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Full text of "Beethoven's letters (1790-1826) from the collection of Dr. Ludwig Nohl. Also his letters to the Archduke Rudolph, cardinal-archbishop of Olmutz, K.W., from the collection of Dr. Ludwig ritter von Köchel"

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VOL. I. 



''''-■>.',-/ <.;: i / t . 



(1790 — 1826) 








VOL. I. 





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 


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 
illustrious man. 

Grace Wallace. 

Aindeeby Haix: 
March 28, 1866. 





In accompanying the present edition of the Letters 
of Ludwig van Beethoven with a few introductory 
remarks, I at once acknowledge that the compilation of 
these letters has cost me no slight sacrifices. I must also, 
however, mention that an unexpected Christmas 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, 

PREFACE. xiii 

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. 

Ludwig Nohl. 

La Tour de Perlz — Lake of Geneva : 
March 1865, 






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 

Francis 6 

4. To Eleonore von Breuning, 

Bonn 7 

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- 

land 16 

13. To the Same 17 

14. To Wegeler 20 

15. To Countess Giulietta Gruic- 

ciardi ..... 26 

VOL. I. 


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- 

hoven 47 

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 

XVI 11 



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 

Oppersdorf 69 

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- 

Purgstall 80 

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 

Treitschke 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 

Schweiger 110 

90. To Varenna, Gratz . . .111 

91. Lines written in the Al- 

bum of Mdme. Auguste 
Sebald 112 

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, 

Gratz 128 

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 




113. To Freiherr Josef von 

Schweiger 138 

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- 

sky 157 

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 

Landrecht 170 

144. To Baron von Pasqualati . 173 

145. To Dr. Kauka . . . .174 

146. To the Archduke Kudolph 175 


life's mission. 

147. Music written in Spohr's 

Album 179 

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- 

mann 196 

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, 

Vienna 201 




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. 



1783 to 1815. 

VOL. I. 




To the Elector of Cologne, Frederick Maximilian* 

Illustrious Prince, 

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 
to rank. 

B 2 

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. 


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. 


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, 

Court Organist. 

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 
character ! 

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 


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 
better fortune. 

When you see B. Koch [subsequently Countess 
Belderbusch], pray say that it is unkind in her never 
once to have written to me. I wrote to her twice, and 
three times to Malchus [afterwards 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. 



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. 

June 1794. 

Dear 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 

Your Beethoven. 

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. 

*ii3i=s fe^i; 

fSa = ron. 

SSa * ror 


{&. =r-~-r-r*- 

- -1 

M . 'S 1 


^-^— 'g- 


_^ 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. 



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.' 


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- 


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, 


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. 


To Wegeler. 

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, 


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 


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 
No. 13.] 

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 


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. 


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 ! 

Your faithful 



Monday evening, July 6. 

You grieve ! dearest of all beings ! I have just heard 
that the letters must be sent off very early. Mondays 
and Thursdays are the only days when the post goes to 
K. from here. You grieve ! Ah ! where I am, there 
you are ever with me : how earnestly shall I strive to 
pass my life with you, and what a life will it be!!! 
Whereas now ! ! without you ! ! and persecuted by the 
kindness of others, which I neither deserve nor try to 
deserve ! The servility of man towards his fellow-man 
pains me, and when I regard myself as a component part 
of the universe, what am I, what is he who is called the 
greatest? — and yet herein are displayed the godlike 
feelings of humanity ! —I weep in thinking that you will 
receive no intelligence from me till probably Saturday. 
However dearly you may love me, I love you more fondly 
still. Never conceal your feelings from me. 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 

July 7. 
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 


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 thine. 
Ever mine. 
Ever each other's. 



To Matthisson. 

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 


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. 

October 1800. 

Dear Lady, 

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 


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 


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 


D 2 

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. 


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 
subscribers here.* 

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.' 


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 
years previously. 

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 


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 


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 

Your friend, 



Dedication to Dr. Schmidt* 

Monsieur ! 

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. 



To his Scholar, Ferdinand Ries* 


Dear Kies, 

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 


[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 


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 ! 

E 2 

52 Beethoven's letters. 


To be read and fulfilled after my death by my bro- 
thers Carl and Johann. 


November 1802. 
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. 


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 
of Brunswick. 

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 ? 

Your friend, 

L. v. Beethoven. 


November, 1803. 

Herr Carl Zulehner, a piratical engraver in Mayence, 
has announced an edition of my collected works for 
the pianoforte and also stringed instruments. I 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. 
Dear Kies, 

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. 
Dear Kies, 

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. 



To Ilerr Ries. 

Baden, July 14, 1804. 

Dear Ries, 

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. 

Dear Ries, 

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 


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. 

Your friend, 

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- 


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. 


Your Beethoven. 
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* 

November 1805. 

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

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.* 


Dear 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. 

Your friend, 


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

* 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 

promising son. 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 


To Herr RdclceL* 

Dear Eockel, 

Be sure that you arrange matters properly with 

Mdlle. Milder, and say to her previously from me, that 

I hope she will not sing anywhere else. I intend to 

call on her to-morrow to kiss the hem of her garment. 

Do not also forget Marconi, and forgive me for giving 

you so much trouble. 

Yours wholly, 


* 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. 



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 

F 2 

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. 

[Manu propria.] 

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- 
tached friend, 



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. 


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 


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. 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. 

To Zmeskall. 

December 1808. 

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 


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 ! 

Your Beethoven. 
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 ! 


To Zmeskall* 

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. 


To Zmeskall. 

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.) 


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. 

To Zmeskall. 

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 


Yours ever, 


78 beethoven's letters. 

To Zmeskall* 

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- 

In haste, 

Your Beethoven. 

To Zmeskall. 

April 17, 1809. 

Dear Z., 

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


To Zmeskall. 

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. 


play it yourself, or let old Kraft* do so. I will tell you 
about the lodging when we meet. 

Your friend, 



To Zmeshall] 

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 

Your friend, 


* 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 
great talents. 

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 
surging waters.' 

f Beichardt states that Stoll was in Vienna in the spring of 1809, 


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 


Your obedient 

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 


art, which in return always casts so bright a reflection 
on us. 

I live in entire quiet and solitude, and even though 
occasional flashes of light arouse me, still since you all 
left this I feel a hopeless void which even my art, 
usually so faithful to me, has not yet triumphed over. 
Your pianoforte is ordered, and you shall soon have it. 
What a difference you must have discovered between 
the treatment of the Theme I 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 

g 2 

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. 


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 

sincere friend, 

L. v. Beethoven. 


To ZmesJcall* 

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. 

To Wegeler. 

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, 


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. 


To Zmeskall. 

July 9, 1810. 
Dear Z., 

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. 



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 


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, 




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. 


strive to find words expressive of my deep reverence 
and admiration. I am about to write to him myself 
with regard to ( Egmont,' for which I have written some 
music solely from my love for his poetry, which always 
delights me. Who can be sufficiently grateful to a great 
poet — the most precious jewel of a nation ! Now no 
more, my dear sweet friend ! I only came home this 
morning at four o'clock from an orgy, where I laughed 
heartily, but to-day I feel as if I could weep as sadly : 
turbulent pleasures always violently recoil on my spirits. 
As for Clemens [Brentano, her brother], pray thank 
him for his complaisance ; with regard to the Cantata, 
the subject is not important enough for us here — it is 
very different in Berlin ; and as for my affection, the 
sister engrosses so large a share, that little remains for 
the brother. Will he be content with this ? 

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

To Zmeskall. 


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 

of ink. 

Your Beethoven. 


To Zmeskall, 

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. 


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. 

Dear Treitschke, 

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. 

To Zmeskall. 

Sept. 10, 1811. 

Dear Zmeskall, 

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 


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. 

Your friend, 



To Zmeskall. 

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. 


To Zmeskall. 

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. 

To ZmeskalL 

Jan. 19, 1812. 
I shall be at the ' Swan ' to-day, dear Z. I have, 
alas ! too much leisure, and you none ! 

Your Beethoven. 

To ZmeskalL* 

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. 


To ZmesJcall. 

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. 



To Zmeskall. 
Dear Zmeskall, 

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. 

H 2 

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 
January 1812. 


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. 
Your obedient 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 

To Zmeskall. 

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 

Your friend, 


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

The enclosed note is at least a week old. 


To Zmeskall. 

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. 

Yours ever, 

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, 
Your obedient 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 

To Zmeskcdl* 

Feb. 19, 1812. 

Dear Z., 

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 


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 ! 

Yours ever, 


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

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. 


To Varenna. 

Lent, 1812. 

In spite of my anxiety to serve the cause of your 
charity, I have been quite unable to do so. I have no 
copyist of my own to write for me as formerly, and the 
limited time renders it impossible for me to do so 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. 



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 


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 


— 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 

Archduke Rudolph* 


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 

Your friend, 

[K.] Beethoven. 

* 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, 

Your friend, 

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- 


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.' 


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. 

I 2 


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 




To Princess Kinsley, — Prague. 

Vienna, Dee. 30, 1812. 

Your Highness, 

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 


has received the necessary instructions, and Beethoven 

can draw for the whole sum on his way through Prague, 

or, if he prefers it, in Vienna., as soon as the Prince 

returns there. 

'Prague: June 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 
his cashier. 

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. 


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- 
trious pupil. 


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.) 


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 


promise and intentions of H. H. in my behalf, which 
cannot fail to be binding on his heirs and children. If, 
therefore, the proofs submitted should even be found 
deficient in legal formality, I cannot doubt that this 
want will be supplied by the noble mode of thinking of 
this illustrious house, and by their own inclination to 
generous actions. 

Possibly another question may at present arise from 
the condition of the inheritance, which is no doubt 
heavily burdened, both owing to the melancholy and 
sudden death of the late Prince, and by the state of the 
times, which renders it equally just and indispensable 
to husband carefully all possible resources. On this 
account it is far from my wish to claim more than is 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 


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.' 


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. 


To Zmeskall. 
Dear Z., 

Forward the accompanying letter to-day without 
fail to Brunswick, that it may arrive as soon and as 
safely as possible. Excuse the trouble I give you. I 
have been again applied to, to send some of my works 
to 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. 

Your Beethoven. 

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 
mixed public. 

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 


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 

the convent. 

I am, with esteem, your friend, 



To Varenna. 

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 
in Gratz.' 

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 



To Zmeshall. 

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.' 

K 2 

132 Beethoven's letters. 

To Zmeskall. 

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 ! 

Your Beethoven, 


To Zmeskall. 

Feb. 28, 1813. 
Let us leave things as they are for to-day, dear Z., till 
we meet [and so on about the servant]. 


Farewell ! Carefully guard the fortresses of the 

realm, which, as you know, are no longer virgins, and 

have already received many a shot. 

Your friend, 



To ZmeskalL 

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.] 


To ZmeskalL 

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. 

Your friend, 



To Zmeskall. 
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. 

Yours ever, 



To Zmeskall. 

April 26, 1813. 

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



BADEN. 135 


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). 


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. 

' [K.] 


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- 
self conducted. 

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. 

Your friend, 

[K.] Beethoven. 


To Herr von Baumeister* 
Dear Sir, 

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. 


two tickets, which I send to you, and beg you will make 

use of them. 

I am, with esteem, yours, 

L. y. Beethoyen. 

To Zmeskall. 

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. 

Your Beethoyen. 


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 [1813] in the 
concerts given for the benefit of the Austrian and 
Bavarian soldiers wounded at the battle of Hanau. It 
was a rare combination of eminent artists, where all 
were inspired by the wish to be of use to their father- 
land, and to contribute by the exercise of their talents 
to the fulfilment of the undertaking, while, regardless 

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 


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 

badly written. 



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. 



To Treitschhe. 

March 1814. 

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. 

Your friend, 


To Treitschhe. 

The affair of the Opera is the most troublesome in 

the world, and there is scarcely one part of it which 

'FIDELIO.' 143 

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 ! 

To Treitschke. 

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. 

Your obedient 

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.' 



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 
Count ! 

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. 






©raf ©raf 




P-P 1 




— ©raf 




©raf — - 
lte&*|te§ @d)af/ 

©raf ©raf 


«-~ — i-« 

-— \ j s — '• 





= rr IL 

©raf, liebsjiec ©raf -f- -^ -j- be = fter 

be * ftefi (Scfcaf! ©cfraf! <3d)af! 






r r 

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. 

Your Beethoven. 


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 
being inserted. 

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- 

'fidelio.' 147 

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 


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 
work unconditionally. 

He then called on a mutual friend to make proposals. 
He was told on what day to return for an answer, but 
he never appeared, set off on his travels, and performed 
the work in Munich. How did he obtain it? He 
could not possibly steal it ; but Herr Maelzel had 
several of the parts for some days in his house, and he 
caused the entire work to be 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 


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- 
cient compensation. 

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

Herr Maelzel thinks fit to say that he has delayed 
his visit to London on account of the battle piece, which 
is a mere subterfuge. He stayed to finish his 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, 

Your obedient 
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- 
tious manner. 

But even in the latter case the public will still be 
deluded, for the works that Herr Maelzel performs 
under the titles of ' Wellington's Battle of Vittoria ' and 
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 


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 
be despatched. 

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. 



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 

— 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. 


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 

M 2 

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- 


rosity were everywhere acknowledged ? I remain, with 
the warmest affection and esteem, 

In haste, 

Your friend, 



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 


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 


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. 

Vienna, 1815. 


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 


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. 


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. 

January 1815. 

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. 


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. 

YOL. I. 



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 
.^-^ -^^^L 


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. 
n 2 



fej^^g g 



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 

* be. 

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

Ludwig yan Beethoven. 



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 [1815] 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 


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, 




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 
my behalf. 

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 
precious health. 




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 


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. 

To Zmeskall. 

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, 
Your obedient 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 

To Ries. 

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 


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 


Your friend, 


To Zmeskcdl. 

Jan. 1816. 

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 
by Beethoven.) 


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., 

Your Beethoven. 

* 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- 

o 2 



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. 



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. 

To Ries. 

Vienna, Jan. 20, 1816. 
Dear Eies, 

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 
as ever, 

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 


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. 

To Czemy* 

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. 

Your friend, 


* 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. 

To Czerny* 

Vienna, Feb. 12, 1816. 

Dear Czerny, 

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. 


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. 

Feb. 1816. 


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- 


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, 

Yours truly, 

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. 



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. 


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- 


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 
his education. 

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 ? 


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 
me, viz. 

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. 

P 2 



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. 

Copying 1. 

Postage to Amsterdam 1. 

10. 0. 
0. 0. 

Trio ... 2. 



0. 0. 


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 


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. 

To Zmeskall. 

Baden, September 5, 1816. 
Dear Z., 

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 


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. 


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 ? 

A tergo. 

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 
admirable wife. 

In haste, 

Your Beethoven. 

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. 

To Wegeler. 

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. 

Your friend, 

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 


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 — 
Op. 98. 

Concerning the expences of copying and packing it is 
not possible to fix him before hand, they are at any rate 
not considerable, and you'll please to consider that you 
have to deal with a man of honor, who will not charge 
one 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. 


To Zmeskall. 

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 
a visitation. 

Your devoted 

Ludwig van Beethoven. 


To the Archduke Rudolph. 

November, 1816.* 

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. 


poor devil, 
[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.' 


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- 

Q 2 

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 

Your friend, 

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 


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, 

Your obedient 

- Beethoven. 
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. 
Dear Sir, 

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 
should present. 

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

Dear Sir 

Your very obedient Serv. 
Ludwig van Beethoven. 



To Zmeskall. 

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, 

Your friend, 


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


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- 
tween us. 

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 



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. 

In haste, 

Your Beethoven. 


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 


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 
' Adjutant-General.' 

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- 


Manu propria. 


To Steiner. 
The following dedication occurred to me of my new 

6 Sonata for the Pianoforte, 


Hammer Clavier. 

Composed and dedicated to Frau Baronin Dorothea 

Ertmann — nee Graumann, 


Ludwig van Beethoven.' 


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 

ad Amicum 
de Amico. 





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 ! 

To Zmeskall. 

Jan. 30, 1817. 

Dear Z., 

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.