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(1790 — 1826)
FEOM THE COLLECTION OF DE. LUDWIG NOHL.
LETTERS TO THE ARCHDUKE RUDOLPH,
CARDINAL-ARCHBISHOP OP OLMUTZ, K.W., FROM THE COLLECTION
OP DR. LUDWIO RITTER YON KOCHEL.
WITH A PORTRAIT AND FACSIMILE.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.
Since undertaking the translation of Dr. Ludwig Nohl's
valuable edition of ' Beethoven's Letters,' an additional
collection has been published by Dr. Ludwig Eitter
von Kochel, consisting of many interesting letters ad-
dressed by Beethoven to his illustrious pupil, H. E. H.
the Archduke Rudolph, Cardinal- Archbishop of Olmutz.
These I have inserted in chronological order, and
marked with the letter K., in order to distinguish them
from the correspondence edited by Dr. Nohl. I have
only omitted a few brief notes, consisting merely of
apologies for non-attendance on the Archduke.
The artistic value of these newly discovered treasures
will no doubt be as highly appreciated in this country
as in the great maestro 's fatherland.
I must also express my gratitude to Dr. Th. G.
v. Karajan, for permitting an engraving to be made ex-
pressly for this work, from an original Beethoven portrait
VI TRANSLATOR S PREFACE.
in his possession, now for the first time given to the
public. The grand and thoughtful countenance forms
a fitting introduction to letters so truly depicting the
brilliant, fitful genius of the sublime master, as well
as the touching sadness and gloom pervading his life,
which his devotion to Art alone brightened, through
many bitter trials and harassing cares.
The love of Beethoven's music is now become so uni-
versal in England, that I make no doubt his letters will
receive a hearty welcome from all those whose spirits
have been elevated and soothed by the genius of this
March 28, 1866.
BY DR. LUDWIG- NOHL
LETTEES OF LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN.
In accompanying the present edition of the Letters
of Ludwig van Beethoven with a few introductory
remarks, I at once acknowledge that the compilation of
these letters has cost me no slight sacrifices. I must also,
however, mention that an unexpected Christmas dona-
tion, generously bestowed on me with a view to fur-
ther my efforts to promote the science of music, enabled
me to undertake one of the journeys necessary for my
purpose, and also to complete the revision of the
Letters and of the press, in the milder air and repose
of a country residence, long since recommended to
me for the restoration of my health, undermined by
That, in spite of every effort, I have not succeeded in
seeing the original of each letter, or even discovering
the place where it exists, may well be excused, taking
into consideration the slender capabilities of an indivi-
dual, and the astonishing manner in which Beethoven's
letters are dispersed all over the world. At the same
time, I must state that not only have the hitherto
inaccessible treasures of Anton Schindler's ' Beethoven's
Nachlass ' been placed at my disposal, but also other
letters from private sources, owing to various happy
chances, and the kindness and complaisance of collectors
of autographs. I know better, however, than most
people — being in a position to do so — that in the
present work there can be no pretension to anything
approaching to a complete collection of Beethoven's
letters. The master, so fond of writing, though he
often rather amusingly accuses himself of being a lazy
correspondent, may very probably have sent forth at
least double the amount of the letters here given, and
there is no doubt whatever that a much larger number
are still extant in the originals. The only thing that
can be done at this moment, however, is to make the
attempt to bring to light, at all events, the letters that
could be discovered in Germany. The mass of those
which I gradually accumulated, and now offer to the
public (with the exception of some insignificant notes),
appeared to me sufficiently numerous and important
to interest the world, and also to form a substantial
nucleus for any letters that may hereafter be dis-
covered. On the other hand, as many of Beethoven's
letters slumber in foreign lands, especially in the
unapproachable cabinets of curiosities belonging to
various close-fisted English collectors, an entire edi-
tion of the correspondence could only be effected
by a most disproportionate outlay of time and ex-
When revising the text of the letters, it seemed to
me needless perpetually to impair the pleasure of the
reader by retaining the mistakes in orthography ; but
enough of the style of writing of that day is adhered
to to prevent its peculiar charm being entirely de-
stroyed. Distorted and incorrect as Beethoven's mode
of expression sometimes is, I have not presumed to
alter his grammar, or rather syntax, in the smallest
degree ; who would presume to do so with an individu-
ality which, even amid startling clumsiness of style,
displays those inherent intellectual powers that often
did violence to language as well as to his fellow-men ?
Cyclopean masses of rock are here hurled with Cyclo-
pean force; but hard and massive as they are, the
man is not to be envied whose heart is not touched by
these glowing fragments, flung apparently at random
right and left, like meteors, by a mighty intellectual
being, however perverse the treatment language may
have received from him.
The great peculiarity, however, in this strange mode
of expression is, that even such incongruous language
faithfully reflects the mind of the man whose nature
was of prophetic depth and heroic force ; and who that
knows anything of the creative genius of a Beethoven
can deny him these attributes ?
The antique dignity pervading the whole man, the
ethical contemplation of life forming the basis of his
nature, prevented even a momentary wish on my part
to efface a single word of the oft recurring expres-
sions so painfully harsh, bordering on the unaesthetic,
and even on the repulsive, provoked by his wrath
against the meanness of men. In the last part of these
genuine documents, we learn with a feeling of sadness,
and with almost a tragic sensation, how low was the
standard of moral worth, or rather how great was the posi-
tive unworthiness, of the intimate society surrounding
the master, and with what difficulty he could maintain
the purity of the nobler part of his being in such an
atmosphere. The manner, indeed, in which he strives
to do so, fluctuating between explosions of harshness and
almost weak yieldingness, while striving to master the
base thoughts and conduct of these men, though never
entirely succeeding in doing so, is often more a diverting
than an offensive spectacle. In my opinion, neverthe-
less, even this less pleasing aspect of the Letters ought
not to be in the slightest degree softened (which it has
hitherto been, owing to false views of propriety and
morality), for it is no moral deformity here displayed.
Indeed, even when the irritable master has recourse
to expressions repugnant to our sense of convention-
ality and which may well be called harsh and rough,
still the wrath that seizes on our hero is a just and
righteous wrath, and we disregard it, just as in
nature, whose grandeur constantly elevates us above
the inevitable stains of an earthly soil. The coarse-
ness and ill-breeding, which would claim toleration
because this great man now and then showed such
feelings, must beware of doing so, being certain to
make shipwreck when coming in contact with the
massive rock of true morality on which, with all his
faults and deficiencies, Beethoven's being was surely
grounded. Often, indeed, when absorbed in the unso-
phisticated and genuine utterances of this great man,
it seems as if these peculiarities and strange asperities
were the results of some mysterious law of nature, so
that we are inclined to adopt the paradox by which a
wit once described the singular groundwork of our
nature, ' The faults of man are the night in which he
rests from his virtues.'
Indeed, I think that the lofty morality of such natures
is not fully evident until we are obliged to confess with
regret, that even the great ones of the earth must pay
their tribute to humanity, and really do pay it (which
is the distinction between them and base and petty
characters), without being ever entirely hurled from
their pedestal of dignity and virtue. The soul of that
man cannot fail to be elevated, who can seize the real
spirit of the scattered pages that a happy chance has
preserved for us. If not fettered by petty feelings, he
will quickly surmount the casual obstacles and stum-
bling-blocks which the first perusal of these Letters may
seem to present, and quickly feel himself transported at
a single stride into a stream, where a strange roaring
and rushing is heard, but above which loftier tones
resound with magic and exciting power. For a pecu-
liar life breathes in these lines ; an under-current runs
through their apparently unconnected import, uniting
them as with an electric chain, and with firmer links than
any mere coherence of subjects could have effected. I
experienced this myself, to the most remarkable degree,
when I first made the attempt to arrange, in accordance
with their period and substance, the hundreds of indivi-
dual pages bearing neither date nor address, and I was
soon convinced that a connecting text (such as Mozart's
Letters have, and ought to have) would be here entirely
superfluous, as even the best biographical commentary
would be very dry work, interrupting the electric
current of the whole, and thus destroying its peculiar
And now, what is this spirit which, for an intelligent
mind, binds together these scattered fragments into a
whole, and what is its actual power ? I cannot tell ;
but I feel to this day just as I felt to the innermost
depths of my heart in the days of my youth when I
first heard a Symphony of Beethoven's — that a spirit
breathes from it bearing us aloft with giant power out
of the oppressive atmosphere of sense, stirring to its
inmost recesses the heart of man, bringing him to the
full consciousness of his loftier being, and of the un-
dying within him. And even more distinctly than when
a new world was thus disclosed to his youthful feelings
is the man fully conscious that not only was this a new
world to him, but a new world of feeling in itself,
revealing to the spirit phases of its own, which, till
Beethoven appeared, had never before been fathomed.
Call it by what name you will, when one of the great
works of the sublime master is heard, whether indicative
of proud self-consciousness, freedom, spring, love, storm,
or battle, it grasps the soul with singular force, and
enlarges the labouring breast. Whether a man under-
stands music or not, everyone who has a heart beating
within his breast will feel with enchantment that here
is concentrated the utmost promised to us by the most
imaginative of our poets, in bright visions of happiness
and freedom. Even the only great hero of action,
who in those memorable days is worthy to stand beside
the great master of harmony, having diffused among
mankind new and priceless earthly treasures, sinks
in the scale when we compare these with the celes-
tial treasures of a purified and deeper feeling, and a
more free, enlarged, and sublime view of the world,
struggling gradually and distinctly upwards out of
the mere frivolity of an art devoid of words to express
itself, and impressing its stamp on the spirit of the
age. They convey, too, the knowledge of this brightest
victory of genuine German intellect to those for whom
the sweet Muse of Music is as a book with seven
seals, and reveal, likewise, a more profound sense of
Beethoven's being to many who already, through the
sweet tones they have imbibed, enjoy some dawning
conviction, of the master's grandeur, and who now more
and more eagerly lend a listening ear to the intellectual
clearly worded strains so skilfully interwoven, thus soon
to arrive at the full and blissful comprehension of those
grand outpourings of the spirit, and finally to add
another bright delight to the enjoyment of those who
already know and love Beethoven. All these may be
regarded as the objects I had in view when I under-
took to edit his Letters, which have also bestowed on
myself the best recompense of my labours, in the
humble conviction that by this means I may have
vividly reawakened in the remembrance of many the
mighty mission which our age is called on to perform
for the development of our race, even in the realm of
harmony — more especially in our Fatherland.
La Tour de Perlz — Lake of Geneva :
THE FIEST VOLUME.
life's joys and sorrows.
1. To the Elector of Cologne,
Frederick Maximilian . 3
2. To Dr. Schade, Augsburg . 4
3. To the Elector Maximilian
4. To Eleonore von Breuning,
5. To the Same 11
6. To Herr Schenk .... 12
7. To Dr. Wegeler, Vienna . 13
8. To the Same 14
9. Lines written in the Album
of Lenz von Breuning . 14
10. To Baron Zmeskall von
Domanowecz . . . . 15
11. Ukase to Zmeskall, Schup-
panzigh, and Lichnowsky 1 6
12. To Pastor Amenda, Cour-
13. To the Same 17
14. To Wegeler 20
15. To Countess Giulietta Gruic-
ciardi ..... 26
16. To Matthisson .... 30
17. To Frau Frank, Vienna . 31
18. To Wegeler 32
19. To Kapellmeister Hofmeis-
ter, Leipzig .... 36
20. To the Same 37
21. To the Same 38
22. To the Same 42
23. Dedication to Dr. Schmidt 44
24. To Ferdinand Ries ... 45
25. To HerrHofmeister, Leipzig 45
26. To Carl and Johann Beet-
27. Notice 52
28. To Ferdinand Ries ... 53
29. ToHerrHofmeister,Leipzig 53
30. Caution 54
31. To Ries .......... fi5
32. To the Same . . .55
33. To the Same 56
34. To the Same 56
35. To the Composer Leides-
dorf, Vienna . ... 56
36. To Eies 57
37. To the Same 57
38. To the Same 59
39. To Messrs. Artaria & Co. 61
40. To Princess Liechtenstein 62
41. To Herr Meyer .... 63
42. Testimonial for C. Czerny 64
43. To Herr Eockel .... 64
44. To Herr Collin, Court
Secretary and Poet . . 65
45. To Herr Gleichenstein . 65
46. To the Directors of the
Court Theatre . ... 66
47. To Count Franz von
48. Notice of a Memorial to
the Archduke Eudolph,
Prince Kinsky, and
Prince Lobkowitz . . . 70
49. Memorial to the Same . 72
50. To Zmeskall 74
51. To Ferdinand Eies . . . 75
52. To Zmeskall 76
53. To the Same 76
54. To the Same 77
55. To the Same 78
56. To the Same 78
57. To the Same 78
58. To the Same 79
59. To Freiherr von Hammer-
60. To the Same 80
61. To Baroness von Drossdick 82
62. To Mdlle. de Gerardi . . 84
63. To Zmeskall 85
64. ToWegeler 86
65. To Zmeskall 88
66. To Bettina Brentano . . 89
67. To the Same 92
68. To Zmeskall 93
69. To the Same 94
70. To the Archduke Eudolph 94
71. To a Dear Friend ... 95
72. To the Dramatic Poet 96
73. To Zmeskall 96
74. To the Same 97
75. To the Same 97
76. To the Same 98
77. To the Same 98
78. To the Same 99
79. To the Same 99
80. To Kammerprocurator Va-
renna, G-ratz . . . .100
81. To Zmeskall 102
82. To the Same 103
83. To Varenna, Gratz . . .103
84. To ZmeskaU 104
85. To Varenna 106
86. To Archduke Eudolph . 107
87. To the Same 107
88. To Varenna, Gratz . . .108
89. To Joseph Freiherr von
90. To Varenna, Gratz . . .111
91. Lines written in the Al-
bum of Mdme. Auguste
92. To the Archduke Eudolph 112
93. To Bettina von A rnim . 114
94. To Princess Kinsky . .117
95. To the Archduke Eudolph 120
96. To the Same 121
97. To the Same 122
98. To Princess Kinsky . . 123
99. To the Same 126
100. To Zmeskall ; .... 127
101. To Herr Joseph Varenna,
102. To the Same 129
103. To ZmeskaU 131
104. To the Same 132
105. To the Same 132
106. To the Same 133
107. To the Same 133
108. To the Same 134
109. To the Same 134
110. To the Archduke Eudolph 135
111. To the Same 135
112. To the Same 137
THE FIRST VOLUME.
113. To Freiherr Josef von
114. To Herr yon Baumeister . 138
115. ToZmeskall 139
116. Letter of Thanks . . .139
117. To the Archduke Budolph 141
118. To the Same 141
119. To the Same 142
120. To Treitschke . . . .142
121. To the Same 142
122. To the Same 143
123. To Count Lichnowsky. .143
124. To the Same 144
125. To the Archduke Kudolph 145
126. To the Same 146
127. Deposition 148
128. To Dr. Kauka, Prague . 152
129. Address and Appeal to
London Artists . . .154
130. To Dr. Kauka .... 155
131. To Count Moritz Lichnow-
132. To the Archduke Kudolph 158
133. To the Same ..... 159
134. To the Same 159
135. To the Same .... 160
136. To the Same 161
137. To the Same 162
138. To the Same 162
139. To the Same 163
140. To Dr. Kauka . . . .164
141. To the Same 165
142. To the Same 169
143. To the Members of the
144. To Baron von Pasqualati . 173
145. To Dr. Kauka . . . .174
146. To the Archduke Kudolph 175
147. Music written in Spohr's
148. To Dr. Kauka . . . .181
149. To the Same 182
150. To the Same 183
151. To Mr. Salomon, London 184
152. To the Archduke Kudolph 187
153. To the Same 187
154. To the Same 188
155. To the Same 188
156. To the Same 189
157. To the Same 189
158. To Mr. Birchall, Music
Publisher, London . .190
159. ToZmeskall 191
160. To the Archduke Rudolph 191
161. ToMessrs.BirchalLLondon 192
162. To Herr Ries .... 192
163. To Zmeskall 194
164. To Mdlle. Milder-Haupt-
165. To Ries 198
166. To Mr. Birchall, London . 198
167. To Czerny 199
168. To the Same 200
169. To Ries, London . . .200
170. To Griannatasio del Rio,
CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
171. To Giannatasio del Rio .202
172. To the Same 202
173. To the Same 203
174. To Ferdinand Ries,London 205
175. To the Same 206
176. Power of Attorney . . .207
177. To Ferdinand Ries . . . 207
178. To Giannatasio del Rio . 208
179. To the Same 209
180. To the Archduke Rudolph 210
181. To Mr. Birchall, London .210
182. To the Same ..... 212
183. To Giannatasio del Rio .212
184. To the Same 214
185. To Zmeskall 214
186. To Dr. Kauka .... 217
187. Query 218
188. To Giannatasio del Rio .218
189. To the Same 219
190. ToWegeler 220
191. To Mr. Birchall, London . 220
192. To Zmeskall 222
193. To the Archduke Rudolph 223
194. To Freiherrvon Schweiger 223
195. To Giannatasio del Rio . 224
196. To the Same 226
197. To the Same 227
198. To the Same 228
199. To Herr Tschischka . . 228
200. To Mr. Birchall .... 229
201. To Zmeskall 231
202. To Frau von Streicher . 231
203. To the Same 233
204. To the Same 233
205. To the Same 234
206. To the Same 236
206. To the Archduke Rudolph 236
208. To Giannatasio del Rio .237
209. To the Same 238
210. To the Same 239
211. ToHofrath von Mosel .239
212. To S. A. Steiner, Music
Publisher, Vienna . .241
213. To the Same 242
214. To the Same 242
215. To Zmeskall 243
Portrait of Beethoven, frontispiece to Vol. I.
Facsimile as frontispiece to Vol. II.
LIFE'S JOYS AND SORROWS.
1783 to 1815.
To the Elector of Cologne, Frederick Maximilian*
Music from my fourth year has ever been my
favourite pursuit. Thus early introduced to the sweet
Muse, who attuned my soul to pure harmony, I loved
her, and sometimes ventured to think that I was be-
loved by her in return. I have now attained my
eleventh year, and my Muse often whispered to me in
hours of inspiration : Try to write down the harmonies
in your soul. Only eleven years old ! thought I ; does
the character of an author befit me ? and what would
* The dedication affixed to this work, ' Three Sonatas for the Piano,
dedicated to my illustrious master, Maximilian Friedrich, Archbishop
and Elector of Cologne, by Ludwig van Beethoven in his eleventh year,'
is probably not written by the boy himself, but is given here as an
amusing contrast to his subsequent ideas with regard to the homage due
4 BEETHOVEN s letters.
more mature artists say ? I felt some trepidation ; but
my Muse willed it — so I obeyed, and wrote.
May I now, therefore, Illustrious Prince, presume to
lay the first-fruits of my juvenile labours at the foot of
your throne ? and may I hope that you will condescend
to cast an encouraging and kindly glance on them ?
You will ; for Art and Science have ever found in you
a judicious protector and a generous patron, and rising
talent has always prospered under your fostering and
fatherly care. Encouraged by this cheering conviction,
I venture to approach you with these my youthful
efforts. Accept them as the pure offering of childlike
reverence, and graciously vouchsafe to regard with in-
dulgence them and their youthful composer,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To Dr. Schade, — Augsburg.
Bonn, 1787. Autumn.
My most esteemed Friend,
I can easily imagine what you must think of me,
and I cannot deny that you have too good grounds for
an unfavourable opinion. I shall not, however, attempt
to justify myself, until I have explained to you the
reasons why my apologies should be accepted. I must
tell you that from the time I left Augsburg* my cheer-
* On his return from Vienna, whither Max Franz had sent him for
the further cultivation of his talents.
DEATH OF HIS MOTHEE. 5
fulness, as well as my health, began to decline ; the
nearer I came to my native city, the more frequent
were the letters from my father, urging me to travel
with all possible speed, as my mother's health was in a
most precarious condition. I therefore hurried forwards
as fast as I could, although myself far from well. My
longing once more to see my dying mother overcame
every obstacle, and assisted me in surmounting the
greatest difficulties. I found my mother indeed still
alive, but in the- most deplorable state; her disease was
consumption, and about seven weeks ago, after much
pain and suffering, she died [July 17 J. She was indeed
a kind, loving mother to me, and my best friend. Ah !
who was happier than I, when I could still utter the
sweet name of mother, and it was heard ? But to whom
can I now say it ? Only to the silent form resembling
her, evoked by the power of imagination. I have
passed very few pleasant hours since my arrival here,
having during the whole time been suffering from
asthma, which may, I fear, eventually turn to consump-
tion ; to this is added melancholy — almost as great an
evil as my malady itself. Imagine yourself in my
place, and then I shall hope to receive your forgiveness
for my long silence. You showed me extreme kindness
and friendship by lending me three Carotins in Augs-
burg, but I must entreat your indulgence for a time.
My journey cost me a great deal, and I have not the
smallest hopes of earning anything here. Fate is not
propitious to me in Bonn. Pardon my intruding on
you so long with my affairs, but all that I have said was
necessary for my own justification.
I do entreat you not to deprive me of your valuable
friendship ; nothing do I wish so much as in any degree
to become worthy of your regard. I am, with all esteem,
your obedient servant and friend,
L. v. Beethoven,
Cologne Court Organist.
Most Illustrious and Gracious Prince,
Some years ago your Highness was pleased to
grant a pension to my father, the Court tenor Van
Beethoven, and further graciously to decree that 100
E. Thalers of his salary should be allotted to me, for the
purpose of maintaining, clothing, and educating my two
younger brothers, and also defraying the debts incurred
by our father. It was my intention to present this de-
cree to your Highness's treasurer, but my father earnestly
implored me to desist from doing so, that he might not
be thus publicly proclaimed incapable of himself sup-
porting his family, adding that he would engage to pay
me the 25 E. T. quarterly, which he punctually did.
* An electoral decree was issued in compliance with this request
on May 3, 1793.
RENEWAL OF HIS PENSION. 7
After his death, however (in Decern ber last), wishing to
reap the benefit of your Highness's gracious boon, by-
presenting the decree, I was startled to find that my
father had destroyed it.
I therefore, with all dutiful respect, entreat your
Highness to renew this decree, and to order the pay-
master of your Highness's treasury to grant me the last
quarter of this benevolent addition to my salary (due
the beginning of February). I have the honour to
Your Highness's most obedient and faithful servant,
Lud. v. Beethoven,
To Eleonore von Breuning, — Bonn.
Vienna, Nov. 2, 1793.
My highly esteemed Eleonore, my dearest Friend,
A year of my stay in this capital has nearly
elapsed before you receive a letter from me, and yet
the most vivid remembrance of you is ever present
with me. I have often conversed in thought with you
and your dear family, though not always in the happy
mood I could have wished, for that fatal misunderstand-
ing still hovered before me, and my conduct at that
time is now hateful in my sight. But so it was, and
how much would I give to have the power wholly to
obliterate from my life a mode of acting so degrading
to myself, and so contrary to the usual tenour of my
Many circumstances, indeed, contributed to estrange
us, and I suspect that those talebearers who repeated
alternately to you and to me our mutual expressions
were the chief obstacles to any good understanding be-
tween us. Each believed that what was said proceeded
from deliberate conviction, whereas it arose only from
anger, fanned by others; so we were both mistaken. Your
good and noble disposition, my dear friend, is sufficient
security that you have long since forgiven me. We
are told that the best proof of sincere contrition is to
acknowledge our faults ; and this is what I wish to do.
Let us now draw a veil over the whole affair, learning
one lesson from it — that when friends are at variance, it
is always better to employ no mediator, but to com-
municate directly with each other.
With this you will receive a dedication from me [the
variations on ' Se vuol ballare ']. My sole wish is that
the work were greater and more worthy of you. I
was applied to here to publish this little work, and
I take advantage of the opportunity, my beloved
Eleonore, to give you a proof of my regard and friend-
ship for yourself, and also a token of my enduring re-
membrance of your family. Pray then accept this trifle,
and do not forget that it is offered by a devoted friend.
Oh ! if it only gives you pleasure, my wishes will be
fulfilled. May it in some degree recall the time when
A REQUEST. 9
I passed so many happy hours in your house! Perhaps
it may serve to remind you of me till I return, though
this is indeed a distant prospect. Oh ! how we shall
then rejoice together, my dear Eleonore ! You will, I
trust, find your friend a happier man, all former forbid-
ding, careworn furrows smoothed away by time and
When you see B. Koch [subsequently Countess
Belderbusch], pray say that it is unkind in her never
once to have written to me. I wrote to her twice, and
three times to Malchus [afterwards Westpbalian Minis-
ter of Finance], but no answer. Tell her that if she
does not choose to write herself, I beg that she will at
least urge Malchus to do so. At the close of my letter
I venture to make one more request — I am anxious to
be so fortunate as again to possess an Angola waistcoat
knitted by your own hand, my dear friend. Forgive
my indiscreet request, it proceeds from my great love
for all that comes from you ; and I may privately admit
that a little vanity is connected with it, namely, that I
may say I possess something from the best and most
admired young lady in Bonn. I still have the one you
were so good as to give me in Bonn, but change of
fashion has made it look so antiquated, that I can only
treasure it in my wardrobe as your gift, and thus still
very dear to me. You would make me very happy by
soon writing me a kind letter. If mine cause you any
pleasure, I promise you to do as you wish, and write as
10 Beethoven's letters.
often as it lies in my power ; indeed everything is ac-
ceptable to nie that can serve to show you how truly I
am your admiring and sincere friend,
L. v. Beethoven.
P.S. The variations are rather difficult to play, es-
pecially the shake in the Coda ; but do not be alarmed
at this, being so contrived that you only require to
play the shake, and leave out the other notes, which also
occur in the violin part. I never would have written
it in this way, had I not occasionally observed that
there was a certain individual in Vienna who, when
I extemporised the previous evening, not unfrequently
wrote down next day many of the peculiarities of my
music, adopting them as his own [for instance, the Abbe
Grelinek]. Concluding, therefore, that some of these
things would soon appear, I resolved to anticipate this.
Another reason also was to puzzle some of the piano-
forte teachers here, many of whom are my mortal
foes ; so I wished to revenge myself on them in this
way, knowing that they would occasionally be asked to
play the variations, when these gentlemen would not
appear to much advantage.
RETROSPECT. 1 1
To Eleonore von Breuning, — Bonn.
The beautiful neckcloth, embroidered by your own
hand, was the greatest possible surprise to me ; yet,
welcome as the gift was, it awakened within me feelings
of sadness. Its effect was to recall former days, and
to put me to shame by your noble conduct to me. I,
indeed, little thought that you still considered me
worthy of your remembrance.
Oh ! if you could have witnessed my emotions
yesterday when this incident occurred, you would not
think that I exaggerate in saying that such a token of
your recollection brought tears to my eyes, and made
me feel very sad. Little as I may deserve favour in
your eyes, believe me, my dear friend, (let me still call
you so,) I have suffered, and still suffer severely from
the privation of your friendship. Never can I forget
you and your dear mother. You were so kind to me
that your loss neither can nor will be easily replaced.
I know what I have forfeited, and what you were to
me, but in order to fill up this blank I must recur
to scenes equally painful for you to hear and for me to
As a slight requital of your kind souvenir, I take the
liberty to send you some variations, and a Eondo with
violin accompaniment. I have a great deal to do, or I
12 Beethoven's letters.
would long since have transcribed the Sonata I promised
you. It is as yet a mere sketch in manuscript, and to
copy it would be a difficult task even for the clever
and practised Paraquin [counter-bass in the Electoral
orchestra]. You can have the Eondo copied, and re-
turn the score. What I now send is the only one of my
works at all suitable for you ; besides, as you are going to
Kerpen [where an uncle of the family lived], I thought
these trifles might cause you pleasure.
Farewell, my friend ; for it is impossible for me to
give you any other name. However indifferent I may
be to you, believe me I shall ever continue to revere you
and your mother as I have always done. If I can in
any way contribute to the fulfilment of a wish of
yours, do not fail to let me know, for I have no other
means of testifying my gratitude for past friendship.
I wish you an agreeable journey, and that your dear
mother may return entirely restored to health ! Think
sometimes of your affectionate friend,
To Herr Schenk.
I did not know that I was to set off to-day to
Eisenstadt. I should like to have talked to you again.
* Schenk, afterwards celebrated as the composer of the ' Dorf Bar-
bier,' was for some time Beethoven's teacher in composition. This note
In the meantime rest assured of my gratitude for your
obliging services. I shall endeavour, so far as it lies in
my power, to requite them. I hope soon to see you, and
once more to enjoy the pleasure of your society. Fare-
well, and do not entirely forget
To Dr. Wegeler, — Vienna*
... In what an odious light have you exhibited me
to myself! Oh ! I acknowledge it, I do not deserve your
friendship. It was no intentional or deliberate malice
that induced me to act towards you as I did — but
inexcusable thoughtlessness alone.
I say no more. I am coming to throw myself into
appears to have been written in June 1794, and first printed in the
' Freisehiitz,' No. 183, about 1836, at the time of Schenk's death, when his
connection with Beethoven was mentioned.
* Dr. Wegeler, in answer to my request that he would send me the
entire letter, replied that ' the passages omitted in the letter consisted
chiefly in eulogiums of his father, and enthusiastic expressions of friend-
ship, which did not seem to him to be of any value ; but besides this,
the same reasons that induced his father to give only a portion of the
letter were imperative with him also.' I do not wish to contest the
point with the possessor of the letter, still I may remark that all the
utterances and letters of a great man belong to the world at large,
and that in a case like the present, the conscientious biographer, who
strives faithfully to portray such a man, is alone entitled to decide what
portion of these communications is fitted for publication, and what is
not. Any considerations of a personal character seem to me very
14 Beethoven's letters.
your arms, and to entreat you to restore me my lost
friend ; and you will give him back to me, to your
penitent, loving, and ever grateful
To Dr. Wegeler, — Vienna.
Vienna, May 1797.
God speed you, my dear friend ! I owe you a letter
which you shall shortly have, and my newest music
besides. I am going on well; indeed, I may say every
day better. Greet those to whom it will give pleasure
from me. Farewell, and do not forget your
Written in the Album of Lenz von Breuning.
Vienna, Oct. 1, 1797.
Truth for the wise,
Beauty for a feeling heart,
And both for each other.
My dear good Breuning,
Never can I forget the time I passed with you, not
only in Bonn, but here. Continue your friendship to-
wards me, for you shall always find me the same true
L. v. Beethoven.
To Baron Zmeskall von Bomanowecz.
Alto. Grave. Tenore.
fSa = ron.
SSa * ror
M . 'S 1
_^ a! ^_
• .. =q «.
33a = von, S5a * ron, S3a = ron.
My cheapest (not dearest) Baron,
Desire the guitar-player to come to me to-day.
Amenda (instead of an amende [fine], which he some-
times deserves for not observing his rests properly)
must persuade this popular guitarist to visit me, and if
possible to come at five o'clock this evening — if not
then, at five or six o'clock to-morrow morning; but
he must not waken me if I chance to be still asleep.
Adieu, mon ami a bon marclie. Perhaps we may meet
at the e Swan ' ?
* As it appears from the following letters that Amenda was again
at home in 1800, the date of this note is thus ascertained. It is
undoubtedly addressed to Baron Zmeskall von Domanowecz, Eoyal
Court Secretary, a good violoncello-player, and one of Beethoven's
earliest friends in Vienna. The ' guitarist ' was probably the celebrated
Giuliani, who lived in Vienna.
16 BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
The musical Count is from this day forth cashiered
with infamy. The first violin [Schuppanzigb] ruth-
lessly transported to Siberia. The Baron [see No. 10]
for a whole month strictly interdicted from asking
questions ; no longer to be so hasty, and to devote
himself exclusively to his ijjse miserum*
To Pastor Amenda, — Courland.
Does Amenda think that I can ever forget him,
because I do not write ? in fact, never have written to
him ? — as if the memory of our friends could only thus
be preserved ! The best man I ever knew has a thou-
sand times recurred to my thoughts ! Two persons alone
once possessed my whole love, one of whom still lives,
and you are now the third. How can my remembrance
of you ever fade? You will shortly receive a long
letter about my present circumstances, and all that can
-a- "Written in gigantic characters in pencil on a large sheet of paper.
The 'musical Count' is probably Count Moritz Lichnowsky, brother
of Prince Carl Lichnowsky, in whose house were held those musical
performances in which Beethoven's works were first produced. Even
at that time he behaved in a very dictatorial manner to those gentlemen
when his compositions were badly executed. Thence the name given
him by Haydn of ' The great Mogul.'
DEFECTIVE HEAKING. 17
Interest you. Farewell, beloved, good, and noble friend !
Ever continue your love and friendship towards me,
just as I shall ever be your faithful
To Pastor Amenda.
My dear, my good Amenda, my warm-hearted Friend,
I received and read your last letter with deep emo-
tion, and with mingled pain and pleasure. To what can
I compare your fidelity and devotion to me ! Ah ! it is
indeed delightful that you still continue to love me so
well. I know how to prize you, and to distinguish you
from all others ; you are not like my Vienna friends.
No ! you are one of those whom the soil of my father-
land is wont to bring forth : how often I wish that you
were with me, for your Beethoven is very unhappy.
You must know that one of my most precious faculties,
that of hearing, is become very defective ; even while
you were still with me I felt indications of this,
though I said nothing, but it is now much worse.
Whether I shall ever be cured remains yet to be seen :
it is supposed to proceed from the state of my digestive
organs, but I am almost entirely recovered in that
respect. I hope indeed that my hearing may improve,
but I scarcely think so, for attacks of this kind are
the most incurable of all. How sad my life must now
vol. i. c
be ! — forced to shun all that is most dear and precious to
me, and to live with such miserable egotists as
&c. I can with truth say that of all my friends Lich-
nowsky [Prince Carl] is the most genuine. He last
year settled 600 florins on me, which, together with
the good sale of my works, enables me to live free from
care as to my maintenance. All that I now write I can
dispose of five times over, and be well paid into the
bargain. I have been writing a good deal latterly, and
as I hear that you have ordered some pianos from
, I will send you some of my compositions in
the packing-case of one of these instruments, by which
means they will not cost you so much.
To my great comfort, a person has returned here
with whom I can enjoy the pleasures of society and dis-
interested friendship, — one of the friends of my youth
[Stephan von Breuning]. I have often spoken to him
of you, and told him that since I left my fatherland,
you are one of those to whom my heart specially clings.
Z. [Zmeskall ?] does not seem quite to please him ; he
is, and always will be, too weak for true friendship,
and I look on him and as mere instruments on
which I play as I please, but never can they bear noble
testimony to my inner and outward energies, or feel
true sympathy with me : I value them only in so far as
their services deserve. Oh ! how happy should I now
be, had I my full sense of hearing ; I would then hasten
to you, whereas as it is, I must withdraw from every-
APPEAL TO FRIENDSHIP. 19
thing. My best years will thus pass away, without
effecting what my talents and powers might have en-
abled me to perform. How melancholy is the resigna-
tion in which I must take refuge ! I had determined
to rise superior to all this, but how is it possible?
If in the course of six months my malady be pro-
nounced incurable, then, Amenda ! I shall appeal to
you to leave all else and come to me, when I intend to
travel (my affliction is less distressing when playing
and composing, and most so in intercourse with others),
and you must be my companion. I have a conviction
that good fortune will not forsake me, for to what may
I not at present aspire ? Since you were here I have
written everything except Operas and church music.
You will not, I know, refuse my petition ; you will
help your friend to bear his burden and his calamity.
I have also very much perfected my pianoforte playing,
and I hope that a journey of this kind may possibly
contribute to your own success in life, and you would
thenceforth always remain with me. I duly received
all your letters, and though I did not reply to them, you
were constantly present with me, and my heart beats
as tenderly as ever for you. I beg you will keep the
fact of my deafness a profound secret, and not confide it
to any human being. Write to me frequently : your
letters, however short, console and cheer me, so I shall
soon hope to hear from you.
Do not give your Quartett to anyone [in F, Op. 18,
20 BEETHOVEN S LETTEES.
No. 1], as I have altered it very much, having only now-
succeeded in writing Quartetts properly : this you will
at once perceive when you receive it. Now, farewell, my
dear kind friend! If by any chance I can serve you
here, I need not say that you have only to command me.
Your faithful and truly attached
L. v. Beethoven.
Vienna, June 29, 1800.
My dear and valued Wegeler,
How much I thank you for your remembrance of
me, little as I deserve it, or have sought to deserve it ;
and yet you are so kind that you allow nothing, not
even my unpardonable neglect, to discourage you, al-
ways remaining the same true, good, and faithful friend.
That I can ever forget you or yours, once so dear and
precious to me, do not for a moment believe. There
are times when I find myself longing to see you again,
and wishing that I could go to stay with you. My
fatherland, that lovely region where I first saw the light,
is still as distinct and beauteous in my eyes as when
I quitted you ; in short, I shall esteem the time when
I once more see you, and again greet Father Ehine, as
one of the happiest periods of my life. When this may
be I cannot yet tell, but at all events I may say that
you shall not see me again till I have become eminent,
PECUNIARY AFFAIRS. 21
not only as an artist, but better and more perfect as a
man ; and if the condition of our fatherland be then
more prosperous, my art shall be entirely devoted to
the benefit of the poor. Oh, blissful moment ! — how
happy do I esteem myself that I can expedite it and
bring it to pass !
You desire to know something of my position : well !
it is by no means bad. However incredible it may ap-
pear, I must tell you that Lichnowsky has been, and
still is, my warmest friend (slight dissensions occurred
occasionally between us, and yet they only served to
strengthen our friendship). He settled on me last year
the sum of 600 florins, for which I am to draw on him
till I can procure some suitable situation. My compo-
sitions are very profitable, and I may really say that I
have almost more commissions than it is possible for
me to execute. I can have six or seven publishers or
more for every piece if I choose : they no longer bargain
with me — I demand, and they pay — so you see this is
a very good thing. For instance, I have a friend in dis-
tress, and my purse does not admit of my assisting him
at once, but I have only to sit down and write, and in
a short time he is relieved. I am also become more
economical than formerly. If I finally settle here, I
don't doubt I shall be able to secure a particular day
every year for a concert, of which I have already given
several. That malicious demon, however, bad health,
has been a stumblingblock in my path my hearing
22 Beethoven's letters.
during the last three years has become gradually worse.
The chief cause of this infirmity proceeds from the state
of my digestive organs, which, as you know, were formerly
bad enough, but have latterly become much worse, and
being constantly afflicted with diarrhoea, has brought
on extreme weakness. Frank [Director of the General
Hospital] strove to restore the tone of my digestion by
tonics, and my hearing by oil of almonds; but alas!
these did me no good whatever; my hearing became
worse, and my digestion continued in its former plight.
This went on till the autumn of last year, when I was
often reduced to utter despair. Then some medical
asinus recommended me cold baths, but a more ju-
dicious doctor the tepid ones of the Danube, which
did wonders for me ; my digestion improved, but my
hearing remained the same, or in fact rather got worse.
I did indeed pass a miserable winter ; I suffered from
most dreadful spasms, and sank back into my former
condition. Thus it went on till about a month ago, when
I consulted Vering [an army surgeon], under the belief
that my maladies required surgical advice; besides, I
had every confidence in him. He succeeded in almost
entirely checking the violent diarrhoea, and ordered me
the tepid baths of the Danube, into which I pour some
strengthening mixture. He gave me no medicine, except
some digestive pills four days ago, and a lotion for my
ears. I certainly do feel better and stronger, but my
ears are buzzing and ringing perpetually, day and night
INCREASED DEAFNESS. 23
I can with truth say that my life is very wretched ; for
nearly two years past I have avoided all society, because
I find it impossible to say to people, I am deaf! In
any other profession this might be more tolerable, but
in mine such a condition is truly frightful. Besides,
what would my enemies say to this ? — and they are not
few in number.
To give you some idea of my extraordinary deafness,
I must tell you that in the theatre I am obliged to lean
close up against the orchestra in order to understand
the actors, and when a little way off I hear none of
the high notes of instruments or singers. It is most
astonishing that in conversation some people never
seem to observe this ; being subject to fits of absence,
they attribute it to that cause. I often can scarcely
hear a person if speaking low ; I can distinguish the
tones but not the words, and yet I feel it intolerable if
anyone shouts to me. Heaven alone knows how it is to
end ! Vering declares that I shall certainly improve,
even if I be not entirely restored. How often have I
cursed my existence ! Plutarch led me to resignation.
I shall strive if possible to set Fate at defiance, although
there must be moments in my life when I cannot fail to
be the most unhappy of God's creatures. I entreat you
to say nothing of my affliction to anyone, not even to
Lorchen [see Nos. 4 and 5]. I confide the secret to you
alone, and entreat you some day to correspond with
Vering on the subject. If I continue in the same state,
24 beethoven's letters.
I shall come to you in the ensuing spring, when you
must engage a house for me somewhere in the country,
amid beautiful scenery, and I shall then become a rustic
for a year, which may perhaps effect a change. Kesig-
nation ! — what a miserable refuge! and yet it is my sole
remaining one. You will forgive my thus appealing to
your kindly sympathies at a time when your own po-
sition is sad enough. Stephan Breuning is here, and we
are together almost every day: it does me so much
good to revive old feelings ! He has really become a
capital good fellow, not devoid of talent, and his heart,
like that of us all, pretty much in the right place. [See
I have very Gharming rooms at present adjoining the
Bastei [the ramparts], and peculiarly valuable to me
on account of my health [at Baron Pasqualati's]. I do
really think I shall be able to arrange that Breu-
ning shall come to me. You shall have your Antiochus
[a picture], and plenty of my music besides — if, indeed,
it will not cost you too much. Your love of art does
honestly rejoice me. Only say how it is to be done,
and I will send you all my works, which now amount
to a considerable number, and are daily increasing. I
beg you will let me have my grandfather's portrait as
soon as possible by the post, in return for which I send
you that of his grandson, your loving and attached
Beethoven. It has been brought out here by Artaria,
who, as well as many other publishers, has often urged
FEBDINAND EIES. 25
this on me. I intend soon to write to Stoffeln [Chris-
toph von Breuning], and plainly admonish him about
his surly humour. I mean to sound in his ears our old
friendship, and to insist on his promising me not to
annoy you further in your sad circumstances. I will also
write to the amiable Lorchen. Never have I forgotten
one of you, my kind friends, though you did not hear
from me ; but you know well that writing never was
my forte, even my best friends having received no
letters from me for years. I live wholly in my music,
and scarcely is one work finished when another is
begun ; indeed I am now often at work on three or four
things at the same time. Do write to me frequently,
and I will strive to find time to write to you also. Give
my remembrances to all, especially to the kind Frau
Hofrathin [von Breuning], and say to her that 1 am
still subject to an occasional raptus. As for K , I
am not at all surprised at the change in her ; Fortune
rolls like a ball, and does not always stop before the
best and noblest. As to Eies [Court musician in Bonn],
to whom pray cordially remember me, I must say one
word. I will write to you more particularly about his
,'.on [Ferdinand], although I believe that he would be
more likely to succeed in Paris than in Vienna, which is
already overstocked, and where even those of the highest
merit find it a hard matter to maintain themselves. By
next autumn or winter, I shall be able to see what can
be done for him, because then all the world returns to
26 Beethoven's letters.
town. Farewell, my kind, faithful Wegeler ! Eest as-
sured of the love and friendship of your
To Countess Giulietta Gruicciardi.*
Morning, July 6, 1800.
My angel ! my all ! my second self !
Only a few words to-day, written with a pencil
(your own). My residence cannot be settled till to-
morrow. What a tiresome loss of time ! Why this deep
grief when necessity compels ? — can our love exist with-
out sacrifices, and by refraining from desiring all things ?
Can you alter the fact that you are not wholly mine,
nor I wholly yours ? Ah ! contemplate the beauties of
nature, and reconcile your spirit to the inevitable. Love
demands all, and has a right to do so, and thus it is I
feel toivards you, and you towards one ; but you do not
* These letters to his ' immortal beloved ' to whom the C sharp minor
Sonata is dedicated, appear here for the first time in their integrity, in
accordance with the originals written in pencil on fine note-paper, and
given in Schindler's ' Beethoven's Nachlass.' There has been much dis-
cussion about the date. It is certified, in the first place, in the church
register which Alex. Thayer saw in Vienna, that Giulietta was married
to Count Grallenberg in 1801 ; and in the next place, the 6th of July
falls on a Monday in 1800. The other reasons which induce me
decidedly to fix this latter year as the date of the letter, I mean to give
at full length in the second volume of 'Beethoven's Biography.' I may
also state that Beethoven was at baths in Hungary at that time.
Whether the K in the second letter means Komorn, I cannot tell.
THE ( IMMORTAL BELOVED. 27
sufficiently remember that I must live both for you and
for myself. Were we wholly united, you would feel this
sorrow as little as I should. My journey was terrible.
I did not arrive here till four o'clock yesterday morning,
as no horses were to be had. The drivers chose another
route; but what a dreadful one it was! At the last
stage I was warned not to travel through the night, and
to beware of a certain wood, but this only incited me to
go forward, and I was wrong. The carriage broke down,
owing to the execrable roads, mere deep rough country
lanes, and had it not been for the postilions I must have
been left by the wayside. Esterhazy, travelling the usual
road, had the same fate with eight horses, whereas I had
only four. Still I felt a certain degree of pleasure, which
1 invariably do when I have happily surmounted an}'
difficulty. But I must now pass from the outer to the
inner man. We shall, I trust, soon meet again ; to-day
I cannot impart to you all the reflections I have made,
during the last few days, on my life ; were our hearts
closely united for ever, none of these would occur to
me. My heart is overflowing with all I have to say to
you. Ah ! there are moments when I find that speech is
actually nothing. Take courage ! Continue to be ever
my true and only love, my all ! as I am yours. The gods
must ordain what is further to be and shall be !
Monday evening, July 6.
You grieve ! dearest of all beings ! I have just heard
that the letters must be sent off very early. Mondays
and Thursdays are the only days when the post goes to
K. from here. You grieve ! Ah ! where I am, there
you are ever with me : how earnestly shall I strive to
pass my life with you, and what a life will it be!!!
Whereas now ! ! without you ! ! and persecuted by the
kindness of others, which I neither deserve nor try to
deserve ! The servility of man towards his fellow-man
pains me, and when I regard myself as a component part
of the universe, what am I, what is he who is called the
greatest? — and yet herein are displayed the godlike
feelings of humanity ! —I weep in thinking that you will
receive no intelligence from me till probably Saturday.
However dearly you may love me, I love you more fondly
still. Never conceal your feelings from me. Grood night !
As a patient at these baths, I must now go to rest [a
few words are here effaced by Beethoven himself]. Oh,
heavens ! so near, and yet so far ! Is not our love a
truly celestial mansion, but firm as the vault of heaven
Grood morning !
Even before I rise, my thoughts throng to you,
my immortal beloved ! — sometimes full of joy, and yet
again sad, waiting to see whether Fate will hear us. I
PASSIONATE PROTESTATIONS. 29
must live either wholly with you, or not at all. Indeed
I have resolved to wander far from you [see No. 13]
till the moment arrives when I can fly into your arms,
and feel that they are my home, and send forth my soul
in unison with yours into the realm of spirits. Alas ! it
must be so ! You will take courage, for you know my
fidelity. Never can another possess my heart — never,
never ! Oh, heavens ! Why must I fly from her I
so fondly love? and yet my existence in W. was as
miserable as here. Your love made me the most
happy and yet the most unhappy of men. At my
age, life requires a uniform equality ; can this be
found in our mutual relations ? My angel ! I have
this moment heard that the post goes every day, so I
must conclude, that you may get this letter the sooner.
Be calm ! for we can only attain our object of living
together by the calm contemplation of our existence.
Continue to love me. Yesterday, to-day, what longings
for you, what tears for you ! for you ! for you ! my life !
my all ! Farewell ! Oh ! love me for ever, and never
doubt the faithful heart of your lover,
Ever each other's.
6V BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
Vienna, August 4, 1800.
Most esteemed Friend,
You will receive with this one of my compositions
published some years since, and yet, to my shame, you
probably have never heard of it. I cannot attempt to
excuse myself, or to explain why I dedicated a work
to you which came direct from my heart, but never
acquainted you with its existence, unless indeed in this
way, that at first I did not know where you lived, and
partly- also from diffidence, which led me to think I might
have been premature in dedicating a work to you be-
fore ascertaining that you approved of it. Indeed even
now I send you ' Adelaide ' with a feeling of timidity.
You know yourself what changes the lapse of some years
brings forth in an artist who continues to make pro-
gress ; the greater the advances we make in art, the
less are we satisfied with our works of an earlier date.
My most ardent wish will be fulfilled if you are not
dissatisfied with the manner in which I have set your
heavenly ' Adelaide ' to music, and are incited by it soon
to compose a similar poem ; and if you do not consider
my request too indiscreet, I would ask you to send it
to me forthwith, that I may exert all my energies to
approach your lovely poetry in merit. Pray regard
the dedication as a token of the pleasure which your
AN OMISSION CORRECTED. 31
i Adelaide ' conferred on me, as well as of the apprecia-
tion and intense delight your poetry always has inspired,
and always will inspire in me.
When playing ' Adelaide,' sometimes recall
Your sincere admirer,
To Frau Frank, — Vienna.
At the second announcement of our concert, you
must remind your husband that the public should
be made acquainted with the names of those whose
talents are to contribute to this concert. Such is
the custom here ; and indeed, were it not so, what is
there to attract a larger audience ? which is after all
our chief object. Punto [the celebrated horn -player, for
whom Beethoven wrote Sonata 17] is not a little indig-
nant about the omission, and I must say he has reason
to be so, but even before seeing him it was my intention
to have reminded you of this, for I can only explain the
mistake by great haste or great forgetfulness. Be so
good, then, dear lady, as to attend to my hint, otherwise
you will certainly expose yourself to many annoyances.
Being at last convinced in my own mind, and by others,
that I shall not be quite superfluous in this concert, I
know that not only I, but also Punto, Simoni [a tenor-
ist], and Galvani will demand that the public should be
32 Beethoven's letters.
apprised of our zeal for this charitable object, otherwise
we must all conclude that we are not wanted.
To Herr von Wegeler.
Vienna, Nor. 16, 1800.
My dear Wegeler,
I thank you for this fresh proof of your interest in
me, especially as I so little deserve it. You wish to
know how I am, and what remedies I use. Unwilling
as I always feel to discuss this subject, still I feel less
reluctant to do so with you than with any other person.
For some months past, Vering has ordered me to apply
blisters on both arms of a particular kind of bark, with
which you are probably acquainted ; a disagreeable
remedy, independent of the pain, as it deprives me of
the free use of my arms for a couple of days at a time,
till the blisters have drawn sufficiently. The ringing
and buzzing in my ears have certainly rather de-
creased, particularly in the left ear, in which the
malady first commenced, but my hearing is not at
all improved ; in fact I fear that it is become rather
worse. My health is better, and after using the tepid
baths for a time, I feel pretty well for eight or ten days.
I seldom take tonics, but I have begun applications of
herbs, according to your advice. Vering will not hear
CONTINUED DEAFNESS. 33
of plunge baths, but I am much dissatisfied with him ;
he is neither so attentive nor so indulgent as he ought
to be to such a malady : if I did not go to him, which
is no easy matter, T should never see him at all. What
is your opinion of Schmidt [an army surgeon] ? I am
unwilling to make any change, but it seems to me that
Vering is too much of a practitioner to acquire new ideas
by reading. On this point Schmidt appears to be a
very different man, and would probably be less neg-
ligent with regard to my case. I hear wonders of gal-
vanism ; what do you say to it ? A physician told me
that he knew a deaf and dumb child whose hearing was
restored by it (in Berlin), and likewise a man who had
been deaf for seven years, and recovered his hearing. I
am told that your friend Schmidt is at this moment
making experiments on the subject.
I am now leading a somewhat more agreeable life,
as of late I have been associating more with other
people. You could scarcely believe what a sad and
dreary life mine has been for the last two years ; my
defective hearing everywhere pursuing me like a
spectre, making me fly from every one, and appear
a misanthrope ; and yet no one is in reality less so !
This change has been wrought by a lovely fascinating
girl [undoubtedly Griulietta], who loves me, and whom
I love. I have once more had some blissful moments
during the last two years, and it is the first time I ever
felt that marriage could make me happy. Unluckily, she
VOL. I. D
is not in my rank of life, and indeed at this moment I
can marry no one ; I must first bestir myself actively
in the world. Had it not been for my deafness, I would
have travelled half round the globe ere now, and this
I must still do. For me there is no pleasure so great
as to promote and to pursue my art.
Do not suppose that I could be happy with you.
What indeed could make me happier? Your very
solicitude would distress me ; I should read your com-
passion every moment in your countenance, which
would make me only still more unhappy. What were my
thoughts amid the glorious scenery of my fatherland?
The hope alone of a happier future, which would have
been mine but for this affliction ! Oh ! I could span
the world were I only free from this ! I feel that my
youth is only now commencing. Have I not always been
an infirm creature ? For some time past my bodily
strength has been increasing, and it is the same with
my mental powers. I feel, though I cannot describe it,
that I daily approach the object I have in view, in
which alone can your Beethoven live. No rest for him !
— I know of none but in sleep, and I do grudge being
obliged to sacrifice more time to it than formerly.*
Were I only half cured of my malady, then I would
come to you, and, as a more perfect and mature man,
renew our old friendship.
* ' Too much sleep is hurtful ' is marked by a thick score in the
Odyssey (45, 393) by Beethoven's hand. See Schindler's ' Beethoven's
STEPHAN VON BREUNING. 35
You should then see me as happy as I am ever destined
to be here below — not unhappy. No ! that I could not
endure ; I will boldly meet my fate, never shall it suc-
ceed in crushing me. Oh ! it is so glorious to live one's
life a thousand times over ! I feel that I am no longer
made for a quiet existence. You will write to me as
soon as possible ? Pray try to prevail on Steffen [von
Breuning] to seek an appointment from the Teutonic
Order somewhere. Life here is too harassing for his
health ; besides, he is so isolated that I do not see how
he is ever to get on. You know the kind of existence
here. I do not take it upon myself to say that society
would dispel his lassitude, but he cannot be persuaded
to go anywhere. A short time since, I had some music
in my house, but our friend Steffen stayed away. Do
recommend him to be more calm and self-possessed,
which I have in vain tried to effect ; otherwise he can
neither enjoy health nor happiness. Tell me in your
next letter whether you care about my sending you a
large selection of music : you can indeed dispose of
what you do not want, and thus repay the expense of the
carriage, and have my portrait into the bargain. Say
all that is kind and amiable from me to Lorchen, and
also to mamma and Christoph. You still have some
regard for me ? Always rely on the love as well as the
friendship of your
36 beethoven's letters.
To Kapellmeister Hofmeister, — Leipzig.*
Vienna, Dec. 15, 1800.
My dear Brother in Art,
I have often intended to answer your proposals,
but am frightfully lazy about all correspondence, so it is
usually a good while before I can make up my mind to
write dry letters instead of music : I have, however, at
last forced myself to answer your application. Pro
primo, I must tell you how much I regret that you, my
much loved brother in the science of music, did not
give me some hint, so that I might have offered you my
Quartetts, as well as many other things that I have now
disposed of. But if you are as conscientious, my dear
brother, as many other publishers, who grind to death
us poor composers, you will know pretty well how to
derive ample profit when the works appear. I now
briefly state what you can have from me. 1st. A
Septett, per il violino, viola, violoncello, contra-basso,
clarinetto, corno, fagotto; — tutti obbligati (I can write
nothing that is not obbligato, having come into the
world with an obbligato accompaniment !). This Septett
* The letters to Hofmeister, formerly of Vienna, who conducted the
correspondence with Beethoven in the name of the firm of c Hofmeister
& Kuhnel, Bureau de Musique,' are given here as they first appeared
in 1837 in the ' Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik.' On applying to the present
representative of that firm, I was told that those who now possess these
letters decline giving them out of their own hands, and that no copyist
can be found able to decipher or transcribe them correctly.
NEW WOEKS. 37
pleases very much. For more general use it might be
arranged for one more violino, viola, and violoncello,
instead of the three wind-instruments, fagotto, clari-
netto, and corno* 2nd. A Grand Symphony with full
orchestra [the 1st]. 3rd. A pianoforte Concerto [Op.
1 9], which I by no means assert to be one of my best, any
more than the one Mollo is to publish here [Op. 15],
(this is for the benefit of the Leipzig critics !), because I
reserve the best for myself till I set off on my travels ;
still the work will not disgrace you to publish. 4th. A
Grand Solo Sonata [Op. 22]. These are all I can part
with at this moment; a little later you can have a
Quintett for stringed instruments, and probably some
Quartetts also, and other pieces that I have not at pre-
sent beside me. In your answer you can yourself fix
the prices, and as you are neither an Italian nor a
Jew, nor am I either, we shall no doubt quickly agree.
Farewell, and rest assured,
My dear brother in art, of the esteem of your
To Kapellmeister Hofmeister.
Vienna, Jan. 15 (or thereabouts), 1801.
I read your letter, dear brother and friend, with much
pleasure, and I thank you for your good opinion of me
* This last phrase is not in the copy before me, but in Marx's
' Biography,' who appears to have seen the original.
38 beethoven's letters.
and of my works, and hope I may continue to deserve
it. I also beg you to present all due thanks to Herr
K. [Kiihnel] for his politeness and friendship towards
me. I, on my part, rejoice in your undertakings, and
am glad that when works of art do turn out profitable,
they fall to the share of true artists, rather than to that
of mere tradesmen.
Your intention to publish Sebastian Bach's works
really gladdens my heart, which beats with devotion for
the lofty and grand productions of this our father of the
science of harmony, and I trust I shall soon see them
appear. I hope when golden peace is proclaimed, and
your subscription list opened, to procure you many
With regard to our own transactions, as you wish to
know my proposals, they are as follows. I offer you at
present the following works : — The Septett (which I al-
ready wrote to you about), 20 ducats ; Symphony, 20
ducats ; Concerto, 10 ducats; Grand Solo Sonata, alle-
gro, adagio, minuetto, rondo, 20 ducats. This Sonata
[Op. 22] is well up to the mark, my dear brother !
Now for explanations. You may perhaps be sur-
prised that I make no difference of price between the
Sonata, Septett, and Symphony. I do so because I
find that a Septett or a Symphony has not so great a
* I have at this moment in my hands this edition of Bach, bound in
one thick volume, together with the first part of Nageli's edition of the
' "Wohltemperirtes Clavier,' also three books of exercises (D, G, and C
minor), the ' Toccata in D Minor,' and ' Twice Fifteen Inventions.'
BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS. 39
sale as a Sonata, though, a Symphony ought unques-
tionably to be of the most value. (N.B. The Septett
consists of a short introductory adagio, an allegro,
adagio j minuetto, andante with variations, minuetto,
and another short adagio preceding a presto). I only
ask 10 ducats for the Concerto, for, as I already wrote to
you, I do not consider it one of my best. I cannot think
that, taken as a whole, you will consider these prices
exorbitant ; at least, I have endeavoured to make them
as moderate as possible for you.
With regard to the banker's draft, as you give me
my choice, I beg you will make it payable by (xermuller
or Schiiller. The entire sum for the four works will
amount to 70 ducats : I understand no currency but
Vienna ducats, so how many dollars in gold they make
in your money is no affair of mine, for really I am a
very bad man of business and accountant. Now this
troublesome business is concluded ; — I call it so, heartily
wishing that it could be otherwise here below ! There
ought to be only one grand depot of art in the world, to
which the artist might repair with his works, and on
presenting them receive what he required; but as it
now is, one must be half a tradesman besides — and
how is this to be endured ? Good heavens ! I may well
call it troublesome !
As for the Leipzig oxen,* let them talk ! — they cer-
* It is thus that Schindler supplies the gap. It is probably an
allusion to the ' Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung,' founded about three
40 Beethoven's lettees.
tainly will make no man immortal by their prating, and
as little can they deprive of immortality those whom
Apollo destines to attain it.
Now may Heaven preserve you and your colleagues !
I have been unwell for some time, so it is rather diffi-
cult for me at present to write even music, much more
letters. I trust we shall have frequent opportunities to
assure each other how truly you are my friend, and I
I hope for a speedy answer. Adieu !
L. v. Beethoven.
To Herr Hofmeister.
Vienna, April 22, 1801.
You have indeed too good cause to complain not a
little of me. My excuse is that I have been ill, and in ad-
dition had so much to do, that I could scarcely even think
of what I was to send you. Moreover, the only thing in
me that resembles a genius is, that my papers are never
in very good order, and yet no one but myself can suc-
ceed in arranging them. For instance, in the score of the
Concerto, the piano part, according to my usual custom,
was not yet written down, so, owing to my hurry, you
will receive it in my own very illegible writing. In order
that the works may follow as nearly as possible in their
SEBASTIAN BACH'S WORKS. 41
proper order, I have marked the numbers to be placed
on each, as follows : —
Solo Sonata, Op. 22.
Symphony, Op. 21.
Septett, Op. 20.
Concerto, Op. 19.
I will send you their various titles shortly.
Put me down as a subscriber to Sebastian Bach's
works [see Letter 20], and also Prince Lichnowsky. The
arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas as Quartetts will do
you much credit, and no doubt be profitable also. I
wish I could contribute more to the promotion of such
an u ad er taking, but I am an irregular man, and too apt,
even with the best intentions, to forget everything ; I
have, however, mentioned the matter to various people,
and I everywhere find them well disposed towards it.
It would be a good thing if you would arrange the
Septett you are about to publish as a Quintett, with a
flute part, for instance ; this would be an advantage to
amateurs of the flute, who have already importuned me
on the subject, and who would swarm round it like in-
sects, and banquet on it.
Now to tell you something of myself. I have written
a ballet ['Prometheus'], in which the ballet-master has
not done his part so well as might be. The F von
L has also bestowed on us a production which by no
means corresponds with the ideas of his genius conveyed
42 beethoyen's letters.
by the newspaper reports. F seems to have taken
Herr M [Wenzel Miiller ?] as his ideal at the Kus-
perle, yet without even rising to his level. Such are
the fine prospects for us poor people who strive to
struggle upwards ! My dear friend, pray lose no time
in bringing the work before the notice of the public,
and write to me soon, that I may know whether by my
delay I have entirely forfeited your confidence for the
future. Say all that is civil and kind to your partner,
Kiitmel. Everything shall henceforth be sent finished,
and in quick succession. So now farewell, and continue
your regards for
Your friend and brother,
To Herr Hofmeister.
Vienna, June, 1801.
I am rather surprised at the communication you have
desired your business agent here to make to me ; I may
well feel offended at your believing me capable of so
mean a trick. It would have been a very different
thing had I sold my works to rapacious shopkeepers,
and then secretly made another good speculation ; but,
from one artist to another, it is rather a strong measure
to suspect me of such a proceeding ! The whole thing
seems to be either a device to put me to the test, or a
mere suspicion. In any event I may tell you that
CONDUCT TOWARDS HIS PUBLISHERS. 43
before you received the Septett from me I had sent it
to Mr. Salomon in London (to be played at his own
concert, which I did solely from friendship), with the
express injunction to beware of its getting into other
hands, as it was my intention to have it engraved in
Germany, and, if you choose, you cah apply to him. for
the confirmation of this. But to give you a further
proof of my integrity, ( I herewith give you the faithful
assurance that I have neither sold the Septett, the
Symphony, the Concerto, nor the Sonata to anyone but
to Messrs. Hofmeister and Kiihnel, and that they may
consider them to be their own exclusive property. And
to this I pledge my honour.' You may make what use
you please of this guarantee.
Moreover, I believe Salomon to be as incapable of
the baseness of engraving the Septett as I am of sell-
ing it to him. I was so scrupulous in the matter, that
when applied to by various publishers to sanction a
pianoforte arrangement of the Septett, I at once de-
clined, though I do not even know whether you proposed
making use of it in this way. Here follow the long-
promised titles of the works. There will no doubt
be a good deal to alter and to amend in them ; but this
I leave to you. I shall soon expect a letter from you,
and, I hope, the works likewise, which I wish to see
engraved, as others have appeared, and are about to
appear, in connection with these numbers. I look on
your statement as founded on mere rumours, which you
have believed with too much facility, or based entirety
on supposition, induced by having perchance heard that
I had sent the work to Salomon ; I cannot, therefore,
but feel some coolness towards such a credulous friend,
though I still subscribe myself
Dedication to Dr. Schmidt*
Je sens parfaitement bien, que la Celebrite de Votre
nom ainsi que l'amitie dont Vous m'honorez, exigeroient
de moi la dedicace d'un bien plus important ouvrage.
La seule chose qui a pu me determiner a Vous offrir
celui-ci de preference, c'est qu'il me paroit d'une execu-
tion plus facile et par la me me plus propre a contribuer
a la Satisfaction dont Vous jouissez dans l'aimable
Cercle de Votre Famille. — C'est surtout, lorsque les
heureux talents d'une fille cherie se seront developpes
davantage, que je me flatte de voir ce but atteint.
Heureux si j'y ai reussi et si dans cette faible marque
de ma haute estime et de ma gratitude Vous recon-
noissez toute la vivacite et la cordialite de mes senti-
Louis van Beethoven.
* Grand Trio, Op. 38.
HIS SCHOLAR, HIES. 45
To his Scholar, Ferdinand Ries*
I send you herewith the four parts corrected by
me ; please compare the others already written out with
these. I also enclose a letter to Count Browne. I have
told him that he must make an advance to you of 50
ducats, to enable you to get your outfit. This is abso-
lutely necessary, so it cannot offend him ; for after
being equipped, you are to go with him to Baden on the
Monday of the ensuing week. I must, however, reproach
you for not having had recourse to me long ago. Am
I not your true friend ? Why did you conceal your
necessities from me ? No friend of mine shall ever be
in need, so long as I have anything myself. I would
already have sent you a small sum, did I not rely on
Browne ; if he fails us, then apply at once to your
To Herr Hofmeister, — Leipzig.
Vienna, April 8, 1802.
Do you mean to go post-haste to the devil, gentle-
men, by proposing that I should write such a Sonata ?
* Eies names 1801 as the date of this letter, and it was no doubt
during that summer that Count Browne was in Baden. Eies' father
had assisted the Beethoven family in every way in his power at the
time of the mother's death.
4G Beethoven's lettees.
During the revolutionary fever, a thing of the kind might
have been appropriate, but now, when everything is
falling again into the beaten track, and Buonaparte has
concluded a Concordat with the Pope — such a Sonata
as this ? If it were a missa pro Sancta Maria a tre
voci, or a vesper, &c, then I would at once take up my
pen and write a credo in unum, in gigantic semibreves.
But, good heavens ! such a Sonata, in this fresh dawning
Christian epoch. No, no ! — it won't do, and I will have
none of it.
Now for my answer in quickest tempo. The lady can
have a Sonata from me, and I am willing to adopt the
general outlines of her plan in an esthetical point of
view, without adhering to the keys named. The price
to be 5 ducats : for this sum she can keep the work a
year for her own amusement, without either of us being
entitled to publish it. After the lapse of a year, the
Sonata to revert to me — that is, I can and will then
publish it, when, if she considers it any distinction, she
may request me to dedicate it to her.
I now, gentlemen, commend you to the grace of Grod.
My Sonata [Op. 22] is well engraved, but you have been
a fine time about it ! I hope you will usher my Septett
into the world a little quicker, as the P is waiting
for it, and you know the Empress has it; and when
there are in this Imperial city people like , I cannot
be answerable for the result, so lose no time !
Herr [Mollo ?] has lately published my Quartetts
LETTER TO HIS BROTHERS. 47
[Op. 18] full of faults and errata, both large and small,
which swarm in them like fish in the sea — that is, they
are innumerable. Questo e un piacere per un autore —
this is what I call engraving \_stechen 9 stinging] with a
vengeance.* In truth, my skin is a mass of punctures
and scratches from this fine edition of my Quartetts !
Now farewell, and think of me as I do of you. Till
death, your faithful
L. v. Beethoven.
To my Brothers Carl and Johann Beethoven.
Heiligenstadt, Oct, 6, 1802.
Oh ! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose,
and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little
you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you !
My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to
the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always
disposed to accomplish something great. But you must
remember that six years ago I was attacked by an in-
curable malady, aggravated by unskilful physicians,
deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief,
* In reference to the musical piracy at that time very prevalent in
f This beautiful letter I regret not to have seen in the original, it
being in the possession of the violin virtuoso Ernst, in London. I have
adhered to the version given in the Leipzig ' Allgemeine Musikalisehe
Zeitung,' Oct. 1827.
48 beethoyen's letters.
and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting
affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and
perhaps after all prove impracticable).
Born with a passionate and excitable temperament,
keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet
obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my
existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to sur-
mount all this, oh ! how cruelly was I again repelled
by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective
hearing ! — and yet I found it impossible to say to others:
Speak louder, shout ! for I am deaf! Alas ! how could I
proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have
been more perfect with me than with other men — a sense
which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an
extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed !
Alas ! I cannot do this ! Forgive me therefore when you
see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly
mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing
me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy re-
creation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or
mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I
only enter society when compelled to do so. I must
live like an exile. In company I am assailed by the
most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being
exposed to the risk of my condition being observed.
It was the same during the last six months I spent in
the country. My intelligent physician recommended
me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was
quite in accordance with my present disposition, though
sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for so-
ciety, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what
humiliation when anyone beside me heard a flute in
the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others
heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing \
Such things brought me to the verge of desperation,
and well nigh caused me to put an end to my life.
Art! art alone, deterred me. Ah! how could I pos-
sibly quit the world before bringing forth all that
I felt it was my vocation to produce ? * And thus I
spared this miserable life — so utterly miserable that any
sudden change may reduce me at any moment from
my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I
must now choose Patience for my guide ! This I have
done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to
persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut
the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, per-
haps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to be-
come a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year ! f This is
no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any-
one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and
knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence
* A large portion of the ' Eroica ' was written in the course of this
summer, but not completed till August 1804.
f Beethoven did not at that time know in what year he was born.
See the subsequent letter of May 2, 1810. He was then far advanced
in his thirty-third year.
VOL. I. E
50 BEETHOVEN'S LETTEKS.
have their abode there ! Oh ! ye who may one day
read this, think that you have done me injustice, and
let anyone similarly afflicted be consoled, by rinding
one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of
nature, has done all in his power to be included in the
ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl
and. Johann, as soon as I am no more, if Professor
Schmidt [see Nos. 18 and 23] be still alive, beg him in
my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages
to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as
possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my
death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my
small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly,
agree Wether and assist each other. You know that
anything you did to give me pain has been long for-
given. I thank you, my brother Carl in particular, for
the attachment you have show r n me of late. My wish
is that you may enjoy a happier life, and one more free
from care, than mine has been. Kecommend Virtue to
your children ; that alone, and not wealth, can ensure
happiness. I speak from experience. It was Virtue
alone which sustained me in my misery; I have to
thank her and Art for not having ended my life by
suicide. Farewell! Love each other. I gratefully
thank all my friends, especially Prince Lichnowsky
and Professor Schmidt. I wish one of you to keep
Prince L.'s instruments ; but I trust this will give
rise to no dissension between you. If you think it
more beneficial, however, you have only to dispose of
them. How much I shall rejoice if I can serve you
even in the grave ! So be it then ! I joyfully hasten to
meet Death. If he comes before I have had the oppor-
tunity of developing all my artistic powers, then, not-
withstanding my cruel fate, he will come too early for
me, and I should wish for him at a more distant period ;
but even then I shall be content, for his advent will
release me from a state of endless suffering. Come
when he may, I shall meet him with courage. Farewell !
Do not quite forget me, even in death : I deserve this
from you, because during my life I so often thought of
you, and wished to make you happy. Amen !
Ludwig van Beethoven.
(Written on the outside.)
Thus, then, I take leave of you, and with sadness too.
The fond hope I brought with me here, of being to a
certain degree cured, now utterly forsakes me. As au-
tumn leaves fall and wither, so are my hopes blighted.
Almost as I came, I depart. Even the lofty courage
that so often animated me in the lovely days of summer
is gone for ever. Oh, Providence ! vouchsafe me one
day of pure felicity ! How long have I been estranged
from the glad echo of true joy ! When ! oh, my Grod !
when shall I again feel it in the temple of nature and
of man ? — never ? Ah ! that would be too hard !
52 Beethoven's letters.
To be read and fulfilled after my death by my bro-
thers Carl and Johann.
I owe it to the public and to myself to state that the
two Quint etts in C and E flat major — one of these
(arranged from a Symphony of mine) published by
Herr Mollo in Vienna, and the other (taken from my
Septett, Op. 20) by Herr Hofmeister in Leipzig— are not
original Quintetts, but only versions of the aforesaid
works given by the publishers. Arrangements in these
days (so fruitful in — arrangements) an author will
find it vain to contend against ; but we may at least
justly demand that the fact should be mentioned in
the title-page, neither to injure the reputation of the
author nor to deceive the public. This notice is given
to prevent anything of the kind in future. I also beg
to announce that shortly a new original Quintett of my
composition, in C major, Op. 29, will appear at Breitkopf
& HartePs in Leipzig.
LuDWia van Beethoven.
, ASSIGNMENT TO HIS PUBLISHES. 53
To Ferdinand Ries.
Summer of 1803.
You no doubt are aware that I am here. Gro to
Stein, and ask if he can send me an instrument, on
hire. I am afraid of bringing mine here. Come to
me this evening about seven o'clock. I lodge in
Oberdobling, on the left side of the street, No. 4, going
down the hill towards Heiligenstadt.
To Herr Hofmeister, — Leipzig.
Vienna, Sept. 22, 1803.
I hereby declare all the works you have ordered to
be your property. The list of these shall be made out
and sent to you with my signature, as the proof of
their being your own. I also agree to accept the sum
of fifty ducats for them. Are you satisfied ?
Perhaps, instead of the variations with violoncello
and violin,* I may send you variations for the piano,
arranged as a Duett on a song of mine ; but Goethe's
poetry must also be engraved, as I wrote these varia-
tions in an album, and consider them better than the
others. Are you satisfied ?
* These are the six variations in D, on the air ' Ich denke Dein,' written
in 1800 in the album of the Countesses Josephine Deym and Therese
54 beethoven's letters.
The arrangements are not by me, though I have
revised and much improved various passages ; but I do
not wish you to say that I have arranged them, for it
would be false, and I have neither time nor patience to
do so. Are you satisfied ?
Now farewell ! I sincerely wish that all may go
well with you. I would gladly make you a present of
all my works, if I could do so and still get on in the
world; but — remember most people are provided for,and
know what they have to live on, while, good heavens !
where can an appointment be found at the Imperial
Court for such a jparvum talentum com ego ?
L. v. Beethoven.
Herr Carl Zulehner, a piratical engraver in Mayence,
has announced an edition of my collected works for
the pianoforte and also stringed instruments. I con-
sider it my duty publicly to inform all friends of music
that I have no share whatever in this edition.
I would never have in any way authorised any
collection of my works (which, moreover, I consider
premature) without previously consulting the pub-
lishers of single pieces, and ensuring that correctness
in which editions of my individual works are so de-
ficient. I must also observe that this illegal edition
cannot be complete, as several new works of mine are
shortly to appear in Paris, and these Herr Zulehner,
being a French subject, dare not pirate. I intend to
take another opportunity of enumerating the details of
the collection of my works to be brought out under my
own auspices and careful revision.
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To Herr Ries*
Be so good as to make out a list of the mistakes and
send it at once to Simrock, and say that the work must
appear as soon as possible. I will send him the Sonata
[Op. 47] and the Concerto the day after to-morrow.
To Herr Ries.
I must again ask you to undertake the disagreeable
task of making a fair copy of the errors in the Zurich
Sonata. I have got your list of errata ( auf der Wieden.'*
* Kies relates that the three following notes refer to the pianoforte
Sonata, Op. 31, No. 1, carefully engraved by Nageli in Zurich, which
Beethoven consequently sent forthwith to Simrock in Bonn, desiring
him to bring out ' une edition tres-correcte ' of the work. He also states
that Beethoven was residing in Heiligenstadt at the time the work was
first sent [see No. 26]. In Nottebohm's 'Skizzenbuch von Beethoven' he
says (p. 43) that the first notice of the appearance of this Sonata was on
May 21st, 1803; but Simrock writes to me that the date of the docu-
ment making over the Sonata to him is 1804.
56 Beethoven's letters.
To Herr Ries.
The signs are wrongly marked, and many of the
notes misplaced ; so be careful ! or your labour will be
vain. Cti a detto V amato bene ?
To Herr Ries.
May I beg you to be so obliging as to copy this
andante [in the Kreuzer Sonata] for me, however
indifferently? I must send it off to-morrow, and as
Heaven alone knows what its fate may then be, I wish to
get it transcribed. But I must have it back to-morrow
about one o'clock. The cause of my troubling you is
that one of my copyists is already very much occupied
with various things of importance, and the other is ill.
To the Composer Leidesdorf, — Vienna*
Dorf des Leides [village of sorrow — Leidesdorf],
Let the bearer of this, Herr Eies, have some easy
Duetts, and, better still, let him have them for nothing.
Conduct yourself in accordance with the reformed doc-
trines. Farewell !
* Date unknown. Leidesdorf was also a musicseller.
QUARREL WITH STEPHAN YON BRECNING. 57
To Ilerr Ries.
Baden, July 14, 1804.
If 3'ou can find me better lodgings, I shall be very
glad. Tell my brothers not to engage these at once ;
I have a great desire to get one in a spacious, quiet
square or on the Bastei. It is really inexcusable in
my brother not to have provided wine, as it is so bene-
ficial and necessary to me. I shall take care to be
present at the rehearsal on Wednesday. I am not
pleased to hear that it is to be at SchuppanziglTs. He
may well be grateful to me if my impertinences make
him thinner ! Farewell, dear Ries ! We have bad wea-
ther here, and I am not safe from visitors, so I must
take flight in order to be alone.
Your true friend,
L. v. Beethoven.
To Herr Ries.
Baden, July 1804.
As Breuning [see Nos. 13, 14, and 18] by his con-
duct has not scrupled to display my character to you
and the house-steward as that of a mean, petty, base
man, I beg you will convey my reply at once in person
to Breuning. I answer only one point, the first in his
letter, and I do so solely because it is the only mode of
58 Beethoven's letters.
justifying myself in your eyes. Say also to him that I
had no intention of reproaching him on account of the
delay of the notice to quit, and even if Breuning were
really to blame for this, our harmonious relations are so
dear and precious in my sight, that, for the sake of a
few hundreds more or less, I would never subject any
friend of mine to vexation. You are aware, indeed,
that I jestingly accused you as the cause of the notice
arriving too late. I am quite sure that you must
remember this. I had entirely forgotten the whole
matter, but at dinner my brother began to say that he
thought Breuning was to blame in the affair, which I
at once denied, saying that you were in fault. I think
this shows plainly enough that I attributed no blame to
Breuning ; but on this he sprang up like a madman,
and insisted on sending for the house-steward. Such
behaviour, in the presence of all those with whom I
usually associate, and to which I am wholly unaccus-
tomed, caused me to lose all self-control, so I also
started up, upset my chair, left the room, and did not
return. This conduct induced Breuning to place me in
a pretty light to you and the house-steward, and also to
send me a letter which I only answered by silence. I
have not another word to say to Breuning. His mode
of thinking and of acting, with regard to me, proves that
there never ought to have been such friendly intimacy
between us, and assuredly it can never more be restored.
I wished to make you acquainted with this, as your
ANXIETY TO LEAVE BADEN. 59
version of the occurrence degraded both my words and
actions. I know that, had you been aware of the real
state of the affair, you would not have said what you
did, and with this I am satisfied.
I now beg of you, dear Eies, to go to my brother, the
apothecary, as soon as you receive this letter, and say
to him that I mean to leave Baden in the course of a
few days, and that he is to engage the lodging in
Dobling as soon as you have given him this message.
I had nearly left this. to-day; I detest being here — I am
sick of it. For Heaven's sake urge him to close the
bargain at once, for I want to take possession imme-
diately. Neither show nor speak to anyone of what is
written in the previous page of this letter : I wish to
prove to him in every respect that I am not so meanly
disposed as he is. Indeed I have written to him, al-
though my resolve as to the dissolution of our friendship
remains firm and unchangeable.
To Hew Hies.
Berlin, July 24, 1804.
. . . You were no doubt not a little surprised about
the affair with Breuning; believe me, my dear friend, that
the ebullition on my part was only an outbreak caused
by many previous scenes of a disagreeable nature. I
have the gift of being able to conceal and to repress my
susceptibility on many occasions, but if attacked at a
time when I chance to be peculiarly irritable, I burst
forth more violently than anyone. Breuning certainly
possesses many admirable qualities, but he thinks him-
self quite faultless, whereas the very defects that he
discovers in others are those which he possesses him-
self to the highest degree. From my childhood I have
always despised his petty mind. My powers of dis-
crimination enabled me to foresee the result with
Breuning, for our modes of thinking, acting, and feel-
ing are entirely opposite ; and yet I believed that these
difficulties might be overcome, but experience has dis-
proved this. So now I want no more of his friendship !
I have only found two friends in the world with whom
I never had a misunderstanding; but what men these
were ! One is dead, the other still lives. Although for
nearly six years past we have seen nothing of each
other, yet I know that I still hold the first place in his
heart, as he does in mine [see No. 12]. The true basis
of friendship is to be found in sympathy of heart and
soul. I onty wish you could have read the letter I
wrote to Breuning, and his to me. No ! never can he
be restored to his former place in my heart. The man
who could attribute to his friend so base a mode of
thinking, and could himself have recourse to so base a
mode of acting towards him, is no longer worthy of my
Do not forget the affair of my apartments. Fare-
NEW QUINTETT. 61
well ! Do not be too much addicted to tailoring,* re-
member me to the fairest of the fair, and send me half
a dozen needles.
I never could have believed that I could be so idle
as I am here. If this be followed by a fit of industry,
something worth while may be produced.
To Messrs. Artaria & Co.-f
Vienna, June 1, 1805.
I must inform you that the affair about the new
Quintett is settled between Count Fries and myself.
The Count has just assured me that he intends to
make you a present of it; it is too late to-day for a
written agreement on the subject, but one shall be sent
early in the ensuing week. This intelligence must suf-
fice for the present, and I think I at all events deserve
your thanks for it.
Your obedient servant,
Ltjdwig van Beethoven.
* Eies says, in Wegeler's ' Biographical Notices ' : — 'Beethoven never
visited me more frequently than when I lived in the house of a tailor,
with three very handsome but thoroughly respectable daughters.'
f The Quintett is probably not that in C, Op. 29, dedicated to Count
v. Pries, previously published in 1803 by Breitkopf & Hartel [see
No. 27]. It is more likely that he alludes to a new Quintett which the
Count had no doubt ordered.
62 Beethoven's letters.
To Madame la Princesse Liechtenstein, &c*
Pray pardon me, illustrious Princess, if the bearer of
this should cause you an unpleasant surprise. Poor
Ries, my scholar, is forced by this unhappy war to
shoulder a musket, and must moreover leave this in a
few days, being a foreigner. He has nothing, literally
nothing, and is obliged to take a long journey. All
chance of a concert on his behalf is thus entirely at an
end, and he must have recourse to the benevolence of
others,. I recommend him to you. I know you will
forgive the step I have taken. A noble-minded man
would only have recourse to such measures in the most
utter extremity. Confident of this, I send the poor
youth to you, in the hope of somewhat improving his
circumstances. He is forced to apply to all who know
I am, with the deepest respect, yours,
L. van Beethoven.
* Communicated by Ries himself, who, to Beethoven's extreme in-
dignation, did not deliver the note. See Wegeler's work, p. 134. The
following remark is added: — ' Date unknown ; written a few days before
the entrance of the French in 1805' (which took place Nov. 13). Eies, a
native of Bonn, was now a French subject, and recalled under the laws
of conscription. The Sonata, Op. 27, No. 1, is dedicated to Princess
To Herr Meyer.*
Pray try to persuade Herr v. Sey fried to direct
my Opera, as I wish on this occasion to see and hear it
myself from a distance : in this way my patience will
at all events not be so severely tried as when I am
close enough to hear my music so bungled. I really do
believe that it is done on purpose to annoy me ! I will
say nothing of the wind-instruments; but all pp.%
cresc, discresc., and all /.'s and jf.'s may as well be
struck out of my Opera, for no attention whatever is
paid to them. I shall lose all pleasure in composing
anything in future, if I am to hear it given thus. To-
morrow or the day after I will come to fetch you to
dinner. To-day I am again unwell.
If the Opera is to be performed the day after to-
morrow, there must be another private rehearsal to-
morrow, or each time it will be given worse and
* Meyer, the husband of Mozart's eldest sister-in-law, Josepha (Hofer's
widow), sang the part of Pizarro at the first performance of ' Fidelio,
Nov. 20, 1805, and also at a later period. Seyfried was at that time
Kapellmeister at the Theatre 'an der Wien.'
64 Beethoven's letters.
Testimonial for G. Czerny.
Vienna, Dec. 7, 1805.
I, the undersigned, am glad to bear testimony to
young Carl Czerny having made the most extraordinary
progress on the pianoforte, far beyond what might be
expected at the age of fourteen. I consider him de-
serving of all possible assistance, not only from what I
have already referred to, but from his astonishing
memory, and more especially from his parents having
spent all their means in cultivating the talent of their
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To Herr RdclceL*
Be sure that you arrange matters properly with
Mdlle. Milder, and say to her previously from me, that
I hope she will not sing anywhere else. I intend to
call on her to-morrow to kiss the hem of her garment.
Do not also forget Marconi, and forgive me for giving
you so much trouble.
* Eockel, in 1806 tenor at the Theatre 'an der Wien,' sang the part of
Florestan in the spring of that year, when 'Fidelio' was revived. Mdlle.
Milder, afterwards Mdme. Hanptmann, played Leonore, Mdme. Marconi
was also prima donna.
WANT OF LEISURE. 65
To TIerr Collin* Court Secretary and Poet.
My esteemed Collin,
I hear that you are about to fulfil my greatest wish
and your own purpose. Much as I desire to express my
delight to you in person, I cannot find time to do so,
having so much to occupy me. Pray do not then ascribe
this to any want of proper attention towards you. I
send you the ' Armida;' as soon as you have entirely
done with it, pray return it, as it does not belong to
me. I am, with sincere esteem.
To Hew Gleiehenstein.-\
I should like very much, my good Gleichenstein, to
speak to you this forenoon between one and two o'clock,
* Collin, Court Secretary, was the author of ' Coriolanus,' a tragedy,
for which Beethoven in 1807 wrote the, celebrated Overture dedicated
to that poet. According to Reichardt, Collin offered the libretto of
' Bradamante' to Beethoven in 1808, which Beichardt subsequently com-
posed. This note evidently refers to a libretto.
f Probably in reference to a conference with regard to a contract for
the publication of his works, Op. 58, 59, 60, 61, and 62, that Beethoven
had made on the 20th April, 1807, with Muzio Clementi, who had
established a large music firm in London ; it was also signed by Baron
Beethoven's first intention was to dedicate Op. 58 to him, which is
evident from a large page in Schindler's work, on which is written in
VOL, I. F
66 beethoyen's letteks.
or in the afternoon, and where you please. To-day I
am too busy to call early enough to find you at home.
Cfive me an answer, and don't forget to appoint the
place for us to meet. Farewell, and continue your
regard for your
To the Directors of the Court Theatre*
Vienna, December 1807.
The undersigned has cause to natter himself that
during the period of his stay in Vienna he has gained
some favour and approbation from the highest nobility,
as well as from the public at large, his works having met
with an honourable reception both in this and other
countries. Nevertheless he has had difficulties of every
kind to contend against, and has not hitherto been so
fortunate as to acquire a position that would enable him
to live solely for art, and to develope his talents to a still
higher degree of perfection, which ought to be the aim
bold characters, by the master's own hand, ' Quatrieme Concerto pour le
Piano, avec accompagnement, etc., dedie a son ami Gleichenstein,' &c. The
name of the Archduke Kudolph had been previously written, and was
eventually adopted, and Gleichenstein afterwards received the dedica-
tion of the Grand Sonata with violoncello, Op. 69.
* This application was fruitless. See Eeichardt's 'Vertraute Brief e.'
' These two (Lobkowitz and Esterhazy) are the heads of the great
theatrical direction, which consists entirely of princes and counts, who
conduct all the large theatres on their own account and at their own
risk.' The close of this letter shows that it was written in December.
of every artist, thus ensuring future independence in-
stead of mere casual profits.
Trie mere wish to gain a livelihood has never been
the leading clue that has hitherto guided the under-
signed on his path. His great aim has been the interest
of art and the ennobling of taste, while his genius, soar-
ing to a higher ideal and greater perfection, frequently
compelled him to sacrifice his talents and profits to the
Muse. Still works of this kind won for him a reputation
in distant lands, securing him the most favourable re-
ception in various places of distinction, and a position
befitting his talents and acquirements.
The undersigned does not, however, hesitate to say
that this city is above all others the most precious and
desirable in his eyes, owing to the number of years he
has lived here, the favour and approval he has enjoyed
from both high and low, and his wish fully to realise
the expectations he has had the good fortune to excite,
but most of all, he may truly say, from his 'patriotism as
a German. Before, therefore, making up his mind to
leave a place so dear to him, he begs to refer to a hint
which the reigning Prince Lichnowsky was so kind as
to give him, to the effect that the directors of the
theatre were disposed to engage the undersigned on
reasonable conditions in the service of their theatre, and
to ensure his remaining in Vienna by securing to him
a permanent position, more propitious to the further
exercise of his talents. As this assurance is entirely in
68 Beethoven's letters.
accordance with the wishes of the undersigned, he takes
the liberty, with all due respect, to place before the
directors his readiness to enter into such an engage-
ment, and begs to state the following conditions for
their gracious consideration.
1. The undersigned undertakes and pledges himself
to compose each year at least one Grand Opera, to be
selected by the directors and himself ; in return for this
he demands a fixed salary of 2,400 florins a year, and
also a free benefit at the third performance of each such
2. He also agrees to supply the directors annually
with a little Operetta or a Divertissement } with choruses
or occasional music of the kind as may be required,
gratis ; he feels confident that on the other hand the
directors will not refuse, in return for these various
labours, to grant him a benefit concert at all events once
a year in one of the theatres. Surely the above con-
ditions cannot be thought exorbitant or unreasonable,
when the expenditure of time and energy entailed by
the production of an Opera is taken into account, as it
entirely excludes the possibility of all other mental
exertion ; in other places, too, the author and his
family have a share in the profits of every individual
performance, so that even one successful work at once
ensures the future fortunes of the composer. It must
also be considered how prejudicial the present rate of
exchange is to artists here, and likewise the high price
of the necessaries of life, while a residence in foreign
countries is open to them.
But in any event, whether the directors accede to or
decline this present proposal, the undersigned ventures
to request that he may be permitted to give a concert
for his own benefit in one of the theatres. For if his
conditions be accepted, the undersigned must devote all
his time and talents to the composition of such an
Opera, and thus be prevented working in any other way
for profit. In case of the non-acceptance of these pro-
posals, as the concert he was authorised to give last
year did not take place owing to various obstacles, he
would entreat, as a parting token of the favour hitherto
vouchsafed to him, that the promise of last year may
now be fulfilled. In the former case, he would beg to
suggest Annunciation Day [April 4th] for his concert,
and in the latter a day during the ensuing Christmas
Ludwig van Beethoven, M. P.
To Count Franz von Oppersdorf*
Vienna, Nov. 1, 1088 [sic I].
My clear Count,
I fear you will look on me with displeasure when I
tell you that necessity compelled me not only to dispose
* The fourth Symphony is dedicated to Count Oppersdorf.
70 beethoven's letters.
of the Symphony I wrote for you, but to transfer another
also to some one else. Be assured, however, that you
shall soon receive the one I intend for you. I hope
that both you and the Countess, to whom I beg my
kind regards, have been well since we met. I am at
this moment staying with Countess Erdody in the
apartments below those of Prince Lichnowsky. I men-
tion this in case you do me the honour to call on me
when you are in Vienna. My circumstances are im-
proving, without having recourse to the intervention of
people who treat their friends insultingly. I have
also the offer of being made Kcqjellmeister to the King
of Westphalia, and it is possible that I may accept the
proposal. Farewell, and sometimes think of your at-
I fear I am too late for to-day, but I have only now
been able to get back your memorial from C ,
because H wished to add various items here and
there. I do beg of you to dwell chiefly on the great
importance to me of adequate opportunities to exercise
* This note, now first published, refers to the call Beethoven had
received, mentioned in the previous No. The sketch of the memorial
that follows is not, however, in Beethoven's writing, and perhaps not
even composed by him [see also No. 46]. It is well known that the
Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and Prince Lobkowitz had secured to
the maestro a salary of 4,000 gulden.
MEMORIAL. 7 1
my art ; by so doing you will write what is most in
accordance with my head and my heart. The preamble
must set forth what I am to have in Westphalia — 600
ducats in gold, 150 ducats for travelling expenses; all
I have to do in return for this sum being to direct the
King's [Jerome's] concerts, which are short and few in
number. I am not even bound to direct any Opera I
may write. So, thus freed from all care, I shall be able
to devote myself entirely to the most important object
of my art — to write great works. An orchestra is also
to be placed at my disposition.
N.B. As member of a theatrical association, the title
need not be insisted on, as it can produce nothing but
annoyance. With regard to the Imperial service, I
think that point requires delicate handling, and not less
so the solicitation for the title of Imperial Kapell-
meister. It must, however, be made quite clear that I
am to receive a sufficient salary from the Court to enable
me to renounce the annuity which I at present receive
from the gentlemen in question [the Archduke Eudolph,
Prince Kinsky, and Prince Lobkowitz], which I think
will be most suitably expressed by my stating that it
is my hope, and has ever been my most ardent wish, to
enter the Imperial service, when I shall be ready to give
up as much of the above salary as the sum I am to
receive from His Imperial Majesty amounts to. (N.B.
We must have it to-morrow at twelve o'clock, as we go
to Kinsky then. I hope to see you to-day).
The aim and endeavour of every true artist must be
to acquire a position in which he can occupy himself
exclusively with the accomplishment of great works,
undisturbed by other avocations or by considerations of
economy. A composer, therefore, can have no more
ardent wish than to devote himself wholly to the crea-
tion of works of importance, to be produced before the
public. He must also keep in view the prospect of old
age, in order to make a sufficient provision for that-
The King of Westphalia has offered Beethoven a
salary of 600 gold ducats for life, and 150 ducats for
travelling expenses, in return for which his sole obliga-
tions are, occasionally to play before His Majesty, and
to conduct his chamber concerts, which are both few
and short. This proposal is of a most beneficial nature
both to art and the artist.
Beethoven, however, much prefers a residence in this
capital, feeling so much gratitude for the many proofs of
kindness he has received in it, and so much patriotism
for his adopted fatherland, that he will never cease to
consider himself an Austrian artist, nor take up his
abode elsewhere, if anything approaching to the same
advantages are conferred on him here.
As many persons of high, indeed of the very highest
rank, have requested him to name the conditions on
STIPULATIONS RESPECTING SALARY. 73
which he would be disposed to remain here, in compli-
ance with their wish he states as follows : —
1. Beethoven must receive from some influential
nobleman security for a permanent salary for life :
various persons of consideration might contribute to
make up the amount of this salary, which, at the pre-
sent increased price of all commodities, must not consist
of less than 4,000 florins per annum. Beethoven's wish
is that the donors of this sum should be considered as
co-operating in the production of his future great works,
by thus enabling him to devote himself entirely to these
labours, and by relieving him from all other occupa-
2. Beethoven must always retain the privilege of
travelling in the interests of art, for in this way alone
can he make himself known, and acquire some fortune.
3. His most ardent desire and eager wish is to be re-
ceived into the Imperial service, when such an appoint-
ment would enable him partly or wholly to renounce
the proposed salary. In the meantime the title of
Imperial Kapellmeister would be very gratifying to
him ; and if this wish could be realised, the value of
his abode here would be much enhanced in his eyes.
If his desire be fulfilled, and a salary granted by
His Majesty to Beethoven, he will renounce so much of
the said 4,000 florins as the Imperial salary shall
amount to, or if this appointment be 4,000 florins, he
will give up the whole of the former sum.
/4 BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
4. As Beethoven wishes from time to time to pro-
duce before the public at large his new great works, he
desires an assurance from the present directors of the
theatre on their part, and that of their successors, that
they will authorise him to give a concert for his own
benefit every year on Palm Sunday, in the Theatre £ an
der Wien.' In return for which Beethoven agrees to
arrange and direct an annual concert for the benefit of
the poor, or, if this cannot be managed, at all events to
furnish a new work of his own for such a concert.
My excellent Friend,
All would go well now if we had only a curtain ;
without it the Aria [' Ah ! Perfido'] will be a failure .*
I only heard this to-day from S. [Seyfried], and it
vexes me much : a curtain of any kind will do, even a
bed-curtain, or merely a kind of gauze screen, which
* Reichardt, in his ' Vertraute Brief e' relates among other things about
the concert given by Beethoven in the Royal Theatre ' an der Wien,'
Oct. 22, 1808, as follows :—' Poor Beethoven, who derived from this
concert the first and only net profits which accrued to him during the
whole year, met with great opposition and very slender support in
arranging and carrying it out. First came ' the Pastoral Symphon}-, or
Reminiscences of Rural Life ; ' then followed, as the sixth piece, a long
Italian scena, sung by Demoiselle Killitzky, a lovely Bohemian with a
lovely voice.' The above note [to Zmeskall ?] certainly refers to this
A CURTAIN WANTED. 75
could be instantly removed. There must be something ;
for the Aria is in the dramatic style, and better adapted
for the stage than for effect in a concert-room. Without
a curtain, or something of the sort, the Aria will be
devoid of all meaning, and ruined I ruined I ruined 1 1
Devil take it all I The Court will probably be present.
Baron Schweitzer [Chamberlain of the Archduke Anton']
requested me earnestly to make the application myself.
Archduke Carl granted me. an audience and promised
to come. The Empress neither promised nor refused.
A hanging curtain ! ! ! ! or the Aria and I will both
be hanged to-morrow. Farewell ! I embrace you as
cordially on this new year as in the old one. With or
without a curtain !
To Ferdinand Mies*
My dear Fellow,
Your friends have at any rate given you very bad
advice — but I know all about them ; they are the very
same to whom you sent that fine news about me from
* Eies himself gives the date of this note as 1809, though he cannot
recall what gave rise to it. It is probably connected with a fact men-
tioned by "VVegeler, p. 95, that Beichardt, who was at that time in
Vienna, had advised Beethoven's young pupil, Eies, to apply to the
King of Westphalia for the appointment of Kapellmeister, which he
had recently given up. This was reported to Beethoven, and roused his
ire. Eies, too, had written from Paris that the taste in music there
was very indifferent, that Beethoven's works were little known or played
76 Beethoven's letters.
Paris ; the very same who enquired about my age —
information that you contrived to supply so correctly !
— the very same who have often before injured you in
my opinion, but now permanently. Farewell !
March 7, 1809.
It is just what I expected ! As to the blows, that is
rather far-fetched. The story is at least three months
old, and very different from what he now makes it out
to be. The whole stupid affair was caused by a female
huckster and a couple of low fellows. I lose very little.
He no doubt was corrupted in the very house where I
am now living.
My most excellent, high and well-born Herr v.
Zmeskall, Court Secretary and Member of the Society
in that city. Beethoven was also very susceptible with regard to his age.
At the request of some of Beethoven's friends, Ries, in 180S, obtained
Beethoven's baptismal certificate, and sent it to Vienna. But the
maestro' s wrath on this occasion passed away as quickly as usual.
* [See No. 10.] The notes to Zmeskall generally have the dates
written by himself. This one bears the date March 7, 1809. In all
points connected with domestic life, and especially in household matters
and discords, Zmeskall was always a kind and consolatory friend.
Beethoven at that time lived in the same house with Countess Erdody.
(See No. 74.)
A PEACEMAKER SOLICITED. 77
of the Single Blessed, — If I come to see you to-day,
ascribe it to the fact that a person wishes to speak to
me at your house whom I could not refuse to see. I
come without any card from you, but I hope you will
not on that account dis-card me.
Yours truly — most truly,
L. v. Beethoyen.
It seems to me, dear Zmeskall, if war really does
break out, when it comes to an end you will be the
very man for an appointment in the Peace Legation.
What a glorious office ! ! ! I leave it entirely to you
to do the best you can about my servant, only hence-
forth Countess Erdody must not attempt to exercise
the smallest influence over him. She says she made
him a present of twenty-five florins, and gave him five
florins a month, solely to induce him to stay with me.
I cannot refuse to believe this trait of generosity, but I
do not choose that it should be repeated. Farewell !
I thank you for your friendship, and hope soon to see
78 beethoven's letters.
April 16, 1809.
If I cannot come to-day, dear Zmeskall, which is
very possible, ask Baroness von [name illegible]
to give you the pianoforte part of the Trios, and be so
good as to send them and the other parts to me to-
April 17, 1809.
A suitable lodging has just been found out for me,
but I need some one to help me in the affair. I cannot
employ my brother, because he only recommends what
costs least money. Let me know, therefore, if we can
go together to look at the house. It is in the Klep-
April 25, 1809.
I shall be glad, right glad, to play. I send you the
violoncello part ; if you find that you can manage it,
* April 16, 1809. By the Terzetts lie no doubt means the Trios,
Op. 70, dedicated to Countess Erdody.
f An der Miilker Bastei.
May 14, 1809.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR A CONCERT. 79
play it yourself, or let old Kraft* do so. I will tell you
about the lodging when we meet.
My dear little musical old Count!
I think after all it would he advisable to let old
Kraft play, as the Trios are to be heard for the first
time (in society), and you can play them afterwards; but
I leave it all to your own option. If you meet with
any difficulties, one of which may possibly be that
Kraft and S. [Schuppanzigh] do not harmonise well
together, then Herr v. Zmeskall must distinguish him-
self not as a mere musical Count, but as an energetic
* Anton Kraft (and likewise his son, Nicolans Kraft) was a most
admirable violoncello-player, with whom Beethoven from the earliest
days of his residence in Vienna had played a great deal at Prince
Lichnowsky's. Kraft was at that time in Prince Lobkowitz's band.
f Kraft and Schuppanzigh were then each giving Quartett soirees.
80 beethoven's letters.
To Freiherr v. Hammer -Purg stall*
I feel almost ashamed of your complaisance and
kindness in permitting me to see the MS. of your as
yet unknown literary treasures. Pray receive my sin-
cere thanks. I also beg to return both your Operettas.
Wholly engrossed by my professional avocations, it is
impossible for me to give an opinion, especially with
regard to the Indian Operetta ; as soon as time permits,
I will call on you for the purpose of discussing this
subject, and also the Oratorio of 'The Deluge.' Pray
always include me among the warm admirers of your
I am, Sir, with sincere esteem, your obedient
To Freiherr v. Hammer-Pur g stall .^
Forgive me, my dear H , for not having brought
you the letter for Paris. I have been, and still am, so
* I see in Sehindler's 'Beethoven,' that he wished to have 'an Indian
Chorus of a religions character ' from this renowned Orientalist, who in
sending his ' Persian Operetta,' written 'rather with an ideal than a mu-
sical object,' and likewise an Oratorio, 'The Deluge,' remarks : — 'Should
you not find these works in all respects executed quite to your taste,
still I feel convinced that through the genius of a Beethoven alone can
music portray the rising of the great flood and the pacifying of the
f Beichardt states that Stoll was in Vienna in the spring of 1809,
BENEVOLENT EFFORTS. 81
much occupied, that day after day I am obliged to
delay writing it, but you shall have it to-morrow, even
if I am unable to come myself to see you, which I am
most anxious to do.
There is another matter that I would most earnestly
press on } 7 ou; perhaps you might succeed in doing
something for a poor unfortunate man. I allude to
Herr Stoll, son of the celebrated physician. With many
persons the question is whether a man has been ruined
by his own fault or by that of others, but this is not
so with either you or me; it is sufficient that Stoll
is unfortunate, and looks on a journey to Paris as his
sole resource, having last year made many influential
acquaintances, who, when he goes there, are to endea-
vour to procure him a professorship in Westphalia.
Stoll has therefore applied to Herr v. Neumann, in the
State Chancery Office, to send him with a government
courier to Paris, but the latter refuses to take him for
less than 25 Louis d'or. Now I request you, my dear
friend, to speak to Herr v. Neumann to arrange, if pos-
sible, that the courier should either take Stoll gratis,
or for a small sum. I am persuaded that if there is
nothing particular against it, you will be glad to interest
yourself in poor Stoll. I return to the country to-day,
but hope soon to be so fortunate as to enjoy an hour of
which fixes the date of this letter. Napoleon bestowed a pension on the
young poet (who appears to have gone to Paris), mistaking him for his
father, the celebrated physician. 'bVN
VOL. I. G^
82 Beethoven's letters.
your society. In the meantime I send you my best
wishes, and beg you will believe in the sincere esteem
Ludwig v. Beethoven.
To Baroness von Drossdick,
My esteemed Therese,
You will receive with this what I promised. Had
not many serious obstacles intervened, I would have
sent you more, in order to show you that where my
friends are concerned / always perform more than I
promise. I hope, and do not doubt, that you are agree-
ably occupied and enjoying society, but not too much, I
trust, to prevent your thinking of us. It would show too
much confidence in you, or too high an estimation
of my own merits, were I to attribute the sentiment to
you, s That people are not together only when present,
but that the absent and the dead also live with us.' Who
could ascribe such a thought to the volatile Therese,
who takes the world so lightly ? Among your various
occupations, do not forget the piano, or rather, music
in general, for which you have so fine a talent: why
not then seriously cultivate it ? You, who have so
much feeling for the good and the beautiful, should
strive to recognise the perfections of so charming an
RURAL ATTRACTIONS. 83
art, which in return always casts so bright a reflection
I live in entire quiet and solitude, and even though
occasional flashes of light arouse me, still since you all
left this I feel a hopeless void which even my art,
usually so faithful to me, has not yet triumphed over.
Your pianoforte is ordered, and you shall soon have it.
What a difference you must have discovered between
the treatment of the Theme I extemporised on the
other evening and the mode in which I have recently
written it out for you ? You must explain this yourself,
only do not find the solution in the punch ! How happy
you are to get away so soon to the country ! I cannot
enjoy this luxury till the 8th. I look forward to it with
the delight of a child. What happiness I shall feel in
wandering among groves and woods, and among trees
and plants, and rocks ! No man on earth can love the
country as I do ! Thickets, trees, and rocks supply the
echo man longs for !
You shall soon receive some more of my composi-
tions, which will not cause you to complain so much of
difficulties. Have you read Groethe's ' W T ilhelm Meis-
ter,' and Schlegel's ' Translations of Shakspeare ' ?
People have so much leisure in the country, that
perhaps you would like me to send you these works ?
It happens that I have an acquaintance in your neigh-
bourhood, so perhaps you may see me some morning
early for half an hour, after which I must be off again
84 Beethoven's letters.
You will also observe that I intend to bore .you for as
short a time as possible.*
Commend me to the regard of your father and
mother, though I have as yet no right to claim it.
Remember me also to your cousin M. [Mathilde].
Farewell, my esteemed Therese ; I wish you all the good
and charm that life can offer. Think of me kindly, and
forget my follies. Rest assured that no one would more
rejoice to hear of your happiness, even were you to feel
no interest in your devoted servant and friend,
]S".B. It would be very amiable in you to write me
a few lines, to say if I can be of any use to you here.
A Mdlle. Mdlle. de Geravdi,}
Dear Mdlle. G.,
I cannot with truth deny that the verses you sent
have considerably embarrassed me. It causes a strange
* Herr v. Malfatti Rohrenbach, nephew of the renowned physician
who was so prominent in Beethoven's last illness, lately related to me
in Vienna as follows: — Beethoven went to pay a visit to young Frau
Therese, Baroness Drossdick, at Modling, but not finding her at home,
he tore a sheet of music-paper out of a book, and wrote some music to
a verse of Matthisson's, and on the other side inscribed, in large
letters, ' To my dear Therese.' The ' Mathilde ' mentioned farther on
was, according to Barmann, a Baroness Grleichenstein. [See No. 45.]
f Nothing has hitherto been ascertained respecting either the date of
this note, or the lady to whom it is addressed.
ASSUMED GAIETY. 85
sensation to see and hear yourself praised, and yet to be
conscious of your own defects, as I am. I consider such
occurrences as mere incitements to strive to draw nearer
the unattainable goal set before us by art and nature,
difficult as it may be. These verses are truly beautiful,
with the exception of one fault that we often find in
poets, which is, their being misled by Fancy to believe
that they really do see and hear what they ivish to see
and hear, and yet even this is far below their ideal.
You may well believe that I wish to become acquainted
with the poet or poetess ; pray receive also yourself my
thanks for the kindly feeling you show towards your
L. v. Beethoven.
January 23, 1810.
What are you about ? My gaiety yesterday, though
only assumed, has not only vexed but offended you.
The uninvited guests seemed so little to deserve your
ill humour, that I endeavoured to use all my friendly
influence to prevent your giving way to it, by my
pretended flow of spirits. I am still suffering from
indigestion. Say whether you can meet me at the
( Swan ' to-day.
Your true friend,
* The cause that gave rise to this note is not known.
86 beethoven's letters.
Vienna, May 2, 1810.
My dear old Friend,
These lines may very possibly cause you some sur-
prise, and yet, though you have no written proof of it,
I always retain the most lively remembrance of you.
Among my MSS. is one that has long been destined for
you, and which you shall certainly receive this summer.
For the last two years my secluded and quiet life has
been at an end, and I have been forcibly drawn into
the vortex of the world ; though as yet I have attained
no good result from this — nay, perhaps rather the re-
verse — but who has not been affected by the storms
around us ? Still I should not only be happy, but the
happiest of men, if a demon had not taken up his set-
tled abode in my ears. Had I not somewhere read that
man must not voluntarily put an end to his life while
he can still perform even one good deed, I should long
since have been no more, and by my own hand too !
Ah ! how fair is life ; but for me it is for ever poisoned !
You will not refuse me one friendly service, which is
to procure me my baptismal certificate. As Steffen
Breuning has an account with you, he can pay any ex-
penses you may incur, and I will repay him here. If
you think it worth while to make the enquiry in person,
and choose to make a journey from Coblenz to Bonn,
you have only to charge it all to me. I must, however,
SEAECH FOR BAPTISMAL CERTIFICATE. 87
warn you that I had an elder brother whose name was
also Ludwig, with the second name of Maria, who died.
In order to know my precise age, the date of my birth
must be first ascertained, this circumstance having
already led others into error, and caused me to be
thought older than I really am. Unluckily, I lived for
some time without myself knowing my age [see Nos.
26 and 51]. I had a book containing all family inci-
dents, but it has been lost, Heaven knows how ! So
pardon my urgently requesting you to try to discover
Ludwig Maria's birth, as well as that of the present
Ludwig. The sooner you can send me the certificate
of baptism the more obliged shall I be.* I am told
that you sing one of my songs in your Freemason
Lodge, probably the one in E major, which I have not
myself got ; send it to me, and I promise to compensate
you threefold and fourfold.f Think of me with kind-
ness, little as I apparently deserve it. Embrace your
dear wife and children, and all whom you love, in the
name of your friend,
* Wegeler says: — ' I discovered the solution of the enigma (why the
baptismal certificate was so eagerly sought) from a letter written to me
three months afterwards by my brother-in-law, Stephan von Breuning,
in which he said: "Beethoven tells me at least once a week that he
means to write to you ; but I believe his intended marriage is broken
off, he therefore feels no ardent inclination to thank you for having
procured his baptismal certificate." '
f Beethoven was mistaken; Wegeler had only supplied other music
to the words of Matthissohs ' Opfer Lied.'
88 Beethoven's letters.
July 9, 1810.
You are about to travel, and so am I. on account of
my health. In the meantime all goes topsy-turvy with
me. The Herr * wants to have me with him, and Art
is not less urgent in her claims. I am partly in
Schonbrunn and partly here ; every day assailed by mes-
sages from strangers and new acquaintances, and even
as regards art I am often driven nearly distracted by
my undeserved fame. Fortune seeks me, and for that
very reason I almost dread some new calamity. As
for your Tphigenie, the facts are these. I have not
seen it for the last two years and a half, and have no
doubt lent it to some one ; but to whom ? — that is the
question. I have sent in all directions, and have not
yet discovered it, but hope still to find it. If lost,
you shall be indemnified. Farewell, my dear Z. ! I
trust that when we meet again you will find that my
art has made some progress in the interim.
Ever remain my friend, as much as I am yours,
* The 'Herr' is his pupil, the Archduke Rudolph.
A SENTIMENTAL EPISTLE. 89
To Bettina Brentano*
Vienna, August 11, 1810.
My dearest Friend,
Never was there a lovelier spring than this year ;
I say so, and feel it too, because it was then I first knew
* The celebrated letters to Bettina are given here exactly as pub-
lished in her book 'Ilius Pamphilius und die Ambrosia' (Berlin, Arnim,
1857) in two volumes. I never myself had any doubts of their being
genuine (with the exception of perhaps some words in the middle of the
third letter), nor can anyone now distrust them, especially after the
publication of 'Beethoven's Letters.' But for the sake of those for
whom the weight of innate conviction is not sufficient proof, I may here
mention that in December 1864, Professor Moritz Carriere, in Munich,
when conversing with me about 'Beethoven's Letters,' expressly assured
me that these three letters were genuine, and that he had seen them in
Berlin at Bettina v. Arnim' s in 1839, and read them most attentively
and with the deepest interest. From their important contents, he urged
their immediate publication ; and when this shortly after ensued, no change
whatever struck him as having been made in the original text ; on the
contrary, he still perfectly remembered that the much-disputed phraseo-
logy (and especially the incident with Groethe) was precisely the same as
in the originals. This testimony seems to me the more weighty, as
M. Carriere must not in such matters be looked on as a novice, but as a
competent judge, who has carefully studied all that concerns our literary
heroes, and who would not permit anything to be falsely imputed to
Beethoven any more than to Goethe. Beethoven's biography is, however,
the proper place to discuss more closely such things, especially his
character and his conduct in this particular case. At present we only
refer in general terms to the first chapter of 'Beethoven's Jugend,' which
gives all the facts connected with these letters to Bettina and the
following ones — a characteristic likeness of Beethoven thus impressed
itself on the mind of the biographer, and was reproduced in a few bold
outlines in his ' Biography.' These letters could not, however, possibly
be given in ewtenso in a general introduction to a comprehensive
90 Beethoven's letters.
you. You have yourself seen that in society I am like
a fish on the sand, which writhes, and writhes, but can-
not get away till some benevolent Gralatea casts it back
into the mighty ocean. I was indeed fairly stranded,
dearest friend, when surprised by you at a moment
in which moroseness had entirely mastered me; but
how quickly it vanished at your aspect ! I was at once
conscious that you came from another sphere than this
absurd world, where, with the best inclinations, I cannot
open my ears. I am a wretched creature, and yet I
complain of others ! ! You will forgive this from the
goodness of heart that beams in your eyes, and the good
sense manifested by your ears ; — at least they understand
how to natter, by the mode in which they listen. My
ears are, alas ! a partition-wall, through which I can with
difficulty hold any intercourse with my fellow-creatures.
Otherwise, perhaps, I might have felt more assured
with you ; but I was only conscious of the full, intelli-
gent glance from your eyes, which affected me so deeply
that never can I forget it. My dear friend! dearest
girl ! — Art ! who comprehends it ? with whom can I dis-
cuss this mighty goddess ? How precious to me were
the few days when we talked together, or, I should ra-
ther say, corresponded! I have carefully preserved the
little notes with your clever, charming, most charming
answers, so I have to thank my defective hearing for
the greater part of our fugitive intercourse being written
down. Since you left this I have had some unhappy
A SENTIMENTAL EPISTLE. 91
hours — hours of the deepest gloom, when I could do
nothing. I wandered for three hours in the Schonbrunn
Allee after you left us, but no angel met me there to
take possession of me as you did. Pray forgive, my
dear friend, this deviation from the original key, but I
must have such intervals as a relief to my heart. You
have no doubt written to Goethe about me ? I would
gladly bury my head in a sack, so that I might neither
see nor hear what goes on in the world, because I shall
meet you there no more ; but I shall get a letter from
you? Hope sustains me, as it does half the world;
through life she has been my close companion, or what
would have become of me ? I send you e Kennst Du
das Land,' written with my own hand, as a remembrance
of the hour when I first knew you ; I send you also
another that I composed since I bade you farewell, my
dearest, fairest sweet-heart !
Herz, mein Herz, was soil das geben,
Was bedranget dicli so sehr ;
Welch ein neues fremdes Leben,
Ich erkenne dich nicht mehr.
Now answer me, my dearest friend, and say what is to
become of me since my heart has turned such a rebel.
Write to your most faithful friend,
92 BEETHOVEN'S LETTEES.
To Betiina Brentano.
Vienna, Feb. 10, 1811.
Dear and beloved Friend,
I have now received two letters from yon, while
those to Tonie show that you still remember me, and
even too kindly. I carried your letter about with me the
whole summer, and it often made me feel very happy:
though I do not frequently write to you, and you never
see me, still I write you letters by thousands in my
thoughts. I can easily imagine what you feel at Berlin
in witnessing all the noxious frivolity of the world's rab-
ble,* even had you not written it to me yourself. Such
prating about art, and yet no results ! ! ! The best
description of this is to be found in Schillers poem
'Die Fliisse,' where the river Spree is supposed to speak.
You are going to be married, my dear friend, or are al-
ready so, and I have had no chance of seeing you even
once previously. May all the felicity that marriage ever
bestowed on husband and wife attend you both ! What
can I say to you of myself ? I can only exclaim with
Johanna, ' Compassionate my fate ! ' If I am spared for
some years to come, I will thank the Omniscient, the
Omnipotent, for the boon, as I do for all other weal
and woe. If you mention me when you write to Groethe,
* An expression which, as well as many others, he no doubt borrowed
from Bettina, and introduced to please her.
ADMIEATION FOR GOETHE. 93
strive to find words expressive of my deep reverence
and admiration. I am about to write to him myself
with regard to ( Egmont,' for which I have written some
music solely from my love for his poetry, which always
delights me. Who can be sufficiently grateful to a great
poet — the most precious jewel of a nation ! Now no
more, my dear sweet friend ! I only came home this
morning at four o'clock from an orgy, where I laughed
heartily, but to-day I feel as if I could weep as sadly :
turbulent pleasures always violently recoil on my spirits.
As for Clemens [Brentano, her brother], pray thank
him for his complaisance ; with regard to the Cantata,
the subject is not important enough for us here — it is
very different in Berlin ; and as for my affection, the
sister engrosses so large a share, that little remains for
the brother. Will he be content with this ?
Now farewell, my dear, dear friend; I imprint a
sorrowful kiss on your forehead, thus impressing my
thoughts on it as with a seal. Write soon, very soon, to
I am disposed to engage a man who has just offered
me his services — a music-copyist ; his parents live in
Vienna, which might be convenient in many respects, but
I first wish to speak to you about the terms, and as you
94 Beethoven's letters.
are disengaged to-morrow, which I, alas ! am every day,
I beg you will take coffee with me in the afternoon,
when we can discuss the matter, and then proceed from
tuords to deeds. We have also the honour to inform
you that we intend shortly to confer on you some of
the decorations of the Order of our Household — the first
class for yourself, the others for anyone you choose —
except a priest. We shall expect your answer early
to-morrow. We now present you with some blotches
Most high-born of men !
We beg you to confer some goose-quills on us ; we
will in return send you a whole bunch of the same
sort, that you may not be obliged to pluck out your own.
It is just possible that you may yet receive the Grand
Cross of the Order of the Violoncello. We remain
your gracious and most friendly of all friends,
To the Archduke Rudolph*
The Spring of 1811.
Your Royal Highness,
As in spite of every effort I can find no copyist to'
write in my house, I send you my own manuscript : all
* Schlemmer was for many years Beethoven's copyist.
PRECAUTION AGAINST PIRACY. 95
you Lave to do is to desire Schlemmer to get you an
efficient copyist, who must, however, write out the Trio
in your palace, otherwise there would be no security
against piracy. I am better, and hope to have the
honour of waiting on you in the course of a few 'days,
when we must strive to make up for lost time. I always
feel anxious and uneasy when I do not attend Your
Eoyal Highness as often or as assiduously as I wish.
It is certainly the truth when I say that the loss is mine,
but I trust I shall not soon again be so unwell. Be
graciously pleased to remember me ; the time may yet
come when I shall be able to show you doubly and
trebly that I deserve this more than ever.
I am Your Royal Highness's devoted servant,
Ludwig v. Beethoven.
My dear Friend,*
I have taken this trouble only that I might figure
correctly, and thus be able sometimes to lead others.
As for mistakes, I scarcely ever required to have them
pointed out to me, having had from my childhood such
f Written on a sheet of music-paper (oblong folio) numbered 22, and
evidently torn out of a large book. On the other side (21) is written,
in Beethoven's hand, instructions on the use of the fourth in retarda-
tions, with five musical examples. The leaf is no doubt torn from one
of the books that Beethoven had compiled from various text-books, for
the instruction of the Archduke. Rudolph. I have therefore placed
Beethoven's remark here.
96 Beethoven's letters.
a quick perception, that I exercised it unconscious that
it ought to be so, or in fact could be otherwise.
To the dramatic Poet Treitschke.
June 6, 1811.
Have you read the book, and may I venture to
hope that you will be persuaded to undertake it ? Be
so good as to give me an answer, as I am prevented
going to you myself. If you have already read it, then
send it back to me, that I may also look over it again
before you begin to. work at it. Above all, if it be your
good pleasure that I should soar to the skies on the
wings of your poetry, I entreat you to effect this as
soon as possible.
Your obedient servant,
L. v. Beethoven.
Sept. 10, 1811.
Let the rehearsal stand over for the present. I
must see my doctor again to-day, of whose bungling I
begin to tire. Thanks for your metronome ; let us try
whether we can measure Time into Eternity with it, for it
is so simple and easily managed that there seems to be
no impediment to this ! In the meantime we will have
APPOINTMENT BETWEEN TWO AUTHORS. 97
a conference on the subject. The mathematical pre-
cision of clockwork is of course greater, yet formerly,
in watching the little experiments you made in my
presence, I thought there was something worthy of
notice in your metronome, and I hope we shall soon
succeed in setting it thoroughly right. Ere long I hope
to see you.
Oct. 26, 1811.
I shall be at the 'Swan' to-day, and hope to meet you
there to a certainty, but don't come too late. My foot
is better ; the author of so many poetical feet promises
the head author a sound foot within a week's time.
Nov. 20, 1811.
We are deucedly obliged to you. We beg you to be
careful not to lose your well-earned fame. You are
exhorted to pursue the same course, and we remain once
more your deucedly attached
Ludwig van Beethoven,
vol. I. H
98 beethoven's letters.
Jan. 19, 1812.
I shall be at the ' Swan ' to-day, dear Z. I have,
alas ! too much leisure, and you none !
Confounded little quondam musical Count !
What the deuce has become of you ? Are you to
be at the ' Swan ' to-day ? No ? . . . Yes ! See from
this enclosure what I have done for Hungary. When a
German undertakes a thing, even without pledging his
word, he acts very differently from one of those Hun-
garian Counts, such as B. [Brunswick], who allowed
me to travel by myself — from what paltry, miserable
motive who can tell ? — and kept me waiting, though
he did not wait for me !
My excellent little quondam musical Count,
I am now, as ever, your attached
Eeturn the enclosure, for we wish to bring it, and
something else, pretty forcibly under the notice of the
* The date of this and the following note is decided by the allusion
to his compositions written for Hungary (Pesth). See the subsequent
letter to Varenna.
A SUMMONS. 99
You are summoned to appear to-day at the ' Swan ; '
Brunswick also comes. If you do not appear, you are
henceforth excluded from all that concerns us. Excuses
per excellentiam cannot be accepted. Obedience is
enjoined, knowing that we are acting for your benefit,
and that our motive is to guard you against temptations
and faithlessness per excellentiam — dixi.
The well-known watchmaker who lives close to the
Freiung is to call on you. I want a first-rate repeater,
for which he asks forty ducats. As you like that kind
of thing, I beg you will exert yourself on my behalf,
and select a really good watch for me.
With the most enthusiastic admiration for a man like
yourself, who is soon to give me an opportunity of
displaying in his favour my particular knowledge of
I am your
Ludwig van Beethoven.
100 beethoyen"s letters.
To Kammerprocuratov Vavenna, — Gratz*
If the wish to benefit the poor were not so evident
in your letter, I should have felt not a little offended
by your accompanying your request to me by the offer
of payment. From my childhood, whenever my art
could be serviceable to poor suffering humanity, I have
never allowed any other motive to influence me, and
never required anything beyond the heartfelt gratifica-
tion that it always caused me. With this you will
receive an Oratorio — (A), the performance of which
occupies half an evening, also an Overture and a Fan-
tasia w T ith Chorus — (B). If in your benevolent Insti-
tution you possess a depot for such things, I beg you
will deposit these three works there, as a mark of my
sympathy for the destitute ; to be considered as their
property, and to be given at any concerts intended for
* The correspondence with Varenna, consisting of fourteen letters and
four notes, was purchased some years ago by a collector of autographs
in Leipzig, and sold again by public auction, probably to different per-
sons. It would be like pursuing leaves scattered by the wind to try to
recover these letters. Those here given have for the most part appeared
in newspapers ; I cannot, therefore, be responsible for the text, further
than their publication goes, which, however, has evidently been conducted
by a clever hand. The date of the first letter is to be gleaned from the
second, and we also learn from them that 'The Ruins of Athens' and
King Stephen ' (or at all events the Overture) were already finished in
MUSIC FOR BENEVOLENT PURPOSES. 101
their sole benefit. In addition to these, you will receive
an Introduction to the 'Kuins of Athens/ the score of
which shall be written out for you as soon as possible.
Likewise a Grand Overture to ( Ungarn's erste Wohl-
thater ' [Hungary's First Benefactors].
Both form part of two works that I wrote for the
Hungarians at the opening of their new theatre [in
Pesth]. Pray give me, however, your written assurance
that these works shall not be performed elsewhere, as
the}^ are not published, nor likely to be so for some time
to come. You shall receive the latter Grand Overture
as soon as it is returned to me from Hungary, which it
will be in the course of a few days.
The engraved Fantasia with Chorus could no doubt
be executed by a lady, an amateur, mentioned to me
here by Professor Schneller.* The words after the Cho-
rus No. 4, in C major, were altered by the publishers,
and are now quite contrary to the musical expression ;
those written in pencil, therefore, on the musicmust be
* This dilettante was Mdlle. Marie Koschalc, subsequently the wife
of Dr. Pachler, an advocate in Gratz, from whom two letters are given
by Schindler of the dates of August 15th, 1825, and November 5th,
1826, in which she invites Beethoven to visit her in Gratz. Schindler
considers as applicable to this lady the words of a note in Beethoven's
writing of which he has given a facsimile in his ' Biography,' i. 95 ; the
date 1817 or 1818. They are as follows: — 'Love alone, yes! love alone
can make your life happier. Oh, God ! grant that I may at last find
her who can strengthen me in virtue, whom I can legitimately call my
own. On July 27th, when she drove past me in Baden, she seemed
to gaze at me.' This lady also plays a friendly part in Franz Sclnibert's
' Life.' See her ' Biography ' by Dr. Kreissle.
102 beethoven's letters.
sung. If you can make use of the Oratorio, I can send
you all the 'parts written oat, so that the outlay may
be less for the poor. Write to me about this.
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Feb. 2, 1812.
By no means extraordinary ', but very ordinary
mender of pens ! whose talent has failed on this oc-
casion (for those I send require to be fresh mended),
when do you intend at last to cast off your fetters ? —
when ? You never for a moment think of me : accursed
to me is life amid this Austrian barbarism. I shall go
now chiefly to the ' Swan,' as in other taverns I cannot
defend myself against intrusion. Farewell ! that is,
fare as ivell as I wish you to do without
Most wonderful of men ! We beg that your servant
will engage a person to fit up my apartment ; as he is
acquainted with the lodgings, he can fix the proper price
at once. Do this soon, you Carnival scamp !!!!!!!
The enclosed note is at least a week old.
AN INVITATION. 103
Feb. 8, 1812.
Most extraordinary and first and foremost man of the
pendulum in the world, and without a lever too ! ! !
I am much indebted to you for having imparted to
me some share of your motive power. I wish to express
my gratitude in person, and therefore invite you this
morning to come to the e Swan ;' a tavern, the name of
which itself shows that it is a fitting place when such
a subject is in question.
To Varenna, — Gratz.
Vienna, Feb. 8, 1812.
Herr Rettich has already got the parts of the Ora-
torio, and when you no longer require them I beg you
will send them back to me. It is not probable that
anything is wanting, but even in that case, as you
have the score, you can easily remedy this. I only
yesterday received the Overtures from Hungary, and
shall have them copied and forwarded to you as soon as
possible. I likewise send a March with a vocal Chorus,
also from the i Euins of Athens.' Altogether you will
now have sufficient to fill up the time.
As these pieces are only in manuscript, I shall let
104 beethoven's letters.
you know at the time I send them what precautions I
wish you to take with regard to the Overtures and the
March with Chorus.
As I do not publish any new work until a year after
its composition, and, when I do so, am obliged invariably
to give a written assurance to the publisher that no one
is in possession of it, you can yourself perceive that I
must carefully guard against any possible contingency
or casualty as to these pieces. I must, however, assure
you that I shall always be disposed to show the warmest
zeal in aid of your charity, and I here pledge myself to
send you every year works that exist solely in manu-
script, or compositions written expressly for this chari-
table purpose. I beg you will also let me know what
your future plans are with regard to your Institution,
that I may act accordingly.
Farewell ! I remain, with the highest consideration,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Feb. 19, 1812.
I only yesterday received the written information
that the Archduke pays his share in the new paper-
* The "Finance Patent appeared in Austria in 1811, by which the
value of money was depreciated by a fifth. This also affected the salary
that Beethoven drew from the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky, and
Prince Lobkowitz. The first of these gentlemen paid his full share in
DEPRECIATION OF COINAGE. 105
money of the full value [Einl6sungsschein~\. I beg you
will write out for me, as nearly as you can, the substance
of what you said on Sunday, and which we thought it
advisable to send to the other two. I am offered a certi-
ficate that the Archduke is to pay in Einlosungsschein,
but I think this unnecessary, more especially as the
people about Court, in spite of all their apparent friend-
ship for me, declare that my demands are not just ! ! ! !
Oh, Heaven ! aid me in enduring this ! I am no Hercules,
to help Atlas in carrying the world, or to strive to do so
in his place. It was only yesterday that I heard the
particulars of the handsome manner in which Baron von
Kraft had judged and spoken of me to Zisius ! But never
mind, dear Z. ! My endurance of these shameful at-
tacks cannot continue much longer ; persecuted art will
everywhere find an asylum — Daedalus, though impri-
soned in a labyrinth, found wings to carry him aloft.
Oh ! I too shall find wings !
If you have time, send me this morning the draft of
the memorial; — probably for nothing, and to receive
nothing ! so much time is already lost, and only to be
kept in suspense by civil words !
iein. Lobkowitz, at the request of Beethoven, soon after
did the same ; with Kinsky's share alone difficulties arose subsequently,
owing to his death.
106 beethoven's letters.
In spite of my anxiety to serve the cause of your
charity, I have been quite unable to do so. I have no
copyist of my own to write for me as formerly, and the
limited time renders it impossible for me to do so my-
self, thus I am obliged to have recourse to strangers as
copyists. One of these promised to write out the Over-
tures, &c. &c, for you ; but Passion Week intervening,
when there are so many concerts, prevented his being
able to keep his word, in spite of every effort on my
part. Even if the Overtures and the March with Chorus
were transcribed, it would not be possible to send them
by this post, and if we wait for the next, the music will
arrive too late for Easter Sunday. Let me know if there
are any means you could adopt to gain a little more
time, or any chance opportunity of sending these works
to you, and I will do all that lies in my power to aid
the cause of your charity.
I am, with esteem, yours obediently,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
A VEXATION. 107
To the Archduke Rudolph*
Your Imperial Highness,
I was much vexed not to receive Y. I. H.'s mes-
sage to come to you till very late yesterday evening —
indeed nearly at eleven o'clock. Contrary to my usual
custom, I did not go home at all during the after-
noon, the fine weather having tempted me to spend the
whole afternoon in walking, and the evening at the
Banda, i auf der Wieden,' and thus I was not aware of
your wish till I returned home. Id the meantime,
whenever Y. I. H. desires it, I am ready at any hour or
moment to place myself at your disposal. I therefore
await your gracious commands.
I am Your Imperial Highness's most obedient
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Your Imperial Highness,
I was unable till to-day, when I leave my bed
for the first time, to answer your gracious letter. It
will be impossible for me to wait on you to-morrow,
but perhaps the day after. I have suffered much
* The date 1812 is marked on the sheet by another hand, and the
close of the second note proves that it was at the commencement of this
108 BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
during the last few days, and I may say twofold from
not being in a condition to devote a great part of
my time to you, according to my heartfelt wish. I
hope now, however, to have cleared off all scores for
spring and summer (I mean as to health).
I am Your Imperial Highness's most obdt. servant,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To Varenna, — Gratz.
Vienna, May 8, 1812.
Being still far from well, and much occupied, I have
been unable to reply to your letters. How in the world
did such an unfounded idea ever occur to you as that I
was displeased ? It would certainly have been better
had you returned the music as soon as it had been per-
formed, for at that period I could have produced it
here, whereas now, unluckily, it comes too late ; but I
only say unluckily because it prevents my being able
to spare the worthy ladies the expenses of copying. At
any. other time I would on no account have allowed
them to pay for writing out the works, but it so happens
that at this moment I am visited with every kind of
contretemps, so I cannot avoid doing so. Possibly
Herr 0., although with the best intentions, has de-
layed informing you of this, which obliged me to ap-
ply to him for repayment of the expenses of copying
PRESENT OF NEW MUSIC. 109
— perhaps, too, in my haste, I did not express myself
distinctly, You can now, esteemed Sir, have the Over-
ture and the Chorus again if you require them.
I feel convinced that in any event you will prevent
my confidence being abused ; in the meantime you may
keep the Overture on the conditions I have stated. If I
find that I am able to pay for the copying, I will re-
deem it for my own use.
The score of the Oratorio is a gift, and also the
Overture to ' Egmont.' Keep the parts of the Oratorio
beside you till you can have it performed.
Select whatever you choose for the concert which I
hear you now intend to give, and if you decide on the
Chorus and the Overture, they shall be forwarded to
you at once. For the future concert, for the benefit of
the venerable Ursulines, I promise you an entirely new
Symphony at all events, and perhaps also a work of
some importance for voices, and as I have now a favour-
able opportunity, the copying shall not cost you a
farthing. My joy would be beyond all bounds if the
concert were to be successful, and I could spare you all
expense ; — at all events, take my good will for granted.
Eemembermeto the admirable teachers of the child-
ren, and say to them that I shed tears of joy at the
happy result of my poor good will, and that so far as
my humble capabilities can serve them, they shall al-
ways find in me the warmest sympathy.
My cordial thanks for your invitation ; I would fain
110 beethove^'s letters.
become acquainted with the interesting scenery of Styria,
and possibly I may one day enjoy that pleasure. Fare-
well ! I heartily rejoice in having found in you a friend
to the poor and needy, and am always yours to com-
Ludwig van Beethoven, M.P.
To Joseph Freiherr von Schweiger, Chamberlain of the
The most insignificant of mortals has just been to
wait on his gracious master, when he found everything
closed, so he came here, where indeed all was open, but
no one to be found except the trusty servant. I had a
heavy packet of music with me, in order to ensure a
good musical evening before we parted ; but in vain.
Malfatti f is resolved that I shall go to Toplitz, which
is anything but agreeable to me. As, however, I must
obey, I hope at least that my gracious master will not
enjoy himself quite so much without me. vanitas!
for it is nothing else. Before I set off for Toplitz I will
either go to Baden to see you or write. Farewell !
Pray present my homage to my gracious master, and
continue your regard for
* The journey to Toplitz took place in the year 1812.
f A very celebrated physician in Vienna at that time, consulted by
To Varenna, — Gratz.
Toplitz, July 19, 1812.
My thanks have been too long delayed for all the
dainties which the worthy ladies sent for my enjoyment ;
being constantly ill in Vienna, I was at last forced to
take refuge here.
However, better late than never, so I beg you will
say all sorts of kind things in my name to the admirable
Ursuline ladies, though I did not deserve so much
gratitude ; indeed it is rather for me to thank Him who
enables me to render my art occasionally useful to others.
When you next wish to make use of my poor abilities
for the benefit of the venerable ladies, you have only to
write to me.
A new Symphony is now ready for you, and as the
Archduke Rudolph has had it copied out, it will cost you
nothing. Perhaps I may one of these days be able to
send you something vocal. I only wish and hope that
you will not ascribe my anxiety to serve these vene-
rable ladies to a certain degree of vanity or desire for
fame, as this would grieve me exceedingly. If these
good ladies wish to do me any service in return, I beg
they will include me with their pupils in their pious
orisons. I remain, with esteem,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
I shall remain here for some weeks, so if there is any
occasion to write, address to me here.
Written in the Album of the Singer, Mdme. Auguste
Toplitz, August 8, 1812.
Ludwig tan Beethoven,
Who even if you would,
Forget you never should.
To H. R. Highness the Archduke Rudolph.
Franzensbrunn, Aug. 12, 1812.
It was my boimden duty long ago to have recalled
myself to Y. E. H.'s recollection, but partly my occu-
pations and the state of my health, as well as my own
insignificance, made me reluctant to do so. I missed
Y. R. H. by one night only in Prague ; for when pro-
ceeding to pay my respects to you in the morning, I
found you had set off the very night before. In Toplitz
I heard a military band four times a day — the only
musical report which I can give you. I was a great deal
with Groethe.* My physician Staudenheim,| however,
* Beethoven speaks very briefly of his meeting with Goethe. Goethe
in his ' Tag- und Jahrschriften ' of 1812 makes no allusion to Beet-
hoven during his stay at Toplitz. It does not, therefore, appear that
either of these master minds found any particular pleasure in each other
when they met personally. Beethoven, indeed, dedicated to ' the immortal
Goethe' (1812) his composition the 'Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt, '
but only wrote once to him in 1823 to obtain a subscription from the
Grand Duke of Weimar for his Grand Mass, and received no answer from
Goethe. In the complete edition of Goethe's works Beethoven's name is
only once mentioned by Goethe, when he refers to his funeral obsequies.
t Dr. Staudenheim was, like Malfatti, one of the most celebrated phy-
A POOR CONCERT FOR THE POOR. 113
ordered me off to Carlsbad, and from thence here, and
probably I shall have to go back to Toplitz from this.
What flights ! And yet it seems very doubtful whether
any improvement in my condition has hitherto taken
place. I receive the best accounts of Y. E. H.'s health,
and also of the persistent devotion you exhibit towards
the musical Muse. Y. E. H. has no doubt heard of a
concert that I gave for the benefit of the sufferers by
fire in the Stadt Baden,* assisted by Herr Polledro.f
The receipts were nearly 1,000 florins W. W., and if I had
not been restricted in my arrangements we might easily
have taken 2,000 florins. It was- literally a poor con-
cert for the poor. I could only find at the publisher's
here some of my earlier Sonatas with violin accompani-
ments, and as Polledro had set his heart on these, I was
obliged to content myself with playing an old Sonata.J
The entire concert consisted of a Trio, in which Polle-
dro played, my Sonata with violin, then again something
was played by Polledro, and, lastly, I extemporised.
sieiaus in Vienna. Beethoven, too, was well acquainted with Stauden-
heim, but in his regimen he neither followed the prescriptions of Stau-
denheim nor of Malfatti.
* The Stadt Baden, near Vienna, had been visited on July 16th by a
most destructive conflagration.
t G-iov. Batt. Polledro, Kapellmeister in Turin, born 1776, travelled
through Germany as a violinist from 1809 to 1812. He gave a concert in
Vienna in March 1812.
| The violin Sonata with pianoforte was probably Op. 47 (composed
in 1803 and published in 1805, according to Thayer, No. Ill), or one
of his earlier compositions, Op. 30, or 24, or 23.
VOL. I. • I
114 Beethoven's letters.
Meanwhile I do sincerely rejoice that by this means
something has fallen to the share of the poor Badeners.
Pray deign to accept my best wishes for your welfare,
and my entreaty that you will sometimes think of me.
To Bettina von Arnim.
Toplitz, August 15, 1812.
My most dear kind Friend,
Kings and princes can indeed create professors and
privy-counsellors, and confer titles and decorations, but
they cannot make great men — spirits that soar above the
base turmoil of this world. There their powers fail,
and this it is that forces them to respect us.* When
two persons like Goethe and myself meet, these grandees
cannot fail to perceive what such as we consider great.
Yesterday, on our way home, we met the whole Imperial
family; we saw them coming some way off, when Groethe
withdrew his arm from mine, in order to stand aside,
and say what I would, I could not prevail on him to
make another step in advance. I pressed down my hat
more firmly on my head, buttoned up my great coat, and,
crossing my arms behind me, I made my way through
the thickest portion of the crowd. Princes and cour-
* Fraulein GHannatasio del Kio, in the journal she sent to the ' Grenz
Boten 1 in 1857, states that Beethoven once declared, 'It is very pleasant
to associate with the great of the earth, but one must possess some
quality which inspires them with respect.'
A RENCONTRE. 115
tiers formed a lane for me; Archduke Budolph took
off his hat, and the Empress bowed to me first. These
great ones of the earth know me. To my infinite
amusement, I saw the procession defile past Goethe,
who stood aside with his hat off, bowing profoundly.
I afterwards took him sharply to task for this ; I gave
him no quarter, and upbraided him with all his sins,
especially towards you, my dear friend, as we had just
been speaking of you. Heavens ! if I could have lived
with you as he did, believe me I should have produced
far greater things. A musician is also a poet, he too can
feel himself transported into a brighter world by a pair
of fine eyes, where loftier spirits sport with him and
impose heavy tasks on him. What thoughts rushed into
my mind when I first saw you in the Observatory dur-
ing a refreshing May shower, so fertilising to me also !*
The most beautiful themes stole from your eyes into my
heart, which shall yet enchant the world when Beethoven
no longer directs. If Grod vouchsafes to grant me a few
more years of life, I must then see you once more, my
dear, most dear friend, for the voice within, to which
I always listen, demands this. Spirits may love one
another, and I shall ever woo yours. Your approval is
dearer to me than all else in the world. I told Groethe
my sentiments as to the influence praise has over men
like us, and that we desire our equals to listen to us
* According to Bettina (see ' Goethe's Correspondence with a Child,'
ii. 193), their first acquaintance was made in Beethoven's apartments.
with their understanding. Emotion suits women only ;
(forgive me !) music ought to strike fire from the soul
of a man. Ah ! my dear girl, how long have our feel-
ings been identical on all points ! ! ! The sole real good
is some bright kindly spirit to sympathise with us,
whom we thoroughly comprehend, and from whom we
need not hide our thoughts. He who wishes to appeal"
something, must in reality be something. The world
must acknowledge us, it is not always unjust; but for
this I care not, having a higher purpose in view. I
hope to get a letter from you in Vienna ; write to me
soon and fully, for a week hence I shall be there. The
Court leaves this to-morrow, and to-day they have
another performance. The Empress has studied her
part thoroughly. The Emperor and the Duke wished
me to play some of my own music, but I refused, for
they are both infatuated with Chinese porcelain. A
little indulgence is required, for reason seems to have
lost its empire ; but I do not choose to minister to such
perverse folly — I will not be a party to such absurd
doings to please those Princes who are constantly guilty
of eccentricities of this sort. Adieu ! adieu ! dear one ;
your letter lay all night next my heart, and cheered me.
Musicians permit themselves great licence. Heavens !
how I love you ! Your most faithful friend and deaf
STATEMENT AS TO SALARY. 117
To Princess Kinsley, — Prague.
Vienna, Dee. 30, 1812.
The dreadful event which deprived you of your
husband, Prince von Kinsky, snatching him from his
fatherland and from all those who love him,* as well as
from many whom he generously supported, filling every
heart capable of^ appreciating goodness and greatness
with the deepest sorrow, affected me also in the most
profound and painful degree. The stern duty of self-
interest compels me to lay before Your Highness a
humble petition, the reasonable purport of which may,
I hope, plead my excuse for intruding on Your High-
ness at a time when so many affairs of importance claim
your attention. Permit me to state the matter to Your
Y. H. is no doubt aware that when I received a
summons to Westphalia in the year 1809, His Highness
Prince von Kinsky, your late husband, together with
His I. H. Archduke Rudolph and H. H. the Prince von
Lobkowitz, offered to settle on me for life an annual
income of 4,000 gulden, provided I declined the pro-
posal in question, and determined to remain in Austria.
Although this sum was by no means in proportion to
* Prince Josef Ferdinand Kinsky, born December 1781, and killed
by a fall from his horse, November 3, 1812.
118 beethoyen's letters.
that secured to me in Westphalia, still my predilection
for Austria, as well as my sense of this most generous
proposal, induced me to accept it without hesitation.
The share contributed by H. H. Prince Kinsky con-
sisted of 1,800 florins, which I have received by quarterly
instalments since 1809 from the Prince's privy purse.
Though subsequent occurrences partially diminished
this sum, I rested satisfied, till the appearance of the
Finance Patent, reducing bank notes into Einldsung
Schein. I applied to H. I. H. the Archduke Rudolph
to request that the portion of the annuity contributed
by H. I. H. should in future be paid in Einldsung
Schein. This was at once granted, and I received a
written assurance to that effect from H. I. H. Prince
von Lobkowitz agreed to the same with regard to his
share — 700 florins [see No. 84]. H. H. Prince von
Kinsky being at that time in Prague, I addressed my
respectful petition to him last May, through Herr
Varnhagen von Ense, an officer in the Vogelsang Regi-
ment, that His Highness's contribution to my salary
— 1,800 florins — should be paid like the rest in Ein-
ldsung Schein. Herr von Varnhagen wrote as follows,
and the original of the letter is still extant : —
( I had yesterday the desired interview with Prince
Kinsky. With the highest praise of Beethoven, he at
once acceded to his demand, and is prepared to pay up
the arrears, and also all future sums from the date of the
Einldsung Schein, in that currency. The cashier here
APPLICATION FOR PAYMENT OP SALARY. 119
has received the necessary instructions, and Beethoven
can draw for the whole sum on his way through Prague,
or, if he prefers it, in Vienna., as soon as the Prince
'Prague: June 9th, 1812.'
When passing through Prague some weeks afterwards,
I took the opportunity of waiting on the Prince, and re-
ceived from him the fullest confirmation of this promise.
H. H. likewise assured me that he entirely admitted
the propriety of my demand, and considered it quite
reasonable. As I could not remain in Prague till this
affair was finally settled, H. H. was so kind as to mak«
me a payment of sixty ducats on account, which, ac
cording to H. H.'s calculation, were good for 600 florins,
Vienna currency. The arrears were to be paid up on
my return to Vienna, and an order given to the cashier
to pay my salary in future in Einlosung Schein.
Such was H. H.'s pleasure. My illness increasing in
Toplitz, I was obliged to remain there longer than I
originally intended. In the month of September I
therefore addressed to H. H., who was then in Vienna,
through one of my friends here, Herr Oliva, a written
memorial, claiming his promise, when H. H. graciously
repeated to this friend the assurance he had already
given me, adding that in the course of a few days he
would give the necessary instructions on the subject to
A short time afterwards he left Vienna. When I
arrived there, I enquired from the Prince's secretary
whether H. H. had given directions about my salary
before leaving Vienna, when, to my surprise, I was told
that H. H. had done nothing in the matter.
My title to the liquidation of my claim is proved by
the testimony of the Herren von Varnhagen and Oliva,
to whom H. H. spoke on the subject, reiterating his
consent. I feel convinced that the illustrious heirs and
family of this Prince will in the same spirit of benevo-
lence and generosity strive to fulfil his intentions. I
therefore confidently place in Y. H.'s hands my respect-
ful petition, viz., ( to pay up the arrears of my salary in
Einlosung Schein, and to instruct your cashier to trans-
mit me the amount in future, in the same currency.'
Relying on your sense of justice according me a favour-
able decision, I remain Y. H.'s
Most obedient servant,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I have been far from well since last Sunday, but have
suffered more in mind than in body. I beg your for-
giveness a thousand times for not having sooner sent
my apologies ; each day I had the strongest inclination
to wait on you, but Heaven knows that in spite of the
* Prince Franz Josef Lobkowitz died December 25th, 1816. His
musical meetings were certainly continued till 1813, or longer.
PKOMISE OF NEW MUSIC. 121
best will that I always entertain for the best of masters
I was unable to do so, distressing as it is to me not to
have it in my power to sacrifice all to him for whom
I cherish the highest esteem, love, and veneration.
Y. E. H. would perhaps act wisely in making a pause
at present with the Lobkowitz concerts : even the most
brilliant talent may lose its effect by too great fami-
To the Archduke Rudolph.
At early dawn to-morrow the copyist shall begin the
last movement. As I am in the meantime writing several
other works, I did not hurry myself much with this last
movement merely for the sake of punctuality, especially
as I must write this more deliberately, with a view to
Kode'sf playing: we like quick, full-toned passages in our
* 1813. January — February.
f Pierre Bode, the violinist, arrived in Vienna in January 1813, and
gave a concert in the Eedoutensaal on February 6th, but did not give
universal satisfaction (' A. M. Z.,' 1813, p. 1 14), and a second concert that
he had projected does not appear to have taken place. He played in
Gratz on February 20th and 27th. It seems that Eode was to play with
Beethoven at the Archduke Budolph's, for which occasion Beethoven pre-
pared a composition for them both. Was this the Sonata for pianoforte
and violin, Op. 36, which he afterwards dedicated to the Archduke?
Thayer states that it was written by Beethoven in 1810, and sold to the
music publisher Steiner in Vienna in April 1815. No other composition
for the violin and pianoforte is so likely to be the one as this. B is, how-
Finales, which do not suit E., and this rather cramps
me. At all events, all is sure to go well next Tuesday.
I very much doubt whether I shall be able to present
myself at Y. R. H.'s on that evening, in spite of my
zeal in your service; but to make up for this, I mean to
come to you to-morrow forenoon and to-morrow after-
noon, that I may entirely fulfil the wishes of my illus-
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I had just gone out yesterday when your gracious
letter reached me. As for my health, it is pretty much
the same, particularly as moral causes affect it, which
do not seem likely to be removed ; particularly as I
can have recourse to no one but myself for aid, and can
find help in my own head alone ; and more particularly
still, because in these days neither words, nor honour,
nor written pledges, seem binding on anyone. As for
my occupations, I have come to an end with some of
them, and, even without your gracious invitation, I in-
tended to appear at the usual hour to-day. With re-
ever, a mistake in the ' Bibliotheque Universelle,' tome xxxvi. p. 210, to
state that Beethoven during Eode's stay in Vienna composed the ' deli-
cieuse Komance ' which was played with so much expression by De Baillot
on the violin. There are only two Romances known for the violin by
Beethoven, the one in G major, Op. 40, in the year 1803, and the second
in F major, Op. 50, published in 1805. (Thayer, 102 and 104.)
REPEATED APPLICATION FOR SALARY. 123
gard to Eode [See No. 96], I beg Y. E. H. to be so good
as to let me have the part by the bearer of this, and I
will send it to him at once, with a polite note from me.
He certainly will not take amiss my sending him the
'part. Oh ! certainly not ! Would to Heaven that I
were obliged to ask his forgiveness on this account ! for
in that case things would really he in a better posi-
tion. Is it your pleasure that I should come to you this
evening at five o'clock as usual, or does Y. E. H. de-
sire another hour ? I shall endeavour to arrange accord-
ingly, and punctually to fulfil your wishes.
To Princess Kinsky.
Vienna, Feb. 12, 1813.
Your Highness !
You were so gracious as to declare with regard to
the salary settled on me by your deceased husband,
that you saw the propriety of my receiving it in
Vienna currenc}^, but that the authority of the court of
law which has assumed the guardianship of the estate
must first be obtained. Under the conviction that the
authorities who represent their princely wards could not
fail to be influenced by the same motives that actuated
the late Prince in his conduct towards me, I think I
am justified in expecting the ratification of my claim
from the aforesaid court, as I can prove, by the testi-
mony of well-known, respectable, and upright men the
124 BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
promise and intentions of H. H. in my behalf, which
cannot fail to be binding on his heirs and children. If,
therefore, the proofs submitted should even be found
deficient in legal formality, I cannot doubt that this
want will be supplied by the noble mode of thinking of
this illustrious house, and by their own inclination to
Possibly another question may at present arise from
the condition of the inheritance, which is no doubt
heavily burdened, both owing to the melancholy and
sudden death of the late Prince, and by the state of the
times, which renders it equally just and indispensable
to husband carefully all possible resources. On this
account it is far from my wish to claim more than is ab-
solutely necessary for my own livelihood, and grounded
on the contract itself — the legality of such a claim on
the heirs of the late Prince not being in any way
I beg, then, that Y. H. will be pleased to direct
the arrears of my salary, due since the 1st September,
1811, calculated in Vienna currency, in accordance with
the scale of the contract making in W.W. 1,088 florins
42 kreuzers, to be paid, and in the interim, the question
whether this salary ought to be paid in Vienna currency
can be deferred until the affairs are settled, when the
subject is again brought before the trustees, and my
claims admitted to be just by their consent and autho-
rity. The late Prince having given me sixty ducats
REPEATED APPLICATION FOR SALARY. 125
merely on account of my salary, which was to be paid
by agreement in Vienna currency, and as this agree-
ment (as every intelligent man will inform Y. H.) must
be accepted to its full extent, or at all events not cause
me loss, it follows as a matter of course that Y. H. will
not object to my considering the sixty ducats as only an
instalment of the arrears due to me beyond the usual
scale of payment, agreed to be paid in Vienna currency,
so that the amount must not be deducted from the sum
still due to me.
I feel sure that Y. H.'s noble feelings will do justice
to the equity of my proposal, and my wish to enter into
every detail of this affair, so far as circumstances per-
mit, and also my readiness to postpone my claims to
suit your convenience. The same elevated sentiments
which prompted you to fulfil the engagement entered
into by the late Prince, will also make Y. H. apprehend
the absolute necessity entailed on me by my position
again to solicit immediate payment of the arrears of my
salary, which are indispensable for my maintenance.
Anxiously hoping for a favourable answer to my
petition, I have the honour to remain, with profound
Y. E. H.'s obedient servant,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
126 beethoyen's letters.
To Princess Kinsley.
Highly honoured Princess !
As the Prince's counsel declared that my claim could
not be heard till the choice of a guardian had been
made, and as I now hear that Y. H. has been gra-
ciously pleased yourself to assume that office, but de-
cline receiving anyone, I present my humble petition in
writing, requesting at the same time your early consi-
deration ; for you can easily understand that, relying
on a thing as a certainty, it is painful to be so long de-
prived of it, especially as I am obliged entirely to sup-
port an unfortunate sickly brother and his whole family,*
which (not computing my own wants) has entirely
exhausted my resources, having expected to provide
for myself by the payment of my salary. You may per-
ceive the justice of my claims from the fact of my faith-
fully naming the receipt of the sixty ducats, advanced
to me by the late Prince in Prague, the Prince's coun-
sel himself declaring that I might have said nothing
about this sum, the late Prince not having mentioned it
either to him or to his cashier.
Forgive my being obliged to intrude this affair on
you, but necessity compels me to do so. Some days
* See a letter to Ries, Nov. 22nd, 1815 : — 'He was consumptive for
some years, and, in order to make his life easier, I can safely compute
what I gave him at 10,000 florins W.W.'
BENEVOLENT EFFORTS. 127
hence I shall take the liberty of making enquiries on
the subject from the Prince's counsel, or from anyone
Y. H. may appoint.
I remain, most esteemed and illustrious Princess,
Your devoted servant,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Forward the accompanying letter to-day without
fail to Brunswick, that it may arrive as soon and as
safely as possible. Excuse the trouble I give you. I
have been again applied to, to send some of my works
to Grratz, in Styria, for a concert to be given in aid of
the Ursuline convent and its schools : last year they had
very large receipts by this means. Including this con-
cert, and one I gave in Carlsbad for the benefit of the
sufferers from fire at Baden, three concerts have been
given by me, and through me, for benevolent purposes
in one year ; and yet if I ask a favour, people are as
deaf as a post.
I. Letter to Sclowonowitsch (Maitre des bureaux des
postes) in Cassel. I can no longer do without the books
of Tiedge and Frau von der Pecke, as I am expected
to give some opinion about them.
To Herr Joseph Varenna, — Gratz.
My good Sir,
Eode was not quite correct in all that he said of
me ; my health is not particularly good, and from no
fault of my own — my present condition being the most
unfortunate of my life. But neither this nor anything
in the world shall prevent me from assisting, so far as
it lies in my power, the innocent and distressed ladies
of your convent by my poor works. I therefore place
at your disposal two new Symphonies, a bass Aria with
chorus, and several minor Choruses ; if you desire again
to perform ' Hungaria's Benefactors,' which you gave
last year, it is also at your service. Among the Choruses
you will find a ( Dervise Chorus,' a capital bait for a
In my opinion, your best plan would be to select a
day when you could give the 6 Mount of Olives,' which
has been everywhere performed. This would occupy one
half of the concert, and the other half might con-
sist of a new Symphony, the Overtures, and various
Choruses, and likewise the above-named bass Aria and
Chorus ; thus the evening would not be devoid of variety.
But you can settle all this more satisfactorily with the
aid of your own musical authorities. I think I can guess
what you mean about a gratuity for me from a third
person. Were I in the same position as formerly, I
would at once say ' Beethoven never accepts anything
PROFFERED ASSISTANCE. 129
where the benefit of humanity is concerned ; ' but owing
to my own too great benevolence I am reduced to a
low ebb, the cause of which, however, does not put me
to shame, being combined with other circumstances for
which men devoid of honour and principle are alone to
blame, so I do not hesitate to say that I would not refuse
the contribution of the rich man to whom you allude.*
But there is no question here of any claim. If, how-
ever, the affair with the third "person comes to nothing,
pray rest assured that I shall be equally disposed to
confer the same benefit as last year on my friends the
respected Ursuline ladies, and shall at all times be ready
to succour the poor and needy so long as I live. And
now farewell ! Write soon, and I will zealously strive to
make all necessary arrangements. My best wishes for
I am, with esteem, your friend,
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOYEN.
My excellent V. [Varenna],
I received your letter with much pleasure, but with
much displeasure the 100 florins allotted to me by our
* Keichardt, on the 1st March, 1809, writes in his ' Vertraute Briefe :' —
'Beethoven by "a rich third person," as the following letter proves,
meant Louis Buonaparte, who, after abdicating the Dutch throne, lived
VOL. I. K
130 Beethoven's letters.
poor convent ladies ; in the meantime I will apply part
of this sum to pay the copyists — the surplus and the
accounts for copying shall be sent to these good ladies.
I never accept anything for such a purpose. I thought
that perhaps the third 'person to whom you alluded
might be the Ex-King of Holland, in which case I
should have had no scruples, under my present circum-
stances, in accepting a gratuity from him, who has no
doubt taken enough from the Dutch in a less legitimate
way; but as it is, I must decline (though in all friend-
ship) any renewal of this subject.
Let me know whether, were I to come myself to
Grratz, I could give a concert, and what the receipts
would probably be ; for Vienna, alas ! can no longer
continue my place of abode. Perhaps it is now too late ?
but any information from you on the point will be very
The works are being copied, and you shall have them
as soon as possible. You may do just what you please
with the Oratorio ; where it will be of most use it will
best fulfil my intentions.
I am, with esteem, your obedient
P. S. Say all that is kind from me to the worthy
Ursuline ladies. I rejoice in being able to serve
DOMESTIC MATTERS. 131
Confounded, invited guest ! Domanowetz ! — not mu-
sical Count, but gobbling Count ! dinner Count ! supper
Count ! &c. &c. The Quartett is to be tried over to-day
at ten o'clock or half-past, at Lobkowitz's.* His High-
ness, whose wits are generally astray, is not yet arrived,
so pray join us, if you can escape from your Chancery
jailer. Herzog is to see you to-day. He intends to take
the post of my man-servant ; you may agree to give him
thirty florins, with his wife obbligata. Firing, light, and
morning livery found. I must have some one who knows
how to cook, for if my food continues as bad as it now
is, I shall always be ill. I dine at home to-day, because
I get better wine. If you will only order what you like,
I very much wish you to come to me. You shall have
the wine gratis, and of far better quality than what you
get at the scoundrelly ' Swan.'
Your very insignificant
* Keichardt, in his 'Vertraute Brief e,' writes: — 'The beautiful Quar-
tetts and evening concerts for the Archduke Eudolph still continue at
Prince von Lobkowitz's, although the Prince himself is about to join his
battalion in Bohemia.' Keichardt, vol. i. p. 182, calls Lobkowitz 'an
indefatigable, insatiable, genuine enthusiast for art.'
132 Beethoven's letters.
Feb. 25, 1813.
I have been constantly indisposed, dear Zmeskall,
since I last saw you ; in the meantime the servant who
lived with you before your present one has applied for
my situation. I do not recollect him, but he told me
he had been with you, and that you had nothing to say
against him, except that he did not dress your hair as
you wished. I gave him earnest-money, though only a
florin. Supposing you have no other fault to find with
the man (and if so I beg you will candidly mention it),
I intend to engage him, for you know that it is no ob-
ject with me to have my hair dressed : it would be more
to the purpose if my finances could be dressed, or re-
dressed. I hope to get an answer from you to-day. If
there is no one to open the door to your servant, let him
leave the note in the entrance to the left, and should he
find no one there either, he must give it to the porter's
wife below stairs. May Heaven prosper you in your
musical undertakings !
Feb. 28, 1813.
Let us leave things as they are for to-day, dear Z., till
we meet [and so on about the servant].
REFUSAL OF UNIVERSITY HALL. 133
Farewell ! Carefully guard the fortresses of the
realm, which, as you know, are no longer virgins, and
have already received many a shot.
Most worthy Counsellor, Owner of Mines and Lord
of Fastnesses in Burgundy and Buda !
Be so good as to let me know how matters stand, as
this afternoon at latest I shall take advantage of your
reply to my question, by giving my servant warning for
this day fortnight. His wages, &c. &c. [The rest re-
lates to his servant.]
April 19, 1813.
My dear Zmeskall,
I have been refused the University Hall. I heard
this two days since ; but being indisposed yesterday I
could not go to see you, nor can I to-day either. We
have no resource now but the Karnthnerthor Theatre,
or the one i an der Wien.' I believe there will only be
one concert. If both these fail, we must then have re-
course to the Augarten, in which case we ought certainly
to give two concerts. Eeflect on this, my dear friend,
and let me have your opinion. To-morrow the Sym-
phonies may perhaps be tried over at the Archduke's if
I am able to go out, of which I will apprise you.
Dear Z., April 23, 1813.
All will go right, the Archduke being resolved to
take this Prince Fizlypuzly roundly to task. Let me
know if you are to dine at the tavern to-day, or where ?
Pray tell me if e Sentivany ' is properly spelt, as I wish
to write to him at the same time about the Chorus. We
must also consult together what day to choose. By the
by, be cautious not to mention the intercession of the
Archduke, for Prince Fizlypuzly is not to be with him
till Sunday, and if that evil-minded creditor had any
previous hint of the affair, he would still try to evade us.
April 26, 1813.
Lobkowitz will give me a day on the 15th of May,
or after that period, which seems to me scarcely better
than none at all, so I am almost disposed to give up
all idea of a concert. But the Almighty will no doubt
prevent my being utterly ruined.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Baden, May 27, 1813.
I have the honour to inform you of my arrival in
Baden, which is indeed still very empty of human
beings, but with all the greater luxuriance and full
lustre does Nature shine in her enchanting loveliness.
Where I fail, or ever have failed, be graciously indulgent
towards me, for so many trying occurrences, succeeding
each other so closely, have really almost bewildered me ;
still I am convinced that the resplendent beauties of
Nature here, and the charming environs, will gradually
restore my spirits, and a double share of tranquillity be
my portion, as by my stay here I likewise fulfil the
wishes of Y. E. H. Would that my desire soon to hear
that Y. E. H. is fully restored were equally fulfilled !
This is indeed my warmest wish, and how much I grieve
that I cannot at this moment contribute to your reco-
very by means of my art ! This is reserved for the god-
dess Hygeia alone, and I, alas ! am only a poor mortal,
who commends himself to Y. E. H., and sincerely hopes
soon to be permitted to wait on you.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Vienna, July 24, 1813.
From day to day I have been expecting to return to
Baden ; in the meantime, the discords that detain me
136 Beethoven's letters.
here may possibly be resolved by the end of the ensuing
week. To me a residence in a town during the summer
is misery, and when I also remember that I am thus
prevented waiting on Y. E. H., it is still more vexatious
and annoying. It is, in fact, the Lobkowitz and Kinsky
affairs that keep me here. Instead of pondering over
a number of bars, I am obliged constantly to reflect
on the number of peregrinations I am forced to make ;
but for this, I could scarcely endure to the end. Y. E. H.
has no doubt heard of Lobkowitz's misfortunes,* which
are much to be regretted ; but after all, to be rich is
no such great happiness ! It is said that Count Fries
alone paid 1,900 gold ducats to D up or t, for which he
had the security of the ancient Lobkowitz house. The
details are beyond all belief. I hear that Count Easu-
mowsky f intends to go to Baden, and to take his
Quartett with him, which is really very pretty, and I
have no doubt that Y. E. H. will be much pleased with
it. I know no more charming enjoyment in the country
than quartett music. I beg Y. E. H. will accept my
* Prince Lobkowitz's 'misfortunes' probably refer to the great pecu-
niary difficulties wbich befell this music and pomp-loving Prince several
years before his death. Beethoven seems to have made various attempts
to induce the Prince to continue the pajonent of his share of the salary
agreed on, though these efforts were long fruitless. The subject, however,
appears to have been again renewed in 1816, for on the 8th of March in
this year Beethcven writes to Eies to say that his salary consists of
3,400 florins E.S., and this sum he received till his death.
f Those who played in Count Kasumowsky's Quartetts, to whom
Beethoven dedicated various compositions, were the virtuosi Schup-
panzigh (1st), Sina (2nd violin), Linke (violoncello), Weiss (violin).
ARRANGEMENTS FOR A CONCERT. 137
heartfelt wishes for your health, and also compassionate
me for being obliged to pass my time here under such
disagreeable circumstances. But I will strive to com-
pensate twofold in Baden for what you have lost.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I beg to enquire whether, being in some degree re-
stored, I am to wait on you this evening ? I at the
same time take the liberty to make a humble request.
I was in hopes that by this time, at all events, my
melancholy circumstances would have brightened, but
all continues in its old state, so I must determine on
giving two concerts.f I find that I am compelled to
give up my former resolution never to give any except
for benevolent purposes ; as self-maintenance demands
that I should do so. The hall of the University would be
the most advantageous and distinguished for my present
object, and my humble request consists in entreating
Y. E. H. to be so gracious as to send a line to the pre-
sent Rector M agnificus of the University, through Baron
Schweiger, which would certainly ensure my getting the
hall. In the hope of a favourable answer, I remain, &c. &c.
* Late in the autumn of 1813.
f The concerts here referred to were given in the University Hall on
the 8th and 12th December, 1813, when the 'Battle of Vittoria' and the
A major Symphony were performed for the first time. Beethoven him-
138 Beethoven's letters.
To Freiherr Josef von Schweiger.
Late in the Autumn of 1813.
My dear Friend,
I have to-day applied (by letter) to my gracious
master to interest himself in procuring the University
Hall for two concerts which I think of giving, and in
fact must give, for all remains as it was ; always con-
sidering you, both in good and evil fortune, my best
friend. I suggested to the Duke that you should
apply in his name for this favour to the present Eector
of the University. Whatever may be the result, let me
know H. E. H.'s decision as soon as possible, that I may
make further efforts to extricate myself from a posi-
tion so detrimental to me and to my art. I am coming
this evening to the Archduke.
To Herr von Baumeister*
I request you will send me the parts of the Sym-
phony in A, and likewise my score. His I. H. can
have the MS. again, but I require it at present for the
music in the Augarten to-morrow. I have just received
* Private Secretary to the Archduke Eudolph.
UNINTELLIGIBLE WRITING. 139
two tickets, which I send to you, and beg you will make
use of them.
I am, with esteem, yours,
L. y. Beethoyen.
Oct. 9, 1813.
My dear good Z.,
Don't be indignant with me for asking you to
address the enclosed letter properly; the person for
whom it is intended is constantly complaining that he
gets no letters from me. Yesterday I took one myself
to the post-office, when I was asked where the letter was
meant to go. I see, therefore, that my writing seems
to be as little understood as myself. Thence my re-
quest to you.
Letter of Thanks.
I esteem it my duty to express my gratitude for the
great zeal shown by all those artists who so kindly co-
operated on the 8th and 12th December  in the
concerts given for the benefit of the Austrian and
Bavarian soldiers wounded at the battle of Hanau. It
was a rare combination of eminent artists, where all
were inspired by the wish to be of use to their father-
land, and to contribute by the exercise of their talents
to the fulfilment of the undertaking, while, regardless
140 . beethoyen's letters.
of all precedence, they gladly accepted subordinate
places.* While an artist like Herr Schuppanzigh was
at the head of the first violins, and by his fiery and ex-
pressive mode of conducting kindled the zeal of the
whole orchestra, Herr Kapellmeister Salieri did not
scruple to give the time to the drums and cannonades ;
Herr Spohr and Herr Mayseder, each worthy from his
talents to fill the highest post, played in the second and
third rank. Herr Siboni and Herr Giuliani also filled
subordinate places. The conducting of the whole wa,s
only assigned to me from the music being my own com-
position ; had it been that of anyone else, I would
willingly, like Herr Hummel, have taken my place at
the big drum, as the only feeling that pervaded all our
hearts was true love for our fatherland, and the wish
cheerfully to devote our powers to those who had sa-
crificed so much for us. Particular thanks are due to
Herr Maelzel, inasmuch as he first suggested the idea
of this concert, and the most troublesome part of the
enterprise, the requisite arrangements, management, and
regulations, devolved on him. I more especially thank
him for giving me an opportunity by this concert of
fulfilling a wish I have long cherished, to compose for
such a benevolent object (exclusive of the works already
made over to him) a comprehensive work more adapted
to the present times, to be laid on the altar of my
* The A major Symphony and ' Wellington's Victory at Vittoria ' were
THE 'FINAL CHORUS.' 141
fatherland.* As a notice is to be published of all those
who assisted on this occasion, the public will be enabled
to j udge of the noble self-denial exercised by a mass
of the greatest artists, working together with the same
benevolent object in view.
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To the Archduke Rudolph.-f
I beg you will send me the score of the ( Final
Chorus ' J for half a day, as the theatrical score is so
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Having only so recently received the score of the
4 Final Chorus,' I must ask you to excuse your getting
it back so late. The best thing H. E. H. can do is to
have it transcribed, for in its present form the score is
of no use. I would have brought it myself, but I have
* ' Obsolete ' is written in pencil by Beethoven.
t The spring of 1814.
| The ' Schlusschor,' the score of which Beethoven requests the Arch-
duke to send him, is in all probability the Finale ' Grermania ! Germania ! '
intended for Treitschke's Operetta ' Die gute Nachricht,' which refers to
the taking of Paris by the Allies, and was performed for the first time at
Vienna in the Karnthnerthor Theatre on the 1 1th April, 1814. The same
* Pinal Chorus' was substituted for another of Beethoven's ('Esist voll-
bracht') in Treitschke's Operetta 'Die ELrenpforten,' first given on the
15th July, 1815, in the Karnthnerthor Theatre. Both these choruses are
printed in score in Breitkopf & Hartel's edition of Beethoven's works.
142 Beethoven's letters.
been laid up with a cold since last Sunday, which is
most severe, and obliges me to be very careful, being so
much indisposed. I never feel greater satisfaction than
when Y. E. H. derives any pleasure through me. I hope
very soon to be able to wait on you myself, and in the
meantime I pray that you will keep me in remembrance.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
The soug 'Germania' belongs to the whole world
who sympathise with the subject, and to you beyond all
others, just as I myself am wholly yours. I wish you
a good journey to Palermo.
My dear, worthy T.,
I have read with the greatest satisfaction your
amendments of the Opera [Fidelio* which was about
to be again performed]. It has decided me once more
to rebuild the desolate ruins of an ancient fortress.
The affair of the Opera is the most troublesome in
the world, and there is scarcely one part of it which
quite satisfies me now, and that I have not been obliged
to amend by something more satisfactory. But what
a difference between this, and giving one's self up to
freely flowing thought and inspiration !
I request, my dear T., that you will send me the score
of the song [in ' Fidelio,' Geld ist eine schone $ache~],
that the interpolated notes may be transcribed in all the
instrumental parts ; though I shall not take it at all
amiss if you prefer that Girowetz or any other person,
perhaps Weinmiiller [who sang the part of Eocco],
should do so. This I have nothing to say against, but
I will not suffer my composition to be altered by any-
one whatever, be he who he may.
I am, with high consideration.
To Count Moritz Lichnowsky.*
My dear Count,
If you wish to attend our council [about the altera-
tions in c Fidelio'], I beg to inform you that it assembles
* The mention of Weinmiiller decides the date of this note, as it was
in the spring of 1814 that he, together with the singers Saal and
Vogl, brought about the revival of ' Fidelio.'
BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
this afternoon at half-past three o'clock, in the Spiel-
mann Haus, auf dem Grrabeo, No. 188, 4th Etage, at
Herr Weinmuller's. I shall be very glad if you have
leisure to be present.
To Count Moritz Lichnowsky*
My dear, victorious, and yet sometimes nonplussed (?)
Count ! I hope that you rested well, most precious
and charming of all Counts ! Oh ! most beloved and
unparalleled Count ! most fascinating and prodigious
Ill J— I !l!
* In Schindler's ' Beethoven's Nachlass ' there is also an autograph
Canon of Beethoven's in F major, §, on Count Lichnowsky, on the words,
BesterHerr Graf, Siesind ein Schaf, written (according to Schindler) Feb.
A MUSICAL LETTEK.
©raf — -
«-~ — i-«
-— \ j s — '•
= rr IL
©raf, liebsjiec ©raf -f- -^ -j- be = fter
be * ftefi (Scfcaf! ©cfraf! <3d)af!
be = fter
-P — --
-m— p — —-
©raf -^ -r-
(To &e repeated at pleasure?)
At what hour shall we call on Walter to-day ? My
going or not depends entirely on you.
To the Archduke Rudolph
I hope you forgive me for not having come to you.
Your displeasure would be totally undeserved, and I will
amply compensate for lost time in a few days. My Opera
20th, 1823, in the coffee-house, 'Die Groldne Birne,' in the Landstrasse,
where Beethoven usually went every evening, though he generally slipped
in by the back door.
VOL. I. L
of c Fidelio'* is again to be performed, which gives me
a great deal to do ; moreover, though I look well, I am
not so in reality. The arrangements for my second con-
cert f are partly completed. I must write something new
for Mdlle. Milder.J Meanwhile it is a consolation to
me to hear that Y. E. H. is so much better. I hope
I am not too sanguine in thinking that I shall soon
be able to contribute towards this. I have taken the
liberty to apprise my Lord FalstafT § that he is ere
long to have the honour of appearing before Y. E. H.
To the Archduke Rudolph,
Vienna, July 14, 1814.
Whenever I enquire about you I hear nothing but
good news. As for my own insignificant self, I have
been hitherto hopelessly detained in Vienna, and un-
able to approach Y. E. H. ; I am also thus deprived
* Letters 125 and 126 refer to the revival of the Opera of ' Fidelio,'
which had not been given since 1806, and was not again produced on
the stage till the 23rd May, 1814, in the Karnthnerthor Theatre. Beet-
hoven's benefit took place on the 8th July, two newly composed pieces
f Beethoven gave a concert on the 2nd January, 1814, when 'Wel-
lington's Victory ' was performed, and on the 26th March another for
the benefit of the Theatrical Fund, at which the ' Overture to Egmont '
and ' Wellington's Victory ' were given, directed by Beethoven himself.
\ Anna Milder, Eoyal Court opera singer, a pupil of Vogl's, who first
sang the part of Leonore in ' Fidelio.'
§ By 'my Lord Falstaff ' he means the corpulent violinist Schup-
of the enjoyment of beautiful Nature, so dear to me.
The directors of the theatre are so conscientious, that,
contrary to their faithful promise, they have again
given my Opera of ( Fidelio,' without thinking of
giving me any share in the receipts. They would have
exhibited the same commendable good faith a second
time, had I not been on the watch like a French cus-
tomhouse officer of other days. At last, after a great
many troublesome discussions, it was settled that the
Opera of ' Fidelio ' should be given on Monday the 18th
of July, for my benefit. These receipts at this season
of the year may more properly be called deceits ; but if
a work is in any degree successful it often becomes a
little feast for the author. To this feast the master
invites his illustrious pupil, and hopes — yes ! I hope
that Y. E. H. will graciously consent to come, and thus
add lustre to everything by your presence. It would
be a great boon if Y. K. H. would endeavour to per-
suade the other members of the Imperial family to be
present at the representation of my Opera, and I on my
part will not fail to take the proper steps on the subject
which duty commands. Vogl's illness * enabled me to
satisfy my desire to give the part of Pizarro to Forti,f
his voice being better suited to it; but owing to this
* Joh. Mich. Vogl, born August 10th, 1768, was Court opera singer
(tenor) in Vienna from 1794 to 1822; he died November 19th, 1840.
f Forti, born June 8th, 1790, a member of the Eoyal Court Theatre
(a barytone), pensioned off in 1834.
148 beethoyen's letters.
there are daily rehearsals, which cannot fail to have a
favourable effect on the performance, but which render
it impossible for me to wait upon Y. E. H. before my
benefit. Pray give this letter your favourable consi-
deration, and think graciously of me.
I voluntarily presented Maelzel gratis with a ( Battle
Symphony ' for his panharmonica. After having kept
it for some time, he brought me back the score, which
he had already begun to engrave, saying that he wished
it to be harmonised for a full orchestra. The idea of a
battle had already occurred to me, which, however, could
not be performed on his panharmonica. We agreed to
select this and some more of my works [see No. 116]
to be given at the concert for the benefit of disabled
soldiers. At that very time I became involved in the
most frightful pecuniary difficulties. Forsaken by every-
one in Vienna, and in daily expectation of remittances,
&c, Maelzel offered me fifty gold ducats, which I ac-
cepted, saying that I would either repay them, or allow
him to take the work to London (provided I did not
go there myself with him), referring him to an English
publisher for payment.
I got back from him the score written for the pan-
harmonica. The concerts then took place, and during
A BREACH OF TRUST. 149
that time Herr Maelzel's designs and character were
first fully revealed. Without my consent, he stated on
the bills of the concert that the work was his property.
Indignant at this, I insisted on his destroying these
bills. He then stated that I had given it to him as a
friendly act, because he was going to London. To this
I did not object, believing that I had reserved the right
to state the conditions on which the work should be
his own. I remember that when the bills were being
printed, I violently opposed them, but the time was too
short, as I was still writing the work. In all the fire of
inspiration, and absorbed in my composition, I scarcely
thought at all on the subject. Immediately after the
first concert in the University Hall, I was told on all
sides, and by people on whom I could rely, that Maelzel
had everywhere given out he had paid me 400 gold
ducats for the Symphony. I sent what follows to a
newspaper, but the editor would not insert it, as
Maelzel stands well with them all. As soon as the first
concert was over, I repaid Maelzel his fifty ducats,
declaring that having discovered his real character,
nothing should ever induce me to travel with him ;
justly indignant that, without consulting me, he had
stated in the bills that all the arrangements for the con-
cert were most defective. His own despicable want of
patriotism too is proved by the following expressions : —
6 1 care nothing at all about L. ; if it is only said in
London that people have paid ten gulden for admission
150 Beethoven's letters.
here, that is all I care about ;— the wounded are nothing
to me.' Moreover, I told him that he might take the
work to London on certain conditions, which I would
inform him of. He then asserted that it was a friendly
gift, and made use of this phrase in the newspapers
after the second concert, without giving me the most
remote hint on the subject. As Maelzel is a rude,
churlish man, entirely devoid of education or cultiva-
tion, it is easy to conceive the tenour of his conduct to
me during this time, which still further irritated me.
Who could bear to be forced to bestow a friendly gift on
such a man ? I was offered an opportunity to send the
work to the Prince Kegent [afterwards Greorge IV.]. It
was therefore quite impossible for me to give aivay the
He then called on a mutual friend to make proposals.
He was told on what day to return for an answer, but
he never appeared, set off on his travels, and performed
the work in Munich. How did he obtain it? He
could not possibly steal it ; but Herr Maelzel had
several of the parts for some days in his house, and he
caused the entire work to be harmonised by some ob-
scure musical journeyman, and is now hawking it about
the world. Herr Maelzel promised me ear-trumpets. I
harmonised the i Battle Symphony' for his panharmonica
from a wish to keep him to his word. The ear-trumpets
came at last, but were not of the service to me that I
expected. For this slight trouble Herr Maelzel, after
UNJUST PROFITS. 151
my having arranged the ' Battle Symphony ? for a full
orchestra, and composed a battle piece in addition,
declared that I ought to have made over these works to
him as his own exclusive yprojperty. Even allowing
that I am in some degree obliged to him for the ear-
trumpets, this is entirely balanced by his having made
at least 500 gulden in Munich by my mutilated or
stolen battle piece. He has therefore paid himself in
full. He had actually the audacity to say here that he
was in possession of the battle piece ; in fact he showed
it, written out, to various persons. I did not believe
this ; and, in fact, with good reason, as the whole is not
by me, but compiled by some one else. Indeed the
credit he assumes for the work should alone be suffi-
The secretary at the War Office made no allusion
whatever to me, and yet every work performed at both
concerts was of my composition.
Herr Maelzel thinks fit to say that he has delayed
his visit to London on account of the battle piece, which
is a mere subterfuge. He stayed to finish his patch-
work, as the first attempt did not succeed.
152 Beethoven's letters.
To Herr J. Kauka, Doctor of Laws in Prague, in the
Kingdom of Bohemia.
The Summer of 1814.
A thousand thanks, my esteemed Kauka. At last I
meet with a legal representative and a man, who can
both write and think without using unmeaning formulas.
You can scarcely imagine how I long for the end of this
affair, as it not only interferes with my domestic expen-
diture, but is injurious to me in various ways. You
know yourself that a sensitive spirit ought not to be
fettered by miserable anxieties, and much that might
render my life happy is thus abstracted from it. Even
my inclination and the duty I assigned myself, to serve
suffering humanity by means of my art, I have been
obliged to limit, and must continue to do so.*
I write nothing about our monarchs and monarchies,
for the newspapers give you every information on these
subjects.f The intellectual realm is the most precious
in my eyes, and far above all temporal and spiritual
monarchies. Write to me, however, what you wish for
yourself from my poor musical capabilities, that I may,
in so far as it lies in my power, supply something for your
* He supported a consumptive brother and his wife and child,
f At the Vienna Congress Beethoven was received with much distinc-
tion by the potentates present.
an aetist's sorrows. 153
own musical sense and feeling. Do you not require all
the papers connected with the Kinsky case ? If so I
will send them to you, as they contain most important
testimony, which, indeed, I believe you read when with
me. Think of me, and do not forget that you represent
a disinterested artist in opposition to a niggardly family.
How gladly do men withhold from the poor artist in one
respect what they pay him in another, and there is no
longer a Zeus with whom an artist can invite himself
to feast on ambrosia. Strive, my dear friend, to accele-
rate the tardy steps of justice. Whenever I feel my-
self elevated high, and in happy moments revel in my
artistic sphere, circumstances drag me down again, and
none more than these two lawsuits. You too have your
disagreeable moments, though with the views and
capabilities I know you to possess, especially in your
profession, I could scarcely have believed this ; still I
must recall your attention to myself. I have drunk to
the dregs a cup of bitter sorrow, and already earned
martyrdom in art through my beloved artistic disciples
and colleagues. I beg you will think of me every day,
and imagine it to be an entire world, for it is really
asking rather too much of you to think of so humble
an individual as myself.
I am, with the highest esteem and friendship,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Address and Appeal to London Artists by L. van
Vienna, July 25, 1814.
Herr Maelzel, now in London, on his way thither
performed my ' Battle Symphony ' and i Wellington's
Battle of Vittoria ' in Munich, and no doubt he intends
to produce them at London concerts, as he wished to do
in Frankfort. This induces me to declare that I never
in any way made over or transferred the said works to
Herr Maelzel ; that no one possesses a copy of them,
and that the only one verified by me I sent to His
Eoyal Highness the Prince Regent of England. The
performance of these works, therefore, by Herr Maelzel
is either an imposition on the public, as the above
declaration proves that he does not possess them, or if
he does, he has been guilty of a breach of faith towards
me, inasmuch as he must have got them in a surrepti-
But even in the latter case the public will still be
deluded, for the works that Herr Maelzel performs
under the titles of ' Wellington's Battle of Vittoria ' and
c Battle Symphony ' are beyond all doubt spurious and
mutilated, as he never had any portion of either of these
works of mine, except some of the parts for a few days.
This suspicion becomes a certainty from the testimony
of various artists here, whose names I am authorised to
AN APPEAL. 155
give if necessary. These gentlemen state that Herr
Maelzel, before he left Vienna, declared that he was in
possession of these works, and showed various portions,
which, however, as I have already proved, must be coun-
terfeit. The question whether Herr Maelzel be capable
of doing me such an injury, is best solved by the fol-
lowing fact. In the public papers he named himself
as sole giver of the concert on behalf of our wounded
soldiers, whereas my works alone were performed there,
and yet he made no allusion whatsoever to me.
I therefore appeal to the London musicians not to
permit such a grievous wrong to be done to their fellow-
artist by Herr Maelzel's performance of the e Battle of
Vittoria ' and the i Battle Symphony,' and also to prevent
the London, public being so shamefully imposed upon.
To Dr. Kauka.
Vienna, August 22, 1814.
You have shown a feeling for harmony, and you can
resolve a great discord in my life, which causes me much
discomfort, into more pleasing melody, if you will. I
shortly expect to hear something of what you under-
stand is likely to happen, as I eagerly anticipate the
result of this most unjust affair with the Kinskys.
When the Princess was here, she seemed to be well
disposed towards me; still I do not know how it will
156 beethoyen's letters.
end. In the meantime I must restrict myself in every-
thing, and await with entire confidence what is right-
fully my own and legally devolves on me, and though
unforeseen occurrences caused changes in this matter,
still two witnesses recently bore testimony to the wish
of the deceased Prince that my appointed salary in
Banco Zettel should be paid in Einlosung Schein
making up the original sum, and the Prince himself
gave me sixty gold ducats on account of my claim.
Should the affair turn out badly for me by the con-
duct of the Kinsky family, I will publish it in every
newspaper, to their disgrace. If there had been an heir,
and the facts had been told to him in all their truth
just as I narrated them, I am convinced that he would
at once have adopted the words and deeds of his pre-
decessor. Has Dr. Wolf [the previous advocate] shown
you the papers, or shall I make you acquainted with
them ? As I am by no means sure that this letter will
reach you safely, I defer sending you the pianoforte
arrangement of my Opera 'Fidelio,' which is ready to
I hope, in accordance with your usual friendliness,
soon to hear from you. I am also writing to Dr. Wolf
(who certainly does not treat anyone woljishly), in order
not to arouse his passion, so that he may have com-
passion on me, and neither take my purse nor my life.
I am, with esteem, your true friend,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
A NEW SONATA. 157
To Count Moritz Lichnowshy.
Baden, Sept. 21, 1841*.
Most esteemed Count and Friend,
I unluckily only got your letter yesterday. A
thousand thanks for your remembrance of me. Pray
express my gratitude also to your charming Princess
Christiane [wife of Prince Carl Lichnowsky], I had a
delightful walk yesterday with a friend in the Briihl,
and in the course of our friendly chat you were par-
ticularly mentioned, and lo ! and behold ! on my return
I found your kind letter. I see you are resolved to
continue to load me with benefits.
As I am unwilling you should suppose that a step
I have already taken is prompted by your recent favours,
or by any motive of the sort, I must tell you that a
Sonata of mine [Op. 90] is about to appear, dedicated
to you. I wished to give you a surprise, as this dedica-
tion has been long designed for you, but your letter of
yesterday induces me to name the fact. I required no
new motive thus publicly to testify my sense of your
friendship and kindness. But as for anything approach-
ing to a gift in return, you would only distress me, by
thus totally misinterpreting my intentions, and I should
at once decidedly refuse such a thing.
I beg to kiss the hand of the Princess for her kind
message and all her goodness to me. Never have I
* The date reversed, as written by Beethoven, is here given.
forgotten what I oive to you all, though an unfortunate
combination of circumstances prevented my testifying
this as I could have wished.
From what you tell me about Lord Castlereagh, I
think the matter in the best possible train. If I were
to give an opinion on the subject, I should say that Lord
Castlereagh ought to hear the work given here before
writing to Wellington. I shall soon be in Vienna, when
we can consult together about a grand concert. Nothing
is to be effected at Court ; I made the application, but
at s lem at = lew at = letn
Silentium ! ! !
Farewell, my esteemed friend ; pray continue to es-
teem me worthy of your friendship.
A thousand compliments to the illustrious Princess.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I perceive that Y. E. H. wishes to try the effect of
my music even upon horses.* We shall see whether its
* A tournament was held on the 23rd November, 1814, in the Royal
Riding School. Beethoven was probably requested by the Archduke to
compose some music for it, which, however, has not been traced.
HORSE MUSIC. 159
influence will cause the riders to throw some clever sum-
mersets. Ha ! ha ! I can't help laughing at Y. E. H.
thinking of me on such an occasion ; for which I shall
remain so long as I live, &c. &c. &c. The horse music
that Y. K. H. desires shall set off to you full gallop.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
It is impossible for me to-day to wait on you, much as
I wish it. I am despatching the work on Wellington's
victory * to London. Such matters have their appointed
and fixed time, which cannot be delayed without final
loss. To-morrow I hope to be able to call on Y. K. H.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
(In a different hand) Dec. 1814.
I really feel that I can never deserve your goodness
towards me. I beg to offer my most respectful thanks
for Y. E. H.'s gracious intervention in my affairs at
Prague. I will punctually attend to the score of the
Cantata.f I trust Y. E. H. will forgive my not having
* The Cantata ' Der glorreiche Augenblick,' the poetry by Dr. Alois
"Weissenbach, set to music by Beethoven for chorus and orchestra (Op.
136), was first given in Vienna on the 29th November, 1814, and repeated
on the 2nd December.
t What concert Beethoven alludes to I cannot discover, but no men-
tion of it being made in the very exact ' Allgemeine Leipziger Musika-
lische Zeitung,' it appears not to have taken place.
160 Beethoven's letters.
yet been to see you. After the concert for the poor,
comes one in the theatre, equally for the benefit of the
impresario in angustia, for they have felt some just
shame, and have let me off with one-third and one-half
of the usual charges. I have now some fresh work on
hand, and then there is a new Opera to be begun,* the
subject of which I am about to decide on. Moreover,
I am again far from well, but a few days hence I will
wait on Y. E. H. If I could be of any service to
Y. E. H., the most eager and anxious wish of my life
would be fulfilled.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
My warmest thanks for your present.f I only re-
gret that you could not participate in the music. I have
now the honour to send you the score of the Cantata
[see No. 134]. Y. E. H. can keep it for some days, and
afterwards I shall take care that it is copied for you as
soon as possible.
I feel still quite exhausted from fatigue and worry,
pleasure and delight ! — all combined ! I shall have the
honour of waiting on you in the course of a few days.
* The new Opera with the subject of which Beethoven was occupied
was no doubt Treitschke's ' Romulus.'
t The present he refers to was probably for the concert of November
29th or December 2nd, 1814.
I hope to hear favourable accounts of Y. E. H.'s health.
How gladly would I sacrifice many nights, were it in
my power to restore you entirely !
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I see with real pleasure that I may dismiss all fears
for your wellbeing. As for myself, I hope (always feel-
ing happy when able to give you any pleasure) that
my health is also rapidly recruiting, when I intend
forthwith to compensate both you and myself for the
pauses that have occurred. As for Prince Lobkowitz,
his pauses with me still continue, and I fear he will
never again come in at the right place ; and in Prague
(good heavens ! with regard to Prince Kinsky's affair)
they scarcely as yet know what a figured bass is, for
they sing in slow, long-drawn choral notes ; some of
these sustained through sixteen bars | j. As all
these discords seem likely to be very slowly resolved,
it is best to bring forward only those which we can
ourselves resolve, and to give up the rest to inevitable
fate. Allow me once more to express my delight at the
recovery of Y, E. H.
* 1814 or 1815. Prince Lobkowitz was still alive at that time (died
December 21st, 1816).
VOL. I. M
To the Archduke Rudolph.
As you were so kind as to let me know through
Count Troyer * that you would write a few lines on
my affairs in Prague to the Oberstburggraf Count
Kolowrat, I take the liberty to enclose my letter to
Count K. ; I do not believe that it contains anything
to which Y. K. H. will take exception. There is no
chance of my being allowed payment in Einlosung
Schein, for, in spite of all the proofs, the guardians
cannot be persuaded to consent to this ; still it is to be
hoped that by the friendly steps we have meanwhile
had recourse to, extrajudicially, a more favourable
result may be obtained — as, for instance, the rate of
the scale to be higher. If, however, Y. R. H. will either
write a few words yourself, or cause it to be done in
your name, the affair will certainly be much accelerated,
which induces me earnestly to entreat Y. R. H. to
perform your gracious promise to me. This affair has
now gone on for three years, and is still — undecided.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I have again for a fortnight past been afflicted with
severe headaches, though constantly hoping to get
better, but in vain. Now, however, that the weather
* Count Ferdinand Troyer was one of the Archduke's chamberlains.
A NEW TRIO. 163
is improved, my physician promises me a speedy cure.
Though as each day I expected to be the last of my
suffering, I did not write to you on the subject ; besides,
I thought that Y. E. H. probably did not require me,
as it is so long since Y. E. H. sent for me. During the
festivities in honour of the Princess of Baden,* and
the injury to Y. E. H.'s finger, I began to work very
assiduously, and as the fruit of this, among others, is
a new pianoforte Trio.f Myself very much occupied,
I had no idea that I had incurred the displeasure of
Y. E. H., though I now begin almost to think this to
be the case. In the meantime I hope soon to be able
to present myself before your tribunal.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I beg you will be so good as to let me have the Trio
in B flat with all the parts, and also both parts of
the violin Sonata in G-,J as I must have them written
* The festivities in honour of the Princess of Baden were probably
during the Congress, 1814.
f The new Trio, if the one in B flat for the pianoforte, violin, and
violoncello, Op. 97, was first performed on the 11th April, 1814, in
the hall of the ' Komischer Kaiser.' Letter 139 also mentions this Trio,
composed in 1811 and published in July 1816.
| The Sonata for pianoforte and violin in G- major, Op. 96, was pur-
chased by Haslinger, April 1st, 1815, and published the end of July
1816. It was composed in 1814 — perhaps in 1813. Thayer thinks in
164 beethoyen's letters.
out for myself with all speed, not being able to bunt
out my own scores among so many others. I hope
that this detestable weather has had no bad effect on
Y. E. H.'s health ; I must own that it rather deranges
me. In three or four days at least I shall have the
honour to restore both works to their proper place.
Do the musical pauses still continue ?
To Herr Kauha.
Vienna, Jan. 11, 1815.
My good, worthy K.,
I received Baron Pasqualati's letter to-day, by
which I perceive that you wish me to defer any fresh
measures. In the meantime all the necessary papers
are lodged with Pasqualati, so be so good as to in-
form him that he must delay taking any further steps.
To-morrow a council is to be held here, and you and
P. shall learn the result probably to-morrow evening.
Meanwhile I wish you to look through the paper I
sent to the Court through Pasqualati, and read the ap-
pendix carefully. You will then see that Wolf and
others have not given you correct information.
One thing is certain, that there are sufficient proofs
for anyone who wishes to be convinced. How could it
ever occur to me to think of written legal testimony
with such a man as Kinsky, whose integrity and gene-
LEGAL MATTERS. 165
rosity were everywhere acknowledged ? I remain, with
the warmest affection and esteem,
To Herr Kauka.
My dear and esteemed K.,
What can I think, or say, or feel ? As for W.
[Wolf], it seems to me that he not only showed his
iveak points, but gave himself no trouble to conceal
them. It is impossible that he can have drawn up
his statement in accordance with all the actual evi-
dence he had. The order on the Treasury about the
rate of exchange was given by Kinsky previous to his
consent to pay me my salary in EMosung Schein, as
the documents prove ; indeed it is only necessary to
examine the date to show this, so the first instruction is
of importance. The species facti prove that I was more
than six months absent from Vienna. As I was not anx-
ious to get the money, I allowed the affair to stand over,
so the Prince thus forgot to recall his former order to the
Treasury, but that he neither forgot his promise to me,
nor to Varnhagen [an officer] in my behalf, is evident
by the testimony of Herr von Oliva, to whom shortly
before his departure from hence — and indeed into
another world — he repeated his promise, making an
appointment to see him when he should return to
Vienna, in order to arrange the matter with the Trea-
sury, which of course was prevented by his untimely
The testimony of the officer Varnhagen is accom-
panied by a document (he being at present with the
Eussian army), in which he states that he is prepared
to take his oath on the affair. The evidence of Hen*
Oliva is also to the effect that he is willing to confirm
his evidence by oath before the Court. As I have sent
away the testimony of Col. Count Bentheim, I am not
sure of its tenour, but I believe the Count also says that
he is prepared at any time to make an affidavit on the
matter in Court, and I am myself ready to swear before
the Court that Prince Kinsky said to me in Prague,
6 he thought it only fair to me that my salary should be
paid in Einlosung SchemJ These were his own words.
He gave me himself sixty gold ducats in Prague, on
account (good for about 600 florins), as, owing to my
state of health, I could remain no longer, and set off
for Toplitz. The Prince's word was sacred in my eyes,
never having heard anything of him to induce me either
to bring two witnesses with me, or to ask him for any
written pledge. I see from all this that Dr. Wolf has
miserably mismanaged the business, and has not made
you sufficiently acquainted with the papers.
Now as to the step I have just taken. The Archduke
Eudolph asked me some time since whether the Kinsky
LEGAL MATTERS. 167
affair was yet terminated, having probably heard some-
thing of it. I told him that it looked very bad, as I
knew nothing, absolutely nothing, of the matter. He
offered to write himself, but desired me to add a memo-
randum, and also to make him acquainted with all the
papers connected with the Kinsky case. After having
informed himself on the affair, he wrote to the Oberst-
burggraf, and enclosed my letter to him.
The Oberstburggraf answered both the Duke and my-
self immediately. In the letter to me he said * that I was
to present a petition to the Provincial Court of Justice
in Prague along with all the proofs, whence it would be
forwarded to him, and that he would do his utmost to
further my cause.' He also wrote in the most polite
terms to the Archduke ; indeed, he expressly said ( that
he was thoroughly cognizant of the late Prince Kinsky's
intentions with regard to me and this affair, and that I
might present a petition,' &c. The Archduke instantly
sent for me, and desired me to prepare the document
and to show it to him ; he also thought that I ought
to solicit payment in Einlosung Schein, as there was
ample proof, if not in strictly legal form, of the inten-
tions of the Prince, and no one could doubt that if he
had survived he would have adhered to his promise. If
he [the Archduke] were this day the heir, he vjould
demand no other "proofs than those already furnished.
I sent this paper to Baron Pasqualati, who is kindly to
present it himself to the Court. Not till after the affair
168 Beethoven's letters.
had gone so far did Dr. Acllersburg receive a letter from
Dr. Wolf, in which he mentioned that he had made a
claim for 1 ,500 florins. As we have come so far as 1,500
florins with the Oberstburggraf, we may possibly get
on to 1,800 florins. I do not esteem this any favour,
for the late Prince was one of those who uro-ed me most
to refuse a salary of 600 gold ducats per annum, offered
to me from Westphalia; and he said at the time 'that
he was resolved I should have no chance of eating hams
in Westphalia.' Another summons to Naples somewhat
later I equally declined, and I am entitled to demand a
fair compensation for the loss I incurred. If the salary
were to be paid in bank-notes, what should I get ? Not
400 florins in Gonventionsgeld ! ! ! in lieu of such a
salary as 600 ducats ! There are ample proofs for those
who wish to act justly; and what does the Einlosung
Schein now amount to ? ? ! ! ! It is even at this mo-
ment no equivalent for what I refused. This affair was
pompously announced in all the newspapers while I
was nearly reduced to beggary. The intentions of the
Prince are evident, and in my opinion the family are
bound to act in accordance with them unless they wish
to be disgraced. Besides, the revenues have rather in-
creased than diminished by the death of the Prince, so
there is no sufficient ground for curtailing my salary.
I received your friendly letter yesterday, but am too
weary at this moment to write all that I feel towards
you. I can only commend my case to your sagacity. It
LEGAL MATTERS. 169
appears that the Oberstburggraf is the chief person, so
what he wrote to the Archduke must be kept a pro-
found secret, for it might not be advisable that anyone
should know of it but you and Pasqualati. You have
sufficient cause on looking through the papers to show
how improperly Dr. Wolf has conducted the affair, and
that another course of action is necessary. I rely on
your friendship to act as you think best for my inte-
Rest assured of my warmest thanks, and pray excuse
my writing more to-day, for a thing of this kind is very
fatiguing — more so than the greatest musical underta-
king. My heart has found something for you to which
yours will respond, and this you shall soon receive.
Do not forget me, poor tormented creature that I am !
and act for me and effect for me all that is possible.
With high esteem, your true friend,
To Herr Kauka.
Vienna, Jan. 14, 1815.
My good and worthy K.,
The loDg letter I enclose was written when we
were disposed to claim the 1,800 florins. Baron Pas-
qualati's last letter, however, again made me waver,
and Dr. Adlersburg advised me to adhere to the steps
already taken ; but as Dr. Wolf writes that he has
offered in your name to accept 1,500 florins a year, I
170 beethoven's letters.
beg you will at least make every effort to get that sum.
For this purpose I send you the long letter written
before we received Baron P.'s dissuasive one, as you
may discover in it many reasons for demanding at least
the 1,500 florins. The Archduke, too, has written a
second time to the Oberstburggraf, and we may con-
clude from his previous reply that he will certainly
exert himself, and that we shall at all events succeed in
getting the 1,500 florins.
Farewell ! I cannot write another syllable ; such
things exhaust me. May your friendship accelerate
this affair ! — if it ends badly, then I must leave Vienna,
because I could not possibly live on my income, for
here things have come to such a pass that everything has
risen to the highest price, and that price must be paid.
The two last concerts I gave cost me 1,508 florins, and
had it not been for the Empress's munificent present I
should scarcely have derived any profit whatever.
Your faithful friend,
To the Honourable Members of the Landrecht.
Quite ignorant of law proceedings, and believing
that all claims on an inheritance could not fail to be
* See No. 94. On the 18th January, 1815, the Court of Justice at
Prague decreed that the trustees of Prince Kinsley's estate should pay
APPEAL TO THE LANDRECHT. 171
liquidated, I sent to my lawyer in Prague [Dr. Kauka]
the contract signed by the Archduke Eudolph, Prince
Lobkowitz, and Prince von Kinsky, in which these illus-
trious personages agreed to settle on me an annual
allowance of 4,000 florins. My constant efforts to obtain
a settlement of my claim, and also, as I am bound to
admit, my reproaches to Dr. Kauka for not conducting
the affair properly (his application to the guardians
having proved fruitless) no doubt prompted him to have
recourse to law.
None but those who are fully aware of my esteem for
the deceased Prince, can tell how repugnant it is to my
feelings to appear as a complainant against my bene-
Under these circumstances, I have recourse to a shorter
path, in the conviction that the guardians of the Prince's
estate will be disposed to mark their appreciation of
art, and also their desire to fulfil the engagements of
the late Prince. According to the terms of the contract
in question, the Archduke Eudolph, Prince Lobkowitz,
and Prince v. Kinsky granted me th,ese 4,000 florins
until I should obtain a situation of equal value ; and
further, if by misfortune or old age I was prevented ex-
ercising my art, these distinguished contracting parties
to L. v. Beethoven the sum of 1,200 florins W.W. from November 3rd,
1812, instead of the original written agreement of 1,800 florins. Dr.
Constant, of Wurzbach, in his 'Biographical Austrian Lexicon,' states
that Beethoven dedicated his splendid song ' An die HofFnung,' Op. 94,
to Princess Kinsky, wife of Prince Ferdinand Kinsky, who died in 1812.
172 beethoyen's letters.
secured this pension to me for life, while I, in return,
pledged myself not to leave Vienna.
This promise was generous, and equally generous was
its fulfilment, for no difficulty ever occurred, and I
was in the peaceful enjoyment of my pension till the
Imperial Finance Patent appeared. The consequent
alteration in the currency made no difference in the
payments of the Archduke Eudolph, for I received his
share in Einlosung Schein, as I had previously done
in bank-notes, without any reference to the new scale.
The late illustrious Prince v. Kinsky also at once as-
sured me that his share (1,800 florins) should also be
paid in Einlosung Schein. As, however, he omitted
giving the order to his cashier, difficulties arose on the
subject. Although my circumstances are not brilliant,
I would not have ventured to bring this claim before
the notice of the guardians of the estate, if respectable,
upright men had not received the same pledge from
the late Prince's own lips, viz., that he would pay my
past as well as my future claims in Vienna currency,
which is proved by the papers B, C, D, appended to the
pleas. Under these circumstances I leave the guardians
to judge whether, after so implicitly relying on the pro-
mise of the deceased Prince, I have not cause to com-
plain of my delicacy being wounded by the objection
advanced by the curators to the witnesses, from their not
having. been present together at the time the promise
was made, which is most distressing to my feelings.
A REQUEST. 173
In order to extricate myself from this most disa-
greeable lawsuit, I take the liberty to give an assurance
to the guardians that I am prepared, both as to the past
and the future, to be satisfied with the 1,800 florins,
Vienna currency ; and I flatter myself that these gentle-
men will admit that I on my part make thus no small
sacrifice, as it was solely from my esteem for those
illustrious Princes that I selected Vienna for my settled
abode, at a time when the most advantageous offers were
made to me elsewhere.
I therefore request the Court to submit this proposal
to the guardians of the Kinsky estates for their opinion,
and to be so good as to inform me of the result.
L. v. Beethoven.
To Baron von Pasqualati.
My esteemed Friend,
I beg you will kindly send me by the bearer the
proper form for the Kinsky receipt (but sealed) for
600 florins half-yearly from the month of April. I
intend to send the receipt forthwith to Dr. Kauka in
Prague,* who on a former occasion procured the money
for me so quickly. I will deduct your debt from this,
but if it be possible to get the money here before the
* This man, now ninety-four years of age and quite blind, was at that
time Beethoven's counsel in Prague. Pasqualati was that benefactor of
Beethoven's who always kept rooms for him in his house on the Molker
Bastei, and whose kind aid never deserted him to the close of his life.
remittance arrives from Prague, I will bring it at once
to you myself.
I remain, with the most profound esteem,
Your sincere friend,
To Hew Kauka.
Vienna, Feb. 24, 1815.
My much esteemed K.,
I have repeatedly thanked you through Baron
Pasqualati for your friendly exertions on my behalf, and
I now beg to express one thousand thanks myself. The
intervention of the Archduke could not be very pala-
table to you, and perhaps has prejudiced you against me.
You had already done all that was possible when the
Archduke interfered. If this had been the case sooner,
and we had not employed that one-sided, or many-
sided, or weak-sided Dr. Wolf, then, according to the
assurances of the Oberstbiirggraf himself, the affair
might have had a still more favourable result. I shall
therefore ever and always be grateful to you for your
services. The Court now deduct the sixty ducats I men-
tioned of my own accord, and to which the late Prince
never alluded either to his treasurer or anyone else.
Where truth could injure me it has been accepted, so
why reject it when it could have benefited me? How
unfair ! Baron Pasqualati requires information from
you on various points.
DEDICATION OF NEW TKIO. 175
I am again very tired to-day, having been obliged
to discuss many things with poor P. : such matters ex-
haust me more than the greatest efforts in composition.
It is a new field, the soil of which I ought not to be re-
quired to till. This painful business has cost me many
tears and much sorrow. The time draws near when
Princess Kinsky must be written to. Now I must
conclude. How rejoiced shall I be when I can write
you the pure effusions of my heart once more ; and this
I mean to do as soon as I am extricated from all these
troubles. Pray accept again my heartfelt thanks for all
that you have done for me, and continue your regard
Your attached friend,
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I heard yesterday, and it was indeed confirmed by
meeting Count Troyer, that Y. E. H. is now here. I
therefore send the dedication of the Trio [in B flat]
to Y. E. H., whose name is inscribed on it ; but all my
works on which I place any value, though the name
does not appear, are equally designed for Y. E. H. I
trust, however, that you will not think I have a mo-
tive in saying this; men of high rank being apt to
suspect self-interest in such expressions, and I mean
on this occasion to risk the imputation so far as ap-
pearances go, by at once asking a favour of Y. E. H.
My well-grounded reasons for so doing you will no doubt
at once perceive, and graciously vouchsafe to grant my
request. I have been very much indisposed in Baden
since the beginning of last October ; indeed, from the
5th of October I have been entirely confined to my
bed, or to my room, till about a week ago. I had a
very serious inflammatory cold, and am still able to go
out very little, which has also been the cause of my not
writing to Y. E. H. in Kremsir. May all the blessings
that Heaven can shower upon earth attend you
1815 to 1822.
Written in Spohr's Album.*
Vienna, March 3, 1815,
Jurj/ !urj ifr ber ©corners, ber
©chmerj/ e = wig c
> f jt
nrig tffc tie $reu - be, ift Me
§reu = be, ]a bte greu s be/
s s wig ift bte greu
g=^d_ ^L 4 M ^
fur§, !urj ift ber: (Schmerj/ ber <Sd)merg/ ber ©corners/ e * wig/
* From the facsimile in Spohr's ' Autobiography,' vol. i.
BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
ir>tg tjt tie greu = be, tfi bie greu * be/ e
Ul - 1 \
^- L ^--^.-^:
= = ttug iffc bte greube, e
s nng, e
wig tffc bte greu^be. ^ur^/
furj, !u% furs if* ber (Sd)me% ber <3d)me% ber
e = itug e *
tt?icj ifl bie greit = be,
tt>ig ifl bie gueu
Whenever, dear Spohr, you chance to find true art
and true artists, may you kindly remember
Ludwig yan Beethoven.
A FRIENDLY REPROACH. 181
To Herr Kauka.
Vienna, April 8, 1815.
It seems scarcely admissible to be on the friendly
terms on v/hich I consider myself with you, and yet to
be on such unfriendly ones that we should live close to
each other and never meet Mill* You write e tout a
vousS Oh ! you humbug ! said I. No ! no ! it is really
too bad. I should like to thank you 9,000 times for all
your efforts on my behalf, and to reproach you 20,000
that you came and went as you did. So all is a delusion !
friendship, kingdom, empire ; all is only a vapour which
every breeze wafts into a different form! ! Perhaps I
may go to Toplitz, but it is not certain. I might take
advantage of that opportunity to let the people of
Prague hear something — what think you ? if indeed you
still think of me at all ! As the affair with Lobkowitz
is now also come to a close, we may write Finis, though
it far from fine is for me.
Baron Pasqualati will no doubt soon call on you
again ; he also has taken much trouble on my accouut.
Yes indeed ! it is easy to talk of justice, but to obtain
it from others is no easy matter. In what way can I be
of service to you in my own art ? Say whether you pre-
fer my celebrating the monologue of a fugitive king, or
* Kauka evidently had been recently in Vienna without visiting
182 beethoven's letters.
the perjury of a usurper — or the true friends who
though near neighbours never saw each other ? In the
hope of soon hearing from you — for being now so far
asunder it is easier to hold intercourse than when
nearer ! — I remain, with highest esteem,
Your ever devoted friend,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To Herr Kauka.
My dear and worthy K.,
I have just received from the Syndic Baier in K.
the good news that you told him yourself about Prince
F. K. As for the rest, you shall be perfectly satisfied.
I take the liberty to ask you again to look after my
interests with the Kinsky family, and I subjoin the ne-
cessary receipt for this purpose [see No. 144]. Perhaps
some other way may be found, though it does not as
yet occur to me, by means of which I need not impor-
tune you in future. On the 15th October  I was
attacked by an inflammatory cold, from the conse-
quences of which I still suffer, and my art likewise ; but
it is to be hoped that I shall now gradually recover, and
at all events be able once more to display the riches of
my little realm of sweet sounds. Yet I am very poor in
all else — owing to the times ? to poverty of spirit ? or
what ? ? ? ? Farewell ! Everything around disposes us
PROMPTITUDE NECESSARY. 183
to profound silence ; but this shall not be the case as
to the bond of friendship and soul that unites us. I
loudly proclaim myself, now as ever,
Your loving friend and admirer,
To Herr Kauka.
My most worthy Friend,
My second letter follows that of yesterday, May 2nd.
Pasqualati tells me to-day, after the lapse of a month
and six days, that the house of Ballabene is too high
and mighty to assist me in this matter. I must there-
fore appeal to your insignificance (as I myself do not
hesitate to be so mean as to serve other people). My
house-rent, amounts to 550 florins, and must be paid out
of the sum in question.
As soon as the newly engraved pianoforte pieces ap-
pear, you shall receive copies, and also of the ' Battle,'
&c. &c. Forgive me, forgive me, my generous friend ;
some other means must be found to forward this affair
with due promptitude.
In haste, your friend and admirer,
184 BEETHO YEN'S LETTERS.
To Mr. Salomon, — London.*
Vienna, June 1, 1815.
My good Fellow-countryman,
I always hoped to meet you one day in London,
but many obstacles have intervened to prevent the ful-
filment of this wish, and as there seems now no chance
of such a thing, I hope you will not refuse a request of
mine, which is, that you will be so obliging as to apply
to some London publisher, and offer him the following
works of mine. Grand Trio for piano, violin, and vio-
loncello [Op. 97], 80 ducats. Pianoforte Sonata, with
violin accompaniment [Op. 96], 60 ducats. Grand Sym-
phony in A (one of my very best); a short Sym-
phony in F [the 8th] ; Quartett for two violins, viola,
and violoncello in F minor [Op. 95]; Grand Opera in
score, 30 ducats. Cantata with Choruses and Solos
['The G-lorious Moment'], 30 ducats. Score of the
< Battle of Vittoria' and < Wellington's Victory,' 80
ducats ; also the pianoforte arrangement of the same,
if not already published, which, I am told here, is the
case. I have named the prices of some of these works,
on a scale which I hold to be suitable for England,
* J. P. Salomon was likewise a native of Bonn, and one of the most
distinguished violin players of his time. He had been Kapellmeister to
Prince Heinrich of Prussia, and then went to London, where he was very-
active in the introduction of German music. It was through his agency
that Beethoven's connection with Birchall, the music publisher, first com-
menced, to whom a number of his letters are addressed.
an author's complaint. 185
but I leave it to you to say what sum should be asked
both for these and the others. I hear, indeed, that
Cramer [John, whose pianoforte playing was highly
estimated by Beethoven] is also a publisher, but my
scholar Eies lately wrote to me that Cramer not long
since publicly expressed his disapproval of my works :
I trust from no motive but that of being of service to
art, and if so I have no right to object to his doing this.
If, however, Cramer should wish to possess any of my
pernicious works, I shall be as well satisfied with him
as with any other publisher ; but I reserve the right to
give these works to be published here, so that they may
appear at the same moment in London and Vienna.
Perhaps you may also be able to point out to me in
what way I can recover from the Prince Eegent [after-
wards George IV.] the expenses of transcribing the
'Battle Symphony' on Wellington's victory at Vittoria
to be dedicated to him, for I have long ago given up all
hope of receiving anything from that quarter. I have not
even been deemed worthy of an answer, whether I am
to be authorised to dedicate the work to the Prince Ee-
gent; and when at last I propose to publish it here, I am
informed that it has already appeared in London. What
a fatality for an author ! ! ! While the English and Ger-
man papers are filled with accounts of the success of
the work, as performed at Drury Lane, and that theatre
drawing great receipts from it, the author has not one
friendly line to show, not even payment for the cost of
186 beethoven's letters.
copying the work, and is thus deprived of all profit.*
For if it be true that the pianoforte arrangement is
soon to be published by a German publisher, copied
from the London one, then I lose both my fame and
my honorarium. The well-known generosity of your
character leads me to hope that you will take some
interest in the matter, and actively exert yourself on
The inferior paper-money of this country is now re-
duced to one-fifth of its value, and I am paid according
to this scale. After many struggles and considerable
loss, I at length succeeded in obtaining the full value,
but at this moment the old paper-money has again risen
far beyond the fifth part, so that it is evident my salary
becomes for the second time almost nil, and there is
no hope of any compensation. My whole income is de-
rived from my works. If I could rely on a good sale in
England, it would doubtless be very beneficial to me.
Pray be assured of my boundless gratitude. I hope
soon, very soon, to hear from you.
I am, with esteem, your sincere friend,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
* Undoubtedly the true reading of these last words, which in the
copy before me are marked as ' difficult to decipher.'
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Pray forgive my asking Y. E. H. to send me the two
Sonatas with violin obbligato* which I caused to be
transcribed for Y. E. H. I require them only for a few
days, when I will immediately return them.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I beg you will kindly send me the Sonata in E minor, f
as I wish to correct it. On Monday I shall enquire for
Y. E. H. in person. Recent occurrences £ render it in-
dispensable to complete many works of mine about to
be engraved as quickly as possible; besides, my health is
only partially restored. I earnestly entreat Y. E. H. to
desire some one to write me a few lines as to the state
of your own health. I trust I shall hear a better — nay,
the best report of it.
* If by the two Sonatas for the pianoforte with violoncello obbligato,
Op. 102 is meant, they were composed in July — August 1815, and ap-
peared on Jan. 13th, 1819. The date of the letter appears also to be 1815.
f The letters 152 and 153 speak sometimes expressly of the pianoforte
Sonata in E minor, Op. 90, these being engraved or under revision, and
sometimes only indicate them. This Sonata, dedicated to Count Lich-
nowsky, was composed on August 14th, 1844, and published in June 1815.
| What ' recent occurrences ' Beethoven alludes to, unless indeed his
well-known misfortunes as to his salary and guardianship, we cannot
188 beethoven's letters.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
You must almost think my illness a mere fiction, but
that is assuredly not the case. I am obliged always to
come home early in the evening. The first time that
Y. E. H. was graciously pleased to send for me, I came
home immediately afterwards, but feeling much better
since then, I made an attempt the evening before last
to stay out a little later. If Y. E. H. does not counter-
mand me, I intend to have the honour of waiting on you
this evening at five o'clock. I will bring the new Sonata
with me, merely for to-day, for it is so soon to be en-
graved that it is not worth while to have it written out.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I intended to have given you this letter myself, but
my personal attendance might possibly be an intrusion,
so I take the liberty once more to urge on Y. E. H. the
request it contains. I should also be glad if Y. E. H.
would send me back my last MS. Sonata, for as I must
publish it, it would be labour lost to have it transcribed,
and I shall soon have the pleasure of presenting it to
you engraved. I will call again in a few days. I trust
these joyous times may have a happy influence on your
FIEST THOUGHTS. 189
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Vienna, July 23, 1815.
When you were recently in town, the enclosed Chorus*
occurred to me. I hurried home to write it down, but
was detained longer in doing so than I at first expected,
and thus, to my great sorrow, I missed Y. K. H. The
bad custom I have followed from childhood, instantly
to write down my first thoughts, otherwise they not un-
frequently go astray, has been an injury to me on this
occasion. I therefore send Y. E. H. my impeachment
and my justification, and trust I may find grace in your
eyes. I hope soon to present myself before Y. E. H.,
and to enquire after a health so precious to us all.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
It is neither presumption, nor the pretension of ad-
vocating anyone's cause, still less from the wish of
arrogating to myself the enjoyment of any especial
favour with Y. E. H., that induces me to make a sug-
gestion which is in itself very simple. Old Kraft f
was with me yesterday ; he wished to know if it were
* In 1815 the Chorus of ' Die Meeresstille' was composed by Beetho-
ven. "Was this the Chorus which occurred to him ? The style of the letter
leaves his meaning quite obscure.
f Old Kraft was a clever violoncello player who had an appointment in
Prince Lobkowitz's band, but when the financial crisis occurred in the
Prince's affairs he lost his situation, and was obliged to give up his lodging,
190 Beethoven's letters.
possible for him to be lodged in your palace, in return
for which he would be at Y. E. H.'s service as often as
you please it. He has lived for twenty years in the
house of Prince Lobkowitz, and during a great part of
that time he received no salary ; he is now obliged to
vacate his rooms without receiving any compensation
whatever. The position of the poor deserving old man
is hard, and I should have considered myself equally
hard, had I not ventured to lay his case before you.
Count Tro}^er will request an answer from. Y. E. H.
As the object in view is to brighten the lot of a fellow-
creature, pray forgive your, &c. &c.
Written in English to Mr. Birchall, Music Publisher,
Mr. Beethoven send word to Mr. Birchall that it is
severall days past that he has sent for London Welling-
ton's Battel Sinphonie and that Mr. Bprchall] may
send for it at Thomas Coutts. Mr. Beethoven wish
Mr. B. would make ingrave the sayd Sinphonie so soon
as possible and send him word in time the day it will
be published that he may prevend in time the Pub-
lisher in Vienna.
In regard the 3. Sonata which Mr. Birchall receive
after werths there is not wanted such a g u hurry and
DEATH OF HIS BROTHER. 191
Mr. B. will take the liberty to fixe the day when the are
to be published.
Mr. Bprchall] sayd that Mr. Salomon has a good
many tings to say concerning the Synphonie in Gr [? A].
Mr. B[eethoven] with for a answer so soon as possible
concerning the days of the publication.
October 16, 1815.
I only wish to let you know that I am here, and not
elsewhere, and wish in return to hear if you are else-
where or here. I should be glad to speak to you for a
few minutes when I know that you are at home and
alone. Farewell — but not too well — sublime Com-
mandant Pacha of various mouldering fortresses ! ! !
In haste, your friend,
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Nov. 16, 1815.
Since yesterday afternoon I have been lying in a state
of exhaustion owing to my great distress of mind caused
by the sudden death of my unhappy brother. It was
impossible for me to send an answer to Y. E. H. yester-
day, and I trust you will graciously receive my present
explanation. I expect, however, certainly to wait on
Y. K. H. to-morrow.
To the Messrs. Birchall, — London.
Vienna, Nov. 22, 1815.
You will herewith receive the pianoforte arrangement
of the Symphony in A. 'Wellington's Battle Sym-
phony ' and ( Victor} 7- at Vittoria ' were sent a month since
through Herr Neumann, to the care of Messrs. Coutts,
so you have no doubt received them long ere this.
In the course of a fortnight you shall have the Trio
and Sonata, when you are requested to pay into the
hands of Messrs. Coutts the sum of 130 gold ducats. I
beg you will make no delay in bringing out these works,
and likewise let me know on what day the ' Wellington
Symphony ' is to appear, so that I may take my measures
here accordingly. I am, with esteem,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Vienna, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 1815.
My dear Ries,
I hasten to apprise you that I have to-day for-
warded by post the pianoforte arrangement of the
Symphony in A, to the care of Messrs Coutts. As the
Court is absent, few, indeed almost no couriers go from
here ; moreover, the post is the safest way. The Sym-
phony ought to be brought out about March ; the
LOSS OCCASIONED BY PAPER-MONEY. 193
precise day I will fix myself. So much time has already
been lost on this occasion that I could not give an
earlier notice of the period of publication. The Trio
in [ ? ?] and the violin Sonata may be allowed more
time, and both will be in London a few weeks hence.
I earnestly entreat you, dear Kies, to take charge of
these matters, and also to see that I get the money; I
require it, and it costs me a good deal before all is sent
I have lost 600 florins of my yearly salary; at the
time of the bank notes there was no loss, but then came
the Einlosungsscheine [reduced paper-money], which
deprives me of these 600 florins, after entailing on me
several years of annoyance, and now the total loss of
my salary. We are at present arrived at a point when
the Einlosungsscheine are even lower than the bank
notes ever were. I pay 1,000 florins of house-rent : you
may thus conceive all the misery caused by paper-
My poor unhappy brother [Carl v. Beethoven, a
cashier in Vienna] is just dead [Nov. 15th, 1815]; he
had a bad wife. For some years past he has been suf-
fering from consumption, and from my wish to make
his life less irksome I may compute what I gave him
at 10,000 florins (Wiener Wdhrung). This indeed does
not seem much to an Englishman, but it is a great deal
fur a poor German, or rather Austrian. The unhappy
man was latterly much changed, and I must say I
vol. i. o
lament him from my heart, though I rejoice to think
I left nothing undone that could contribute to his
Tell Mr. Birchall that he is to repay the postage of my
letters to you and Mr. Salomon, and also yours to me ;
he may deduct this from the sum he owes me : I am
anxious that those who work for me should lose as
little as possible by it. < Wellington's Victory at Vit-
toria'* must have arrived long ago through the Messrs.
Coutts. Mr. Birchall need not send payment till he is
in possession of all the works ; only do not delay letting
me know when the day is fixed for the publication of
the pianoforte arrangement. For to-day, I only further
earnestly recommend my affairs to your care ; I shall
be equally at your service at any time. Farewell, dear
My good Zmeskall,
I was shocked to discover to-day that I had omitted
replying to a proposal from the ( Society of Friends to
Music in the Austrian States ' to write an Oratorio for
* ' This is also to be the title of the pianoforte arrangement.' (Note
ARTISTIC RESOURCES. 195
The death of my brother two months ago, which,
owing to the guardianship of my nephew having de-
volved on me, has involved me in all sorts of annoyances
and perplexities, has caused this delay in my answer.
In the meantime, the poem of Herr van Seyfried is
already begun, and I purpose shortly to set it to music.
I need not tell you how very flattering I consider such
a commission, for how could I think otherwise ? and I
shall endeavour to acquit myself as honourably as my
poor talents will admit of.
With regard to our artistic resources, when the
time for the performance arrives I shall certainly take
into consideration those usually at our disposal, with-
out, however, strictly limiting myself to them. I hope I
have made myself clearly understood on this point. As
I am urged to say what gratuity I require in return, I
beg to know whether the Society will consider 400 gold
ducats a proper remuneration for such a work ? I once
more entreat the forgiveness of the Society for the de-
lay in my answer, but I am in some degree relieved by
knowing that, at all events, you, my dear friend, nave
already verbally apprised the Society of my readiness to
write a work of the kind.*
Ever, my worthy Z.,
* In the ' Fischof sche Handschrift ' we are told : — ' The allusion to
"our artistic resources" requires some explanation. Herr v. Zmeskall
had at that time received instructions to give a hint to the great com-
196 BEET HO YEN'S LETTERS.
To Mdlle. Milder-IIauptmann*
Vienna, Jan. 6, 1816.
My highly valued Mdlle. Milder, my dear Friend,
I have too long delayed writing to you. How
gladly would I personally participate in the enthusiasm
you excite at Berlin in ' Fidelio ' ! A thousand thanks on
my part for having so faithfully adhered to my ' Fidelio.'
If you will ask Baron de la Motte-Fouque, in my name,
to discover a good subject for an Opera, and one suitable
likewise to yourself, you will do a real service both to
me and to the German stage ; it is also my wish to
write it expressly for the Berlin Theatre, as no new
Opera can ever succeed in being properly given here
poser (who paid little regard to the difficulty of executing his works)
that he must absolutely take into consideration the size of the orchestra,
which at grand concerts amounted to 700 performers. The Society only
stipulated for the exclusive right to the work for one year, and did not
purchase the copyright ; they undertook the gratuity for the poem also,
so they were obliged to consult their pecuniary resources, and informed
the composer that they were prepared to give him 200 gold ducats fur
the use of the work for a year, as they had proposed. Beethoven was
quite satisfied, and made no objection whatever ; he received an advance
on this sum according to his own wish, the receipt of which he acknow-
ledged in 1819. Beethoven rejected the first poem selected, and desired
to have another. The Society left his choice quite free. Herr Bernhard
undertook to supply a new one. Beethoven and he consulted together
in choosing the subject, but Herr Bernhard, overburdened by other
business, could only send the poem bit by bit. Beethoven, however,
would not begin till the whole was in his hands.
* Mdlle. Milder married Hauptmann, a jeweller in Munich, in 1810,
travelled in 1812, and was engaged at Berlin in 1816.
HIGH APPRECIATION OF GENIUS.
under this very penurious direction. Answer me soon,
very soon — quickly, very quickly — as quickly as possible
— as quick as lightning — and say whether such a thing
is practicable. Herr Kapellmeister B. praised you up
to the skies to me, and he is right ; well may he esteem
himself happy who has the privilege of enjoying your
muse, your genius, and all your splendid endowments
and talents ; — it is thus I feel. Be this as it may, those
around can only call themselves your fellow-creatures
[Nebenmann], whereas I alone have a right to claim
the honoured name of captain [Hawptmann].
In my secret heart, your true friend and admirer,
My poor unfortunate brother is dead, which has
been the cause of my long silence. As soon as you
have replied to this letter, I will write myself to Baron
de la Motte-Fouque. No doubt your influence in Ber-
lin will easily obtain for me a commission to write a
Grrand Opera (in which you shall be especially studied)
on favourable terms; but do answer me soon, that I
may arrange my other occupations accordingly.
- f- — f~ p~
-r &— r
bru * . * 'cfe ©te cm'S £erg !
3d) litf * fe @ie,
3d) ber $aupt*mami/ ber £aupt = mann.
Away with all other false Hduptrriariner ! [captains].
198 beethoven's letters.
Vienna, Jan. 20, 1816.
The Symphony is to be dedicated to the Empress
of Kussia. The pianoforte score of the Symphony in A
must not, however, appear before June, for the pub-
lisher here cannot be ready sooner. Pray, dear Eies,
inform Mr. Birchall of this at once. The Sonata with
violin accompaniment, which will be sent from here by
the next post, can likewise be published in London in
May, but the Trio at a later date (it follows by the next
post) ; I will myself name the time for its publication.
And now, dear Eies, pray receive my heartfelt thanks
for your kindness, and especially for the corrections of
the proofs. May Heaven bless you more and more,
and promote your progress, in which I take the most
sincere interest. My kind regards to your wife. Now
Your sincere friend,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To Mr. Birchall, — London.
Vienne, le 3. Febr. den 1816.
Vous receues ci joint
Le grand Trio p. Pf. V. et Vllo. Sonata pour Pf. et
Violin — qui form le reste de ce qu'il vous a plus a me
HEAVY EXPENSES. 199
comettre. Je vous prie de vouloir payer la some de 130
Ducats d'Holland come le poste lettre a Mr. Th. Cutts et
Co. de votre ville e de me croire avec toute l'estime et
votre tres humble Serviteur
Louis van Beethoven.
My dear Czerny,
Pray give the enclosed to your parents for the
dinners the boy had recently at your house ; I positively
will not accept these gratis. Moreover, I am very far
from wishing that your lessons should remain without
remuneration — even those already given must be reck-
oned up and paid for ; only I beg you to have a little
patience for a time, as nothing can be demanded from
the widow, and I had and still have heavy expenses to
defray ; — but I borrow from you for the moment only.
The boy is to be with you to-day, and I shall come later.
* CarlCzerny, the celebrated pianist and composer, for whom Beethoven
wrote a testimonial in 1805 (see No. 42). He gave lessons to Beethoven's
nephew in 1815, and naturally protested against any payment, which
gave rise to the expressions on the subject in many of his notes to
Czerny, of which there appear to be a great number.
200 beethoye,n's lettees.
Vienna, Feb. 12, 1816.
I cannot see you to-da} 7 , but I will call to-morrow,
being desirous to talk to you. I spoke out so bluntly
yesterday that I much regretted it afterwards. But you
must forgive this on the part of an author, who would
have preferred hearing his work as he wrote it, how-
ever charmingly you played it. I will, however, amply
atone for this by the violoncello Sonata.f
Rest assured that I cherish the greatest regard for
you as an artist, and I shall always endeavour to prove
Your true friend,
To Ries, — London.
Vienna, Feb. 28, 1816.
. . . For some time past I have been far from well ;
the loss of my brother affected both my spirits and my
* Czerny, in the 'A. M. Zeitung,' 1845, relates:—' On one occasion (in
1812), at Schuppanzigh's concert, when playing Beethoven's Quintett
with wind-instruments, I took the liberty, in my youthful levity, to make
many alterations — such as introducing difficulties into the passages,
making use of the upper octaves, &c. &c. Beethoven sternly and de-
servedly reproached me for this, in the presence of Schuppanzigh,
Linke, and the other performers.'
f Opera G9, which Czerny (see ' A. M. Zeitung') was to perform with
Linke the following week.
HIS NEPHEW PLACED AT SCHOOL. 201
works. Salomon's death grieves me much, as he was an
excellent man whom I have known from my childhood.
You are his executor by will, while I am the guardian
of my late poor brother's child. You can scarcely have
had as much vexation from Salomon's death as I have
had from that of my brother ! — but I have the sweet
consolation of having rescued a poor innocent child from
the hands of an unworthy mother. Farewell, dear Eies ;
if I can in any way serve you, look on me as
Your true friend,
To Giannatasio del Rio, — Vienna.
I have great pleasure in saying that at last I intend
to-morrow to place under your care the dear pledge en-
trusted to me. But I must impress on you not to per-
mit any influence on the mother's part to decide when
and where she is to see her son. We can, however, dis-
cuss all this more minutely to-morrow. . ... You
must keep a watchful e}^ on your servant, for mine w T as
bribed by her on one occasion. More as to this verbally,
though it is a subject on which I w T ould fain be silent ;
but the future welfare of the youth you are to train
renders this unpleasant communication necessary. I
remain, with esteem,
Your faithful servant and friend,
202 beethoyen's letters.
To G. del Rio.
Your estimable lady, Mdme. A. Gr. [Griannatasio] is
politely requested to let the undersigned know as soon
as possible (that I may not be obliged to keep it all in
my head) how many pairs of stockings, trowsers, shoes,
and drawers are required, and how many yards of ker-
seymere to make a pair of black trowsers for my tall
nephew ; and for the sake of the i Castalian Spring ' I
beg, without any further reminders on my part, that I
may receive an answer to this.
As for the Lady Abbess [a nickname for their only
daughter], there shall be a conference held on Carl's
affair to-night, viz., if things are to continue as they
Your well (and ill) born
To G. del Rio.
I heard yesterday evening, unluckily at too late an
hour, that you had something to give me ; had it not
been for this, I would have called on you. I beg, how-
ever, that you will send it, as I have no doubt it is a
letter for me from the ' Queen of the Night.' * Although
^ o o
* The ' Queen of the Night ' was the name given to Carl's mother by
Beethoven. She was a person of great levity of conduct and bad repu-
GUARDIAN AND WARD. 203
you gave me permission to fetch Carl twice already, I
must ask you to let him come to me when I send for him
at eleven o'clock to-morrow, as I wish to take him with
me to hear some interesting music. It is also my in-
tention to make him play to me to-morrow, as it is now
some time since I heard him. I hope you will urge him
to study more closely than usual to-day, that he may
in some degree make up for his holiday. I embrace you
cordially, and remain,
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To G. del Rio*
I send you, dear Sir, the cloak, and also a school-
book of my Carl's, and request you will make out a list
of his clothes and effects, that I may have it copied for
myself, being obliged, as his guardian, to look carefully
after his property. I intend to call for Carl to-morrow
about half-past twelve o'clock to take him to a little
concert, and wish him to dine with me afterwards, and
shall bring him back myself. With respect to his mother,
tation, and every effort was made by Beethoven to withdraw her son
from her influence, on which account he at once removed him from her
care, and placed him in this Institution. She consequently appealed to
the law against him — the first step in a long course of legal proceedings
of the most painful nature.
* Beethoven's arbitrary authority had been previously sanctioned by a
decree of the Court, and the mother deprived of all power over her son.
I desire that under the pretext of the boy being so busy,
you will not let her see him ; no man on earth can know
or judge of this matter better than myself, and by any
other line of conduct all my well-matured plans for the
welfare of the child might be materially injured. I will
myself discuss with you when the mother is henceforth
to have access to Carl, for I am anxious on every account
to prevent the occurrence of yesterday ever being re-
peated. I take all the responsibility on myself; indeed,
so far as I am concerned, the Court conferred on me
full powers, and the authority at once to counteract
anything adverse to the welfare of the boy. If they
could have looked on her in the light of an estimable
mother, they assuredly would not have excluded her
from the guardianship of her child. Whatever she
may think fit to assert, nothing has been done in a
clandestine manner against her. There was but one
voice in the whole council on the subject. I hope to
have no further trouble in this matter, for the burden
is already heavy enough.
From a conversation I had yesterday with Adlersburg
[his lawyer], it would appear that a long time must yet
elapse before the Court can decide what really belongs
to the child. In addition to all these anxieties am I also
to endure a persecution such as I have recently ex-
perienced, and from which I thought I was entirely
rescued by your Institution ? Farewell !
I am, with esteem, your obedient
L. v. Beethoven.
LIMITED INCOME. 205
To Ferdinand Ries, — London.
Vienna, March 8, 1816.
My answer has been too long delayed ; but I was ill,
and had a great press of business. Not a single farthing-
is yet come of the ten gold ducats, and I now almost
begin to think that the English are only liberal when
in foreign countries. It is the same with the Prince
Eegent, who has not even sent me the cost of copying
my ' Battle Symphony,' nor one verbal or written ex-
pression of thanks. My whole income consists of 3,400
florins, in paper-money. I pay 1,100 for house-rent,
and 900 to my servant and his wife, so you may reckon
for yourself what remains. Besides this, the entire
maintenance of my young nephew devolves on me. At
present he is at school, which costs 1,100 florins, and is
by no means a good one, so that I must arrange a proper
household and have him with me. How much money
must be made to live at all here ! and yet there seems
no end to it — because! — because! — because! — but you
know well what I mean.
Some commissions from the Philharmonic would be
very acceptable to me, besides the concert. Now let
me say that my dear scholar Kies must set to work and
dedicate something valuable to me, to which his master
may respond, and repay him in his own coin. How can
I send you my portrait ? My kind regards to your wife.
206 beethoven's letters.
I, alas ! have none. One alone I wished to possess, but
never shall I call her mine ! * This, however, has not
made me a woman-hater.
Your true friend,
To F. Ries.
Vienna, April 3, 1816.
Neatef is no doubt in London by this time. He
took several of my works with him, and promised to
do the best he could for me.
The Archduke Eudolph [Beethoven's pupil. See
* See the statement of Fraulein del Rio in the ' Grenzhoten.' We read:
— ' My father's idea was that marriage alone could remedy the sad con-
dition of Beethoven's household matters, so he asked him whether he
knew anyone, &c. &c. Our long-existing presentiment was then realised.'
His love was unfortunate. Five years ago he had become acquainted with
a person with whom he would have esteemed it the highest felicity of
his life to have entered into closer ties ; but it was vain to think of it,
being almost an impossibility ! a chimera ! and yet his feelings re-
mained the same as the very first day he had seen her ! He added, ' that
never before had he found such harmony ! but no declaration had ever
been made, not being able to prevail on himself to do so.' This conver-
sation took place in Sept., 1816, at Helenenthal, in Baden, and the
person to whom he alluded was undoubtedly Marie L. Pachler-Koschak
in Gratz. (See No. 80.)
f Charles Neate, a London artist, as Schindler styles him in his
'Biography' (ii. 254), was on several different occasions for some time
resident in Vienna, and very intimate with Beethoven, whom he tried
to persuade to come to London. He also was of great service in pro-
moting the sale of his works. A number of Neate's letters preserved
in the Berlin State Library testify his faithful and active devotion, and
attachment to the master.
POWER OF ATTORNEY. 207
No. 70] also plays your works with me, my dear Eies ;
of these i II Sogno ' especially pleased us. Farewell !
Eemember me to your charming wife, and to any fair
English ladies who care to receive my greetings.
Your true friend,
Power of Attorney.
Vienna, May 2, 1816.
I authorise Herr v. Kauka, Doctor of Laws in the
kingdom of Bohemia, relying on his friendship, to obtain
for me the receipt of 600 florins W. W., payable at the
treasury of Prince Kinsky, from the house of Ballabene
in Prague, and after having drawn the money to trans-
mit the same to me as soon as possible.
Witness my hand and seal.
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To F. Ries.
Vienna, June 11, 1816.
My dear Eies,
I regret much to put you to the expense of postage
on my account ; gladly as I assist and serve everyone, I
am always unwilling myself to have recourse to others.
I have as yet seen nothing of the ten ducats, whence I
draw the inference that in England, just as with us,
there are idle talkers who prove false to their word. I do
not at all blame you in this matter. I have not heard
208 beethoven's letters.
a syllable from Neate, so I do wish you would ask him
whether he has disposed of the F minor Concerto. I am
almost ashamed to allude to the other works I entrusted
to him, and equally so of myself, for having given them
to him so confidingly, devoid of all conditions save
those suggested by his own friendship and zeal for my
A translation has been sent to me of an article in
the 'Morning Chronicle' on the performance of the
Symphony. Probably it will be the same as to this and
all the other works Neate took with him as with the
' Battle Symphony ; ' the only profit I shall derive will
be reading a notice of their performance in the news-
To G. del Rio.
My worthy Gk,
I beg you will send Carl to me with the bearer of
this letter, otherwise I shall not be able to see him all
day, which would be contrary to his own interest, as my
influence seems to be required ; in the same view, I beg
you will give him a few lines with a report of his con-
duct, so that I may enter at once on any point where
improvement is necessary.
I am going to the country to-day, and shall not return
till rather late at night ; being always unwilling to
infringe your rules, I beg you will send some night-
AN APOLOGY. 209
things with Carl, so that if we return too late to bring
him to you to-day, I can keep him all night, and take
him back to you myself early next morning.
In haste, always yours,
L. v. Beethoven.
To G. del Rio.
I must apologise to you, my good friend, for Carl
having come home at so late an hour. We were obliged
to wait for a person who arrived so late that it detained
us, but I will not soon repeat this breach of your rules.
As to Carl's mother, I have now decided that your wish
not to see her again in your house shall be acceded to.
This course is far more safe and judicious for our dear
Carl, experience having taught me that every visit from
his mother leaves a root of bitterness in the boy's heart,
which may injure, but never can benefit him. I shall
strive to arrange occasional meetings at my house, which
is likely to result in everything being entirely broken
off with her. As we thoroughly agree on the subject of
Carl's mother, we can mutually decide on the mode of
Your true friend,
YOL. I. P
210 beethoven's letters.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Vienna, July 11, 1816.
Your kindness towards me induces me to hope that
you will not attribute to any selfish design on my part
the somewhat audacious (though only as to the surprise)
dedication annexed. The work * was written for Y. E. H.,
or rather, it owes its existence to you, and this the world
(the musical world) ought to know. I shall soon have
the honour of waiting on Y. E. H. in Baden. Notwith-
standing all the efforts of my physician, who will not
allow me to leave this, the weakness in my chest is no
better, though my general health is improved. I hope
to hear all that is cheering of your own health, about
which I am always so much interested.
Written in English to Mr. Birchall.
Eeceived March 1816 of Mr. Eobert Birchall— Mu-
sic-seller 133 New Bond Street London — the* sum of
One Hundred and thirty Gold Dutch Ducats, value in
* Does Beethoven here allude to the dedication of the Sonata for
pianoforte and violin in G major, Op. 96, which, though sold to a pub-
lisher in April 1815, was designated as quite new in the 'Allgemeine
Zeitung ' on July 29, 1816 ?
AGREEMENT WITH PUBLISHERS. 211
English Currency Sixty Five Pounds for all my Copy-
right and Interest, present and future, vested or con-
tingent, or otherwise within the United kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland in the four following Com-
positions or Pieces of Music composed or arranged by
1 st * A Grand Battle Sinfonia, descriptive of the
Battle and Victory at Vittoria, adopted for the Pianoforte
and dedicated to His Eoyal Highness the Prince Kegent
— 40 Ducats.
2 nd - A Grand Symphony in the key of A, adapted to
the Pianoforte and dedicated to —
3 d * A Grand Trio for the Pianoforte, Violon and
Violoncello in the key of B.
4 th * A Sonata for the Pianoforte with an Accompani-
ment for the Violin in the key of G-. dedicated to —
And, in consideration of such payment I hereby for
myself, my Executors and Administrators promise and
engage to execute a proper Anignment thereof to him,
his Executors and Administrators or Anignees at his or
their Bequest and Costs, as he or they shall direct. —
And I likewise promise and engage as above, that nome
of the above shall be published in any foreign Coun-
try, before the time and day fixed and agreed on for
such Publication between B. Birchall and myself shall
L. van Beethoven.
212 BEETHOVEN S LETTERS.
Written in French to Mr. Birchall, — London.
Vienne 22. Juilliet 1816.
J'ai recu la declaration de propriete de mes Oeuvres
entierement cede a Vous pour y adjoindrema Signature.
Je suis tout a fait disposer a seconder vos voeux si tot,
que cette affaire sera entierement en ordre, en egard de
la petite somme de 10 Jf d'or Ja quelle me vient encore
pour le fieux de la Copieture de poste de lettre etc.
comme j'avois Thonneur de vous expliquier dans une note
detaille sur ses object es. Je vous invite done Monsieur
de bien vouloir me remettre ces petits objects, pour me
mettre dans l'etat de pouvoir vous envoyer le Document
susdit. Agrees Monsieur l'assurance de l'estime la plus
parfait avec la quelle j'ai l'honneur de me dire
Louis van Beethoven.
Postage to Amsterdam 1.
Trio ... 2.
To G. del Rio.
July 28, 1816.
My good Friend,
Various circumstances compel me to take charge
of Carl myself; with this view permit me to enclose
THE ' QUEEN OP THE NIGHT.' 2 1 3
you the amount due at the approaching quarter, at the
expiry of which Carl is to leave you. Do not, I beg,
ascribe this to anything derogatory either to yourself
or to your respected Institution, but to other pressing
motives connected with Carl's welfare. It is only an
experiment, and when it is actually carried out I shall
beg you to fortify me by your advice, and also to permit
Carl sometimes to visit your Institution. I shall always
feel the most sincere gratitude to you, and never can
forget your solicitude, and the kind care of your ex-
cellent wife, which has fully equalled that of the best of
mothers. I would send you at least four times the sum
I now do, if my position admitted of it, but at all events
I shall avail myself at a future and, I hope, a brighter
day, of every opportunity to acknowledge and to do
justice to the foundation you have laid for the moral
and physical good of my Carl. With regard to the
' Queen of the Night,' our system must continue the
same, and as Carl is about to undergo an operation in
your house which will cause him to feel indisposed, and
consequently make him irritable and susceptible, you
must be more careful than ever to prevent her having
access to him, otherwise she might easily contrive to
revive all those impressions in his mind which we are
so anxious to avoid. What confidence can be placed in
any promised reform on her part, the impertinent scrawl
I enclose will best prove [in reference, no doubt, to an
enclosed note]. I send it merely to show you how fully
214 beethoyen's letters.
I am justified in the precautions I have already adopted
with regard to her. On this occasion, however, I did
not answer like a Sarastro, but like a Sultan. I would
gladly spare you the anxiety of the operation on Carl,
but as it must take place in your house, I beg you will
inform me of the outlay caused by the affair, and the
expenses consequent on it, which I will thankfully
repay. Now farewell ! Say all that is kind from me to
your dear children and your excellent wife, to whose
continued care I commend my Carl. I leave Vienna
to-morrow at 5 o'clock A.M., but shall frequently come
in from Baden.
Ever, with sincere esteem, your
L. v. Beethoven.
To G. del Rio.
Mdme. A, Gr. is requested to order several pairs of
good linen drawers for Carl. I entrust Carl to her
kindness, and entirely rely on her motherly care.
Baden, September 5, 1816.
I dont know whether you received a note that I
recently left on the threshold of your door, for the time
was too short to enable me to see you. I must therefore
CHANGE OF SERVANT. 215
repeat my request about another servant, as the conduct
of my present one is such that I cannot possibly keep
him.* He was engaged on the 25th of April, so on the
25th of September he will have beenfive months with me,
and he received 50 florins on account. The money for
his boots will be reckoned from the third month (in my
service), and from that time at the rate of 40 florins per
annum, his livery also from the third month. From
the very first I resolved not to keep him, but delayed
discharging him, as I wished to get back the value of
my florins. In the meantime, if I can procure another,
I will let this one leave my service on the 15th of the
month, and also give him 20 florins for boot money, and
5 florins a month for livery (both reckoned from the
third month), making altogether 35 florins. I ought
therefore still to receive 15 florins, but these I am
willing to give up ; in this way I shall at all events re-
ceive some equivalent for my 50 florins. If you can
find a suitable person, I will give him 2 florins a day
while I am in Baden, and if he knows how to cook he
can use my firewood in the kitchen. (I have a kitchen,
though I do not cook in it.) If not, I will add a few
kreuzers to his wages. As soon as I am settled in
Vienna, he shall have 40 florins a month, and board and
livery as usual, reckoned from the third month in my
service, like other servants. It would be a good thino*
* During a quarrel, the servant scratched Beethoven's face.
if he understood a little tailoring. So now you have
my proposals, and I beg for an answer by the 10th of
this month at the latest, that I may discharge my
present servant on the 2nd, with the usual fortnight's
warning ; otherwise I shall be obliged to keep him for
another month, and every moment I wish to get rid of
him. As for the new one, you know pretty well what
I require — good, steady conduct, a good character, and
not to be of a bloodthirsty nature, that I may feel my
life to be safe, as, for the sake of various scamps in this
world, I should like to live a little longer. By the 10th,
therefore, I shall expect to hear from you on this
affair. If you don't run restive, I will soon send you my
treatise on the four violoncello strings, very profoundly
handled ; the first chapter devoted exclusively to en-
trails in general, the second to catgut in particular. I
need scarcely give you any further warnings, as you
seem to be quite on your guard against wounds inflicted
before certain fortresses. The most 'profound peace
everywhere prevails ! ! ! Farewell, my good Zmeskdll-
chenl I am, as ever, un povero musico and your
N.B. — I shall probably only require my new servant
for some months, as, for the sake of my Carl, I must
shortly engage a housekeeper.
TRANSMISSION OF MONET. 217
To Herr Kauha.
Baden, Sept. 6, 1816.
My worthy K.,
I send you herewith the receipt according to your
request, and beg that you will kindly arrange that I
should have the money by the 1st October, and without
any deduction, which has hitherto been the case ; I also
particularly beg you will not assign the money to Baron
P. (I will tell you why when we meet; for the pre-
sent let this remain between ourselves). Send it either
direct to myself, or, if it must come through another
person, do not let it be Baron P. It would be best for
the future, as the house-rent is paid here for the great
house belonging to Kinsky, that my money should be
paid at the same time. This is only my own idea. The
Terzett you heard of will soon be engraved, which is
infinitely preferable to all written music ; you shall
therefore receive an engraved copy, and likewise some
more of my unruly offspring. In the meantime I beg
that you will see only what is truly good in them, and
look with an indulgent eye on the human frailties of
these poor innocents. Besides, I am full of cares, being
in reality father to my late brother's child ; indeed I
might have ushered into the world a second part of the
FloMto Magico, having also been brought into contact
with a i Queen of the Night.' I embrace you from my
heart, and hope soon in so far to succeed that yon may
owe some thanks to my mnse. My dear, worthy Kauka,
I ever am your truly attached friend,
What would be the result were I to leave this, and
indeed the kingdom of Austria altogether ? Would the
life-certificate, if signed by the authorities of a non-
Austrian place, still be valid ?
I beg you will let me know the postage all my letters
have cost you.
To G. del Rio.
Sunday, September 22, 1816.
Certain things can never be fully expressed. Of this
nature are my feelings, and especially my gratitude, on
hearing the details of the operation on Carl from you.
You will excuse my attempting even remotely to shape
these into words. I feel certain, however, that you will
not decline the tribute I gladly pay you ; — but I say no
more. You can easily imagine my anxiety to hear how
my dear son is going on : do not omit to give me your
exact address, that I may write to you direct. After
you left this I wrote to Bernhard [Bernard], to make
enquiries at your house, but have not yet got an answer;
so possibly you may have thought me a kind of half-
reckless barbarian, as no doubt Herr B. has neglected
to call on you, as well as to write to me. I can have
no uneasiness about Carl when your admirable wife is
with him — that is quite out of the question. You can
well understand how much it grieves me not to be able
to take part in the sufferings of my Carl, and that I at
least wish to hear frequently of his progress. As I have
renounced such an unfeeling, unsympathising friend
as Herr B. [Bernard], I must have recourse to your
friendship and complaisance on this point also," and
shall hope soon to receive a few lines from you. I beg
to send my best regards and a thousand thanks to your
I wish you to express to Smetana [the surgeon] my
esteem and high consideration.
To G. del Rio.
If you do not object, I beg you will allow Carl to come
to me with the bearer of this. I forgot, in my haste, to
say that all the love and goodness which Mdme. A. Gr.
[Griannatasio] showed my Carl during his illness are in-
scribed in the list of my obligations, and I hope one day
to show that they are ever present in my mind. Perhaps
I may see you to-day with Carl.
In haste, your sincere friend,
L. v. Beethoven.
I take the opportunity through J. Simrock to remind
you of myself. I hope you received the eD graving of
me [by Letronne], and likewise the Bohemian glass.
When I next make a pilgrimage through Bohemia you
shall have something more of the same kind. Farewell !
You are a husband and a father; so am I, but without
a wife. My love to your dear ones — to our dear ones.
L. v. Beethoven.
Written in English to Mr. Birchall, Music Seller,
Vienna, 1. Oct. 1816.
My Dear Sir,
I have duly received the £5 and thought previously
you would non increase the number of Englishmen neg-
lecting their word and honor, as I had the misfortune
of meeting with two of this sort. In replic to the other
topics of your favor, I have no objection to write va-
riations according to your plan, and I hope you will not
INSTRUCTIONS TO PUBLISHERS. 221
find £30 too much, the Acompaniment will be a Flute
or Violon or a Violoncello ; you'll either decide it when
you send me the approbation of the price, or you'll leave
it to me. I expect to receive the songs or poetry — the
sooner the better, and you'll favor me also with the pro-
bable number of Works of Variations you are inclined
to receive of me. The Sonata in Gr with the accompan t#
of a Violin to his Imperial Highnesse Archduke Eodolph
of Austria — it is Op a * 96. The Trio in B b is dedicated
to the same and is Op. 97. The Piano arrangement of
the Symphony in A is- dedicated to the Empress of the
Eussians — meaning the Wife of the Emp r * Alexander —
Concerning the expences of copying and packing it is
not possible to fix him before hand, they are at any rate
not considerable, and you'll please to consider that you
have to deal with a man of honor, who will not charge
one 6 P * more than he is charged for himself. Messrs.
Fries & Co. will account with Messrs. Coutts & Co. —
The postage may be lessened as I have been told. . I
offer you of my Works the following new ones. A Grand
Sonata for the Pianoforte alone £40. A Trio for the
Piano with accomp*- of Violin and Violoncell for £50.
It is possible that somebody will offer you other works
of mine to purchase, for ex. the score of the Grand Sym-
phony in A. — With regard to the arrangement of this
Symphony for the Piano I beg you not to forget that you
are not to publish it until I have appointed the day of
its publication here in Vienna. This cannot be otherwise
without making myself guilty of a dishonorable act —
but the Sonata with the Violin and the Trio in B fl.
may be published without any delay.
With all the new works, which you will have of me
or which I offer you, it rests with you to name the day
of their publication at your own choise : I entreat you
to honor me as soon as possible with an answer having
many ordres for compositions and that you may not be
delayed. My adress or direction is
Monsieur Louis van Beethoven
No. 1055 & 1056 Sailerstette 3 d - Stock. Vienna.
You may send your letter, if you please, direct to your
most humble servant
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Oct. 24, 1816.
Well born, and yet evil born ! (as we all are !)
We are in Baden to-day, and intend to bring the
celebrated naturalist Eibini a collection of dead leaves.
To-morrow we purpose paying you not only a visit but
Ludwig van Beethoven.
ILL HEALTH AND MANY CARES. 223
To the Archduke Rudolph.
I have been again much worse, so that I can only
venture to go out a little in the daytime ; I am, however,
getting better, and hope now to have the honour of
waiting on Y. E. H. three times a week. Meanwhile,
I have many and great cares in these terrible times
(which surpass anything we have ever experienced), and
which are further augmented by having become the
father since last November of a poor orphan. All this
tends to retard my entire restoration to health. I wish
Y. E. H. all imaginable good and happiness, and beg
you will graciously receive and not misinterpret
Your, &c. &c.
To Freiherr von Schweiger.
Most amiable !
First and foremost Turner Meister of Europe !
The bearer of this is a poor devil ! (like many
another ! ! !). You could assist him by asking your
gracious master whether he is disposed to purchase one
of his small but neat pianos. I also beg you will re-
commend him to any of the Chamberlains or Adjutants
* A year after Carl von Beethoven's death (November 15, 1815).
224 Beethoven's letters.
of the Archduke Carl, to see whether it is possible that
H. E. H. would buy one of these instruments for his
Duchess. We therefore request an introduction from
the illustrious Turner Meister for this poor devil * to
the Chamberlains and Adjutants of the household.
[K.] L. v. Beethoven.
To G. del Rio.
Nov. 16, 1816.
My dear Friend,
My household seems about to make shipwreck, or
something very like it. You know that I was duped
into taking this house on false pretexts; besides, my
health does not seem likely to improve in a hurry.
To engage a tutor under such circumstances, whose cha-
racter and whose very exterior even are unknown to
me, and thus to entrust my Carl's education to hap-
hazard, is quite out of the question, no matter how
great the sacrifices which I shall be again called on to
make. I beg you, therefore, to keep Carl for the en-
suing quarter, commencing on the 9th. I will in so
far comply with your proposal as to the cultivation of
the science of music, that Carl may come to me two or
three times a week, leaving you at six o'clock in the
* A name cannot now be found for the ' poor devil.'
A SHIPWRECKED HOUSEHOLD. 225
evening and staying with me till the following morning,
when he can return to you by eight o'clock. It would be
too fatiguing for Carl to come every day, and indeed
too great an effort and tie for me likewise, as the les-
sons must be given at the same fixed hour.
During this quarter we can discuss more minutely the
most suitable plan for Carl, taking into consideration
both his interests and my own. I must, alas ! mention
my own also in these times, which are daily getting
worse. If your garden residence had agreed with my
health, everything might have been easily adjusted.
With regard to my debt to you for the present quarter,
I beg you will be so obliging as to call on me, that I
may discharge it ; the bearer of this has the good
fortune to be endowed by Providence with a vast
amount of stupidity, which I by no means grudge him
the benefit of, provided others do not suffer by it. As
to the remaining expenses incurred for Carl, either
during his illness or connected with it, I must, for a
few days only, request your indulgence, having great
calls on me at present from ?dl quarters. I wish also to
know what fee I ought to give Smetana for the suc-
cessful operation he performed; were I rich, or not in
the same sad position in which all are who have linked
their fate to this country (always excepting Austrian
usurers), I would make no enquiries on the subject ;
and I only wish you to give me a rough estimate of the
VOL. I. Q
226 Beethoven's letters.
proper fee. Farewell ! I cordially embrace you, and
shall always look on you as a friend of mine and of
I am, with esteem, your
L. v. Beethoven.
To G. del Rio.
Though I would gladly spare you all needless disagree-
able trouble, I cannot, unluckily, do so on this occasion.
Yesterday, in searching for some papers, I found this
pile, which has been sent to me respecting Carl. I do not
quite understand them, and you would oblige me much
by employing some one to make out a regular statement
of all your outlay for Carl, so that I may send for it to-
morrow. I hope you did not misunderstand me when
I yesterday alluded to magnanimity, which certainly
was not meant for you, but solely for the ' Queen of the
Night,' who is never weary of hoisting the sails of her
vindictiveness against me, so on this account I require
vouchers, more for the satisfaction of others than for
her sake (as I never will submit to render her any
account of my actions). No stamp is required, and the
sum alone for each quarter need be specified, for I
believe most of the accounts are forthcoming, so all
you have to do is to append them to your prospectus
the conclusion illegible].
L. v. Beethoven.
To G. del Rio.
Nov. 14, 1816.
My good Friend,
I beg you will allow Carl to come to me to-
morrow, as it is the anniversary of his father's death
[Nov. 15th], and we wish to visit his grave together.
I shall probably come to fetch him between twelve and
one o'clock. I wish to know the effect of my treatment
of Carl, after your recent complaints. In the mean-
time, it touched me exceedingly to find him so sus-
ceptible as to his honour. Before we left your house
I gave him some hints on his want of industry, and
while walking together in a graver mood than usual, he
pressed my hand vehemently, but met with no response
from me. At dinner he scarcely eat anything, and said
that he felt very melancholy, the cause of which I
could not extract from him. At last, in the course of
our walk, he owned that he was vexed because he had
not been so industrious as usual. I said what I
ought on the subject, but in a kinder manner than
before. This, however, proves a certain delicacy of
feeling, and such traits lead me to augur all that is
good. If I cannot come to you to-morrow, I hope you
will let me know by a few lines the result of my con-
ference with Carl.
I once more beg you to let me have the account due
for the last quarter. I thought that you had misunder-
228 Beethoven's letters.
stood my letter, or even worse than that. I warmly
commend my poor orphan to your good heart, and, with
kind regards to all, I remain
L. v. Beethoven.
To G. del Rio.
My good Friend,
Pray forgive me for having allowed the enclosed
sum to be ready for you during the last twelve days or
more, and not having sent it. I have been very much
occupied, and am only beginning to recover, though
indeed the word recovery has not yet been pronounced.
In haste, with much esteem, ever yours,
L. v. Beethoven.
To Herr Tschischka.
It is certainly of some moment to me not to appear
in a false light, which must account for the accom-
panying statement being so prolix. As to the future
system of education, I can at all events congratulate
myself on having done all that I could possibly effect
at present for the best, and trust that the future may
be in accordance with it. But if the welfare of my
nephew demands a change, I shall be the first not only
to propose such a step, but to carry it out. I am no
BEETHOVEN AND HIS NEPHEW. 229
self-interested guardian, but I wish to establish a new
monument to my name through my nephew. I have
no need of my nephew, but he has need of me. Idle
talk and calumnies are beneath the dignity of a man
with proper self-respect, and what can be said when
these extend even to the subject of linen ! ! ! This
might cause me great annoyance, but a just man ought
to be able to bear injustice without in the most remote
degree deviating from the path of right. In this con-
viction I will stand fast, and nothing shall make me
flinch. To deprive me of my nephew would indeed
entail a heavy responsibility. As a matter of ■policy
as well as of morality, such a step would be productive
of evil results to my nephew. 1" urgently recommend
his interests to you. As for me, my actions for his
benefit (not for my own) must speak for me.
I remain, with esteem,
Being very busy, and rather indisposed, I must claim
your indulgence for the writing of the memorial.
Written in English to Mr. Birchall, — London.
Vienna 14. December 1816 — 1055 Sailerstette.
I give you my word of honor that I have signed
and delivered the recept to the home Fries and Co. some
230 Beethoven's letters.
clay last August, who as they say have transmitted it
to Messrs. Coutts and Co. where you'll have the good-
ness to apply. Some error might have taken place that
instead of Mrssrs. C. sending it to you they have been
directed to keep it till fetched. Excuse this irregu-
larity, but it is not my fault, nor had I ever the idea of
witholding it from the circumstance of the £5 not being-
included. Should the recept not come forth as Messrs.
C, I am ready to sign any other, and you shall have
it directly with return of post.
If you find Variations — in my style — too dear at £30,
I will abate for the sake of your friendship one third —
and you have the offer of such Variations as fixed iu
our former lettres for £20 each Air.
Please to publish the Symphony in A immediately —
as well as the Sonata — and the Trio — they being ready
here. The Grand Opera Fidelio is my work. The ar-
rangement for the Pianoforte has been published here
under my care, but the score of the Opera itself is not
yet published. I have given a copy of the score to
Mr. Neate under the seal of friendship and whom I
shall direct to treat for my account in case an offer
I anxiously hope your health is improving, give me
leave to subscrive myself
Your very obedient Serv.
Ludwig van Beethoven.
A LIVEEY WANTED. 231
Dec. 16, 1816.
With this, dear Zmeskall, you will receive my
friendly dedication [a stringed Quartett, Op. 95], which
may, I hope, serve as a pleasant memorial of our long
enduring friendship here ; pray accept it as a proof of
my esteem, and not merely as the extreme end of a
thread long since spun out (for you are one of my
earliest friends in Vienna).
Farewell ! Beware of mouldering fortresses ! for an
attack on them will be more trying than on those in a
better state of preservation ! As ever,
N.B. — When you have a moment's leisure, let me
know the probable cost of a livery, without linen, but
including hat and boots. Strange changes have come
to pass in my house. The man is off to the devil, I am
thankful to say, whereas his wife seems the more re-
solved to take root here.
To Fran von Streicher — nee Stein.
Dec. 28, 1816.
N ought to have given you the New Year's
tickets yesterday, but it seems she did not do so. The
232 beethoven's letteks.
day before I was occupied with Maelzel, whose business
was pressing, as he leaves this so soon, otherwise you may
be sure that I would have hurried up again to see you.
Your dear kind daughter was with me yesterday, but I
scarcely ever remember being so ill ; my precious ser-
vants were occupied from seven o'clock till ten at
night in trying to heat the stove. The bitter cold, par-
ticularly in my room, caused me a chill, and the whole
of yesterday I could scarcely move a limb. All day I
was coughing, and had the most severe headache I ever
had in my life, so by six o'clock in the evening I was
obliged to go to bed, where I still am, though feeling
somewhat better. Your brother dined with me yester-
day, and has shown me great kindness. You are aware
that on the same day, the 27th of December, I dis-
charged B. [Baberl]. I cannot endure either of these
vile creatures ; I wonder if Nany will behave rather
better from the departure of her colleague ? I doubt it
— but in that case I shall send her packing without any
ceremony. She is too uneducated for a housekeeper,
indeed quite a beast; but the other, in spite of her
pretty face, is even lower than the beasts. As the New
Year draws near, I think five florins will be enough for
Nany ; I have not paid her the charge for making her
spencer, on account of her bad behaviour to you. The
other certainly deserves no New Year's gift ; besides, she
has nine florins of mine on hand, and when she leaves I
don't expect to receive more than four or five florins of
DOMESTIC TOEMENTS. 233
that sum. I wish to have your opinion about all this.
Pray accept my best wishes for your welfare, which are
offered in all sincerity. I am your debtor in so many
ways, that I really often feel quite ashamed. Farewell ;
I trust I may always retain your friendship.
Now, as ever, your friend,
L. v. Beethoven.
To Frau von Stretcher.
I thank you for the interest you take in me. I am
rather better, though to-day again I have been obliged
to endure a great deal from Nany; but I shied half a
dozen books at her head by way of a New Year's gift.
We have stripped off the leaves (by sending off Baberl)
and lopped off the branches, but we must extirpate the
roots, till nothing is left but the actual soil.
To Frau von Streicher.
Nany is not strictly honest, and an odiously stupid
animal into the bargain. Such people must be managed
not by love but by fear. I now see this clearly. Her
account-book alone cannot show you everything clearly ;
you must often drop in unexpectedly at dinner-time,
like an avenging angel, to see with your own eyes what
we actually have. I never dine at home now, unless
I have some friend as my guest, for I have no wish to
pay as much for one person as would serve for four.
I shall now soon have my dear son Carl with me, so
economy is more necessary than ever. I cannot prevail
on myself to go to you : I know you will forgive this.
I am very sensitive, and not used to such things, so the
less ought I to expose myself to them. In addition to
twelve kreuzers for bread, Nany has a roll of white bread
every morning. Is this usual ? — and it is the same with
the cook. A daily roll for breakfast comes to eighteen
florins a year. Farewell, and ivork well for me. Mdlle.
Nany is wonderfully changed for the better since I sent
the half-dozen books at her head. Probably they chanced
to come in collision with her dull brain or her bad
heart ; at all events, she now plays the part of a peni-
tent swindler ! ! !
In haste, yours,
To Frau von Streicher.
Nany yesterday took me to task in the vulgar manner
usual with people of her low class, about my complain-
ing to you, so she evidently knew that I had written
to you on the subject. All the devilry began again
yesterday morning, but I made short work of it by
throwing the heavy arm-chair beside my bed at B.'s
head, which procured me peace for the rest of the day.
They always take their revenge on me when I write to
you, or when they discover any communication be-
I do thank Heaven that I everywhere find men who
interest themselves in me ; one of the most distin-
guished Professors in this University has in the kindest
manner undertaken all that concerns, CarVs education.
If you happen to meet any of the Giannatasios at
Czerny's, you had better know nothing of what is going
on about Carl, and say that it is contrary to my usual
habit to disclose my plans, as when a project is told
to others it is no longer exclusively your own. They
would like to interfere in the matter, and I do not choose
that these commonplace people should do so, both
for my own sake and CarVs. Over their portico is
inscribed, in golden letters, 'Educational Institution,'
whereas e iV<m-Educational Institution ' would be more
As for the servants, there is only one voice about
their immorality, to which all the other annoyances
here may be ascribed.
Pray receive my benediction in place of that of the
In haste, your friend,
* Frau von Streicher was at that time in Klosterneuburg.
To Frau von Streicher.
Judgment was executed to-day on the notorious
criminal ! She bore it nearly in the same spirit as Caesar
did Brutus' dagger, except that in the former case truth
formed the basis, while in hers only wicked malice. The
kitchenmaid seems more handy than the former ill-con-
ducted beauty ; she no longer shows herself — a sign that
she does not expect a good character from me, though
I really had some thoughts of giving her one. The
kitchenmaid at first made rather a wry face about car-
rying wood, &c.
To the Archduke Rudolph.
Last day of December, 1816.
I have been again obliged to keep my room ever
since the Burgher concert,* and some time must no
doubt elapse before I shall be able to dismiss all precau-
tions as to my health. The year is about to close ; and
with this new year my warmest wishes are renewed for
the welfare of Y. R. H. ; but indeed these have neither
beginning nor end with me, for every day I cherish the
same aspirations for Y. R. H. If I may venture to add a
wish for myself to the foregoing, it is, that I may daily
thrive and prosper more in Y. R. H.'s good graces. The
* Beethoven directed his A major Symphony in the Burgher concert
in the Eoyal Kedoutensaal on the 25th December, 1816.
carl's mother. 237
master will always strive not to be unworthy of the
favour of his illustrious master and pupil.
To G. del Rio.
... As to his mother, she urgently requested to see
Carl in my house. You have sometimes seen me tempted
to place more confidence in her, and my feelings would
lead me to guard against harshness towards her, espe-
cially as it is not in her power to injure Carl. But
you may well imagine that to one usually so indepen-
dent of others, the annoyances to which I am exposed
through Carl are often utterly insupportable, and
above all with regard to his mother ; I am only too
glad to hear nothing of her, which is the cause of my
avoiding her name. With respect to Carl, I beg you
will enforce the strictest discipline on him, and if he
refuses to obey your orders or to do his duty, I trust you
will at once punish him. Treat him as if he were your
own child rather than a mere pupil, for I already told
you that during his father's lifetime he only submitted
to the discipline of blows — which was a bad system :
still, such was the fact, and we must not forget it.
If you do not see much of me, pray ascribe it solely
to the little inclination I have for society, which is
sometimes more developed and sometimes less ; and this
you might attribute to a change in my feelings, but it
is not so. What is good alone lives in my memory,
and not what is painful. Pray impute therefore solely
to these hard times my not more practically showing
my gratitude to you on account of Carl. Grod, how-
ever, directs all things, so my position may undergo
a favourable change, when I shall hasten to show you
how truly I am, with sincere esteem, your grateful
L. v. Beethoven.
I beg you will read this letter to Carl.
To G. del Rio.
Carl must be at H. B.'s to-day before four o'clock ; I
must request you therefore to ask his professor to dismiss
him at half-past three o'clock : if this cannot be managed
he must not go into school at all. In the latter case I
will come myself and fetch him, in the former I will
meet him in the passage of the University. To avoid
all confusion, I beg for an explicit answer as to what you
settle. As you have been loudly accused of showing great
party feeling, I will take Carl myself. If you do not
see me, attribute it to my distress of mind, for I am
now only beginning to feel the full force of this terrible
In haste, your Beethoven.
* Probably the reversal of the first decree in the lawsuit with Carl's
mother, who in order to procure a verdict more favourable to her claims,
pointed out to the Austrian ' Landrecht,' where the lawsuit had been
hitherto carried on, an error in their proceedings, the 'Van,' prefixed to
OBJECTION TO MUSICAL TEEMS. 239
To G. del Rio.
The assertions of this wicked woman have made such
a painful impression on me, that I cannot possibly
answer every point to-day ; to-morrow you shall have a
detailed account of it all ; but on no pretext whatever
allow her to have access to Carl, and adhere to your
rule that she is only to see him once a month. As she
has been once this month already, she cannot come
again till the next.
To Hofrath von Mosel.
I sincerely rejoice that we take the same view as
to the terms in use to denote the proper time in music
which have descended to us from barbarous times. For
example, what can be more irrational than the general
term allegro, which only means lively ; and how far we
often are from comprehending the real time, so that the
piece itself contradicts the designation. As for the
four chief movements — which are, indeed, far from pos-
Beethoven's name, having been considered by them a sign of nobility.
Beethoven was cited to appear, and on the appointed day, pointing to his
head and his heart, he said, ' My nobility is here, and here.' The pro-
ceedings were then transferred to the ' magistrate,' who was in universal
bad odour from his mode of conducting his business.
240 Beethoven's letters.
sessing the truth or accuracy of the four cardinal points
— we readily agree to dispense with them, but it is
quite another matter as to the words that indicate the
character of the music ; these we cannot consent to do
away with, for while the time is, as it were, part and
parcel of the piece, the words denote the spirit in which
it is conceived.
So far as I am myself concerned, I have long purposed
giving up those inconsistent terms allegro, andante,
adagio, and presto ; and Maelzel's metronome fur-
nishes us with the best opportunity of doing so. I here
pledge myself no longer to make use of them in any of
my new compositions. It is another question whether
we can by this means attain the necessary universal
use of the metronome. I scarcely think we shall ! I
make no doubt that we shall be loudly proclaimed as
despots, but if the cause itself were to derive benefit
from this, it would at least be better than to incur
the reproach of Feudalism ! In our couotry, where
music has become a national requirement, and where
the use of the metronome must be enjoined on every
village schoolmaster, the best plan would be for Maelzel
to endeavour to sell a certain number of metronomes
by subscription, at the present higher prices, and as
soon as the number covers his expenses, he can sell the
metronomes demanded by the national requirements at
so cheap a rate, that we may certainly anticipate their
universal use and circulation. Of course some persons
BANK-NOTES AND DUCATS. 241
must take the lead in giving an impetus to the under-
taking. You may safely rely on my doing what is in
my power, and I shall be glad to hear what post you
mean to assign to me in the affair.
I am, Sir, with esteem, your obedient
Ludwig van Beethoven.
To S. A. Steiner, Music Publisher, — Vienna.
Highest born ! most admirable ! and marvellous
Lieutenant-Greneral ! #
We beg you to give us bank-notes for twenty-four
gold ducats at yesterday's rate of exchange, and to send
them to us this evening or to-morrow, in order that we
may forthwith remit and transmit them. I should be
glad and happy if your trustworthy Adjutant were to
bring me these, as I have something particular to say
to him. He must forget all his resentment, like a good
Christian : we acknowledge his merits and do not con-
test his demerits. In short, and once for all, we wish
to see him. This evening would suit us best.
We have the honour to remain, most astounding
Lieutenant-Greneral ! your devoted
* Beethoven styled himself ' Greneralissimus,' Herr A. Steiner ' Lieu-
tenant-Greneral,' and his partner, Tobias Haslinger, 'Adjutant' and
VOL. I. R
242 Beethoven's letters.
To Lieutenant-General von Steiner. — Private.
After due consideration, and by the advice of our
Council, we have determined and decreed that hence-
forth on all our works published with German titles, the
word Pianoforte is to be replaced by that of Hammer
Clavier, and our worthy Lieutenant-Gen eral, his Ad-
jutant, and all whom it may concern, are charged with
the execution of this order.
Instead of Pianoforte — Hammer Clavier.
Such is our will and pleasure.
Given on the 23rd of January, 1817, by the Gene-
The following dedication occurred to me of my new
6 Sonata for the Pianoforte,
Composed and dedicated to Frau Baronin Dorothea
Ertmann — nee Graumann,
Ludwig van Beethoven.'
O ADJUTANT 243
If the title is already engraved, I have the two fol-
lowing proposals to make ; viz., that I pay for one title —
I mean that it should be at my expense, or reserved for
another new Sonata of mine, for which purpose the mines
of the Lieutenant-Greneral (or pleno titulo Lieutenant-
General and First Counsellor of State) must be opened to
usher it into the light of day. The title to be previously
shown to a good linguist. Hammer Clavier is certainly
German, and so is the device. Honour to whom
honour is due! How is it, then, that I have as yet
received no reports of the carrying out of my orders,
which, however, have no doubt been attended to ?
Ever and always your attached
O Ad - ju - tant !
N.B. — I beg you will observe the most profound silence
about the dedication, as I wish it to be a surprise !
Jan. 30, 1817.
You seem to place me on a level with Schup-
panzigh, &c, and have distorted the plain and simple
244 beethoven's letters.
meaning of my words. You are not my debtor, but
I am yours, and now you make me so more than ever. I
cannot express to you the pain your gift has caused me,
and I must candidly say that I cannot give "you one
friendly glance in return. Although you confine
yourself to the practice of music, still you. have often
recourse to the power of imagination, and it seems to
me that this not unfrequently leads to uncalled-for
caprice on your part ; at least, so it appeared to me from
your letter after my dedication. Loving as my senti-
ments are towards you, and much as I prize all your
goodness, still I feel provoked ! — much provoked ! — ter-
ribly provoked !
Your debtor afresh,
Who will, however, contrive to have his revenge,
L. van Beethoven.
end of the first volume.
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