Munich, Sept. 26, 1777.
WE arrived safely in Munich on the afternoon of the 24th, at half-past four o'clock. A complete novelty to me was being obliged to drive to the Custom House, escorted by a grenadier with a fixed bayonet. The first person we knew, who met us when driving, was Signor Consoli; he recognized me at once, and showed the utmost joy at seeing me again. Next day he called on us. I cannot attempt to describe the delight of Herr Albert [the "learned landlord" of the Black Eagle, on the Kaufinger Gasse, now Hotel Detzer]; he is indeed a truly honest man, and a very good friend of ours. On my arrival I went to the piano, and did not leave it till dinner-time. Herr Albert was not at home, but he soon came in, and we went down to dinner together. There I met M. Sfeer and a certain secretary, an intimate friend of his; both send their compliments to you. Though tired by our journey, we did not go to bed till late; we, however, rose next morning at seven o'clock. My hair was in such disorder that I could not go to Count Seeau's till half-past ten o'clock. When I got there I was told that he had driven out to the chasse. Patience! In the mean time I wished to call on Chorus-master Bernard, but he had gone to the country with Baron Schmid. I found Herr von Belvall deeply engaged in business; he sent you a thousand compliments. Rossi came to dinner, and at two o'clock Consoli, and at three arrived Becke [a friend of Mozart's and an admirable flute- player], and also Herr von Belvall. I paid a visit to Frau von Durst [with whom Nannerl had lived], who now lodges with the Franciscans. At six o'clock I took a short walk with Herr Becke. There is a Professor Huber here, whom you may perhaps remember better than I do; he says that the last time he either saw or heard me was at Vienna, at Herr von Mesmer's, junior. He is neither tall nor short, pale, with silvery-gray hair, and his physiognomy rather like that of Herr Unterbereiter. This gentleman is vice-intendant of the theatre; his occupation is to read through all the comedies to be acted, to improve or to spoil, to add to or to put them aside. He comes every evening to Albert's, and often talks to me. To-day, Friday, the 26th, I called on Count Seeau at half-past eight o'clock. This was what passed. As I was going into the house I met Madame Niesser, the actress, just coming out, who said, "I suppose you wish to see the Count?" "Yes!" "He is still in his garden, and Heaven knows when he may come!" I asked her where the garden was. "As I must see him also," said she, "let us go together." We had scarcely left the house when we saw the Count coming towards us about twelve paces off; he recognized and instantly named me. He was very polite, and seemed already to know all that had taken place about me. We went up the steps together slowly and alone; I told him briefly the whole affair. He said that I ought at once to request an audience of his Highness the Elector, but that, if I failed in obtaining it, I must make a written statement. I entreated him to keep this all quite private, and he agreed to do so. When I remarked to him that there really was room for a genuine composer here, he said, "I know that well." I afterwards went to the Bishop of Chiemsee, and was with him for half an hour. I told him everything, and he promised to do all he could for me in the matter. At one o'clock he drove to Nymphenburg, and declared positively he would speak to the Electress. On Sunday the Count comes here. Herr Joannes Kronner has been appointed Vice-Concertmeister, which he owes to a blunt speech of his. He has produced two symphonies—Deo mene liberi [God preserve me from such]—of his own composition. The Elector asked him, "Did you really compose these?" "Yes, your Royal Highness!" "From whom did you learn?" "From a schoolmaster in Switzerland, where so much importance is attached to the study of composition. This schoolmaster taught me more than all your composers here, put together, could teach me." Count Schonborn and his Countess, a sister of the Archbishop [of Salzburg], passed through here to- day. I chanced to be at the play at the time. Herr Albert, in the course of conversation, told them that I was here, and that I had given up my situation. They were all astonishment, and positively refused to believe him when he said that my salary, of blessed memory, was only twelve florins thirty kreuzers! They merely changed horses, and would gladly have spoken with me, but I was too late to meet them. Now I must inquire what you are doing, and how you are. Mamma and I hope that you are quite well. I am still in my very happiest humor; my head feels as light as a feather since I got away from that chicanery. I have grown fatter already.
Munich, Sept. 29, 1777.
TRUE enough, a great many kind friends, but unluckily most of them have little or nothing in their power. I was with Count Seeau yesterday, at half-past ten o'clock, and found him graver and less natural than the first time; but it was only in appearance, for to-day I was at Prince Zeill's [Bishop of Chiemsee—No. 56], who, with all courtesy, said to me, "I don't think we shall effect much here. During dinner, at Nymphenburg, I spoke privately to the Elector, who replied: 'It is too soon at this moment; he must leave this and go to Italy and become famous. I do not actually reject him, but these are too early days as yet.'" There it is! Most of these grandees have such paroxysms of enthusiasm for Italy. Still, he advised me to go to the Elector, and to place my case before him as I had previously intended. I spoke confidentially at dinner to-day with Herr Woschitka [violoncellist in the Munich court orchestra, and a member of the Elector's private band], and he appointed me to come to-morrow at nine o'clock, when he will certainly procure me an audience. We are very good friends now. He insisted on knowing the name of my informant; but I said to him, "Rest assured that I am your friend and shall continue to be so; I am in turn equally convinced of your friendship, so you must be satisfied with this." But to return to my narrative. The Bishop of Chiemsee also spoke to the Electress when tete-a-tete with her. She shrugged her shoulders, and said she would do her best, but was very doubtful as to her success. I now return to Count Seeau, who asked Prince Zeill (after he had told him everything). "Do you know whether Mozart has not enough from his family to enable him to remain here with a little assistance? I should really like to keep him." Prince Zeill answered: "I don't know, but I doubt it much; all you have to do is to speak to himself on the subject." This, then, was the cause of Count Seeau being so thoughtful on the following day. I like being here, and I am of the same opinion with many of my friends, that if I could only remain here for a year or two, I might acquire both money and fame by my works, and then more probably be sought by the court than be obliged to seek it myself. Since my return here Herr Albert has a project in his head, the fulfilment of which does not seem to me impossible. It is this: He wishes to form an association of ten kind friends, each of these to subscribe 1 ducat (50 gulden) monthly, 600 florins a year. If in addition to this I had even 200 florins per annum from Count Seeau, this would make 800 florins altogether. How does papa like this idea? Is it not friendly? Ought not I to accept it if they are in earnest? I am perfectly satisfied with it; for I should be near Salzburg, and if you, dearest papa, were seized with a fancy to leave Salzburg (which from my heart I wish you were) and to pass your life in Munich, how easy and pleasant would it be! For if we are obliged to live in Salzburg with 504 florins, surely we might live in Munich with 800.
To-day, the 30th, after a conversation with Herr Woschitka, I went to court by appointment. Every one was in hunting-costume. Baron Kern was the chamberlain on service. I might have gone there last night, but I could not offend M. Woschitka, who himself offered to find me an opportunity of speaking to the Elector. At 10 o'clock he took me into a narrow little room, through which his Royal Highness was to pass on his way to hear mass, before going to hunt. Count Seeau went by, and greeted me very kindly: "How are you, dear Mozart?" When the Elector came up to me, I said, "Will your Royal Highness permit me to pay my homage and to offer your Royal Highness my services?" "So you have finally left Salzburg?" "I have left it forever, your Royal Highness. I only asked leave to make a journey, and being refused, I was obliged to take this step, although I have long intended to leave Salzburg, which is no place for me, I feel sure." "Good heavens! you are quite a young man. But your father is still in Salzburg?" "Yes, your Royal Highness; he humbly lays his homage at your feet, &c., &c. I have already been three times in Italy. I have written three operas, and am a member of the Bologna Academy; I underwent a trial where several maestri toiled and labored for four or five hours, whereas I finished my work in one. This is a sufficient testimony that I have abilities to serve any court. My greatest wish is to be appointed by your Royal Highness, who is himself such a great &c., &c." "But, my good young friend, I regret that there is not a single vacancy. If there were only a vacancy!" "I can assure your Royal Highness that I would do credit to Munich." "Yes, but what does that avail when there is no vacancy?" This he said as he was moving on; so I bowed and took leave of his Royal Highness. Herr Woschitka advises me to place myself often in the way of the Elector. This afternoon I went to Count Salern's. His daughter is a maid of honor, and was one of the hunting-party. Ravani and I were in the street when the whole procession passed. The Elector and the Electress noticed me very kindly. Young Countess Salern recognized me at once, and waved her hand to me repeatedly. Baron Rumling, whom I had previously seen in the antechamber, never was so courteous to me as on this occasion. I will soon write to you what passed with Salern. He was very kind, polite, and straightforward.—P. S. Ma tres-chere soeur, next time I mean to write you a letter all for yourself. My remembrances to B. C. M. R. and various other letters of the alphabet. Adieu! A man built a house here and inscribed on it: "Building is beyond all doubt an immense pleasure, but I little thought that it would cost so much treasure." During the night some one wrote underneath, "You ought first to have counted the cost."
Munich, Oct. 2, 1777.
YESTERDAY, October 1st, I was again at Count Salern's, and to-day I even dined with him. I have played a great deal during the last three days, and with right good will too. Papa must not, however, imagine that I like to be at Count Salern's on account of the young lady; by no means, for she is unhappily in waiting, and therefore never at home, but I am to see her at court to-morrow morning, at ten o'clock, in company with Madame Hepp, formerly Madlle. Tosson. On Saturday the court leaves this, and does not return till the 20th. To-morrow I am to dine with Madame and Madlle. de Branca, the latter being a kind of half pupil of mine, for Sigl seldom comes, and Becke, who usually accompanies her on the flute, is not here. On the three days that I was at Count Salern's I played a great many things extempore—two Cassations [Divertimentos] for the Countess, and the finale and Rondo, and the latter by heart. You cannot imagine the delight this causes Count Salern. He understands music, for he was constantly saying Bravo! while other gentlemen were taking snuff, humming and hawing, and clearing their throats, or holding forth. I said to him, "How I do wish the Elector were only here, that he might hear me play! He knows nothing of me—he does not know what I can do. How sad it is that these great gentlemen should believe what any one tells them, and do not choose to judge for themselves! BUT IT IS ALWAYS SO. Let him put me to the test. He may assemble all the composers in Munich, and also send in quest of some from Italy and France, Germany, and England and Spain, and I will undertake to write against them all." I related to him all that had occurred to me in Italy, and begged him, if the conversation turned on me, to bring in these things. He said, "I have very little influence, but the little that is in my power I will do with pleasure." He is also decidedly of opinion that if I could only remain here, the affair would come right of itself. It would not be impossible for me to contrive to live, were I alone here, for I should get at least 300 florins from Count Seeau. My board would cost little, for I should be often invited out; and even were it not so, Albert would always be charmed to see me at dinner in his house. I eat little, drink water, and for dessert take only a little fruit and a small glass of wine. Subject to the advice of my kind friends, I would make the following contract with Count Seeau:—I would engage to produce every year four German operas, partly buffe and partly serie; from each of these I should claim the profits of one performance, for such is the custom here. This alone would bring me in 500 florins, which along with my salary would make up 800 florins, but in all probability more; for Reiner, an actor and singer, cleared 200 florins by his benefit, and I am VERY MUCH BELOVED HERE, and how much more so should I be if I contributed to the elevation of the national theatre of Germany in music! And this would certainly be the case with me, for I was inspired with the most eager desire to write when I heard the German operettas. The name of the first singer here is Keiserin; her father is cook to a count here; she is a very pleasing girl, and pretty on the stage; I have not yet seen her near. She is a native of this place. When I heard her it was only her third appearance on the stage. She has a fine voice, not powerful, though by no means weak, very pure, and a good intonation. Her instructor is Valesi; and her style of singing shows that her master knows how to sing as well as how to teach. When she sustains her voice for a couple of bars, I am quite surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and decrescendo. She as yet takes her shakes slowly, and this I highly approve of, for it will be all the more pure and clear if she ever wishes to take it quicker; besides, it is easier when quick. She is a great favorite with the people here, and with me.
Mamma was in the pit; she went as early as half-past four o'clock to get a place. I, however, did not go till half-past six o'clock, for I can go to any box I please, being pretty well known. I was in the Brancas' box; I looked at Keiserin with my opera-glass, and at times she drew tears from my eyes. I often called out bravo, bravissimo, for I always remembered that it was only her third appearance. The piece was Das Fischermadchen, a very good translation of Piccini's opera, with his music. As yet they have no original pieces, but are now anxious soon to give a German opera seria, and a strong wish prevails that I should compose it. The aforesaid Professor Huber is one of those who wish this. I shall now go to bed, for I can sit up no longer. It is just ten o'clock. Baron Rumling lately paid me the following compliment: "The theatre is my delight—good actors and actresses, good singers, and a clever composer, such as yourself." This is indeed only talk, and words are not of much value, but he never before spoke to me in this way.
I write this on the 3d of October. To-morrow the court departs, and does not return till the 20th. If it had remained here, I would have taken the step I intended, and stayed on here for a time; but as it is, I hope to resume my journey with mamma next Tuesday. But meanwhile the project of the associated friends, which I lately wrote to you about, may be realized, so that when we no longer care to travel we shall have a resource to fall back upon. Herr von Krimmel was to-day with the Bishop of Chiemsee, with whom he has a good deal to do on the subject of salt. He is a strange man; here he is called "your Grace,"—that is, THE LACKEYS do so. Having a great desire that I should remain here, he spoke very zealously to the Prince in my favor. He said to me, "Only let me alone; I will speak to the Prince, and I have a right to do so, for I have done many things to oblige him." The Prince promised him that I should POSITIVELY be appointed, but the affair cannot be so quickly settled. On the return of the court he is to speak to the Elector with all possible earnestness and zeal. At eight o'clock this morning I called on Count Seeau. I was very brief, and merely said, "I have only come, your Excellency, to explain my case clearly. I have been told that I ought to go to Italy, which is casting a reproach on me. I was sixteen months in Italy, I have written three operas, and all this is notorious enough. What further occurred, your Excellency will see from these papers." And after showing him the diplomata, I added, "I only show these and say this to your Excellency that, in the event of my being spoken of, and any injustice done me, your Excellency may with good grounds take my part." He asked me if I was now going to France. I said I intended to remain in Germany; by this, however, he supposed I meant Munich, and said, with a merry laugh, "So you are to stay here after all?" I replied, "No! to tell you the truth, I should like to have stayed, if the Elector had favored me with a small sum, so that I might then have offered my compositions to your Excellency devoid of all interested motives. It would have been a pleasure to me to do this." At these words he half lifted his skull-cap.
At ten o'clock I went to court to call on Countess Salern. I dined afterwards with the Brancas. Herr Geheimrath von Branca, having been invited by the French Ambassador, was not at home. He is called "your Excellency." Countess Salern is a Frenchwoman, and scarcely knows a word of German; so I have always been in the habit of talking French to her. I do so quite boldly, and she says that I don't speak at all badly, and that I have the good habit of speaking slowly, which makes me more easily understood. She is a most excellent person, and very well-bred. The daughter plays nicely, but fails in time. I thought this arose from want of ear on her part, but I find I can blame no one but her teacher, who is too indulgent and too easily satisfied. I practised with her to-day, and I could pledge myself that if she were to learn from me for a couple of months, she would play both well and accurately.
At four o'clock I went to Frau von Tosson's, where I found mamma and also Frau von Hepp. I played there till eight o'clock, and after that we went home; and at half-past nine a small band of music arrived, consisting of five persons—two clarionet-players, two horns, and one bassoon. Herr Albert (whose name-day is to- morrow) arranged this music in honor of me and himself. They played rather well together, and were the same people whom we hear during dinner at Albert's, but it is well known that they are trained by Fiala. They played some of his pieces, and I must say they are very pretty: he has some excellent ideas. To-morrow we are to have a small musical party together, where I am to play. (Nota bene, on that miserable piano! oh, dear! oh, dear! oh, dear!) I beg you will excuse my horrid writing, but ink, haste, sleep, and dreams are all against me. I am now and forever amen, your dutiful son,
A. W. MOZART.
Munich, Oct. 6, 1777.
Mamma cannot write; in the first place, she is not inclined, and, secondly, she has a headache. So I must hold the pen for her and keep faith with her. I am just going with the Professor to call on Madlle. Keiserin. Yesterday we had in our house a clerical wedding, or altum tempus ecclesiasticum. There was dancing, but I only danced four minuets, and was in my own room again by eleven o'clock, for, out of fifty young ladies, there was only one who danced in time—Madlle. Kaser, a sister of Count Perusa's secretary. The Professor thought fit to leave me in the lurch, so I did not go to Madlle. Keiserin, because I don't know where she lives. Last Saturday, the 4th, on the stately and solemn occasion of the name-day of his Royal Highness the Archduke Albert, we had a select music-party at home, which commenced at half-past three o'clock and finished at eight. M. Dubreil, whom papa no doubt remembers, was also present; he is a pupil of Tartini's. In the forenoon he gave a lesson on the violin to the youngest son, Carl, and I chanced to come in at the time, I never gave him credit for much talent, but I saw that he took great pains in giving his lesson; and when we entered into conversation about violin, concert, and orchestral playing, he reasoned very well, and was always of my opinion, so I retracted my former sentiments with regard to him, and was persuaded that I should find him play well in time, and a correct violinist in the orchestra. I, therefore, invited him to be so kind as to attend our little music rehearsal that afternoon. We played, first of all, the two quintets of Haydn, but to my dismay I could scarcely hear Dubreil, who could not play four continuous bars without a mistake. He could never find the positions, and he was no good friend to the sospirs [short pauses]. The only good thing was that he spoke politely and praised the quintets; otherwise—As it was, I said nothing to him, but he kept constantly saying himself, "I beg your pardon, but really I am out again! the thing is puzzling, but fine!" I invariably replied, "It does not in the least signify; we are only among ourselves." I then played the concertos in C, in B, and in E flat, and after that a trio of mine. This was finely accompanied, truly! In the adagio I was obliged to play six bars of his part. As a finale, I played my last divertimento in B; they all pricked up their ears. I played as if I had been the greatest violin-player in all Europe.
The Sunday after, at three o'clock, we were at a certain Herr von Hamm's. The Bishop of Chiemsee set off to-day for Salzburg. N. B.—I send my sister, by him, "6 duetti a clavicembalo e violino," by Schuster. I have often played them here; they are by no means bad. If I remain long enough, I intend to compose six in this style, for it is much liked here.
Munich, Oct. 11, 1777.
WHY have I not as yet written anything about Misliweczeck? [See No. 43.] Because I was only too glad not to think of him; for when he is spoken of I invariably hear how highly he praises me, and what a kind and true friend he is of mine; but then follow pity and lamentation. He was described to me, and deeply was I distressed. How could I bear that Misliweczeck, my intimate friend, should be in the same town, nay, even in the same corner of the world with me, and neither see him nor speak to him? Impossible! so I resolved to go to visit him. On the previous day, I called on the manager of the Duke's Hospital to ask if I might see my friend in the garden, which I thought best, though the doctors assured me there was no longer any risk of infection. The manager agreed to my proposal, and said I should find him in the garden between eleven and twelve o'clock, and, if he was not there when I came, to send for him. Next day I went with Herr von Hamm, secretary in the Crown Office, (of whom I shall speak presently,) and mamma to the Duke's Hospital. Mamma went into the Hospital church, and we into the garden. Misliweczeck was not there, so we sent him a message. I saw him coming across, and knew him at once from his manner of walking. I must tell you that he had already sent me his remembrances by Herr Heller, a violoncello-player, and begged me to visit him before I left Munich. When he came up to me, we shook hands cordially. "You see," said he, "how unfortunate I am." These words and his appearance, which papa is already aware of from description, so went to my heart that I could only say, with tears in my eyes, "I pity you from my heart, my dear friend." He saw how deeply I was affected, so rejoined quite cheerfully, "Now tell me what you are doing; when I heard that you were in Munich, I could scarcely believe it; how could Mozart be here and not long ago have come to see me?" "I hope you will forgive me, but I had such a number of visits to make, and I have so many kind friends here." "I feel quite sure that you have indeed many kind friends, but a truer friend than myself you cannot have." He asked me whether papa had told me anything of a letter he had received. I said, "Yes, he did write to me," (I was quite confused, and trembled so much in every limb that I could scarcely speak,) "but he gave me no details." He then told me that Signor Gaetano Santoro, the Neapolitan impresario, was obliged, owing to impegni and protezione, to give the composition of the opera for this Carnival to a certain Maestro Valentini; but he added, "Next year he has three at liberty, one of which is to be at my service. But as I have already composed six times for Naples, I don't in the least mind undertaking the less promising one, and making over to you the best libretto, viz. the one for the Carnival. God knows whether I shall be able to travel by that time, but if not, I shall send back the scrittura. The company for next year is good, being all people whom I have recommended. You must know that I have such influence in Naples that, when I say engage such a one, they do so at once." Marquesi is the primo uomo, whom he, and indeed all Munich too, praises very highly; Marchiani is a good prima donna; and there is a tenor, whose name I cannot recall, but Misliweczeck says he is the best in all Italy. He also said, "I do beg of you to go to Italy; there one is esteemed and highly prized." And in truth he is right. When I come to reflect on the subject, in no country have I received such honors, or been so esteemed, as in Italy, and nothing contributes more to a man's fame than to have written Italian operas, and especially for Naples. He said he would write a letter for me to Santoro, which I was to copy out when I went to see him next day; but finding it impossible to return, he sent me a sketch of the letter to-day. I was told that when Misliweczeck heard people here speaking of Becke, or other performers on the piano, he invariably said, "Let no one deceive himself; none can play like Mozart; in Italy, where the greatest masters are, they speak of no one but Mozart; when his name is mentioned, not a word is said of others." I can now write the letter to Naples when I please; but, indeed, the sooner the better. I should, however, first like to have the opinion of that highly discreet Hofcapellmeister, Herr von Mozart. I have the most ardent desire to write another opera. The distance is certainly great, but the period is still a long way off when I am to write this opera, and there may be many changes before then. I think I might at all events undertake it. If, in the mean time, I get no situation, eh, bien! I shall then have a resource in Italy. I am at all events certain to receive 100 ducats in the Carnival; and when I have once written for Naples I shall be sought for everywhere. As papa well knows, there is an opera buffa in Naples in spring, summer, and autumn, for which I might write for the sake of practice, not to be quite idle. It is true that there is not much to be got by this, but still there is something, and it would be the means of gaining more honor and reputation than by giving a hundred concerts in Germany, and I am far happier when I have something to compose, which is my chief delight and passion; and if I get a situation anywhere, or have hopes of one, the scrittura would be a great recommendation to me, and excite a sensation, and cause me to be more thought of. This is mere talk, but still I say what is in my heart. If papa gives me any good grounds to show that I am wrong, then I will give it up, though, I own, reluctantly. Even when I hear an opera discussed, or am in a theatre myself and hear voices, oh! I really am beside myself!
To-morrow, mamma and I are to meet Misliweczeck in the Hospital garden to take leave of him; for he wished me last time to fetch mamma out of church, as he said he should like to see the mother of so great a virtuoso. My dear papa, do write to him as often as you have time to do so; you cannot confer a greater pleasure on him, for the man is quite forsaken. Sometimes he sees no one for a whole week, and he said to me, "I do assure you it does seem so strange to me to see so few people; in Italy I had company every day." He looks thin, of course, but is still full of fire and life and genius, and the same kind, animated person he always was. People talk much of his oratorio of "Abraham and Isaac," which he produced here. He has just completed (with the exception of a few arias) a Cantata, or Serenata, for Lent; and when he was at the worst he wrote an opera for Padua. Herr Heller is just come from him. When I wrote to him yesterday I sent him the Serenata that I wrote in Salzburg: for the Archduke Maximilian ["Il Re Pastore"].
Now to turn to something else. Yesterday I went with mamma immediately after dinner to take coffee with the two Fraulein von Freysinger. Mamma, however, took none, but drank two bottles of Tyrolese wine. At three o'clock she went home again to make preparations for our journey. I, however, went with the two ladies to Herr von Hamm's, whose three young ladies each played a concerto, and I one of Aichner's prima vista, and then went on extemporizing. The teacher of these little simpletons, the Demoiselles Hamm, is a certain clerical gentleman of the name of Schreier. He is a good organ-player, but no pianist. He kept staring at me with an eye-glass. He is a reserved kind of man who does not talk much; he patted me on the shoulder, sighed, and said, "Yes—you are—you understand—yes—it is true—you are an out-and-outer!" By the by, can you recall the name of Freysingen —the papa of the two pretty girls I mentioned? He says he knows you well, and that he studied with you. He particularly remembers Messenbrunn, where papa (this was quite new to me) played most incomparably on the organ. He said, "It was quite startling to see the pace at which both hands and feet went, but quite inimitable; a thorough master indeed; my father thought a great deal of him; and how he humbugged the priests about entering the Church! You are just what he was then, as like as possible; only he was a degree shorter when I knew him." A propos, a certain Hofrath Effeln sends you his kind regards; he is one of the best Hofraths here, and would long ago have been made chancellor but for one defect—TIPPLING. When we saw him for the first time at Albert's, both mamma and I thought, "What an odd-looking fish!" Just imagine a very tall man, stout and corpulent, and a ridiculous face. When he crosses the room to another table, he folds both hands on his stomach, stoops very low, and then draws himself up again, and makes little nods; and when this is over he draws back his right foot, and does this to each individual separately. He says that he knows papa intimately. I am now going for a little to the play. Next time I will write more fully, but I can't possibly go on to-day, for my fingers do ache uncommonly.
Munich, October 11th, at 1/4 to 12 at night, I write as follows:—I have been at the Drittl comedy, but only went in time for the ballet, or rather the pantomime, which I had not before seen. It is called "Das von der fur Girigaricanarimanarischaribari verfertigte Ei." It was very good and funny. We are going to-morrow to Augsburg on account of Prince Taxis not being at Ratisbon but at Teschingen. He is, in fact, at present at his country-seat, which is, however, only an hour from Teschingen. I send my sister, with this, four preludes; she will see and hear for herself the different keys into which they lead. My compliments to all my kind friends, particularly to young Count Arco, to Madlle. Sallerl, and to my best of all friends, Herr Bullinger; I do beg that next Sunday at the usual eleven-o'clock music he will be so good as to make an authoritative oration in my name, and present my regards to all the members of the orchestra and exhort them to industry, that I may not one day be accused of being a humbug, for I have everywhere extolled their orchestra, and I intend always to do so.
Augsburg, Oct. 14, 1777.
I HAVE made no mistake in my date, for I write before dinner, and I think that next Friday, the day after to-morrow, we shall be off again. Pray hear how generous the gentlemen of Augsburg are. In no place was I ever so overwhelmed with marks of distinction as here. My first visit was to the Stadtpfleger Longo Tabarro [Burgomaster Langenmantl]. My cousin, [Footnote: Leopold Mozart had a brother in Augsburg, a bookbinder, whose daughter, "das Basle" (the cousin), was two years younger than Mozart.] a good, kind, honest man and worthy citizen, went with me, and had the honor to wait in the hall like a footman till my interview with the high and mighty Stadtpfleger was over. I did not fail first of all to present papa's respectful compliments. He deigned graciously to remember you, and said, "And pray how have things gone with him?" "Vastly well, God be praised!" I instantly rejoined, "and I hope things have also gone well with you?" He then became more civil, and addressed me in the third person, so I called him "Sir"; though, indeed, I had done so from the first. He gave me no peace till I went up with him to see his son-in-law (on the second floor), my cousin meanwhile having the pleasure of waiting in the staircase-hall. I was obliged to control myself with all my might, or I must have given some polite hint about this. On going upstairs I had the satisfaction of playing for nearly three-quarters of an hour on a good clavichord of Stein's, in the presence of the stuck-up young son, and his prim condescending wife, and the simple old lady. I first extemporized, and then played all the music he had, prima, vista, and among others some very pretty pieces of Edlmann's. Nothing could be more polite than they all were, and I was equally so, for my rule is to behave to people just as they behave to me; I find this to be the best plan. I said that I meant to go to Stein's after dinner, so the young man offered to take me there himself. I thanked him for his kindness, and promised to return at two o'clock. I did so, and we went together in company with his brother-in-law, who looks a genuine student. Although I had begged that my name should not be mentioned, Herr von Langenmantl was so incautious as to say, with a simper, to Herr Stein, "I have the honor to present to you a virtuoso on the piano." I instantly protested against this, saying that I was only an indifferent pupil of Herr Sigl in Munich, who had charged me with a thousand compliments to him. Stein shook his head dubiously, and at length said, "Surely I have the honor of seeing M. Mozart?" "Oh, no," said I; "my name is Trazom, and I have a letter for you." He took the letter and was about to break the seal instantly, but I gave him no time for that, saying, "What is the use of reading the letter just now? Pray open the door of your saloon at once, for I am so very anxious to see your pianofortes." "With all my heart," said he, "just as you please; but for all that I believe I am not mistaken." He opened the door, and I ran straight up to one of the three pianos that stood in the room. I began to play, and he scarcely gave himself time to glance at the letter, so anxious was he to ascertain the truth; so he only read the signature. "Oh!" cried he, embracing me, and crossing himself and making all sorts of grimaces from intense delight. I will write to you another day about his pianos. He then took me to a coffee-house, but when we went in I really thought I must bolt, there was such a stench of tobacco- smoke, but for all that I was obliged to bear it for a good hour. I submitted to it all with a good grace, though I could have fancied that I was in Turkey. He made a great fuss to me about a certain Graf, a composer (of flute concertos only); and said, "He is something quite extraordinary," and every other possible exaggeration. I became first hot and then cold from nervousness. This Graf is a brother of the two who are in Harz and Zurich. He would not give up his intention, but took me straight to him—a dignified gentleman indeed; he wore a dressing-gown that I would not be ashamed to wear in the street. All his words are on stilts, and he has a habit of opening his mouth before knowing what he is going to say; so he often shuts it again without having said anything. After a great deal of ceremony he produced a concerto for two flutes; I was to play first violin. The concerto is confused, not natural, too abrupt in its modulations, and devoid of all genius. When it was over I praised it highly, for, indeed, he deserves this. The poor man must have had labor and study enough to write it. At last they brought a clavichord of Stein's out of the next room, a very good one, but inch-thick with dust. Herr Graf, who is director here, stood there looking like a man who had hitherto believed his own modulations to be something very clever, but all at once discovers that others may be still more so, and without grating on the ear. In a word, they all seemed lost in astonishment.
Augsburg, Oct. 17, 1777.
WITH regard to the daughter of Hamm, the Secretary of War, I can only say that there can be no doubt she has a decided talent for music, for she has only learned three years, and can play a number of pieces very well. I find it difficult, however, to explain distinctly the impression she makes on me while she is playing; she seems to me so curiously constrained, and she has such an odd way of stalking over the keys with her long bony fingers! To be sure, she has had no really good master, and if she remains in Munich she will never become what her father wishes and hopes, for he is eager beyond measure that she should one day be a distinguished pianiste. If she goes to papa at Salzburg, it will be a twofold benefit to her, both as to music and common sense, of which she certainly has no great share. She has often made me laugh very much, and you would have amusement enough for your trouble. She is too absent to think of eating much. You say I ought to have practised with her? I really could not for laughing, for when I occasionally played something with the right hand, she instantly said bravissimo, and that in the voice of a little mouse.
I will now relate to you as briefly as possible the Augsburg history to which I have already alluded. Herr von Fingerle, who sent his compliments to you, was also at Herr Graf's. The people were very civil, and discussed the concert I proposed to give, all saying, "It will be one of the most brilliant concerts ever given in Augsburg. You have a great advantage in having made the acquaintance of our Stadtpfleger Langenmantl; besides, the name of Mozart has much influence here." So we separated mutually pleased. I must now tell you that Herr von Langenmantl, junior, when at Herr Stein's, said that he would pledge himself to arrange a concert in the Stube, [Footnote: The Bauernstube, the Patrician Casino.] (as something very select, and complimentary to me,) for the nobility alone. You can't think with what zeal he spoke, and promised to undertake it. We agreed that I should call on him the next morning for the answer; accordingly I went; this was on the 13th. He was very polite, but said that as yet he could not say anything decided. I played there again for an hour, and he invited me next day, the 14th, to dinner. In the forenoon he sent to beg that I would come to him at eleven o'clock, and bring some pieces with me, as he had asked some of the professional musicians, and they intended to have some music. I immediately sent some music, and went myself at eleven, when, with many lame excuses, he coolly said, "By the by, I could do nothing about the concert; oh, I was in such a rage yesterday on your account. The patrician members of the Casino said that their cashbox was at a very low ebb, and that you were not the kind of virtuoso who could expect a souverain d'or." I merely smiled, and said, "I quite agree with them." N. B.—He is Intendant of Music in the Casino, and the old father a magistrate! but I cared very little about it. We sat down to dinner; the old gentleman also dined up-stairs with us, and was very civil, but did not say a word about the concert. After dinner I played two concertos, something out of my head, and then a trio of Hafeneder's on the violin. I would gladly have played more, but I was so badly accompanied that it gave me the colic. He said to me, good- naturedly, "Don't let us part company to-day; go to the play with us, and return here to supper." We were all very merry. When we came back from the theatre, I played again till we went to supper. Young Langenmantl had already questioned me in the forenoon about my cross, [Footnote: Mozart, by his father's desire, wore the "Order of the Golden Spur," conferred on him by the Pope.] and I told him exactly how I got it, and what it was. He and his brother-in-law said over and over again, "Let us order a cross, too, that we may be on a par with Herr Mozart." I took no notice of this. They also repeatedly said, "Hallo! you sir! Knight of the Spur!" I said not a word; but during supper it became really too bad. "What may it have cost? three ducats? must you have permission to wear it? Do you pay extra for leave to do so? We really must get one just like it." An officer there of the name of Bach, said, "For shame! what would you do with the cross?" That young ass, Kurzen Mantl, winked at him, but I saw him, and he knew that I did. A pause ensued, and then he offered me snuff, saying, "There, show that you don't care a pinch of snuff for it." I still said nothing. At length he began once more in a sneering tone: "I may then send to you to-morrow, and you will be so good as to lend me the cross for a few minutes, and I will return it immediately after I have spoken to the goldsmith about it. I know that when I ask him its value (for he is a queer kind of man) he will say a Bavarian thaler; it can't be worth more, for it is not gold, only copper, ha! ha!" I said, "By no means—it is lead, ha! ha!" I was burning with anger and rage. "I say," rejoined he, "I suppose I may, if need be, leave out the spur?" "Oh, yes," said I, "for you have one already in your head; I, too, have one in mine, but of a very different kind, and I should be sorry to exchange mine for yours; so there, take a pinch of snuff on that!" and I offered him snuff. He became pale with rage, but began again: "Just now that order looked so well on that grand waistcoat of yours." I made no reply, so he called the servant and said "Hallo! you must have greater respect for my brother-in-law and myself when we wear the same cross as Herr Mozart; take a pinch of snuff on that!" I started up; all did the same, and showed great embarrassment. I took my hat and my sword, and said, "I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you to-morrow." "To-morrow I shall not be here." "Well, then, the next morning, when I shall still be here." "Ho, ho! you surely don't mean to"— "I mean nothing; you are a set of boors, so good-night," and off I went.
Next day I told the whole story to Herr Stein, Herr Geniaulx, and to Herr Director Graf—I don't mean about the cross, but how highly disgusted I was at their having bragged so much about a concert, and now it had come to nothing. "I call this making a fool of a person and leaving him in the lurch. I am very sorry that I ever came here. I could not possibly have believed that in Augsburg, my papa's native town, such an insult could have been offered to his son." You cannot imagine, dear papa, how angry and indignant these three gentlemen were, saying, "Oh, you must positively give a concert here; we don't stand in need of the patricians." I, however, adhered to my resolution and said, "I am willing to give a small farewell concert at Herr Stein's, for my few kind friends here who are connoisseurs." The Director was quite distressed, and exclaimed, "It is abominable—shameful; who could have believed such a thing of Langenmantl! Par Dieu! if he really wished it, no doubt it would have been carried through." We then separated. The Director went down-stairs with me in his dressing-gown as far as the door, and Herr Stein and Geniaulx walked home with me. They urged us to make up our mind to stay here for a time, but we remained firm. I must not forget to say that, when young Langenmantl lisped out to me, in his usual cool indifferent way, the pleasant news as to my concert, he added, that the patricians invited me to their concert next Thursday. I said, "I will come as one of the audience." "Oh, we hope you will give us the pleasure of hearing you play also." "Well, perhaps I may; why not?" But having received so grievous an insult the next evening, I resolved not to go near him again, to steer clear of the whole set of patricians, and to leave Augsburg. During dinner, on the 16th, I was called out by a servant-maid of Langenmantl's, who wished to know whether he might expect me to go with him to the concert? and he begged I would come to him immediately after dinner. I sent my compliments in return, that I had no intention of going to the concert; nor could I come to him, as I was already engaged (which was quite true); but that I would call next morning to take leave of him, as on Saturday next, at furthest, I was to leave Augsburg. In the meantime Herr Stein had been to see the other patricians of the Evangelical party, and spoke so strongly to them that these gentlemen were quite excited. "What!" said they, "shall we permit a man who does us so much honor to leave this without even hearing him? Herr von Langenmantl, having already heard him, thinks that is enough."
At last they became so excited that Herr Kurzenmantl, the excellent youth, was obliged to go to Herr Stein himself to entreat him, in the name of the patricians, to do all in his power to persuade me to attend the concert, but to say that I must not expect great things. At last I went with him, though with considerable reluctance. The principal gentlemen were very polite, particularly Baron Belling, who is a director or some such animal; he opened my music-portfolio himself. I brought a symphony with me, which they played, and I took a violin part. The orchestra is enough to throw any one into fits. That young puppy Langenmantl was all courtesy, but his face looked as impertinent as ever; he said to me, "I was rather afraid you might have escaped us, or been offended by our jokes the other evening." "By no means," said I coolly; "you are still very young; but I advise you to be more cautious in future, for I am not accustomed to such jokes. The subject on which you were so facetious did you no credit, nor did it answer your purpose, for you see I still wear the order; you had better have chosen some other topic for your wit." "I assure you," said he, "it was only my brother-in-law who"—"Let us say no more about it," said I. "We had nearly been deprived of the pleasure of seeing you altogether," he rejoined. "Yes; had it not been for Herr Stein, I certainly should not have come; and, to tell you the truth, I am only here now to prevent you Augsburg gentlemen being the laughing-stock of other countries, which would have been the case if I had told them that I was eight days in the city where my father was born, without any one there taking the trouble to hear me!" I played a concerto, and all went off well except the accompaniment; and as a finale I played a sonata. At the close, Baron Belling thanked me in the warmest manner in the name of all the company; and, begging me to consider only their good will, presented me with two ducats.
They give me no peace here till I agree to give a public concert next Saturday. Perhaps—but I own I am heartily sick of it all. I shall be indeed glad when I arrive at a place where there is a court. I may with truth say that, were it not for my kind cousins, my regrets would be as numberless as the hairs on my head for ever having come to Augsburg. I must write you some account of my fair cousin, but you must excuse my deferring this till to-morrow, for one ought to be quite fresh to praise her as highly as she deserves.
The 17th.—I now write early in the morning to say that my cousin is pretty, intelligent, lovable, clever, and gay, probably because she has lived so much in society; she was also some time at Munich. We do, indeed, exactly suit each other, for she too is rather inclined to be satirical, so we banter our friends most merrily together. [The Mozart family were both well known and dreaded for their somewhat sharp tongues.]
Augsburg, Oct. 17, 1777.
I must now tell you about the Stein pianos. Before seeing these, Spath's pianos were my favorites; but I must own that I give the preference to those of Stein, for they damp much better than those in Ratisbon. If I strike hard, whether I let my fingers rest on the notes or lift them, the tone dies away at the same instant that it is heard. Strike the keys as I choose, the tone always remains even, never either jarring or failing to sound. It is true that a piano of this kind is not to be had for less than three hundred florins, but the pains and skill which Stein bestows on them cannot be sufficiently repaid. His instruments have a feature of their own; they are supplied with a peculiar escapement. Not one in a hundred makers attends to this; but, without it, it is impossible that a piano should not buzz and jar. His hammers fall as soon as they touch the strings, whether the keys be held down by the fingers or not. When he has completed an instrument of this class, (which he told me himself,) he tries all kinds of passages and runs on it, and works away at it, testing its powers till it is capable of doing anything, for he labors not for his own benefit alone, (or he might be saved much trouble,) but for that of music. He often says, "If I were not such a passionate lover of music, playing also myself a little on the piano, I should long ago have lost patience with my work, but I like my instruments to respond to the player, and to be durable." His pianos do really last well. He warrants the sounding-board neither breaking nor cracking; when he has finished one, he exposes it in the air to rain, snow, sun, and every kind of devilry, that it may give way, and then inserts slips of wood which he glues in, making it quite strong and solid. He is very glad when it does crack, for then he is pretty sure nothing further can happen to it. He frequently makes cuts into them himself, and then glues them up, thus making them doubly strong. He has three of these pianos at this moment finished, and I played on them again to-day.
We dined to-day with young Herr Gassner, who is the handsome widower of a lovely young wife; they were only married two years. He is an excellent and kind young man; he gave us a capital dinner. A colleague of the Abbe Henri Bullinger, and Wishofer also dined there, and an ex-Jesuit, who is at present Capellmeister in the cathedral here. He knows Herr Schachtner well [court-trumpeter at Salzburg], and was leader of his band in Ingolstadt; he is called Father Gerbl. Herr Gassner, and one of his wife's unmarried sisters, mamma, our cousin, and I went after dinner to Herr Stein's. At four o'clock came the Capellmeister and Herr Schmittbauer, the organist of St. Ulrich, a worthy good old man. I played at sight a sonata of Becke's, which was rather difficult, but very poor, al solito. The astonishment of the Capellmeister and the organist was indescribable. I have played my six sonatas by heart repeatedly, both here and in Munich. The fifth in G, I played at the distinguished Casino concert, and the last in D, which has an incomparable effect on Stein's pianos. The pedals, pressed by the knees, are also better made by him than by any one else; you scarcely require to touch them to make them act, and as soon as the pressure is removed not the slightest vibration is perceptible.
To-morrow perhaps I shall come to his organs, that is, write to you about them, and I reserve for the last the subject of his little daughter. When I said to Herr Stein that I should like to play on one of his organs, as the organ was my passion, he seemed surprised, and said, "What! such a man as you, so great a pianist, like to play on an instrument devoid of sweetness and expression, with no gradations from piano to forte, but always going on the same?" "That does not signify; the organ always was, both in my eyes and ears, the king of all instruments." "Well, just as you please." So we went together. I could readily perceive from his conversation that he did not expect me to do great things on his organ, evidently thinking that I should handle it in the style of a piano. He told me that by Schobert's own desire he had taken him also to the organ, "and very nervous it made me," said he, "for Schobert had told everybody, and the church was nearly full. I did not doubt the man's spirit, fire, and execution; still, this does not much suit the organ. But the moment he began my opinion was entirely changed." I only said in reply, "Do you then think, Herr Stein, that I am likely to run wild on the organ?" "Oh! you!"—When we came to the organ-loft, I began a prelude, when he laughed. A fugue followed. "I can now quite understand why you like to play the organ," said he, "when you can play in this manner." At first the pedal was a little awkward for me, as it was without the breaks, beginning with C, then D E in one row, whereas with us D and E are above, just where E flat and F sharp are here; but I quickly mastered it.
I went also to try the old organ at St. Ulrich's. The stair that leads to it is really dreadful. I requested that some other person might play the organ for me, that I might go down and listen to it, for above the organ has no effect; but I profited very little by this, for the young leader of the choir, a priest, made such reckless runs on the organ that it was impossible to understand them, and when he attempted harmonies they proved only discords, being always false. Afterwards they would insist on our going to a coffee-room, for mamma and my cousin were with us. A certain Father Emilian, a conceited jackass and a sorry witling, was very sweet on my cousin, and wished to have his jest with her, but she made a jest of him. At last, when rather tipsy, (which soon occurred,) he began to talk about music, and sang a canon, saying, "I never in my life heard anything finer." I said, "I regret that I can't sing it with you, for nature has not given me the power of intoning." "No matter," said he. So he began. I made the third, but I sang different words—thus: "Pater Emilian, oh! thou numskull"—sotto voce to my cousin; then we laughed on for at least half an hour. The Pater said to me, "If we only could be longer together, we could discuss the art of musical composition." "In that case," said I, "our discussion would soon come to an end." A famous rap on the knuckles for him! TO BE CONTINUED.
Augsburg, Oct. 23, 1777.
MY concert took place yesterday. Count Wolfeck interested himself much in it, and brought some chanoinesses with him. I went to his lodgings the very day I arrived, but he was not here at that time. A few days ago he returned, and on hearing that I was still in Augsburg, he did not wait for a visit from me, but at the very moment when I was taking my hat and sword to go to call on him he walked in. I must now give you a description of the last few days before my concert. Last Saturday I was at St. Ulrich's, as I already told you. Some days before my cousin took me with him to present me to the Prelate of the Holy Cross, a kind excellent old man. Previous to going to St. Ulrich's last Saturday, I went with my cousin to the Monastery of the Holy Cross, as the first time I was there neither the Deacon nor the Procurator was at home, and my cousin told me that the Procurator was very jolly. [Here mamma inserts a few lines—which frequently occurs in the letters. She says at the close:] "I am quite surprised that Schuster's duets [see No. 63] are still"—Wolfgang: "Oh, he has got them." Mamma: "No, indeed; he always writes that he has not got them." Wolfgang: "I hate arguing; I am sure he has got them, so there's an end of it." Mamma: "You are mistaken." Wolfgang: "No; I am right. I will show it to mamma in his own writing." Mamma: "Well, where is it?" Wolfgang: "Here; read it." She is reading it at this moment.
Last Sunday I attended service at the Holy Cross, and at ten o'clock we went to Herr Stein's, where we tried over a couple of symphonies for the concert. Afterwards I dined with my cousin at the Holy Cross, where a band played during dinner. Badly as they play in the monastery, I prefer it to the Augsburg orchestra. I played a symphony, and a concerto in B of Vanhall's, on the violin, with unanimous applause. The Dean is a kind, jovial man, a cousin of Eberlin [deceased Capellmeister of Salzburg]. His name is Zeschinger. He knows papa well. At night, after supper, I played the Strassburg concerto; it went as smooth as oil; every one praised the fine pure tone. A small clavichord was then brought in, on which I preluded, and played a sonata and the Fischer variations. Some of those present whispered to the Dean that he ought to hear me play in the organ style. I asked him to give me a theme, which he declined, but one of the monks did so. I handled it quite leisurely, and all at once (the fugue being in G minor) I brought in a lively movement in the major key, but in the same tempo, and then at the end the original subject, only reversed. At last it occurred to me to employ the lively movement for the subject of the fugue also, I did not hesitate long, but did so at once, and it went as accurately as if Daser [a Salzburg tailor] had taken its measure. The Dean was in a state of great excitement. "It is over," said he, "and it's no use talking about it, but I could scarcely have believed what I have just heard; you are indeed an able man. My prelate told me beforehand that in his life he never heard any one play the organ in a more finished and solid style" (he having heard me some days previously when the Dean was not here). At last some one brought me a fugued sonata, and asked me to play it. But I said, "Gentlemen, I really must say this is asking rather too much, for it is not likely I shall be able to play such a sonata at sight." "Indeed, I think so too; it is too much; no one could do it," said the Dean eagerly, being all in my favor. "At all events," said I, "I can but try." I heard the Dean muttering all the time behind me, "Oh, you rogue! oh, you knave!" I played till 11 o'clock, bombarded and besieged, as it were, by fugue themes.
Lately, at Stein's, he brought me a sonata of Becke's, but I think I already told you this. A propos, as to his little girl, [Footnote: Nanette, at that time eight years old; afterwards the admirable wife of Andreas Streicher, the friend of Schiller's youth, and one of Beethoven's best friends in Vienna.] any one who can see and hear her play without laughing must be Stein [stone] like her father. She perches herself exactly opposite the treble, avoiding the centre, that she may have more room to throw herself about and make grimaces. She rolls her eyes and smirks; when a passage comes twice she always plays it slower the second time, and if three times, slower still. She raises her arms in playing a passage, and if it is to be played with emphasis she seems to give it with her elbows and not her fingers, as awkwardly and heavily as possible. The finest thing is, that if a passage occurs (which ought to flow like oil) where the fingers must necessarily be changed, she does not pay much heed to that, but lifts her hands, and quite coolly goes on again. This, moreover, puts her in a fair way to get hold of a wrong note, which often produces a curious effect. I only write this in order to give you some idea of pianoforte-playing and teaching here, so that you may in turn derive some benefit from it. Herr Stein is quite infatuated about his daughter. She is eight years old, and learns everything by heart. She may one day be clever, for she has genius, but on this system she will never improve, nor will she ever acquire much velocity of finger, for her present method is sure to make her hand heavy. She will never master what is the most difficult and necessary, and in fact the principal thing in music, namely, time; because from her infancy she has never been in the habit of playing in correct time. Herr Stein and I discussed this point together for at least two hours. I have, however, in some degree converted him; he asks my advice now on every subject. He was quite devoted to Becke, and now he sees and hears that I can do more than Becke, that I make no grimaces, and yet play with so much expression that he himself acknowledges none of his acquaintances have ever handled his pianos as I do. My keeping so accurately in time causes them all much surprise. The left hand being quite independent in the tempo rubato of an adagio, they cannot at all comprehend. With them the left hand always yields to the right. Count Wolfeck and others, who have a passionate admiration for Becke, said lately publicly in a concert that I beat Becke hollow. Count Wolfeck went round the room saying, "In my life I never heard anything like this." He said to me, "I must tell you that I never heard you play as you did to-day, and I mean to say so to your father as soon as I go to Salzburg." What do you think was the first piece after the symphony? The concerto for three pianos. Herr Demmler took the first part, I the second, and Herr Stein the third. I then played a solo, my last sonata in D, for Durnitz, and afterwards my concerto in B; then again a solo in the organ style, namely, a fugue in C minor, then all of a sudden a splendid sonata in C major, finishing with a rondo, all extempore. What a noise and commotion there was! Herr Stein did nothing but make faces and grimaces of astonishment. Herr Demmler was seized with fits of laughter, for he is a queer creature, and when anything pleases him exceedingly, he can't help laughing heartily; indeed, on this occasion he actually began to swear! Addio!
Augsburg, Oct. 25, 1777.
The receipts of the concert were 90 florins, without deducting the expenses. Including, therefore, the two ducats we took in the Casino concert, we had 100 florins. The expenses of the concert did not exceed 16 florins 30 kreutzers; the room I had gratis. I believe most of the musicians will make no charge. We have now ALTOGETHER lost about 26 or 27 florins. This is not of much moment. I am writing this on Saturday the 25th. This morning early I received the letter with the sad news of Frau Oberbereiterin's death. Madlle. Tonerl can now purse up her mouth, or perhaps open it wide, and shut it again as empty as ever. As to the baker's daughter, I have no objection to make; I foresaw all this long ago. This was the cause of my reluctance to leave home, and finding it so difficult to go. I hope the affair is not by this time known all over Salzburg? I beg you, dear papa, most urgently to keep the matter quiet as long as possible, and in the mean time to pay her father on my account any expenses he may have incurred by her entrance into the convent, which I will repay gladly when I return to Salzburg.
I thank you most truly, dear papa, for your good wishes on my name-day. Do not be uneasy on my account, for I have always God before my eyes, I acknowledge His omnipotence, I dread His wrath; but I also know His love, His compassion and mercy towards His creatures, and that He will never forsake His servants. When His will is done I am resigned; so I never can fail to be happy and contented. I shall certainly also strive to live as strictly as possible in accordance with your injunctions and advice. Thank Herr Bullinger a thousand times for his congratulations. I mean to write to him soon and thank him myself, but I may in the mean time assure him that I neither know nor have any better, more sincere, or truer friend than himself. I beg also humbly to thank Madlle. Sallerl; pray tell her I mean to enclose some verses to show my gratitude to her in my letter to Herr Bullinger. Thank my sister also; she is to keep the Schuster duets, and give herself no further trouble on the subject.
In your first letter, dear papa, you write that I lowered myself by my conduct to that lad Langenmantl. Anything but that! I was only straightforward, no more. I see you think he is still a boy; he is one or two and twenty, and a married man. Can any one be considered a boy who is married? I have never gone near him since. I left two cards for him to-day, and excused myself for not going in, having so many indispensable calls to make. I must now conclude, for mamma insists absolument on going to dinner, and then to pack. To-morrow we go straight to Wallerstein. My dear little cousin, who sends you her regards, is anything but a prude. She dressed a la Francaise to please me yesterday. She looked at least 5 per cent, prettier in consequence. Now, Addio!
On the 26th of October the mother and son set off to Mannheim. The mother writes that Wolfgang intended to write to Augsburg, "but he will scarcely be able to do so to-day, for he is now at the rehearsal of the oratorio; so I must beg you to accept my humble self instead." Wolfgang then adds:—
Mannheim, Oct. 30, 1777.
I must beg you also to accept my insignificancy. I went to-day with Herr Danner to M. Cannabich's [Director of the Elector's orchestra]. He was uncommonly polite, and I played something for him on his piano, which is a very good one. We went together to the rehearsal. I could scarcely help laughing when I was presented to the musicians, because, though some who knew me by renomme were very civil and courteous, the rest, who knew nothing whatever about me, stared in such a ludicrous way, evidently thinking that because I am little and young nothing great or mature is to be found in me; but they shall soon find it out. Herr Cannabich is to take me himself to-morrow to Count Savioli, the Intendant of Music. One good thing is that the Elector's name-day is close at hand. The oratorio they are rehearsing is Handel's, but I did not stay to hear it, for they first rehearsed a Psalm Magnificat of the Vice-Capellmeister here, [Abbe] Vogler, which lasted a good hour. I must now conclude, for I have still to write to my cousin.
Mannheim, Nov. 4, 1777.
I am at Cannabich's every day, and mamma went with me there to- day. He is a very different man from what he formerly was, [FOOTNOTE: Mozart had been at his house, when a boy, with his father.] and the whole orchestra say the same. He is very fond of me. He has a daughter who plays the piano very nicely, and in order to make him still more friendly towards me I am working just now at a sonata for her, which is finished all but the Rondo. When I had completed the first allegro and andante, I took it to him myself and played it over; you can't think what applause this sonata receives. There chanced to be some of the musicians there at the moment—young Danner, Lang, who plays the French horn, and the hautboy-player, whose name I forget, but who plays remarkably well, and has a pleasing delicate tone [Ramm]. I made him a present of a concerto for the hautboy; it is being copied in Cannabich's room. The man is wild with delight. I played him the concerto to-day at Cannabich's, and THOUGH KNOWN TO BE MINE it pleased very much. No one said that it was NOT WELL COMPOSED, because people here don't understand these things. They ought to apply to the Archbishop; he would soon put them on the right scent. [FOOTNOTE: The Archbishop never was satisfied with any of the compositions that Mozart wrote for his concerts, but invariably had some fault to find with them.] I played all my six sonatas to-day at Cannabich's. Herr Kapellmeister Holzbauer went with me to-day to Count Savioli's. Cannabich was there at the time. Herr Holzbauer said to the Count in Italian that I wished to have the honor of playing before his Serene Highness the Elector. "I was here fifteen years ago," said I, "but now I am older and more advanced, and I may say in music also"—"Oh!" said the Count, "you are"—I have no idea whom he took me for, as Cannabich interrupted him, but I affected not to hear, and entered into conversation with the others. Still I observed that he was speaking of me very earnestly. The Count then said to me, "I hear that you play the piano very tolerably?" I bowed.
I must now tell you about the music here. On Saturday, All- Saints' day, I attended high mass. The orchestra is very good and numerous. On each side ten or eleven violins, four tenors, two hautboys, two flutes, and two clarionets, two corni, four violoncellos, four bassoons, and four double basses, besides trumpets and kettle-drums. This should give fine music, but I would not venture to produce one of my masses here. Why? From their being short? No, everything is liked short. From their church style? By no means; but solely because NOW in Mannheim, under present circumstances, it is necessary to write chiefly for the instruments, for nothing can possibly be conceived worse than the voices here. Six soprani, six alti, six tenori, and six bassi, to twenty violins and twelve bassi, are in the same proportion as 0 to 1. Is it not so, Herr Bullinger? It proceeds from this:—The Italians are miserably represented: they have only two musici here, and they are already old. This race is dying out. These soprano singers, too, would prefer singing counter-tenor; for they can no longer take the high notes. The few boys they have are wretched. The tenor and bass just like our singers at funerals. Vogler, who lately conducted the mass, is barren and frivolous—a man who imagines he can do a great deal, and does very little. The whole orchestra dislike him. To-day, Sunday, I heard a mass of Holzbauer's, which is now twenty-six years old, but excellent. He writes very well, and has a good church style, arranges the vocal parts as well as the instrumental, and writes good fugues. They have two organists here; it would be worth while to come to Mannheim on purpose to hear them—which I had a famous opportunity of doing, as it is the custom here for the organist to play during the whole of the Benedictus. I heard the second organist first, and then the other. In my opinion the second is preferable to the first; for when I heard the former, I asked, "Who is that playing on the organ?" "Our second organist." "He plays miserably." When the other began, I said, "Who may that be?" "Our first organist." "Why, he plays more miserably still." I believe if they were pounded together, something even worse would be the result. It is enough to kill one with laughing to look at these gentlemen. The second at the organ is like a child trying to lift a millstone. You can see his anguish in his face. The first wears spectacles. I stood beside him at the organ and watched him with the intention of learning something from him; at each note he lifts his hands entirely off the keys. What he believes to be his forte is to play in six parts, but he mostly makes fifths and octaves. He often chooses to dispense altogether with his right hand when there is not the slightest need to do so, and plays with the left alone; in short, he fancies that he can do as he will, and that he is a thorough master of his organ.
Mamma sends her love to you all; she cannot possibly write, for she has still to say her officium. We came home very late from the grand opera rehearsal. I must go to-morrow after high mass to the illustrious Electress; she is resolved absolument to teach me to knit filee. I am very eager about this, as she and the Elector wish that I should knit in public next Thursday at the great gala concert. The young Princess here, who is a child compared with the Electress, knits very prettily. The Zweenbruck and his Zwobrucken (Deux Ponts) arrived here at eight o'clock. A propos, mamma and I earnestly beg you, dear papa, to send our charming cousin a souvenir; we both regretted so much having nothing with us, but we promised to write to you to send her something. We wish two things to be sent—a double neckerchief in mamma's name, like the one she wears, and in mine some ornament; a box, or etui, or anything you like, only it must be pretty, for she deserves it. [FOOTNOTE: The father was still in possession of many of the ornaments and jewels presented to these children during their artistic tours.] She and her father took a great deal of trouble on our account, and wasted much time on us. My cousin took the receipts for me at my concert. Addio!
Mannheim, Nov. 5, 1777.
My dear Coz—Buzz,—
I have safely received your precious epistle—thistle, and from it I perceive—achieve, that my aunt—gaunt, and you—shoe, are quite well—bell. I have to-day a letter—setter, from my papa— ah-ha, safe in my hands—sands. I hope you also got—trot, my Mannheim letter—setter. Now for a little sense—pence. The prelate's seizure—leisure, grieves me much—touch, but he will, I hope, get well—sell. You write—blight, you will keep—cheap, your promise to write to me—he-he, to Augsburg soon—spoon. Well, I shall be very glad—mad. You further write, indeed you declare, you pretend, you hint, you vow, you explain, you distinctly say, you long, you wish, you desire, you choose, command, and point out, you let me know and inform me that I must send you my portrait soon—moon. Eh, bien! you shall have it before long—song. Now I wish you good night—tight.
The 5th.—Yesterday I conversed with the illustrious Electress; and to-morrow, the 6th, I am to play in the gala concert, and afterwards, by desire of the Princess, in their private apartments. Now for something rational! I beg of you—why not?—I beg of you, my very dear cousin—why not?—when you write to Madame Tavernier in Munich, to convey a message from me to the two Demoiselles Freysinger—why not? odd enough! but why not?— and I humbly ask pardon of Madlle. Josepha—I mean the youngest, and pray why not? why should I not ask her pardon? strange! but I don't know why I should not, so I do ask her pardon very humbly— for not having yet sent the sonata I promised her, but I mean to do so as soon as possible. Why not? I don't know why not. I can now write no more—which makes my heart sore. To all my kind friends much love—dove. Addio! Your old young, till death— breath,
WOLFGANG AMADE ROSENCRANZ.
Miennham, eht ht5 rebotoc, 7771.
Mannheim, Nov. 8, 1777.
This forenoon, at Herr Cannabich's, I wrote the Rondo of the sonata for his daughter; so they would not let me leave them all day. The Elector and the Electress, and the whole court, are very much pleased with me. Both times I played at the concert, the Elector and she stood close beside me at the piano. After the music was at an end, Cannabich managed that I should be noticed by the court. I kissed the Elector's hand, who said, "I think it is now fifteen years since you were here?" "Yes, your Highness, it is fifteen years since I had that honor." "You play inimitably." The Princess, when I kissed her hand, said, "Monsieur, je vous assure, on ne peut pas jouer mieux."
Yesterday I went with Cannabich to pay the visit mamma already wrote to you about [to Duke Carl Theodor's children], and there I conversed with the Elector as if he had been some kind friend. He is a most gracious and good Prince. He said to me, "I hear you wrote an opera at Munich" ["La finta Giardiniera"]? "Yes, your Highness, and, with your gracious permission, my most anxious wish is to write an opera here; I entreat you will not quite forget me. I could also write a German one, God be praised!" said I, smiling. "That may easily be arranged." He has one son and three daughters, the eldest of whom and the young Count play the piano. The Elector questioned me confidentially about his children. I spoke quite honestly, but without detracting from their master. Cannabich was entirely of my opinion. The Elector, on going away, took leave of me with much courtesy.
After dinner to-day I went, at two o'clock, with Cannabich to Wendling's, the flute-player, where they were all complaisance. The daughter, who was formerly the Elector's favorite, plays the piano very prettily; afterwards I played. I cannot describe to you the happy mood I was in. I played extempore, and then three duets with the violin, which I had never in my life seen, nor do I now know the name of the author. They were all so delighted that I—was desired to embrace the ladies. No hard task with the daughter, for she is very pretty.
We then went again to the Elector's children; I played three times, and from my heart too,—the Elector himself each time asking me to play. He seated himself each time close to me and never stirred. I also asked a certain Professor there to give me a theme for a fugue, and worked it out.
Now for my congratulations!
My very dearest papa,—I cannot write poetically, for I am no poet. I cannot make fine artistic phrases that cast light and shadow, for I am no painter; I can neither by signs nor by pantomime express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer; but I can by tones, for I am a musician. So to-morrow, at Cannabich's, I intend to play my congratulations both for your name-day and birthday. Mon tres-cher pere, I can only on this day wish for you, what from my whole heart I wish for you every day and every night—health, long life, and a cheerful spirit. I would fain hope, too, that you have now less annoyance than when I was in Salzburg; for I must admit that I was the chief cause of this. They treated me badly, which I did not deserve, and you naturally took my part, only too lovingly. I can tell you this was indeed one of the principal and most urgent reasons for my leaving Salzburg in such haste. I hope, therefore, that my wish is fulfilled. I must now close by a musical congratulation. I wish that you may live as many years as must elapse before no more new music can be composed. Farewell! I earnestly beg you to go on loving me a little, and, in the mean time, to excuse these very poor congratulations till I open new shelves in my small and confined knowledge-box, where I can stow away the good sense which I have every intention to acquire.
Mannheim, Nov. 13, 1777.
We received your last two letters, and now I must answer them in detail. Your letter desiring me to inquire about Becke's parents [in Wallerstein, No. 68] I did not get till I had gone to Mannheim, so too late to comply with your wish; but it never would have occurred to me to do so, for, in truth, I care very little about him. Would you like to know how I was received by him? Well and civilly; that is, he asked where I was going. I said, most probably to Paris. He then gave me a vast deal of advice, saying he had recently been there, and adding, "You will make a great deal by giving lessons, for the piano is highly prized in Paris." He also arranged that I should dine at the officers' table, and promised to put me in the way of speaking to the Prince. He regretted very much having at that moment a sore throat, (which was indeed quite true,) so that he could not go out with me himself to procure me some amusement. He was also sorry that he could have no music in honor of me, because most of the musical people had gone that very day on some pedestrian excursion to—Heaven knows where! At his request I tried his piano, which is very good. He often said Bravo! I extemporized, and also played the sonatas in B and D. In short, he was very polite, and I was also polite, but grave. We conversed on a variety of topics—among others, about Vienna, and more particularly that the Emperor [Joseph II.] was no great lover of music. He said, "It is true he has some knowledge of composition, but of nothing else. I can still recall (and he rubbed his forehead) that when I was to play before him I had no idea what to play; so I began with some fugues and trifles of that kind, which in my own mind I only laughed at." I could scarcely resist saying, "I can quite fancy your laughing, but scarcely so loud as I must have done had I heard you!" He further said (what is the fact) that the music in the Emperor's private apartments is enough to frighten the crows. I replied, that whenever I heard such music, if I did not quickly leave the room it gave me a headache. "Oh! no; it has no such effect on me; bad music does not affect my nerves, but fine music never fails to give me a headache." I thought to myself again, such a shallow head as yours is sure to suffer when listening to what is beyond its comprehension.
Now for some of our news here. I was desired to go yesterday with Cannabich to the Intendant, Count Savioli, to receive my present. It was just what I had anticipated—a handsome gold watch. Ten Carolins would have pleased me better just now, though the watch and chain, with its appendages, are valued at twenty Carolins. Money is what is most needed on a journey; and, by your leave, I have now five watches. Indeed, I have serious thoughts of having a second watch-pocket made, and, when I visit a grandee, to wear two watches, (which is indeed the fashion here,) that no one may ever again think of giving me another. I see from your letter that you have not yet read Vogler's book. [FOOTNOTE: Ton Wissenschaft und Ton Kunst.] I have just finished it, having borrowed it from Cannabich. His history is very short. He came here in a miserable condition, performed on the piano, and composed a ballet. This excited the Elector's compassion, who sent him to Italy. When the Elector was in Bologna, he questioned Father Valoti about Vogler. "Oh! your Highness, he is a great man," &c., &c. He then asked Father Martini the same question. "Your Highness, he has talent; and by degrees, when he is older and more solid, he will no doubt improve, though he must first change considerably." When Vogler came back he entered the Church, was immediately appointed Court Chaplain, and composed a Miserere which all the world declares to be detestable, being full of false harmony. Hearing; that it was not much commended, he went to the Elector and complained that the orchestra played badly on purpose to vex and annoy him; in short, he knew so well how to make his game (entering into so many petty intrigues with women) that he became Vice-Capellmeister. He is a fool, who fancies that no one can be better or more perfect than himself. The whole orchestra, from the first to the last, detest him. He has been the cause of much annoyance to Holzbauer. His book is more fit to teach arithmetic than composition. He says that he can make a composer in three weeks, and a singer in six months; but we have not yet seen any proof of this. He despises the greatest masters. To myself he spoke with contempt of Bach [Johann Christian, J. Sebastian's youngest son, called the London Bach], who wrote two operas here, the first of which pleased more than the second, Lucio Silla. As I had composed the same opera in Milan, I was anxious to see it, and hearing from Holzbauer that Vogler had it, I asked him to lend it to me. "With all my heart," said he; "I will send it to you to-morrow without fail, but you won't find much talent in it." Some days after, when he saw me, he said with a sneer, "Well, did you discover anything very fine— did you learn anything from it? One air is rather good. What are the words?" asked he of some person standing near. "What air do you mean?" "Why, that odious air of Bach's, that vile—oh! yes, pupille amate. He must have written it after a carouse of punch." I really thought I must have laid hold of his pigtail; I affected, however, not to hear him, said nothing, and went away. He has now served out his time with the Elector.
The sonata for Madlle. Rosa Cannabich is finished. Last Sunday I played the organ in the chapel for my amusement. I came in while the Kyrie was going on, played the last part, and when the priest intoned the Gloria I made a cadence, so different, however, from what is usually heard here, that every one looked round in surprise, and above all Holzbauer. He said to me, "If I had known you were coming, I would have put out another mass for you." "Oh!" said I, "to puzzle me, I suppose?" Old Toeschi and Wendling stood all the time close beside me. I gave them enough to laugh at. Every now and then came a pizzicato, when I rattled the keys well; I was in my best humor. Instead of the Benedictus here, there is always a voluntary, so I took the ideas of the Sanctus and worked them out in a fugue. There they all stood making faces. At the close, after Ita missa est, I played a fugue. Their pedal is different from ours, which at first rather puzzled me, but I soon got used to it. I must now conclude. Pray write to us still at Mannheim. I know all about Misliweczeck's sonatas [see No. 64], and played them lately at Munich; they are very easy and agreeable to listen to. My advice is that my sister, to whom I humbly commend myself, should play them with much expression, taste, and fire, and learn them by heart. For these are sonatas which cannot fail to please every one, are not difficult to commit to memory, and produce a good effect when played with precision.
Mannheim, Nov. 13, 1777.
Potz Himmel! Croatians, demons, witches, hags, and cross batteries! Potz Element! air, earth, fire, and water! Europe, Asia, Africa, and America! Jesuits, Augustines, Benedictines, Capucins, Minorites, Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians, and Knights of the Cross! privateers, canons regular and irregular, sluggards, rascals, scoundrels, imps, and villains all! donkeys, buffaloes, oxen, fools, blockheads, numskulls, and foxes! What means this? Four soldiers and three shoulder-belts! Such a thick packet and no portrait! [FOOTNOTE: The "Basle" (his cousin) had promised him her portrait. She sent it subsequently to Salzburg, where it still hangs in the Mozarteum.] I was so anxious about it—indeed, I felt sure of getting it, having yourself written long ago to say that I should have it soon, very soon. Perhaps you doubt my keeping my promise [about the ornaments—see No. 71], but I cannot think this either. So pray let me have the likeness as quickly as you can; and I trust it is taken as I entreated—in French costume.
How do I like Mannheim? As well as I can any place where my cousin is not. I hope, on the other hand, that you have at all events received my two letters—one from Hohenaltheim, and one from Mannheim—this, such as it is, being the third from here, but making the fourth in all. I must conclude, for we are just going to dinner, and I am not yet dressed. Love me as I love you, and then we shall never cease loving each other. Adieu! J'espere que vous aurez deja pris quelque lection dans la langue francaise, et je ne doute point que—ecoutez!—que vous aurez bientot le francais mieux que moi; car il y a certainement deux ans que je n'ai pas ecrit un mot de cette langue. Encore adieu! Je vous baise les mains.
Mannheim, Nov. 14-16, 1777.
I, Johannes, Chrysostomus, Amadeus, Wolfgangus, Sigismundus, Mozart, plead guilty to having both yesterday and the day before (and very often besides) stayed away from home till twelve o'clock at night, from ten o'clock till the aforesaid hour, I being in the presence and company of M. Cannabich, his wife and daughter, the Herrn Schatzmeister, Ramm, and Lang, making doggerel rhymes with the utmost facility, in thought and word, but not in deed. I should not, however, have conducted myself in so reckless a manner if our ringleader, namely, the so-called Lisel (Elisabeth Cannabich), had not inveigled and instigated me to mischief, and I am bound to admit that I took great pleasure in it myself. I confess all these my sins and shortcomings from the depths of my heart; and in the hope of often having similar ones to confess, I firmly resolve to amend my present sinful life. I therefore beg for a dispensation if it can be granted; but, if not, it is a matter of indifference to me, for the game will go on all the same. Lusus enim suum habet ambitum, says the pious singer Meissner, (chap. 9, p. 24,) and also the pious Ascenditor, patron of singed coffee, musty lemonade, milk of almonds with no almonds in it, and, above all, strawberry ice full of lumps of ice, being himself a great connoisseur and artist in these delicacies.
The sonata I composed for Madlle. Cannabich I intend to write out as soon as possible on small paper, and to send it to my sister. I began to teach it to Madlle. Rose three days ago, and she has learned the allegro. The andante will give us most trouble, for it is full of expression, and must be played with accuracy and taste, and the fortes and pianos given just as they are marked. She is very clever, and learns with facility. Her right hand is very good, but the left is unhappily quite ruined. I must say that I do really feel very sorry for her, when I see her laboring away till she is actually panting for breath; and this not from natural awkwardness on her part, but because, being so accustomed to this method, she cannot play in any other way, never having been shown the right one. I said, both to her mother and herself, that if I were her regular master I would lock up all her music, cover the keys of the piano with a handkerchief, and make her exercise her right and left hand, at first quite slowly in nothing but passages and shakes, &c., until her hands were thoroughly trained; and after that I should feel confident of making her a genuine pianiste. They both acknowledged that I was right. It is a sad pity; for she has so much genius, reads very tolerably, has great natural aptitude, and plays with great feeling.
Now about the opera briefly. Holzbauer's music [for the first great German operetta, "Gunther von Schwarzburg"] is very beautiful, but the poetry is not worthy of such music. What surprises me most is, that so old a man as Holzbauer should still have so much spirit, for the opera is incredibly full of fire. The prima donna was Madame Elisabeth Wendling, not the wife of the flute-player, but of the violinist. She is in very delicate health; and, besides, this opera was not written for her, but for a certain Madame Danzi, who is now in England; so it does not suit her voice, and is too high for her. Herr Raaff, in four arias of somewhere about 450 bars, sang in a manner which gave rise to the remark that his want of voice was the principal cause of his singing so badly. When he begins an air, unless at the same moment it recurs to your mind that this is Raaff, the old but once so renowned tenor, I defy any one not to burst out laughing. It is a fact, that in my own case I thought, if I did not know that this is the celebrated Raaff, I should be bent double from laughing, but as it is—I only take out my handkerchief to hide a smile. They tell me here that he never was a good actor; that people went to hear, but not to see him. He has by no means a pleasing exterior. In this opera he was to die, singing in a long, long, slow air; and he died laughing! and towards the end of the aria his voice failed him so entirely that it was impossible to stand it! I was in the orchestra next Wendling the flute-player, and as he had previously criticized the song, saying it was unnatural to sing so long before dying, adding, "I do think he will never die!" I said in return, "Have a little patience; it will soon be all over with him, for I can hear he is at the last gasp!" "And I too," said he, laughing. The second singer, Madlle. Strasserin, sang very well, and is an admirable actress.
There is a national stage here, which is permanent like that at Munich; German operettas are sometimes given, but the singers in them are wretched. Yesterday I dined with the Baron and Baroness von Hagen, Oberstjagermeister here. Three days ago I called on Herr Schmalz, a banker, to whom Herr Herzog, or rather Nocker and Schidl, had given me a letter. I expected to have found a very civil good sort of man. When I gave him the letter he read it through, made me a slight bow, and said nothing. At last, after many apologies for not having sooner waited on him, I told him that I had played before the Elector. "Really!" Altum silentium. I said nothing, he said nothing. At last I began again: "I will no longer intrude on you. I have the honor to"—Here he interrupted me. "If I can be of any service to you, I beg"— "Before I leave this I must take the liberty to ask you"—"Not for money?" "Yes, if you will be so good as to"—"Oh! that I can't do; there is nothing in the letter about money. I cannot give you any money, but anything else"—"There is nothing else in which you can serve me—nothing whatever. I have the honor to take my leave." I wrote the whole history yesterday to Herr Herzog in Augsburg. We must now wait here for the answer, so you may still write to us at Mannheim. I kiss your hand, and am your young brother and father, as in your last letter you say "I am the old man and son." To-day is the 16th when I finish this, or else you will not know when it was sent off. "Is the letter ready?" "Yes, mamma, here it is!"