his Property--His
     Death--Post-mortem Examination.

The court of Austria has very frequently been reproached by admirers of
Beethoven's with having never done anything for him. The charge is
true: but, if we examine this point more closely, and search for the
motives, we shall perhaps find some that may excuse the imperial court
for this backwardness.

We have already shown in the second period, when treating of the
_Sinfonia eroica_, what were Beethoven's political sentiments. There
needs, then, no further explanation to enable the reader to draw the
certain conclusion, that a man, in whose head so thoroughly republican a
spirit had established itself, could not feel comfortable in the
vicinity of a court, and that this would not do anything to serve him.
This is quite enough to elucidate in the clearest manner Beethoven's
position in regard to the imperial court. Had not the Archduke Rudolph
cherished such an enthusiastic fondness for music, and had not his
spirit harmonized so entirely with Beethoven's and with his whole
nature, he would have fled from him as he did from the whole court. The
only exception was the Archduke Charles, the victor of Aspern, whom
Beethoven always mentioned with veneration, as he knew to a certainty
how well the illustrious hero could appreciate him; and this prince
alone had admittance to his brother the Archduke Rudolph, when Beethoven
was with him. This liberal patron of arts and artists, who united the
purest humanity with the warmest attachment to his great instructor,
probably adopted this precaution for the purpose of avoiding any
collision with other members of the imperial family,[62] The excellent
Count Moritz von Lichnowsky tried for a long time in vain to produce a
change in Beethoven's sentiments on this point, till, in 1823, his
efforts were, in some degree, successful. In the February of that year,
this noble and indefatigable friend proposed to Count Moritz von
Dietrichstein, at that time director of music to the court, that
Beethoven should be commissioned to compose a Mass for His Majesty the
Emperor, hoping by this expedient to bring the master nearer to the
court, and, as it were, to reconcile it with him. Count von
Dietrichstein, a profound connoisseur, immediately acceded to the
suggestion, and I am enabled to communicate the results from the
correspondence which took place between the two counts and Beethoven on
the subject.

In a letter, dated the 23rd of February, from Count Dietrichstein to
Count Lichnowsky, he writes, among other things, as follows:--

     "Dear Friend,

     " ...I here send you also the score of a Mass, by Reutter, which
     Beethoven wished to see. It is true that His Majesty the Emperor is
     fond of this style; but Beethoven, if he writes a Mass, need not
     stick to that. Let him follow the impulse of his great genius, and
     merely attend to the following points:--Not to make the Mass too
     long or too difficult in the execution;--to let it be a Tutti-Mass,
     and in the vocal parts to introduce only short soprano and alto
     solos (for which I have two capital singing boys)--but neither
     tenor, nor bass, nor organ solos. As to the instruments, he may
     introduce a violin, or oboe, or clarinet solo, if he likes.

     "His Majesty is very fond of fugues, when well executed, but not
     too long;--the Sanctus, with the Hosanna, as short as possible, in
     order not to delay the Transubstantiation; and, if I may venture to
     add, on my own account, the Dona nobis pacem, connected with the
     Agnus Dei, without any particular break, and kept _soft_; which, in
     two Masses by Handel, (compiled from his Anthems)--in two Masses of
     Naumann's and the Abbé Stadler's--produces a particularly fine

     "Such are, briefly, according to my experience, the points to be
     observed; and I should congratulate myself, the court, and the art,
     if our great Beethoven would speedily set about the work."

Beethoven accepted this commission with pleasure. Accompanied by Count
Lichnowsky, he called forthwith upon Count Dietrichstein, to confer more
at large on the subject, and resolved to fall to work immediately; but
this was all he did--not a step further could he be induced to stir. It
was not any political crotchet that occasioned this stoppage. Frequent
indisposition, a complaint of the eyes, and an untoward circumstance of
an unexpected nature, were the causes of his deferring this undertaking.
It was, moreover, just in the next autumn that the ideas of the 9th
Symphony began to haunt his brain; and thus it happened that he thought
no more of the Mass for the Emperor.

The unpleasant circumstance just alluded to arose out of a dispute with
a publishing-house at Vienna (not now in existence), which was attended
with consequences disagreeable to Beethoven. This house had long
entertained the plan of drawing our master so entirely into its
interest, that he should bind himself by contract to make over to it
exclusively all that he should in future write. At the same time, this
firm proposed to enter jointly with him into the publication of his
complete works; a proposal which, in my opinion, was most favourable for
Beethoven, and would very probably have been accepted, had it not been
made dependent on the former plan. A formal scale (the original of
which, with marginal remarks in Beethoven's own hand, is in my
possession) was, in consequence, laid before him by the firm in
question, in which every species of composition, from the Symphony and
the Oratorio, down to the Song, was specified, together with the sum
which it offered to pay for each. This tarif Beethoven was to sign. He
consulted several persons on the subject, and, most of them having
dissuaded him from entering into the engagement, he refused to place
himself in a dependence so revolting to his whole nature. Why should no
other publisher be allowed to adorn his shop with a work of Beethoven's,
when the house in question already had so many of them? And why should
the great master suffer his hands to be so tied as not to have the
chance of getting a larger sum for this or that work from some other
quarter? And why, besides, desire to secure a monopoly of the
productions of mind?

As then the above plan failed to lead to the wished-for result, the
other connected with it, relative to the publication of the collected
works, likewise fell to the ground. The firm, in consequence, demanded
of Beethoven the speedy repayment of the sum of eight hundred florins,
advanced to him just at a time when he was in a very necessitous state,
as not a single copy of the new Mass had yet found a subscriber. Highly
indignant at the unfeeling conduct of a man who called himself his
friend, and whose business had been for a long period so much indebted
to Beethoven, our master directed his friend Dr. Bach to serve that
house with a counter-requisition, insisting on its publishing
immediately the manuscripts which had been for many years in its
possession; namely--the first Overture to Fidelio--the Cantata _Der
glorreiche Augenblick_ (The Glorious Moment)--and several more;
alleging, as a legal ground, that it was important to the mental as well
as to the material interest of the author, that the productions of his
mind should not be shut up for a series of years under lock and key. The
other party replied--"We have bought and paid for those manuscripts,
consequently they are our property, and we have a right to do what we
please with them." Dr. Bach dissuaded Beethoven from carrying the affair
into court, for he knew, from the suit with his sister-in-law, what a
mischievous effect such judicial proceedings had upon his temper and his
professional activity, both of which had already suffered in a high
degree. He advised him to dispose of a bank share, in order to discharge
the debt due to the publisher; but it was not till after long
resistance that Beethoven could be prevailed upon to comply.

I mention this circumstance, which was one of the most galling
occurrences in the life of the great master, for the purpose of showing,
at the same time, how highly he prized his artistical freedom and
independence. On the other hand, we see his small savings again
diminished in consequence of this incident. Shortly before, one share
parted with to pay a debt due to a true friend; and now, another to
satisfy the house in question--what trials for the temper of one
struggling with continual indisposition and annoyance!

In the spring of 1823, Beethoven again took up his quarters in the
pleasant village of Hetzendorf, where the Baron von Pronay assigned to
him a suite of apartments in his beautiful villa. Supremely happy as he
felt, when, in the first days of his residence there, he explored the
noble park, or overlooked the charming landscape from his windows; yet
he soon took a dislike to the place, and for no other reason than
because "the Baron, whenever he met him, was continually making too
profound obeisances to him." On the 24th of August, he wrote to me that
he could not stay there any longer, and requested me to be with him by
five o'clock the following morning, to accompany him to Baden, and
assist him to seek lodgings there. I did as he desired; and off he
started, with bag and baggage, for Baden, though he had already paid for
his lodgings at Hetzendorf for the whole of the summer. His English
piano-forte, made by Broadwood, presented to him several years before by
Ferdinand Ries, John Cramer, and Sir George Smart, accompanied him in
all these peregrinations. At the sale of Beethoven's effects, this
instrument was purchased by the court-agent, von Spina, of Vienna, in
whose possession it still remains.[63]

At that villa, in Hetzendorf, Beethoven wrote the _Thirty-three
Variations on a Waltz by Diabelli_, Op. 120,--a work which amused him
exceedingly. At first there were to be but six or seven Variations, for
which moderate number Diabelli offered him eighty ducats: but when he
fell to work they soon increased to ten; presently to twenty; then to
twenty-five; and still he could not stop. Diabelli, who was apprehensive
of having too large a volume, when he heard of twenty-five Variations,
was at last obliged to accept thirty-three Variations instead of seven,
for his eighty ducats. It was about the same sum, that is to say eighty
ducats, that Beethoven received for nearly every one of his last

On his return to Vienna, in the autumn of the same year, Beethoven
received an invitation from the manager of the court opera-house to
conduct his _Fidelio_, which, after a long interval, was again to be
represented. The proofs of his unfitness for such a duty, on account of
his almost total deafness, furnished by the opening of the Josephstadt
theatre in the preceding year, were still before his eyes.
Nevertheless, nothing on earth could dissuade him from accepting this
invitation: at his desire I accompanied him to the rehearsal. At the
very first movement, the absolute impossibility of proceeding was
apparent, for not only did he take the time, either much quicker or much
slower than the singers and the orchestra had been accustomed to, but
retarded them incessantly. Kapell-meister Umlauf set things to rights as
long as it was practicable; but it was high time to tell poor Beethoven
plainly--This will not do. But neither M. Duport, the manager, nor M.
Umlauf, had the courage to say so; and when Beethoven perceived a
certain embarrassment in every countenance, he motioned me to write down
for him what it meant. In a few words I stated the cause, at the same
time entreating him to desist, on which he immediately left the
orchestra. The melancholy which seized him after this painful incident
was not dispelled the whole day, and even at table he uttered not a
single word.

Beethoven, after this event, applied repeatedly to the army-surgeon,
Smetana, to relieve his complaint, and he actually put him for some time
on a course of medicine; but the most impatient patient served the
physic as he had always done before. He not unfrequently took in two
doses the medicines destined for the whole day; or, he forgot them
entirely, when his ideas lifted him above the material world and carried
him into loftier regions. How difficult he was to manage in this
particular was well known to every medical man who had attended him, and
in former years even to von Vehring, physician to the staff, though he
durst venture to assume a certain authority over him.

It was in this year that the Society of the Friends of Music of the
Austrian Empire in Vienna sent to our Beethoven the diploma of an
honorary member of that society. It is right to observe that this
society had already existed ten years, and during that time nominated
many native and foreign professional men honorary members, for which
reason Beethoven felt hurt that he had not been thought of before. He
would, therefore, have sent back the diploma immediately, but suffered
himself to be persuaded not to do so, and rather to take it in silence,
without returning any answer to the society.

The diploma of honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of
Stockholm had been previously transmitted to him in the autumn of 1822.

Upon the whole, the year 1823 was thronged with incidents in Beethoven's
life, the number of which was increased by the following
circumstance:--Beethoven was quartered, by means of his brother Johann,
in a dark lodging, fit at best for a shoemaker, and which, because it
was cheap, was considered suitable for the "brainowner." But it was not
this circumstance alone that made our master's life uncomfortable: in
this lodging he had for his landlord a low-bred man, coarse in manners
and disposition, who treated him with no more respect than if he had
been a day-labourer. This was a miserable abode for Beethoven, who had
been accustomed to something so very different; and the winter of
1822-23 might, owing to this fatal situation of the great composer,
furnish plenty of matter for tales and humorous pieces. I know of but
one cheering event which occurred while he was in that horrid den. In
April, 1823, the Countess Schafgotsch, of Warmbrunn in Silesia, brought
him his first Mass, with a new German text, written by M. Scholz,
music-director at that place. We were just at dinner. Beethoven quickly
opened the manuscript and ran over a few pages. When he came to _qui
tollis_, the tears trickled from his eyes, and he was obliged to desist,
saying with the deepest emotion, in reference to the inexpressibly
beautiful text:--"Yes, that was precisely my feeling when I wrote this."
This was the first and the last time that I saw him in tears. He was
just about to send his second Mass to the same admirable writer, that he
might adapt a German text to that also, when he received intelligence of
his death; and I rejoiced exceedingly that I had been in time to inform
that excellent man what an effect his work, which I still possess, had
produced upon Beethoven.

In the first months of 1823 Beethoven was urged from various quarters to
write an Opera, and the manager of the court opera-house was
particularly desirous to have one of his composition. From Count Brühl,
intendant of the court theatre at Berlin also, Beethoven received a
commission to write an Opera for that house _à tout prix_. Dozens of
opera texts were now collected, but he disliked them all; for he
proposed to take a subject from the Greek or Roman history, to which
objections were made on the absurd ground that those subjects had been
already exhausted, and were no longer modern. At last came M. Franz
Grillparzer with his Melusina. The subject pleased Beethoven, only he
wished to have certain passages altered, which Grillparzer readily
consented to do.[64] The poet and the composer were agreed upon the
principal points of the alterations, and we were rejoicing in the
prospect of seeing upon our boards Mademoiselle Henriette Sontag, whom
Beethoven proposed to keep particularly in his eye, in the character of
Melusina. But how did Beethoven disappoint us all! Annoyed by the
recollection of what had happened with his _Fidelio_, he told no one
that he had sent Grillparzer's manuscript to Count Brühl for his
inspection. Of course we knew nothing about it till the Count's answer
lay before us. The Count expressed himself much pleased with the poem,
and merely remarked that there was a ballet performing at the court
theatre of Berlin "which had a distant resemblance to Melusina." This
observation, and the prospect of again coming into contact with German
opera-singers, discouraged Beethoven to such a degree that he
relinquished the idea of writing an Opera, and would not thenceforward
listen to anything that might be said on the subject. I must, however,
remark here that he was extremely delighted with the performances of the
company then at the Italian Opera in Vienna,[65] to which belonged
Lablache, Donzelli, Rubini, Paccini, Ambrogi, Ciccimarra; and among the
ladies, Fodor-Mainville, Dardanelli, Ekerlin, Sontag, and Ungher; and
was so particularly struck with the inspired Caroline Ungher, that he
determined to write an Italian opera for that select band of priests and
priestesses of Thalia. This design would certainly have been carried
into execution in the following year (to which this new work was
deferred on account of the already projected ninth Symphony), had not a
fatal north wind blown away this and many other fine schemes, which we
shall have occasion to notice hereafter.

In November, 1823, Beethoven began to compose the ninth Symphony, for
which he brought many sketches from the country to town with him; and
in February, 1824, this colossus was completed. It may not be
uninteresting here to notice the way in which Beethoven contrived
cleverly to introduce Schiller's song, "Freude, schöner Götterfunken,"
into the fourth movement of the symphony. At that time I was seldom from
his side, and could therefore closely observe his struggles with this
difficulty. The highly interesting sketches and materials for it, all of
which I possess, likewise bear witness to them. One day, when I entered
his room, he called out to me,--"I have it! I have it!" holding out to
me his sketch-book, where I read these words, "Let us sing the immortal
Schiller's song, 'Freude,'" &c., which introduction he afterwards
altered to "Friends, not these tones!" This first idea will be found in
the engraved fac-simile at the end of the Second Volume.

The recitative of the double-bass also was not comprehended in his
original plan, and was added when he changed the above-mentioned
introductory movement; in consequence of which it was necessary to give
a different form to almost all that preceded, as the fundamental
sentiment of that device required. He had nearly the same process to go
through with the melody in the first verse which the bass-solo has to
sing. The sketch-book shows a fourfold alteration, and above each he
wrote, according to his practice, "Meilleur," as may be seen in the
engraved fac-simile, No. II.[66]

In this, as the proper place for it, I shall introduce a correct copy of
an autograph letter from the Archduke Rudolph to Beethoven, which serves
to show the friendly relations subsisting between master and scholar.

     "_Vienna, July 31st, 1823._"

     "Dear Beethoven,--I shall be back again in Vienna on the 5th of
     August, and shall stay there for some days. I hope that your health
     will then permit you to come to town. In the afternoon from four
     till seven I am generally at home.

     "My brother-in-law, Prince Anton,[67] has already written to me
     that the King of Saxony is expecting your beautiful Mass.

     "As for D****r, I have spoken about him to our most gracious
     Sovereign, as well as to Count Dietrichstein. Whether this
     recommendation may prove serviceable I cannot tell, as there will
     be a competition for that appointment, at which each of the
     candidates must furnish proofs of his abilities. I should be very
     glad if I could render a service to this clever man, whom I heard
     with pleasure playing the organ last Monday at Baden, and the more
     so, inasmuch as I am convinced that you would not recommend an
     unworthy person.

     "I hope that you have written your Canon; and beg you, if your
     health would suffer by coming to town, not to exert yourself too
     early, out of attachment to me.[68]

     "Your sincere Friend and Scholar,




No. I.

     _Letters from Beethoven to Kappellmeister Hofmeister and C. F.
     Peters, Music Publishers, relative to the Sale of some of his

The many attacks which have recently been made on the copyright of works
by L. van Beethoven, which are my property, induce me to give a list of
the compositions purchased from that author, which are the legitimate
property of my house; namely:--

    Concerto pour le Piano-forte avec Orch.      Op. 19
    Septuor pour Violon., Alto, Clar., Cor.,
      Basson, Violoncelle, et Contrebasse         "  20
    Première gr. Sinfonie pour Orchestre          "  21
    Gr. Sonate pour le Piano-forte                "  22
    Deux Préludes dans tous les 12 tons majeurs
      pour le Piano-forte ou l'Orgue             Op. 39
    Romance pour Violon avec Orchestre            "  40
    Sérénade pour le Pfte. et Flûte (ou
      Violon)                                     "  41
    Notturno pour Pianof. et Alto                 "  42
    Ouverture de Prometheus, pour Orchestre       "  43
    Quatorze Variations pour le Piano, Vln.,
      et Violoncelle                              "  44

Respecting the works Op. 20 and 21, which have lately been invaded
without my consent, by arrangements by other hands, I find myself
obliged to communicate the letters written on the subject by Beethoven
in the years 1800 and 1801, which incontestably prove on the one hand my
exclusive property in these compositions, (as also in Op. 19 and 22,)
and furnish, on the other, a highly interesting illustration of the
individuality of the great composer, then in the flower of his age. I
keep back the evidence in regard to the other six works, Op. 39-44, till
a similar attack, which I hope will not occur, shall be made upon them.


of the firm of C. F. Peters, Bureau de Musique.

NEUE ZEITSCHRIFT FÜR MUSIK, Leipsic, March 7, 1837.

Letters from Beethoven.


Vienna, December 15, 1800.

My dearest Brother in the Art,

I have many times thought of answering your inquiries, but am a
dreadfully lazy correspondent; and thus I am an age making up my mind to
form the dead letter instead of the musical note; but at length I have
done violence to myself in order to comply with your request.

Pro primo, you are to hear of my regret, dearest brother in the art, at
your not having applied to me sooner, so that you might have purchased
my Quartetts, as well as many other things which I have now disposed of;
but if you, my good brother, are as conscientious as many other honest
engravers, who sting[70] us poor composers to death, you will know how
to make a profit by them when they come out.

I will therefore briefly state what my good brother may have of me.

1stly. A Septett per il Violino, Viola, Violoncello, Contrabasso,
Clarinetto, Corno, Fagotto--tutti obligati (I cannot write anything
inobligato, because I came into the world with an obligato
accompaniment). This Septett has been highly approved.

2ndly. A Grand Symphony for the orchestra.

3rdly. A Concerto for the Piano-forte, which, it is true, I do not
assert to be one of my best, any more than another, which will be
published here by Mollo (a hint for the Leipzig reviewers), since I
reserve the better ones for my own use, in case I should make a musical
tour; yet it would not disgrace you to publish it.

4thly. A Grand Solo Sonata.

This is all that I have to part with at this moment. By and by you may
have a Quintett for stringed instruments, perhaps Quartetts too, and
other things which I have not by me just now. In your answer you may fix
your own prices; and as you are neither a Jew nor an Italian, and as I
do not belong to either nation, we shall not disagree.

Fare you well, my dearest brother, and be assured of the esteem of

Your brother,



Vienna, the 15th (or some such day) of January, 1801.

I have read your letter, my dearest brother and friend, with great
pleasure. I thank you heartily for the good opinion which you have
formed of me and of my works, and sincerely wish that I may deserve it;
and to M. K. (Kühnel) also I am in duty bound to express my thanks for
the civility and friendship which he has shown me. Your doings give me
much satisfaction, and I hope that, if there be any good to be gained
for the art by my works, it may fall to the share of a genuine artist
like you, and not to that of common traders.

Your intention to publish the works of Sebastian Bach is particularly
gratifying to me, since I am all alive to the merits of those sublime
productions: truly, Bach was the patriarch of harmony. May the sale of
his works flourish! As soon as golden peace is proclaimed and you
receive the names of subscribers, I hope to be able to do much to
forward it myself.

As to our own affairs, since you will have it so, I offer you the
following things:--Septett (about which I have already written to you),
20 duc.;[71] Symphony, 20 duc.; Concerto, 10 duc.; Grand Solo--Sonata,
Allegro, Adagio, Minuetto, Rondo, 20 duc. This Sonata (in B flat) is of
the true mettle, most beloved brother.

Now let me explain. You will perhaps be surprised that I make no
difference between the Sonata, the Septett, and the Symphony, because I
find that a Septett or a Symphony has not so large a sale as a Sonata;
that is the reason why I do so, though a Symphony is incontestably of
greater value. (N. B. The Septett consists of a short introductory
Adagio, an Allegro, Adagio, Minuetto, Andante with variations, Minuetto,
another short Adagio leading to a Presto.) The Concerto I set down at 10
duc., because, though well written, I do not consider it one of my best.
Altogether, I cannot think that this will appear exorbitant to you; at
any rate, I have endeavoured to make the charges as moderate as
possible. As for the bill, since you leave it to my option, let it be
drawn on Geimüller or Schüller. The whole sum, then, for all four works
would be 70 ducats. I understand no other coin than Vienna ducats; how
many dollars in gold that makes with you I know nothing about, because I
am really no man of business or accountant.

And thus the tiresome business is settled: I call it so, because I
heartily wish one could do without it in this world. There ought to be
but one magazine of art, where the artist should have but to deliver his
productions and to receive what he wants; but, as it is, one ought to be
half a tradesman, and how is that to be borne?--Gracious God!--that is
what I call tiresome. As for the L---- O----, let her talk; they will
certainly not make anybody immortal by their tattle, nor will they rob
_him_ of immortality to whom Apollo has assigned it.

Now may Heaven preserve you and your colleague! I have been unwell for
some time, so that I find it rather difficult to write even notes, much
more letters. I hope we shall often have occasion to assure one another
how much you are my friends, and how much I am

Your brother and friend,


A speedy answer. Adieu.


Vienna, April 22, 1801.

You have reason to complain of me, and not a little. My excuse is this:
I have been ill, and had besides a great deal to do, so that it was
scarcely possible for me to think of what I had to send you: then again
perhaps the only thing like genius about me is, that my things are not
always in the best order, and yet nobody is capable of putting them to
rights but myself. Thus, for instance, I had, according to my practice,
omitted writing the pianoforte part in the score of my Concerto, and I
have but just written it, and therefore, for the sake of dispatch, I
send it in my own not over-and-above legible Manuscript.

In order to let the works follow as nearly as possible in their proper
order, I remark to you that you may put

    To the Solo Sonata  Op.  22
      "    Symphony      "   21
      "    Septett       "   20
      "    Concerto      "   19

The titles I will send you very soon.

Set me down as a subscriber to Johann Sebastian Bach's works, and also
Prince Lichnowsky. The arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas as Quartetts will
do you credit, and assuredly be profitable. I wish I could be of more
service in such matters, but I am an irregular man, and, with the best
will, forget everything; but I have here and there mentioned the
subject, and find that the plan is everywhere approved. It would be a
capital thing if my good brother, besides publishing the Septett as it
is, would arrange it for the flute also as a Quintett. This would be a
treat for the lovers of the flute, who have already applied to me for
this, and who would then swarm about it like insects, and feast upon it.
As for myself, I have composed a ballet, but the ballet-master did not
manage the business well. Prince L---- has given us a new production,
which does not come up to the ideas which the papers gave us of his
genius--a fresh proof of their judgment. The Prince seems to have taken
Mr. M---- [72] of the Kasperle Theatre for his model, but without
equalling even him.

Such are the pretty prospects with which we poor fellows here have to
fight our way in the world.

My dear brother, now make haste to lay the works before the eyes of the
world, and write to me soon, that I may know whether I have lost your
confidence by my neglect.

To your partner Kühnel everything civil and kind. In future, you shall
have everything without delay; and herewith fare you well, and continue
to regard

Your friend and brother,



Vienna, June, 1801,

I am really somewhat surprised at the communication made to me by your
agent in this place; nay, I am almost angry that you should think me
capable of such a scurvy trick.

It would be a different thing if I had bargained for my things with
shopkeepers intent only on gain, and had then clandestinely made another
good speculation; but between artist and artist, it is rather too bad to
impute such conduct to me. The whole appears to me to be either an
invention to try me, or mere conjecture: at any rate, I confess, that
before you received the Septett from me, I had sent it to London to M.
Salomon (merely out of friendship, to be performed at his concert),
expressly desiring him to take care not to let it get into other hands,
as I meant to have it engraved in Germany; and you can make inquiry of
him concerning this matter, if you think fit.

But, to give you a further proof of my honesty, I hereby assure you that
I have not sold the Septett, the Concerto, the Symphony, and the Sonata,
to any other person in the world but to you, Messrs. Hofmeister and
Kühnel, and that you may formally consider them as your exclusive
property, for which I pledge my honour. At any rate, you may make what
use you please of this assurance.

For the rest, I can no more believe that Salomon is capable of so base a
trick as to publish the Septett than I am to have sold it to him. I am
so conscientious that I have refused several publishers the piano-forte
arrangement of the Septett, for which they have applied to me,[73] and
yet I do not even know whether you intend to make use of it in this

Here follow the long-promised titles of my works.

In the titles there will be much to alter and improve: that I leave to
you. I expect a letter from you immediately, and very soon the works,
which I wish to see engraved, since others are already published and
coming out with numbers relating to these.

I have written to Salomon; but considering your statement as a mere
rumour which you have taken up rather too credulously, or as a
conjecture which may have forced itself upon you, because you may
accidentally have heard that I had sent it to Salomon, it only remains
for me to add that I feel somewhat chilled towards friends so easy of
belief, and as such sign myself,

Your friend,



Vienna, April 8, 1802.

Does the devil then ride you all together, gentlemen, to propose to me
to make such a Sonata?

During the revolutionary fever, well and good, such a thing might have
been done; but now, when everything is getting into the old track, when
Buonaparte has concluded a concordat with the Pope--such a Sonata!

Were it a Missa pro Sancta Maria, a tre voci, or a Vesper, why then I
would immediately take up the pencil, and write in huge semi-breves a
Credo in unum; but, gracious God! such a Sonata in these new-fangled
Christian times! Ho ho! leave me alone--that won't do.

Now my answer in the quickest _tempo_, The lady can have a Sonata by me,
and I will follow her general design as far as æsthetic goes, but
without following the prescribed keys, price five ducats, for which she
shall have the use of it a year, and in that time neither she nor I
shall have the right to publish it. After the expiration of this year,
the Sonata is again mine--that is, I can and will publish it; and she
can certainly, if she thinks that it will be any honour, request me to
dedicate it to her.

Now God preserve you, gentlemen.

My Sonata is beautifully engraved, but it has been a confounded long
while a-doing. Do send my Septett a little quicker into the world,
because the P---- is waiting for it, and you know the Empress has it;
and--so that I cannot answer for what may happen, therefore look sharp.

Mr.---- has lately republished my Quartetts, in large and small size,
full of blunders and errata. They swarm in them like fish in water, that
is, to infinity--questo è un piacere per un autore--that I call
stinging[74] to some purpose. My skin is covered with stings and
scratches with these charming editions of my Quartetts.

Now farewell, and think of me as I do of you. Till death your faithful



Vienna, September 22, 1803.

Hereby then I declare all the works about which you have written, as
your property. Another copy shall be made of the list of them, and sent
to you with my signature as your acknowledged property; and the offer of
fifty ducats I accept. Are you satisfied now?

Perhaps, instead of the Variations with violoncello and violin, I can
give you Variations on the piano-forte, for two performers, on a song by
me, the poetry of which, by Göthe, must likewise be engraved, as I have
written these Variations as a souvenir in an album, and consider them
better than the others. Are you satisfied?

The arrangements[75] are not by me, but I have revised and improved
them in part, so don't pretend to say that I have arranged, as that
would be a lie, and I could not find either time or patience for such
things. Are you satisfied?

Now farewell. I can but wish you to thrive in every way. Gladly would I
make you a present of the whole, if I could get through the world in
that way; but only consider; all about me get appointments, and have
something certain to live upon; but, gracious God! how can a parvum
talentum com ego look for an appointment at the Imperial court?

Your friend,


       *       *       *       *       *

The following are extracts from letters written at a later and less
cheerful period of life, and addressed to M. C. F. Peters of Leipsic:--


Vienna, July 26, 1822.

I write to you merely to say that you shall have the Mass,[76] together
with a piano-forte arrangement, for the sum of 1000 florins, Vienna
currency. By the end of July you shall receive it fairly copied in
score, perhaps a few days later, as I am exceedingly busy, and have
been, for five months, ailing: as one must go through works very
carefully, if they are to go abroad, this is a matter that proceeds
rather more slowly with me. ---- shall in no case have anything more
from me, as he has played me a Jewish trick; besides, he is not one of
those to whom I would have sold the Mass. The competition for my works
is at present very strong, for which I thank the Almighty, for I have
lost a great deal.

I am moreover the foster-father of my brother's child, who is left
wholly unprovided for. As this boy, now fifteen years old, shows a great
capacity for the sciences, not only do his education and maintenance
cost me a great deal of money at present, but I am obliged to think
about the future, as we are neither Indians nor Cherokees, who, as you
know, leave everything to God Almighty, and a pauper has but a
melancholy existence of it.

I assure you, upon my honour, which, next to God, is the most sacred
thing with me, that I have never asked any one to take commissions for
me; I have always made it a particular point not to offer myself to any
publisher, not out of pride, but because I wished to know how far the
territory of my humble talent extends....

I conclude for to-day, wishing you all prosperity, and am, with esteem,

Your most obedient,



Vienna, August 3, 1822.

I wrote to you lately about my health, which is not yet quite restored:
I am obliged to take baths, mineral waters, and at times, medicine.

I am therefore rather at sixes and sevens, especially as I am obliged at
the same time to write, and then corrections run away with time. In
respect to the Songs, and the other Marches and trifles, I have not yet
made up my mind as to the choice, but I shall be able to furnish
everything by the 15th of this month. I wait your determination about
it, and shall make no use of your bill. As soon as I know that the money
for the Mass and for the other works is here, all can be supplied by the
15th instant; but after the 15th I must go to a neighbouring
bathing-place; I am therefore desirous to have no engagements on my
hands for a while.

About all other matters, some day when I am not so pressed. Only do not
take an unhandsome advantage of me: it pains me when I am obliged to

In haste, with respect,

Your most obedient,



Vienna, November 22, 1822.

In reply to your letter of the 9th of November, in which I fancied you
meant to reproach me for my apparent neglect--and the money paid too,
and yet nothing sent to you--unhandsome as this seems, I am sure you
would be reconciled with me in a few minutes if we were together.

Your things are all done, except the selection of the Songs: they
contain one more than was agreed upon.

Of Bagatelles I can send you more than the four determined upon; there
are nine or ten others, and, if you write immediately, I could send
them, or as many as you wish to have, along with the other things.

My health is not indeed completely restored by my baths, but I am better
upon the whole; but another evil has now come upon me, since a person
has taken me a lodging that does not suit me, and this is difficult to
conquer, and has hindered me not a little, as I cannot yet get myself to
rights here.

In regard to the Mass, the matter stands thus: I have one that has long
been completely finished, but another that is not; tattle is what such
as we are always liable to, and so you have been led into a mistake by
it. Which of the two you should have, I know not yet; harassed on all
sides, I should be forced almost to attest the contrary of the
axiom--"The mind weighs nothing." I salute you cordially, and hope that
the future will suffer an advantageous, and for me not dishonourable,
connexion to subsist between us.



Vienna, December 20, 1822.

Having a leisure moment, I answer your letter to-day. Out of all that
belongs to you, there is nothing that is not ready; but precious time is
wanting to explain all the details that have prevented the copying and

I recollect to have offered you in my last letter some more Bagatelles,
but do not insist on your taking them; if you will not have more than
the four, so be it--only in that case I must make a different choice.
Mr. ---- has not yet got anything from me. Mr.---- merely begged me to
make him a present of the songs in the _Modezeitung_ (Journal of
Fashion), which I never composed exactly for pay, but it is impossible
for me to deal in all cases by per cents.; it is difficult for me to
reckon by them oftener than I am forced to do; besides, my situation is
not so brilliant as you imagine.

It is impossible to give ear at once to all these solicitations; they
are too numerous; but many things are not to be refused. Not always is
that which people ask for suitable to the wish of the author. Had I
anything in the shape of a salary, I would write nothing but grand
Symphonies, Church Music, and besides, perhaps, Quartetts.

Of smaller works you might have--Variations for two oboes and one
English horn on the theme in Don Giovanni, "La ci darem la mano;" a
Minuet of Congratulation for a whole orchestra.[77] I should like to
have your opinion too respecting the publication of the collected
works. In the greatest haste,

Your most obedient,



Vienna, March 29, 1823.

It is only to-day that the other three Marches can be sent off; we
missed the post this day week. Irregular as I have been with you on this
occasion, it would not appear unnatural if you were here, and acquainted
with my situation, a description of which would be too tedious for you
as well as myself.

Respecting what has been sent off I have this remark yet to make: in the
grand March, which requires so many performers, several regimental bands
may unite; where this is not the case, and one regimental band is not
strong enough, the Kapell-meister of such a band may easily help himself
by the omission of some of the parts.

You will meet with some one in Leipzig who can show you how this can be
managed with fewer performers, though I should be sorry if it were not
to be published exactly as it stands.

I must beg you to forgive the many corrections in what you have
received; my old copyist cannot see, and the younger must first be
trained; but at least the whole is free from errors.

With a violin and a piano-forte Quartett it is impossible to supply you
immediately; but if you write to me betimes, in case you wish for both
works, I will do all that lies in my power. Only I must add, that for a
violin Quartett I cannot take less than fifty ducats; for a piano-forte
Quartett seventy ducats, or I should be a loser; nay, I have been
offered more than fifty ducats a-piece for violin Quartetts, but I never
like to charge too high, and shall therefore expect no more than fifty
ducats from you, which, in fact, is now the usual price. The other
commission is really an extraordinary one, and I naturally accept that
too, only I must beg you to let me know soon, if you wish to have it,
otherwise, willingly as I give you the preference, it might become
almost impossible. You know I have already written to you that precisely
Quartetts have risen more in price than anything else; so that in the
case of a great work this makes one quite ashamed of one's self. My
circumstances, however, require that I should be more or less guided by
profit. It is another affair with the work itself; there, thank God, I
never think of profit, but only _how I write_.

There are two persons besides yourself who have each wished to have a
Mass, since I intend to write at least three--the first has long been
completed, the second is not, and the third is not yet begun. But in
regard to you, I must have a certainty, that I may be insured against
all events.

More another day; do not remit the money for the whole together till you
receive advice from me that the work is ready to be sent off. I must
conclude. I hope that your vexation is now at least somewhat abated.

Your friend,


No. II.


_Hofrath Breuning to Dr. and Madame Wegeler._

Vienna, June 2, 1806.

Dear Sister and dear Wegeler,

       *       *       *       *       *

As far as I remember, I promised in my last letter to write to you about
Beethoven's Opera Fidelio. I know how interested you are about it, and I
will fulfil my promise. The music is among the finest and most perfect
that can be heard; the subject interesting--for it represents the
liberation of a captive through his faithful and intrepid wife; but, in
spite of all this, no work has occasioned Beethoven more trouble than
this, and posterity alone will know how to value it. In the first place,
it was given at a most unfavourable period--seven days after the entry
of the French troops. The theatres were necessarily empty; and
Beethoven, who at the same time found fault with some arrangement in
the libretto, withdrew it after the third representation. Peace having
been restored, he and I took it up again. I altered the whole of the
libretto for him, which made it act better, less tiresomely, and
quicker; and it was then given three times, with the greatest applause.
Then his enemies about the theatre rose, and he, having given offence to
many, particularly at the second representation, they have succeeded in
preventing the further appearance of the work on the stage. Many
difficulties had ere this been put in his way--one instance will
suffice. He could not, at the second representation, obtain the
reprinting of the bills with the altered title of Fidelio, so named in
the French original, and published thus after the above-mentioned

Contrary to promise and expectation, the first title of "Leonora" was
retained in the bills. Beethoven is the more hurt by this intrigue, as
the non-performance of the opera, for which he is to be paid by a per
centage at its production, throws him back considerably in his pecuniary
arrangements, whilst the unworthy treatment has robbed him of so great a
share of his zeal and love for the work that he will recover himself but
slowly. I think I have on this occasion given him the most pleasure by
writing and distributing in the theatre some lines on the opera, both
in November, and at the production about the end of March. I will copy
them here for Wegeler, knowing of old that he sets much value upon these
things; and, having once made verses to celebrate his becoming Rector
magnificus celeberrimæ universitatis Bonnensis, he may now see by
comparison whether I am improved as a poet.

    (Here follow two German poems.)

This copy has tired me out so completely, that I may fairly close this
long epistle. I must only tell you that Lichnowsky has just sent the
opera to the Queen of Prussia, and that I hope the Viennese will learn
the value of what they possess, from its production at Berlin.


No. III.


[As I knew that my friend, Mr. H. F. Chorley, was in possession of
copies of letters written by Beethoven to Madame Bettine von Arnim, I
requested her permission to publish these highly-interesting documents,
and received the following answer.--ED.]

Berlin, July 6, 1840.

Dear Mr. Moscheles,

You delight me beyond measure by asking me to consent to that, which of
all earthly things I like best--namely, to be brought in contact with
such of my cotemporaries as have become celebrated in literature and the
fine arts. How happy, then, must I feel at becoming instrumental in the
fulfilment of any wish of yours! Truly, there was no need of asking; I
could not but feel honoured to be included in this memorial of
Beethoven, and by a brother-spirit in the art too! I feel truly grateful
that, while you are tracing the noblest features of Beethoven's
glorious career, you will commemorate the happiness bestowed upon me by
the greatest genius of his time. Misplaced, indeed, were that modesty,
which could forbid my appearing in such a noble place, and under such
distinguished auspices, and I confess that you are doing me a kindness
in publishing the letters in question. Could I but render you some
service in return! And pray let Mr. Chorley have his share of my
gratitude for having made such a happy use of my communication.

Yours, &c.




Vienna, August 11, 1810.

Dearest Bettine,

Never was a fairer spring than this year's; this I say, and feel too, as
in it I made your acquaintance. You must indeed have yourself seen, that
in society I was like a fish cast on the sand, that writhes and
struggles and cannot escape, until some benevolent Galatea helps it back
again into the mighty sea; in very truth I was fairly aground. Dearest
Bettine, unexpectedly I met you, and at a moment when chagrin had
completely overcome me; but truly your aspect put it to flight; I was
aware in an instant that you belong to a totally different world from
this absurd one, to which, even with the best wish to be tolerant, it is
impossible to open one's ears. I am myself a poor creature, and yet
complain of others! this you will however forgive, with the kindly heart
that looks out from your eyes, and with the intelligence that dwells in
your ears;--at least your ears know how to flatter when they listen.
Mine, alas! are a barrier through which I can have hardly any friendly
intercourse with mankind, else, perhaps, I might have acquired a still
more entire confidence in you. As it was, I could only comprehend the
full expressive glance of your eyes, and this has so moved me that I
shall never forget it. Divine Bettine, dearest girl!--Art! who
comprehends the meaning of this word? with whom may I speak of this
great divinity? how I love the recollections of the few days when we
used to chat with each other, or rather correspond. I have preserved
every one of the little scraps of paper on which your intelligent,
precious, most precious, replies were given--thus, at least, may I thank
my worthless ears that the best portion of our fugitive discourse is
retained in writing.

Since you went I have had many uncomfortable hours, in which the power
to do anything is lost. After you had gone away, I rambled about for
some three hours in the Museum at Schönbrunn; but no good angel met me
there, to chide me into good humour, as an angel like you might have
done. Forgive, sweetest Bettine, this transition from the fundamental
key;--but I must have such intervals, to vent my feelings. And you have
written of me to Göthe, have you not? saying that I would fain pack up
my head in a cask, where I should see nothing, and hear nothing, of what
passes in the world; since you, dearest angel, meet me here no longer.
But surely I shall at least have a letter from you. Hope supports me;
she is indeed the nursing mother of half the world, and she has been my
close friend all my life long;--what would have become of me else? I
send, with this, written in my own hand, "_Kennst du das Land?_" as a
memorial of the time when I first became acquainted with you; also I
send another, which I have composed since I took leave of you, dear,
dearest heart!

    "Heart, my heart, what change comes o'er thee?
     What wrings thee thus with pain?
     What a strange sour world's before thee!
     I know thee scarce again!"

Yes, dearest Bettine, answer me this question; write, and tell me what
shall become of me since my heart has become such a rebel. Write to your
truest friend,



Vienna, Feb. 10, 1811.

My dear beloved Bettine!

I have now had two letters from you, and learn from your letter to
Antonia that you continue to think, and indeed far too favourably, of
me. Your first letter I carried about with me all the summer through,
and it has often made me happy. Although I do not often write to you,
and you may hear nothing from me, yet, in thought, I write to you a
thousand thousands of letters. How you feel yourself in the presence of
all this world's rubbish I could have fancied, even had I not read it in
your letters--this haranguing and gossiping about art, without anything
done! The best delineation of this that I know, is found in Schiller's
poem "_Die Flüsse_," where the Spree[78] is made to speak. You are going
to be married, dear Bettine, or are married already, and I have not been
able to see you once more before this. May every blessing which
marriage can bestow flow upon you and your husband! What can I say to
you of myself? "Pity my fate!" I exclaim with poor Johanna[79]--if I can
but obtain a few more years of life, I will still thank for this, as for
all other weal and woe, the most High, the all-embracing Power. Whenever
you write of me to Göthe, select any expression that you can use, so as
to convey to him the most fully my profound respect and admiration. I
am, however, purposing to write to him myself, concerning _Egmont_,
which I have set to music; and this solely from love for his poetry,
which makes me happy; but, indeed, who can be sufficiently grateful to a
great poet, the most precious jewel that a nation can possess? And now I
must end, dear, good Bettine. I returned this morning as late as four
o'clock from a Bacchanalian revel, at which I was even made to laugh
heartily, and for which I am now tempted to weep nearly as much.
Uproarious mirth often has the effect of casting me violently back upon
myself. I owe Clemens[80] many thanks for his attention; as respects the
Cantata, the subject is not of sufficient importance for us here; in
Berlin it is a different matter: as regards our affection, his sister
has so much of mine, that not much will remain for the brother's
portion; will he be contented with this? And now farewell, my dear
Bettine; I kiss you on the forehead, and therewith impress on it as with
a seal all my thoughts for you! Write soon, write often, to your friend,




Dearest, good Bettine,

Kings and princes can indeed create professors and privy councillors,
and bedeck them with titles and orders; but they cannot make great
men--spirits that rise above the world's rubbish--these they must not
attempt to create; and therefore must these be held in honour. When two
such come together as I and Göthe, these great lords must note what it
is that passes for greatness with such as we. Yesterday, as we were
returning homewards, we met the whole Imperial family; we saw them
coming at some distance, whereupon Göthe disengaged himself from my arm,
in order that he might stand aside; in spite of all I could say, I could
not bring him a step forwards. I crushed my hat more furiously on my
head, buttoned up my top coat, and walked with my arms folded behind me,
right through the thickest of the crowd. Princes and officials made a
lane for me: Archduke Rudolph took off his hat, the Empress saluted me
the first:--_these great people know me!_ It was the greatest fun in the
world to me, to see the procession file past Göthe. He stood aside, with
his hat off, bending his head down as low as possible. For this I
afterwards called him over the coals properly and without mercy, and
brought up against him all his sins, especially those against you,
dearest Bettine! We had just been speaking of you. Good God! could I
have lived with you for so long a time as _he_ did, believe me I should
have produced far, far more great works than I have! A musician is also
a poet; a pair of eyes more suddenly transport him too into a fairer
world, where mighty spirits meet and play with him, and give him weighty
tasks to fulfil. What a variety of things came into my imagination when
I first became acquainted with you, during that delicious May-shower in
the Usser Observatory, and which to me also was a fertilising one! The
most delightful themes stole from your image into my heart, and they
shall survive and still delight the world long after Beethoven has
ceased to _direct_. If God bestows on me a year or two more of life. I
must again see you, dearest, dear Bettine, for the voice within me,
which always will be obeyed, says that I must. Love can exist between
mind and mind, and I shall now be a wooer of yours. Your praise is
dearer to me than all other in this world. I expressed to Göthe my
opinion as to the manner in which praise affects those like us; and that
by those that resemble us we desire to be heard with _understanding_;
emotion belongs to women only (pardon me for saying it!): the effect of
music on a man should be to strike fire from his soul. Oh, my dearest
girl, how long have I known that we are of one mind in all things! the
only good is to have near us some fair, pure spirit, which we can at all
times rely upon, and before which no concealment is needed. _He who
will_ SEEM _to be somewhat must really be what he would seem._ The world
must acknowledge him--it is not for ever unjust; although this concerns
me in nowise, for I have a higher aim than this. I hope to find at
Vienna a letter from you; write to me soon, very soon, and very fully. I
shall be there in a week from hence. The court departs to-morrow; there
is another performance to-day. The Empress has thoroughly learned her
part; the Archduke and the Emperor wished me to perform again some of my
own music. I refused them both; they have both fallen in love with
_Chinese porcelain_. This is a case for compassion only, as reason has
lost its control; but I will not be piper to such absurd dancing--I will
not be comrade in such absurd performances with the fine folks, who are
ever sinning in that fashion. Adieu! adieu! dearest; your last letter
lay all night on my heart and refreshed me. Musicians take all sorts of
liberties! _Good Heaven! how I love you!_

Your truest friend, and deaf brother,


No. IV.


Vienna, May 28, 1810.

* * * * And now I am going to speak to you of one who made me forget all
the world besides. The world vanishes when recollections spring
up--indeed it vanishes. It is Beethoven who made it vanish before me,
and of whom I would fain speak to you. It is true I am not of age, yet I
would boldly assert that he has far outstepped our generation--too far
perhaps to be come up with: (shall I be understood or believed in this
assertion?) No matter. May he but live until the great and mighty
problem of his mind has ripened into maturity; may he but attain his own
noble aim, and he will carry us on to loftier regions, to bliss more
perfect than is yet known to us. Let me own it to you, dear Göthe, I do
believe in a spell--not of this world, the element of our spiritual
nature; and it is this that Beethoven calls around us by his art. If you
would understand him, you must enter into his own magic circle; you
must follow him to his exalted position, and occupy with him that high
station which he alone can claim for a basis in this sublunary world.
You will, I know, guess at my meaning, and extract truth from it. When
could such a mind be reproduced?--when equalled? As to other men, their
doings are but mechanical clock-work compared to his: he alone freely
creates, and his creations are unthought of! What indeed could the
intercourse with this world be to him, who before sunrise is at his holy
work, who after sunset scarcely looks up from it, who forgets his bodily
food, and, carried past the shallow banks of every-day life, is borne
along the current of enthusiasm? He said himself, "When I lift up mine
eyes I must sigh, for that which I behold is against my creed; and I
must despise the world, because it knows not that music is a higher
revelation than science or philosophy. Music is like wine, inflaming
men's minds to new achievements, and I am the Bacchus serving it out to
them, even unto intoxication. When they are sobered down again, they
shall find themselves possessed of a spiritual draught such as shall
remain with them even on dry land. I have no friend--I must live all to
myself; yet I know that God is nearer to me than to my brothers in the
art. I hold converse with him, and fear not, for I have always known and
understood him. Nor do I fear for my works: no evil can befal them; and
whosoever shall understand them, he shall be freed from all such misery
as burthens mankind."

All this did Beethoven say to me the first time I saw him. A feeling of
reverence came over me as I heard him speak his mind with such unbounded
frankness, and that to me, who must have been wholly insignificant to
him; and I was perhaps the more struck with his openness, having often
heard of his extreme reserve, and of his utter dislike to converse with
any one. Thus it was that I could not get any one to introduce me to
him, but I found him out alone. He has three sets of apartments in which
he alternately secretes himself: one in the country, one in town, and a
third on the ramparts (Bastei). It was there I found him in the third
floor. I entered unannounced; he was seated at the piano; I gave my
name; he was most friendly, and asked me if I would hear a song which he
had just been composing; and sang, with a shrill and piercing voice that
made the hearer thrill with woefulness, "Know'st thou the land?" "Is it
not beautiful?" said he, enthusiastically; "exquisitely beautiful! I
will sing it again." He was pleased with my cheerful praise. "Most
people are _moved_ on hearing music, but these have not musicians'
souls: true musicians are too _fiery_ to weep." He then sang another
song of yours, which he had lately been composing: "Dry not, ye tears of
eternal love." He accompanied me home, and it was during our walk that
he said all these fine things on the art--talking so loud all the while,
and standing still so often, that it required some courage to listen to
him in the street. He however spoke so passionately, and all that he
uttered startled me to such a degree, as made me forget even the street.
They were all not a little surprised at home on seeing me enter the room
with him, in the midst of a large dinner-party. After dinner he sat down
to the instrument and played, unasked, wonderfully, and at great length.
His pride and his genius were working _that_ out together which to any
mind but his would have been inconceivable--to any fingers but his,
impossible of execution.

He comes daily ever since--if not, I go to him; and thus I miss all
sorts of gaieties, theatres, picture-galleries, and even the mounting
of St. Stephen's church-steeple. Beethoven says, "Never mind seeing
these things: I shall call for you, and towards evening we shall walk
together in the _Schönbrunn_ avenues." Yesterday, as we were walking in
a lovely garden, everything in full bloom, and the open hot-houses
almost intoxicating one's senses with their perfumes, he suddenly
stopped in the oppressive heat of the sun, saying, "Göthe's poems
exercise a great sway over me, not only by their meaning, but by their
rhythm also. It is a language that urges me on to composition, that
builds up its own lofty standard, containing in itself all the mysteries
of harmony, so that I have but to follow up the radiations of that
centre from which melodies evolve spontaneously. I pursue them eagerly,
overtake them, then again see them flying before me, vanish in the
multitude of my impressions, until I seize them anew with increased
vigour, no more to be parted from them. It is then that my transports
give them every diversity of modulation; it is I who triumph over the
first of these musical thoughts, and the shape I give it, I call
symphony. Yes, Bettina, music is the link between intellectual and
sensual life. Would I could speak to Göthe on this subject, to see
whether he could understand me! Melody gives a sensible existence to
poetry; for does not the meaning of a poem become embodied in melody?
Does not Mignon's song breathe all her feelings through its melody, and
must not these very feelings be reproductive in their turn? The mind
would embrace all thoughts, both high and low, and embody them into one
stream of sensations, all sprung from simple melody, and without the aid
of its charms doomed to die in oblivion. This is the unity which lives
in my Symphonies--numberless streamlets meandering on, in endless
variety of shape, but all diverging into one common bed. Thus it is I
feel that there is an indefinite something, an eternal, an infinite, to
be attained; and although I look upon my works with a foretaste of
success, yet I cannot help wishing, like a child, to begin my task anew,
at the very moment that my thundering appeal to my hearers seems to have
forced my musical creed upon them, and thus to have exhausted the
insatiable cravings of my soul after my 'beau ideal!'

"Speak of me to Göthe: tell him to hear my Symphonies, and he will agree
with me that music alone ushers man into the portal of an intellectual
world, ready to encompass _him_, but which _he_ may never encompass.
_That_ mind alone whose every thought is rhythm can embody music, can
comprehend its mysteries, its divine inspirations, and can alone speak
to the senses of its intellectual revelations. Although spirits may feed
upon it as we do upon air, yet it may not nourish all mortal men; and
those privileged few alone, who have drawn from its heavenly source, may
aspire to hold spiritual converse with it. How few are these! for, like
the thousands who marry for love, and who profess love, whilst Love will
single out but one amongst them, so also will thousands court Music,
whilst she turns a deaf ear to all, but the chosen few. She too, like
her sister-arts, is based upon morality--that fountain-head of genuine
invention! And would you know the true principle on which the arts _may_
be won?--It is to bow to their immutable terms, to lay all passion and
vexation of spirit prostrate at their feet, and to approach their divine
presence with a mind so calm and so void of littleness as to be ready to
receive the dictates of Fantasy and the revelations of Truth. Thus the
art becomes a divinity, man approaches her with religious feelings, his
inspirations are God's divine gifts, and his aim fixed by the same hand
from above, which helps him to attain it.

"We know not whence our knowledge is derived. The seeds which lie
dormant in us require the dew, the warmth, and the electricity of the
soil, to spring up, to ripen into thought, and to break forth. Music is
the electrical soil in which the mind thrives, thinks, and invents,
whilst philosophy damps its ardour in an attempt to reduce it to a fixed

"Although the mind can scarcely call its own that, which it produces
through inspiration, yet it feasts upon these productions, and feels
that in them alone lies its independence, its power, its approximation
to the Deity, its intercourse with man, and that these, more than all,
bear witness of a beneficent Providence.

"Music herself teaches us harmony; for _one_ musical thought bears upon
the whole kindred of ideas, and each is linked to the other, closely and
indissolubly, by the ties of harmony.

"The mind creates more readily when touched by the electrical spark: my
whole nature is electric. But let me cease with my unfathomable wisdom,
or I might miss the rehearsal. Write of me to Göthe--that is, if you
have understood me; but mark me, I am not answerable for anything,
although ready to be taught by him."

I promised to write to you as best I could. He took me to a grand
rehearsal with full orchestra. There I sat quite alone in a box, in the
vast unlit space: single gleams of light stole through crevices and
knot-holes in the walls, dancing like a stream of glittering sparks.
There I saw this great genius exercise his sovereignty. Oh! Göthe, no
Emperor or King feels so entirely his power, and that all might proceeds
from himself, as this Beethoven, who but just now in the garden was at a
loss to find from whom it _did_ come. He stood there with such firm
decision; his gestures, his countenance, expressed the completion of his
creation; he prevented every error, every misconception--not a breath
but was under command--all were set in the most sedulous activity by the
majestic presence of his mind. One might prophesy that a spirit like
this might, in a future state of perfection, reappear as the ruler of a

I put all this down last night, and this morning read it to him. He
said, "Did I say this?--Well then I have had my _raptus_." He read it
again most attentively, erased the above, and wrote between the lines;
for he wishes above all that you should understand him.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

       *       *       *       *       *

Say everything that is kind for me to Beethoven, and that I would
willingly bring a sacrifice to make his acquaintance, when a mutual
interchange of ideas would certainly lead to the most beneficial
results. May be, you could persuade him to visit Karlsbad and meet me
there on my annual tour, for then I should have leisure to hear and be
tutored by him. As to his being taught by me, that would be a sacrilege
indeed, even in those more competent than I am; for surely his genius
enlightens him, and will often dart flashes of brightness around him,
whilst we are groping in the dark, scarcely sensible of the approaching
dawn. I should be delighted if Beethoven would send me my two Songs
which he has composed, but clearly written. I am most anxious to hear
them, since nothing gives me greater pleasure and lays a firmer hold on
my gratitude than the finding such poems of a former period embodied and
sensualised anew by music, as Beethoven justly calls it.

       *       *       *       *       *



Dearest Friend,

I have shown Beethoven your beautiful letter, as far as it concerned
him: he was overjoyed, and cried, "If any one can brighten him up about
music, it is I." He was most enthusiastic about your proposal of meeting
him at Karlsbad, struck his forehead, and said, "Might I not have done
this before? But i' faith I did think of it, and was restrained by
timidity; that _will_ sometimes worry me as though I were not a man of
the right mettle; but I am no more afraid of Göthe now. Make sure
therefore of my seeing him next year."

No. V.


[Extract of a letter from Vienna to a friend in London.]

I now fulfil the promise I made on my departure for Germany last summer,
of giving you, from time to time, an account of whatever might appear
interesting in the fine arts, particularly in music; and as I then told
you that I should not confine myself to any order of time and place, I
commence at once with Vienna. This is the city which, speaking of music,
must be called, by way of eminence, the capital of Germany. As to the
sciences, it is quite otherwise, it being generally considered as one of
the most inferior of the German Universities. The north of Germany has
at all times possessed the best theorists--the Bachs, Marpurg,
Kirnberger, Schwenke, Türk; but the men most celebrated for composition
were always more numerous in the south, above all in Vienna. Here
Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Hummel, M. v. Weber, Spohr, &c., not only
received their musical education, but most of them produced the works
which have acquired them the greatest celebrity; and, even at the
present period, Vienna abounds with eminent musicians--C. Kreutzer,
Stadler, Mayseder, C. Czerny, Pixis, and that young prodigy on the
piano-forte, Liszt. To give you a succinct account only of the present
state of music in Vienna would exceed the limits of a letter; I will
therefore rather devote the remainder of this to one who is still the
brightest ornament of that imperial city--to Beethoven. You must not,
however, expect from me now anything like a biography--that I shall
reserve for a future communication. I wish now to give you only a short
account of a single day's visit to the great man, and if, in my
narration, I should appear to dwell on trifling points, you will be good
enough to attribute it to my veneration for Beethoven, which leads me to
consider everything highly interesting that is in the slightest degree
connected with so distinguished a character.

The 28th of September, 1823, will be ever recollected by me as a _dies
faustus_; in truth, I do not know that I ever spent a happier day. Early
in the morning I went, in company with two Vienna gentlemen, one of
whom, Mr. H., is known as the very intimate friend of Beethoven, to the
beautifully situated village of Baden,[83] about twelve miles from
Vienna, where the latter usually resides during the summer months. Being
with Mr. H., I had not to encounter any difficulty in being admitted
into his presence. He looked very sternly at me at first, but he
immediately after shook me heartily by the hand, as if an old
acquaintance, for he then clearly recollected my first visit to him in
1816, though it had been but of a very short duration,--a proof of his
excellent memory.

I found, to my sincere regret, a considerable alteration in his
appearance, and it immediately struck me that he looked very unhappy.
The complaints he afterwards made to Mr. H. confirmed my apprehensions.
I feared that he would not be able to understand one word of what I
said; in this, however, I rejoice to say I was much deceived, for he
made out very well all that I addressed to him slowly and in a loud
tone. From his answers it was clear that not a particle of what Mr. H.
uttered had been lost, though neither the latter nor myself used a
machine. From this you will justly conclude that the accounts
respecting his deafness lately spread in London are much exaggerated. I
should mention, though, that when he plays on the piano-forte, it is
generally at the expense of some twenty or thirty strings, he strikes
the keys with so much force. Nothing can possibly be more lively, more
animated, and, to use an epithet that so well characterises his own
Symphonies, more energetic, than his conversation when you have once
succeeded in getting him into good humour; but one unlucky question, one
ill-judged piece of advice--for instance, concerning the cure of his
deafness--is quite sufficient to estrange him from you for ever.

He was desirous of ascertaining, for a particular composition he was
then about, the highest possible note of the trombone, and questioned
Mr. H. accordingly, but did not seem satisfied with his answers. He then
told me that he had in general taken care to inform himself, through the
different artists themselves, concerning the construction, character,
and compass of all the principal instruments. He introduced his nephew
to me, a fine young man of about eighteen, who is the only relation with
whom he lives on terms of friendship, saying, "You may propose to him
an enigma in Greek, if you like;" meaning, I was informed, to acquaint
me with the young man's knowledge of that language. The history of this
relative reflects the highest credit on Beethoven's goodness of heart;
the most affectionate father could not have made greater sacrifices on
his behalf than he has made.

After we had been more than an hour with him, we agreed to meet at
dinner, at one o'clock, in that most romantic and beautiful valley
called _das Helenenthal_, about two miles from Baden. After having seen
the baths and other curiosities of the town, we called again at his
house about twelve o'clock, and, as we found him already waiting for us,
we immediately set out on our walk for the valley. Beethoven is a famous
pedestrian, and delights in walks of many hours, particularly through
wild and romantic scenery: nay, I was told that he sometimes passes
whole nights on such excursions, and is frequently missed at home for
several days. On our way to the valley, he often stopped short and
pointed out to me its most beautiful spots, or noticed the defects of
the new buildings. At other times he seemed quite lost in himself, and
only hummed in an unintelligible manner; I understood, however, that
this was the way he composed, and I also learnt that he never writes
one note down till he has formed a clear design for the whole piece.

The day being remarkably fine, we dined in the open air, and what seemed
to please Beethoven extremely was, that we were the only visitors in the
hotel, and quite by ourselves during the whole day. The Viennese repasts
are famous all over Europe, and that ordered for us was so luxurious,
that Beethoven could not help making remarks on the profusion which it
displayed. "Why such a variety of dishes?" he exclaimed; "man is but
little above other animals, if his chief pleasure is confined to a
dinner-table." This and similar reflections he made during our meal. The
only thing he likes in the way of food is fish, of which trout is his
favourite. He is a great enemy to all _gêne_, and I believe that there
is not another individual in Vienna who speaks with so little restraint
on all kinds of subjects, even political ones, as Beethoven. He hears
badly, but he speaks remarkably well, and his observations are as
characteristic and as original as his compositions.

In the whole course of our table-talk there was nothing so interesting
as what he said about Handel. I sat close by him and heard him assert
very distinctly in German, "Handel is the greatest composer that ever
lived."[84] I cannot describe to you with what pathos, and, I am
inclined to say, with what sublimity of language, he spoke of the
Messiah of this immortal genius. Every one of us was moved when he said,
"I would uncover my head and kneel down on his tomb!" H. and I tried
repeatedly to turn the conversation to Mozart, but without effect; I
only heard him say, "In a monarchy we know who is the first;" which
might or might not apply to the subject. Mr. C. Czerny, who, by the by,
knows every note of Beethoven's by heart, though he does not play one
single composition of his own without the music before him, told me,
however, that Beethoven was sometimes inexhaustible in his praise of
Mozart. It is worthy of remark that this great musician cannot bear to
hear his own earlier works praised; and I was apprised that a sure way
to make him angry is to say something complimentary of his Septetts,
Trios, &c. His latest productions, which are, so little relished in
London, but much admired by the young artists of Vienna, are his
favourites: his second Mass he looks upon as his best work, I

He is at present engaged in writing a new opera called _Melusine_, the
words by the famous but unfortunate poet Grillparzer. He concerns
himself very little about the newest productions of living composers,
insomuch that, when asked about the _Freischütz_, he replied, "I believe
_one_ Weber has written it." You will be pleased to hear that he is a
great admirer of the ancients; Homer, particularly his Odyssey, and
Plutarch, he prefers to all the rest; and of the native poets, he
studies Schiller and Göthe in preference to any other; this latter is
his personal friend. He appears uniformly to entertain the most
favourable opinion of the British nation. "I like," said he, "the noble
simplicity of the English manners," and added other praises. It seemed
to me as if he had yet some hopes of visiting this country together with
his nephew. I should not forget to mention that I heard a MS. Trio of
his, for the piano-forte, violin, and violoncello, which I thought very
beautiful, and is, I understood, to appear shortly in London. The
portrait you see of him in the music-shops is not now like him, but may
have been so eight or ten years back. I could tell you many things more
of this extraordinary man, who, from what I have seen and learnt of him,
has inspired me with the deepest veneration; but I fear I have taken up
your time already too much. The friendly and hearty manner in which he
treated me, and bade me farewell, has left an impression on my mind,
which will remain for life. Adieu.

[Greek: E.]

No. VI.


[Extract from a letter written by an English lady, dated Vienna,
October, 1825.]

The imperial library is the finest room I ever saw, and the librarian
very agreeable and obliging. What will you say when I tell you, that
after taking an infinity of trouble, he succeeded in obtaining for me an
introduction to BEETHOVEN, who is exceedingly difficult of access; but,
in answer to the note requesting that I might be allowed to visit him,

"Avec le plus grand plaisir je recevrai une fille de * * * *

We went to _Baden_, a pretty little town in the Archduchy of Austria,
about fifteen miles south-west of Vienna, much frequented for its hot
baths, (whence it derives its name, similarly to our Bath,) where _the
giant of living composers_, as Mr. ---- always pleases me by calling him,
retires during the summer months.

The people seemed surprised at our taking so much trouble; for,
unaccountable as it may seem to those who have any knowledge of or
taste for music, his reign in Vienna is over, except in the hearts of a
chosen few, with whom, by the bye, I have not yet met * * * * *, and I
was even taught to expect a rough, unceremonious reception. When we
arrived, he had just returned home, through a shower of rain, and was
changing his coat. I almost began to be alarmed, after all that I had
heard of his _brusquerie_, lest he should not receive us very cordially,
when he came forth from his Sanctum with a hurried step and apparently
very nervous; but he addressed us in so gentle, so courteous, so sweet a
manner, and with such a truth in his sweetness, that I only know Mr. ----
with whom he can be compared, whom he much resembles in features,
person, address, and also in opinions. He is very short, extremely thin,
and sufficiently attentive to personal appearance. He observed that * *
* was very fond of Handel, that he himself also _loved_ him, and
proceeded for some time eulogising that great composer. I conversed with
him in writing, for I found it impossible to render myself audible; and,
though this was a very clumsy mode of communicating, it did not much
signify, as he talked on, freely and willingly, and did not wait for
questions, or seem to expect long replies. I ventured to express my
admiration of his compositions, and, among others, praised his
_Adelaide_ in terms by no means too strong for my sense of its beauties.
He very modestly remarked that the poetry was beautiful.

Beethoven speaks good French, at least by comparison with most other
Germans, and conversed a little with * * * in Latin. He told us that he
should have _spoken_ English, but that his deafness had prevented his
acquiring more of our language than the power of reading it. He said
that he preferred English to French writers, because "_ils sont plus
vrais_." Thomson is his favourite author, but his admiration for
Shakspeare is very great indeed.

When we were about to retire, he desired us to stop--"_Je veux vous
donner un souvenir de moi._" He then went to a table in an adjoining
room and wrote two lines of music--a little Fugue for the
pianoforte--and presented it to me in a most amiable manner. He
afterwards desired that I would spell my name to him, that he might
inscribe his Impromptu to me correctly. He now took my arm and led me
into the room where he had written, that I might see the whole of his
apartment, which was quite that of an author, but perfectly clean; and,
though indicating nothing like superfluity of wealth, did not show any
want of either useful furniture, or neatness in arrangement. It must he
recollected, however, that this is his country residence, and that the
Viennese are not so costly or particular in their domestic details as we
English. I led him back very gently to a room on the other side, in
which was placed his grand pianoforte, by Broadwood, but he looked, I
thought, melancholy at the sight of it, and said that it was very much
out of order, for the country tuner was exceedingly bad. He struck some
notes to convince me; nevertheless, I placed on the desk the page of MS.
music which he had just given me, and he played it through quite simply,
but prefaced it by three or four chords--such handfuls of notes--that
would have gone to Mr. ----'s heart. He then stopped, and I would not on
any account ask for more, as I found that he played without any
satisfaction to himself.

We took leave of each other in a tone, of what in France would be called
confirmed friendship; and he said, quite voluntarily, that if he came to
England, he would certainly pay us a visit.

       *       *       *       *       *

London: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.








Pianist to his Royal Highness Prince Albert.







Stamford Street.








Oratorio contemplated by Beethoven--The German
and Italian Opera at Vienna--Memorial addressed
to Beethoven--Results of his Concert at the Hof-Theater--Mademoiselles
Sontag and Ungher--Beethoven's
distrustful Disposition--Invited to visit
England--Proposition from the Philharmonic Society--His
Arrangements with a Russian Prince--His
Residence near Schönbrunn--His Illness--He disposes
of some of his Works--His adopted Nephew--Extracts
from Beethoven's Letters to him--Beethoven's
Physicians--His Sufferings--He writes to
Mr. Moscheles--Generosity of the Philharmonic
Society--Beethoven's Property--His death--Preparations
for the Funeral--Conformation of his
Skull                                                                  1


Intended Edition of Beethoven's Piano-forte Sonatas--Causes
for his relinquishing the design--Project
of an Edition of his complete Works--Visionary
hopes excited by it--Metamorphosis of Beethoven's
Instrumental Music--Importance of a right conception
of the _Tempo_--Metronomic Signs--Injury done
to Beethoven's Music by metronomising--Exemplified
in the Moonlight Sonata--Metronomic directions
condemned--Performance of Beethoven's Works in
Paris--Hints furnished by Beethoven relative to the
composition of his Sonatas, and the proper style of
their performance--His own Style of Playing--Effects
intended to be given by him to his Symphonies--Neglect
of his Works                                                          80


Beethoven's Religious Principles--His dislike of giving
Lessons--His Frankness, and, at the same time,
Dexterity in evading Questions--Vindication of him
from the charge of Discourtesy to Brother Artists--Proofs
that, though a rigid, he was a just Critic--Kind
Encouragement afforded by him to Professional
Merit--his modest Appreciation of Himself--His
extempore Playing--His every-day Occupations--Propensity
for Dabbling in Water--Pensions--Certificates--Beethoven
erroneously compared with
Jean Paul Richter--Mortifying Trick played by him
at the instigation of a Friend--Motivo of a Movement
in one of his Quartetts--His Peculiar Habits
in Eating and Drinking--Extent of his Knowledge
of Languages--Comments on Statements of M. von
Seyfried relative to Beethoven's domestic Habits--Spurious
MSS. attributed to him--His Person--Portraits of him                 162


Beethoven's Letters to Madlle. von Breuning, Wegeler,
and Ries                                                             199

Beethoven's Correspondence with Messrs. Neate and
Ries                                                                 227

Account of a Concert given by Beethoven at the
Kaernthnerthor Theatre, Vienna                                       275

Characteristics of Beethoven from Wegeler and Ries's
"Notizen"                                                            283

Additional Characteristics, Traits, and Anecdotes of
Beethoven                                                            309

Beethoven's Last Moments                                             318

Funeral Honours to Beethoven                                         328

Miserere, Amplius, Libera, for four Voices, with an
Organ Accompaniment                                                  337

Concert in aid of Beethoven's Monument at Drury
Lane Theatre, July 19, 1837                                          365

Sale of Beethoven's MSS. and Musical Library                         373

Systematic Catalogue of all the original Works of
Beethoven, published by T. Haslinger, from Vienna                    377

Moscheles' complete Edition of Beethoven's Works,
published by Messrs. Cramer and Co.                                  385





     Oratorio contemplated by Beethoven--The German and Italian Opera at
     Vienna--Memorial addressed to Beethoven--Results of his Concert at
     the Hof-Theater--Mademoiselles Sontag and Ungher--Beethoven's
     distrustful Disposition--Invited to visit England--Proposition from
     the Philharmonic Society--His Arrangements with a Russian
     Prince--His Residence near Schönbrunn--His Illness--He disposes of
     some of his Works--His adopted Nephew--Extracts from Beethoven's
     Letters to him--Beethoven's Physicians--His Sufferings--He writes
     to Mr. Moscheles--Generosity of the Philharmonic
     Society--Beethoven's Property--His death--Preparations for the
     Funeral--Conformation of his Skull.

The Ninth Symphony was finished, and Beethoven now proposed to devote
his attention, without delay, to a work worthy of his powers--the
composition of an Oratorio, written by his friend C. Bernard, and
entitled "_The Victory of the Cross_." From this work he anticipated
much pleasure, as he was satisfied with the poetry--a point in his
estimation of no little moment--when an occurrence took place that
deserves to be circumstantially related, as well on account of its
importance to the history of art, as because, in relation to Beethoven,
its consequences were interesting.

The Italian Opera in Vienna had now for some years possessed itself of
those halls devoted to the melodious art, which in the time of Gluck had
been exclusively occupied by German music; and although, for the last
ten years, the tendencies exhibited by the musical world had been rather
towards the sensual and the material, yet, in the main body of the
Vienna public, a noble spirit was stirring, which it would never have
been possible to exclude, or rather to expel, from its native soil, had
there only existed a determination firmly to uphold what was of native

The German Opera had still among her votaries devoted adherents, who,
by holding manfully together, might long have resisted the force of
prevalent error, and saved the edifice from destruction.

A former administration does not seem to have duly understood the
demands of the time, so as, while cautiously yielding to them to a
certain extent, to have, nevertheless, retained all that was essential.
The public, therefore, became impatient, and the first Italian Solfeggio
that was heard within those walls sounded like the signal of banishment
to the German Opera. The violence of the current carried every one along
with it. No one asked in what direction he was borne, for all were
enchanted, intoxicated, with the _roulades_ of the Rossini school. Few,
indeed, were they, who could resist the force of such a stream, and
preserve in all its purity their taste for the truly beautiful and ideal
in art; but to this little band German music is deeply indebted; for its
warning voice by degrees brought back many a wanderer to the right

How, then, did all this affect Beethoven? As monarch in his own domain,
he was almost as much forgotten by the crowd as if he had never existed;
and no other mark of distinction was conferred upon him than the
manifestation of outward respect, even by persons of the highest rank,
whenever he made his appearance. How deeply he felt this ominous state
of things, and how much it weighed upon his mind, was proved by his more
than ordinary seclusion, as well as his determination to bring out the
two new works, the Mass, and the Ninth Symphony, in Berlin. The report
of this intention induced a small number of artists and friends of art
to make an effort to avert from the imperial city the threatened
disgrace; and they, in consequence, addressed to Beethoven a memorial,
of which, on account of the interest of its contents, I will here give a
faithful transcript:--

"To M. Ludwig van Beethoven.

"A small number of the disciples and lovers of art, from the wide circle
of admirers of your genius, in your adopted city, present themselves
before you to-day, in order to give utterance to wishes long felt, and
to prefer a request which they have long hesitated to make.

"Although the number of speakers bears but a small proportion to that
crowd, who are sensible of your worth, and joyfully acknowledge what you
have done for the present and future time, yet their wishes and requests
are by no means confined to the speakers, but shared by all to whom art
and the realization of the ideal are more than a means of passing away
an idle hour. Their wish is the wish also of a countless number, and
their requests are repeated, aloud or in silence, by all whose bosoms
are animated by a sense of whatever is divine in music.

"The wishes of those who venerate art in our native country are those
which we would more especially express to you at present; for, although
the name and the creations of Beethoven belong to every country where a
susceptibility to the beauties of art exists, Austria may yet boast of
the nearest claim to them. Among her people a due sense of the value of
the great and immortal works of Mozart and Haydn, produced within her
bosom, is not yet dead; and with joyful pride do they remember that the
sacred triad, in which your name and theirs appear as the symbol of
whatever is highest in the spiritual realms of music, sprung from the
soil of their father-land.

"So much the more painful, however, must it be to you to see that a
foreign power has invaded this royal citadel--that above the graves of
the departed, and within the dwelling-place of the only one of this band
that is still left us, productions are taking the lead, which can boast
of no relationship with the princely spirits of the house; shallowness
usurping the name and symbol of art, and an unworthy sporting with what
is holy darkening and effacing the sense of truth and everlasting

"More than at any former time, therefore, do those who now address you
feel a lively conviction, that the one thing needful at the present
moment is a new impulse from a powerful hand--a new appearance of the
sovereign within his own domain. This necessity it is which brings them
to you to-day, and the following are the requests which they now prefer
to you in the name of native art and of all to whom it is dear.

"Withdraw no longer from the public enjoyment,--deny no longer to our
sense of what is great and perfect the performance of the latest
masterpiece of your hand. We know that a valuable composition in
church-music has been produced, to succeed that in which you have
immortalised the sensations of a soul, penetrated by the power of faith
and illumined by the divine rays of genius. We know that a new flower
blooms in the garland of your magnificent and unequalled Symphonies. For
years, since the thunders of the Victory of Vittoria ceased to sound,
have we anxiously hoped to see you pour out again, in a circle of
kindred spirits, fresh gifts from the abundance of your wealth.
Disappoint no longer the expectations of your friends; heighten the
impression of your newest creations by introducing us yourself to the
knowledge of them. Permit not these, the youngest offspring of your
genius, to appear one day as strangers in the place of their birth--to
fall, perhaps, into the hands of those whose minds are foreign to yours.

"Appear, then, once more in the circle of your friends, your admirers,
your venerators; this is our first and most urgent request.

"Other claims on your talents, however, have been openly put forward.
The wishes expressed and the offers made to you a year ago by the
Directors of our Court Opera, and afterwards by the Society of Austrian
Lovers of Music, were shared and approved by too many who respected your
name, and were concerned for the interests of art, not to have quickly
become public, and to have excited universal interest. Poetry has done
her part to support these pleasing hopes and expectations, and worthy
materials from a much-esteemed poetical mind await only your magic touch
to charm them into life.

"Let this summons to so noble a work not be heard in vain. Delay no
further to transport us back to those long-departed days when the power
of Polyhymnia moved with mighty spells alike the hearts of the multitude
and of the consecrated priests of art. Need we say with what deep regret
your late retired mode of life has filled us? Is any assurance required
that all eyes have been turned towards you, and that all have seen with
sorrow that he, whom they acknowledged as the highest of living men in
his own domain, should have looked on in silence while our German soil
has been invaded by the footsteps of foreign art--the seat of the German
muse usurped--and German works have become but the echo of those of
strangers; threatening a second childhood of taste to succeed its golden
age? You alone are able to secure activity to the efforts of the best
among us. You alone can bestow new life on national art and on the
German Opera; bid them bloom once more, and save the true and the
beautiful from the violence by which the fashion of the day seeks to
subject to itself their everlasting laws.

"Suffer us, then, to hope for the speedy fulfilment of the wishes of all
to whom your harmonies have penetrated. This is our second and most
urgent request. May this year not pass without our being rejoiced by
witnessing the fruits of our entreaties, and may the unfolding of one of
those long-wished-for gifts render the coming spring to us, and to the
whole world of art, a twofold time of promise.

"Vienna, February, 1824.


     ARTARIA & CO.
     J. E. VON WAYNA.
     COUNT CZERNIN, Chamberlain.
     J. F. CASTELLI.
     F. R. NEHAMMER.
     STEINER & CO.
     J. N. BIHLER."

The bearers of this memorial indulged the expectation of receiving
immediately from Beethoven an assurance of his compliance with the
requests contained in it; but in this they were egregiously mistaken,
for he declined reading it till he should be alone. I had been prevented
from being present when it was delivered to him, and arrived only just
as he had finished its perusal. He communicated to me the contents, and,
after running them over once more, handed the paper quietly to me; then
turning towards the window, he remained some time looking up at the
sky. I could not help observing that he was much affected, and, after I
had read it, I laid it down without speaking, in the hope that he would
first begin the conversation. After a long pause, whilst his eyes never
ceased following the clouds, he turned round, and said, in a solemn tone
which betrayed his internal emotion--"It is really gratifying!--I am
much pleased." I nodded assent, and wrote in the conversation-book that
he must now be convinced that he would meet with sufficient support, if
he would resolve to have the two new pieces brought out soon at a
concert. To this course he had always declared himself decidedly
adverse, professing his conviction that, from the alteration which had
taken place in musical taste, and in the intoxicated state of the public
mind, no sensibility remained for what was truly great.[86]

Beethoven read what I had just written, and then said, "Let us get into
the open air." When we were out, he appeared, contrary to his custom,
rather disposed to taciturnity, but I remarked the glimmering of a
latent wish to comply with the well-meant requests of his admirers.

After a good deal of discussion with one and another, it was at last
decided that the works should be brought before the public--but where?
This was a question hard to answer, so that several weeks elapsed before
it could be settled, and I will venture to say that the good people of
Bonn were not so much perplexed to decide on the place best adapted for
Beethoven's monument, and that many an entangled political problem was
solved in less time at the Congress of Vienna.

Since Beethoven had intrusted to me alone the arrangement of the concert
to be given, I might, in speaking of the difficulties I had to overcome,
take occasion to mention at length the numerous obstacles and
intrigues, the many basely avaricious demands, and the innumerable
tricks and machinations, of which I became aware, but that it would lead
me too far from my subject. I will therefore only observe, that, after a
long debate, the place chosen was the Hof-Theater at the Kärnthner Thor,
but this did not advance the matter much. A new struggle was now to be
commenced with the manager, M. Duport, who was no less zealous than the
rest for the interests of his theatre, and wished to make a profit of
Beethoven's undertaking.

When two flints had come into collision, what results could be
expected?--especially as neither one nor the other remained steady to
his first terms, but changed every day like a weathercock.

At length, in order to be at least certain of what were the wishes of
one of the contracting parties, we were obliged to have recourse to the
following stratagem: I begged Count Lichnowsky and M. Schuppanzigh to
call on Beethoven at the same hour, as if by accident, and to sound him
with regard to his intentions. On this occasion we were to endeavour to
lead him to speak categorically on the several points in discussion, and
one of us was immediately to write down whatever he should say, and
then, half in jest, half in earnest, call on him to sign it.

The plan succeeded to admiration, but what was the consequence? From the
whole procedure, Beethoven at length became aware of our design, and,
suspecting as usual falsehood and treachery at the bottom, despatched to
us the following sultan-like _hatti-sherif_:--

     "_To the Count Moritz von Lichnowsky._

     "I despise artifices. Let me have no more of your visits. The
     _Academy_ (the Concert) will not take place.


     "_To M. Schuppanzigh._

     "Let me see you no more. I shall give no Academy.


     "_To M. Schindler._

     "Do not come near me again till I send for you. No Academy.


Fortunately Beethoven did not send us the silken cord along with these
missives, so we all three remained in the land of the living. We
suffered his anger to evaporate, and in the mean time assisted each
other to do the best that we could for him.

Towards the end of April, Beethoven one day wrote to me in an angry
mood:--"After these six weeks' squabbling about this and that, I feel
absolutely boiled, stewed, and roasted. What is to be done at last about
this much-talked-of Concert? Unless the prices are raised, what will
remain for me after so many expenses, since the copying alone has cost
so much?"

It will appear from this, that the principal point in discussion was
concerning the raising the prices of admission. If Beethoven wished to
get back the money that he had already expended, he must after all,
nolens volens, submit to the demand of the manager, which was, that the
Concert should take place in the theatre, on a subscription-night, at
the ordinary prices; and that, for the use of it, as well as of the
Chorus and Orchestra, the administration should receive the sum of one
thousand florins, Vienna currency. There was no help for it. It was
now--"Beethoven, submit to your fate."

The Concert took place on the 7th of May, 1824. The house was filled to
overflowing. The gross receipts were 2220 florins; of which, subtracting
1000 for the theatre and 800 for the copying, there remained for
Beethoven 420 florins. Every box was crammed, with the single exception
of the Emperor's, which remained empty, although Beethoven had gone in
person, in my company, to make the invitations to all the members of the
Imperial family then in Vienna, and some of the illustrious personages
had promised to attend. When the time came, however, the Emperor and
Empress were on a journey, and the Archduke Rudolph was in Olmütz; so
that our great master was obliged to shift without the countenance of
the Imperial court.

These were the immediate results of the concert. The details of the
further consequences to Beethoven I may be permitted to pass over for
the present, as I shall have much worse to notice in the sequel; but I
cannot forbear mentioning some facts connected with the rehearsal of the
vocal parts of the two works above alluded to.

It will perhaps be remembered that, in speaking of the performance of
_Fidelio_, in the second period, I observed that Beethoven was in the
habit of paying little attention to the possibility of the execution of
what he wrote for the vocal parts. Innumerable proofs of this assertion
may be found again in the second Mass and in the ninth Symphony, which,
during the rehearsals of the chorus and solo parts, led to many
unpleasant discussions. With due deference for the master, it was not
possible to avoid telling him that this and that passage could not be
sung. The two ladies, Mademoiselle Sontag and Mademoiselle Ungher, who
undertook the soprano and alto solos, came several times to practise
them at Beethoven's house, and made the remark to him beforehand.[87]

[Illustration: musical notation]

[Illustration: *** The passages marked with a *, and inserted in small
notes, indicate the high notes alluded to.--ED.]

[Illustration: musical notation]

[Illustration: musical notation]

[Illustration: musical notation]

*** This is the very part I did alter, as shown in
the above illustration; for if, as the sequel shows, a Sontag had
perseverance and means sufficient to work it out, the same could not be
expected from every singer, and least of all from the Chorus, which
repeats the same passage after the Solo performers.--ED.]

Mlle. Ungher did not hesitate to call him the tyrant of singers, but he
only answered, smiling, that it was because they were both so spoiled by
the modern Italian style of singing that they found the two new works
difficult.[88] "But this high passage here," said Sontag, pointing to
the vocal Quartett in the Symphony,

    Küsse gab sie uns und Reben--

"would it not be possible to alter that?"--"And this passage, M. van
Beethoven," continued Mademoiselle Ungher, "is also too high for most
voices. Could we not alter that?"--"No! no! no!" was the
answer,[89]--"Well then, for Heaven's sake (_in Gottes Namen_), let us
work away at it again," said the patient Sontag.

As for the poor Soprani, in the chorus parts of the Mass, every day did
they complain to Beethoven that it was out of their power to reach and
sustain the high notes so long as he prescribed. In some places the
tyrant remained inexorable, though it would have been easy for him, by a
transposition of some of the intervals, to render those passages easier
for the voices, without altering anything essential. Umlauf, the most
strictly classical conductor I have ever known, to whom Beethoven had
committed the management of the whole, also made some modest remarks on
this difficulty, but equally in vain. The consequence of this obstinacy
was, that every chorus-singer, male and female, got over the
stumbling-block as well as he or she could, and, when the notes were too
high, left them out altogether.[90]

The master, however, standing in the midst of this confluence of music,
heard nothing of all this, was not even sensible of the tumultuous
applause of the auditory at the close of the Symphony, but was standing
with his back to the proscenium, until Mademoiselle Ungher, by turning
round and making signs, roused his attention, that he might at least
_see_ what was going on in the front of the house. This acted, however,
like an electric shock on the thousands present, who were struck with a
sudden consciousness of his misfortune; and, as the flood-gates of
pleasure, compassion, and sympathy were opened, there followed a
volcanic explosion of applause, which seemed as if it would never

This success, such as had never been witnessed in those venerable halls
of art, induced the speculative manager of the theatre to propose a
repetition of the new works, (with the exception of four numbers of the
Mass,) securing, before-hand, to Beethoven 500 florins Vienna currency
(1250 francs). The manager offered to take on himself all expenses, but
claimed all the surplus receipts. Discouraged by the small profit of the
first concert, (420 florins, paper currency,) Beethoven, for a long
time, would not agree to this, but was at length necessitated to comply.
In the latter part of the month of May, accordingly, the repetition took
place in the imperial assembly-rooms (_Redouten-Saal_); the four
movements of the Mass, however, _Kyrie_, _Credo_, _Agnus Dei_, and _Dona
nobis pacem_, which were the only parts of the Mass performed at the
first concert, were destined to be omitted, though Beethoven protested
strongly against it. In place of them the Italian roulade-monger, Signor
David, sung the favourite Cavatina "_Di tanti palpiti_," in spite of the
outcry of all the purists; and Sontag gave innumerable fioriture of
Mercadante's. Of Beethoven's music, besides the ninth Symphony, the
Terzetto _Tremate, empi tremate_, by Italian singers, and the grand
Overture in C major, with the double fugue, were also performed.

The pecuniary result of these manifold exertions was, that the manager
had the pleasure of paying 800 florins towards the expenses, as _the
house was not half full_, and that Beethoven, deeply vexed at this
unexpected result, declined at first to accept the 500 florins
guaranteed to him, and was with much difficulty at last prevailed upon
to take the money. The most complete ill humour took possession of him,
so that he was no longer accessible to any one, and it was increased by
the gossiping tittle-tattle of certain persons, who put it into his head
that he had been cheated at the first concert, and thus excited his
suspicions, especially against me. At a dinner, which he gave a few days
afterwards to the two directors of his concert, Messrs. Umlauf and
Schuppanzigh, and to me, in the Prater, he could no longer restrain his
anger, but declared that he had been informed that I, in conjunction
with the manager, M. Duport, had defrauded him. It was in vain that our
two companions endeavoured to convince him that, as every piece of money
had passed through the hands of the two cashiers of the theatre, and
their accounts of the receipts exactly corresponded, a fraud on either
side was out of the question: he refused to retract his charge, and I
consequently withdrew immediately, in company with M. Umlauf, and did
not see Beethoven again till the month of November, when he called upon
me at the theatre in the Josephstadt, where I was acting as
music-director, and begged that what had passed might be forgotten.

This occurrence may serve to show what it was to be Beethoven's
_friend_, and to keep on good terms with him only a single year. How
much friendship, how many sacrifices, what an entire self-denial, did it
not require to submit to be daily exposed to the most malicious
calumnies, and even to the most dishonourable accusations! The friend of
his youth, Hofrath von Breuning, was alienated from him by a similar
reflection on his honour, and Beethoven was only brought back to him by
certain melancholy events of the year 1826, when he stood in need of his

An accusation of this kind occasioned a coolness of twelve years'
standing between him and his old friend Dr. Malfatti; and it was not
till Beethoven was on his deathbed that I brought about a
reconciliation. Credulous, inexperienced, and distrustful as he was, it
was easy for any worthless person to slander and set him against his
most tried friend. It was not always that these calumnies originated
with his brothers, but other odious creatures were continually poisoning
his mind, as there are examples enough to prove in his conversation-books.

In his last illness he circumstantially related to me and M. von
Breuning many of the intrigues and machinations of some of those
persons, whose motives were always envy and covetousness. He also
confessed that he had several times been induced to write letters,
declaring his conviction of the deceit and treachery of this or that
friend, without any better ground than those false accusations.

The manner in which he made his peace, however, was so frank and
open-hearted, that one could not help passing over every vexation and
insult that might have been received from him.

With his servants he was accustomed to make up these affronts by
presents of money, and it was said that his faithful old housekeeper,
who bore his humours for many years, was able to help him in time of
need with what she had saved out of these presents, or rather fines,
which Beethoven imposed on himself. That there really were such moments
I can myself bear witness, and a note which I received from him in the
spring of the year 1824 attests the same thing:--"Frau Schnapps (a
nickname he had given to his housekeeper) will advance what is wanted
for housekeeping; so come and dine with me at two o'clock. I have some
good news to tell, but let this be between ourselves, that the
_brain-eater_[92] may know nothing about it.--BEETHOVEN."

In the spring of the year 1824, Beethoven was again invited to visit
England, and he appeared more than usually resolved on undertaking this
journey in the following autumn. I was to accompany him, and we were to
travel through the Rhenish provinces, that he might see his native
country once more, where, alas! not a creature, with the exception of
Dr. Wegeler in Coblentz, Ries's father, and the music-publisher Simrock
in Bonn, ever bestowed a thought upon him. How rare was his
correspondence, even with these old friends, appears from the Notices of
Beethoven, published by the first-mentioned of them. Autumn approached,
but Beethoven made no preparations for the journey.

In a letter dated the 20th of December of the same year, the invitation
was most pressingly repeated on the part of the Philharmonic Society by
Mr. Neate,[93] music professor of London, who had formerly passed some
time in Vienna. The terms offered were as follow:--

"The Philharmonic Society proposes to pay you 300 guineas for your
visit, and expects, on your part, that you will superintend the
performance of your own works, of which at least one will be given at
every concert. It also expects that you will, in the course of your stay
in England, write a new Symphony and a Concerto, to be performed here,
but to remain your own property." For a concert, which it was further
proposed that he should himself give in London, the sum of 500_l._
sterling was to be guaranteed to him; so that nothing could be handsomer
than these offers, as Beethoven himself acknowledged. But his nephew!...
certain rumours with respect to this young man had now become generally
current, and the consequence was, that the journey was given up, and
the hopes of the Londoners, to see among them their long-established
favourite, Beethoven, were all frustrated.

And now for the following fact, which I hope may be considered in all
its bearings, and duly estimated by all admirers of the great deceased,
since it deserves, far more than any of those already related, the
attention of the whole musical world.

In the beginning of the year 1824, Beethoven received from a Russian
prince his first extremely flattering letter, with a request that he
would write one or two instrumental Quartetts, and dedicate them to the
writer. The terms proposed were highly agreeable, the condition being
added, that the prince should possess both of the works to be composed
for a full year as his sole property, and that, after the lapse of that
time only, the master should have a right to publish them. (This
condition, which served to increase the loss that he eventually
sustained, was not at first agreed to by Beethoven, but afterwards
punctually fulfilled.)

This was soon followed by a second letter to the same purport, and just
as some serpents are said by their glance to fascinate their destined
prey, did Beethoven, by whom adulation was in general totally
disregarded, appear intoxicated by the flatteries of the Russian prince.
He abandoned the composition of the Oratorio by C. Bernard, which was
already begun, and set about a Quartett for Prince Nicholas von
Galitzin, but before it was ready the prince applied for a second, and
soon after for a third, and found means to gain over Beethoven so
entirely, that he seemed to think no more of the Oratorio, of the tenth
Symphony, or even of a work which he had already planned, and which was
to be the grand effort of his life, the conclusion of his artistical
exertions--namely--the setting Göthe's Faust to music.[94] The musical
world has to thank this man only that all these works, as well as a
grand Requiem, which the composer had also projected, remained
unwritten, and for this he can never make amends. But let us proceed.
The sum agreed on for the Quartetts, to be written for this princely
Mæcenas, was 125 ducats. Beethoven, however, received from St.
Petersburg nothing but letters filled with questions concerning doubtful
or difficult passages in these Quartetts, to which the fullest and most
circumstantial replies were immediately dispatched, and it would be
highly desirable, for the intelligibility of the pieces in question,
that these answers should be published;[95] but never did he receive a
single ruble. It was not till the month of December, in the year 1826,
when a long illness had occasioned him considerable pecuniary
embarrassment, that he applied to the prince for the stipulated sum,
representing his distressed situation; but received no answer. Beethoven
wrote again, and at the same time begged the Austrian ambassador and
the banking-house of Stieglitz at St. Petersburg, in private letters, to
make application to the prince. At length an answer arrived from the
latter, that Prince Nicholas von Galitzin had gone to Persia to join the
army, without leaving them any instructions to remit money to Beethoven.
In this painful situation Beethoven recollected the offer made to him by
the London Philharmonic Society, and wrote on the subject to Moscheles
and Sir George Smart. I shall return again to this matter, and in the
mean time I must be allowed to close this extraordinary case by
observing, that if Prince Nicholas von Galitzin is still living, he can
only hope to appease the manes of Beethoven by paying over this just
debt of 125 ducats, either to some charitable institution, or to the
Bonn committee for the erection of a monument to his memory.

Immediately after the above-mentioned two memorable concerts, Beethoven
moved into a pleasant house at Penzing, near Schönbrunn, to which he
had taken a fancy, connected with which is a characteristic anecdote.
The house is situated near the river Wien, over which there is a bridge
for foot passengers, and, as the master had become an object of great
public curiosity, it was not uncommon for this bridge to be occupied by
a crowd of persons, who had posted themselves there, to wait for an
opportunity of seeing him. This annoyed him so much that he left the
house in three weeks and went to Baden. A similar case had occurred a
year before at Hetzendorf, where he left a lodging which he had taken
for the summer, and for which he had paid in advance 400 florins,
because he took offence at the excessive politeness of his landlord.

In the autumn of the year 1824 Beethoven returned from Baden, and for
the first time for many years took a house in town, that his nephew, who
had now left school, might be near the University. During this winter
(1824-5) the master had a severe fit of illness, originating in an
intestinal disorder: indeed, he had been on bad terms with his stomach
during his whole life. The eminent physician, Dr. Staudenheim, had
hitherto been his medical attendant, and often had to remonstrate
seriously with his patient, though it must be confessed without much
effect. Now, however, he chose to appoint Dr. Braunhofer, professor at
the University, to attend him. The winter was passed in a state of
constant suffering, and it was not till the spring that he began to
recover a little, and moved again to Baden, his favourite summer

His mental activity during this whole year extended no further than to
the composition of the last Quartett; for the Russian Mæcenas was
continually writing flattering letters to urge him to its completion.

The first work undertaken after the illness of the year 1825 was the
Quartett, No. 12, with the remarkable adagio--"_Canzone di
ringraziamento in modo lidico, offerta alla Divinità da un guarito_."

In the year 1825 Beethoven closed with an offer made to him by the
brothers Schott, in Mainz, for the purchase of his second Mass and of
the ninth Symphony, after proposals had been made to him by houses in
Berlin, Vienna, and Leipzig, which, however, did not suit him. Pursuant
to this agreement, Beethoven received

    For the Mass in D major, op. 123     1000
    For the ninth Symphony, op. 125       600

At the same time the house at Mainz agreed for the following works of

    Quatuor, op. 127, for           50 ducats.
    Quatuor, op. 131, for           80   "
    Overture in C major, op. 124 }
    _Opferlied_,         op. 121 }
    _Bundeslied_,        op. 122 }
    Ariette to Chloe,    op. 128 }
    Bagatelles for the           }
      pianoforte         op. 126 }
    For these five works Beethoven
      received the sum of          130 ducats.

This not inconsiderable sum might have enabled him to replace the amount
abstracted from his little fund, and to avert many future difficulties,
had he not determined to consider it as a capital, to be laid out in the
purchase of public securities, as a provision for his nephew, and not as
his own property. How far he was in the right we shall see in the

In the autumn of 1825 Beethoven moved to his last lodging, in what is
called the Schwarzpanier House, situated on the glacis of the suburb of
Währing. It suited him well, had plenty of sunshine, and commanded an
extensive and, at the same time, agreeable prospect over the city and
several suburbs. In this abode he passed the eventful year 1826, in
which his harassed mind was destined to the hardest and bitterest trial
which could be imposed upon a man, to whom virtue and honour were the
dearest of all things.

His adopted nephew, endowed, as I have already remarked, with uncommon
mental abilities, had, to the great joy of his uncle, who brought him up
like the child of a nobleman, already made considerable progress in his
education, and Beethoven took no little pride in his success. At the age
of seventeen, the youth returned to the house of this his second father,
and, attending only the course of philosophy at the University, was
released from all the restraints to which he was necessarily subject
while at school; for his uncle, trusting entirely to his understanding
and steadiness, granted his nephew all the freedom he desired, which,
indeed, under the circumstances, he could hardly avoid. It would lead us
too far to enter into any detail of the observations made by his first
teachers on a certain turn of mind in the boy, which might probably lead
him away from the right path; it was hoped that this had been corrected
in his subsequent education.

This youth, possessing talents worthy of his renowned name, was no
sooner in the full enjoyment of his liberty, than he fell into an evil
course of life--neglected his studies--abused the affection and
indulgence of his uncle--and was, at last, expelled from the
University, where even the respect universally felt for the name he bore
could no longer screen him. It would be needless to dwell on the
sufferings of the great master, before and during this event, which was
not unexpected. Whoever saw him in this time of trouble could not fail
to perceive plainly on his features the traces of the mortification
caused by this dishonour to his name.

The measure of his sufferings was, however, far from full; and they were
increased by the circumstance that there were people found who threw the
blame of all that had happened on the uncle; and we will not therefore
shrink from inquiring, in the course of this narrative, whether some
part of the fault may not indeed be attributable to Beethoven.

In accordance with the wish of this young man, he was now allowed to
continue his studies at the Polytechnic Institution, and to devote
himself to mercantile pursuits--a permission which Beethoven was the
more willing to grant, since he knew his nephew would, in that
institution, be under the superintendence of the vice-director, M.
Reisser, who was his joint-guardian with himself. All attempts to bring
him again into an honourable course were vain; on the contrary,
Beethoven received innumerable proofs that he had not only lost all
affection, but even all respect for him, and rejected with equal
obstinacy advice and entreaty. It may now be time to inquire how far the
master may be considered blameable for the conduct of this youth, and by
what means the latter forfeited his affection and his respect.

When a man undertakes the education of a gifted child, possessed by such
an excess of love as Beethoven bore to his nephew, this alone may prove
the source of innumerable evils, and become a kind of Pandora's box.
Beethoven, in the first instance, committed the mistake of granting
unbounded confidence to his nephew when a boy ten or twelve years of
age, though he had often been convicted of falsehood and other serious
juvenile faults; and afterwards expecting from a lad of sixteen the
steadiness of a man, and emancipating him in the fullest sense of the
term. Of these mistakes he now became conscious--but alas! too late!
Beethoven was still more to blame because he could not, even in the
presence of his nephew, refrain from expressing his detestation of the
boy's mother, to which he gave utterance sometimes in the most violent
manner; forbidding him all intercourse with her, utterly regardless of
the voice of Nature, which, sooner or later, may awaken and become its
own avenger.

No sooner was the young man released from the restraints of his
childhood than he sought out this in every sense unfortunate mother; and
continued to visit her, although he knew that this had been most
strictly forbidden by Beethoven: and hence arose many painful contests
between uncle and nephew.

In these proceedings, though Beethoven may have been over-severe towards
the mother, he was led to adopt this course by the most cogent reasons
founded on antecedent events.

There are now lying before me twenty-nine letters, addressed by
Beethoven to his nephew in the summer of the year 1825, dated Baden, and
which, with other papers, came again into his possession after his
nephew's catastrophe in August, 1826. They were confided to me and
Hofrath von Breuning, at that moment, towards the end of his earthly
career, to which I have adverted in the introduction to this work, in
order that from their contents a judgment might be formed of the line of
conduct pursued by the uncle towards his nephew, and that he might stand
before the world acquitted of charges brought against him. I now proceed
to fulfil the melancholy duty of making some faithful extracts from


"I rejoice, my dear son, that you are pleased with your adopted sphere
of life, and diligent in acquiring what is necessary for it. Your
handwriting I should not have known again. I myself indeed care only
about the sense and signification, but you must now endeavour to attain
also external elegance.

"If it is too hard a task for you to come hither, never mind. Should it,
however, be any way possible, I shall be glad to have in my exile some
feeling heart about me. I embrace you most cordially.

"Your affectionate father,



"_May 18, 1825._

"It cannot but be becoming in a youth, now nearly nineteen, to unite
with his cares for his education and future prosperity the duty which he
owes to his benefactor, to whom he is indebted for his maintenance. Have
I not fulfilled mine towards my poor parents, and rejoiced when I was
able to assist them? How different has been your conduct towards me!
Thoughtless boy, farewell.



"_May 22, 1825._

"I have been assured, although hitherto it has been only matter of
conjecture, that you have again been carrying on a clandestine
intercourse with your mother. Am I again to experience this hateful
ingratitude? Shall the tie between us be severed?--So be it then. You
will be detested by every impartial person who shall hear of your
ingratitude. The expressions used by my brother, and your own of
yesterday, with respect to Dr. S----r, must of course be painful to me,
since the very reverse of what he requires has been decided by the
tribunal.[96] Am I continually to be forced to entangle myself in these
abominations? Never again! Is the agreement become burdensome to you? Be
it so, in God's name! I have done my part, and leave you to Providence.
I do not fear to answer for my conduct before the judgment-seat of the



"_Baden, May 31, 1825._

"Enough of this! Spoiled as you have been, it would do you no injury to
pay some attention at last to simplicity and truth. I have suffered too
much from your artifices, and it will be a hard matter for me to forget
them. Even if I would always submit, without murmuring, like an ox to
the yoke, if you should behave thus towards others, you will never gain
the good-will of any human creature. God knows all I wish is to be freed
from you, from this base brother, and from these my worthless relations.
May God hear my prayer! for I can never trust you more.

"Your father--alas!

"yet, fortunately not your father."


(In answer to an account of money received.)

"_June 18, 1825._

" ... Let us not look further back. It would be easy to do so, but it
would only be painful for me; at last it would only be--'you are a very
good guardian, &c.... Were you but a little steadier, you would have
always acted differently.'



"_July 18, 1825._

"Dear Son,

"Only be moderate. Fortune has crowned my endeavours, but let no
mistaken views lead you into embarrassment. Be candid and exact in the
account of your expenses. Let the theatre rest for the present. Be ruled
by your father, and guided by him whose every wish has been invariably
directed towards your moral welfare as well as your worldly prosperity!
Be indeed my son. What an unheard-of discord would it be, if you were
indeed false to me, as some people still maintain!



"I am growing thinner and thinner, and am indeed very poorly, without
having any doctor, or any one to feel for me. If it be possible, come to
me. But I do not wish to be any hindrance to you. I wish I were only
sure that the Sunday would be properly spent without me. I must learn to
give up all. Would that these great sacrifices might only bring forth
good fruits!

"Where am I not injured and wounded? Have no secret dealings with my
brother. Once for all, have no secrets from me--from your affectionate
father. If I am angry, ascribe it to my anxiety on your account, for you
are exposed to much peril. Think of my sufferings and give me no
uneasiness. I ought by rights to have no fears of this kind,----but
what have I not experienced!



"'Come soon, come soon, come soon.' Be it so. The day before yesterday
came my Signor Fratello[97] and his brother-in-law. What a wretched
creature! If Cato, speaking of Cæsar, exclaimed 'This man and we'--what
shall we say of such a one as this?

"Now, as ever, thine anxious and

"affectionate Father,



_September, 1825._

"I do not wish that you should come to me on the 14th inst. It is better
that you should finish your studies. God has never yet forsaken me, and
some one will be found to close my eyes. There seems to me indeed to be
something pre-ordained in all that has taken place, in which my brother
(Pseudo) plays a part. I know that you have no wish to come to me even
afterwards, and it is natural that it should be so. Such a sphere as
mine is too pure for you.... You need not come on Sundays, either, for,
after such behaviour, true harmony and concord can never subsist; and
what is the use of hypocrisy? Be, in reality, a better man; but use no
deceit, no lies; it will be all the better for your moral character in
the end. You see your conduct is reflected in the mirror of my mind. The
kindest remonstrances would be of no avail. You will, in either case, be
incensed. For the rest, be under no apprehension. I will continue my
cares for you as usual. What troubles do you not occasion me! Farewell.
He who has not indeed bestowed on you your life, but the support of that
life, and what is more than all else, the cultivation of your mind, as a
father--nay more than that--most fervently implores you to keep in the
only true path to all that is right and good.

"Your faithful affectionate Father,



"My dear son,--No more of this--come to my arms, you shall not hear one
harsh word. For God's sake, do not ruin yourself: you shall be received
as kindly as ever. As to what is to be thought of, and done for the
future, we will talk it over in a friendly manner together. Upon my word
of honour, you shall hear no reproaches, which, indeed can now do no
good. You have nothing to expect from me but the most anxious and
affectionate care for your welfare. Only come, come to the heart of your



_October 5, 1825._

"I have just received your letter. I was excessively anxious, and had
made up my mind to go to-day to Vienna. Thank God, it is not necessary.
Only be obedient to me, and affection, peace of mind, and worldly
prosperity, will be our united lot. You will enjoy an inward and
spiritual, as well as a material, existence. But let the former be
preferred to the latter.

"A thousand times I embrace and kiss you, not my lost, but my new-born
son. For you, my restored child, will your affectionate father ever



"_October 14, 1825._

"I inform you in haste, that I will certainly come to-morrow morning,
even if it should rain, therefore let me be sure of finding you. I shall
rejoice to see you once more, and should some dark clouds appear, do not
ascribe them to intentional resentment. They will be entirely dispersed
by the improved behaviour you have promised, by happiness, based upon
sincerity and active industry. Who would not rejoice to see the wanderer
return again to the right path? This happiness I hope to experience.


       *       *       *       *       *

These fragments will be sufficient to exhibit Beethoven's situation, his
state of mind, and his sufferings, as described by himself; not less
plainly do they serve to show his relation to various members of his
family. Above all, however, we perceive in these letters the noble
high-minded man; and such was Beethoven, not only in moments of
excitement, but throughout his whole life. Could I add, in reference to
the last extract, that Beethoven long enjoyed the felicity of seeing his
ill-advised nephew, then nineteen years old, walking in the paths of
virtue and honour, I should breathe more freely after the painful
emotions excited by thus recalling the past, and awakening the
remembrance of what I have gone through in witnessing the patience, with
which, for years, the great artist bore his cross, the weight of which
sometimes bowed him to the ground. Alas! all this was only the prelude
to that catastrophe which was destined to give the death-blow to our
illustrious master!

Notwithstanding all care, attention, and kindness on the part of
Beethoven[98] and the joint guardian of this unhappy young man, the
vice-director of the Polytechnic Institution, he again entered the
slippery path which he had been prevailed on to quit, and when, in
August 1826, he was urged to work up many examinations at the
Institution, which were in arrear, he made an attempt on his life. This
attempt failed, but it placed him as a suicide, according to the laws of
his country, in the hands of justice, for it is presumed that nothing
but a want of religion can possibly lead to so violent a step;
malefactors of this kind are consequently placed under the care of the
civil authorities, with a view of promoting the amendment of their
religious principles.

Thus it was with the nephew of Beethoven, and when the time came, when
he was to be again given over to the care of his guardian, it was done
with a positive injunction on the part of the authorities, to keep him
only one day in his house, since he was not permitted to remain longer
in Vienna. This took place towards the end of the month of October, and
now it was hard to know what was to be done. Johann van Beethoven
offered his brother his country-house as a temporary residence for his
nephew, until Hofrath von Breuning should succeed in procuring for the
young man a commission as cadet in some regiment, since he had now an
inclination to a military life. After a great deal of trouble, M. von
Breuning succeeded in interesting Lieutenant Field-Marshal Stutterheim
for the deeply afflicted Beethoven, and he consented to take the nephew
into his regiment. Out of gratitude, Beethoven dedicated to this officer
his grand Quartett in C sharp minor.

The severity of the season, and the incredibly thoughtless conduct of
which the nephew and the other relations of Beethoven were guilty
towards him obliged him to return to Vienna. This journey, which, in so
advanced a period of the year, could not be performed in one day, was
made in an open carriage, because, as Beethoven himself assured me, his
brother had refused to trust him with his close one.

It was necessary to give a brief relation of these occurrences, for only
thus could Beethoven find the defence and the justification which he
thought necessary, and which he will meet with from every sympathetic
mind. In fact, in the many discussions concerning him, mention was often
made of this circumstance, without any knowledge of the real state of
the case, and often with conjectures which, by degrees, might at length
assume the shape of a regular accusation against him.

On the 2nd of December, 1826, Beethoven, with his nephew, returned sick
to Vienna; but it was not till several days afterwards that I heard of
his situation, or even of his arrival. I hastened to him, and, among
other details, which shocked me much, learned that he had often in vain
entreated his two former physicians, Drs. Braunhofer and Staudenheim, to
undertake his case; the first declining to do so, because the distance
was too great for him to come; and the second, indeed, promising to
come, but not keeping his word. A physician was sent to his house, he
did not know how, or by whom, and who, consequently, knew nothing of him
or his constitution. When, however, this physician (the excellent Dr.
Wawruch, clinical professor) visited Beethoven's sick-bed, I heard from
his own mouth how it happened, and it affords an additional proof that
this man, belonging to the world and to posterity, was abandoned by his
nearest relations, who had so much cause to be grateful to him: not
merely abandoned, indeed, but betrayed and sold. Professor Wawruch
related to me that he had been sent to Beethoven by the marker at a
billiard-table at a coffee-house, who being, on account of illness,
brought to the hospital, had mentioned that some days before the nephew
of Beethoven had come to the coffee-house, where he played at billiards,
and commissioned him, the marker, to find a physician for his sick
uncle; but, being extremely unwell at the time, he had not been able to
do so, and therefore begged the Professor to visit Beethoven, which,
entertaining the highest respect for the artist, he had immediately
done, and had on his arrival still found him without medical attendance.
It was necessary then for the marker at a billiard-table to fall sick
and be taken to the hospital, before the great Beethoven could obtain
help in time of need!!

Who would not find his feelings revolted by this disgraceful fact? After
this no farther explanation can be necessary to show what were
Beethoven's sufferings in his deplorable condition, or what was the
ultimate cause of his early death.

Before the end of December, the nephew set off to join his regiment, and
from that moment it seemed as if the uncle had been delivered from his
evil genius. He became more cheerful and resigned to his fate, hoping
and expecting a speedy recovery from his illness to result from the care
of his physician. His former love for his nephew seemed now transformed
into bitter hatred; but before the hour arrived which was to sunder
every earthly tie, his first feelings returned, and he appointed this
nephew his sole heir.[99]

The malady which brought him back to Vienna, on the occasion just
mentioned, was an inflammation of the lungs, soon followed by symptoms
of dropsy. These at first Professor Wawruch refused to recognise, but
they increased so rapidly that it was no longer possible to doubt the
nature of the disease.

On the 18th of December an operation was found to be necessary; another
followed on the 8th of January; a third on the 28th of the same month;
and the fourth on the 27th of February.[100]

Towards the end of January Beethoven's former friend, the celebrated Dr.
Malfatti, was induced, after much supplication and entreaty, to
prescribe for him; and, from this time, by the advice of both his
medical attendants, he took daily, as the only specific, considerable
quantities of iced punch, by which the vital powers, prostrated by the
frequent operations, were restored to such a degree, that he considered
himself as perfectly convalescent, threw away angrily the volume of
Walter Scott, with which he had been trying to pass away the time, and
exclaiming,--"The man writes only for money!" set to work again at a
Sonata for two performers, which he had been writing for Diabelli,
although the physicians had positively prohibited every mental exertion.
After the fourth operation, however, even iced punch could no longer act
as a restorative, although no limits were prescribed to its use. From
this time he declined rapidly.

During this period of suffering, Beethoven would have no one about him
but von Breuning and myself; and when we were both unavoidably kept from
him by our avocations, as indeed generally happened for several hours
every day, the favourite companion and best nurse of the sick artist
was von Breuning's son, a lively and clever boy, eleven years old, who,
by his freedom from care, and ignorance of the danger in which we knew
our friend to be, was frequently better able to raise his spirits than
we were. Little Gerhard was often warmly thanked by Beethoven for his
assistance in this way.

It is now time to give a detailed account of Beethoven's letters to
London, in which he made an application to the Philharmonic Society, as
these letters have been much talked of, and often taken amiss.

It may, perhaps, be recollected under what circumstances Beethoven was
compelled, in the year 1823, to encroach on his little savings, as well
as that the extremely slender profit accruing from the two concerts in
1824 had disappointed his hopes of being able to make up the deficiency
thus occasioned. How and why the projected journey to London in the same
year, which afforded such cheering pecuniary prospects, was given up,
and how he had foolishly appropriated to his unworthy heir the sum
received for his last works, without thinking of himself, I have also
related. To these causes of embarrassment we may add the base conduct of
the Russian Prince Nicholas von Galitzin, at the time when Beethoven was
scarcely able to rise from his bed, and had to contend with heavy
expenses, while he was assured by his physicians that his illness was
likely to be of long duration, and that he must not think of working for
a long time to come.

In addition to all this came the increased expenditure for his nephew,
for whose maintenance, as his adopted father, he was, even by the laws
of his country, compelled to provide.

Thus, sick and harassed, Beethoven found himself obliged either to make
use of the only property he possessed, consisting of a few bank shares,
or to apply to his brother for assistance. This brother one day, in the
presence of M. von Breuning and myself, declined letting Beethoven have
any of his hay, when two physicians had prescribed for him a hay
vapour-bath; alleging as an excuse that _his_ hay was not good enough.
Yet this "unbrotherly brother," as Beethoven called him, rich as he was,
wished to share in the little that the composer possessed.[101] To be
obliged to ask assistance from him was of itself like a death-blow to

Forgotten by the Viennese, whom his decease first aroused from the
delirium of the Rossini-fever, and pressed by these difficulties, the
master remembered an offer made to him some years before by the
Philharmonic Society, and after much hesitation determined to apply, as
a first step, by letter to Moscheles, although quite against my advice
and that of M. von Breuning, as we foresaw the wrong construction that
would be put on this letter. On the 22nd of February, 1827, Beethoven
wrote on this subject, at the same time to Moscheles and to Sir George

"My dear Moscheles,--I am sure you will not take it amiss, if I trouble
you, as well as Sir G. Smart, to whom I enclose a letter, with a
request. The affair is briefly as follows:--Some years ago the
Philharmonic Society in London made a handsome offer to give me a
benefit concert. At that time I was not, thank God, in a situation to
make it necessary to avail myself of this generous proposal. But affairs
are much altered with me at present, when I have been confined three
months by a tedious illness--the dropsy. Schindler will tell you more
about it in a letter accompanying this. You have long known my way of
life--you know how and by what I live. Writing is at present out of the
question, and I might unfortunately become so situated as to be reduced
to want. You have not only extensive connexions in London, but also
considerable influence with the Philharmonic Society. I beg that you
will do what you can to induce them again to consider their intention,
and put it soon into execution. My enclosed letter to Sir George Smart
is to the same purport, as well as one to Mr. Stumpff,[102] which is
already despatched. I entreat you to forward this to Sir George, and to
unite with him and my other friends in London to effect this object.
Even dictating becomes painful to me, so much exhausted do I feel. Make
my compliments to your amiable wife, and be assured I shall always

"Your friend,


"Pray answer me soon, in order that I may know if I have anything to

On the 14th of March, Beethoven again wrote on this subject to
Moscheles, earnestly begging his attention to it.

From this second letter I make only the following extract:--

"On the 27th of February the operation was performed for the fourth
time, and there are evident signs that I must soon submit to it again.
What is to be the end of it, and what will become of me if it lasts much
longer? Mine is indeed a hard fate, but I resign myself to it, only
praying that God in his providence may so ordain that, whilst I endure
this death in life, I may be protected from want. I should then have
strength enough, let my lot be ever so severe, to submit with
resignation to the will of the Most High. Hummel is here, and has called
several times upon me."

As early as the 1st of March, Moscheles and Mr. Stumpff had written to
inform him of the sensation excited among his numerous admirers in
London by his first letter; and the former afterwards wrote to the
following effect:--

"The Society resolved to express their good-will and lively sympathy by
requesting your acceptance of £100 sterling (1000 florins) to provide
the necessary comforts and conveniences during your illness. This money
will be paid to your order by Mr. Rau, of the house of Eskeles, either
in separate sums, or all at once, as you may desire."

Moscheles added that the Philharmonic Society was willing to extend
their good offices still further, and that Beethoven had only to write,
if he needed their assistance.

In reply, Beethoven dictated to me, on the 18th of March, the following,
since he was himself too weak to write:--

     "I know not how in words to describe the feelings with which I have
     read yours of the 1st. I am deeply sensible of the generosity with
     which the Philharmonic Society has almost anticipated my request,
     and I beg you, dear Moscheles, to become the organ through which I
     may convey my heart-felt thanks for their kind sympathy and
     distinguished liberality. I have found myself compelled to apply
     for the whole sum of 1000 florins, as I was just under the
     unpleasant necessity of raising money, which would have occasioned
     me fresh embarrassment. With regard to the concert which the
     Society intend to arrange for my benefit, I trust they will not
     relinquish that noble design, and beg that they will deduct the
     £100 which they already have sent me from the profits. Should after
     that any surplus be left, and the Society be kindly willing to
     bestow it upon me, I hope to have it in my power to evince my
     gratitude by composing for them either a new Symphony, which
     already lies sketched on my desk, or a new Overture, or anything
     else the Society may prefer. May Heaven grant me my health soon
     again, that I may be able to prove to the generous English how well
     I can appreciate their sympathy with my melancholy situation! Your
     noble conduct can never be forgotten by me, and I beg you to return
     my thanks in particular to Sir George Smart and Mr. Stumpff.

     "With the highest esteem, yours,



     "P. S. Kindest regards to your wife. I have to thank the
     Philharmonic Society and you for a new and most amiable friend in
     M. Rau.[103]

     "I beg you to transmit the subjoined metronomic list of my Ninth
     Symphony to the Philharmonic Society:"

    Allegro ma non troppo      88 = [Illustration: quarter note]
    Molto vivace              116 = [Illustration: Half note]
    Presto                    116 = [Illustration: Half note]
    Adagio primo               60 = [Illustration: quarter note]
    Andante moderato           63 = [Illustration: quarter note]
    Finale presto              96 = [Illustration: half note]
    Allegro ma non troppo      88 = [Illustration: quarter note]
    Allegro assai              80 = [Illustration: half note]
    Alla marcia                84 = [Illustration: quarter note]
    Andante maestoso           72 = [Illustration: half note]
    Adagio divoto              60 = [Illustration: half note]
    Allegro energico           84 = [Illustration: half note]
    Allegro ma non tanto      120 = [Illustration: half note]
    Prestissimo               132 = [Illustration: half note]
    Maestoso                   60 = [Illustration: sixteenth note]"

From my own letter to Moscheles, dated the 24th of March, accompanying
the above from Beethoven, written with a view to prepare his friends in
London for the approaching death of this great man, I shall make the
following extract, since it belongs, no less than the former, to the
history of his life.

* * * * * "The letter addressed to you,
and dated the 18th, was dictated word for
word by himself, and is probably his last.
To-day he whispered to me--'Write to
Smart and Stumpff.' Should it be possible
for him to sign these letters, it shall be done

"He is conscious of his approaching end, for yesterday he said to me and
Breuning, '_Plaudite amici, Comoedia finita est._'[105]

"The last few days have been memorable ones. He sees the approach of
death with the most perfect tranquillity of soul and real Socratic
wisdom.[106] Yesterday we were so fortunate as to finish the business of
the will. Three days after the receipt of your last, he was much
excited, and would have his sketch of the Tenth Symphony brought to him,
concerning the plan of which he talked to me a great deal. It was
destined for the Philharmonic Society, and, according to the form which
it assumed in his morbid imagination, it was to be a musical leviathan,
compared with which his other Grand Symphonies would be merely trifling

On the 18th of March, Beethoven begged me to attend to the dedication of
his last Quartett, and to choose for this mark of respect one of his
worthiest friends. As I knew this compliment to be well deserved by M.
Johann Wolfmayer, a merchant of Vienna, most highly esteemed by
Beethoven in the latter days of his life, and that he was frequently
occupied by considering in what way he could manifest his gratitude to
him, I sent the name of this gentleman, after the decease of Beethoven,
to Messrs. Schott, in Mainz, the publishers of the above-mentioned work,
with a request that it might be dedicated to him. This fact is
sufficient to prove how anxious Beethoven was, even to his latest
breath, to show himself grateful to his friends and benefactors; and had
he been able, he would, in his last moments, have expressed himself more
decidedly with respect to this dedication.

On the payment of the thousand florins by M. Rau, Beethoven had still
100 florins in ready money, which was sufficient for the expenses of the
latter days of his life, and from the above sum, therefore, only a small
part was deducted for the expenses of the funeral. The remainder of
this sum should have been, according to the letter of Mr. Moscheles of
the 1st of March, returned to the Philharmonic Society, since it was
specially destined to provide for the comfort of Beethoven; but they did
not wish it to fall into the hands of his unworthy relatives. At the
legal inventory taken after Beethoven's death, however, this money fell
into the hands of the authorities; but Dr. Bach, whom he had while
living appointed his executor, assigned reasons for opposing its
delivery, which, in consequence, was not insisted upon.

    According to the account rendered
    by Dr. Bach, the entire amount
    of property, including the produce
    of the sale of furniture,
    music, and seven Bank Shares,      florins.
    amounted to                         10,232

    From this were to be deducted for
    the illness, funeral, and legal
    expenses,                            1,213

    So that there was a net remainder
    of                                   9,019[107]

Dr. Bach accompanied this account with a remark, in which I fully
concur, that the amount of the property was out of all proportion to the
deserts of the great man by whom it was left, and might throw an
unfavourable light upon his contemporaries, were it not susceptible of
explanation from the character and opinions of the master, who thought
only of his Art, and left to others the consideration of the profit to
be derived from it.

Symptoms of a speedy termination to Beethoven's sufferings appeared
early on the 24th of March, after the holy Sacrament for the dying had
been administered at his own desire, and received by him with true
devotion. The first symptoms of approaching dissolution manifested
themselves about one o'clock on the same day. A most terrible struggle
between life and death now began, and continued, without intermission,
till the 26th, when, a quarter before six in the evening, the great
composer breathed his last, during a tremendous hail-storm, aged 56
years, 3 months, and 9 days.

I am not so fortunate as to be able to say that it was I who closed the
eyes of the artist who belongs to the latest posterity; neither was it
M. von Breuning; for we had gone on the afternoon in question to the
burial-ground belonging to the village of Währing, to provide a suitable
place of interment, and were prevented from returning by the violence of
the storm. The person who had to render him this last service was M.
Anselm Hüttenbrenner, from Grätz, in Styria, favourably known as a
composer, who had hastened to Vienna, that he might see Beethoven once
more. He fulfilled, therefore, this sacred duty in our stead, and when
we entered the chamber we were told, "It is all over!" and we returned
thanks to God that his sufferings were at an end.

The arrangements for the funeral were made by M. von Breuning and
myself, in conjunction with M. Tobias Haslinger, who was so obliging as
to superintend the music to be performed at the ceremony, which took
place on the afternoon of the 29th. The procession was followed, from
the abode of the great deceased to the parish church of the
Alster-suburb, where the service was performed, by at least 20,000

       *       *       *       *       *

Since it would not be uninteresting to many admirers of Beethoven to
learn the conformation of his skull, and the state in which the organs
of hearing were found, I insert the following particulars from the
report made after the dissection of the body by Dr. Johann Wagner. "The
auditory nerves were shrivelled and marrowless, the arteries running
along them stretched, as if over a crow-quill, and knotty. The left
auditory nerve, which was much thinner than the other, ran with three
very narrow greyish streaks; the right, with a thicker white one, out of
the fourth cavity of the brain, which was in this part of a much firmer
consistence and more filled with blood than in the rest. The
circumvolutions of the brain, which was soft and watery, appeared twice
as deep as usual, and much more numerous. The skull was throughout very
compact, and about half an inch thick."

A few days after the funeral, M. von Breuning received notice from the
wife of the sexton of Währing, that a considerable sum had been offered
to her husband if he would bring the head of Beethoven to a place
specified in Vienna. M. von Breuning, thinking that this information
might originate in a mercenary motive of the sexton's, offered him
money, which he however refused, assuring M. von Breuning that the
intimation which he had sent was nothing but the truth. On this account,
M. von Breuning had the grave watched every night for some time.


     Intended Edition of Beethoven's Piano-forte Sonatas--Causes for his
     relinquishing the design--Project of an Edition of his complete
     Works--Visionary hopes excited by it--Metamorphosis of Beethoven's
     Instrumental Music--Importance of a right conception of the
     _Tempo_--Metronomic Signs--Injury done to Beethoven's Music by
     metronomising--Exemplified in the Moonlight Sonata--Metronomic
     directions condemned--Performance of Beethoven's Works in
     Paris--Hints furnished by Beethoven relative to the composition of
     his Sonatas, and the proper style of their performance--His own
     Style of Playing--Effects intended to be given by him to his
     Symphonies--Neglect of his Works.

In the year 1816 Beethoven was prevailed upon, after repeated
entreaties, to make arrangements for the publication of a complete
edition of all his pianoforte Sonatas. His determination to undertake
this task was influenced by the consideration of three important and
indeed necessary objects; viz. 1st, To indicate the poetic ideas, which
form the groundwork of many of those Sonatas; thereby facilitating the
comprehension of the music, and determining the style of its
performance; 2ndly, To adapt all his previously published pianoforte
compositions to the extended scale of the pianoforte of six and a half
octaves; and, 3dly, To define the nature of musical declamation.

On this last topic, Beethoven went beyond the generally received idea.
He maintained that poetical and musical declamation were subject to the
same rules. "Though the poet," he used to say, "carries on his
monologue, or dialogue, in a progressively marked rhythm, yet the
declaimer, for the more accurate elucidation of the sense, must make
cæsuras and pauses in places where the poet could not venture on any
interpunctuation. To this extent, then, is this style of declaiming
applicable to music, and it is only to be modified according to the
number of persons co-operating in the performance of a musical

Of this principle Beethoven intended to make a practical application in
the new edition of his works, according as the subjects might require,
and space permit, such illustration; and it may be confidently assumed
that Beethoven's musical compositions would thereby have formed a new

Touching the poetic idea, it is well known that Beethoven did not, in
his musical writings, confine himself to the rules established by
preceding composers, and that he, indeed, frequently disregarded those
rules when the existing idea on which he worked demanded another sort of
treatment, or rather an entirely new mode of development. This style of
composition adopted by Beethoven has frequently called forth the remark,
that his Sonatas are mere operas in disguise.

Ries, in his "Notices," p. 77, observes that "Beethoven, in composing,
frequently imagined for himself a definite subject," which is merely
saying, that Beethoven imbued his mind with poetic ideas, and under the
influence of their inspiration his musical compositions were created.

That the great master did not execute the important task he undertook in
1816 was, it must be acknowledged, an irreparable loss to the musical
art, and in particular to his own music. How much would the Pastoral
Symphony suffer, or even the Eroica, if heard without any comprehension
of the ideas which the composer adopted as his themes! How gratifying
both to performer and hearer is the light cast on the design of the
composition, by the mere hint of the sentiments Beethoven has, in his
Sonata Op. 81, thus expressed:--"_Les adieux_," "_L'absence_," and "_Le

The circumstances which caused Beethoven to relinquish his design of
publishing the new edition of his Sonatas were--1st, the uneasy state of
mind into which he was thrown by the lawsuit commenced between him and
his sister-in-law; and, 2ndly, the impossibility of coming to a
satisfactory arrangement with Hofmeister, the music-dealer in Leipzig,
who was to publish the work. From Beethoven's correspondence with A.
Diabelli, who was his confidential adviser on this subject, I perceive
that the composer wished the publication to be brought out in parts,
each part to contain two of the old Sonatas, and one recently composed.
For each of these new productions, taken one with another, Beethoven
required the remuneration of forty ducats. Hofmeister, on the other
hand, proposed to pay the composer at the rate of one ducat per sheet.

I once asked Beethoven why he had not affixed to the different movements
of his Sonatas an explanation of the poetic ideas they expressed, so
that these ideas might at once present themselves to the mind of the
intelligent hearer? His answer was, that the age in which he composed
his Sonatas was more poetic than the present[111] (1823), and that at
the former period such explanations would have been superfluous. "At
that time" (continued he) "every one perceived that the _Largo_, in the
third Sonata in D, Op. 10,

[Illustration: musical notation]

painted the feelings of a grief-stricken mind, with the varying tints in
the light and shade, in the picture of melancholy in all its phases;
there was then no need of a key to explain the meaning of the music. So
in the two Sonatas, Op. 14, every one, at the time when they were
composed, immediately recognised the conflict of two principles, or a
dialogue between two persons, exactly as is intended in the treatment of
the subject, &c." On another occasion, I requested him to furnish me
with the keys to two Sonatas, that in F minor, Op. 57, and that in D
minor, Op. 29. His answer was, "Read Shakspeare's Tempest."

In 1823, Beethoven was more earnestly disposed than he had previously
been to superintend an edition of his entire works, including the
Symphonies. He received proposals from publishers in all parts of the
continent, accompanied by advantageous conditions. That he did not then
come to an arrangement, which would have enabled him to enter upon this
undertaking, was the fault of his brother Johann, to whom none of the
proposed terms appeared sufficiently liberal. He suggested to Beethoven
the idea of bringing out the publication on his own account, showing, by
calculations on paper, the vast profits which would accrue from the
speculation. M. Andreas Streicher cordially seconded the recommendation
of this mode of publishing; but he differed somewhat from Beethoven's
brother in his estimate of the profits. The documents of a lawsuit some
centuries ago would not have composed a more bulky volume than did the
manuscripts, occupied with the calculations made, the consultations
held, and the determinations formed, during the agitation of this
publishing scheme. But the parties engaged in these discussions and
decisions forgot that they had to deal with the irresolute
Beethoven--who, whenever business was the question, would be for one
thing to-day and another to-morrow; and against whose expressed wish it
was often necessary to do many things for his advantage. The mere
prospect of great sums of money (though seen only on paper) captivated
Beethoven, and he began to indulge in dreams of bettered circumstances,
of living in elegant style, and keeping his carriage and horses. He was
so elated by these pleasing illusions that he began to fancy himself
already rich; an idea not calculated to dispose his mind to the gigantic
labour then in contemplation.[112] Never were the visits of him whom he
called his "pseudo-brother" so welcome as at this time. Beethoven often
accompanied his brother in a carriage airing; and, on one occasion, an
effort of patience enabled him to go with his brother's family on a
drive to the Prater. Assuredly no event could seem too improbable for
belief, after two such heterogeneous elements as the "Gutsbesitzer"
(landowner) and the "Hirnbesitzer" (brainowner) had been seen riding
together in the same carriage.[113]

In these visionary hopes of fortune so readily indulged by the great
Beethoven, it is easy to recognise the youth whose character is
summarily sketched in the Second Period. To be rich, or at least in easy
circumstances--to ride in his carriage--to be no longer obliged to
stroll through fields and meadows to collect ideas and compose for the
sake of earning a livelihood,--such was the flattering picture he loved
to draw, and the contemplation of which often made him descend from his
lofty heaven of art to cling eagerly to more earthly objects; and then
sublime poetry was suddenly metamorphosed into common prose. But, thanks
to the blundering management of his advisers, Beethoven remained poor!
Made rich, by any means whatsoever, he would probably have been little
disposed to make great sacrifices for art in the vigour of life; at all
events, he would not have applied himself very laboriously to study, had
he been in the enjoyment of any considerable share of the good things of
this world.

As, however, it is not always our own wisdom that prompts to great
objects, and brings, as it were, light out of darkness, so the stupid
perversity which dictated the arrangements for the projected new edition
of Beethoven's works probably conferred a benefit on musical art. To
speak more plainly, in the discussions on this publishing plan, the
great master did not limit his attention to the mere business part of
the question, the details of which, though on every occasion fresh
painted in glowing colours, often disgusted him. Then would he look upon
the getting-up of the work--the dull material--as mere dust in the
balance; whilst to exercise his musical art--to him the spiritual part
of the enterprise--wholly occupied his imagination. When this feeling
happened to prevail, he would describe to all who chanced to be near him
the improvements he proposed to make in reference to the subject,
conception, and execution in many of his early works. Some of these
improvements owe their birth to a jocose observation made by Dr. Bach at
one of the conferences held on the subject of the publication. Beethoven
declared that many of his works did not admit of the slightest
alteration, and that, consequently, in reference to them he could not
establish any right of property in a second edition. Dr. Bach replied,
"That the right would be sufficiently established by making the
composition commence with the accented instead of the unaccented part of
a bar, and _vice versâ_; and further, by changing white notes into
black and black into white." This remark, intended purely in jest,
inspired Beethoven with a thousand new ideas, and gave an impulse to his
fancy, the results of which soon after supplied the master-keys of many
of his greatest works.[114]

Beethoven, who knew my antipathy to accounts, did not trouble me with
any of those pecuniary calculations, which indeed were to himself not
much more intelligible than hieroglyphics. He consulted me only on the
artistical part of the all-important question--was he to grow rich, or
remain poor? I often thought that he might have read in my soul the
answer which told him what was best for his own interest, and that of
the world of art. For my part, I never had a doubt as to the course
which was most advisable for him to adopt; but I did not wish to awaken
him too early from a dream which I well knew would speedily be
succeeded by others. I however turned to useful account the
conversations I had with Beethoven on this topic, for I carefully noted
down all the remarks he made on his works, in reference to subject,
conception, and performance. These remarks came to me the more
opportunely as I was then employed in the orchestra of the Josephstadt
Theatre to lead several of his Symphonies, each of which he previously
went over with me at home, strongly impressing on my attention whatever
had reference to those three essential points; thus initiating me into
the soul and spirit of his orchestral compositions, as he had already
introduced me to a just comprehension of nearly the whole of his
pianoforte Sonatas. These are instances of good fortune which few have
had the happiness to enjoy.

The new perceptions thus acquired were to me an intellectual property,
which I have ever since regarded as the dearest and most inestimable
legacy of my immortal friend and instructor. They have imparted, not
only to myself, but to others, whom, for their kindred feeling for
Beethoven's music, I thought worthy of a participation in my good
fortune--a thousand pleasurable sensations and exalted enjoyments which
nothing else in the whole domain of music could have power to create;
for it has already been remarked that Beethoven's collected
chamber-music, and especially the greater part of his pianoforte
Sonatas, comprise a fund of musical poetry more deep and inexhaustible
than can be found even in his other works. That Nature is chary in her
gifts of that organization which possesses the susceptibility necessary
for appreciating such elevated compositions, is not the fault of
Beethoven. That fact serves only to confirm the truth of the maxim, that
in art the great is not for all, and all are not for the great.[115]

In the year 1831, when I wrote the musical notices then inserted in the
supplement to the _Wiener Theater Zeitung_, I alluded in No. 2 of those
notices to Beethoven's Symphony in A major. In that article I casually
mentioned that Beethoven intended to give the keys to many of his
instrumental compositions, in the manner of the Pastoral Symphony. The
impression produced by this article was precisely such as was to be
expected: it excited a mere transitory sensation, and was soon
forgotten, like everything which departs from the boundaries of common
routine, and approaches the region of ideality. Several years have
elapsed since that time: I am so much the older, and so much the less
vain, and I am now the better enabled to see how frequently well-meant
observations, nay positive truths, are disregarded, even when they come
from high authority. Of course the actual authority in this instance was
Beethoven alone. It has already been shown in the narrative of his life,
how he was prevented from executing this as well as many other important
undertakings which he had planned. If I now venture to publish some of
the remarks which I noted down from his own mouth, in reference to the
subject, conception, and performance of his works; or try to describe
some of the vivid impressions which his instructions have left on my
mind; I do so in the just expectation that the value of these
communications will be first tried and afterwards judged. I do not
apprehend that I can in any degree be accused of arrogant pretension in
taking upon myself the performance of this task, because it is known to
many persons, that, in my intimate relations with Beethoven, during the
most important interval of his life, I must necessarily have become
possessed of many important facts: it will also be recollected that,
though thirteen years have elapsed since his death, I have not been
prompted by any feeling of ostentation to communicate those facts to the
public. To speak candidly, I should not even now think of parting with
any portion of my friend's intellectual legacy, were it not from the
firm conviction that the present is the right moment for so doing; for
the sensual music of the day, and the overstretched mechanical dexterity
of modern pianoforte playing, bid fair to thrust the intellectual
compositions of Beethoven into the shade, if not to consign them
entirely to oblivion.[116] Moreover, it must be borne in mind that
Beethoven's instrumental music has undergone a metamorphosis, occasioned
in some measure by the composer himself; but chiefly by the spirit of
the age, which is daringly opposed to every thing great and elevated,
and even hesitates not to profane that which is most sacred.

With respect to Beethoven's share in the metamorphosis of his
instrumental music, and particularly of his Symphonies, it is necessary
first to acquaint the reader that this metamorphosis relates wholly and
solely to _metronomising_, or the regulation of time by means of the

Those who have read Matheson's "Vollkommener Kapell-meister" are aware
that that great writer on music laid down, a century ago, the following
principle[117]--"That the _tempo_ of a great musical composition depends
on the manner in which it is set for orchestra and chorus; for the
greater the number of singers and players, the slower should be the
_tempo_, on the simple principle that masses always move slowly." If
intelligibility be the most essential condition in the performance of a
musical composition, it is self-evident that the direction for the
_tempo_ can only be conditional; and that, consequently, an _Allegro
vivace_, with an orchestra of one hundred and twenty performers, must
become very considerably modified from the same _Allegro vivace_
originally metronomised by the composer for an orchestra of sixty. That
which, in the latter case, is, as it were, a condition of the intended
effect, ceases to be such in the former case, because the object may
already be obtained, _à priori_, through the two-fold power being
communicated. The fuller orchestra should therefore take a less rapid
time than that specified for the more limited number of performers.

Unluckily this important principle in the conducting of an orchestra is
but too seldom recognised, even by those who are regarded as authorities
in orchestral direction. I have had frequent occasion to remark this
neglect, occasioned by ignorance in the performance of Beethoven's
works; and in those cases the effect was, of course, a true offspring of
the cause, and exhibited a total misconception of the real spirit of the
compositions. To perform Beethoven's music, without regard to meaning
and clearness, is hunting to death the ideas of the immortal composer.
This mode of performance naturally arises out of the manifest ignorance
of the sublime spirit of those works. It is at the same time the cause
of their profanation, and consequently of their having too soon fallen
into disuse; for the dignity and deep expression of many of the
movements are sacrificed when a moderate rhythm is converted into the
rhythm of dancing-time, especially if to this accelerated time be added
the clang of a superabundant number of instruments. Hence may be traced
the principal cause of that metamorphosis which suffices to convert a
composition of lofty poetic feeling into a common prosaic piece[118]--a
transformation which the performers may literally be said to work out by
the sweat of the brow. Such a perverted mode of execution must render it
impossible for the most attentive listener to feel the sublimity of the
composer's idea.[119]

Beethoven lived to see this transformation of his works. On one
occasion, when he was present at a performance of his Symphony in A
major, by the orchestra of the great music meeting in Vienna, he was
very much displeased at the too rapid time taken in the second movement,
the _Allegretto_. However, upon reflection, he acknowledged that the
conductor had duly observed the metronomic sign affixed to the movement,
but that he had not attended to Matheson's doctrine. In one of the
musical articles which I wrote for the Wiener Theater Zeitung, in
alluding to the Symphony in A major, I related the above fact in the
following words:--"At a performance of this Symphony, in the latter
years of Beethoven, the composer remarked, with displeasure, that the
allegretto movement was given much too fast, by which its character was
entirely destroyed. He thought to obviate for the future all
misconception of the _tempo_, by marking the movement by the words
_Andante, quasi Allegretto_, with the metronomic sign [Illustration:
crotchet note] = 80.; and I find a memorandum to this effect in his
note-book, which is in my possession. Beethoven complained generally of
the misunderstanding of the _tempi_ at the concerts of the great Vienna
Musical Society, and especially that the task of principal conductorship
on those occasions was always consigned to the hands of dilettanti, who
were unused to direct and govern large masses of performers. These
causes of dissatisfaction led Beethoven one day to make the important
declaration, that he had not composed his Symphonies for such vast
orchestras as that usually assembled for the Vienna Musical
Society;[120] and that it never was his intention to write noisy music.
He added, that his instrumental works required an orchestra of about
sixty performers only; for he was convinced that it was by such an
orchestra alone that the rapidly-changing shades of expression could be
adequately given, and the character and poetic subject of each movement
duly preserved.[121] That this declaration was dictated by sincere
conviction will be readily admitted when I acquaint the reader that
Beethoven was anxious to have his works performed in their true spirit,
at the Concerts Spirituels, the orchestra of which contained something
like the number of performers he had specified; and that he did not
interest himself about their performance at the great music meeting. If
double the amount of sixty performers displeased Beethoven, what would
he have said of three or four times that number, no unusual orchestral
occurrence at our music-festivals? What would he have said had he heard
his Symphonies and Overtures performed by an orchestra increased by
_repieni_, the only one admissible at Oratorios, and in which, noise is
paramount? Even M. Ries has had the Symphonies performed by such an
orchestra, at the Lower Rhine music-festival; to this I was myself on
one occasion a witness. Had Beethoven been present, he would doubtless
have exclaimed, "My dear pupil, how little do you understand me!" A few
movements only of Beethoven's Symphonies (for example, the last of that
in A major, and the last of the ninth Symphony) are suited to an
orchestra in which the number of performers amounts to three or four
times sixty.

His own observations, coupled with accounts received from various
places, describing the ineffective performance of the Symphonies in
consequence of mistaken ideas of their _tempi_, induced Beethoven, in
the winter of 1825-26, to investigate the cause of the errors. This he
did in my presence, and he ascertained that the metronomic signs in the
printed scores were faulty, in fixing the _tempi_ too quick; and,
indeed, he declared that many of those metronomic signs were not
authorised by him. I may here mention that the Symphonies, from No. 1 to
No. 6 inclusive, were published before the invention of Maelzel's
metronome; and it is only to the 7th and 9th Symphonies that the
metronomic signs can, with positive certainty, be said to have been
given by Beethoven. Whether or not he metronomed the 8th Symphony (the
score of which was only lately published) I cannot positively determine.
I do not recollect having heard him speak of metronoming that Symphony,
though a great deal of conversation passed between us on the subject of
the composition itself.

The same may be said in reference to his Sonatas. Only to those
published since Maelzel's invention have the metronomic signs been
affixed by Beethoven's own hand. These do not exceed four in number;
viz., Op. 106, 109, 110, and 111. Those who have added metronomic
indices to the other Sonatas, in the various editions that have been
published, prove, by the result of their labour, that they were as
little acquainted with the spirit of Beethoven's music as are the
inhabitants of this world with the transactions going on in the moon or
in Saturn. That piano-forte virtuosi, even of the highest rank, should
have presumed to act the part of interpreters and law-givers in
Beethoven's music[122] is a matter of regret:[123] and all true
admirers of the great master, who may wish to form a just notion of his
Sonatas, either as to conception or execution, should be earnestly
warned not to listen to their performance by any virtuoso who has
laboured all his life on difficult passages, having only in view to
improve the mechanical power of the fingers; unless, indeed, it be
merely bravura movements; of which, thank Heaven, there are but few
among these compositions. Beethoven truly remarked, "that a certain
class of piano-forte performers seemed to lose intelligence and feeling
in proportion as they gained dexterity of fingering." What can such
bravura players make of the melodies of Beethoven, so simple yet so
profoundly imbued with sentiment? Precisely what Liszt[124] makes of
Schubert's songs--what Paganini made of the Cantilena in Rode's
concerto--and what Rubini makes of Beethoven's "Adelaide." All these, it
must be acknowledged, are tasteless perversions of beautiful
originals--violations of truth and right feeling in all those points in
which such offences can be most sensibly felt.

To point out only one example of the injury inflicted on Beethoven's
music by professional metronoming, I may mention the metronomic signs of
the two Sonatas (Op. 27) in the recently published Vienna and London
editions; the very sight of them occasions surprise: but to hear these
Sonatas played according to the metronomic signs affixed to them, leads
one to wish that all piano-forte metronomers were put under the
ban.[125] But even this is not the only cause of complaint against
these perverters of all truth in expression. Are they not the very men
who by their frivolities, romantic and unromantic, have latterly given
to the taste for truly good and classic composition that unhealthful
direction which threatens soon to bring all genuine music under the
dominion of the superficial--if, indeed, it has not already submitted to
that authority? Is not their handiwork (art, it cannot be called)
directed solely to the object of pleasing the multitude, and on that
account must they not descend to the level of vulgar taste? Since
Hummel's death there perhaps exists not, in Germany especially, any
professor of the piano-forte, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy excepted, who,
fired by enthusiasm, keeps in view the honourable object of elevating
his hearers to the standard of his own high feeling--a duty which Art
demands from all her devotees, whether professors or dilettanti.

The Sonata in c sharp minor, Op. 27, (called the Moonlight Sonata), is
metronomed as follows in the edition lately published by T. Haslinger,
of Vienna:--

      I. Adagio,         [Illustration: minim note symbol] = 60.
     II. Allegretto,     [Illustration: minim note symbol] = 84.
    III. Presto agitato, [Illustration: minim note symbol] = 92.

In the London edition of Beethoven's piano-forte works, edited by J.
Moscheles, the same Sonata has affixed to it the following metronomic

    I. Adagio,         [Illustration: crotchet note symbol] = 60.
   II. Allegretto,     [Illustration: minim note symbol]    = 76.
  III. Presto agitato, [Illustration: minim note symbol]    = 92.

In the Vienna edition of the Sonata in E flat major, the metronomic
directions are as follow:--

    I. Andante,                [Illustration: crotchet note symbol]   = 72.
   II. Allegro, 6/8            [Illustration: dotted crotchet symbol] = 116.
  III. Allegro molto vivace, 3/4 [Illustration: dotted minim symbol]  = 138.
   IV. Adagio,                 [Illustration: quaver symbol]          = 69.
    V. Finale, allegro vivace, [Illustration: crotchet symbol]        = 160.

In the London edition the different movements of the same Sonata are
thus marked:--

    I. Andante,                [Illustration: crotchet symbol] = 69.
   II. Allegro, 6/8            [Illustration: dotted crotchet symbol] = 104.
  III. Allegro molto vivace, 3/4 [Illustration: dotted minim symbol] = 126.
   IV. Adagio,                 [Illustration: quaver symbol]       =  76.
    V. Finale, allegro vivace, [Illustration: crotchet symbol]     = 132.

What a Babel of confusion as to the right feeling, and what confusion
also in regard to the conception of Beethoven's sacred legacy to
posterity is thus exhibited![126] and similar inconsistencies are
apparent throughout all his works in these new editions.[127] Who does
not with deep regret feel that such gross neglect amounts almost to
profanation of the works of the great master? Are, then, these divine
compositions to be converted into show pieces for the performance of
professional piano-forte players? Nevertheless, I am bound to admit that
some of the _tempi_, as marked in the new London edition, approximate
more nearly to the composer's original intention.

The fashion of the day tends to preclude any one from attempting to play
one of Beethoven's Sonatas who has not for a year together practised the
hand and finger-spraining exercises of modern performers. What is
now-a-days thought of a simple _Allegro_, as written by Mozart or
Beethoven? It is converted into a _Presto_; and so other movements are
accelerated in gradation. And, truly, this is the method whereby the
works of these great masters, already become antiquated, are
accommodated to modern taste!

It is not yet very long since an assiduous practice of the Studies of
Aloys Schmidt and of John Cramer used to smooth the way of the
intelligent pianist to the most difficult works of Beethoven; and if
greater mechanical dexterity of fingering was required to make the path
more secure, the Studies of Hummel, Moscheles, or Kalkbrenner were found
sufficient. But what would the practice of these exercises now
avail?[128] They would not enable the student to play the first three
Sonatas of Beethoven according to the newest fashion. What, then, it may
be asked, becomes of feeling and expression which ought to have room to
develop themselves, so that in certain passages the tone may seem, as it
were, to sing and reverberate? Where now is feeling--where expression,
and, indeed, where opportunity for the manifestation of any sensibility?
Let Beethoven's piano-forte works be played according to the new
metronomic directions, and it will soon be perceived that no more
opportunity is left for feeling and expression than the most rapid
fingering affords; and that this rule extends even to the execution of
the _Adagio_.

In this state of things the best advice that can be given to the
piano-forte practitioner is--Shun all metronomic directions, be they
given by whom they may[129]--turn from them as you would from the
misleading lights of ignes-fatui--set to work with the right spirit and
the preliminary knowledge for the task, and apply to all the works of
Beethoven the composer's words--"No metronome, &c."[130] Thus you will
with certainty attain the wished-for object, and be spared the
mortification of renouncing your own feelings to substitute those of
another in their stead.

Moreover, while examining the metronomic signs affixed to his works by
their different editors, Beethoven discovered that the metronomes
themselves vary one from another; an inconvenience which has been
greatly increased since Beethoven's time, by numerous counterfeits. He
perceived, for example, that the fourth movement of the Symphony in C
minor was deprived of all dignity when performed in the accelerated time
indicated thus [Illustration: musical note] = 84.; and that, in the
fourth movement of the Symphony in B flat major, the metronomic sign was
a decided contradiction to the Italian words "Allegro ma non tanto;"
whilst the movement, if performed in accordance with the metronomic
direction, would be a mere mass of confusion, such rapid time being
incompatible with a sufficiently clear and distinct execution of the
semiquaver passages by the bow instruments. He now saw the necessity of
directing his attention to a more careful adaptation of the metronomic
signs, so as to give a slower time to most of the _allegro_ movements.
But excessive occupation, added to the different strokes of adverse
fortune which have been detailed in the biographical portion of the
present work, prevented him from entering upon this important task.
Besides, he called the metronoming a mere "business" matter, and this
view of the labour tended to increase his distaste for it. The
publishers of his latter works must be aware how dilatory he was in
determining the metronomic signs which were frequently obtained from him
only after repeated correspondence. An example of this is proved by his
letters of the 16th and 30th of April, 1819, addressed to M. Ries in
London.[131] Moreover, when it happened that Beethoven metronomed the
same work twice over, he marked the _tempi_ differently each time. A
striking example of this occurred with respect to the ninth Symphony,
which he first metronomised for the publisher, and then several months
afterwards for the Philharmonic Society of London.[132] In the latter
instance he made the signs for every movement differ from those which he
had adopted in the former case; making the _tempi_ sometimes quicker and
sometimes slower; and when I accidentally found the copy of the first
metronomising which he had marked for the Messrs. Schott, he answered
impatiently, "Better no metronome![133] He who has correct feeling has
no need of it; and to him who does not possess that feeling it is
equally useless, for he runs astray, and the whole orchestra with him."
This truth is confirmed by frequent experience. If it were recognised by
every orchestral director, together with old Matheson's maxim, the works
of Beethoven and other great masters would never be brought down from
their lofty elevation, and we should secure their purity and
imperishability, which is the common duty of us all.[134]

I was much gratified to observe M. Habeneck's judicious regulations of
time in the performance, under his direction, of Beethoven's works at
the Conservatory in Paris. An impression of the very contrary was
conceived by Beethoven himself; for, during his lifetime it used to be
said, that in Parisian orchestras the over-rapid performance of his
quick movements made them resemble quadrilles and gallopades. It is
however possible, that in France, as in Germany, this error may be
traced to the incorrect metronomising which was held to be
unquestionable authority, until M. Habeneck discovered the root of the
evil, and proved that the Rossinian "effetto! effetto!" was no longer to
be held identical with the dignity and grandeur of Beethoven's poetic

Let us hope that among the musicians of France there will speedily arise
some few who, unfettered by the bonds of fashion, and devoid of egotism,
will turn with a pure and deeply poetic spirit to the piano-forte works
of Beethoven, and draw freely from the ever-living waters of that sacred
well which the Muses have consecrated. Much has already been done in
France by Franz Liszt, who so thoroughly comprehends the spirit of
Beethoven. But the efforts of one individual are insufficient for the
wide diffusion of important principles. The advantage which may be
derived from Beethoven's piano-forte compositions is yet almost wholly
unknown to French pianists, as I have had frequent opportunities to
observe, and nothing has so greatly contributed to create this
unfortunate ignorance as the absurdly refined mechanism of piano-forte
playing, which, years ago, Beethoven justly feared would banish all
truth of feeling from music. In a letter which he addressed to Ries,
dated July 26th, 1823, he alludes to certain "Allegri di Bravura, which
demand too much mechanism of fingering, and therefore he does not admire
them." Indeed, the only piano-forte compositions of Beethoven which have
hitherto obtained attention from the French, and I may add, from most of
the German pianists, are such as afford scope for the display of
mechanical dexterity. Compositions of this class being precisely those
which are characterised by an exuberant freedom of fancy, are inferior
in poetic spirit to his other piano-forte works. These latter are,
however, far more difficult to comprehend and to perform than those
which merely demand a greater degree of digital dexterity. That cheval
de bataille for fleet-fingered pianists, the Sonata, Op. 57, is, of all
Beethoven's Sonatas, (without accompaniments) after Op. 30, the only one
on which they take their full revenge; and I affirm, with a thorough
conviction of being correct, that, out of a hundred pianists whose
talent is swayed by the dominion of fashion, it would be difficult to
find two who know anything of these Sonatas, with the exception of Op.
57. Of the Sonatas, from Op. 2 to Op. 30 inclusive, there are but few
that have the honour of being known to the legion of fashionable
piano-forte players. The gods whom this legion worship have no place
among the Immortals; and if we estimate their productions by the
standard of art, they must be ranked on a level with those musical idols
of the day whose chief merit is that they set the feet of the multitude
in motion.

The limited knowledge of Beethoven's Sonatas in Germany may be
attributed to the circumstance of our teachers placing those works at
too early a period before their pupils. They forget that, for a due
comprehension of the highest style of art, a sum of knowledge and
experience, a certain degree of mental maturity, are required, without
which all endeavours to force a taste for the most elevated objects will
be vain, or possibly productive of disgust. The study of Beethoven's
music should be earnestly entered upon, after the mind has been
cultivated by a course of education at once philosophic and elegant:
without such a preparation, the study will infallibly be harassing and
disagreeable, even to those who possess more than common susceptibility
for musical poetry. Music is the offspring of deep feeling, and by deep
feeling alone can its genuine beauties be comprehended and enjoyed.

Now, with regard to the Sonatas, I have further to observe that the
hints which I received from Beethoven on the subject of their
composition, and the proper style of their performance, had direct
reference to only a few of those compositions. Still, no doubt, many
persons will be gratified by what I have to communicate. To the
intelligent lover of music these hints will afford matter for
reflection, whereby he may not only more thoroughly comprehend the works
in question, but also, by the help of the key thus obtained, open for
himself a path to the knowledge of other compositions of the like kind,
imbued with the like soul and spirit.

Among the most rich in materials, and, unfortunately, among the least
known, are the two Sonatas comprised in Op. 14. The first is in E major,
and the second in G major. Both these Sonatas have for their subject a
dialogue between a husband and wife, or a lover and his mistress. In the
second Sonata, this dialogue, with its signification, is very forcibly
expressed, the opposition of the two principal parts being more sensibly
marked than in the first Sonata. By these two parts Beethoven intended
to represent two _principles_, which he designated the _entreating_ and
the _resisting_. Even in the first bars the contrary motion marks the
opposition of these principles.

[Illustration: musical notation]

By a softly gliding transition from earnest gravity to tenderness and
feeling, the eighth bar introduces the entreating principle alone.

[Illustration: musical notation]

This suing and flattering strain continues until the middle part is
taken up in D major, when both principles are again brought into
conflict, but not with the same degree of earnestness as at the
commencement. The resisting principle is now relaxing, and allows the
other to finish without interruption the phrase that has been begun.

In the following phrase--

[Illustration: musical notation]

both approximate, and the mutual understanding is rendered distinctly
perceptible by the succeeding cadence on the dominant.

In the second section of the same movement the opposition is again
resumed in the minor of the tonic, and the resisting principle is
energetically expressed in the phrase in A flat major. To this succeeds
a pause on the chord of the dominant, and then in E flat the conflict is
again resumed till the tranquil phrase

[Illustration: musical notation]

comes in as it were like a preparation for mutual concord, for both
repeat several times the same idea, resembling an interrogation,
beginning slowly, and with lingering pauses, then over and over again in
rapid succession. The introduction in the tonic of the principal motivo
renews the conflict, and the feelings alternate as in the first part;
but, at the conclusion of the movement, the expected conciliation is
still _in suspenso_. It is not completely brought about until the end of
the Sonata, when it is clearly indicated, and as it were expressed, on
the final close of the piece, by a distinctly articulated "Yes!" from
the resisting principle.

[Illustration: musical notation]

Then was not Beethoven justified in saying, that the poetic idea which
had stimulated his imagination in the composition of this work was quite
obvious? In fact, is not the explanation of every individual phrase
perfectly natural? Of this let any one convince himself, by comparing
the above indication of the design with the Sonata itself.

But the reality and certainty of the composer's intention is fully
obtained only on the performance of the piece, the difficulty of which,
be it observed, is much greater than it is generally believed to be. For
example, words directing the quickening or retarding of the time, such
as _accelerando_, _ritardando_, &c., do not, in their ordinary
acceptation, convey an adequate idea of the wonderfully delicate shading
which characterized Beethoven's performance; and on this account he
would have experienced great impediments had he proceeded with his
intended revisal of many other works in the like style. This obstacle he
clearly foresaw.

M. Ries, alluding to the _Sonate Pathétique_, p. 106 of his _Notizen_,
makes the following remarks on the performance of Beethoven:--"In
general, he played his own compositions in a very capricious manner; he
nevertheless kept strictly accurate time, occasionally, but very seldom,
accelerating the _tempi_. On the other hand, in the performance of a
_crescendo_ passage, he would make the time _ritardando_, which produced
a beautiful and highly striking effect. Sometimes in the performance of
particular passages, whether with the right hand or the left, he would
infuse into them an exquisite, but altogether inimitable expression. He
seldom introduced notes or ornaments not set down in the composition."
Yes, it may truly be said that the expression was inimitable! What the
_Sonate Pathétique_ became under the hands of Beethoven--though he left
much to be desired on the score of pure execution--can only be conceived
by those who have had the good fortune to hear it played by him. Yet it
required to be heard over and over again before one could be convinced
that it was a work, by name at least, already well known. In short, all
music performed by his hands appeared to undergo a new creation. These
wonderful effects were in a great degree produced by his uniform
_legato_ style, which was one of the most remarkable peculiarities of
his playing.[135]

All the pieces which I have heard Beethoven himself play were, with few
exceptions, given without any constraint as to the rate of the time. He
adopted a _tempo-rubato_ in the proper sense of the term, according as
subject and situation might demand, without the slightest approach to
caricature. Beethoven's playing was the most distinct and intelligible
declamation, such, perhaps, as in the same high degree can only be
studied in his works. His old friends, who attentively watched the
development of his genius in every direction, declare that he adopted
this mode of playing in the first years of the third period of his life,
and that it was quite a departure from his earlier method, which was
less marked by shading and colouring; thence it appears that his
perceptive sagacity had then discovered a sure method of throwing open,
to the unlearned as well as the initiated, a door to the mysterious
workings of his imagination. In the performance of his quartett music he
wished the same rules to be observed as in playing his Sonatas; for the
Quartetts paint passions and feelings no less than the Sonatas. Among
the latter, however, there are several in which a strict observance of
time is indispensable; scarcely permitting, much less demanding, any
deviation from regularity. Those compositions require to be played in
what is termed the _bravura_ style; they are Op. 106, 111, 57, and some

I will now, as far as verbal description may permit, endeavour to convey
an idea of the manner in which Beethoven himself used to play the two
Sonatas contained in Op. 14. His wonderful performance of these
compositions was a sort of musical declamation, in which the two
principles were as distinctly separated as the two parts of a dialogue
when recited by the flexible voice of a good speaker.

He commenced the opening _Allegro_ with vigour and spirit, relaxing
these qualities at the sixth bar, and in the following passage:--

[Illustration: musical notation]

Here a slight _ritardando_ made preparation for gently introducing the
entreating principle. The performance of the phrase--

[Illustration: musical notation]

was exquisitely shaded, and to the following bars:--

[Illustration: musical notation]

Beethoven's manner of holding down particular notes, combined with a
kind of soft gliding touch, imparted such a vivid colouring, that the
hearer could fancy he actually beheld the lover in his living form, and
heard him apostrophising his obdurate mistress. In the following groups
of semiquavers--

[Illustration: musical notation]

he strongly accented the fourth note of each group, and gave a joyous
expression to the whole passage, and at the succeeding chromatic run he
resumed the original time, and continued it till he arrived at this

[Illustration: musical notation]

which he gave in _tempo andantino_, beautifully accenting the bass, and
the third notes of the upper part of the harmony, as I have marked them
in the two last bars of the subjoined example, thereby rendering
distinct to the ear the separation of the two principles. On arriving at
the ninth bar,--

[Illustration: musical notation]

he made the bass stand out prominently, and closed the succeeding
cadence on the dominant in the original time, which he maintained
without deviation to the end of the first part.

In the second part Beethoven introduced the phrase in A flat major, by a
_ritardando_ of the two preceding bars. He attacked this phrase
vigorously, thus diffusing a glow of colour over the picture. He gave a
charming expression to the following phrase in the treble by strongly
accenting and holding down longer than the prescribed time the first
note in each bar,--

[Illustration: musical notation]

[Illustration: musical notation]

whilst the bass was played with gradually increasing softness, and with
a sort of creeping motion of the hand.

The passage next in succession was touched off brilliantly; and in its
closing bars the _decrescendo_ was accompanied by a _ritardando_. The
following phrase was begun in _tempo andante_:--

[Illustration: musical notation]

At the fifth bar there was a slight _accellerando_, and an increase of
tone. At the sixth bar the original time was resumed. Throughout the
remainder of the first movement Beethoven observed the same time as that
which he had taken in the opening bars.

Various as were the _tempi_ which Beethoven introduced in this movement,
yet they were all beautifully prepared, and if I may so express myself,
the colours were delicately blended one with another. There were none of
those abrupt changes which the composer frequently admitted in some of
his other works, with the view of giving a loftier flight to the
declamation. Those who truly enter into the spirit of this fine movement
will find it advisable not to repeat the first part: by this allowable
abridgment the gratification of the hearer will be unquestionably
increased, whilst it may possibly be diminished by the frequent
repetition of the same phrases.

It would lead me too far to describe circumstantially the principal
points in all the three movements of this Sonata; and so with others.
The shades of expression are so various and important that I can only
lament the impossibility of conveying any adequate idea of them by
words. Perhaps it is only by the publication of a new edition of these
and other compositions, that the manner in which Beethoven did or would
have executed them can be rendered perfectly obvious to the performer,
as well as their right comprehension facilitated to those lovers of the
art whose cultivated perception may enable them to recognise poetic
ideas clothed in a musical garb.

With regard to the second Sonata in E major (Op. 14), the subject of
which is similar to that of the second, I shall confine myself to the
description of Beethoven's manner of performing a very few passages. In
the eighth bar of the first _allegro_ movement--

[Illustration: musical notation]

as well as in the ninth bar, he retarded the time, touching the keys
more _forte_ and holding down the fifth note, as marked above. By these
means he imparted to the passage an indescribable earnestness and
dignity of character.

In the tenth bar--

[Illustration: musical notation]

the original time was resumed, the powerful expression being still
maintained. The eleventh bar was _diminuendo_ and somewhat lingering.
The twelfth and thirteenth bars were played in the same manner as the
two foregoing.

On the introduction of the middle movement--

[Illustration: musical notation]

the dialogue became sentimental. The prevailing time was _andante_, but
not regularly maintained, for every time that either principle was
introduced a little pause was made on the first note, thus:--

[Illustration: musical notation]

At the following phrase--

[Illustration: musical notation]

a joyous character was expressed. The original _tempo_ was taken, and
not again changed till the close of the first part.

The second part, from this passage

[Illustration: musical notation]

forward, was characterised by an increased breadth of rhythm, and
augmented power of tone, which, however, was further on shaded into an
exquisitely delicate _pianissimo_; so that the apparent meaning of the
dialogue became more perceptible without any over-strained effort of

The second movement _Allegretto_ was, as performed by Beethoven, more
like an _Allegro furioso_; and, until he arrived at the single chord--

[Illustration: musical notation]

on which he made a very long pause, he kept up the same _tempo_.

In the _Maggiore_, the _tempo_ was taken more moderately, and played by
Beethoven in a beautifully expressive style. He added not a single note;
but he gave to many an accentuation which would not have suggested
itself to any other player. On the subject of accentuation I may state,
as a general remark, that Beethoven gave prominent force to all
appoggiaturas, particularly the minor second, even in running passages;
and in slow movements his transition to the principal note was as
delicately managed as it could have been by the voice of a singer.

In the Rondo of the Sonata to which I am here referring, Beethoven
maintained the time as marked until he arrived at the bars introducing
the first and third pauses. These bars he made _ritardando_.

The two Sonatas in Op. 14, the first Sonata (F minor) in Op. 2; the
first Sonata (C minor), Op. 10; the Sonate pathétique (C minor), Op. 13;
the Sonata quasi Fantasia in C sharp minor, Op. 27, and some others, are
all pictures of feeling; and in every movement Beethoven varied the time
according as the feelings changed.

I will now endeavour to make the reader acquainted with the effect which
Beethoven intended should be given to particular phrases or whole
movements of his Symphonies. That orchestral music does not admit of
such frequent changes of time as chamber music, is, of course, an
understood fact. But it is equally well known that in orchestral
performances the greatest and most unexpected efforts may be produced by
even slight variations of time.

Passing over the first Symphony, I shall proceed to notice the second.
In the first movement the prescribed time must not be altered, and it
must by no means be taken faster than is understood by the direction
_allegro_. By too fast a _tempo_ the intrinsic dignity of the movement
would be utterly lost.

The second movement, _Larghetto_, requires a frequent change of measure.
The first _tempo_ is kept up to the phrase--

[Illustration: musical notation]

where the time is gradually quickened, by which the character of the
movement acquires a greater degree of warmth and spirit.

The passage immediately following--

[Illustration: musical notation]

is like the echo of a very melancholy wail, and is given more slowly
than the original time, which is resumed only with the succeeding
cadence. The same variation of time should be observed on the repetition
of the same phrases in the second part of the movement.

To afford at a glance an idea of the right mode of playing these
phrases, and to show that their accurate performance is perfectly
practicable by a well-trained orchestra, I subjoin the whole in a
connected form, together with the requisite marks for the changes of the

[Illustration: musical notation]

[Illustration: musical notation]

[Illustration: musical notation]

This _Allegretto_ is continued until the theme is taken up in C minor.
The first _Larghetto_ time is then resumed.

I recommend orchestral directors to try on the piano this fragment as
far as the A minor passage, and they will be convinced of the deep
expression produced by the variations of the _tempi_ as I have marked
them. The phrase in C major _ff_ likewise demands a deviation from the
original time, and if slightly accelerated will be found to acquire
additional power and effect.[136]

The style of performance above described will be found to infuse into
this long movement a degree of grace, dignity, and feeling, which is not
attainable if the _tempo_ be kept uniform. By the variation the
orchestra is kept constantly on the stretch, but the performance will
be found easy if it be conducted with steadiness and decision.

I do not recollect anything remarkable with regard to the manner of
performing the other movements of this Symphony. The _tempi_ as marked
may be adhered to.

I have already observed that Beethoven marked the second movement of the
A major Symphony with the direction _Andante, quasi Allegretto_. But at
the part in C major the time may be somewhat quickened, which will be
found to produce an extremely pleasing effect, forming likewise a fine
contrast to the mysterious character of the introduction. The passage in
A minor, which prepares the conclusion, demands, particularly in those
parts where the violins answer the wind-instruments, little breaks of
the time, which the subject and the declamation render indispensable.
The right colouring is thus given to the back-ground of the picture, and
the deepest impression produced on the hearer.

Concerning the Symphonia Eroica, Beethoven wished that the first
movement should be taken in more moderate time than is indicated by the
direction, _allegro con brio_, which in the course of performance is
usually converted into a _presto_. This detracts from the elevated
character of the composition, and transforms it into a concertante
display. On the contrary, a perfectly tranquil movement should prevail
from beginning to end, even in the loudest parts. The tempo should be
somewhat retarded in this phrase:--

[Illustration: musical notation]

and this measure should be maintained to the following _pianissimo_

[Illustration: musical notation]

where a gentle _accelerando_ brings back the original time of the
movement. This latter time must be rigidly observed as far as the
_forte_ phrase in B major. The same changes of time should be observed
in the corresponding phrases of the second part of the movement.

Before I proceed to comment on the second movement, the Marcia funebre,
I must bring to the reader's recollection Beethoven's declaration in
reference to this movement, given in the Second Period. Whether this
declaration be taken as jest or earnest, it contains a great deal of
truth. Though Beethoven said he composed the music appropriate to the
tragical end of the great Emperor seventeen years prior to the event,
yet the extent of his fancy is more powerfully manifested in the manner
in which he has portrayed the catastrophe. Does not, for example, the
middle movement in C major plainly point to the rising of a star of
hope? Further on, does not this same middle movement indicate the firm
resolution of the hero to overcome his fate? The succeeding
fugue-movement, also, still pictures out a conflict with fate. After
this there is perceptibly a decline of energy, which, however, again
revives, until in this phrase:

[Illustration: musical notation]

resignation is expressed, the hero gradually sinks, and at length, like
other mortals, is consigned to the grave.

The _Maggiore_ itself demands a somewhat animated _tempo._

In the C minor Symphony, Beethoven intended that only a very few
variations should be made in the time; yet these few are in the highest
degree important and interesting, and they refer principally to the
first movement.

The opening of this movement (that is to say, the first five bars with
the two pauses) requires to be played in something like this tempo,
[Illustration: musical note] = 126, _an andante con moto_.[137] Thus the
mystical character of the movement is in an infinite degree more clearly
manifested than by a rapid expression of this phrase, so full of deep
meaning. Beethoven expressed himself in something like vehement
animation, when describing to me his idea:--"It is thus that Fate knocks
at the door." At the sixth bar, where the first violin is introduced,
the _allegro con brio_, [Illustration: musical note] = 108, commences;
and this time is continued until this passage[138]--

[Illustration: musical notation]

where, according to Beethoven's idea, Fate again knocks at the
door--only more slowly. At the passage for the first violin, in the
succeeding bar, the _allegro_ is again taken up.

In the second part of this movement the retardation of the quick time
occurs twice: first at the phrase succeeding the pause on the major
triad of E flat.[139]

[Illustration: musical notation]

And secondly at the repetition of the same phrase (page 43 of the

Respecting any essential changes of time in the other three movements of
this Symphony, I received no information from Beethoven.

       *       *       *       *       *

The above hints on matter and manner in relation to Beethoven's music
will, I trust, be found satisfactory. For several reasons it appears to
me that further details would here be out of place. I must, however,
most earnestly and indignantly protest against every reproach founded on
the suspicion that these hints and other observations did not emanate
from Beethoven, but have been the offspring of my invention. Beethoven's
Quartett, performed by Schuppanzigh and the three other initiated
players, plainly shows the effect which the music was capable of
producing when executed in obedience to the composer's personal
directions. Those who have not had the good fortune to hear that
performance, and to have thereby obtained the advantage of observing
that by varying the time at suitable points powerful effects are
produced, and the most abstruse music rendered an intelligible language
to unlearned ears, may possibly doubt the accuracy of what I have
stated; but, nevertheless, unjustly.

If Beethoven did not direct the performance of his instrumental music in
the manner above described, it was for the important reason that he had
not, _ex officio_, any orchestra under his control, and none would have
had patience to be schooled by him. This sort of study could only be
practicable with the well-organised orchestra of a chapel or musical
_Conservatoire_. With respect to the orchestra of the Vienna Theatre,
the performers engaged in it have always insisted that, with the
exception of their duties on the nights of performance, nothing more
shall be required of them; and the orchestra of the Concert-Spirituel
includes among its coadjutors many dilletanti, who cannot devote the
necessary time to rehearsals.

These circumstances serve to explain the complaints made by Beethoven to
Hofrath Rochlitz in the year 1822. Those complaints, which unfortunately
contained mortifying truths, are thus related by Rochlitz in his work
entitled "Für Freunde der Tonkunst," vol. iv. p. 355:--"He (Beethoven),
turning the conversation upon himself and his works, said:--'None of my
compositions are heard here.'--'None in the summer season?' inquired I,
writing the words on the slate.--'Neither in summer nor winter,'
exclaimed he.--'What should they hear?--Fidelio?'--'They cannot perform
it, and would not listen to it if they could.'--'The Symphonies?'--'They
have not time for them.'[140]--'The Concertos?'--'Our instrumental
players prefer strumming and scraping their own productions.'--'The
Solos?'--'They have been long out of fashion here; and now-a-days
Fashion rules everything,'" &c.

I once more repeat that Beethoven's music would have founded a new era,
had the composer been enabled, in the new edition of his works, to
accomplish the much-desired object of classical explanation--or had he
possessed the control of an orchestra, which, under his own instruction
and superintendence, he might have made a model for the whole musical
world. That his ideas of possible improvement would not have been
narrowly circumscribed, may be inferred from the proposition laid down
by himself--"The boundary does not yet exist of which it can be said to
talent co-operating with industry--_Thus far shalt thou go and no

       *       *       *       *       *

I had just finished this portion of my work when the "Journal des
Débats," of the 18th of January last, containing a letter from Vienna,
dated the 5th of the same month, reached my hands. This letter relates
to a calligraphic collection of Beethoven's works, which the Archduke
Rudolph has bequeathed by will to the "Society of the Lovers of Music of
the Austrian Empire," whose patron his Imperial Highness had been for
many years. It contains some inaccuracies, which might furnish occasion
for misconceptions and controversies; it may, therefore, not be amiss to
subjoin a simple statement of the fact--in which Beethoven is directly
implicated--in order to correct the errors in that letter.

Mr. Tobias Haslinger, while a partner in the house of Steiner and Co.,
music-publishers (of which he is now sole proprietor), undertook to
produce a calligraphic copy of all Beethoven's works. After a number of
the works already printed had been so copied, Beethoven received
intelligence of the circumstance; and though the expensive undertaking
of Mr. Haslinger was represented to him as a mercantile speculation,
which, however, according to his statement, it was not intended to be,
the composer was perfectly indifferent, since he could not have raised
any reasonable objection, let the purpose of the enterprise be what it
might. Now, the letter from Vienna in the "Journal des Débats" asserts
that Beethoven had previously revised and corrected, and, "in fact, put
the finishing hand" to all his works for the benefit of this
calligraphic copy: this assertion must be contradicted. At the time that
Beethoven heard what Mr. Haslinger was about, he was not on good terms
with the above-mentioned house, neither of course with Mr. Haslinger
himself; and soon afterwards followed the rupture mentioned in the
Third Period, because Beethoven would not subscribe to the scale of
prices in Mr. Haslinger's hand-writing. By such inaccurate statements
sent forth to the world, not without some object, as I suppose, I am
induced to subjoin that list of prices.[141] From the remarks annexed,
in Beethoven's own handwriting, it will be seen that, just at this time
(1821 and 1822), the above-mentioned publishers were in treaty with
Beethoven respecting an edition of his complete works. Another Vienna
house was likewise treating with him at the same time for the same
purpose. How, then, could Beethoven have put a finishing hand to his
works for the benefit of that calligraphic copy, since he himself
projected an edition of them, and had so many important points not yet
settled in his own mind to decide upon? And though he may have
subsequently corrected a few wrong notes (of which there are unluckily
too many in his works) for Mr. Haslinger's undertaking, this cannot by
any means be called "putting the finishing hand to a work." It were
indeed to be wished that Beethoven had done so in this instance, and
that his intentions were to be found there. How many and what great
works has Beethoven written after the rupture with that house, which
have been introduced into the calligraphic copy! Is it to be supposed
that he put the finishing hand to these also for the benefit of that
undertaking? If so, look, above all, at the Quartett No. 13, and others
of the latest Quartetts, and discover if you can the remarks and
explanations to them which Beethoven sent to Prince Nicholas von
Galitzen, to St. Petersburg (as I have mentioned at pp. 34-36 of the
present volume), and which he designed to append in a more explicit form
to a second edition, in order to render those works more intelligible;
and then those "hieroglyphics," as they are called, will be all at once
deciphered for the whole world, and bright sunshine pervade them, as it
does his Quartett No. 1.

When Beethoven was informed that Mr. Haslinger was in treaty with the
Archduke Rudolph for the sale of the calligraphic works, and that the
price demanded for them was said (if I recollect rightly) to be 40,000
florins--the "Journal des Débats" says that they cost the Archduke
upwards of 90,000 florins (223,000 francs)--the great master was again
indifferent, and merely muttered to himself something about "a poor
devil," and that, "such he was and such he should ever remain while
others contrived to suck out his marrow and fatten upon it." But I was
accustomed to such exclamations, or freaks of fancy: they had nothing
alarming, but much that grieved; for when the beloved friend had vented
his spleen in this manner, he would take up the pen and again fall to
writing what he used punningly to call _Noten in Nöthen_--notes in



     Beethoven's Religious Principles--His Dislike of giving
     Lessons--His Frankness, and, at the same time, Dexterity in evading
     Questions--Vindication of him from the charge of Discourtesy to
     Brother Artists--Proofs that though a rigid, he was a just
     Critic--Kind Encouragement afforded by him to Professional
     Merit--His modest Appreciation of Himself--His Extempore
     Playing--His Every-day Occupations--Propensity for Dabbling in
     Water--Pension--Certificates--Beethoven erroneously compared with
     Jean Paul Richter--Mortifying Trick played by him at the
     instigation of a Friend--Motivo of a Movement in one of his
     Quartetts--His Peculiar Habits in Eating and Drinking--Extent of
     his Knowledge of Languages--Comments on Statements of M. von
     Seyfried relative to Beethoven's domestic Habits--Spurious MSS.
     attributed to him--His Person--Portraits of him.

Beethoven was educated in the Catholic religion; and that he was truly
religious, the whole tenor of his life sufficiently proves. It was,
however, a remarkable peculiarity in his character that he never
conversed on religion, or expressed any opinion on the creeds of
different Christian sects. If my

[Illustration: Fac-simile of Beethoven's Hand-writing.

_Published by Henry Colburn 13 Great Marlborough Street 1841_]

observation entitles me to form an opinion on the subject, I should say
be inclined to Deism; in so far as that term may be understood to imply
natural religion. He had written with his own hand two inscriptions,
said to be taken from a temple of Isis. These inscriptions, which were
framed, and for many years constantly lay before him on his
writing-table, were as follows:--



I shall carefully watch over the preservation of these pious relics of
my friend, who regarded them as an epitome of the loftiest and purest
religion. They were to him dearly-prized treasures.

I have already, in the biographical part of this work, alluded to
Beethoven's repugnance to giving lessons. I may now add that his
distaste for tuition was experienced by the "dames de predilection" who
could boast of being his pupils. Even these ladies found themselves
sometimes forgotten by him for weeks at a time; and, when at length he
presented himself, he was generally received with looks of displeasure,
which, however, made but little impression on him. With respect to his
mode of conveying instruction, the following particulars may interest
the reader.

Those who wished to obtain from Beethoven that valuable information
which he was so capable of communicating, could not succeed in that
object unless they had the opportunity of being near him at every hour
of the day; for nothing could induce him to give himself up to any
business at a fixed time. Now and then he would speak readily and
entertainingly on the various branches of knowledge with which he was
familiar; he would even give direct instruction; but how few had
opportunity to profit by these communicative intervals! They frequently
occurred at meal-times, and during his walks, or, to speak more
properly, runs; and on these occasions he would often suddenly break off
the conversation if he found his companion unable to keep pace with him.
In his philosophic discussions there were only two topics which
Beethoven never touched upon, and which, indeed, he carefully
avoided--namely, thorough-bass and religion. Both, he declared, were
exhausted subjects, which admitted of no farther discussion.

       *       *       *       *       *

If candour be the type of nobleness of mind, that virtue was fully
possessed by Beethoven. He gave expression to his feelings without any
reserve; and the propriety of repressing offensive remarks was a thing
that never entered his thoughts. On the other hand, it was no easy
matter to get him to pronounce an opinion or judgment on music and
musicians; and it was only after an attentive observation of his
expressions, sometimes for the space of several days, that anything
decided or consistent could be gained from him. With the witty,
satirical, and sarcastic remarks which were always ready at his tongue's
end, he endeavoured to evade questions to which he did not wish to give
direct answers; and he usually succeeded in discouraging inquirers, who
got something like a reply, but nothing to the purpose.[143] It was
seldom, either at meal-time or during his walks, that he was, to use his
own expression, "quite unbuttoned." When he was, he wielded the rod of
satire without mercy; and Emperor, King, and Artist, were all alike
subject to his critical lash. Beethoven had to pay an annual impost,
called a class-tax, amounting to twenty-one florins. These twenty-one
florins furnished him yearly with a subject for twenty-one thousand
sarcasms, of which, in return, his diversified talent never failed to
make a repartition and re-assessment, which produced, as usual, a result
in the highest degree humorous.

Beethoven has too frequently been accused of a discourteous bluntness of
manner towards his brother artists, which had a discouraging effect on
the efforts of young beginners. Even M. Ries, in his _Notizen_, plainly
shows that he thought this charge against Beethoven not without
foundation. In allusion to this subject, a friend of Beethoven's has
thus expressed himself:--"These people cannot separate the man oppressed
by fate from the caprice and irritability which are caused by that fate;
they cannot see the noble side of his disposition. Nevertheless, it is a
melancholy fact that, to his unhappy state of existence, we are in a
great measure indebted for his wonderful musical fancy and

M. Moscheles will remember the amiable reception he experienced when he
presented to Beethoven the Sonata in E, which he had dedicated to him.
He will likewise recollect the patient attention with which Beethoven
corrected his pianoforte arrangement of Fidelio, published by D.
Artaria; and how kindly he encouraged his labours, until they were
brought to a satisfactory conclusion. He even persuaded Moscheles to
introduce an arrangement of one piece from the opera, which Hummel had
prepared for Artaria, and which Beethoven had condemned, or, to speak
the truth, contemptuously torn up, not knowing at the time that it was
the work of Hummel. At the end of every piece he arranged from the
opera, Moscheles, probably under the apprehension of being treated with
as little ceremony as Hummel, wrote the words, "_Fine, with God's
help_," and Beethoven wrote underneath, "O man, help thyself!"

Beethoven's kindness will, no doubt, be borne in mind by that esteemed
composer, M. Anton Halm, when he arranged the grand Fugue for the
pianoforte. This Fugue had previously formed the fourth movement of the
Quartett in B (No. 13), which Beethoven, at the request of the publisher
(Math. Artaria), converted into a distinct work (Op. 133). He then
composed a new fourth movement for the Quartett; and it is worthy of
remark, that this movement was positively Beethoven's last work. He
completed it in November, 1826. Czerny had arranged the Fugue above
alluded to, before Halm; but his production met with no more approval
than Hummel's movement from Fidelio.[144]

The above facts show that if Beethoven was a rigid, he was likewise a
just critic: that he was rigid in exactions upon himself more than upon
others, is obvious from the scores of all his works. His critical
judgment on musical compositions was frequently accompanied by violent
ebullitions of temper. A remarkable instance of this occurred after he
had examined Ries's Concerto, entitled "Farewell to London." Beethoven
was so singularly displeased with this work, that he addressed a
fulminating letter to the Editor of the Leipzig _Musikalische Zeitung_,
wherein he enjoins Ries no longer to call himself his pupil. Kanne and
Schuppanzigh, whom I acquainted with this affair, joined me in
persuading the enraged master to refrain from any further demonstration
of displeasure. But, in the mean time Ries had received his reprimand,
and that for several years afterwards he smarted under the heavy rebuke
of his old master is, I think, evident from a passage in his _Notizen_.
Why did not Ries insert Beethoven's letter in that publication? It would
have been in many respects interesting, and, at the same time, a real
example of the great master's peculiarities.[145]

Franz Lachner, T. Horzalka, and Leopoldine Blahetka, all experienced
from Beethoven a kind reception, and an acknowledgment of their eminent
talents. It was in consequence of the encouragement, and indeed the
assistance of Beethoven, in her education, that Mademoiselle Blahetka
was destined by her father to the musical profession.

How greatly did Beethoven admire the genius of Franz Schubert! But it
was not until he was on his death-bed that he had a complete perception
of that talent, which the representations of certain persons had
previously caused him to underrate. When I made him acquainted with
Schubert's _Ossians Gesänge_, _die Bürgschaft_, _die junge Nonne_,
_Grenzen der Menschheit_, and some other productions of the same
composer, he exclaimed, with deep emotion:--"Truly Schubert is animated
by a spark of heavenly fire!"

I could quote the names of many other artists, who will cherish, as long
as they live, a gratifying remembrance of the kindness shown to them by
Beethoven. That our great master was not disposed to treat with undue
courtesy artistical presumption, which sometimes, in his latter years,
boldly raised its head before him, may naturally be supposed. _Exempla
sunt odiosa._ But on such aberrations Beethoven's high mind looked down
with compassion.

I will close this chapter with the following remarks:--

Beethoven possessed too much genuine religious feeling to believe that
Nature had created him to be a model for future ages, as many of his
worshippers, not unfrequently actuated by interested motives, would fain
have persuaded him. A stranger to the business of this world, and
living, as it were, in another, Beethoven was like a child, to whom
every external influence gives a new impulse; and who in like manner
does not turn an unwilling ear to flattery, because incapable of
estimating the purpose for which the adulation is bestowed. This
ignorance of the world--this lofty or puerile feeling, whichever it may
be termed, was in Beethoven only transitory, and he soon recovered his
manly tone of mind. Beethoven well knew and always respected the
motto--_Palmam qui meruit ferat!_ His upright, impartial mind led him to
bestow, unsolicited, the most unequivocal approbation on foreign
talent; often as he found that approbation lessened, or discovered that
it had been altogether cast away upon certain "backsliding men," as he
termed them. Beethoven always bore in mind that a Mozart had preceded
him, and that another might follow him. He ever cherished high
expectations of the future, for he fervently believed in the omnipotence
of the Creator, and the inexhaustibility of Nature. Oh! how great was
Beethoven as a man! Who ever learned to know him on that side, and was
capable of comprehending and judging not only of his mighty genius but
also of his noble heart, will not fail to place the moral man, if not
above the great composer, at least on the same level with him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven was very fond, especially in the dusk of the evening, of
seating himself at the piano to improvise, or he would frequently take
up the violin or viola, for which purpose these two instruments were
always left lying on the piano. In the latter years of his life, his
playing at such times was more painful than agreeable to those who heard
it. The inward mind alone was active; but the outward sense no longer
co-operated with it: consequently the outpourings of his fancy became
scarcely intelligible. Sometimes he would lay his left hand flat upon
the key-board, and thus drown, in discordant noise, the music to which
his right was feelingly giving utterance. It is well known that
Beethoven, in his early years, did not perform his own compositions
purely; for no other reason, however, than his want of time to keep the
mechanical power of his fingers in practice; but his improvisations,
when he was free from the restraint of reading notes, were the finest
effusions of the kind imaginable. The imperial court piano-forte-maker,
Conrad Graf, made for Beethoven a sound-conductor, which, being placed
on the piano-forte, helped to convey the tone more distinctly to his
ear; but though this contrivance was ingenious, it afforded no
assistance in Beethoven's case of extreme deafness. The most painful
thing of all was to hear him improvise on stringed instruments, owing to
his incapability of tuning them. The music which he thus produced was
frightful, though in his mind it was pure and harmonious.

       *       *       *       *       *

In winter as well as in summer it was Beethoven's practice to rise at
day-break, and immediately to sit down to his writing-table. There he
would labour till two or three o'clock, his usual dinner-time. Meanwhile
he would go out once or twice in the open air, where, to use M. Saphir's
phrase, he would work and walk. Then, after the lapse of half an hour or
an hour, he would return home to note down the ideas which he had
collected. As the bee gathers honey from the flowers of the meadows, so
Beethoven often collected his most sublime ideas while roaming about in
the open fields. The habit of going abroad suddenly and as unexpectedly
returning, just as the whim happened to strike him, was practised by
Beethoven alike at all seasons of the year: cold or heat, rain or
sun-shine, were all alike to him. In the autumn he used to return to
town as sun-burnt as though he had been sharing the daily toil of the
reapers and gleaners. Winter restored his somewhat yellow complexion. In
No. 2 of the Appendix will be found a fac-simile of some of his first
ideas, noted down with pencil, immediately as they were conceived amidst
the inspiring scenery of nature.

The use of the bath was as much a necessity to Beethoven as to a Turk;
and he was in the habit of submitting himself to frequent ablutions.
When it happened that he did not walk out of doors to collect his ideas,
he would not unfrequently, in a fit of the most complete abstraction, go
to his wash-hand basin, and pour several jugs of water upon his hands,
all the while humming and roaring, for sing he could not. After dabbling
in the water till his clothes were wet through, he would pace up and
down the room, with a vacant expression of countenance, and his eyes
frightfully distended; the singularity of his aspect being often
increased by an unshaven beard. Then he would seat himself at his table
and write; and afterwards get up again to the wash-hand basin, and
dabble and hum as before. Ludicrous as were these scenes, no one dared
venture to notice them, or to disturb him while engaged in his inspiring
ablutions, for these were his moments, or I should rather say his hours,
of profoundest meditation. It will be readily believed, that the people
in whose houses he lodged were not very well pleased when they found the
water trickling through the floor to the ceiling below, as sometimes
happened; and Beethoven's change of lodgings was often the consequence
of these occurrences. On such occasions comical scenes sometimes ensued.

At every quarterly payment of his pension Beethoven was required, before
he could receive the money, to procure from the curate of the district
in which he resided, a certificate to prove that he was actually living.
When he happened to be in the country, he used to get me or some other
friend to draw up this certificate, and whenever he wrote to make this
request it was always in some humorous or jesting manner. On one of
these occasions he addressed to me a note containing merely the
following words, unaccompanied by any explanation; he of course knew
very well that I should understand their import:--


    "The fish is alive.


                 "Pastor ROMUALDUS."

It has been so much the custom to compare Beethoven with Jean Paul
Richter, that the correctness of the comparison seems to be taken for
granted; nevertheless, it appears to me to be very unjust. Jean Paul was
not his favourite author. If Beethoven ever looked into his works, he
cannot be said to have read them; they were too aphoristic and
enigmatical for his taste. To imagine that there exists any general
resemblance between our great composer and Jean Paul Richter is a great
mistake; that writer, it is true, occasionally makes excursions into the
region of dreamy and sentimental life; but as a painter of feelings he
is not to be placed on a level with Beethoven. A comparison with
Shakspeare or Michael Angelo might be more correct. Shakspeare was
Beethoven's favourite poet.

Though Beethoven was throughout his whole life a prey to misfortune and
disappointment, yet there were moments in which he did not scruple to
inflict pain and disappointment on others. Nevertheless, it must be
observed that in most cases of this kind he acted under some other
influence than that of his own feelings. The following circumstance
occurred in the latter years of his life.

The wife of M. H----m, an esteemed piano-forte player and composer,
residing in Vienna, was a great admirer of Beethoven, and she earnestly
wished to possess a lock of his hair. Her husband, anxious to gratify
her, applied to a gentleman who was very intimate with Beethoven, and
who had rendered him some service. At the instigation of this person,
Beethoven was induced to send the lady a lock of hair cut from a goat's
beard; and Beethoven's own hair being very gray and harsh, there was no
reason to fear that the hoax would be very readily detected. The lady
was overjoyed at possessing this supposed memorial of her saint, proudly
showing it to all her acquaintance; but when her happiness was at its
height, some one, who happened to know the secret, made her acquainted
with the deception that had been practised on her. In a letter addressed
to Beethoven, her husband warmly expressed his feelings on the subject
of the discovery that had been made. Convinced of the mortification
which the trick must have inflicted on the lady, Beethoven determined to
make atonement for it. He immediately cut off a lock of his hair, and
enclosed it in a note, in which he requested the lady's forgiveness of
what had occurred. The respect which Beethoven previously entertained
for the instigator of this unfeeling trick was now converted into
hatred, and he would never afterwards receive a visit from him.

This is not the only instance that could be mentioned, in which our
great master was influenced by vulgar-minded persons to do things
unworthy of himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Questions have frequently been addressed to me respecting the motive of
the last movement of the Quartett in F, op. 135; to which Beethoven
affixed as a superscription the words--_Der schwer-gefasste Entschluss.
Un effort d'inspiration. "Muss es sein?" "Es muss sein!"_[146] Between
Beethoven and the people in whose houses he at different times lodged,
the most ludicrous scenes arose whenever the period arrived for
demanding payment of the rent. The keeper of the house was obliged to go
to him, almanack in hand, to prove that the week was expired, and that
the money must be paid. Even in his last illness he sang with the most
comical seriousness to his landlady the interrogatory motivo of the
quartett above mentioned. The woman understood his meaning, and,
entering into his jocose humour, she stamped her foot, and emphatically
answered, "_Es muss sein!_" There is another version of the story
relative to this motivo. It refers to a publisher of music, and does not
differ very much from the anecdote I have just related. Both turn upon
the article money, and are merely jokes. But what a poetic palace has
Beethoven built on this very prosaic foundation!

Great men as well as their inferiors, are subject to certain natural
wants, such as eating and drinking. Some of Beethoven's peculiarities in
these matters, which will not be uninteresting to many of his admirers,
deserve at the same time to be ranked among the curiosities of

For his breakfast he usually took coffee, which he frequently prepared
himself; for in this beverage he had an oriental fastidiousness of
taste. He allowed sixty beans for each cup, and lest his measure should
mislead him to the amount of a bean or two, he made it a rule to count
over the sixty for each cup, especially when he had visitors. He
performed this task with as much care as others of greater importance.
At dinner his favourite dish was macaroni with Parmesan cheese, which
must have been very bad before he pronounced it to be so; but that it
was not always very good may be inferred from the uncertainty of the
time he occupied in writing, and consequently of the hour for his meals.
He was likewise very fond of every kind of fish; and consequently fast
days imposed no sacrifice on him. To certain guests he only gave
invitations on Fridays, for then his table was always adorned with a
fine _Schill_[147] and potatoes. Supper was not a meal which he cared
much about. A plate of soup, or something left from dinner, was all he
partook of, and he was in bed by ten o'clock. He never wrote in the
afternoon, and but very seldom in the evening. He disliked to correct
what he had written. This he always felt an irksome task. He preferred
making a fresh copy of his notes.

Beethoven's favourite beverage was fresh spring water, of which he often
drank copiously from morning to night. He preferred the wine of the
heights around Buda to every other; but, as he was no judge of wine, he
could not distinguish the adulterated from the pure; and, by drinking
the former, he frequently caused great derangement to his weak stomach;
but no warning of this kind had any effect upon him. Among his
enjoyments may also be numbered a glass of good beer and a pipe of
tobacco in the evening. To these may be added the perusal of the
political journals, especially the Augsburg _Allgemeine Zeitung_. This
sort of reading engrossed a great deal of his time.

He frequently visited taverns and coffee-houses, even in the latter
years of his life; but he usually had some favourite one, which was
provided with a back door, at which he could go in and out. Strangers
who wished to get a sight of Beethoven used to go to the coffee-house he
was in the habit of frequenting; for thither he would repair to a
certainty once or twice a week, not for the purpose of conversing, but
of reading the journals. When he had glanced over the last paper, he
would hurry away, making his exit by the back door.

       *       *       *       *       *

M. Ignaz von Seyfried, in his account of Beethoven,[148] states that he
was a perfect master of the Latin, French, and Italian languages. In as
far as relates to the first-mentioned language, Dr. Wegeler mentions in
his work (p. 9) that Beethoven "learned something of Latin at Bonn."
But, in proof of his very slight acquaintance with that language, I need
only mention the fact that, on the first occasion of his composing a
Mass, he was obliged not only to get the words translated, but also the
quantities of the different syllables explained to him. How far he was
conversant with the French language may be seen from the style of his
letter to Cherubini (in the Third Period); and other examples of the
same kind might be quoted. That he was better acquainted with it in his
earlier days, before his deafness rendered him incapable of joining in
conversation, may be readily presumed. As to Italian, he could only read
it. Beethoven greatly admired the classic writers of antiquity, and
perused their works in the best translations, of all of which he
possessed copies. This industrious reading, combined with his vast
musical labours, left him little time for the study of languages. He
had, however, as intimate a knowledge of the translated works of some of
the Greek authors as he had of his own scores. With Shakspeare, also, he
was equally well acquainted. In his friends he required the same extent
of reading; otherwise their society became wearisome to him.

I feel bound to notice some observations made by M. von Seyfried on the
subject of Beethoven's housekeeping. At page 16 of his publication he
states that "Beethoven used to go himself to market, and after
bargaining and buying, not at the best price, he would return home and
cook, with his own hands, the articles he had purchased," &c. Oh! M.
Seyfried! "Quousque tandem?"--Is it not usual for persons in the most
respectable conditions of life to purchase rare vegetables or fruit for
the table? Beethoven did so, but when he wished to furnish his table
with some rarities for his guests his housekeeper accompanied him, and
carried home what he purchased; and he always purchased the best. His
old housekeeper, on the contrary, was not so nice in her selection. Had
M. von Seyfried ever been Beethoven's guest, he might have persuaded
himself that his table was not ill provided. But that Beethoven should
have been so far the victim of suspicion as to be induced, by an absurd
distrust of others, to cook his own food, is a circumstance which I
never heard of; and other friends of the great composer, to whom I have
applied for information, disclaim in like manner all knowledge of the
fact. However, as Beethoven was very fond of a joke, it is not
impossible that he may have got up this cookery farce for the sake of
mystifying some of his guests. Nevertheless, thus much is certain, that
in his latter days he carried his suspicious feeling to such an extreme
that he would trust nobody to pay the most trifling bills for him, and
would often doubt the authenticity of a receipt. This suspicion extended
even to his trustworthy old housekeeper. M. von Seyfried must pardon
this comment on his statements. The exaggeration was doubtless on his
part unintentional; he wrote from hearsay, a medium through which facts
are frequently altered and perverted. In the year 1805 he was, as he
mentions, on a footing of intimate intercourse with Beethoven, but that
intimacy did not extend either to a previous or a subsequent period.
However, the suspension of personal communication had not the effect of
diminishing the respect entertained for Beethoven by M. von Seyfried;
that able artist did not regard our great composer with the jaundiced
eye with which he was regarded by certain _hommes de metier_. M. von
Seyfried is one of the few who understood and appreciated Beethoven's
inward worth, without being misled by outward appearances. (See p. 27 of
his work.)

The doubts respecting the genuineness of many manuscripts attributed to
Beethoven, which have come to light since his death, are worthy of
consideration.[149] A great deal of imposition has already been
practised, and will probably be carried still further; consequently,
only Beethoven's handwriting, or his attestation to the authenticity of
the manuscripts, can remove doubts on the subject.

I will mention one instance out of many, to show how far unblushing
effrontery has already been carried on this point. In the year 1827, a
few months after Beethoven's death, a certain M. E---- offered for sale
to the Messrs. Schott, in Mainz, an Opera alleged to be composed by
Beethoven. Those publishers having consulted me on the business, I
advised them to demand a sight of the work in Beethoven's hand-writing,
adding, that there existed no authentic manuscript Opera by Beethoven.
The particulars of this not unimportant affair were published in 1828,
in the 7th volume of the Cæcilia.

It is a positive fact, that Beethoven never wrote any scientific work,
either on music or any other subject. Whatever works, therefore, may
have been published under his name, cannot be authenticated upon
autographic evidence.

I will wind up these biographical particulars with a description of the
great master's personal appearance, together with a few remarks on the
best portraits of him with which I am acquainted.

Beethoven's height scarcely exceeded five feet four inches, Vienna
measure. His figure was compact, strong, and muscular. His head, which
was unusually large, was covered with long bushy grey hair, which,
being always in a state of disorder, gave a certain wildness to his
appearance. This wildness was not a little heightened when he suffered
his beard to grow to a great length, as he frequently did. His forehead
was high and expanded; and he had small brown eyes, which, when he
laughed, seemed to be nearly sunk in his head; but, on the other hand,
they were suddenly distended to an unusually large size when one of his
musical ideas took possession of his mind. On such occasions he would
look upwards, his eyes rolling and flashing brightly, or straight
forward with his eyeballs fixed and motionless. His whole personal
appearance then underwent a sudden and striking change. There was an air
of inspiration and dignity in his aspect; and his diminutive figure
seemed to tower to the gigantic proportions of his mind. These fits of
sudden inspiration frequently came upon Beethoven when he was in
company, and even when he was in the street, where he naturally excited
the marked attention of every passer by. Every thought that arose in his
mind was expressed in his animated countenance. He never gesticulated
either with his head or his hands, except when he was standing before
the orchestra. His mouth was well formed; his under lip (at least in his
younger years) protruded a little, and his nose was rather broad. His
smile diffused an exceedingly amiable and animated expression over his
countenance, which, when he was in conversation with strangers, had a
peculiarly pleasing and encouraging effect. But though his smile was
agreeable, his laugh was otherwise. It was too loud, and distorted his
intelligent and strongly marked features. When he laughed, his large
head seemed to grow larger, his face became broader, and he might not
inaptly have been likened to a grinning ape; but fortunately his fits of
laughter were of very transient duration. His chin was marked in the
middle and on each side with a long furrow, which imparted a striking
peculiarity to that part of his countenance. His complexion was of a
yellowish tint, which, however, went off in the summer season, when he
was accustomed to be much out in the open air. His plump cheeks were
then suffused with fresh hues of red and brown.

Under this latter aspect, full of health and vigour, and during one of
his intervals of inspiration, the painter, H. Schimon, (now in Munich,)
took his likeness. The picture is a bust size, in oil. At the time it
was painted, Beethoven was forty-nine years old. The engraving prefixed
to this work is taken from it. Some years after this picture was
painted, another was executed by Stieler, the portrait painter to the
court of Munich. This is a half length, and the composer is represented
with a pen in his hand, writing on a piece of music paper the words
"Missa Solennis." This picture is excellent, and the likeness faithful;
but it has not the air of vigour and animation portrayed in that of
Schimon, the absence of which may be easily accounted for, Beethoven
having suffered a fit of illness of two years' duration. But he remained
as Stieler's portrait represents him until his death, which took place
five years after the picture was painted. Beethoven's family possess a
portrait of him, which was painted at an earlier period than either of
those I have described. It is a half length, and represents him in a
sitting posture.

These three pictures are the only ones which can be relied on, as
likenesses of the great composer, and as worthy of the attention of his
admirers. The few others which are here and there to be seen are
valueless, having been painted merely from the imagination of the

The same remark is applicable to most of the copperplate and
lithographic portraits of Beethoven. Excepting the copperplate engraving
by Letronne, and the lithographic drawing after Stieler's picture,
(however only those published by Trentschensky, late Artaria, in
Vienna,) I know of no print which conveys an accurate idea of the
countenance of my beloved friend and master--that countenance which I
fancy I still behold, living, and before me.

     [The author of this Biography adds here an Appendix, which I have
     omitted, as having too little relation with the object of this
     work, and by his own authorisation to the publisher. It suffices to
     mention that it treats of the state of music at Münster and
     Aix-la-Chapelle. In the first town M. Schindler lived three years
     as director of a musical institute, and since 1835 he has been
     music-director at Aix-la-Chapelle. In both these towns he has
     endeavoured, more or less successfully, to exalt the taste for
     classical music. He bears testimony also against the eccentricity
     and degeneracy of the modern style of pianoforte-playing,
     particularly in reference to the manner of performing Beethoven's
     music, and draws the attention of the musical world to a most
     promising talent, a Mdlle. Hansemann, in Aix-la-Chapelle, his
     pupil. This lady, according to his expectations, will develop in
     her style of playing the true spirit of Beethoven.--ED.]



No. I.



_To Mlle. von Breuning._

Vienna, November 2nd, 1793.

Charming Eleonora--my dearest friend,

A year has elapsed since my stay in this capital, and this is the first
letter you receive from me; yet rest assured you have ever lived in my
recollection. I have often conversed with you and yours, although not
with that peace of mind which I could have desired, for the late
wretched altercation was hovering before me, showing me my own
despicable conduct. But so it was; and what would I not give, could I
obliterate from the page of my life this past action, so degrading to my
character, and so unlike my usual proceedings.[150] It is true, there
were many circumstances widening the breach between us, and I presume
that in those whisperings, conveying to us our mutual expressions, lay
the chief source of the growing evil. We both imagined that we spoke
from conviction, and yet it was but in anger, and we were both of us
deceived. Your good and noble mind has, I know, long forgiven me, but
they say that self-accusation is the surest sign of contrition, and it
is thus I wanted to stand before you. Now let us draw a veil over the
whole affair, taking a warning by it, that, should a difference arise
between friends, they should not have recourse to a mediator, but
explain face to face. You receive herewith a dedication from me to you,
and I only wish the work were greater and more worthy of you. They
wanted me here to publish this little work, and I avail myself of the
opportunity, to give you, my charming Eleonora, a token of my friendship
and esteem, as well as a proof that you and all yours are ever present
to my memory. Accept this trifle as coming from a warm admirer. Oh! if
it could but give you pleasure, my wishes would be fulfilled.[151] Let
it be a revival of the many blessed hours which I spent at your house;
perhaps it may tend to recall me to your mind until I return, which
however will not be so soon. How we _will_ rejoice then, my dear friend;
you will find me a more cheerful creature, whose days of trouble have
passed away, their furrows smoothed by the lot of better days! Should
you see B. Koch,[152] I beg you will tell her it is not fair that she
has not once written to me, whilst I sent her two epistles, to
Malchus[153] _three_, and no answer. Tell her that if _she_ chooses not
to write she should at least make Malchus do so. I venture to conclude
with a request that I might be so happy as once more to be put in
possession of an Angola waistcoat, knitted by your hand.[154] Do excuse
the troublesome request of your friend: it originates in a great
predilection for all that comes from your hands, and, let me acknowledge
the secret, in the gratification of my vanity, at being able to say that
I possess something from one of the best and most charming young ladies
of Bonn. I have still got the one which you were so kind as to give me
at Bonn, but the present fashion has made it look so antiquated, that I
can only keep it in my wardrobe as your gift, and as such it will ever
be dear to me. You would give me sincere pleasure were you to favour me
soon with a letter. Should you like to have any of mine, I promise you I
shall await the opportunity to show you in this, as in all other
instances, how truly I am

Your friend and admirer,


P.S. The Variations will be somewhat difficult to play, particularly the
shake in the Coda.[155] But let not that alarm you; it is so managed
that you need only do the shake, leaving out the other notes which occur
in the violin part also. I should never have written such a thing, but
that I had noticed an individual about Vienna who, after having heard me
extemporize the preceding evening, put down many of my peculiarities the
next day, showing them off as his own.[156] Taking it for granted that
such things would shortly appear, I thought it wiser to be the first to
publish them. Another reason was to put the piano-forte masters of this
place to confusion, for many of them are my deadly enemies, and I thus
take my revenge upon them, knowing how they will be asked every now and
then to play these Variations, and to how little advantage my gentlemen
will appear in them.




I was most agreeably surprised by the beautiful cravat, the work of your
hands. It created sensations of sorrow, much as I was pleased by the
thing itself. This sorrow was called up by a recollection of former
times, and by the shame I felt at your generous conduct. Truly, I did
not think you had deemed me worthy of your remembrance. Oh! could you
have witnessed my feelings at yesterday's occurrence, you would not deem
me guilty of extravagance when I assure you that your remembrance
saddened me and called forth many tears. Do pray believe me, little as I
may have deserved it, believe me, _my friend_ (let me ever call you
such), I have suffered much, and still suffer, from the loss of your
friendship. Never shall I forget you and your dear mother. You were so
kind to me that your loss cannot and will not so soon be made up to me.
I know what I had, what I lost, and what you were to me; but I must
return to scenes equally painful for you to hear, as for me to relate,
were I to fill up this blank.

As a slight return for your kind recollection of me, I take the liberty
of sending the Variations and the Rondo with violin accompaniments. I am
very busy just now, or I would have copied the long-promised Sonata for
you. It is but a sketch in my manuscript, and even Paraquin, clever as
he is, would have had much difficulty in transcribing it. You may have
the Rondo copied, and return the score; that which I now send is the
only thing amongst my works which could be of use to you, and as you are
about going to Kerpen, I thought these trifles might afford you some

Farewell, my friend, I cannot possibly give you any other name;
indifferent as I may be to you, I hope you will believe in the assurance
of my regard for yourself and your mother. Pray let me know if I have it
in my power in any way to contribute to your pleasure; it is the only
remaining means of showing you my gratitude for past kindness. A happy
journey to you, and may your dearest mother return home perfectly
recovered! Do not forget

Your still admiring friend,




Vienna, June 29, 1800.[157]

My dear and beloved Wegeler,

A thousand thanks to you for your recollection of me; I have not
deserved it; I have not even _tried_ to deserve it; and yet my most
unpardonable carelessness cannot check your friendship, which remains
pure and unshaken. Do not for a moment think that I could forget you or
any of those once so dear to me; there are times when I long for you,
when I sincerely wish to stay with you for a while. My country and the
charming place which gave me birth are ever before my eyes; their beauty
undimmed as when I left them--in short, I shall consider that time the
happiest, which leads me back to you all, once more greeting the Rhine
in its patriarchal beauty. I cannot tell you _when_ this may be, but
thus much I must say to you all, that you shall not see me until I am
much greater--not greater only in my art, but better and more perfect
as a man; and then, if our country should be more flourishing, I will
employ my art for the benefit of the poor only.[158] O blessed moment!
how happy do I deem myself that I can call thee forth, that I can myself
create thee! * * * You wish me to say something of my circumstances;
why, they are by no means bad. Lichnowsky, who, improbable as it may
seem to you, from the little altercations we have had, but which tended
only in confirming our friendship[159]--Lichnowsky, who has always been
my warmest patron, has settled upon me the sum of six hundred florins,
which I may draw until I find a convenient appointment; my compositions
are well paid, and I may say I have more orders than I can well execute;
six or seven publishers, and more, being ready to take any of my works:
I need no longer submit to being bargained with--I ask my terms, and am
paid. You see this is an excellent thing; as, for instance, I see a
friend in want, and my purse does not at the moment permit me to assist
him; I have but to sit down and write, and my friend is no longer in
need. I am grown much more economical too; should I remain here, I think
I may rely upon having a day for a concert once a-year. I have already
had several. But an evil spirit in the shape of my bad health plays me
false; my hearing has become weaker and weaker for the last three years,
and my constitution has been much weakened by a stomach complaint,
fearfully increased during my stay here, which is said to be the cause
of this evil. Frank wanted to restore my health by tonics, and my
hearing by oil of almonds; but, alack a-day, this was not to be! My
hearing remained impaired, my digestion in its former condition; this
continued till last autumn, when I was many a time in despair. A medical
practitioner of the genus _ass_ advised the cold bath for me; a more
rational one ordered me that of the Danube, which is tepid: this did
wonders; my general health improved, my hearing continued bad, or became
worse. Last winter I was in a wretched state--every ailment returning
with renewed force, until about a month ago I went to Vering, judging
that my case might require surgical, as well as medical assistance, and
having much confidence in his skill. He succeeded in alleviating my
sufferings by the use of the tepid bath, into which was poured a
strengthening mixture; he gave me no medicine, only four days ago I had
some pills, besides a _tea_ for my ears, and I may say I feel stronger
and better--but my ears! they are ringing and singing night and day. I
do think I spend a wretched life; for the last two years shunning all
society, because I cannot bring myself to walk up to people and say, "_I
am deaf_." In any other profession this might pass; but in the one I
have chosen, it is a wretched plight to be in; besides, my enemies, who
are not few in number, what would they say? To give you a notion of this
extraordinary deafness, I must tell you that I am forced in a theatre to
lean up close to the orchestra in order that I may understand the actor.
I do not hear the high notes of instruments or singers at a certain
distance, and it is astonishing that there are individuals who never
noticed it while conversing with me; from my having been subject to
frequent reveries, they attribute my silence to these. I sometimes hear
those who speak in a low voice--that is to say, the sounds, but not the
words, and yet if any one begins to bawl out, it annoys me excessively.
Heaven knows what it may end in! Vering says I shall certainly be much
better, although I may not entirely recover. I have often cursed my
existence; Plutarch has won me back to resignation. I will, if possible,
defy my fate, although there will be moments when I shall be the most
miserable of God's creatures. I beg of you not to mention my affliction
to any one--no, not even to Laura. I confide this secret to you only,
and should be glad if you would, some day, enter into correspondence
upon it with Vering. Should it continue, I shall come to you next
spring. You will take a cottage for me in some beautiful spot in the
country, and there I shall ruralize for six months; perhaps _that_ may
work a change. Resignation! what a miserable resource, and yet it is the
only one left me. Do excuse my troubling you with my griefs, when you
are already in sorrow yourself.

Stephen Breuning is here, and I see him daily, enjoying those
recollections which his presence calls back to my mind. He is indeed
grown an excellent fellow, as kind and true-hearted as I trust we all
are. I have beautiful rooms just now, leading on to the Bastei
(ramparts), and of infinite value to me, on account of my health. I
believe I shall be able to prevail upon Breuning to come to me. You
shall have your Antiochus, and plenty of my music, if you do not think
they will put you to too much expense. Honestly speaking, I am truly
pleased with your love of the art. Let me but know _how_, and I will
send you all my works, which are now become pretty numerous, and daily
increasing. I send you in exchange for my grand-father's picture, which
I beg you will forward to me by coach, that of his grandson, your ever
faithful Beethoven; it has appeared at Artaria's, who, together with
many other publishers, solicited me to let them have it. I intend
shortly to write to Stephen, for the purpose of lecturing him upon his
obstinate mood. I will make his ears ring with our old friendship, and
entreat him not to add vexation to your sufficiently saddened
circumstances. I shall also write to the amiable Laura. I have never
forgotten one of you, dear, kind friends, even when I was most silent;
for, as to writing, why, that you know never was my forte--the dearest
friends have not had letters from me for years. I live entirely in my
music, and no sooner is one thing finished than I begin another--indeed,
I now sometimes write three or four things at the same time. Pray let me
hear from you oftener, and I will take care to find time for replying to
your letters. Kind regards to all, including my dear Mme. v. Breuning;
tell her I am still subject to the "raptus." As to K., I am not
surprised at the change in her. Fortune's wheel is round, and does not
always halt before the best and noblest.

A word about Ries, to whom give my kind regards, and say that I shall
further write to you respecting his son, although I believe Paris would
be a better place than Vienna to make his fortune in. Vienna is so
overstocked, that even those who have great merit stand a bad chance of
succeeding. By the autumn or winter I shall be able to judge what I can
do for him, as everybody then hastens back to town. Farewell, my
faithful Wegeler. Be ever assured of the love and friendship of





Vienna, Nov. 16, 1801.

My dearest Wegeler,

I am truly obliged for the new marks of your interest in my welfare, the
more so as I feel myself unworthy of them. You wish to know how I am,
what I am taking; and, much as I dislike conversing upon the subject at
all, I would rather do so with you, than with any one else. Vering, for
the last few months, has applied blisters to both my arms, consisting of
a certain bark, known to you, as I suppose.[160] This is a most
disagreeable remedy, as it deprives me of the free use of my arms for
two or three days at a time, until the bark has drawn sufficiently,
which occasions a good deal of pain. It is true, the ringing in my ears
is somewhat less than it was, especially in my left ear, in which the
disease began, but my hearing is by no means improved; indeed I am not
sure but that the evil is increased. My health is improved, and the
tepid bath always sets me up for eight or ten days. I take but little
medicine, and have begun to use the herb-poultice as you prescribed.
Vering opposes the shower-bath. I am upon the whole much dissatisfied
with him; he cares too little about his patients; were I not to call
upon him sometimes, which indeed is but seldom, I should never see him.
What do you think of Schmidt?[161] I am not fond of changing, but I
think Vering is too much of the practitioner to allow of his gathering
fresh thoughts from books. Schmidt seems to differ widely from him in
this respect, and might not be so careless. They tell me wonders of
galvanism; what is your opinion of it? A medical man told me he had seen
a deaf and dumb child recover its hearing (at Berlin), as well as a man
who had been deaf for seven years. I hear that your friend Schmidt[162]
makes experiments of this nature.

I have begun to mix in society again, and thus to enjoy my existence
rather more than I did; you cannot conceive how deserted and miserable a
life I have led these two years, my deafness pursuing me like a spectre
and scaring me from mankind: I must have appeared a perfect misanthrope,
whilst I am so far from it. A dear and charming girl has wrought this
beneficial change in me; she loves me as I do her, and this has brought
back some happy moments, the first I have enjoyed these two years; it is
the first time I feel that marriage could render me happy.[163] She is
not, unfortunately, of my station in life, and at present I certainly
_could_ not marry, for I must be tossed about the world first. Were it
not for my hearing, I should have travelled over half the globe--that is
what I long for. My greatest enjoyment is to pursue my art and produce
in it. Do not think I should be happy with you all about me. In how far
could that ameliorate my condition? Your very anxiety for me would be
painfully visible in your looks, and would add to my misery. And that
beautiful country of mine, what was my lot in it?--the hope of a happy
futurity. This might now be realised if I were freed from my affliction.
Oh, freed from that, I should compass the world! I feel it, my youth is
but beginning--have I not hitherto been a sickly creature? My physical
powers have for some time been materially increasing, those of my mind
likewise; I feel myself nearer and nearer the mark--I feel, but cannot
describe it. This alone is the vital principle of your Beethoven. No
rest for me, I know of none but sleep, and I grieve at having to
sacrifice to it more time than I have hitherto deemed necessary. Take
but one half of my disease from me, and I will return to you a matured
and accomplished man, renewing the ties of our friendship, for you shall
see me as happy as I _may_ be in this sublunary world--not as a
sufferer, no, that would be more than I could bear. I will blunt the
sword of fate, it shall not utterly destroy me. How beautiful it is to
live a thousand lives in one--no, I am not made for a retired life, I
feel it. You will write as soon as possible, will you? Take care Stephen
make up his mind to take an appointment somewhere in the Teutonic Order.
His health will not endure the fatiguing life which he leads here; he
is, moreover, so deserted that I do not see how he is to stand it. You
know how we get on here; indeed I will not assert that society would
diminish his exhaustion of nerve, and he is not to be prevailed upon to
go anywhere. I had some music at my rooms some time since; friend
Stephen did not appear. Do recommend him more coolness and
self-possession; I have not succeeded in enforcing it; without them he
cannot recover his health and happiness. Let me know in your next letter
whether you don't mind my sending you a great quantity of my music; you
can sell that which you do not want, and thus pay your postage having my
likeness into the bargain. My kindest remembrances to Laura, to mamma,
also to Christopher. You love me a little, eh? Be assured that I do love
you, and remain ever your faithful friend,




Baden, July 24, 1804.

* * * * You will have been surprised at the affair with Breuning;[164]
believe me, my friend, that I had been wrought into this burst of
passion by many an unpleasant circumstance of an earlier date. I have
the gift of concealing and restraining my irritability on many subjects;
but if I happen to be touched at a time when I am more than usually
susceptible of anger, I burst forth more violently than any one else.
Breuning has doubtless most excellent qualities, but he thinks himself
utterly without faults, and yet is most open to those, for which he
blames others. He has a littleness of mind, which I have held in
contempt since my infancy. My powers of judgment had almost prophesied
to me the course which matters would take with Breuning, for we differ
too materially in our manner of thinking, acting, and feeling. I fancied
late difficulties might have been overcome--experience has taught me
otherwise, and now, no more friendship for me. I have met with two
friends only in this world with whom I never had any altercation; but
what men were they!--the one is dead, the other still alive. Although we
have not heard from each other these six years, yet I know that I hold
the first place in his heart, as he does in mine. The basis of
friendship should be the greatest similarity in the minds and feelings
of men. I only wish you would read my letter to Breuning and his to me.
No, he will never regain the place in my heart which he once held in it.
Whoever can attribute so mean a proceeding to his friend, and can
himself act so basely towards him, is not worthy of my friendship. Do
not forget the matter of my lodgings. Farewell. Do not tailor[165] too
much; make my respects to the fairest of the fair, and send me a dozen
needles. I should never have thought I could be as idle as I am here.
Should a fit of industry succeed I may accomplish something grand. Vale.




Vienna, May 2nd, 1810.

My good old Friend,

I can almost fancy these lines creating a surprise in your mind; and
yet, although left without epistolary witnesses, you live most vividly
in my recollection; indeed, there is amongst my MSS. one long destined
for you, and which you will certainly receive during this summer.[166]
My retired life has ceased these last few years, and I have been
forcibly drawn into the world. I have not yet decided for or against
this change, but who has not felt the storm which is raging around us?
I, however, should be happy, perhaps the happiest of men, had not that
demon taken possession of my ears. I have read somewhere that man should
not wilfully part from this life whilst he could do but one good deed;
and, but for this, I should ere now have ceased to exist, and by my own
hand too. Oh, life is so charming; but to me it is poisoned!

You will not refuse my request to procure me a copy of my baptismal
register. The expenses, whatever they be, could be remitted to you by
Stephen Breuning, with whom I know you have a running account, and I
will settle with him. Should you think it worth your while to
investigate the matter, and should you like to go from Coblentz to Bonn
for that purpose, I beg you will put your costs down to me. There is
one thing to be considered in the matter--that I had a brother born
before me, likewise named Ludwig, with the second name of Maria, but who
died young. The birth of this brother should be ascertained previous to
my age being fixed.[167] I know I have been put down as older than I am,
by a mistake arising from this circumstance. Alas! I have lived some
time without knowing my own age. I had a family-book; but that has been
lost, the Lord knows how! Do not be angry, therefore, if I recommend
this to you most warmly, and try to find out the birth of the Ludwig
Maria, as well as that of the Ludwig who came after him. The sooner you
send me the register, the greater my obligation. They tell me you sing a
song of mine at your Freemasons' lodge; probably one in E major, which I
have not got myself; pray send it to me, and I promise to make you ample
amends for it.[168] Think of me with kindly feelings, little as I
apparently deserve it. Embrace your dear wife, kiss your children, and
all that are dear to you, in the name of your friend,




Vienna, Sept. 29, 1816.

I take the opportunity which offers through J. Simrock,[169] to recall
myself to your memory. I hope you have received my engraving,[170] and
the Bohemian glass. As soon as I shall again wander through Bohemia, you
shall have something similar. Farewell, you are husband and father--so
am I, but without a wife.[171] Love to all yours--to all _mine_.

Your friend,




Vienna, Oct. 7, 1826.

My old and dearest Friend,

I cannot give you an adequate idea of the delight I felt in your and
Laura's letter. It is true, my answers should have followed with the
swiftness of an arrow; but I am careless in replying to my friends,
because I believe those whom I really love know me without my writing to
them. I often get an answer ready in my thoughts, but when I want to put
it on paper I mostly throw away my pen, because I cannot write as I
feel. I do remember every kindness you have shown me: for instance, when
you had my room whitewashed, and thus made me a most agreeable
surprise.[172] I feel the same gratitude towards the Breunings: our
separation was the necessary result of the instability of men's
lives--each pursuing his own ends and trying to fulfil destiny--the
principle of all that is unalterably good still firmly uniting us. I
regret I cannot to-day write you at full length as I should wish, being
in bed. I will answer but a few points of your letter. You say that I am
mentioned somewhere as a natural son of the deceased King of Prussia. I
had heard this long ago, but from principle I have never written on
myself, or answered anything that others have said of me; thus I leave
you most willingly to vindicate my parents' honour, and especially that
of my mother, in the eyes of the world. You speak of your son. I hope it
is understood that when he comes here, he will find a father and a
friend in me, and that I shall serve him with the greatest pleasure
wherever I can. I have yet your Laura's _silhouette_, a proof positive
how I still value all that was dear and near to me in my youth. On the
subject of my diplomas, I will mention to you, but shortly, that I am an
honorary member of the Royal Society of Arts in Sweden, the same in
Amsterdam, and an honorary citizen of Vienna. Some time ago a Dr.
Spieker took away with him to Berlin my last great Symphony with
chorusses; it is dedicated to the King, and he made me write the
dedication in my own hand. I had previously asked and received
permission at the embassy to dedicate the work to the King. On Dr.
Spieker's suggestion I had to send my MS., with my own corrections and
improvements, to His Majesty, to be deposited in the royal library.
Something has been whispered to me about the order of the Red Eagle of
the Second Class. I don't know how it will end, for I never sought a
distinction _like_ this; in our times, however, it would not be
unwelcome to me for many reasons.

My motto is always--_Nulla dies sine lineâ_, and if I give my muse any
rest it is but that she should arise with new vigour. I hope to achieve
a few more great works, and then to close my earthly career like an old
child amongst some good people. You will receive some music through the
brothers Schott, of Mayence. The portrait which I send herewith is a
master-piece of art, but not the last likeness which has been taken of
me. I have to name another mark of distinction conferred upon me, as I
know it gives you pleasure. A medal has been sent me by the late King of
France, with the inscription "Donné par le roi à M. Beethoven," and
accompanied by a most obliging letter of the Duc de Chartres, premier
gentilhomme du roi.[173] Thus much to-day. My dearest friend, I am
over-powered by the recollections of the past, and this letter reaches
you bedewed with my tears. Now that a beginning is made, you shall soon
hear from me again, and the more you write, the greater will be my
happiness. There can be no question as to our friendship on either side,
and so farewell. I beg you will embrace your dear Laura and your
children in my name, and think of me. God be with you. With true esteem,
ever your faithful friend,




Vienna, Feb. 17, 1827.[174]

My old and worthy Friend,

I received most fortunately your second letter through Breuning. I am
still too weak to answer it, but you may think that its contents are
truly welcome to me.[175] My convalescence, if such I may call it, goes
on slowly. It is to be expected that a fourth operation must take place,
although the medical men have not yet pronounced upon this. I take
patience, and think: Evil sometimes leads to good. But how surprised I
felt to find from your last letter that you had not received anything.
From the letter which you here receive, you will see that I wrote on the
10th of December of last year. It is the same with the portrait, as the
date will show when it reaches you.[176] Stephen insisted upon sending
you the things by private hand, but they were left until now, and it was
difficult to get them back even at this moment. You will now receive the
portrait by post through Messrs. Schott, who also send you the music. I
should like to say much to you to-day, but I am too weak, so I can only
embrace you and Laura. With true friendship and devotedness to you and
yours, believe me,

Your old and faithful friend,


     [This letter, too, was written in a strange hand, and signed by

No. II.

     [BEETHOVEN'S Correspondence with Mr. C. Neate, of London, and F.
     Ries, (Beethoven's former pupil,) concerning the publication of
     several of his Works--their performance at the Philharmonic
     Concerts--Beethoven's intended Visit to England.[177]]



Vienna, December, 1815.

My dear Mr. Neate,

I have received a letter from Mr. Ries, as amanuensis to Salomon (who
has had the misfortune to break his right shoulder in a fall from his
horse), and he tells me, on the 29th of September, that the three
Overtures which you took of me for the Philharmonic Society[178] four
months ago, had not then reached London. This being the second
remembrancer which Mr. Salomon sends me on the subject, I thought I had
better let you know. Should you not have sent them off, I should like
to revise the Overture in _C major_, as it may be somewhat incorrect.
With regard to any written agreement you may like to have about these
things for England, that is very much at your service at a moment's
notice. I would not have them suppose that I could ever act otherwise
than as a _man of honour_. There are dispositions so fickle that they
think _one way_ to-day and _another way_ to-morrow, and fancy others as
ready to change their mind; and with such tempers one cannot be positive
and mistrustful enough. So fare you well, my dear Mr. Neate.

Yours truly,




Wednesday, November 22nd, Vienna, 1815.

Dear Ries,

I hasten to inform you that I have to-day sent off the piano-forte score
of the Symphony in A by post to the house of Thomas Coutts and Co. The
court not being here, there are very few, if any, couriers, and this is,
moreover, the safest way. The Symphony is to be brought out about March.
I shall fix the day. It has been so long in doing, that I cannot name an
earlier time. The Trio in the Sonata for violin may come out later, and
both will be in London in a few weeks. I beg of you, dear Ries, to look
after these things, and to take care I receive the money; the expenses
are great ere these things reach you. I want cash; I have had a loss of
600 florins in my yearly salary. At the time of the bank-notes
(_Banco-Zettel_) it was nothing--the reduced paper-money
(_Einlösungs-Scheine_) succeeded, and it is through these I lose the 600
florins, after several years of vexation and entire loss of salary. We
are now at a juncture when the _Einlösungs-Scheine_ stand lower than
ever did the _Banco-Zettel_. I pay 1000 florins rent; figure to yourself
the misery which this paper-money causes. My poor unhappy brother (Carl)
has just died; he had a bad wife; I may say he was in a consumption for
some years, and to make life bearable to him, I gave him what I may
reckon at 10,000 florins (_Wiener Währung_). I own this is not much for
an Englishman, but a vast deal for a poor German or Austrian. The poor
fellow was much changed of late years, and I may say I lament him with
all my heart, whilst I am truly glad to be able to say to myself, I have
not neglected anything which could contribute to his preservation. Tell
Mr. Birchall to repay you and Mr. Salomon for the postage of your
letters to me, and mine to you; he may deduct it from the sum which he
has to pay me; I am anxious that those who are active for me, should
suffer the least possible through it.

_Wellington's Victory at the Battle of Vittoria_[179] must have arrived
long ago at Coutts and Co.'s. Mr. Birchall need not pay me till he has
got all the works. Do let me know as soon as possible the day which Mr.
Birchall fixes for the publication of the piano-forte score. Thus much
to day, with the warmest recommendation of my concerns; I am at your
service wherever you may require it. Farewell, dear Ries!

Your friend,




Vienna, January 20, 1816.

My dear Ries!

The Symphony will be dedicated to the Empress of Russia. The piano-forte
score of the Symphony in A must not come out till the month of June; the
publisher here cannot be ready before that time. Will you, my dearest
Ries, inform Mr. Birchall of this without delay? The Sonata, with violin
accompaniment, will be sent off by the next post, and may be likewise
published in London by the month of May--the Trio somewhat later (you
will receive it by the next post, too). I shall myself fix the time for
its publication.

And now, my dear Ries, take my sincere thanks for all your good offices,
and in particular for the correction of the proofs. May Heaven bless
you, and may you progress more and more; I shall ever take the most
sincere interest in it. My best regards to your wife.

Ever your sincere friend,



     Manuscript Agreement, as drawn up by Beethoven for the Philharmonic
     Society of London, concerning the above-named three MS. Overtures:--

Vienna, February 5, 1816.

Mr. Neate has taken of me, in July, 1815, three Overtures for the
Philharmonic Society of London, and has paid me for them the sum of 75
guineas, for which sum I engage, not to have these said Overtures
printed elsewhere, either in parts or score, always reserving for myself
the right to have the said works performed wherever I please, and to
publish them in piano-forte arrangement so soon as Mr. Neate shall write
me word that they have been performed in London; besides which, Mr.
Neate assures me that he obligingly takes upon himself, after the lapse
of one or two years, to obtain the consent of the Society to my
publishing these three Overtures in parts as well as in score, their
consent to that effect being indispensable. Thus I respectfully salute
the Philharmonic Society.




Vienna, February 28, 1816.

* * * I have not been well for some time; my brother's death has had its
influence upon my mind and my writings. I am truly grieved at Salomon's
death; he had a noble mind, and I remember him since my earliest youth.
You have become his executor, and I, at the same time, the guardian of
my poor brother's child. You will scarcely have had as much vexation as
I had at this death; yet I feel the sweet consolation of having rescued
a poor little innocent from the hands of an unworthy mother.

Farewell, dear Ries! If I can be of the least use whatever to you, pray
consider me wholly as your true friend,




Vienna, March 8, 1816.

My answer comes somewhat late; but I was ill, and had a good deal of
work. * * * As yet I have not seen a farthing of the ten ducats, and I
begin to fancy that the English are generous only in foreign countries,
the Prince Regent, too, has not even given me the value of the copying
expenses for my Battle, which I sent him, nor has he vouchsafed a verbal
or written acknowledgment. My income amounts to 3400 florins in paper; I
have to pay 1100 florins rent, and 900 florins to my servant and his
wife: now, do you calculate yourself what remains; and besides this, I
have entirely to provide for my little nephew; he is at school at
present, which costs about 1100 florins, and leaves much to desire; so I
must go into regular housekeeping to take him home. How much there is
required to live here, and yet there is no end to it
because--because--because--. You know what I mean. I should be glad of
some commissions from the Philharmonic Society, besides the concert.
Above all, my dear pupil Ries should sit down and dedicate something of
sterling worth to me, upon which the master would return measure for
measure. How can I send you my portrait? * * * My best wishes for your
wife; alas, I have none; and _one_ only have I met, but shall never
possess her; this does not, however, make me an enemy to the sex.

Your sincere friend,




Vienna, April 3, 1816.

* * * * Neate must be in London by this time; he has taken charge of
several of my works and has promised me all his interest for them. The
Archduke Rudolph, amongst others, plays your compositions with me, dear
Ries, and your _Sogno_ pleases me above all the rest. Farewell. I
commend me to your well-beloved wife and to all the fair English women
who will receive my greetings. Your true friend,




Vienne, le 15 Maj, 1816.

    (Adresse Sailerstadt, No. 1055 et 1056, au 3éme étage.)

Mon tres cher ami!

L'amitié de vous envers moi me pardonnerà touts le fauts contre la
langue francaises, mais la hâte ou j'ecris la lettre, ce peu d'exercice
et dans ce moment même sans dictionnaire français tout cela m'attire
surement encore moins de critique qu'en ordinairement.

Avanthier on me portoit un extrait d'une gazette anglaise nommée
_Morning cronigle_, ou je lisoit avec grand plaisir, que la Société
philarmonique à donné ma Sinfonie in A#; c'est une grande satisfaction
pour moi, mais je souhais bien d'avoir de vous même des nouvelles, que
vous ferez avec tous les compositions, que j'ai vous donnés: vous m'avez
promis ici, de donner un concert pour moi, mais ne prenez mal, si je me
méfis un peu, quand je pense que le Prince régent d'angleterre ne me
dignoit pas ni d'une reponse ni d'une autre reconnoissance pour la
Bataile que j'ai envoyé a son Altesse, et lequelle on a donnée si
souvent a Londre, et seulement les gazettes annoncoient le reussir de
cet oeuvre et rien d'autre chose--comme j'ai deja ecrit une lettre
anglaise à vous mon tres cher ami, je trouve bien de finir, je vous ai
ici depeignée ma situation fatal ici, pour attendre tout ce de votre
amitié, mais hélas, pas une lettre de vous--Ries m'a ecrit, mais vous
connoissez bien dans ces entretiens entre lui et moi, ce que je vous ne
trouve pas necessaire d'expliquer.

J'espere donc cher ami bientôt une lettre de vous, ou j'espere de
trouver de nouvelles de votre santé et aussi de ce que vous avez fait a
Londres pour moi--adieu donc, quant à moi je suis et je serai toujour

vrai ami,




Vienna, May 18, 1816.[181]

My dear Neate,

By a letter of Mr. Ries I am acquainted with your happy arrival at
London. I am very well pleased with it, but still better I should be
pleased if I had learned it by yourself.

Concerning our business, I know well enough that for the performance of
the greater works, as the Symphony, the Cantate, the Chorus, and the
Opera, you want the help of the Philharmonic Society, and I hope your
endeavour to my advantage will be successful.

Mr. Ries gave me notice of your intention to give a concert to my
benefit. For this triumph of my art at London I would be indebted to you
alone; but an influence still wholesomer on my almost indigent life,
would be to have the profit proceeding from this enterprise. You know,
that in some regard I am now father to the lovely lad you saw with me;
hardly I can live alone three months upon my annual salary of 3400
florins in paper, and now the additional burden of maintaining a poor
orphan--you conceive how welcome lawful means to improve my
circumstances must be to me. As for the Quatuor in F minor, you may sell
it without delay to a publisher, and signify me the day of its
publication, as I should wish it to appear here and abroad on the very
day. The same you be pleased to do with the two Sonatas Op. 102 for
pianoforte and violoncello;[182] yet with the latter it needs no haste.

I leave entirely to your judgment to fix the terms for both works, to
wit, the Quatuor and the Sonatas, the more the better.

Be so kind to write to me immediately for two reasons; 1st, that I may
not be obliged to shrink up my shoulders when they ask me if I got
letters from you; and 2dly, that I may know how you do, and if I am in
favour with you. Answer me in English if you have to give me happy news,
(for example, those of giving a concert to my benefit,) in French if
they are bad ones.

Perhaps you find some lover of music to whom the Trio and the Sonata
with violin, Mr. Ries had sold to Mr. Birchall, or the Symphony arranged
for the pianoforte, might be dedicated, and from whom there might be
expected a present. In expectation of your speedy answer, my dear friend
and countryman, I am, yours truly,




Vienna, June 11, 1816.

My dear Ries,

I am sorry again to put you to the expense of postage; much as I like to
serve and assist others, it always hurts me to draw upon them on my own
account. The ten ducats are not forthcoming, which leads to the
conclusion that in England, as well as here, there are people who
promise, but do not perform.

I do not blame _you_ in this matter. Not having heard anything from
Neate, I only beg you will ask him, whether he has disposed of the
Quartett in _F minor_. I am almost ashamed to speak of all the other
works intrusted to him, ashamed to own to myself that I have given them
to him with that unbounded confidence which knows of no other
conditions, than those which his care and friendship would suggest for
my benefit.

I have had the translation of a notice in the Morning Chronicle on the
performance of my Symphony (probably the one in A) given to me. It seems
I shall fare with this work, and with all those which Neate has taken,
as I did with my battle (of Vittoria). I shall read of their performance
in the newspapers, and get nothing else by them.

Yours, &c.,


Mr. Neate had been intrusted by Beethoven with several MS. works, (the
two Sonatas, Op. 102, for pianoforte and violoncello, and the pianoforte
Trio in B flat, Op. 97,) to dispose of them to English publishers, but
found great obstacles in so doing from the difficulty of the music and
the unwillingness of some of the principal music-publishers to purchase
works so little understood, by an author too who, at that time, was more
noted for his eccentricities than for any of those noble attributes
which in after days have procured for him the admiration of the age. The
delays occasioned by these circumstances, as well as by others relating
to Mr. Neate's private life, and finally the unsatisfactory results of
his negotiations, led Beethoven to the suspicion that his interest had
been neglected and his confidence betrayed. This induced Mr. Neate to
write the following letter.



London, October 29, 1816.

My dear Beethoven,

Nothing has ever given me more pain than your letter to Sir George
Smart.[183] I confess that I deserve your censure, that I am greatly in
fault; but must say also that I think you have judged too hastily and
too harshly of my conduct. The letter I sent you some time since, was
written at a moment when I was in _such_ a state of mind and spirits
that I am sure, had you seen me or known my sufferings, you would have
excused every unsatisfactory passage in it. Thank God! it is now all
over, and I was just on the point of writing to you, when Sir George
Smart called with your letter. I do not know how to begin an answer to
it; I have never been called upon to justify myself, because it is the
first time that I ever stood accused of dishonour; and what makes it the
more painful is "that I should stand accused by the man who, of all in
the world, I most admire and esteem, and one also whom I have never
ceased to think of, and wish for his welfare, since I made his
acquaintance." But as the appearance of my conduct has been so
unfavourable in your eyes, I must tell you again of the situation I was
in, previous to my marriage. *

    * * * *

* * I remain in my profession, and with no abatement of my love of
Beethoven! During this period I could not myself do anything publicly,
consequently all your music remained in my drawer unseen and unheard. I
however did make a very considerable attempt with the Philharmonic, to
acquire for you what I thought you fully entitled to. I offered all your
music to them upon condition that they made you a very handsome
present; this they said they could not afford, but proposed to see and
hear your music, and then offer a price for it; I objected and replied
"that I should be ashamed that your music should be put up by auction
and bid for!--that your name and reputation were too dear to me;" and I
quitted the meeting with a determination to give a concert and take all
the trouble myself, rather than that your feelings should be wounded by
the chance of their disapproval of your works. I was the more
apprehensive of this, from the unfortunate circumstance of your
Overtures not being well received; they said they had no more to hope
for, from your other works. I was not a Director last season, but I am
for the next, and then I shall have a voice which I shall take care to
exert. I have offered your Sonatas to several publishers, but they
thought them too difficult, and said they would not be saleable, and
consequently made offers such as I could not accept, but when I shall
have played them to a few professors, their reputation will naturally be
increased by their merits, and I hope to have better offers. The
Symphony you read of in the 'Morning Chronicle' I believe to be the one
in C minor; it certainly was not the one in A, for it has not been
played at a concert. I shall insist upon its being played next season,
and most probably the first night. I am exceedingly glad that you have
chosen Sir George Smart to make your complaints of me to, as he is a man
of honour, and very much your friend; had it been to any one else, your
complaint might have been listened to, and I injured all the rest of my
life. But I trust I am too respectable to be thought unfavourably of, by
those who know me. I am, however, quite willing to give up every sheet I
have of yours, if you again desire it. Sir George will write by the next
post, and will confirm this. I am sorry you say that I did not even
_acknowledge_ my obligation to you, because I talked of nothing else at
Vienna, as every one there who knows me can testify. I even offered my
purse, which you generously always declined. Pray, my dear friend,
believe me to remain,

Ever yours, most sincerely,


In reply to the above, Mr. Neate received the following letter from Mr.
Häring, a private gentleman and distinguished amateur on the violin, who
used to keep up a friendly intercourse with Beethoven at Vienna:--



(At Beethoven's dictation.)

Vienna, 18th December, 1816.

1055, Seiler-Staette, third story.

My dear Sir,

Both letters to Mr. Beethoven and to me arrived. I shall first answer
his, as he has made out some memorandums, and would have written
himself, if he was not prevented by a rheumatic feverish cold. He says:
"What can I answer to your warmfelt excuses? Past ills must be
forgotten, and I wish you heartily joy that you have safely reached the
long-wished-for port of love. Not having heard of you, I could not delay
any longer the publication of the Symphony in A which appeared here some
few weeks ago. It certainly may last some weeks longer before a copy of
this publication appears in London, but unless it is soon performed at
the Philharmonic, and something is done for me afterwards by way of
benefit, I don't see in what manner I am to reap any good. The loss of
your interest last season with the Philharmonic, when all my works in
your hands were unpublished, has done me great harm; but it could not be
helped, and at this moment I know not what to say. Your intentions are
good, and it is to be hoped that my little fame may yet help. With
respect to the two Sonatas, Op. 102, for piano-forte and violoncello, I
wish to see them sold very soon, as I have several offers for them in
Germany, which depend entirely upon me to accept; but I should not wish,
by publishing them here, to lose all and every advantage with them in
England. I am satisfied with the ten guineas offered for the dedication
of the Trio, and I beg you to hand the title immediately to Mr.
Birchall, who is anxiously waiting for it; you'll please to use my name
with him. I should be flattered to write some new works for the
Philharmonic--I mean Symphonies, an Oratorio, or Cantatas,[184] &c. Mr.
Birchall wrote as if he wished to purchase my 'Fidelio.' Please to treat
with him, unless you have some plan with it for my benefit concert,
which in general I leave to you and Sir George Smart, who will have the
goodness to deliver this to you. The score of the Opera 'Fidelio' is not
published in Germany or anywhere else. Try what can be done with Mr.
Birchall, or as you think best. I was very sorry to hear that the three
Overtures were not liked in London. I by no means reckon them amongst
my best works, (which, however, I can boldly say of the Symphony in A),
but still they were not disliked here and in Pesth, where people are not
easily satisfied. Was there no fault in the execution? Was there no

"And now I shall close, with the best wishes for your welfare, and that
you enjoy all possible felicity in your new situation of life.

"Your true friend,




Vienna, July 9, 1817.

Dear Friend,

I feel much flattered by the honourable proposals you make me in your
letter of the 9th of June: this comes to show you how I appreciate them,
and, were it not for my unlucky affliction, and for the additional
attendance this would make me require on a journey and in a strange
country, I should _at once_ accept the proposal of the Philharmonic
Society. Now place yourself in my situation, consider how many more
difficulties I have to contend with than any other artist, and then
judge whether my demands be unjust. I am going here to subjoin them,
and beg you will communicate them to the Directors of the above-named

1. I mean to be in London in the middle of January, 1818, at the latest.

2. The two grand new Symphonies are then to be ready, and are to remain
the Society's exclusive property.

3. The Society to give me for them three hundred guineas, and allow me
one hundred guineas for my travelling expenses, which will much exceed
that sum, as I must necessarily take some one with me.

4. As I shall immediately begin the two Symphonies, if my proposals be
accepted, the Society to send me at once a cheque of one hundred and
fifty guineas, that I may provide a carriage and other necessaries for
my journey without delay.

5. I accept the conditions relative to my non-appearance in any other
public orchestra, to my non-conducting, to my giving the preference to
the Philharmonic Society upon equal terms, and in fact, with my sense of
honour, all this would have been understood, though not mentioned.

6. I may rely upon the assistance of the Society in one or more benefit
concerts, as circumstances may permit. I feel sure of this, from the
feelings of friendship of several of the Directors of this estimable
body, as indeed from the kind interest which most of the professional
men have shown for my works; this will be an additional spur to my
endeavours to fulfil their expectations.

7. I also beg to have the above written out in English, signed by three
Directors of the Society, and sent over to me.

You may easily imagine how I enjoy the thoughts of becoming acquainted
with the worthy Sir George Smart, and of seeing you and Neate again.
Would I could fly across to you instead of this letter!

Your sincere admirer and friend,


       *       *       *       *       *

    (P.S. in his own hand.)

Dear Ries,--I embrace you with all my heart. I have expressly made use
of another hand for the above that you might read and lay it before the
Society with more ease. I have full confidence in your feelings towards
me, and hope the Philharmonic Society will accept my proposals; you may
rest assured that I shall exert all my powers to fulfil, in the
worthiest manner possible, the honourable call of so distinguished a
body of musicians. How strong is your band? how many violins, &c. &c.,
with single or double wind instruments? Is the room large--does the
music tell in it?



Vienna, March 5, 1818.

My dear Ries,

Much as I wished it, I could not possibly manage to get to London this
year; I beg you will inform the Philharmonic Society that it was my weak
state of health which prevented me. I have some hopes of being
effectually cured this spring, and then I shall avail myself about
autumn of the proposals made to me by the Society--fulfilling all their

Will you ask Neate in my name not to make a public use, at least, of
such works of mine as he has got, until my arrival: whichever way
matters may stand with him, he has given me cause to complain.

Potter called on me several times; he seems to be a good creature, and
has much talent for composition. I hope and wish that your circumstances
may improve from day to day; I cannot say that mine do. * * * * * I
cannot bear to see want--I must give; so you may fancy how much more I
suffer in this matter. Pray let me hear from you soon. If possible, I
shall decamp sooner, to escape my utter ruin, and shall be in London
towards the end of winter at the latest. I know you will assist a
distressed friend; had it been in my power, and had I not ever been
fettered by circumstances, surely I should have done much more for you.
Fare you well! remember me to Neate, Smart, Cramer--although I
understand that the latter moves in contrary motion to you and me. Never
mind; I hope I somewhat understand the art of managing such matters, and
producing a pleasing harmony at our meeting in London. I embrace you
with all my heart.

Your friend,


My kind regards to your dear, and, as I understand, beautiful wife.



Vienna, April 30, 1819.

My dear Ries,

I could not ere this answer your last letter of the 18th of December.
Your sympathy does me good. It is impossible to get to London for the
present, entangled as I am in various ways; but God will assist my plans
of reaching it certainly next winter, when I shall bring the new
Symphonies. I am in expectation of the text for an Oratorio which I am
to write for our Musical Society, and which may likewise serve us in
London. Do for me what you can, for I stand in need of it. I should
gladly have accepted any orders for the Philharmonic Society; Neate's
reports, however, of the all but failure of the three Overtures have
vexed me; they have not only been successful here, each in its own way,
but those in E flat and C have even produced a powerful effect; so that
the fate of these compositions in the Philharmonic Society is a riddle
to me. You will have received the arrangement of the Quintetto and the
Sonata. Pray let them both be engraved immediately, especially the
Quintetto. The Sonata may follow a little more at leisure, but that too
not later than two or three months hence. I had not received your former
letter which you mention, and therefore did not scruple to strike a
bargain for both these works in this place too--that is to say, only for
Germany. It will be three months before the Sonata comes out here, but
you must hurry with the Quintett. As soon as you send me a cheque for
the money I shall let you have an agreement for the publisher, securing
him the property of these works for England, Scotland, Ireland, France,

The _Tempi_ of the Sonata, according to Maelzel's Metronome, will reach
you by the next post. The Quintett and Sonata are gone by De Smidt,
courier to Prince Paul Esterhazy. I shall send my portrait by the
earliest opportunity, as I understand that you really wish for it.
Farewell! think kindly of your friend


_My_ best love to _your_ best love!!!


Vienna, April 16, 1819.

Here, dear Ries! are the _Tempi_ of the Sonata (Op. 106). First Allegro,
_Allegro_ alone, strike out the _assai_, and add

  Maelzel's Metronome
  [Illustration: musical note, half note][185]             = 138
  Second movement Scherzoso, M. M.
  [Illustration: musical note, half note]    =  80
  Third movement, M. M.
  [Illustration: musical note, eighth note]             =  92

Observe that another bar should be prefixed to this movement, viz.:--

[Illustration: musical notation][A]

Fourth movement, _Introduzione largo_ M. M. [Illustration: musical note,
sixteenth note] = 76

Fifth and last movement, 3/4 time

[Illustration: musical notation][B]

Excuse the mistakes; if you knew my circumstances you would not be
surprised at them, but would wonder at what I produce in spite of them.
The Quintett cannot be delayed any longer, and will shortly appear; not
so the Sonata, about which I anxiously expect to hear from you,
inclosing the terms. The name of the courier, through whom you have to
receive the Quintett and Sonata, is De Smidt. I beg to have a speedy
answer, and shall soon write more at length.

In haste, yours,




Vienna, April 19, 1819.

Dear Friend,

Excuse the trouble which I am giving you. I cannot account for the
numerous mistakes which have found their way into the copy of the
Sonata, unless, indeed, they proceed from the circumstance of my not
being able any longer to keep a copyist of my own; events have brought
this about, and may the Lord help me until ... become better off. This
will take another twelvemonth. It is most shocking how this matter has
been brought about, and what has become of my salary, and no one can say
what _may_ become of it, until the above-mentioned twelvemonth comes
round. Should the Sonata (Op. 106) not do for London, I might send
another, or you may leave out the Largo and begin with the Fugue of the
last movement, or else the first movement, the Adagio, and for the
third, the Scherzo and the Largo and Allegro risoluto. I leave it to you
to manage this as you think proper.[186] This sonata was written in time
of need; for it is hard to write almost for one's daily bread; thus far
am I reduced. We must correspond further upon my visit to London. It
would certainly be the only means of saving me from my miserable and
needy condition, which ruins my health, and will never permit my
faculties to act as they might under more favourable circumstances.




Vienna, May 25, 1819.

* * * I was all the while oppressed with such cares as I had never
known, and all through my excessive benevolence to others. Write on
industriously. My dear little Archduke Rudolph and I, we often play your
works, and he says the former pupil does his master credit. Now fare you
well. I content myself with embracing your wife--who, I understand is
very handsome--in fancy only, for the present, but hope to have that
pleasure in reality during next winter. Do not forget the Quintett, and
the Sonata, and the money--I meant to say the _honoraire, avec ou sans
honneur_. I trust to hear from you not only as fast as _allegro_, but
_veloce prestissimo_, and good tidings too. This letter reaches you
through a right clever Englishman; they are a powerful race for the
most part, and I should like to spend some time amongst them in their
own country.

Prestissimo--Responsio, il suo amico e maestro




Vienna, November 10, 1819.

Dear Ries,

I write to let you know that the Sonata is out, that is to say, only
about a fortnight; and it is about six months since both were sent to
you--the Quintett and the Sonata. I shall despatch in a few days through
a courier who leaves this, the Quintett as well as the Sonata, so that
you will be able to correct both works. Not having heard from you of the
receipt of either, I thought the matter had fallen to the ground. Have I
not been wrecked once before in this year through Neate? I wish you
could try to get me the fifty ducats; I have reckoned upon receiving
them, and, indeed, have many ways for my money. Enough for to-day, only
let me tell you that I have almost concluded a new Mass; let me know
what you could do with it in London; but that soon, very soon, and soon
too let me have the money for both the works. I will write more fully
another day. In haste, your true and sincere friend,




Vienna, April 6, 1822.

My dearest Ries,

I have been ill again for the last six months and more, and thus could
never answer your letter. I have received the £26, and am sincerely
obliged to you for them, but your Symphony dedicated to me has not
arrived. My greatest work is a grand Mass, which I have lately written,
&c. &c. Time presses to-day, so I say only the needful; what might the
Philharmonic Society offer me for a Symphony?

I will think of coming to London, if my health would but permit
it--perhaps next spring! You would find in me a master who truly
appreciates the pupil, in his turn become a great master, and who knows
how, and in what way, the art might be benefited from our acting
jointly. I am as ever completely devoted to my muses, and this alone can
ensure me happiness. I act for others, too, as best I may. You have two
children--I have one (my brother's son)--but you are married,
consequently your two cannot be as expensive as my one.

Now, farewell; kiss your fair lady, until I may perform this solemn act
in person.

Your sincere friend,


P.S. Be quick in letting me have your dedication, that I may show off in
return, which I mean to do as soon as I have received yours.



Vienna, December 20, 1822.

My dear Ries,

I have had so much business on hand, that I could not send you a reply
to your letter of the 15th of November. I gladly accept the request of
the Philharmonic Society to write a new Symphony for them; although the
terms offered are not what they ought to be, and what the English might
afford, in comparison to other nations.

If I _could_ but get to London, what would I not write for the
Philharmonic Society! for, Heaven be praised, Beethoven _can_ write,
although he can do nothing else. If it please God to restore my health,
which is somewhat improved, I may yet avail myself of the several
proposals made to me from the different parts of Europe, and even from
North America, and thus might I once more be put in a flourishing

Yours, &c.,




[Extract of a letter, the beginning of which is nowhere to be found.]

* * * Do get matters speedily arranged for your poor friend; I expect
your travelling plan too;[187] I can bear up no longer; I am in for it,
deeper than ever; should I not go, look you, there is a _crimen læsæ_!
Since you seem to wish for a dedication of mine, I am quite ready to
gratify you; much more ready than I should be for any great man--for the
greatest, _entre nous_.

The d----l knows where one might fall into their hands. You will
receive the new Symphony (the ninth with choral parts) with the
dedication to yourself. I hope at length to get possession of yours to
me. "B" is to open the letter to the king (George the Fourth) he took
charge of, and he will see what has been written to the king about the
Battle of Vittoria; the enclosed letter to him[188] contains the same;
but there is no longer a question about the Mass. Let our amiable friend
B. try and get me at least a battle-axe or a turtle; the printed copy of
the score of the Battle is, of course, also to be given to the King.
This letter puts you to great expence,[189] pray deduct it from what you
have to send me; how much I regret being so troublesome to you! The Lord
be with you. Best love to your wife, until I come myself. Have a care;
you think I am old; I am an old youngster.

Ever yours,




Vienna, February 25, 1823.

My dear friend,

Ries tells me you wish to have three Quartetts of me, and I now write,
to beg you will let me know about what time they are to be ready, as I
am fully satisfied with your offer of a hundred guineas for them; only
let me beg of you, to send me a cheque for that sum, upon one of our
banking-houses, so soon as I shall let you know that the Quartetts are
finished, and I will, in my turn, deliver them to the same banker upon
the receipt of the hundred guineas. I trust you are enjoying to the full
the blessings of a family life; would I could have the pleasure of
becoming an eye-witness to your happiness! I have sent Ries a new
Overture for the Philharmonic Society, and am only waiting the arrival
of a cheque for the new Symphony, to forward him that too, through our
Austrian embassy. You will find in the bearer, Mr. A. Bauer, a man
equally intelligent and amiable, who can give you a full account of my
doings. Should my health improve,[190] I mean to visit England in 1824;
let me know what you think about it. I should be delighted to write for
the Philharmonic Society, to see the country and all its distinguished
artists; and as to my pecuniary circumstances, they too might be
materially benefited by this visit, as I feel that I shall _never_ make
anything in Germany. My name on the address of letters is sufficient
security for their reaching me. With every kind wish for your welfare,
believe me

Your sincere friend,




Vienna, April 25, 1823.

Dear Ries,

The cardinal (Archduke Rudolph) has been staying here for a whole month;
and as I had to give him two hours and a half's lesson per day, I was
robbed of much time, besides feeling, the day after such lessons,
scarcely able to think, much less to write.

My distressed circumstances, however, require that I should instantly
write that which will procure money, sufficient for the moment. What a
sad discovery this must be to you! And, moreover, all my troubles have
caused me to be unwell--have given me sore eyes. But do not be alarmed;
you will shortly receive the Symphony. Indeed it is all brought on by
these miserable circumstances. You will also receive, a few weeks hence,
thirty-three new Variations on a subject (a Valse Op. 120) dedicated to
your wife. Bauer (first secretary to the Austrian embassy) has the score
of the "Battle of Vittoria," which was dedicated to the then Prince
Regent, and for which I have still to receive the copying expenses. Now
I beg of you, dear friend, to send me, as soon as possible, a draught
for the amount of whatever you may be able to get me for it. You and I
know the publishers well.

With regard to your tender conjugal point, you will always find me in
direct opposition to yourself, and decidedly taking the lady's part.

Ever your friend,




Hetzendorf, near Vienna, July 16, 1823.

My dear Ries,

The receipt of your letter, the day before yesterday, gave me great
pleasure. I suppose you have got the Variations by this time. I could
not write the dedication to your wife, as I do not know her name. Pray
make it in the name of your own and your wife's friend, and let her be
surprised with it, on its coming out. The fair sex is fond of that sort
of thing. Between ourselves, the great charm of the _beautiful_ lies in
its coming upon us unawares.

With regard to the Allegri di Bravura, I shall pardon yours. To say the
truth, I am no friend to that species of writing, calculated to promote
mechanism all too much, in those at least which I know. I have not
looked at your's yet, but shall inquire for them at ----, with whom I beg
you will not communicate without great prudence. Might I not be your
agent here for many things?

These publishers are certainly acting up to their name by _publishing_
your works; but you get nothing by such publicity, which is only a
_reprint_. Matters might perhaps be differently managed. I shall
certainly send you a few chorusses; and, if required, produce a few new
ones. They are quite my hobby.

Many thanks for the produce of the _Bagatelles_. I am quite content with
it. Do not give anything to the King of England. Take whatever you can
get for the Variations: I shall be satisfied anyhow. But one thing I
must stipulate, that I shall positively take no other reward for the
dedication to your wife than a kiss to be received by me in London. You
sometimes write guineas, whereas I receive but pounds sterling, and I
understand there is a difference.[191] Do not be angry at this, with a
_pauvre musicien autrichien_; but indeed my situation is a difficult
one. I am likewise writing a new violin Quartett. Might that too be
offered to the musical or unmusical London Jews?--_en vrai juif_. With
the sincerest embrace,

Your old friend,




Vienna, Sept. 5, 1823.

My dear good Ries,

I still continue without news of the Symphony, yet you may depend upon
it ... will soon reach London. Were I not so poor as to be obliged to
live by my pen, I should not take anything of the Philharmonic Society.
As it is, I must certainly wait until my terms for the Symphony be made
payable here. Wishing, however, to prove my confidence and affection for
this Society, I have already sent off the new Overture. I leave it to
the Society to settle for it at its own rate. My worthy brother
(Johann), who keeps his carriage, thought fit to draw upon me too; and
has consequently offered this same Overture, unknown to me, to a London
publisher, Boosey. Pray tell him, my brother was mistaken with regard to
the Overture. He bought it of me to carry on usury with it, as I
perceive.--_O frater!_ As yet I have not seen anything of your Symphony
dedicated to me. Did I not consider this dedication as a kind of
challenge, demanding satisfaction on my side, I should by this time have
inscribed some work to you. As it is, I thought I ought by rights to see
your work first; and how I wish I could in any way show you my
gratitude! I am deep in your debt for so many proofs of attachment and
active kindness.

Should my health improve by a proposed course of bathing, I shall
embrace your wife in 1824 in London.

Ever yours,


     [The following three letters are given as originally written in
     French, not in Beethoven's own hand, but signed by himself:]--



Vienne, le 15 Janvier, 1825.

Ce fut avec le plus grand plaisir que je reçus votre lettre du ... par
laquelle vous avez eu la bonté de m'avertir que la Société
Philharmonique distinguée d'artistes m'invite à venir à Londres. Je
suis bien content des conditions que me fait la Société, seulement je
désire de lui proposer de m'envoyer, outre les 300 guinées qu'elle me
promet, encore 100 guinées pour faire les dépenses du voyage; car il
faudra acheter une voiture; aussi dois-je être accompagné de quelqu'un.
Vous voyez bien que cela est nécessaire; d'ailleurs je vous prie de
m'indiquer l'auberge où je pourrai descendre à Londres.

Je prendrai un nouveau Quatuor avec moi. Quant au bruit dont vous
m'écrivez, qu'il existe un exemplaire de la 9^{ème} Symphonie à Paris,
il n'est point fondé. Il est vrai que cette Symphonie sera publiée en
Allemagne, mais point avant que l'an soit écoulé, pendant lequel la
Société en jouira.

Sur ce point il faut encore vous avertir de ne faire que de petites
preuves de cette composition, en Quatuor par exemple, car c'est la seule
manière d'étudier bien une belle oeuvre; les choeurs, avant tout,
doivent être exercés. Il y a encore quelques erreurs, dont je vous
enverrai le catalogue par la poste prochaine.

Il me semble avoir été oublié dans la 2de partie de la Symphonie,
qu'à la répétition du minor après le Presto il faut commencer de nouveau
du signe [Illustration: musical sign, "segno"] et continuer sans
répétition jusqu'à la Ferma, alors on prend aussitôt la Coda.

Je vous prie de me répondre au plus vite possible, car on demande de moi
une grande composition nouvelle, que je ne commençerai cependant pas,
sans avoir votre réponse. Il faut que j'écrive toujours, pas pour me
faire des richesses,--seulement pour pourvoir à mes besoins.

Or je dois avoir de la certitude sur ce point.--Je serai bien charmé de
vous voir, et de connoitre la noble nation Anglaise.

Je suis, avec la plus haute consideration,


Votre sincere ami,




Vienne, le 19 Mars, 1825.

Mon très cher ami!

Je ne pourrai guère venir à Londres durant le printemps, mais qui sait
quel accident m'y conduit peut-être en automne. J'espére que vous vous
trouvez bien dans votre famille, et en bonne santé. Quant aux Quatuors,
dont vous m'écrivez dans vos lettres, j'en ai achevé le premier, et je
suis à présent à composer le second, qui, comme le troisiéme, sera
achevé dans peu de temps. Vous m'offrez 100 guinées pour 3 Quatuors, je
trouve cette proposition bien généreuse. Il se demande seulement, s'il
m'est permis de publier ces Quatuors après un an et demie, ou deux
ans.[192] C'est ce qui serait tres avantageux pour mes finances. En ce
qui concerne la manière de simplifier l'envoiement des Quatuors, et de
l'argent de votre part, je vous propose de remettre les oeuvres à
Messrs. Fries & Co., qui témoigneront à vous même, ou à quelque banquier
de Londres, d'être possesseurs des Quatuors, et qui vous les remettront
aussitôt après l'arrivée de l'argent.

Voici une affaire, par laquelle vous pouvez me prouver votre amitié. Je
vous prie seulement de me répondre au plus-tôt possible. Je me fie
toujours à votre amitié pour moi, et vous assure que vous pouvez faire
de même à moi.

Je suis, avec la plus grande consideration,

Votre ami,




Vienne, le 25 May, 1825.

Mon ami!

Je crois nécessaire de vous écrire encore une fois. Je vois dans la
lettre que vous m'avez écrite il y a deux ans, que l'honoraire des
Quatuors est £100 sterling. Je suis content de cette offre, mais il est
nécessaire de vous avertir, que le 1er Quatuor est si cherché par les
plus célèbres artistes de Vienne, que je l'ai accordé à quelques uns
d'eux pour leur benefice. Je crois tromper votre amitié en ne vous
avertissant point de cette circonstance, parceque vous pouvez aussi en
faire usage à Londres. Or si vous me repondez que vous êtes content des
propositions que je vous ai faites dans ma lettre dernière, je vous
enverrai aussitôt le 1er Quatuor; cependant je vous prie d'accélerer
votre resolution, puisque les éditeurs desirent vivement de le posseder.
Cependant vous n'avez point de remettre l'honoraire qu'après avoir reçu
l'assurance de ma part, que les 2 autres Quatuors sont achevés.
Seulement je vous prie d'ajouter à votre lettre l'assurance de votre
contentement en ce qui concerne mes offres. Voilà ce que j'ai cru devoir
vous dire. Je crois vous avoir fait une complaisance, et je suis
certain que vous ferez le même envers moi. Conservez votre amitié pour

Je suis, avec le plus grand estime,

Votre ami sincère,




Vienna, April 9, 1825.

Dear worthy Ries,

The needful in all haste! In the score of the Symphony which I sent you
(it is the ninth with choruses), there stands, as far as I remember, in
the first oboe in the 242nd bar,--

It should be thus:

[Illustration: musical notation]

instead of

[Illustration: musical notation]

I have looked over the whole of the parts, with the exception of the
brass band--that only in part--and I trust they must be tolerably
correct. I would willingly have sent you the score,[193] but I have a
concert before me, and the only score I possess is my manuscript. The
concert, however, depends upon my health; for I must soon set off to the
country, where alone I can prosper at this time.

You will soon receive the _Opferlied_, copied a second time; and I beg
you will mark it as corrected by myself, that it might not be used
together with the one you have already by you. This song gives you an
idea of the miserable copyist I have had ever since _Schlemmer's_ death.
There is scarcely a note in which I can trust him. As you have already
had all the written parts of the finale of the Symphony, I have now sent
you the second choral parts. You can easily have these scored from
before the beginning of the chorus; and at the commencement of the
vocal, it will be quite easy to have the instrumental parts prefixed to
the second vocal ones: it will require a little reflection. It was
impossible to write all this at once; and, had we hurried such a
copyist, there would have been errors upon errors. I have sent you an
Overture in C, 6/8 time, not yet published: the printed parts, too, you
will receive by the next post. The _Kyrie_ and _Gloria_ (two of the
principal pieces of the _Messe Solemnelle_), in D major, are likewise on
their way to you, together with an Italian vocal Duet. You will receive,
besides these, a grand March with chorusses, well fitted for grand
musical performances.[194] Another grand, and as yet unknown, Overture
might come forth, but I fancy you have enough of these.

Farewell, in the land of the Rhine, ever dear to me.[195] Every
enjoyment of life attend you and your wife. The most friendly
remembrances to your father.

From your friend,


No. III.


       *       *       *       *       *

On the 7th of May, 1824, a grand musical performance took place at the
Kärnthnerthor Theatre. The leaders of the music were Kapellmeister
Umlauf and M. Shuppanzigh, and the great composer himself assisted on
the occasion. He took his place at the side of the principal leader,
and, with his original score before him, indicated the different
movements and determined the precise manner in which they were to be
given; for, unfortunately, the state of his hearing prevented him from
doing more. The theatre was crowded to excess, and the sensation caused
by the appearance of this great man was of a kind that is more easy to
imagine than to describe. The arrangement of the pieces performed was as
follows:--1st, Beethoven's Grand Overture in C major; 2nd, Three Grand
Hymns, with solo and chorus parts, from his New Mass, never before
performed; 3rd, a Grand New Symphony, with a finale, in which are
introduced a solo and chorus part from Schiller's _Lied an die Freude_
(Song of Joy). This also was performed for the first time, and is
Beethoven's last composition. We shall offer a few observations on each
of these in the order of their performance.

With respect to the Overture, it indisputably belongs to the most
finished of his compositions. The introductory _Andante_ is throughout
of the most simple, noble, and masterly kind, and the rather lengthened
_Allegro_ that follows is full of brilliant fancy: it is in the free
fugue style, in three parts, each of which is sustained with equal power
and effect. It is never monotonous, its form is constantly varying
without in any manner sacrificing unity of effect; without the smallest
rest point, the interest is constantly kept up; it flows along in a
stream of harmony always pure and limpid; but it certainly presents an
arduous task to the performer. It is thus that Handel would have
written, had he had at his disposal the rich orchestra of our times; and
it is only a spirit congenial with that of the immortal author of the
Messiah that could succeed in treading in the footsteps of this giant of
the art. The Three Hymns are principal portions of the New Mass which
Beethoven has lately composed. The first, which was the _Kyrie Eleison_,
is in D major, a movement full of fire and deep religious feeling. The
_Christe_ that followed is in triple time, and full of happy effects of
counterpoint; the return to the first measure of the _Kyrie_ is managed
in a masterly manner, and the whole terminates in harmonics of a very
singular and touching character. But altogether the effect is not so
much that of children supplicating a parent, which is the true intent of
the words, in the place in which they stand, as the deep and mournful
supplications of a people humbled in the dust.

The treatment of the _Credo_ that follows is in the highest degree
original and uncommon. Both the principal key, B flat major, as well as
the time, change perhaps too often, so that the ear is scarcely able to
comprehend the suddenness of the effects intended to be produced. At the
_consubstantialem patri_, a short but very powerful figure commences;
the _incarnatus est_ is a movement of very pathetic effect, and the
tender and touching passage, _passus et sepultus est_, with its well
placed dissonances in the violin accompaniment, is not to be described.
Well imagined and sustained, the strongly figured movement at the
entrance of the contra-theme is somewhat quickened, but the first
_moderato_ again returns. The Amen opens with a broad and richly
ornamented passage; it swells into splendid effect, and terminates in a
long dying fall. If it were permitted in a church composition to speak
of effect in the same manner as in a secular production, it cannot be
denied that this retarding kind of conclusion tends to weaken the
powerful impression produced by the preceding bolder results; especially
when no reasonable cause can be assigned for such a mode of conclusion,
unless it be the determination of a composer to differ from all the rest
of the world. Who does not feel himself inspired by those brilliant
Fugues with which a Naumann, a Haydn, and a Mozart terminate their
compositions of this kind, which seem as if on the wings of seraphs to
waft the soul towards heaven? The character of the _Agnus Dei_, in B
minor, is solemn and tender, and the introduction of four French horns
tends to heighten the effect in an extraordinary degree. The _Dona_ in D
major, 6/8 time, passes into an _Allegretto_ movement of feeling, and
advances in beautiful imitations, till suddenly the passage changes, and
the kettle-drums, like distant thunder, intone the deep _pacem_.[197] A
soprano solo introduces the second _Agnus Dei_ in a kind of recitative,
and a chorus, strengthened by trumpets, precedes the tremendous
_Miserere Nobis_. The effect of the latter is singular in the extreme,
and when we reflect upon the sentiments intended to be expressed, we
scarcely know whether to praise or blame.

With respect to the new Symphony it may, without fear, stand a
competition with its eight sister works, by none of which is the fame of
its beauty likely to be eclipsed; it is evidently of the same family,
though its characteristic features are different--

                      facies non omnibus una
    Non diversa tamen, qualem debet esse sororum.--OVID.

The opening passage is a bold _Allegro_ in D minor, full of rich
invention, and of athletic power; from the first chord till the gradual
unfolding of the colossal theme, expectation is constantly kept alive
and never disappointed. To give a skeleton of this composition would be
scarcely practicable, and, after all, would convey but a very faint idea
of the body; we shall therefore only touch upon some of the more
prominent features, among which is a _Scherzo_ movement (D minor) full
of playful gaiety, and in which all the instruments seem to contend with
each other in the whim and sportiveness of the passage; and a brilliant
March in the vivid major mode, forms a delightful contrast with the
passages by which it is introduced. Whoever has imagined in hearing the
_Andante_ of the 7th Symphony, that nothing could ever equal, not to
say surpass it, has but to hear the movement of the same kind in the
present composition in order to change his sentiments. In truth, the
movement is altogether divine, the interchanges and combinations of the
motives are surprising, the tasteful conduct of the whole is easy and
natural, and in the midst of the rich exuberance of the subject, the
simplicity that prevails throughout is truly admirable. But it is in the
Finale that the genius of this great master shines forth most
conspicuously. We are here, in an ingenious manner, presented with a
return of all the subjects in short and brilliant passages, and which,
as in a mirror, reflect the features of the whole. After this a singular
kind of recitative by the contra-basses introduces a _crescendo_ passage
of overwhelming effect, which is answered by a chorus of voices that
bursts unexpectedly in, and produces an entirely new and extraordinary
result. The passages from Schiller's "Song of Joy" are made admirably
expressive of the sentiments which the poet intended to convey, and are
in perfect keeping with the tone and character of the whole of this
wonderful composition. Critics have remarked of the Finale, that it
requires to be heard frequently in order to be duly appreciated.

At the conclusion of the concert Beethoven was unanimously called
forward. He modestly saluted the audience, and retired amidst the
loudest expressions of enthusiasm. Yet the feeling of joy was tempered
by a universal regret, to see so gifted an individual labouring under an
infliction the most cruel that could befal an artist in that profession
for which Nature had destined him. We have no doubt but the master will
consider this as one of the proudest days in his existence; and it is to
be hoped that the testimony of general feeling which he has witnessed
will tend to soothe his spirit, to soften down some of its asperities,
and to convince him that he stands upon a pinnacle far above the reach
of envy and every malignant passion.

Both singers and instrumental performers acquitted themselves on this
interesting occasion in a manner that is deserving of the highest
praise. Of the worthy Kapellmeister Umlauf, who undertook the conduct of
this great work, and M. Shuppanzigh, a master of known abilities, who
led the band, it is but justice to say that their zeal, knowledge, and
talents deservedly obtained them the most conspicuous place and the
merited thanks of their brother artists. The impracticability of
devoting sufficient time for the number of rehearsals that were
necessary, in order to do justice to music which is at once new and of
so lofty a character, made it impossible to give it with that
precision, and those delicate shades of forte and piano, which are
required to do them justice.

The deep and general feeling which this concert, in honour of the great
master of the modern art in Germany, excited, together with the
disappointment experienced by many who were unable to obtain admission,
induced the Director of the Theatre to make an offer to the composer of
a certain consideration if he would condescend once more to appear in
public, and assist at a repetition of the same music. With this request
he complied; and in addition to the pieces before performed, he offered
them a manuscript Terzetto, with Italian words, which was accordingly
performed, and considered by the numerous Italian amateurs in Vienna as
a kind of compliment paid by the composer to themselves. The performance
went off with still greater _éclat_ than on the former occasion, and
this new composition was hailed by all with no less enthusiasm than the
other works.

No. IV.


When Beethoven's reputation had attained the highest point at Vienna,
his dislike to playing in society was so ungovernable that he used
completely to lose his temper in consequence; and would often come to
see me in the most melancholy mood, complaining that play he _must_,
although he felt the blood tingling in his fingers. By degrees I used to
draw him into a conversation of a more cheerful tendency, and always
succeeded in ultimately pacifying him. This object attained I used to
drop all discourse, sit down to my writing-desk, and thus oblige
Beethoven to take the chair next to me, for the purpose of further
conversation--that chair being the one used at the piano. The vicinity
of the instrument soon led him to strike some chords at random, whence
sprung the most beautiful melodies. Oh! why did I not more fully
understand him! Wishing to possess a manuscript of his, I more than once
put before him on the desk some music-paper, seemingly without
intention; it was always filled, but when he had done this, he folded
it and put it into his pocket, leaving me to laugh at my own
miscalculation. He never permitted me to say much, if anything, about
his playing on these occasions, and always went away an altered being,
ready to come back to me. His antipathy to playing in company, however,
remained unshaken, and was frequently the cause of the greatest quarrels
between him and his friends and patrons.

       *       *       *       *       *

Haydn had been anxious that Beethoven should write on the titles of his
early works "_pupil of Haydn_;" to this Beethoven objected, saying, that
although he had received some instructions from Haydn, yet _he had never
learnt anything of him_. Beethoven during his first stay at Vienna had
been Mozart's pupil for a short time, but used to complain of this great
master never having played to him. Albrechtsberger gave him instructions
in counterpoint, and Salieri in dramatic music. I was well acquainted
with these three men; they all agreed in their regard for Beethoven, as
well as in their opinion of his mode of learning. Each said Beethoven
had always been so obstinate and self-willed, that his own hard earned
experience often had to teach him those things the study of which he
would not hear of; this was more especially affirmed by Albrechtsberger
and Salieri. The dry rules of the former, and the less important ones of
the latter on dramatic composition (in the old Italian school), would
not excite any interest in Beethoven; we may therefore be allowed to
doubt Seyfried's "incontrovertible evidence" as given in his Studies,
that "Beethoven devoted his two years' _apprenticeship_ with
Albrechtsberger with unremitting perseverance to his theoretical

       *       *       *       *       *

Ries says, in his Notizen, page 87, Beethoven had promised the three
Sonatas for piano-forte solo (Op. 31), to Nägeli of Zurich, whilst his
brother Carl (Caspar), who alas! always would interfere in his affairs,
wanted to sell them to a Leipsic publisher. The brothers used to have
frequent disputes on this subject, Beethoven being determined to keep
his promise. At the time of sending off these Sonatas, Beethoven lived
in Heiligenstadt. He was one day walking with his brother when a new
quarrel arose between them on this subject, which actually ended in
blows. The next day he gave me the Sonatas to be sent off to Zürich
without delay; he had at the same time written to his brother, and sent
the letter under cover to Stephen Breuning for perusal. I never heard a
lecture given more forcibly and more good-naturedly than that which
Beethoven here preached to his brother, on his conduct of the preceding
day. He began by showing it to him in its true and most despicable
light--then forgave him everything--but warned him that if he valued his
own future happiness, he must alter his life and conduct altogether. His
letter to Breuning on this occasion was no less beautiful than the

       *       *       *       *       *

As a proof of Beethoven's extraordinary faculties it may here be quoted,
that, at the first rehearsal of his piano-forte Concerto in C major,
which took place at his house, his piano proved to be half a tone lower
than the wind instruments. He immediately desired these to tune in B
instead of A, whilst he himself played his part in C sharp.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ries gives us a curious instance of the manner in which the great master
showed his originality. He says it is in the first movement of the
Sinfonia eroica that Beethoven has vented his spleen upon the horn.
Previous to the motivo returning in the second part, he has indicated it
through the horn whilst the two violins hold on the chord of the second.
Those who are not initiated into this secret of the score, must ever
think the horn-player had miscounted, and made a wrong entry. At the
first rehearsal of this Symphony, which was a stormy one, and where the
horn-player came in correctly, I stood next to Beethoven, and, taking it
for granted that the horn-player was wrong, I said "Listen to that
stupid fellow--can he not count--it sounds wretchedly!" I think my ears
narrowly escaped being boxed, and Beethoven did not for some time
forgive me.[198] He played the same evening his piano-forte Quintett
with wind instruments. Ram, the celebrated oboe-player of Munich, played
also, and accompanied the Quintett. At one of the pauses in the last
Allegro, previously to the subject coming on again, Beethoven of a
sudden began to extemporize, taking the Rondo for his subject, thus
amusing himself and his audience for some time. Not so his wind
instruments; these lost their temper, particularly Mr. Ram, who was much
incensed. It was indeed ludicrous to see these gentlemen, who were
constantly expecting to recommence, putting up their instruments, and as
quickly taking them down again. At length Beethoven was satisfied, and
returned to the Rondo, the whole company being in raptures.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Funeral March of the grand Sonata, Op. 26, in a flat minor,
dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky, owes its existence to the high encomiums
which were bestowed by Beethoven's friends on Paer's Funeral March in
his Opera of "Achilles."[199]

       *       *       *       *       *

On Steibelt coming from Paris to Vienna, several of Beethoven's friends
were afraid lest the great reputation of the former should be injurious
to Beethoven. Steibelt did not call upon him, and they first met at
Count Fries's where Beethoven performed his new Trio in B major for
piano, clarionet, and violin (Op. 11) for the first time; the player not
having here an opportunity for display. Steibelt listened with a kind of
condescension, and paid Beethoven some every-day compliment, thinking
himself secure in his triumph. He played a Quintett of his own, and an
extempore Fantasia, and produced much effect by the novelty of his
tremulandos. Beethoven was not to be persuaded into a second
performance. At a concert, which took place a week later at Count
Fries's, Steibelt again played a Quintett with much success, and had,
moreover, got up for the occasion (as was palpably felt) a brilliant
Fantasia, upon the very subject of the variations in Beethoven's Trio:
this so incensed his admirers and himself that he was made to
extemporize; he went up to the instrument in his usual, I may say
uncouth manner, being half pushed towards it, took _en passant_ the
violoncello part of Steibelt's Quintett, laid it (intentionally?) upside
down on the desk, and drummed a subject, beginning at the first bars
with one finger; but having been excited and offended at the same time,
he gave us such a performance as to make Steibelt quit the room ere he
had done, declaring he would never meet Beethoven again, and indeed
making Beethoven's non-appearance a condition to those who desired to
have him.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven usually put off to the very last moment such compositions as
were to be ready at a stated period; thus he had promised the celebrated
horn-player, Ponto, to write a Sonata for piano-forte and French horn
(Op. 17), and play it with him at Ponto's concert; this had been
publicly announced, never having been commenced till the day before the
concert, and was terminated for the performance.

       *       *       *       *       *

The celebrated Sonata in A minor, Op. 47, with violin-concertante,
dedicated to Kreuzer, had originally been written for Bridgetower, an
English performer, and much in the same manner, although the first
Allegro was finished in good time. Bridgetower urged him on to set about
it, his concert being announced, and he anxious to study his part. I was
suddenly called to Beethoven one morning at half-past four, and he
said--"Write out this violin part of the first Allegro with all haste"
(his usual copyist was already employed): he had but slightly sketched
the piano-forte part, and Bridgetower played that lovely subject with
variations in F major, from Beethoven's own manuscript, at eight in the
morning at his concert in the 'Augarten'--there being no time to copy
it. The last Allegro 6/8 A major, had, on the contrary, been beautifully
copied both in the violin and piano-forte part, having originally
belonged to the first Sonata, Op. 30, in A major, dedicated to the
Emperor Alexander; he deemed it too brilliant for this work, and
substituted those variations which we still find in it.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven esteemed Mozart and Handel most of all composers, and next to
them S. Bach. If ever I found him with music in his hand, or on his
desk, it was sure to be that of one of these mighty men. Haydn rarely
escaped without a side cut, partly perhaps from a former grudge he bore
him, and of which the following may be a cause:--Beethoven's three
Trios, Op. 1, were to be first ushered into the world of cognoscenti at
one of Prince Lichnowsky's soirées. All those distinguished in the art
had been invited, and Haydn amongst the number; _his_ judgment being
anxiously looked up to. The Trios were played and at once created a
great sensation. Haydn, too, expressed himself with much satisfaction to
Beethoven, advising him, however, _not_ to publish the third in C
minor, whilst he, considering this the best,[200] was much struck by
Haydn's advice, leaving him under the impression of being envied and
looked upon rather in jealousy than as a friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

If, in playing to him, I made a mistake in passages, or if I happened to
strike a _wrong_ note where he required a particularly accentuated one,
he seldom said anything; but if I showed any want of expression, if I
omitted a _crescendo_, &c., or if I did not succeed in rendering the
character of the piece, he became incensed: the former, he said, was
chance; but the latter, want of knowledge, of feeling, or of attention.
Indeed, he himself might often be reproached with the former defect,
even when playing in public.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the second Symphony in D major, the manuscript score of which
Beethoven gave me, something very striking occurs, in the Larghetto
quasi Andante. This Larghetto is so beautiful, so clear and bright, and
the harmony so pure, that the hearer could not imagine it had ever been
altered. The plan had indeed been the same from the beginning, but, in
the second violin, as well as in many parts of the tenor, there are
considerable alterations in the accompaniments, the original thoughts
having been so carefully effaced as to render it impossible for me to
trace them in spite of all the pains I took to that effect. On
questioning Beethoven about it, he drily retorted, "_It is better

       *       *       *       *       *

During a walk which I took with Beethoven, I was talking to him of two
consecutive fifths which occur in one of his earliest violin-Quartetts
in C _minor_, and which, to my surprise, sound most harmoniously.
Beethoven did not know what I meant, and would not believe they _could_
be fifths. He soon produced the piece of music-paper which he was in the
habit of carrying about with him, and I wrote down the passage with its
four parts. When I had thus proved myself to be right, he said, "Well,
and who forbids them?" Not knowing what to make of this question, I was
silent, and he repeated it several times, until I at length replied, in
great amazement, "Why, it is one of the very first rules." He, however,
still repeated his question, and I answered, "Marpurg, Kirnberger,
Fuchs, &c. &c.--in fact, all theorists." "Well, then, _I_ permit them,"
was his final answer.

       *       *       *       *       *

While Beethoven was playing with me at Count Brown's his three Marches
for two performers, Op. 45, P---- was carrying on a loud and merry
conversation with a beautiful young lady seated in the doorway near the
ante-room. Beethoven made several attempts to silence them, and when
these proved fruitless, suddenly and in the midst of playing lifted my
hands off the keys, jumped up and said, loud enough to be heard by
everybody, "I do not play for such swine." All attempts to make him
return to the piano proved fruitless, nor did he permit me to play any
more. The music ceased accordingly, to the vexation of every person

       *       *       *       *       *

The following was the cause of his breaking with Himmel. They had met
one day, and Beethoven sat down to extemporise at Himmel's request,
afterwards desiring him to do the same; Himmel was weak enough to
consent, and, after having played for a considerable time, Beethoven
exclaimed, "Well, when are you going to begin in good earnest?" Himmel,
who had thought wonders of his own performance, started up at these
words, and both became rude to each other. Beethoven said to me, "I
thought Himmel had just been preluding." They made it up afterwards, and
Himmel could forgive but not forget; they even carried on a
correspondence for some little time, but at last Himmel played Beethoven
a sad trick. The latter always wanted to have the last news from
Berlin, which somewhat annoyed Himmel, who at length wrote to him--"The
latest piece of news is the invention of a lantern for the blind."
Beethoven carried this piece of intelligence abroad, and all the world
wished to know how this might possibly be. He immediately wrote to
_Himmel_, and reproached him with not having sent a full explanation.
The answer received, but which I cannot here impart, was such as finally
closed their correspondence; all that was ludicrous in the letter fell
to Beethoven's share, and yet he was so imprudent as to show it to
several persons.

One of our country excursions led us on so far that we did not return to
Döbling (Beethoven's residence) till eight o'clock. He had been humming
to himself the whole way, and keeping up a kind of howling, up and down,
without articulating any distinct sounds. Upon asking him what he meant,
by this, he said "I have just thought of a subject for the last movement
of the Sonata (in F minor, Op. 57). On entering the room, he ran up to
the piano without taking off his hat. I sat down in a corner, where he
soon forgot me, and for the next hour he went on storming over the keys
until the Finale, such as we now admire it, was struck out. At length he
got up, and, surprised at still finding me there, said, "I cannot give
you a lesson to-day, I must work."

Beethoven once laid down a serious plan for a joint and very extensive
tour, where I was to have arranged the concerts and played all his
Concertos and other works. He himself would have conducted and
extemporised only. The latter was in fact the most extraordinary
performance that could be witnessed, especially when he was in good
spirits, or otherwise excited. I never heard any one come near the
height which Beethoven had attained in this branch of execution. The
stores of thought which crowded upon him, the caprice by which he was
led on, the variety of treatment, and the difficulties, whether
accidental or called forth by himself, were inexhaustible.

       *       *       *       *       *

As we were one day talking of subjects for Fugues at the conclusion of a
lesson, I sitting at the piano and he next to me, I began to play the
subject of the first Fugue of Graun's "Death of Jesus." Beethoven soon
played it after me, first with the left hand, and then bringing in the
right, he worked it up for more than half an hour without the slightest
interruption. I am still at a loss to think how he could bear his
uncomfortable position; but his inspiration made _him_ insensible to
external impressions.

On Clementi's coming to Vienna, Beethoven was going to call upon him;
but his brother persuaded him that Clementi ought to pay him the first
visit; this he would probably have done, although much the older of the
two, had there been no gossip about it. As it was, Clementi had been at
Vienna for some time, before he knew Beethoven even by sight. At one
time we used often to dine at the "Swan," at one and the same
table--Clementi with his pupil Klengel, Beethoven with me: we knew each
other, but did not speak or even bow, as by so doing we might either of
us have forfeited our lessons; for my own part, I know this must have
been the case, as Beethoven never held a middle course.

The Sonata in C major (Op. 53), dedicated to his first patron, Count
Waldstein, had originally a long Andante. A friend of Beethoven's
pronounced this Sonata to be too long, which brought him a volley of
abuse in return; upon quietly weighing the matter, however, my master
convinced himself of the truth of his assertion. He then published the
grand Andante in F major, 3/8 time, separately, and afterwards composed
the highly interesting introduction to the Rondo, such as it now stands.
This Andante will ever bring a sad recollection to my mind. When
Beethoven played it for the first time to his friend Krumpholz and me,
we were so delighted with it, that, by dint of begging, we got him to
play it over again. On my return home, as I passed Prince Lichnowsky's
door, I went in, to tell him of Beethoven's beautiful new composition,
and was now compelled to play the piece as far as I could remember it.
As I went on, I remembered more and more of it, so that the Prince made
me try the whole over again: by this means he too learnt part of it,
and, thinking to afford Beethoven a surprise, he walked into his room
the next day, saying, "I too have composed something which is not bad."
Beethoven firmly declared he would not hear it; but in spite of this the
Prince sat down and played the greater part of the Andante, to the
amazement of the composer. He was so incensed at this that he vowed he
never would play to me again; no, nor even in my presence, and often
required of me to leave the room on that account. One day, as a small
party were breakfasting with the Prince after the concert at the
"Augarten" (at eight in the morning), Beethoven and I being present, it
was proposed that we should drive to Beethoven's house to hear his new
opera "Leonora," which had never been performed. Upon our arrival,
Beethoven desired me to leave, and as the earnest solicitations of all
present were of no avail, I did go, but with tears in my eyes. The whole
party noticed it, and, Prince Lichnowsky following my steps, desired I
would remain in the ante-room, and he would make up the matter, of which
he considered himself to have been the cause. Of this, however, my
wounded pride would not hear. I learnt afterwards that Lichnowsky had
reproached Beethoven with great violence, as after all it was only the
Prince's love for the great composer's works which brought about the
whole occurrence, and consequently Beethoven's wrath too; but all this
tended only to make matters worse, as he now declined playing to the
company assembled.

       *       *       *       *       *

The third of his Violin-Quartetts in _D major_ (Op. 18) was first
composed, and the one in F, now the first, had originally been the

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven had scarcely travelled at all; he had in his younger years,
towards the close of the century, been to Presburgh, Pesth, and once to
Berlin. Although his manner was alike to men, whether of the highest or
the lowest conditions, yet he was by no means insensible to the
civilities of the former. Whilst at Berlin he played several times at
court (in the reign of King Frederick William II.), and there composed
the two Sonatas with violoncello _obligato_ (Op. 5) for himself and
Duport, first violoncello to the king. Beethoven was presented, on his
departure, with a gold snuff-box filled with louis-d'ors, and he used to
relate with much complacency, that it was no common box, but such as is
usually given to ambassadors.

       *       *       *       *       *

He used to see a good deal of Himmel, whom he set down as having a
pleasing talent, but nothing more; his piano-forte playing he called
elegant and agreeable, but said he must not be compared to Prince Louis
Ferdinand. He paid the latter, as he thought, a great compliment, by
telling him he did not consider him anything like a royal or princely
performer, but a famous piano-forte player.

       *       *       *       *       *

During Prince Ferdinand's stay at Vienna, the old Countess ---- gave a
musical _soirée_ to a few friends,--Beethoven amongst the number; but at
supper there was a table laid for the Prince and the highest nobility
alone, and no cover for Beethoven. He took fire, uttered some coarse
expressions, and took his hat and left the house. A few days later
Prince Louis gave a dinner-party, to which the old Countess had been
invited. On sitting down, places were assigned to the Countess on one,
to Beethoven on the other side of the Prince, a distinction which he
always talked of with great pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *

My father's letter of introduction to Beethoven contained at the same
time a credit to a small amount, should I stand in need of it. I never
made use of it, but whenever he found my cash running low he sent me
money unsolicited, and never would allow me to refund it to him; he
really loved me, and in one of his absent fits gave me a singular proof
of it. On my return to Silesia, where I had been as pianist to Prince
Lichnowsky, upon Beethoven's recommendation, he was in the act of
shaving just as I entered his room, soaped up to his very eyes, to which
his excessively strong beard extended. On perceiving me, he started up
and embraced me with so much cordiality, that he effectually transferred
every particle of the soapy substance from his left cheek to my right.
How we did laugh at this!

       *       *       *       *       *

One evening, on coming to Baden to continue my lessons, I found
Beethoven sitting on the sofa, a young and handsome lady beside him.
Afraid of intruding my presence, which I judged might be unwelcome, I
was going to withdraw, but Beethoven prevented me, saying, "You can play
in the mean time." He and the lady remained seated behind me. I had been
playing for some time, when Beethoven suddenly exclaimed, "Ries, play us
an _Amoroso_;" shortly after "a _Malinconico_;" then an
"_Appassionato_," &c. From what I heard I could guess that he had in
some way given offence to the lady, and was now trying to make up for it
by such whimsical conduct. At last he started up, crying, "Why that is
my own, every bit!" I had all along been playing extracts from his own
works, linked together by short transitions, and thus seemed to have
pleased him. The lady soon left, and I found to my utter astonishment
that Beethoven did not know who she was. I learnt that she had come in
shortly before me to make his acquaintance. We followed her steps to
discover her residence, and thence her rank; we saw her at a distance,
the moon shining brightly, but found that she suddenly disappeared. We
extended our walk through the lovely valley for the next hour and a
half; on leaving him that night, he said, "I _must_ find out who she is,
and you must help." I met her a long time afterwards at Vienna, when I
discovered her to be the mistress of some foreign prince. I communicated
the news to Beethoven, but never heard anything more concerning her,
either from him or any one else.

       *       *       *       *       *

I never saw more of Beethoven than whilst I lodged at a tailor's, who
had three most beautiful daughters, of irreproachable conduct. It is to
this he alludes when he thus concludes his letter of July 24, 1804: "Do
not tailor too much, make my respects to the fairest of the fair, and
send me half-a-dozen needles."

Beethoven took lessons of Krumpholz, on the violin, at Vienna; and when
first I knew him,[201] we used to play his Sonatas with violin together.
This was, however, wretched music, for in his zealous ecstasy he did not
perceive that he had missed the right fingering of the passages.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven was most awkward and helpless, and his every movement
completely void of grace. He seldom laid his hand upon anything without
breaking it: thus he several times emptied the contents of the inkstand
into the neighbouring piano. No one piece of furniture was safe with
him, and least of all a costly one: he used either to upset, stain, or
destroy it. How he ever managed to learn the art of shaving himself
still remains a riddle, leaving the frequent cuts visible in his face
quite out of the question. He never _could_ learn to _dance_ in time.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven's Violin Quintett (Op. 29), in C _major_, had been sold to a
publisher at Leipzig, but was stolen at Vienna, and suddenly appeared at
Artaria & Co.'s. Having been copied in one night, it had innumerable
mistakes, and whole bars had been left out. Beethoven behaved on this
occasion with a degree of policy of which we in vain look for a second
example in his life. He required Artaria to send me fifty printed copies
for correction, but desired me at the same time to be so lavish of the
ink upon the coarse paper, and to draw my pen so thickly through some of
the lines, as to render it impossible for Artaria to sell or use any one
of these copies. The corrections applied chiefly to the _Scherzo_. I
kept strictly to Beethoven's request; and Artaria, to avoid a law-suit,
was compelled to melt down the plates.

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven was very forgetful in most things. Count Browne having
presented him with a beautiful horse, in return for the dedication of
the Variations in A _major_ (No. 5, on a Russian air), he rode it a few
times, but soon forgot it, and, what is worse, its food also. His
servant, who became aware of this, began to hire out the horse for his
own profit; and, to avoid Beethoven's noticing this, he purposely kept
back the bills for provender until at last a tremendously long one
reached him. This at once recalled to his memory both his horse and his

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven was at times exceedingly passionate. One day when I dined with
him at the "Swan," the waiter brought him a wrong dish. Beethoven had no
sooner uttered a few words of reproof (to which the other retorted in no
very polite manner), than he took the dish, amply filled with the gravy
of the stewed beef it contained, and threw it at the waiter's head.
Those who know the dexterity of Viennese waiters in carrying at one and
the same time numberless plates full of different viands, will conceive
the distress of the poor man, who could not move his arms, while the
gravy trickled down his face. Both he and Beethoven swore and shouted,
whilst all the parties assembled roared with laughter. At last Beethoven
himself joined the chorus, on looking at the waiter, who was licking in
with his tongue the stream of gravy which, much as he fought against it,
hindered him from uttering any more invectives; the evolutions of his
tongue causing the most absurd grimaces. The picture was worthy a

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven scarcely knew what money was, which frequently caused
unpleasant scenes; for, being suspicious by nature, he would fancy
himself deceived without a cause. Irritable as he was, he used to call
the people cheats, an appellation which had often to be atoned for by a
_douceur_ to the waiters. At those hotels which he mostly frequented
they became at last so well acquainted with his fits of absence or
eccentricity, that they would let him do anything, and even allow him to
leave without having paid his reckoning.

       *       *       *       *       *

As to Beethoven's posthumous manuscripts, I have my doubts about, them.
The "OEuvres Posthumes" will not be acknowledged as such by me, unless
I see them attested in his own hand-writing. My reasons are the

Firstly. Because, during the time of my stay with him, from the year
1800 until November, 1805, and on my return to Vienna in 1809, there was
no one manuscript in his possession. Beethoven was in arrears with works
up to his death.

Secondly. All such trifles and things which he never meant to publish,
as not considering them worthy of his name, were secretly brought into
the world by his brothers. Such were the Songs, published when he had
attained the highest degree of fame, composed years before at Bonn,
previous to his departure for Vienna; and in like manner other trifles,
written for albums, &c., were secretly taken from him and brought out.

Thirdly. As most of his letters addressed to me whilst in England speak
of pecuniary distress, why should he not have sent me manuscripts, if
possessed of any?

Again. After having succeeded--and that not without trouble--to get the
Philharmonic Society of London to order three Overtures of him, as their
exclusive property, he sent me three, not one of which we could use. The
public was naturally led to anticipate great things from such a name as
Beethoven's: he was expected to produce works of no common order for
these concerts, and such alone could the Society bring forward. He
published the three Overtures three years later, and the Society did not
think this worth a prosecution. The Overture to the "Ruins of Athens"
was one of the three. I think it unworthy of him.

Had Beethoven possessed better productions amongst his manuscripts, he
would doubtless have sent them to this Society: this his letters clearly
prove. His frequent assertion too, that he could live by his pen, makes
me doubt the genuineness of the three posthumous piano-forte Quartetts
published by Artaria. I never could convince myself that they were his.

Beethoven could not possibly have cobbled together from old themes his
gigantic work, the Three Sonatas, Op. 2, which he dedicated to Haydn,
and which at once excited so great a sensation in the musical world, any
more than he could in later years have misapplied those themes for
flimsy, ill-written Quartetts; for, till his death, his genius was
incessantly productive of originality.

No. V.


(Extracted from Seyfried's Work, "Beethoven Studien," &c.)

Beethoven should by no means be offered as a model for directors of
orchestras. The performers under him were obliged cautiously to avoid
being led astray by their conductor, who thought only of his
composition, and constantly laboured to depict the exact expression
required by the most varied gesticulations. Thus, when the passage was
loud, he often beat time downwards, when his hand should have been up. A
diminuendo he was in the habit of making by contracting his person,
making himself smaller and smaller; and when a pianissimo occurred, he
seemed to slink, if the word is allowable, beneath the conductor's desk.
As the sounds increased in loudness, so did he gradually rise up, as if
out of an abyss; and when the full force of the united instruments broke
upon the ear, raising himself on tiptoe, he looked of gigantic stature,
and, with both his arms floating about in undulating motion, seemed as
if he would soar to the clouds. He was all motion, no part of him
remained inactive, and the entire man could only be compared to a
_perpetuum mobile_. When his deafness increased, it was productive of
frequent mischief, for the maestro's hand went up when it ought to have
descended. He contrived to set himself right again most easily in the
piano passages, but of the most powerful fortes he could make nothing.
In many cases, however, his eye afforded him assistance, for he watched
the movements of the bows, and, thus discovering what was going on, soon
corrected himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among his favourite dishes was bread soup, made in the manner of pap, in
which he indulged every Thursday. To compose this, ten eggs were set
before him, which he tried before mixing them with the other
ingredients; and if it unfortunately happened that any of them were
musty, a grand scene ensued; the offending cook was summoned to the
presence by a tremendous ejaculation. She, however, well knowing what
might occur, took care cautiously to stand on the threshold of the door,
prepared to make a precipitate retreat; but the moment she made her
appearance the attack commenced, and the broken eggs, like bombs from
well directed batteries, flew about her ears, their yellow and white
contents covering her with viscous streams.

He never walked in the streets without a notebook, in which he entered
whatever occurred to him at the moment. If the conversation accidentally
turned upon this habit, he parodied the words of Joan of Arc,--"Without
my colours I must not come," and with undeviating firmness observed the
self-imposed law. But his regularity was confined to this: the most
exquisite confusion reigned in his house; books and music were scattered
in all directions; here the residue of a cold luncheon--there some full,
some half-emptied bottles; on the desk the hasty sketch of a new
quartett; in another corner the remains of breakfast; on the piano-forte
the scribbled hints for a noble Symphony, yet little more than in
embryo; hard by, a proof-sheet, waiting to be returned; letters from
friends, and on business, spread all over the floor; between the windows
a goodly Stracchino cheese, and on one side of it ample vestiges of a
genuine Verona salami; and, notwithstanding all this confusion, he
constantly eulogised, with Ciceronian eloquence, his own neatness and
love of order! When, however, for whole hours, days, and often weeks,
something mislaid was looked for, and all search had proved fruitless,
then he changed his tone, and bitterly complained that everything was
done to annoy him. But the servants knew the natural goodness of their
master; they suffered him to rave, and in a few moments it was all
forgotten, till a similar occasion renewed the scene.

       *       *       *       *       *

He himself often joked about his almost illegible characters, and used
to add, by way of excuse, "Life is too short to paint letters or notes,
and fairer notes would hardly rescue me from poverty" (punning upon the
words _Noten_ and _Nöthen_). The whole of the morning, from the earliest
dawn till dinner-time, was employed in the mechanical work of writing;
the rest of the day was devoted to thought, and the arrangement of his
ideas. Scarcely had the last morsel been swallowed, when, if he had no
more distant excursion in view, he took his usual walk; that is to say,
he ran in double-quick time, as if hunted by bailiffs, twice round the
town. Whether it rained, or snowed, or hailed, or the thermometer stood
an inch or two below the freezing point--whether Boreas blew a chilling
blast from the Bohemian mountains, or whether the thunder roared and
forked lightnings played,--what signified it to the enthusiastic lover
of his art, in whose genial mind, perhaps, were budding, at the very
moment when the elements were in fiercest conflict, the harmonious
feelings of a balmy spring!

       *       *       *       *       *

Beethoven permitted himself but rarely, even among his intimate
friends, to express his opinions of contemporary artists. His own words,
however will attest what he thought of the four following masters:--

"Cherubini is, in my opinion, of all the living composers, the most
admirable. Moreover, as regards his conception of the Requiem, my ideas
are in perfect accordance with his, and some time or other, if I can but
once set about it, I mean to profit by the hints to be found in that

"C. M. Weber began to learn too late; the art had not time to develop
itself, and his only and very perceptible effort was, to attain the
reputation of geniality.

"Mozart's Zauberflöte will ever remain his greatest work, for in this he
showed himself the true German composer. In Don Giovanni he still
retained the complete Italian cut and style, and moreover the sacred art
should never suffer itself to be degraded to the foolery of so
scandalous a subject.

"Handel is the unequalled master of all masters! Go, turn to him, and
learn, with few means, how to produce such effects."

"What is Rossini?" he was once asked. He immediately wrote in answer, as
after he became deaf, he spoke but little,--"A good scene-painter."

During his last illness it was found necessary to draw off the water,
and during the operation he observed, "Rather water from my body than
from my pen."

       *       *       *       *       *

He received a flattering invitation from a musical society to compose a
Cantata, the request being accompanied by a portion of the sum to be
paid for the work. Beethoven accepted it. For a very long time, however,
nothing more was heard of him. Then came, couched in the most delicate
terms, a letter to remind him of his engagement, signed, in consequence
of the absence of the president of the society, by his locum tenens
(_Stellvertreter_). The reply was--"I have not forgotten; such things
must not be hurried; I shall keep my word.--Beethoven, MP.[202]
(Selbstvertreter) se ipsum tenens!"

Alas! he _could not_ keep his word.

       *       *       *       *       *

If he happened not to be in the humour, it required pressing and
reiterated entreaties to get him to the piano-forte. Before he began in
earnest, he used sportively to strike the keys with the palm of his
hand, draw his finger along the key-board from one end to the other, and
play all manner of gambols, at which he laughed heartily.

During his summer residence at the seat of a Mecænas, he was on one
occasion so rudely pressed to exhibit before the stranger guests, that
he became quite enraged, and obstinately refused a compliance which he
considered would be an act of servility. A threat that he should be
confined a prisoner to the house--uttered, no doubt, without the
slightest idea of its being carried into execution--so provoked
Beethoven, that, night-time as it was, he ran off, upwards of three
miles, to the next town, and thence travelling post, hurried to Vienna.
As some satisfaction for the indignity offered him, the bust of his
patron became an expiatory sacrifice. It fell, shattered into fragments,
from the book-case to the floor.

       *       *       *       *       *

During one of my visits to Vienna, my brother, who is a resident of
Prague, made a journey expressly to see me; and one morning, finding I
had an appointment with Beethoven, was exceedingly anxious to get a
sight of a man of such celebrity, whom he had never yet had an
opportunity of seeing. It was very natural that I should wish to gratify
his curiosity, but I told him, that although he was my own brother, yet
I knew the peculiarities of the man so well, that nothing could induce
me to commit the indiscretion of an introduction. He was, however, too
intent upon his wish to let the opportunity escape without a further
endeavour, and said that, surely, I might allow him to call, as if in
furtherance of another appointment which we had mutually made. To this I
consented, and off we went to Beethoven's, where I left my brother in
the passage below to wait the issue of our arrangement. I remained with
Beethoven about half an hour, when taking out my watch and looking at
it, I hastily wrote in his conversation-book that I had a particular
appointment at that hour, and that I apprehended my brother was still
waiting below to accompany me. Beethoven, who was sitting at the table
in his shirt-sleeves, instantly started from his seat, and quitting the
room with precipitation, left me in no little embarrassment, wondering
what was to follow. In a minute afterwards back he came, dragging in my
brother by the arm, and in a hurried manner forced him into a seat. "And
is it possible," said he, "that you, too, could think me such a bear as
not to receive your brother with kindness?" My brother, who had before
received some vague insinuations that the renowned composer was not at
all times in his sober senses, looked as pale as ashes, and only began
to regain his self-possession on hearing the question which Beethoven so
kindly, yet so reproachfully, asked me; for it appeared that the latter
had rushed precipitately down the stairs, and, without saying a word,
seized my brother by the arm and dragged him up stairs as if he had
caught hold of a criminal. No sooner was my brother fairly seated than
he behaved in the most kind and obliging manner towards him, pressing
him to take wine and other refreshments. This simple but abrupt act
clearly shows, that however strange his manners were, he had at heart
that kindly and good feeling which ever accompanies genius. If we were
to take the external manner for the internal man, what egregious
mistakes should we often make!--ED.

No. VI.


     gift made to Beethoven by the Philharmonic Society of London.



Vienna, March 24, 1827.

My dear good Moscheles,

You must not be surprised at the difference of date between these two
letters. I wished to retain Beethoven's for a few days, because, on the
day after that letter was written, _i. e._ the 19th of March, we had
every reason to fear that our great master was about to breathe his
last. This event, however, has not yet happened, but by the time you
read these lines, my good Moscheles, our friend will be no longer among
the living. His dissolution approaches with rapid steps, and indeed it
is the unanimous wish of us all to see him released from his dreadful
sufferings. Nothing else remains to be hoped for. One may indeed say
that, for the last eight days, he has been more like a dead than living
man, being able only now and then to muster sufficient strength to ask a
question, or to inquire for what he wanted. His condition appears, to
all accounts, to be very similar to that which was lately endured by the
Duke of York. He is in an almost constant state of insensibility, or
rather of stupor; his head hanging down on his chest, and his eyes
staringly fixed for hours upon the same spot. He seldom recognises his
most intimate acquaintances, and requires to be told who stands before
him. This is dreadful to behold, but only for a few days longer can such
a state of things last: since yesterday all the natural functions of the
body have ceased; he will, therefore, please God, soon be released, and
we shall no longer have to behold his sufferings.

Crowds of people flock to his abode, to see him for the last time,
though none are admitted, except those who are bold and audacious enough
to molest the dying man in his last hours.

We have been so fortunate as to arrange everything respecting his last
will, though there is hardly anything left but a few pieces of old
furniture and some manuscripts. He had in hand a Quintett for stringed
instruments, and the tenth Symphony, of which he makes mention in his
letter to you. Of the Quintett there are two movements entirely
finished, and it was intended for Diabelli.[203]

The day immediately succeeding the receipt of your letter he was in
extremely good spirits, and talked much of the plan of the Symphony,
which was to have proved so much the more grand, as it was intended for
the Philharmonic Society. He has frequently spoken of a journey to
England as soon as he should recover, and had calculated how he and
myself could live most economically on the tour. But, good God! his
journey will probably lead him much further than to England. When he
found himself a little relieved, he amused himself with reading the
ancient Greek authors; also several of Walter Scott's novels. As soon as
your consolatory letter had reached him, all his melancholy thoughts,
and all his dread of future misery at once vanished. He cheerfully said,
"Now we may again occasionally treat ourselves with a merry day." His
funds had been already nearly exhausted, and he had consequently been
obliged for some time past to retrench his table, which grieved him more
than anything else. He immediately desired to have his favourite dish of
fish, even if it were only that he might taste of it. The exaltation of
his mind is indeed so great, that he at times borders upon the childish.
We were also obliged to procure for him a great arm-chair, which cost
fifty florins, on which he rests daily at least for half an hour, whilst
his room and bed are arranging. His caprice, or rather obstinacy, are,
however, excessive; just as ever: and this falls particularly hard upon
me, since he wishes to have absolutely nobody about him but myself. And
what remained for me to do in this, but to give up my teaching and my
whole business, in order to devote all my time to him? Everything he
eats or drinks I must taste first, to ascertain whether it might not be
injurious for him. However willingly I do all this, yet this state of
things lasts too long for a poor devil like myself. Whatever there
remains of the thousand florins, we intend to apply in defraying the
expenses of a respectable interment, which shall be performed without
parade in the churchyard near Döbling,[204] where he ever delighted to

As early as during your last visit to this city,[205] I stated to you
the condition of Beethoven's finances, but did not at that time
apprehend that we were to see this excellent man so soon arrive, and
thus miserably too, at his last moment.

    [Interval of some hours.]

I have just left Beethoven. He is certainly dying; before this letter is
beyond the walls of the city, the great light will have become extinct
for ever. He is still in full possession of his senses. The enclosed
lock I have just cut from his head. I hasten to despatch the letter, in
order to run to him. God bless you!

Your most sincere friend,




Vienna, March 28th, 1827.

Dear Friend,

Beethoven is no more; he departed this life, in a most painful struggle
and with dreadful sufferings, on the 26th instant, between five and six
o'clock P.M., after having been insensible for the last twenty-four

And now as to the state of his affairs. My last letter to you spoke of
nothing but the extreme want and poverty in which he was, according to
his own statements, and yet, when an inventory of his effects was taken,
in my presence, we found, in an old, half-mouldy box, no less than
seven bank-shares. Whether Beethoven had hidden these intentionally (for
he was naturally mistrustful, and hoped for a speedy recovery), or
whether their possession had escaped his own memory, is a problem which
I do not venture to solve.

The sum of one thousand florins, as sent by the Philharmonic Society,
was found untouched. I laid claim to it in conformity with your
instructions, but was obliged to deposit it with the magistrates until
further notice from the Society as to its final disposal. I would not
consent to their defraying the burial expenses out of this money without
the Society's authorization to that effect. Should you have it in your
power to dispose of any part of the money, pray let it be done in favour
of the two old servants who have attended the patient with the utmost
care and devotedness, and who--poor faithful creatures!--have been
entirely forgotten in the will, Beethoven's nephew being named his sole
heir.[206] As to the present which Beethoven intended sending to the
Philharmonic Society, you will hear of it in due time from Mr.
Schindler. Let me know soon and circumstantially what steps I am to
take, and you may rely upon my conscientiousness in fulfilling your
wishes. Beethoven will be buried on the 29th, and an invitation to
attend the funeral has been sent to all professors of the different
chapels and theatres. The body will be borne by twenty composers, and as
many more will be torch-bearers; Grillparzer has written a most
affecting address to be spoken by Anschütz at the grave; indeed,
everything which could be done to render the solemnity worthy of the
deceased seems to be in preparation. * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Your friend,



Extract of a Letter from


Vienna, September 14th, 1827.

My dear Friend,

I avail myself of the departure for London of Mr. Levisey, the English
courier, to write, and also intrust to his care a memorial of our friend
Beethoven, since in your last you wished for a manuscript of some
well-known composition of the great master: well, here is the end of the
Scherzo of the last Symphony, and along with it one of those memorable
sketch-books which Beethoven used mostly to fill in the open air, and
afterwards to write his scores from them at home; I was so fortunate as
to rescue several of them, and to me they are of the deepest interest,
since they are scarcely intelligible to the uninitiated. I must tell you
that the one I send contains sketches of one of his last Quartetts; and
should you ever hear that work, you will no doubt recognise some of the
passages, written down at full length. I believe I cannot better prove
you my friendship than by sending you this relic, the first and only one
I shall ever part with. Mr. L----r informs me he has already sent you
Beethoven's portrait; I trust it is _that_ lithograph in which he is
represented sitting and writing, as all others are bad; on the sheet of
paper before him stands _Missa solemnis_. I meant to send you all this
together through Mr. Clementi, whose acquaintance I made at Baden, but
he left before I was aware of it. * * * * * * *

Most sincerely, your friend,




Vienna, February 15, 1828.

Dear Friend,

I send you enclosed a letter from the guardian of Beethoven's nephew,
who is named his sole heir, by which you will see that matters are
drawing to a close. I was requested, officially, to make a deposition
respecting the thousand florins which the Philharmonic Society of London
had given to Beethoven, but not having heard from you to that effect,
and not wishing to take any responsibility upon myself, I requested a
delay sufficient to allow of my writing and receiving your answer. The
guardian's letter will at once show you how matters stand.[207] And now
between ourselves. If you _could_ induce the directors to give up the
thousand florins it would save much trouble, and perhaps a lawsuit.
Even Dr. Eltz and Baron Eskeles think it would be most difficult to
identify the thousand florins found in Beethoven's possession at his
death with those sent by the Society, the more so as Hofrath Breuning,
who had been appointed to take the inventory, has died since. Should the
money, however, contrary to all expectations, be required back again, it
will be necessary for the Philharmonic Society to send Dr. Eltz a legal
writ, empowering him to proceed for them, and at their expense: this
might indeed eat up the whole sum. Pray write _soon_ and _most
explicitly_. * * * * * *

Your friend,


No. VII.


The 29th of March, 1827, was fixed upon for the funeral of the lamented
Beethoven. The following fac-simile of the card (on the opposite page)
relative to the funeral may not be uninteresting to the reader.

                Translation of the Card.
                 LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN'S

    Which will take place on the 29th of March, at three o'clock in
                   the afternoon.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The company will assemble at the lodgings of the deceased, in the
      Schwarz-spanier House, No. 200, on the Glacis, before the
                             Scotch Gate.

    The procession will thence go to Trinity Church, at the
              Fathers' Minorites in Alser Street.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The musical world sustained the irreparable loss of this celebrated
         composer about six o'clock in the evening of the
                        26th of March, 1827.

    BEETHOVEN died of dropsy, in the 56th year of his age, after
                  receiving the Holy Sacraments.

    The day of the exequies will be made known hereafter by

Admirers and Friends."

                 _Ludwig van Beethoven's_
    _welches am 29. März um 3 Uhr Nachmittags Statt finden wird_.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Man versammelt sich in der Wohnung des Verstorbenen im
    Schwarzspanier-hause, Nr. 200, am Glacis vor dem Schottenthore.

    Der Zug begibt sich von da nach der Dreifaltigkeits-kirche
       bei den P. P. Minoriten in der Alsergasse.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Die musikalische Welt erlitt den unerfeßlichen Verlust des
    berühmten Tondichters am 26. März 1827 Abends gegen 6 Uhr.

    Beethoven starb an den Folgen der Wassersucht,
              im 56. Jahre seines Alters,
          nach empfangenen heil. Sacramenten.

    Der Tag der Exequien wird nachträglich bekannt gemacht von

L. van Beethoven's
Berehrern und Freunden.,

(Dieser Karte wird in Lob, Haslingers Musikalienhandlung vertheilt.)

This card having been largely distributed, all the necessary
arrangements for the funeral were made with the utmost zeal and
promptitude by Mr. Haslinger, the music publisher, and Messrs. Schindler
and Hart, friends of the deceased. The morning was fine; and at an early
hour crowds of people began to assemble on the Glacis of Alservorstadt,
the quarter of the town in which Beethoven resided. Towards the middle
of the day, the numbers had increased to upwards of twenty thousand
persons of all classes; and so great was the pressure round the
residence of the deceased, that it was found necessary to close the
gates of the court-yard, where, under an awning, stood the coffin raised
upon a bier, and surrounded by mourners. At half-past four the
procession began to move, the way having been cleared by a body of the
military. Eight principal singers of the Opera-house--Eichberger,
Schuster, Cramolini, A. Müller, Hoffmann, Rupprecht, Borschitzky, and A.
Wranitzky--had offered to carry the coffin on their shoulders. After the
priest had pronounced some prayers, the singers performed a highly
impressive Funeral Chant by B. A. Weber, and the whole procession moved
forward in the following order:--

1. The cross-bearer; 2. Four trombone-players--the brothers Böck, Waidl,
and Tuschky; 3. The master of the choir, M. Assmayer; and, under his
direction, 4. A choir of singers--M. Tietze, Schnitzer, Gross, Sikora,
Frühwald, Geissler, Rathmeyer, Kokrement, Fuchs, Nejebse, Ziegler,
Perschl, Leidl, Weinkopf, Pfeiffer, and Seipelt, which, alternately with
the trombone quartett, performed the Miserere. This walking orchestra
was immediately followed by, 5. The high priest; 6. The coffin, borne by
the above-mentioned opera-singers, and attended by the chapel-masters---
Eybler, Hummel, Seyfried, and Kreutzer, on the right, and Weigl,
Gyrowetz, Gänsbacher, and Würfel, upon the left, as pall-bearers. On
both sides, from the beginning of the procession to the coffin, were the
torch-bearers, thirty-six in number, consisting of poets, authors,
composers, and musicians, among whom were M. Grillparzer, Anschütz,
Bernard, Castelli, Mayseder, C. Czerny, J. Böhm, Linke, Hildebrand,
Schuppanzigh, Holz, Katter, Krall, Baron Lannoy, J. Merk, F. Schubert,
Riotte, Schoberlechner, Steiner, Haslinger, Sig. Lablache, David,
Radichi, Mechetti, Meric, Pacini, Meier, Schick, Schmidl, Streicher,
Weidman, Wolfmeyer, C. Graf, Raimund, Piringer, Grünbaum, &c.; the whole
in full mourning, with white roses and bunches of lilies fastened to the
crape on their arms. Next followed Beethoven's brother, and M. von
Breuning, (one of the earliest friends of the deceased, and the executor
of his last will,) the pupils of the Conservatorio, and the scholars of
Kapellmeister Drechsler, (the thorough-bass teacher of St. Ann's,) all
deeply lamenting the loss which the musical world had sustained.

As the procession approached the church, the _Miserere_[208] was entoned
to an original melody of the deceased, with an accompaniment of four
trombones. The history of this striking composition is as follows:--When
Beethoven was, in the autumn of 1812, visiting his brother, at the time
an apothecary in Linz, he was requested by M. Glögll; Kapellmeister of
the cathedral, to compose some movement of a solemn kind for the
approaching festival of All Souls. Beethoven willingly undertook the
task, and wrote a piece, entitled _Equale a quatro Tromboni_, remarkable
for the originality of the harmonies, and its faithful imitation of the
genuine antique style.[209]

On the morning of the 26th of March, 1827, when all hope of Beethoven's
recovery had been given over, Mr. Haslinger repaired with it to
Kapellmeister Seyfried, with a request that he would adapt the words of
the Miserere to this _Equale_, that, the body of the prince of musicians
might be accompanied to its everlasting rest by his own creations. M.
Seyfried, in pursuance of this idea, undertook the work, which was
finished the night following Beethoven's death, with infinite judgment
and good taste. The movements were arranged for four voices (two tenors
and two basses) and four trombones.

On reaching the church, the body was placed on a bier at the foot of the
high altar, when, after the usual prayers, was sung the solemn anthem
_Libera me Domine, de morte eterná_, composed by Kapellmeister von
Seyfried, in the genuine ecclesiastical style. On quitting the church,
the coffin was placed in a hearse drawn by four horses, which proceeded
towards the burial-ground at Währing, followed by a line of more than
two hundred carriages. On reaching the gates of the cemetery, the
following poem, from the pen of Grillparzer, was recited by Anschütz,
the tragedian, in a very feeling manner:--

    'Tis done! A master-spirit of the age
      Has pass'd away to his eternal rest:
    Henceforth his name belongs to history's page,
      Enroll'd with men the noblest and the best.
    Yet, though his name does to all time belong,
      Ye lately heard and saw the wond'rous man,
    Ye heard his living voice, his living song,
      And to receive his dying accents ran.
    Then deep in mem'ry treasure up his form:
      That brow, though stern, with sweetest fancies fraught,
    That eye with inspiration kindling warm,
      That bosom labouring with the force of thought.
    And ye, to whom it was not given to view
      His living lineaments with wond'ring eye,
    May in his tones behold him pictured true,
      In breathing colours that can never die.
    Yes: he could paint, in tones of magic force,
      The moody passions of the varying soul--
    Now winding round the heart with playful course,
      Now storming all the breast with wild control.
    Forthdrawing from his unexhausted store,
      'Twas his to bid the burden'd heart o'erflow:
    Infusing joys it never knew before,
      And melting it with soft luxurious woe!
    We came his funeral rite to celebrate,
      Obedient to fond love and duty's call;
    But on this moment such proud feelings wait,
      It seems a joyous birthday festival.
    He liveth! It is wrong to say he's dead:--
      The sun, though sinking in the fading west,
    Again shall issue from his morning bed,
      Like a young giant vigorous from his rest.
    He lives! for that is truly living, when
      Our fame is a bequest from mind to mind:
    His life is in the breathing hearts of men,
      Transmitted to the latest of his kind.

Baron von Schlechta and M. Castelli read short but eloquent poems to the
sorrowing multitude, and, before the grave was closed, M. Haslinger put
into the hands of M. Hummel three wreaths of laurel, which were dropped
upon the coffin. The mourners waited till the earth was smoothed over
the grave. All the visitants in turn took a last farewell of the mortal
remains of a great genius, and returned home in silence, the shades of
evening having by this time gathered around.

On the 3rd of April, 1827, a solemn tribute was paid to the memory of
Beethoven at the imperial church of St. Augustin by the performance of
Mozart's _Requiem_, in which the great singer Lablache sung the bass
part, in a manner that produced a deep impression and shows him to be a
profound artist: the whole terminated with the solemn _Miserere_ and
_Libera_ of Kapellmeister von Seyfried. On the 5th of April, 1827, was
performed, in the church of St. Charles, the whole of Cherubini's
celebrated _Requiem_, admirably executed under the direction of
Kapellmeister Hummel. A musical performance also took place, by way of
opening a subscription for a monument to Beethoven. It commenced with
the celebrated Pastoral Symphony of the lamented master, which was
followed by a _Kyrie_ from his second Mass in D. From the Abbé Vogler's
celebrated _Missa pro defunctis_, were given the _Dies iræ_, the
_Sanctus_, and _Benedictus_. The whole closed with Catel's Overture to
_Semiramis_. The selection was admirably performed, and the object
proposed adequately fulfilled.






    Ad . Triste . Mortis . Nuncium.
    Omnes . Flevere . Gentes.
    Coelitum . Choro.


    FATO mortalis; VITA bonus; ARTE perennis,
    MORTE suum MORIENS eximit ipse decus.



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[Illustration: AMPLIUS.]

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It was in the summer of the year 1837 that the citizens of Bonn, who had
for the last two years been actively engaged in raising funds for the
erection of a monument to Beethoven in his native city, addressed Lord
Burghersh, through the Baron von Schlegel, president of their managing
committee, in the following letter:--

     My Lord,

     Monsieur le Baron de Bulow has encouraged me to address your
     Lordship on behalf of the proposed monument to Ludwig van
     Beethoven, in his native town of Bonn. This project has been most
     favourably entertained in Germany: we have received the profits of
     many concerts given for this purpose in the small as well as large
     towns, besides private subscriptions; nevertheless, our means are
     still insufficient for the execution of a monument in all respects
     worthy of this great genius. Besides, his glory would remain
     imperfect if we did not obtain for it some conspicuous support
     from abroad, and especially from London, which has become one of
     the principal places in Europe in which music is cultivated in the
     greatest perfection. A public concert, given in that capital, in
     aid of the monument to Beethoven, would complete our wishes.

     If a connoisseur and patron of talent like your Lordship would
     deign to encourage such an undertaking, distinguished artists will
     zealously assist, and the numerous admirers of Beethoven will not
     refuse their aid to do honour to his memory.

     Having had the honour, in former times, of being received by your
     Lordship, and of being present at your brilliant musical
     entertainments in Florence and in London, I gladly avail myself of
     this occasion to recal myself to your kind recollection; and I beg
     you to accept the expression of my devotion and of the great
     respect with which

I have the honour to be,

My Lord,

Your most obedient and humble servant,



Bonn, May 21st, 1837.

Lord Burghersh, taking up the matter with the utmost zeal, addressed an
appeal to the principal musical institutions of London, which in their
turn showed their readiness to promote the object in view.

At a meeting of the professors belonging to the Ancient Concert, the
co-operation of the members of that body was unanimously granted, Mr.
Knyvett and Mr. Cramer being deputed to act as its representatives. A
like course was adopted by the Philharmonic Society, which nominated Sir
George Smart and Mr. Moscheles in a similar capacity; Mr. Mori and Sig.
Costa were appointed by the orchestra of the Italian Opera to express
the adherence of that body; and Messrs. Potter and C. Lucas, at the
suggestion of Lord Burghersh, on the part of the disposable forces of
the Royal Academy. Several of the principal English and foreign
vocalists then in London offered their co-operation with the utmost
willingness and liberality. Mr. Bunn granted the use of Drury Lane
Theatre, and on the 19th of July, 1837, under the management of a
committee presided over by Lord Burghersh, assisted by the Right Hon.
the Earl of Cawdor and the Right Hon. Sir Gore Ouseley, Bart., and
formed of the members of the musical bodies above specified, a grand
concert was given, the following account of which is extracted from the
musical journals of the day.

The performance which took place at Drury Lane Theatre on Wednesday
evening was but thinly attended, owing to a variety of causes, among
which may be noticed the dissolution of Parliament and the approaching
elections, the lateness of the season, and, we fear, the high terms
demanded for admission, namely, half-a-guinea the boxes, seven shillings
the pit, and five shillings the gallery. In a musical point of view it
realised the highest expectations that could have been formed of it; for
assuredly it was the noblest entertainment of this description that ever
was given in England. But considered with respect to its object, it has
unfortunately been a failure, the attendance having been too small to
produce any substantial contribution to the fund. This circumstance must
have, in some measure, diminished the enjoyment which the admirers of
Beethoven derived from the performance of some of his greatest
masterpieces. But it did not damp the ardour of the performers. They
evidently exerted themselves _con amore_; and we have never heard music
performed with greater care, energy, or effect.

Nothing could have surpassed the splendour of the orchestra on this
occasion, which was erected upon the stage, and the back of it was as
high as the second tier of boxes. The principal singers were arranged in
front; the chorus, consisting of 112 voices, on each side; the
conductor in the centre. The band consisted of fifty violins, twelve
violas, twelve violoncellos, eleven double basses, twenty-five wind
instruments, &c., making a total of 110 instruments, and a grand total
of about 230 performers. The soli performers were Mesdames Schroeder
Devrient, Bishop, Knyvett, Birch, Wyndham; Messrs. Braham, Bennett,
Balfe, Seguin, and H. Phillips. The conductors, Sir George Smart, Mr.
Moscheles, and Mr. Knyvett; the leaders, Messrs. F. Cramer, Loder, and
T. Cooke.

The selection combined: Part I. The Mount of Olives. Part II. The Choral
Symphony. Part III. Overture Egmont.--Canon from Fidelio.--Concerto in E
flat (pianoforte, Mr. Moscheles).--Grand scena in E.--And Finale from

The Mount of Olives, which formed the first act, was given entire for
the first time in England. The solo parts were sung by Mrs. Knyvett,
Mrs. Bishop, Miss Birch, Mr. Braham, Mr. Phillips, and Mr. Bennett.
Braham was in perfect voice, and had his voice perfectly under his
command. He sang, indeed, so well, that the principal performers in the
orchestra could not refrain from offering him their friendly and hearty
congratulations. The band was led by F. Cramer, and conducted by Sir
George Smart.

Beethoven's great Choral Symphony formed the second act. It was
admirably performed, and received with immense applause. Schroeder
sang with a power and truth which only the music and a kindred genius
could have supported. Mr. Moscheles' performance of the noble Concerto,
and his conducting the Choral Symphony, have been already mentioned in
these pages. Both were beyond commendation. The choralists in "Here
seize him," and the "Hallelujah," were very effective; the former (which
is a similar movement to the pistol scene in the "Fidelio") was
unanimously encored.

So far the journals. That the pecuniary result of this concert should
have fallen short of what might be anticipated from such a cause and
such assistance, must have had its cause in the lateness of the season
and the recent death of King William the Fourth. The clear profits of
this concert, together with some donations, amounted to only 100_l._! No
doubt that many of Beethoven's admirers in England, who were prevented
from attending this solemnity, would have taken a pride in honouring the
memory of the great master under more favourable auspices.

As to the proceedings of the Committee for the Beethoven Monument at
Bonn, the following particulars may not be uninteresting. The President
of the Committee, Baron A. W. von Schlegel, having relinquished his
office, owing to an accumulation of private business, Dr.
Breidenstein[210] was elected in his stead. The Committee have been most
successful in their appeal to the musical world throughout Europe, so
that the expenses of the proposed Monument are now nearly covered. The
sums received are the produce of concerts in more than fifty different
towns, the receipts of a concert given by those eminent artists Thalberg
and De Beriot, at Bonn, for the same purpose, and the generous donation
of 10,000 francs from Liszt, who joined the Committee as an active
member. Promises of concerts for the same purpose have been received
from Vienna, Paris, Brussels, and other places.

The Committee has already issued an address to artists, inviting them to
send designs for the Monument before the 1st of March, 1841. From among
the designs or sketches that shall be received, the three best will be
selected by competent judges, and for each of them a premium of twenty
frederics d'or will be paid, upon condition that the authors of them,
if required, will have models made of them, upon a reduced scale, and
send them to the Committee.

In order to insure perfect impartiality in the selection of the designs,
the authors are requested to attach a motto to each, and to inclose the
same motto in an envelop, together with the name and the address of the
artist. The competition is open to artists of all countries. It is
necessary to add the following remarks, as they may have an influence
upon the work itself:--

1. It is decided that the Monument, or rather the statue, which is to
form the most essential part of it, shall be executed, not in marble,
but in bronze.

2. The sum which, at the commencement of next year, we shall have at our
disposal amounts to about 13,000 dollars, Prussian currency; in addition
to which contributions are announced, and confidently expected, from
several of the most important German and European capitals.--ED.

No. IX.


Vienna, March 16, 1828.

The sale of the lamented Beethoven's MSS. and musical library, which
lately took place here, excited uncommon interest among the lovers of
music, amateurs as well as professional men. The following are the heads
under which the articles were arranged in the catalogue:--

1. Fragments from Beethoven's musical portfolio, consisting of noted
paper, scraps of various themes, &c. 2. Fragments and sketches in a more
complete form. 3. Autographs of scores already published. 4. Autographs
of unpublished music. 5. Copies of various Symphonies, Choruses,
Overtures, Masses, &c., corrected by the composer's own hand. 6. Printed
music and theoretical works. 7. A small collection of works of general
literature. 8. A small collection of musical instruments. The contest
for several of the articles was warm and spirited, particularly between
the well-known music-sellers Artaria, Haslinger, and Steiner. More than
forty works, unknown to the public, were brought to the hammer, the
greater part of which are productions of Beethoven's earlier years. No
doubt the present possessors will, ere long, afford the world an
opportunity of enjoying these works of the lamented master. We observed
that the greater proportion of them became the property of Artaria,
after a severe contest with his brother publishers; several fetched
extraordinarily high prices. Besides a great many other articles,
Beethoven's last work, an unfinished Quintett, begun in November, 1826,
fell to the lot of Diabelli, who triumphantly bore it away, at a very
high price, from a host of competitors. The same gentleman also became
possessor of a Solo-Capriccio, of a Rondo for pianoforte and orchestra,
and of the English pianoforte which Beethoven had received as a present
from the Messrs. Broadwood. The gold medal which the composer had the
honour to receive from Louis XVIII. on receiving the copy of one of his
grand masses was bought by some anonymous collector. But by far the most
interesting article of the whole sale fell to the lot of M.
Haslinger--the collection of contrapuntic exercises, essays, and
finished pieces, which Beethoven wrote while under the tuition of his
master, the celebrated Albrechtsberger, all in his own handwriting, with
the interlineal corrections of that master, and his remarks on the
margin. It is in five thick volumes, which were evidently preserved with
great care. The struggle for the possession of this invaluable
relic--the fruit of Beethoven's first studies--was long and spirited;
but the stamina of M. Haslinger brought him through: after many a
fiercely-contested round, he was at length declared the victor, none of
his antagonists coming to time. We are happy to be able to state that
this collection of studies,[212] so interesting to the whole musical
world, is immediately to be placed in the hands of Kapellmeister
Seyfried, who is to prepare it for the press. M. Haslinger also became
the fortunate possessor of a pianoforte Trio, consisting of an Allegro,
Adagio, Finale, and Variations, composed while Beethoven filled the
place of organist in Cologne; of a short Sonata for four hands; of
several songs and other vocal pieces; of a small collection, entitled
_Zapfenstreiche für Türkische Musik_; of two violins, with the
possessor's seal on each; and lastly, of Beethoven's copy of the works
of Handel, Dr. Arnold's edition, in forty volumes folio. The latter, as
is well known, was presented to the lamented composer by his friend M.
Stumpff, of London, the possession of which tended so much to soothe
Beethoven during his last protracted illness. The mind and talents of
Handel were kindred to his own, and he was seen for hours hanging over
these volumes in rapture and forgetting his sufferings. Two other
competitors contended warmly for this prize--M. Gläser of Gotha, and Mr.
Schenk, the well-known composer of _Der Dorfbarbier_; but M. Haslinger
still retained his honours as champion of the field.[213] We must,
however, observe, that, warm as the opposition was between these
different opponents, the contest was still conducted with becoming
respect--not to say with a certain solemnity due to the relics of the
mighty dead. Some of the prices given astonished even the most
enthusiastic admirers of the composer, and are the most satisfactory
proofs of the deep zeal and love for the art predominant among us.

[Illustration: Nº 2.

First Sketches of the Vocal Subjects of Beethoven's 9th Symphony.]

[Illustration: musical notation]










    No.                              Op.

    1. Sonata in E flat
    2.    "   in D
    3.    "   in F minor
    4.    "   in F minor               2
    5.    "   in A                     2
    6.    "   in C                     2
    7.    "   in E flat                7
    8.    "   in C minor              10
    9.    "   in F                    10
    10.   "   in D                    10
    11.   "   in C minor              13
    12.   "   in E                    14
    13.   "   in G                    14
    14.   "   in B flat               22
    15.   "   in A flat               26
    16.   "   in C sharp minor        27
    17.   "   in E flat               27
    18.   "   in D                    28
    19.   "   in G                    29
    20.   "   in D minor              29
    21.   "   in E flat               29
    22.   "   in G minor              49
    23.   "   in G                    49
    24.   "   in C                    53
    25.   "   in F                    54
    26.   "   in F minor              57
    27.   "   in F sharp              78
    28.   "   in G                    79
    29.   "   in E flat               81
    30.   "   in E minor              90
    31.   "   in A                   101
    32.   "   in B flat              106
    33.   "   in E                   109
    34.   "   in A flat              110
    35.   "   in C minor             111



    1. Andante favori, in F           35
    2. Bagatelles in F                33
    3.     "      "                  104
    4.     "      "                  126
    5. Fantasie in G minor            77
    6. Polonaise in C                 89
    7. Preludes in C                  29
    8. Rondo in C                     51
    9.   "   in G                     51
    10.  "   in G (for Pianoforte and Violin)
    11. Dances (Seven Waltzes)
    12.    "   (Six Waltzes)
    13.    "   (Minuets and Waltzes)



1.--_For the Piano-forte alone._

    No.                                      Op.
    1.  Variations (Thême de Marche)
    2.        "    (Quant' è più bello)
    3.        "    (Nel cor più non)
    4.        "    (Nozze disturbate)
    5.        "    (Waldmädchen)
    6.        "    (Mich brennt ein)
    7.        "    (Air russe)
    8.        "    (Tändeln und Scherzen)
    9.        "    (La Stessa)
    10.       "    (Kind willst du)
    11.       "    (Es war einmahl)
    12.       "    (in a familiar style)
    13.       "    (Vieni Amore)
    14.       "    (God save the King)        25
    15.       "    (Rule Britannia)           26
    16.       "    (Thême orig.)              34
    17.       "    (With a Fugue)
    18.       "    (Thirty-two Variations)    36
    19.       "    (Thême russe)
    20.       "    (Waltz by Diabelli)

2.--_With Accompaniments._

    21. Variations (Se vuol ballare) for Piano-forte and Violin
    22.       "    (Air de Händel) for Piano-forte and Violoncello
    23.       "    (Ein Mädchen)
    24.       "    (Bey Männern)
    25.       "    (Thême orig.) for Piano-forte, Violin and Violoncello
    26.       "    (Air écossais) for Piano-forte and Flute
    27.       "    (Air écossais)
    28.       "    (Air autrichien)
    29.       "    (Air écossais)
    30.       "    (Air écossais)
    31.       "    (Air écossais)
    32.       "    (Air tirolien)
    33.       "    (Air écossais)
    34.       "    (Air russe)
    35.       "    (Air écossais)
    36.       "    (Air tirolien)
    37.       "    (Air écossais)
    38.       "    (Air russe)
    39.       "    (Air écossais)
    40.       "    (Air écossais)
    41.       "    (Air écossais)
    42.       "    (Schwestern von Prag) for Violin and Violoncello   121



    No.                                      Op.
    1. Sonata in D                             6
    2. Variations in C
    3. Variations in D                        27
    4. Three Marches in C, E flat, and D      45



    1. Sonata in D      12
    2.  " in A          12
    3.  " in E flat     12
    4.  " in A minor    23
    5.  " in F          24
    6.  " in A          30
    7.  " in C minor    30
    8.  " in G          30
    9.  " in A          47
    10. " in G          96



    1. Sonata in F                                     5
    2.  " in G minor                                   5
    3.  " in F (with Violoncello or French Horn)      17
    4.  " in A                                        69
    5.  " in C                                       102
    6.  " in D                                       102



    1. Trio in E flat              1
    2.  " in G                     1
    3.  " in C minor               1
    4.  " in B flat (Clar.)       11
    5. Trio in D (Viol.)          70
    6.  " in E flat               70
    7.  " in B flat               97



    1. Quartett in E flat, for Piano-forte, Violin, Alto,
       and Violoncello                                     16
    2. Quintett in E flat, for Piano-forte, Hob. Clar.
       Bassoon and Horn                                    16



    1. Concerto in C                                       15
    2.  " in B flat                                        19
    3.  " in C minor                                       37
    4.  " in C, for Piano-forte, Violin, Violoncello,
         Concertante, and Orchestra                        56
    5.  " in G                                             58
    6.  " in E flat                                        73
    7. Fantasia, with Chorus                               80




    No.                                           Op.
    1. Trio in E flat                               3
    2. " (Serenade)                                 8
    3. " in G                                       9
    4. " in D                                       9
    5. " in C minor                                 9
    6. " (Serenade) for Violin, Flute, and Alto



    1. Quartett in F        18
    2.  " in G              18
    3.  " in D              18
    4.  " in C minor        18
    5.  " in A              18
    6.  " in B flat         18
    7.  " in F              59
    8.  " in E minor        59
    9.  " in C              59
    10. " in E flat         74
    11. " in F minor        95
    12. " in E flat        127
    13. " in B flat        130
    14. " in C sharp min.  131
    15. " in A minor       132
    16. " in F             135
    17. Fugue in B flat    133



    1. Quintett in E flat      4
    2.  " in C                29
    3. Fugue in D            137



    1. Septett in E flat for Violin, Alto, Violoncello,
       Clarionet, Bassoon, Horn, and Double Bass         20
    2. Sextett in E flat, for two Violins, Alto,
       two Horns, and Violoncello                        81



    1. Romance in G      40
    2.  " in F           50
    3. Concerto in D     61




    1. War Song of the Austrians (1797). _Kriegslied der Österreicher._
    2. Farewell to the Citizens of Vienna. _Abschiedsgesang, &c._
    3. Drinking Song. _Trinklied_
    4. La Partenza
    5. Tender Love. _Zärtliche Liebe_
    6. Prayers (Six Sacred Songs of Gellert's), Op. 32
    7. Love of our Neighbour. _Die Liebe des Nächsten_
    8. Of Death. _Vom Tode_
    9. Reverence of God through Nature. _Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur_
    10. God's Power and Providence. _Gottes Macht und Vorsehung_
    11. Penitential Hymn. _Busslied_
    12. Adelaide, Op. 48
    13. The Blessing of Friendship. _Das Glück der Freundschaft_
    14. The Free Man. _Der freye Mann_
    15. Hymn of Sacrifice. _Opferlied_
    16. Urian's Voyage Round the World, Op. 52                    }
    17. Fire-colour. _Feuerfarb_                             }
    18. The Song of Rest. _Das Liedchen von der Ruhe_        }
    19. May Song. _Maygesang_                 }
    20. Molly's Parting. _Molly's Abschied_                  } Eight Songs
    21. Love. _Liebe_                                        }
    22. Marmoth                                                   }
    23. The Flower of St. John's Wort. _Das Blümchen            }
        Wunderhold_                                            }
    24. The Call of the OEvail, Op. 24. _Der Wachtelschlag_
    25. To Hope, Op. 32. _An die Hoffnung_
    26. Longing (1st Melody), Op. 38. _Sehnsucht_
    27.       "        (2nd Melody)
    28.       "        (3rd Melody)
    29.       "        (4th Melody)
    30. Canon for the New Year. _Zum neuen Jahr_
    31. Mignon (Six Songs and Melodies), Op. 57
    32. New Love, new Life. _Neue Liebe, neues Leben_
    33. Romance (Göthe's Faust)
    34. Gretel's Warning
    35. To the absent Lover. _An den fernen Geliebten_
    36. The Contented Man. _Der Zufriedene_
    37. Song of the Absent. _Lied aus der Ferne_
    38. Longing. _Sehnsucht_
    39. The Warrior's Adieu. _Des Kriegers Abschied_
    40. In questa tomba
    41. The Lover. _Der Liebende_
    42. The Youth in a Foreign Land. _Der Jüngling in der Fremde_
    43. Hope, Op. 82. _Hoffnung_
    44. The Lover's Lament. _Liebes Klage_
    45. L'Amante impatiente. _Stille Frage_
    46. L'Amant. _Liebes-Ungeduld_
    47. Joys of Life. _Lebens-genuss_
    48. Pleasures of Melancholy }
    49. Longing                 }  Three Songs, Op. 38, by Göthe
    50. With a coloured ribbon  }
    51. Remembrance (Mathison), Op. 72. _Andenken._
    52. Elegy on the Death of a Bodle. _Elegie auf den Tod eines Pudels._
    53. To a Mistress who wished to part. _Als die Geliebte sich
        trennen wollte_
    54. Merkenstein, Op. 100
    55. The Spirit of the Bard. _Der Bardengeist_
    56. The Call from the Mountain. _Ruf vom Berge_
    57. Germania
    58. To my beloved. _An die Geliebte_ (_von Stoll_)
    59. So or so
    60. Resignation
    61. The Secret. _Das Geheimniss_
    62. Silence. _Das Schweigen._ (Canon)
    63. To Hope. _An die Hoffnung_, Op. 94
    64. To a distant Mistress. _An die ferne Geliebte_
        (a Series of  Six Songs, by A. Jeitteles), Op. 98
    65. The Man of his Word. _Der Mann von Wort_, by F. A.
        Kleinschmid, Op. 99.
    66. Merkenstein, near Baden, by J. B. Rupprecht, Op. 100.
    67. Evening Hymn. _Abendlied_, Op. 103
    68. O Hope. _O Hoffnung_
    69. The Song of the Nightingale. _Der Gesang der Nachtigall_
    70. Canon for Six Voices
    71. Canon for Four Voices
    72. Canon for Three Voices
    73. The Kiss. _Der Kuss_, Op. 128
    74. Drinking Song. _Trinklied_



    No.                                                                 Op.
    1. Scena e Aria: Ah perfido                                          46
    2. Germania
    3. It is achieved. _Es ist vollbracht_
    4. Scotch Songs, Book 1st  } With Accompaniment for  Piano
    5.   "      "    Book 2nd  } Forte, Violin, and Violoncello         108
    6.   "      "    Book 3rd  }
    7. Calm at Sea and prosperous Voyage                                112
    8. March and Chorus from the Ruins of Athens                        114
    9. Terzett: Tremate, empi, tremate!                                 116
    10. Elegiac Song                                                    118
    11. Hymn of Sacrifice, by Mathison, for Solo and Chorus             121
    12. Hymn of Alliance, by Göthe, for two Solo Voices and Chorus      122


    No.                                                    Op.

    1. Mass in C, for Four Voices and Orchestra             86
    2.   "  in D, for Four Voices and Orchestra            123
    3. Christ on the Mount of Olives, Oratorio              85
    4. The Glorious Moment, Cantata
    5. Fidelio, Grand Opera
    6. Egmont, Tragedy (Overture, Entreacts and Songs)      84



    1. Symphony in C                                         21
    2.      "   in D                                         36
    3.      "   eroica in E flat                             55
    4.      "   in B flat                                    60
    5.      "   in C minor                                   67
    6.      "   Pastorale in F                               68
    7.      "   in A                                         92
    8.      "   in F                                         93
    9.      "   Choral in D minor                           125
    10. Wellington's Victory in the Battle of Vittoria       91



    1. Overture (Prometheus)                        43
    2.    "     (Coriolanus)                        62
    3.    "     (Egmont)                            84
    4.    "     (Leonore)                           87
    5.    "     (Fidelio)
    6.    "     (Ruins of Athens)                  113
    7.    "     (The Emperor's Name Day)           115
    8.    "     (King Stephen)                     117
    9.    "     (Inauguration of the Theatre)      124
    10.   "     (Characteristique)                 138



    1. Minuets in E flat
    2.   "     in D
    3. German Dances in C
    4. Waltzes in D
    5.    "    in D
    6. Prometheus, Ballet



    No.                                                              Op.
    1. Trio for two Hoboes and English Horn                          66
    2. Sestetto for two Clarionets, two Bassoons, and two Horns      71
    3. Harmonies
    4. Equale for four Trombones
    5. Marches for Military Bands.





  No.                                                      Opera.    Key
  1. Sonata Pathetique, dedicated to Prince Lichnowski      13    C minor.
  2. Grand Sonata, dedicated to ditto                       26    A flat.
  3. Sonata, No. 1, Op. 29                                  29    G.
  4. Ditto, No. 2, ditto                                    29    D minor.
  5. Ditto, No. 3, ditto                                    29    A flat.
  6. Grand Sonata, dedicated to Count de Browne             22    B flat.
  7. Sonata, dedicated to Mademoiselle Juliette
     Guicciardo, No. 1                                      27    C minor.
  8. Sonata, dedicated to the Princess de Lichtenstein,
     No. 2                                                  27    E flat.
  9. Sonata (Pastorale), dedicated to M. Sonnenfells        28    D.
  10. Sonata                                                90    E minor.
  11. Ditto                                                 54    F.
  12. Ditto                                                110    A flat.
  13. Ditto, dedicated to the Countess of Brunswick         78    F # major.
  14. Sonata, dedicated to Haydn, No. 1                      2    F minor.
  15. Ditto, ditto, No. 2                                    2    A.
  16. Ditto, ditto, No. 3                                    2    C.
  17. Grand Sonata, dedicated to Madame Antonia
      de Brentano                                          111    C minor.
  18. Grand Sonata                                           7    E flat.
  19. Sonata, No. 1                                         49    G minor.
  20. Ditto, No. 2                                          49    G.
  21. Sonata, dedicated to Madame la Comtesse de Browne,
      No. 1                                                 10    C minor.
  22. Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 2                      10    F.
  23. Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 3                      10    D.
  24. Grand Sonata, dedicated to Count de Waldstein         53    C.
  25. Sonata Appassionata, dedicated to Count de Brunswic         F minor.
  26. Sonata Caracteristique                                 81   E flat.
  27. Sonata, No. 1                                          14   E.
  28. Ditto, No. 2                                           14   G.
  29. Grand Sonata                                          109   E.
  30. Grand Sonata, Part I.                                 106   B flat.
  31. Ditto, Part II.                                       106   B flat.
  32. Sonata                                                101   A.
  33. Sonata                                                 79   G.
  34. Fantasia                                               77   G minor.
  35. Andante                                                35   F.
  36. Variations e Finale alla Fuga                               E flat.


  1. Grand Sonata, No. 1, dedicated to Salieri           12        D.
  2. Sonata, No. 2, dedicated to ditto                   12        A.
  3. Ditto, No. 3, dedicated to ditto                    12        E flat.
  4. Sonata, dedicated to Monsieur le Comte Maurice
     de Fries, No. 1                                     23        A minor.
  5. Sonata, dedicated to ditto, No. 2.                  23        F.
  6. Sonata, dedicated to the Emperor of Russia, No. 1   30        A.
  7. Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 2                    30        C minor.
  8. Ditto, dedicated to ditto, No. 3                    30        G.
  9. Grand Sonata, dedicated to Prince Rudolphe          96        G.
  10. Grand Sonata, dedicated to M. Kreutzer             47        A.


  1. Grand Sonata, No. 1                        5        F.
  2. Sonata, No. 2.                             5        G.
  3. Sonata                                    17        F.
  4. Ditto                                     69        A.
  5. Ditto, No. 1                             102        C.
  6. Ditto, No. 2                             102        D.


  1. Trio, No. 1                                1        E flat.
  2. Ditto, No. 2                               1        G.
  3. Ditto, No. 3                               1        C minor.
  4. Trio                                      11        B flat.
  5. Trio          (from the Septetto)         38        E Flat.
  6. Ditto, No. 1                              70        D.
  7. Ditto, No. 2                              70        E flat.
  8. Ditto                                     97        B flat.


  No.                                                    Opera.      Key.
  1. Concerto                                              15        C.
  2. Ditto, dedicated to Monsieur Charles Nikl             19        B flat.
  3. Concerto, dedicated to Prince Louis Ferdinand
     de Prusse                                             37        C minor.
  4. Concerto                                              58        G.
  5. Concerto, dedicated to Archduke Rudolphe              73        E flat.
  6. Fantasia with Chorus                                  80        C minor.


  1. Air Russe
  2. Nel cor più
  3. Une Fièvre
  4. Air from the Ballet of Le Nozze
  5. La Stessa la Stessissima
  6. Swiss Air


     Mount of Olives (Oratorio)--English Version. By Thos. Oliphant,
     Esq. The Choral Parts to be had separately.

     Six Songs, with English Words. By Thos. Oliphant, Esq.

     Fidelio, a Grand Opera.

     *** Publishing by Subscription, a complete Edition of the Quatuors
     for two Violins, Tenor, and Violoncello.


London: Printed by WILLIAM CLOWES and SONS, Stamford Street.


[1] Delivered in the year 1824, in Carlsruhe, Darmstadt, Francfort,
Mayence, Stuttgart, and Tübingen; they appeared in print in 1826.

[2] It was that of 1802.

[3] It must be obvious that, in this division, I do not mean to assert
that Beethoven's mental development admits of the like limitation, or is
tacitly comprehended under it. To pretend to fix precise limits to that
would be a bold attempt, inasmuch as his works were not published in the
order in which they were composed. I shall recur to this subject in
treating of the first period.

[4] At page 81 of his biographical particulars, Ries, in his account of
the meeting of Beethoven and Steibelt at the house of Count Fries, where
Steibelt performed a "studied Fantasia brillante on a theme from a Trio
of Beethoven's," tells us, "This gave great offence to the admirers of
Beethoven, as well as to that composer himself; he was next called to
the piano to extemporize: he went in his usual, I might say, rude way,
to the instrument, as though half-pushed towards it." But hold!--who
could help being revolted also on reading this instance of Beethoven's
rudeness from the pen of his pupil and friend, and reasoning thus:--

Rudeness is the highest degree of ill-breeding. If he, from his
thirtieth to his thirty-fifth year, "usually behaved rudely," even in
the higher circles--as we are told in the anecdote related by Ries, page
92--he was and must have been rude all his life, even though he had
intercourse with an Archduke of Austria. At that period of life
Beethoven had arrived when Ries was in Vienna. What then could be
alleged in excuse of Beethoven, if Ries were right? But how many of
those friends and admirers of the illustrious deceased, who knew him
longer and had opportunities of forming a more correct opinion of him
than Ries, will solemnly protest against such a charge! Is it fair to
publish to the world a momentary fit of ill-humour in any man, be he who
he may, that it may serve as an authentic source for estimating his
character? and especially in a man who belongs to remote posterity, who
deserves to be recommended in so many respects to younger artists as a
model worthy of imitation? Or, let me ask, is it right to drag before
the tribunal of the public what has been said and done in unguarded
moments among friends and acquaintance? That maxim is in general
entirely false which says that "about great men anything and everything
may be told: it can do them no harm." Without taking into account that
this maxim is in itself very relative, the character of every man,
without any reference to his mental qualities, is the point which, in a
portraiture of him, should be treated with most tenderness, at the same
time without derogating in the slightest degree from the truth.

[5] Dr. Wegeler published in consequence a copy of Beethoven's baptismal
register, which is as follows:--

"Extract, Church Register, St. Remigii, at Bonn.

"Anno millesimo septingentesimo septuagesimo, die decima septima
Decembris, baptizatus est _Ludovicus_, Domini Johannis van Beethoven et
Helenae Keverichs, conjugum, filius legitimus: Patrini: Dominus
Ludovicus van Beethoven, et Gertrudis Müllers, dicta Baums.

"Witness to the truth of the above extract,


(Signed)      "WINDECK.

"_Bonn, 28th June, 1827._"

[6] When M. Brockhaus announced the eighth edition of the
"Conversations-Lexicon," I wrote to him, on the 17th of February, 1833,
calling his attention to that fable, and requesting him to omit the
passage relative to Beethoven's parentage in the new edition, which he
complied with.

[7] The same Count von Waldstein to whom Beethoven dedicated his grand
Sonata, Op. 53.

[8] Or, as Wegeler gives it, like the "iniquæ mentis asellus" of

[9] See my note, p. 228.--ED.

[10] M. Ries was treated in the same manner, as he told me, while under
Beethoven's tuition. "I played," said Ries to me, "while Beethoven
composed or did something else; and it was very rarely that he seated
himself by me and so remained for half an hour." Ries tells a different
story in his publication.

[11] How happens it that Beethoven, sensible of the impropriety of this
system of education, should not have avoided it in bringing up his
nephew? We shall have occasion to recur to this subject in the proper

[12] "In order to become a good composer, a person should have studied
the theory of harmony and the art of counterpoint from the age of seven
to eleven, that when the imagination and feeling awake, he may have
accustomed himself to invent according to rule." How absurd and untrue
this assertion is, in every respect, I there showed in the proper place;
and likewise that Beethoven thought precisely the reverse, especially on
instruction in counterpoint, and that he expressed himself clearly and
explicitly on that subject.

[13] See Supplement No. IV., Vol. II.

[14] And yet M. Ignatz von Seyfried, in the biographical particulars of
Beethoven appended to the work published by him and M. Haslinger, with
the title of "Beethoven Studien," does maintain the contrary, which Dr.
Wegeler has shown to be wholly unfounded.

[15] This Sonata, quasi Fantasia, Op. 27, is known in Austria by the
inappropriate appellation of "Moonshine Sonata," which is meant to
designate nothing more than that enthusiastic period of Beethoven's

[16] For the correction of each of his larger works Beethoven took, upon
an average, one-third of the time that had been occupied in its
composition. This observation I had occasion to make from many of his
works. His corrected scores show how he proceeded in general in the
labour of revising and improving.

[17] See Supplement No. I., Vol. 1.

[18] Printed in the _Neue Zeitschrift für Musik_, No. 19, of the year
1837. For the series of Beethoven's letters to the music-publishers of
Leipzig, see Supplement No. I., Vol. 1.

[19] Beethoven was not accustomed to ask singers if they could execute
what he had written. The consequence was that these made arbitrary
alterations without consulting him.

[20] Of the first members of that Quartett, which belongs to the history
of the art, M. Sina is the only one now living, and in Paris. M. Franz
Weiss died shortly before Beethoven, M. Schuppanzigh soon after him, and
M. Linke a few years since.

[21] The consequences of this excess must inevitably follow, and the
gigantic enterprises of this kind that are so frequently seen and heard
of, resting on insecure foundations, will, by degrees, fall of
themselves, after doing much more injury than benefit to the art.

[22] Count Franz of Brunswick, Baron J. Gleichenstein, Baron Pasqualati,
M. de Zmeskall, M. and Madame Streicher, and Moritz Count von

[23] This document, in Beethoven's own handwriting, has lately been left
in charge of Messrs. Cramer and Co., to be disposed of for the benefit
of a female relative of Beethoven's, who hopes to derive some advantage
from its sale.--ED.

[24] The whole tenor of this will, or rather memorandum addressed to his
brothers, attests the state of deep melancholy into which Beethoven had
fallen on account of his deafness--a state which, owing to the same
cause, was of frequent recurrence. That throughout this paper Beethoven
should not have mentioned the name of his second brother, Johann, and
only marked it with dots, is singularly striking; since this brother, as
we have just seen, had recently come to Vienna, and had scarcely begun
to take any part in the occupations and other concerns of the great

[25] The noble-minded Count Moritz Lichnowsky, whose devotedness to the
interests of Beethoven the latter acknowledged by the dedication of two
works,--the Variations Op. 35, and the Sonata Op. 90 (E minor), died in
December, 1838, in Vienna. He was the last of that set so remarkable in
the history of the art, which used to assemble at the house of his
brother, the Prince.

[26] Such is the account given by Count Moritz Lichnowsky, who, with
Ferdinand Ries, witnessed the circumstance.

[27] Is not this meant to be--"Per festeggiare la memoria d'un grand'

[28] The originally French libretto was translated into German by Joseph

[29] In the third period I shall have something more to say about it in
the proper place.

[30] Refer to Breuning's letter to Dr. and Mad. Wegeler. Supplement No.
II., Vol. II.

The circumstance which occurred at the house of Prince Lichnowsky, on
occasion of the alteration made in this Opera in 1807, which M.
Röckel,{*} then engaged as tenor singer at the Theater an der Wien (with
whom I am myself well acquainted), afterwards related to M. Ries in
London, and which the latter communicates in his "_Notizen über
Beethoven_," (p. 105), is interesting and authentic. Not less worthy of
notice is Breuning's letter of the 20th of June, 1806, to Dr. Wegeler
(p. 62) on the fortunes of the opera of "Fidelio" at its first
representation. Count Moritz Lichnowsky was one of the company, in which
Beethoven opposed with might and main the omission of a single bar, and
gave all present a great deal of trouble.

{*} The following note from Wegeler's Notizen is, I think, not misplaced

"Dear Röckel,--Try and do your best with _Milder_" [Ma dame Milder, for
whom the part of Fidelio was written--ED.], "and pray tell her you ask
her to-day in my name, that this early invitation may prevent her
singing _anywhere else_. To-morrow I mean to come myself 'to kiss the
hem of her garment.' Do not forget _Marconi_" [a celebrated Contra-Alto
of the time.--ED.], "and, above all, do not be angry with me for thus
overburthening you.

"Ever yours,


[31] It is said that, in the rehearsals of his "Christ on the Mount of
Olives," quarrels took place from similar causes between Beethoven and
the singers.

[32] Mozart experienced similar, nay still more painful mortifications,
calumnies, and even depreciation of his abilities, on account of his
Opera '_Die Entführung aus dem Serail_,' from the singers and other
envious creatures, at the head of whom was his professional colleague M.
Salieri. We learn from the biography of that unrivalled composer,
published by M. von Nissen and Mozart's widow, that those cabals and
persecutions were carried much further on occasion of his succeeding
opera '_Figaro's Hochzeit_,' so that, on the conclusion of the second
act, Mozart, filled with indignation, went to the Emperor Joseph in his
box, and complained of the singers, who were brought back to their duty
by a severe reprimand from the monarch. Such baseness and such malice,
which incessantly persecuted the immortal Mozart, even after his death,
and which found means to deprive his family, left in necessitous
circumstances, of the promised support of the Emperor Leopold, are, and
will perhaps for ever, remain unparalleled.

[33] It were sincerely to be wished that, in future editions of
Beethoven's works, the dedications should never be omitted, as is so
frequently the case. It was in some instances affection, in others
gratitude, which gave our artist occasion to name those who were loved
and esteemed by him; and with many of these dedications not unimportant
circumstances are associated. Beethoven meant thereby to pay a real
tribute of honour and respect to his friends and patrons, without
harbouring the slightest expectation of being presented with rings,
shirt-pins, gold snuff-boxes, and watches, for his public testimonies of

[34] At p. 83, M. Ries speaks of the performance of the _Fantasia for
the Piano-forte_, Op. 80, in which the clarinet-player, by overlooking a
repetition, occasioned an interruption. M. Ries proceeds thus with his
narrative:--"Beethoven started up furiously, turned himself round, and
abused the members of the orchestra in the grossest terms and in so loud
a tone as to be heard by the whole audience. At length, he cried 'Begin
again!' The theme was re-commenced; each performer fell in at the proper
place, and the result was splendid. But when the concert was over, the
performers, remembering too well the honourable epithet which Beethoven
had publicly applied to them, fell into the most vehement rage, as
though the affront had only just then been offered; and vowed never to
play again if Beethoven was in the orchestra."

The assertion that Beethoven loudly desired that Fantasia to be
repeated, on account of the blunder of the first clarinet, is true
enough; but, as for any abuse of the members of the orchestra, who were
not in fault, and that, too, "in the grossest terms," M. Fr. Clement,
the able orchestra-director, with whom Beethoven brought out his
Fidelio, the fourth, fifth, and sixth Symphonies, and that Fantasia, who
still occupies his post at the Theater an der Wien, knows nothing about
it.{**} Other members of the orchestra at that time, who are still
living, know just as little of the matter, and protest against the
statements of M. Ries. The latter was not present when Fidelio was
brought out, for he was then on his way to Russia, and those Symphonies
mentioned by him, p. 83, were not composed by Beethoven till several
years afterwards, any more than the Fantasia in question.

At p. 84, M. Ries thus continues:--"A similar scene is said to have once
occurred, but the orchestra resolved not to put up with the affront, and
peremptorily insisted that he should not conduct. Accordingly, during
the rehearsal, Beethoven was obliged to stay in an adjoining room, and
it was a long time before this quarrel was made up."

Not a creature in Vienna has any recollection of such a scene, and,
during my residence of twenty-three years in that city, I never heard a
syllable on that subject.

{**} I remember having myself been present at the performance in
question, seated in a corner of the gallery in the Theater an der Wien:
during the last movement of the Fantasia I perceived that--like a
carriage run away with down hill--an overturn was inevitable. Almost
immediately after, it was, that I saw Beethoven give the signal for
stopping. His voice was not heard; but he had probably given directions
where to begin again--and after half a moment's respectful silence on
the part of the audience--the orchestra re-commenced, and the
performance proceeded without further mistake or stoppage.

To those who are acquainted with the work, it may be interesting to know
the precise point at which the mistake occurred. It was in the passage
where, for several pages, every three bars make up a triple rhythm, as
shown on the following page. This peculiarly-constructed rhythm has,
until the present time, like most of Beethoven's characteristics,
remained his undisputed property.--ED.

[35] The house of Count Franz von Brunswick at Pesth had been for many
years a seminary of the true and pure professional faith, without
prepossession in favour of any classic. None of the seductive false
doctrines of the present day could gain admittance there. To describe
the part taken in these pursuits by the countess, who is his pupil, and
the most exquisite player on the piano-forte that I ever heard, would
require a separate essay, in order to do justice to her performances and
to their effects upon her auditors. Let us hope that these abilities may
be hereditary in that remarkable family.

A family akin for talents and abilities to that of Brunswick, and whose
pursuits have taken the same direction, is still to be found at
Geilenkirchen, in the province of Rhenish Prussia. The house of M. Max.
Flemming, merchant, of Geilenkirchen, near Aix-la-Chapelle, exactly
resembles in this point that of the Hungarian magnate. An intimate
acquaintance with, and profound comprehension of, the musical classics
were transmitted by the parents to the children in a degree that is
rarely witnessed in our times, when domestic music in particular has
universally assumed an ephemeral character, and aims only at tickling
the senses. Thus in that house too a temple has been erected to
Beethoven's Muse, and its service heightens the happiness of the
interesting inmates in a manner that must inspire the intelligent
observer with the warmest interest for persons holding forth so rare an

[36] Among other scenes between Beethoven, his brothers, and friends, M.
Ries describes with graphic minuteness one which is particularly to the
point (p. 88).--See Supplement No. IV., Vol. II.

[37] "During the short bombardment of Vienna by the French, in 1809,
Beethoven was excessively alarmed; he passed most of the time in a
cellar at his brother Caspar's, where, besides, he covered his head with
pillows that he might not hear the cannon."--Such are the words of M.
Ries, p. 121 of his '_Notizen_.'

[38] To this sum the Archduke Rudolph contributed 1500 florins, Prince
Lobkowitz 700, and Prince Ferdinand Kinsky 1800.

[39] See Supplement No. VI., Vol. I.

[40] Bettina relates, in her letter of the 28th of May, to Göthe, that
she committed to writing Beethoven's remarks on art, &c., which he made
the day before in a walk with her, and that she gave him them to read,
upon which he asked her in astonishment--"And did I indeed say all
this?--Then I must certainly have had a _raptus_!"

[41] The correspondence which passed between the composer and Madame
Bettina von Arnim may be thought hardly to bear out M. Schindler's
opinion of Beethoven's style of expression. The reader, however, will be
enabled to judge for himself, as he will find in the Supplement No.
III., Vol. I., a series of letters, from one of which the passage here
cited by the biographer is extracted.--ED.

[42] There is a remarkable coincidence, not only of sentiment but of
expression, between the above passage and one of the noblest songs of
Burns, particularly the lines--

    "A prince can make a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, and a' that,
    But an honest man's aboon his might--."--ED.

[43] Beethoven here alludes to a small sum which he had to expect from

[44] I must claim for my friend Meyerbeer the place here assigned to
Hummel, who had to act in the cannonade; and this I may the more firmly
assert, as, the cymbals having been intrusted to me, Meyerbeer and I had
to play from one and the same part.--ED.

[45] I witnessed the origin and progress of this work, and remember that
not only did Maelzel decidedly induce Beethoven to write it, but even
laid before him the whole design of it; himself wrote all the
drum-marches and the trumpet-flourishes of the French and English
armies; gave the composer some hints, how he should herald the English
army by the tune of "Rule Britannia;" how he should introduce "Malbrook"
in a dismal strain; how he should depict the horrors of the battle, and
arrange "God save the King" with effects representing the hurrahs of a
multitude. Even the unhappy idea of converting the melody of "God save
the King" into a subject of a fugue in quick movement, emanates from
Maelzel. All this I saw in sketches and score, brought by Beethoven to
Maelzel's workshop, then the only suitable place of reception he was
provided with.--ED.

[46] I am proud to say that I am four years in advance of my friend
Schindler, having made Beethoven's much-desired acquaintance four years
sooner--in 1810.--ED.

[47] This work may not, perhaps, rank equally high with some of
Beethoven's most sublime productions; yet it speaks _his_ language, and
has all the charms so peculiar to himself, particularly in the choral
parts. It consists of--

    No. 1. _Chorus._
        2. _Recitativo_ and _Chorus_.
        3. _Grand Scena_, Soprano, with Violin obligato and _Chorus_.
        4. _Solo_, Soprano and _Chorus_.
        5. _Recitativo_ and _Quartett_, two Soprani, Tenor, and Bass.
        6. Chorus and Fugue.

The original score of this work, with copies of both texts, has been
intrusted to me by M. Haslinger, of Vienna; and I am still in possession
of it, in case a suitable opportunity for its performance should present

[48] It was M. Carl Maria von Weber, who, after the failure{***} (see p.
164) of his Opera Euryanthe (1823), brought the score of that work, with
the most profound humility, to Beethoven, requesting him to make what
alterations he pleased in it, and promising to submit entirely to his
opinion. Beethoven, well knowing what acrimonious reviews of some of his
works M. von Weber had sent from Prague to German journals, received him
in the most friendly manner; and, after looking over the score, said to
him, in my presence, that he ought to have made this application
_before_ the performance of his Opera, but that now he thought it too
late, unless M. von Weber would undertake such a reform with it as he
(Beethoven) did with his Fidelio.

It is interesting to see, for example, in the first version of the Opera
Fidelio, how the master has composed several numbers twice and even four
times. These casts, always of the same text, frequently differ very
essentially from one another. Upon the whole, the first score of
Fidelio, with the numerous variations, frequent improvements in the
rhythm, in the instrumentation, and in the invention of the melody,
affords a manifest truth of the extreme severity which the great master
was accustomed to exercise in the correction of all his works; hence it
would form an admirable study for young composers, and would deserve a
place in a public library, where it would be accessible to everybody.

{***}It is with reluctance that I comment upon the word "failure"
applied by M. Schindler to the "Euryanthe" of Weber, which was performed
in November, 1823. But I was present at the first performance of this
Opera, which the composer conducted, and the following pieces were
_encored_:--The Overture--the 1st Tenor air sung by _Adolar_
(Haitzinger)--the Finale to the 1st Act, sung by _Euryanthe_ (Mlle.
Sontag)--the principal pieces sung by Mad. Grünbaum (_Eglantine_) and
Forti (_Lysiard_). The Huntsmen's, as well as several other Choruses,
were most enthusiastically received, and the composer was called for at
the end of the Opera, with every testimony of approbation. The evening
was wound up by a convivial supper, given by a literary and artistical
society called the Ludlam's Höhle, at which, together with Weber's
pupil, M. Benedict, I had the pleasure of assisting, in conclusion of a
triumphant success.

I do not, of course, intend to throw any doubt upon the circumstance
here stated, of Weber having shown the score of Euryanthe to Beethoven,
yet there seems to be some doubt as to Weber not having been on good
terms with Beethoven, the more so when Rellstab's accounts are taken
into consideration.

I make some extracts from the Memoirs of this much-esteemed writer and
critic. He says (March 24th, 1825), "My journey to Vienna had been
decided upon..... yet, of all the fair promises the imperial city held
out to me, there was none so exciting or so spirit-stirring as the
supreme felicity which I felt at the thoughts of becoming acquainted
with Beethoven."....

Rellstab, on his way to Vienna, calls upon C. M. von Weber at Dresden,
and, on asking him for a letter of introduction to Beethoven, receives
the following reply:--"Beethoven does not like epistolary communication,
and thinks it quite as irksome to read, as to write letters, but you may
bring him all sorts of kind and respectful messages from me verbally; to
judge from the kind reception he gave me during my last stay at Vienna,
in 1823, I should suppose he would remember me with every feeling of
sympathy and attachment." Weber then proceeded to give me an account of
his last visit to Beethoven, to which, of course, I listened with the
greatest eagerness. "We had been to him several times," said he,
"without having once been able to see him; he was out of humour, and
shunning all human society, yet we at length succeeded in finding the
propitious moment; we were shown in, and beheld him sitting at his
writing-table, from which he did not however rise at once to give us a
friendly welcome. He had known me for several years, so that I could at
once enter into conversation with him, but suddenly he started up, stood
upright before me, and, putting his two hands on my shoulders, he shook
me with a kind of rough cordiality, saying, 'You have always been a fine
fellow!' and with this he embraced me in the kindest and most
affectionate manner.

"Of all the marks of distinction then shown to me at Vienna, of all the
praise and fame I there earned, nothing ever touched my heart as much as
this fraternal kiss of Beethoven's."--ED.

[49] See Supplement No. II., Vol. II.

[50] But not "tacitly," as M. von Seyfried asserts at p. 12 of his
Biographical Particulars. In Austria there is no such thing as a tacit
adoption; every adoption requires a legal confirmation in order to be

[51] This was Dr. Bach, senior court-advocate and sworn notary, who has
for the third time been elected Dean of the Faculty of the Law in the
University of Vienna.

[52] For this interesting document I am indebted to my esteemed friend
Dr. Bach. In his letter of the 9th of June, 1839, when he sent it to me,
he expresses this wish:--"Not a trait of that great soul ought to be
lost, because it proves that with an inexhaustible genius a noble spirit
may be combined." He will perceive how strictly and how faithfully I
have endeavoured in this work to comply with his wishes and the express
desire of our mutual friend.

[53] It was only three years before his death that Mozart obtained an
allowance of 800 florins, which was paid out of the privy purse of the
Emperor Joseph, whose favourite he moreover was. We see how nearly alike
were the fortunes of those two great geniuses in this particular.

[54] This axiom, which may no doubt find numerous champions to defend
it, is not one that I could subscribe to; and I hope the reader may not
consider the selection of anecdotes from Seyfried, Ries, and Wegeler,
which I have made in Supplement Nos. IV. & V., Vol. II., an unwelcome
addition to M. Schindler's work.--ED.

[55] At the solicitation of M. Ries, I informed him, in 1833, of the
cause of the evidently exaggerated complaints made in those letters: he
ought of course to have felt the more scrupulous in publishing them.

[56] As these letters _have_ already met the public eye elsewhere, they
could not here be withheld, and will be found in the Supplement No. I.,
Vol. II.--ED.

[57] The Saint's day, which, in Catholic countries, is celebrated like
the birthday.--ED.

[58] By Aug. von Kotzebue.

[59] Johann van Beethoven had been an apothecary, and was originally
supplied with the means of establishing himself by his brother Ludwig.
Having amassed considerable wealth, he relinquished business, and became
a landed proprietor.

[60] Beethoven made no offer to the Austrian court, but he did to Prince
Esterhazy, who, however, declined it.

[61] Consequently not ten or twelve copies, which Beethoven is said to
have sold in the way of subscription before the work was printed, as M.
Seyfried erroneously states in his biographical particulars of him.

[62] It is evident from this how Beethoven felt and maintained his
position in regard to the highest personages, and that he would not give
up a single inch to them. This may serve, at the same time, to prove
from what point of view he considered the world, and that in this
particular he steadfastly adhered in practice to the immutable principle
that dwelt within him (of which we have already treated in the first
period), though by so doing he lost many material advantages.

[63] Beethoven, whom I saw frequently about this time, lent me the
instrument in question to perform upon at a concert which I gave on the
15th of December, 1823, at the Kärnthner-Thor theater, Vienna; my object
being to display the difference between the effects producible on
Viennese, and on English instruments, by playing on one of the former in
the first, and upon Beethoven's piano in the second act. The latter was
internally and externally in so bad a state, owing to frequent removals
and severe treatment on the part of its owner, that I should not have
been able to avail myself of it, had not M. Graf, the Imperial
piano-forte maker, been kind enough to put it into perfect order. For
this concert Beethoven also lent me his then MS. Overture in C, Op. 115,
and gave me directions with respect to its performance, that I might be
able to impart his views to the players at the rehearsal. It may not be
uninteresting to add, that the present owner of the piano-forte alluded
to, is about to consign it to my care for the purpose of disposing of

[64] See Supplement, No. V., Vol. I.

[65] He merely saw two representations, one of which was the _Barber of
Seville_, but without hearing a word of them. At his desire the score
was sent to his lodgings, and after he had looked through it he made
this curious remark:--"Rossini would have been a great composer if his
master had oftener given him a sound flogging."

[66] I am so fortunate as to possess the original score of this work.
Reminding Beethoven of the fate of the Kyrie in the grand Mass, and
apprehensive that this score might also be used by his servants as waste
paper for wrapping up boots and shoes, I asked him for it, and he gave
it to me, attaching no higher value to such a gift than an ordinary
sheet of paper. In the year 1823 his manuscripts fared precisely as they
had done twenty years earlier, as M. Ries remarks (p. 113). All of them
lay about in the utmost confusion, and any one that chose might take
away what he pleased unmolested. May not this indifference towards the
productions of his genius, the value of which, however, he well knew, be
considered as the strongest proof that in his mind there was no trace of
conceit, self-importance, or even egotism? In whom has the like ever
been seen?

[67] Afterwards King of Saxony.

[68] The kind Archduke was needlessly concerned. When Beethoven was
quite well, he went in general only with great reluctance to his
illustrious patron and scholar; nay, he was ill in imagination whenever
he heard that the Archduke was coming to town. He was accustomed to call
the giving of lessons in this case "court-service," and what ideas he
connected with that term it is easy to guess. On the other hand, his
dislike to give systematic instruction made matters still worse. We
discover in all this the very same "ill-tempered donkey," as at the time
when he lived at Bonn. Then again the lessons of this Archduke required
preparation on the part of the instructor, and also some regard to the
toilet;{****} hence it was so hard a task for him to go to the Imperial
palace, but one above which, in this case, he could not set himself.

{****} Any restraint experienced by Beethoven in his intercourse with
the Archduke can only have originated in his own aversion to giving
lessons. Nothing could be generally more urbane or less ceremonious in
the matter of exactions as to toilet, than was this distinguished patron
of music. I may be permitted, perhaps, to recall a personal instance of
this: on waiting upon the Archduke for the purpose of presenting him
with a copy of the Duet in E flat (Op. 47), which I had the honour of
dedicating to him, I found him, to my surprise, in his ecclesiastical
Cardinal's robes, in which I had never, till then, seen him. His usual
affability of manner, however, remained unchanged. He took up the copy
with eagerness, and, hardly allowing himself time to glance over it,
said, "Let us try it." This was done as soon as said. I knew not whether
most to admire the clever manner in which he played this composition at
sight, or at the disparity of the persons engaged in its execution--not
in rank only, but in costume; for it was impossible, as often as my eye
glanced downwards towards the pedal, not to be struck by the sight of
his red stockings side by side with my black ones.--ED.

[69] These letters are addressed to the Kappellmeister Hofmeister, who,
under the firm of Hofmeister and Kühnel, Bureau de Musique, commenced
the correspondence in the year 1800 with his friend Beethoven. That firm
afterwards changed its designation, though retaining all its copyrights,
to A. Kühnel Bureau de Musique: the business was next transferred, with
the same proviso, to C. F. Peters, of whose heirs it was purchased by me
in 1828, likewise with all the copyrights.--_C. G. S. Böhme._

[70] The German word _stechen_ signifies both to engrave and to sting:
hence arises in the original a pun which cannot possibly be conveyed in
the translation.

[71] A ducat is about ten shillings English money.--ED.

[72] Wenzel Müller.

[73] It is remarkable that Beethoven, even at that time, should manifest
in these lines so correct a notion of musical copyright. Though no man
of business, he perceived that the purchaser of the original melody must
at the same time have a right of property of all arrangements, if
copyright is to be maintained inviolate.

[74] The same pun with the word _stechen_ that has been remarked before.

[75] This alludes either to the "Italian and German Songs" (four
numbers) published by me, or the "Italian and German Ariettes," Op. 82.

[76] This probably means the Missa Solemnis (Op. 123), afterwards
published by the brothers Schott; for that brought out by Breitkopf and
Härtel (Op. 86) had appeared long before the date of this letter.

[77] The compositions mentioned above by Beethoven have, as far as we
know, never appeared in print, and were probably disposed of at the sale
of his effects.

[78] The river which waters Berlin.

[79] Göthe's poem "Johanna Sebus."

[80] Clemens Brentano, the poet, Bettine's brother.

[81] See Göthe's Correspondence with a Child.

[82] From the Harmonicon, January, 1824.

[83] A neat little walled town of Austria, famous for its hot baths,
seated on the river Schwocha. This must not be confounded with the more
celebrated town of the same name in Switzerland.

[84] Mozart expressed himself in a similar manner; and Haydn, when at a
performance of the Messiah in Westminster Abbey, was nearly overpowered
by its sublime strains, and wept like a child.

[85] From the Harmonicon, December, 1825.

[86] Beethoven had already expressed himself to the same effect two
years before to Hofrath Rochlitz, as may be seen in his work--"For the
Friends of Music," vol. 4, page 355. I shall recur to this subject at
the conclusion of the musical part of this book.

[87] There is no doubt that the vocal parts of Beethoven's works
frequently lie very high, especially in places where words are to be
pronounced. This is the case with his ninth Symphony with _Soli_ and
Chorus. The 1st recitative for the bass voice is in some parts
uncomfortably high; and the composer himself permits the singer, in its
opening notes, to sing [Illustration: musical note], or [Illustration:
musical note]. He would certainly have given similar licences in several
other parts of this recitative, if it had not been against his plan of
unity in this musical poem, as the same notes of the recitative are
performed by the double-bass in the foregoing instrumental movement.
When I prepared, for the first time, to conduct this Symphony, on the
occasion of its revival by the Philharmonic Society (April 17th, 1837),
I found similar difficulties in other parts of the vocal movement. An
imperfect execution of these was to be apprehended, derogatory to the
general effect. I considered it a bold undertaking to attempt any
alteration, since every work which comes from such a master-genius
should be reverentially handled: I nevertheless ventured to facilitate
the execution of the passages in question. The full amount of changes
made by me is acknowledged in the following illustration:--in so doing I
hope to prove the truth of the saying, "that he who accuses himself has
the best chance of finding mercy at the hands of critical judges."--ED.

[88] He was in a measure right, for, what with _fioriture_ and roulades,
the true Cantabile style had until then remained to these two ladies.

[89] The same thing took place with the bass solo part, in which,
however, Beethoven at length gave way, and made a little alteration in
the recitative, because it was too high for the singer.

[90] In this they were not in the wrong. As to the saying, "_jurare in
verba magistri_," I am of opinion that it would be better to spoil the
effect of a whole piece than to destroy a single voice; and that
therefore every skilful Director should make such alteration as may be
found necessary for the voices, especially in the Mass, where there are
many soprano passages, which may be screamed, but cannot be sung. These
alterations are, besides, very easily made, and the effect will be grand
and true, when all the voices can proceed at ease.

[91] For an account of this Concert see Supplement, No. III., Vol. II.

[92] This refers to his brother Johann.

[93] See the Correspondence with Mr. Neate in the Supplement, No. II.,
Vol. II.

[94] Hofrath Rochlitz had already, in 1822, made him, in the name of M.
Härtel, a proposal for the composition of Göthe's Faust.

[95] One of these answers, in Beethoven's hand-writing, I sent, in the
year 1828, to Professor Marx, in Berlin, for the Berlin Musical Journal,
but have never seen or heard of it since.

[96] This passage refers to the law-suit with his sister-in-law.

[97] Beethoven's brother.

[98] That he might not have to charge himself with any neglect,
Beethoven, contrary to his custom, remained in town during the summer of

[99] As far as I have been able to learn, this nephew now holds some
civil appointment under the Austrian government. It is therefore
probable that time, circumstances, and mature reflection, have induced
him to return to the right path, as we must all wish that he should.
When we remember, however, the evil auspices under which his early
education was conducted, we shall be inclined to seek in that period for
the original causes of these most painful occurrences, and not be
tempted to lift a stone against him, but rather leave him to be judged
before the tribunal of that Divine Providence who has seen fit to
subject our immortal composer to the severe trials beneath which he so
early sunk.

[100] See the Correspondence between Beethoven and the Editor,
Supplement No. VI., Vol. II.

[101] In a letter to Ries, dated the 5th of September, 1823, Beethoven
says,--"My brother Johann, who keeps his carriage, has been trying to
draw upon me."

[102] Mr. Stumpff, the proprietor of a harp manufactory in London,
presented to Beethoven, the year before, the complete works of Handel,
in upwards of forty folio volumes, of the rare and costly London
edition. He was more delighted with this present than if he had received
the Order of the Garter. At the sale of his effects, M. Tobias Haslinger
bought this work for 100 florins!!! and from this it is easy to imagine
what prices were paid at that auction for articles of less value.

[103] This gentleman, my particular friend, was for many years attached
to the house of Baron von Eskeles, at Vienna, as tutor and companion to
his only son. The reader will find some letters from him in the
Supplement No. VI., Vol. II.--ED.

[104] It was not possible, and I therefore complied with his desire
immediately after his decease, and conveyed his thanks to these two
worthy men.

[105] Beethoven would have designated his career more accurately had he
said--_drama finitum est._

[106] It is worthy of mention that Beethoven for several weeks
obstinately rejected the advice of Dr. Bach and myself, to place the
property to be left for his nephew in the hands of trustees, till he
should attain his majority, for which there existed the most urgent
reasons. He wished that after his death his heir should come into the
immediate possession of it, and dispose of it just as he pleased. It was
not till after he had received the plainest proofs of the indifference
of this heir to his misfortunes--since he often left Beethoven's letters
for weeks together unanswered--that he agreed to our proposal, and
accordingly wrote with his own hand his will, consisting of but three
lines, by which, after the death of his nephew, the property was to
devolve to his natural heirs.

[107] This will be more fully elucidated by M. Rau's letters. See
Supplement, No. VI., Vol. II.--ED.

[108] For an account of the funeral, see Supplement, No. VII., Vol. II.

[109] This part properly belongs to the historical section of the
biography, of which it forms the completion. But as its incorporation
with the historical matter would frequently have occasioned an
interruption of the narrative, I have thought it better to make the
exclusively musical part of the work the subject of a distinct section.

[110] In like manner, Clementi has characterized his grand Sonata, No.
3, Op. 50. Having taken his ideas from the History of Dido, he
illustrated his composition by the superscription:--"Didone
abbandonnata--Scena tragica;" and besides, in the course of the work,
not only the different movements, but also single passages, are rendered
intelligible by particular superscriptions. It is truly unpardonable
that this noble work, deserving to be ranked on a level with Beethoven's
Sonatas, should be unknown to most of the pianoforte players of the
present day. In the judgment of modern musicians and dilettanti,
Clementi belongs to the old school; but I may here take the opportunity
of recording Beethoven's opinion of him. Among all the masters who have
written for the pianoforte, Beethoven assigned to Clementi the very
foremost rank. He considered his works excellent as studies for
practice, for the formation of a pure taste, and as truly beautiful
subjects for performance. Beethoven used to say,--"They, who thoroughly
study Clementi, at the same time make themselves acquainted with Mozart
and other composers; but the converse is not the fact."

[111] With few exceptions, the Sonatas were all composed at the two
periods alluded to.

[112] The happy state of feeling by which Beethoven was at this time
animated inspired him with the idea of setting to music, with full
orchestral parts, Schiller's "Lied an die Freude."

[113] The reader will recollect an anecdote of Beethoven and his
brother, relative to a circumstance which occurred on New Year's Day,
1823, together with the New Year's Day card.

[114] This calls to mind the fact related by Ries, in his _Notizen_, p.
107, in reference to the direction he received, when in London, from
Beethoven:--"At the commencement of the _Adagio_ in the Sonata, Op. 106,
place these two notes for the first bar." Ries expresses great
astonishment at the effect produced by the two notes.

[115] That this maxim admits, in our unpoetic and superficial age, of a
much more extended application than it did in former times, must be with
regret acknowledged by every unprejudiced observer of the modern
phenomena in the region of art. Twenty or thirty years ago, great
musical talent, enjoying the good fortune of being directed by able
instruction, might easily have attained the highest degree of
cultivation, there being then no reason to fear those seductive and
slippery paths of the musical career, whereby distinguished talent is
now so often led astray. A period not yet more remote than twenty or
thirty years ago, was favourable to the development of faculties like
those of the Countess Sidonie of Brunswick, in Pesth, of whom mention
has been made in the Second Period. The present age repeats with
enthusiasm the name of "Clara Wieck,"{*****} who for versatility of
talent will not easily find a rival among her own sex. But talent which
is to be judged by the tribunal of public opinion, if it do not render
homage to the taste of the age, must at least show deference to it, and
thereby lose its genuine artistical purity. This purity of taste is to
be looked for only in dilettanti, who always keep in view the ideal
beauty of pure unperverted truth of feeling, because their talents are
exercised only in a small circle of musical friends of their own choice.
Such persons, however, always remain mere dilettanti, as they do not
cease to fulfil those duties which their domestic or other social
relations demand, and which, by a prudent distribution of time, are
easily rendered compatible with study in any situation in life. It is
only on these conditions that their efforts in art, when they rise far
above the common level, will win the admiration and approval of all
truly cultivated artists.

{*****}Now Mad. Schuman.--ED.

[116] So far as my observation goes, it inclines me to dissent from this
opinion. Not only are the new editions of Beethoven's works substantial
evidences that his magnificent and various talent finds an increasing
number of worshippers among the amateurs of Europe, but there are few of
the distinguished Solo players of the day, who do not seek to recommend
themselves by acquaintance with his music, and public and private
performances of it. In new countries and circles, moreover, is the taste
for it rapidly spreading: I may instance London and Paris, where it is
now deeply studied by the profession, and eagerly sought after by the

[117] Matheson's "Vollkommener Kapell-meister" was published at
Hamburgh, in 1739.

[118] There is so much intrinsic spirit and value in Beethoven's
orchestral works, that it is beyond the power of occasional mistakes or
exaggerations in _tempo_, on the part of the players, to convert them
into common prose. In England, certain movements are frequently taken
too slow; in France, others too quick--according to my recollection of
the _tempo_ as given to the orchestra by the composer when he
conducted--still without the metamorphosis taking place.--ED.

[119] The reader may deem it not uninteresting to be made acquainted
with Mozart's opinion with reference to the unsatisfactory manner in
which his compositions were sometimes performed. In the Biography
published by H. von Nissen and Mozart's widow, we find, at p. 27, the
following passage:--"Mozart complained bitterly of the injury which his
compositions frequently sustained by faulty performance, especially by a
too great acceleration of the _tempo_. They think that this rapidity
imparts fire to the composition; but truly if there is not fire in the
music itself, it can never be galloped into it." (These were Mozart's
own words.)

[120] The structure and extent of the hall of the great Imperial Ridotto
at Vienna, in which the concerts of the Musical Society are held,
renders a powerful orchestra necessary.

[121] This was the exact number of performers on the occasion when his
Symphonies were first brought forward.--ED.

[122] The metronomic sign may be compared to a paragraph of a code of
laws which is cited as an authority for the decision in some particular
case. The dictating movement of the metronome facilitates a just
comprehension of a musical composition. A correct metronomic direction
leads the intelligent musician by the right path into the spirit of the
music; whilst an erroneous indication of the time leads him very far
astray in his endeavours to seize that spirit.

[123] By way of excepting my self from the sweeping censure here
bestowed upon all who have attempted to fix the metronomic signs to
Beethoven's compositions, I hope I may be permitted to state, that in
superintending for Messrs. Cramer and Co. the new edition of his works,
and in metronomising the several compositions, I have not merely
listened to my own musical feelings, but been guided by my recollections
of what I gathered from Beethoven's own playing, and that of the
Baroness Ertman, whom I have heard perform many of his works in his
presence, and to his entire satisfaction, at the musical meetings
alluded to by M. Schindler in this work, vol. i, p. 183, and at Mr.
Zmeskall's. In some of the quick movements I have purposely refrained
from giving way to that rapidity of piano-forte execution, so largely
developed at the present time. It is with satisfaction that I add, that
the _tempi_ I have ventured to give differ very slightly from those
affixed to Haslinger's Vienna edition, by Carl Czerny, whom I consider
to be a competent authority in the matter.--ED.

[124] Did not M. Schindler, in page 119 of this volume, more duly
appreciate the merits of Liszt than the reader might infer from the
above, I should gladly avail myself of this opportunity to do homage to
the amazing talent of that artist.--ED.

[125] I cannot calmly submit to be put under this ban, but rather stand
up and defend my metronomic Signs of the Op. 27, as well as of all the
others in the edition.--ED.

[126] In this angry denunciation against metronomising M. Schindler goes
too far. The musical world knows, that marking the time by a metronome
is but a slight guide for performers and conductors. Its object is to
show the general time of a movement, particularly at its commencement;
but it is not to be followed strictly throughout; for no piece, except a
march or a dance, would have any real life and expression, or light and
shade, if the Solo performer, or the orchestra under its conductor, were
strictly to adhere to one and the same _tempo_, without regard to the
many marks which command its variations. (See M. Schindler's own
subsequent words on this subject, pp. 116 and 117.) The player or
conductor, who enters into the time and spirit of the piece must feel
_when_ and _where_ he has to introduce the necessary changes: and these
are often of so delicate a nature, that the marks of the metronome would
become superabundant, not to say impossible. This duly considered, the
differences in the metronomic signs here denounced will be found too
trifling to draw forth such animadversions.--ED.

[127] In Op. 27 both title and dedication vary from the mode in which
they are given by the composer. The following are the words written by
Beethoven, which refer specially to No. 1:--"Sonata quasi Fantasia,
dedicata alla Madamigella Contessa Giulietta di Guicciardi."

[128] This reasoning seems to me somewhat void of logic, since the same
spirit which would urge M. Schindler's "most fashionable" piano-forte
player to exceed the _tempi_ of Beethoven's Sonatas, would prompt him
also to play the above-mentioned Studies with such a degree of celerity
as must enable him to be prepared for the difficulties, at _prestissimo_
speed, of the great master's Sonatas.--ED.

[129] Beethoven himself?--ED.

[130] I shall presently have occasion to quote a remark of Beethoven's,
in which the above words occur.

[131] "The _tempo_ of the Sonata, fixed by Maelzel's metronome, you
shall have by next post," says Beethoven, in his letter of the 30th of
April. Why not have sent it with the manuscript of the music? It was a
mechanical occupation, and Beethoven was not inclined to turn to it on
that day. Unfortunately, he was not better disposed to set about it
before the departure of the following post.

[132] The reader will recollect Beethoven's letter to Moscheles, dated
March 18th, 1827, alluded to in the third period. In that letter he
enclosed the metronomic signs for the Ninth Symphony, after the Symphony
to which those signs belonged had been some time in London.

[133] If Beethoven, though acknowledging the useful adaptability of the
metronome, was, nevertheless, frequently undetermined, and, by twice
fixing metronomic signs to the same works, contradicted himself, it
merely shows that he was influenced by the musical feeling of the
moment. Another proof that two different musicians, like Czerny and
myself, could naturally hardly fail to deviate slightly in pointing out
the _tempo_ of Beethoven's works. His saying here quoted, "Better no
metronome!" is no proof that he wished to abolish its use, but that he
only feared that it might be insufficient to determine the rate of
movement in its different variations.--ED.

[134] See my note, p. 100.--ED.

[135] With regard to pianoforte playing, Beethoven always inculcated the
following rule:--"Place the hands over the key-board in such a position
that the fingers need not be raised more than is necessary. This is the
only method by which the player can learn to _generate tone_, and, as it
were, to make the instrument sing." He abjured the _staccato_ style,
especially in the performance of phrases, and he derisively termed it
"finger-dancing," or "manual air-sawing." There are many passages in
Beethoven's works which, though not marked with slurs, require to be
played _legato_. But this a cultivated taste will instinctively

[136] I agree with M. Schindler in these remarks. The slight deviations
of time recommended must give life and expression, not only to this
movement, but also to the imaginative compositions of all the great

Their success, however, can only be assured by intimate acquaintance on
the part of the band with the manner of the conductor, and his mode of
conveying his intentions, either from long intercourse or careful


[138] See Score, p. 3.

[139] See Score, p. 23.

[140] Will it be believed in Vienna that Beethoven's Symphonies were
assiduously practised from twelve to sixteen months, and the Ninth
Symphony, with Schiller's Ode to Joy, full two years, in the
Conservatoire of Paris, before they were performed in public? This is a
fact. It is also a fact that on occasion of the first performance of
this Ninth Symphony, in 1824, at the Kärnthner-Thoe theater, Beethoven
could obtain no more than two rehearsals, because the orchestra was
engaged in rehearsing a new Ballet. Remonstrances and entreaties, on the
part of Beethoven, for a third rehearsal, which he considered necessary,
proved unavailing. He received for definitive answer--"Two rehearsals
will be quite sufficient." What will the professors of the Paris
Conservatoire, and M. Habeneck, the leader, say to this?




    Symphonies for the whole Orchestra                     60-80
    Overtures                                              20-30


    Concertos for Violin, with Orchestral Accompaniments      50
    Ottetts for various Instruments                           60
    Septetts     ditto                                        60
    Sextetts     ditto                                        60
    Quintetts for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, and Violoncello        50
    Quartetts for 2 Violins, Viola, and Violoncello           40
    Terzetts for Violin, Viola, and Violoncello               40


    Concertos for the Piano-forte, with Orchestral
      Accompaniments                                            60
    Fantasia,    ditto                                          30
    Rondo,       ditto                                          30
    Variations,  ditto                                          30
    Ottetts for Piano-forte, with Accompaniments
      of various Instruments                                    50
    Septett      ditto                                          50
    Quintett     ditto                                          60
    Quartett     ditto                                          70
    Terzetts for Piano-forte, Viola, and Violoncello            50
    Duetts for Piano-forte and Violin                           40
    Duetts for Piano-forte and Violoncello                      40
    Duo for Piano-forte, for four hands                         60
    Sonata (Grand) for Piano-forte, alone                       40
    Sonata for Piano-forte, solo                                30
    Fantasia for Piano-forte                                    30
    Rondo for Piano-forte                                       15
    Variations for Piano-forte, with Accompaniments          10-20
    Variations for Piano-forte, solo                         10-20
    Six Fugues for Piano-forte                               30-40
    Divertimentos, Airs, Preludes, Pot-pourris, Bagatelles,
      Adagio, Andante, Toccatas, Capriccios,
      for Piano-forte, solo                                  10-15


    Grand Mass                                                 130
    Smaller Mass                                               100
    Greater Oratorio                                           300
    Smaller Oratorio                                           200
    Graduale                                                    20
    Offertorium                                                 20
    Te Deum Laudamus                                            50
    Requiem                                                    120
    Vocal Pieces with Orchestral Accompaniments                 20
    An Opera Seria                                             300
    Six Songs, with Piano-forte Accompaniments                  20
    Six shorter  ditto       ditto                              12
    A Ballad                                                    15

Immediately underneath were the following remarks in Beethoven's
handwriting:--"One might reserve a right occasionally to alter or to fix
new prices. If the above are meant merely for Austria, or (at most)
France, and England is left to me, they might be accepted. In regard to
several items, one might retain the right of fixing the price oneself.
As to the publication of the complete works, England and France should
perhaps be reserved for the author. The sum to be paid by the publishers
would be 10,000 florins, Vienna currency. As they wish also to treat for
the publication of the complete works, _such_ a contract would, in my
opinion, be the best." ... "Perhaps stand out for London and Paris, and
write to Schlesinger on the subject."

[142] See Beethoven's facsimile in the original German, of which the
above is a translation. No. I.

[143] I remember, after having been for some time resident in England,
in the course of a conversation with Beethoven, at his house in Vienna
(in November, 1823), asking him in writing (then the only mode of
communication with him), "How is the Archduke Rudolph?" He answered
abruptly, "He is quietly tending his sheep at Olmütz" (Er hütet seine
Schafe in Olmütz)--an allusion to the Archduke's Cardinalship.

The same conversation was remarkably interesting to me, as affording me
many proofs of the extreme interest Beethoven took in the diffusion of
his works in England, and the fondness with which he cherished the idea
of himself directing their performance and witnessing their popularity
in that country. He asked me many minute questions about the state of
the orchestras, and the organization of the different musical societies
of London.--ED.

[144] With respect to most of the arrangements of Beethoven's works for
two or four hands, especially his Symphonies, it is curious to imagine
the destruction which the great master would have dealt among them, had
he lived to see them. He would have waged war against them with fire and
sword, and none would have been spared except those of Watts and Hummel.
These Beethoven pronounced to be the best pianoforte arrangements of his
works. As to the other arrangers, one of them has copied half of the
score, and by this means burdened the performer with difficulties,
which, on the pianoforte, owing to the homogeneous tone of the
instrument, are useless, and frequently undistinguishable, whilst they
obstruct the free flow of the melody, and, by fatiguing both the eyes
and fingers of the player, render him incapable of following the spirit
and soul of the music. Another of such arrangers, or, to speak more
correctly, derangers, deserves to have his knuckles rapped for the
liberty he has taken in making essential omissions and additions, with
the view of improving Beethoven's music. M. Simrock would render a
gratifying tribute to the memory of Beethoven, by engaging M. Watts to
arrange all the Symphonies. By his arrangement of the fourth and sixth
Symphonies, Watts has shown that he is more capable than any other of
executing that difficult task in a spirit congenial with the composer's

[145] Beethoven did not receive Rossini, though the latter called on him
no less than four times. I shall make no comment on this fact, further
than to observe that I wish Beethoven had not thus acted.

[146] The resolution thus hesitatingly formed. An effort of inspiration.
"Must it be?" "It must be!"

[147] A kind of fish resembling the haddock, caught in the Danube.

[148] "Beethoven Studien," p. 26.

[149] Ries, in his "Notizen," p. 124, sets forth at length the reasons
for these doubts.

[150] This fully proves that Beethoven always showed more contrition
than his fault could warrant. The cause of the altercation is not
mentioned in Wegeler's _Notizen_, from which these letters are

[151] This work was the Variations on Mozart's Figaro, "Se vuol
ballare." (Dunst, 4th part, No. 27.) He afterwards dedicated a Sonata,
or rather Sonatina, to her, which appeared in Dunst's edition, 1st part,
No. 64.

[152] Barbara Koch, afterwards Countess Belderbusch, an intimate friend
of Madame von Breuning, a lady distinguished alike in all the qualities
which can adorn the mind of woman. She was surrounded not only by men of
the highest talent--such as Beethoven, Romberg, Reicha, &c.--but science
as well as rank did homage to her brilliant qualities.

[153] Afterwards Count of Marienstadt, and a classical writer.

[154] Angola rabbits, or silk hares.

[155] A shake is carried on through several bars with alternate fingers,
whilst three fingers are employed besides. The fingering is marked.

[156] Beethoven complained to me of this musical espionage. He named to
me the Abbé Gelinek, that most fertile writer of Variations, who always
quartered himself in his vicinity. This might have been the cause of
Beethoven's always choosing lodgings in a square or on the ramparts.

[157] The date of the year is wanting, but it is most probably 1800.

[158] Bonn had, through the war, lost its prince, the court, the
administrative body--in fact, all its resources. It never had any trade
or manufactures.

[159] Beethoven was most easily excited, and consequently very
irritable; but when the first burst of passion had subsided, he had an
open ear and a yielding heart for the reproofs of his friends. He would
consequently be much more contrite than the occasion warranted. I have
now before me a note of his which I received at Vienna, and which runs
thus:--"What an abominable picture of myself you have shown me! Oh! I
feel it: I am not worthy of your friendship. I did not meditate a base
action: it was thoughtlessness which urged me to my unpardonable conduct
towards you." Thus he fills three pages; and this is the end:--"But no
more. I fly to you, and in an embrace ask for my lost friend; and you
will restore him to me--to your contrite, faithful, and loving friend,
BEETHOVEN." The two letters to Mlle. von Breuning, as above quoted, are
of the same tenor. He had quarrelled with Stephen von Breuning (as with
what friend did he not quarrel?), but, being made sensible of _his
grievous wrong_, he wrote and acted in the same way, upon which the most
heartfelt reconciliation took place; and the sincerest friendship
subsisted uninterruptedly between them until Beethoven's death.

[160] The bark of daphne mezereum.

[161] John Adam Schmidt, councillor, &c. &c., oculist, and author of
several classical works.

[162] I lived in close and friendly intimacy with Schmidt and Hunczovsky
up to their death. The former wrote under his portrait, which he sent

    "Cogitare et esse sui, idem est.    Wegelero suo Schmidt."

[163] My brother-in-law Stephen Breuning, Ferdinand Ries, Bernard
Romberg, and myself, have been taught by experience that Beethoven was
ever a slave to the tender passion, and that in the highest degree. His
and Stephen Breuning's first love was Mlle. Jeannette d'Honrath, of
Cologne, who often spent some weeks at the residence of the Breunings.
She was as fair as lively, engaging and amiable, had a beautiful voice,
and delighted in music. She often used to sing, in derision, to our
friend, the well-known song:--

    "What! part with thee this very day?
    My heart a thousand times says nay,
    And yet I know I must not stay."

The happy rival was Major Greth, of Cologne, who married the fair lady.
This attachment of Beethoven's was followed by one for the amiable Mlle.
W----; and it is but three years since B. Romberg told me many anecdotes
of this Werther-like love. Neither this nor any of the former
inclinations left any lasting impression upon his own mind or that of
the fair ones. Beethoven was a great favourite at Vienna, and perhaps
more so than many an Adonis might be; and I will leave connoisseurs and
dilettanti to judge whether "Adelaide," "Fidelio," and many other
things, could have been written if the author had not experienced those
feelings which they so admirably depict. But let us take the author's
word for it, as given in this letter, that he _was_ swayed by love. To
the best of my knowledge, his affections were generally placed in the
higher ranks.

[164] This alludes to a violent quarrel which arose between the composer
and his friend, about some lodgings which the latter had taken for him.

[165] Ries then lived at a tailor's, who had beautiful daughters.

[166] My lot in this particular was that of his pupil Ries. The
dedication was made by letter only; but are not such letters of greater

[167] This alludes to what will appear by and by in Ries's sketches.

[168] Beethoven was here mistaken. It was not a song of his composition
which he no longer possessed, but merely new words put to Matthisson's
Ode. I did the same thing with an early song of Beethoven's--"Who is a
free man?" (_Wer ist ein freier Mann?_) Beethoven wished to have words
for the theme of those Variations with which the grand Sonata, Op. 26,
dedicated to Prince Lichnowsky, commences. My attempt did not however
satisfy me: thus he never saw it.

[169] Joseph Simrock, music publisher, the head of the present house.

[170] "Dessiné par Letronne, et gravé par Hoefel, 1814. For my friend
Wegeler. Vienna, March 27, 1815. Ludw. van Beethoven." Our mutual
friend, Director Eichhoff, brought it away for me after the congress.

[171] Beethoven was educating the son of his brother Caspar, who had
died the preceding year.

[172] Beethoven was then living at Bonn, in the Wenzel Street.

[173] The reader may judge hereby what to think of Beethoven's contempt
of such distinctions.

[174] A month before his death.

[175] I had, if my memory serves me, reminded him of Blumauer, who lived
many years after having been tapped. I proposed to him to fetch him from
the Bohemian baths, take him by a circuitous route to the Upper Rhine,
and then down to Coblentz, where he was finally to recover.

[176] On the portrait stands, _above_ his name, "To my long tried and
much beloved friend, F. G. Wegeler." There is no date affixed.

[177] I am indebted to the kindness of Mr. Neate for the following
correspondence, which succeeded the acquaintance formed between the two
at Vienna in the year 1815; and, as will be seen, includes a letter from
Mr. Neate in elucidation of a misunderstanding which had arisen between
them. Beethoven's letters to Ries I extract from Dr. Wegeler's Notices,

[178] Mr. Neate was at the time one of the directors of the Philharmonic

[179] This is the title on the piano-forte score.--(Beethoven's own

[180] The reader will perceive that I have given this letter without
attempting to correct its orthography, conceiving it to be one of those
cases where the original imperfection rather adds to than diminishes the
interest of the document.--ED.

[181] This letter, not written but signed in Beethoven's own
handwriting, is here given in the original English text.--ED.

[182] These were dedicated by the author to Mr. Neate.--ED.

[183] This letter cannot be produced.--ED.

[184] In consequence of this offer, the Philharmonic Society ordered a
Symphony for one hundred guineas, and he accordingly sent them his Ninth

[185] I have, in my edition of this Sonata, marked the time of the first
movement 138 of Maelzel's Metronome, because Beethoven himself had fixed
that number. He, according to "Wegeler's Notizen," gives it with a
minim--I with a crotchet; but neither of these can, to my mind, be made
to suit the character of the movement. The minim increases it to so
fearful a prestissimo as Beethoven could never have intended, since he
desired the _Assai_, originally prefixed to the _Allegro_, to be
omitted. The crotchet slackens the movement all too much; and although I
have, in my edition, allowed Beethoven's numbers to remain, in deference
to the great man, yet I would advise the player to hold a middle course,
according to the following mark: [Illustration: musical note, half note]
= 116.--ED.

[A] Ries gives the following account of this new bar:--All the
"Initiated" must be interested in the striking fact which occurred
respecting one of Beethoven's last solo-Sonatas (in B major, with the
great Fugue Op. 106)--a Sonata which has _forty-one pages of print_.
Beethoven had sent it to me to London for sale, that it might appear
there at the same time as in Germany. The engraving was completed, and I
in daily expectation of the letter naming the day of publication. This
arrived at last, but with the extraordinary "request,"--"Prefix the
following two notes, as a first bar, to the beginning of the Adagio."
This Adagio has from nine to ten pages in print. I own the thought
struck me involuntarily, that all might not be right with my dear old
master, a rumour to that effect having often been spread. What! add _two
notes_ to a composition already worked out and out, and completed six
months ago? But my astonishment was yet to be heightened by the _effect_
of these two notes. Never could such be found again--so striking, so
important--no, not even if contemplated at the very beginning of the
composition. I would advise every true lover of the art to play this
Adagio first without, and then _with_ these two notes, which now form
the first bar, and I have no doubt he will share in my opinion.

[B] This minim should be a crotchet--an error which originates either in
a misprint in Dr. Wegeler's "Notizen," or in Beethoven's own manuscript
letter to Ries.--ED.

[186] How numerous his proposals! How much scope he leaves me! Was it in
presentiment of the difficulties which would attend its sale?--RIES.

[187] The plan for Beethoven's journey.

[188] The letter, sealed in two places, as also the direction on the
cover, were written in Beethoven's own hand. These were inclosed in a
letter to me, and a cover put over the whole. Probably the address
seemed so illegible to himself that he put a third cover over it,
without removing the second one.--RIES.

[189] Seventeen shillings: ten and a fifth florins.--RIES.

[190] It has materially suffered during the last three years.

[191] Beethoven received 25 guineas in a cheque of £26 5_s._, while the
calculations were made in pounds.--RIES.

[192] Mr. Neate did not succeed in disposing of these three Quartets
(oeuvres posthumes) to a publisher.--ED.

[193] It was suggested that this Symphony should be performed at the
musical festival at Aix-la-Chapelle. Beethoven, however, did not send
it. The committee had written to him directly, but had received promises
only. At last I wrote, and begged that, knowing him and his scores as
well as I did, he would send me the original score, which I should be
able to make out. I promised him at the same time (well aware of his
constant want of money) another present, which I received for him some
time after to the amount of forty louis-d'ors.--RIES.

[194] Probably belonging to a dramatic piece, "The Ruins of Athens,"
written for a performance at Pesth.

[195] When I left England I went to live at Godesberg, near Bonn, one of
the most beautiful parts on the Rhine. I had invited Beethoven to come
and see me there; and had pressed him to live at once with me, and in
his native home, for some little time.--RIES.

[196] From the Harmonicon, October, 1824.

[197] Most of our readers will concur with us in thinking this a most
eccentric mode of colouring musically so gentle a word.

[198] This passage has puzzled many a leader and conductor, and many
have altered it thus:--

[Illustration: musical notation]

Whilst in the score it is written,--

[Illustration: musical notation] ED.

[199] Beethoven being in the box of a much esteemed lady during the
performance of "La Molinara," she said, on hearing the well-known "Nel
cor più," "I had some variations on this subject, but have lost them."
Beethoven, the same night, wrote the six Variations on this subject, and
the next morning sent them to the lady, writing upon them, "Variazioni,
&c., perdute da----, retrovate du Luigi v. B." They are so easy that the
lady might well have played them at first sight.--WEGELER.

[200] As it proves to be in our days, where it is always the one most

[201] Consequently after his hearing had been impaired.--WEGELER.

[202] _Manu propria_, with his own hand.

[203] A music-seller at Vienna.

[204] A village in a romantic country, about three miles from Vienna.

[205] Towards the latter end of 1826.

[206] In answer to the above, I informed Mr. Rau, in the name of the
Philharmonic Society, that the money having been sent for the express
purpose, and on condition that Beethoven himself should make use of it,
the Society would, now that the event had taken place before the end in
view could be achieved, expect the money to be returned.--ED.

[207] The above-mentioned enclosure from the guardian (Mr. Hotschilar,
imperial notary) urges still more forcibly all that Mr. Rau hints
confidentially, with the request that I would lay before the
Philharmonic Society the case of young Beethoven (then under age), and
earnestly solicit that body not to reclaim the one thousand florins,
but, in honour of the great deceased, allow the small patrimony, which
he spared no sacrifice in securing for his nephew, to remain untouched.
I complied with Mr. Hotschilar's request, and the Society gave its tacit
consent by relinquishing all further proceedings: thus doing homage to
the great man even in death.--ED.

[208] Given in the following pages.--ED.

[209] The original MS. of this curious production is in the possession
of Mr. Haslinger, and prized as a relic of no common kind.--ED.

[210] This gentleman, who stands in high repute as a professor of music
at Bonn, has made himself so meritoriously known as a teacher of harmony
and counterpoint, that the honour of instructing H. R. H. Prince Albert,
while at the University of Bonn, in that branch of the art, devolved
upon him.

[211] From the Harmonicon, April, 1828.

[212] This work has indeed been published.--ED.

[213] M. Schindler has informed us that this valuable collection was
bought by Haslinger for 100 florins, about £10 sterling--a price which
would not seem to bespeak much spirit in the rival bidders; and the
writer of the above account of the sale adds, in a note, that the
purchaser almost immediately advertised it for sale in the Leipzig
Musical Gazette, price 450 florins, or £45.--TRANSLATOR.

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