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are written in a strange hand and merely signed by Beethoven. The petition contained in the third was not granted. Schindler has enlarged upon Beethoven's inexperience and lack of skill in matters of business, and of his propensity to waste his resources in needless changes of lodgings; Wegeler and others inform us of his ignorance of the value of money; Karl van Beethoven had been a great expense to him; and five-eighths of his annuity had for some time remained unpaid. Still, it is impossible to account satisfactorily for the very low state of his finances at this time. He must have been strangely imprudent in non-husbanding his resources. From March 1, 1809, to March 1, 1813, he had received from Kinsky rather more than five semi-annual payments (the "60 ducats" included), from Lobkowitz five and from the Archduke seven—five of them in notes of redemption; in all, 11500 florins. In the Spring of 1810, Collard (Clementi) had paid him £200; from Thomson he had received 150 ducats, if not in July, 1810, at least in July, 1811, and 90 ducats more in February, 1813, and within the last years Breitkopf and Hartel had certainly paid him several thousand florins for the many works of magnitude purchased by them; besides all this he had borrowed at least 1100 florins from Brentano, for two or three years only after this he notes: "I owe F. A. B. 2300 fl., once 1100 and 60 ducats"; and we know of no time after the beginning of 1814, when he was under the necessity of applying to that generous friend for any sums like these. But, whatever was the cause, and whoever was in fault, Beethoven was now, up to the time when his brother Karl received his new appointment, learning by harsh experience a lesson in economy—happily to his profit.
To finish this topic at once, we pass on to the summer, which the composer spent in Baden, meeting there his friends the Streichers. Frau Streicher afterwards related to Schindler, that she "found Beethoven in the summer of 1813, in the most desolate state as regards his physical and domestic needs—not only did he not have a single good coat, but not a whole shirt," and, adds Schindler, "I must hesitate to describe his condition exactly as it was." Frau Streicher, after her return to the city, "put his wardrobe and household affairs to rights and, with the help of her husband, saw to the provision of the necessities," and, what was still better, they impressed upon him the necessity of "putting money by against the future, and Beethoven obeyed in every particular." A small sum received from Gratz, and the 750 fl. due from the Archduke, September 1st, relieved him for the moment; but before the end of the year, he was again so A Period Of Adversity 245
reduced, probably by the necessary expenditures made on his account by the Streichers, as to obtain a loan of 50 ducats from Malzel.
The tone of the correspondence during the first half of this year is far less depressed than might be expected under the adverse circumstances just detailed, to which is to be added constant ill health; indeed, his notes to Zmeskall are enlivened by divers gleams of his old humor. For the better understanding of the selections here made it is to be premised, that (a) Brunswick arrived in Vienna, February 21; that (b) Beethoven contributed a "newly composed Triumphal March" to Kuffner's tragedy "Tarpeia" for its first performance in the Burgtheater, March 26; that (c) One of his symphonies was the principal attraction of the Theatrical Poor Fund Concert in the Karnthnerthortheater, April 16; that
(d) He could justly claim the use of that theatre from Prince Lobkowitz for a benefit concert; that (e) Varena had again applied to him for music for another charity concert in Gratz; that (f) Louis Bonaparte, Ex-King of Holland, then residing in Gratz, was the "rich third party" referred to in one of the letters; and (g) That the pecuniary embarrassments of Lobkowitz reached their climax this summerand recalled Beethoven from Baden to take the needful steps to secure himself from farther loss, if possible. On January 24th, he writes to Zmeskall:We inform you, best Z., of this and the other thing from which you may choose the best, and are most horribly well-disposed toward you. We hear that you have letters from B. addressed to us and beg you to send them. Are you at liberty to-day? If so, you will find me in the Swan —if not, we will find each other somewhere else. Your friend Author Beethoven Bonnensis. Between this letter and the next there falls a rather long letter in French to Thomson, dated February 19, 1813, which informs us touching the progress of the work on the British songs. Beethoven writes: I have received your valued letters of August 5, October 30 and December 21, and learned with pleasure that you have received the 62 songs which I have set for you at last and that you are satisfied with all but 9 of them which you specify and in which you would like to have me change the ritornelles and accompaniments. I regret that I cannot accommodate you in this. I am not in the habit of rewriting my compositions. I have never done it, being convinced that any partial alteration changes the character of the entire composition. I regret that you will suffer the loss; but you can scarcely put the blame on me, since it ought to have been your affair to advise me more explicitly of the taste of your country and the small skill of your players. Having now received your instruction on these points I have composed the songs wholly anew and, as I hope, so that they will meet your expectations. You may believe that it was only with great reluctance that I determined to do violence to my ideas and that I should never have been willing to do so had I not feared that a refusal would cause a loss to you, as in your collection you wanted to have my compositions exclusively and that otherwise you might have had your care and expense to produce a complete work in vain. . . . The last two songs in your letter of December 21, pleased me very much. For this reason I composed them
con amore, particularly the second one. You noted it in
but as this key seems too little natural and so little in harmony with the direction Amoroso that it might better be written Barbaresco, I have set it in a more appropriate key. Further on in the letter he asks Thomson to tell him whether Andantino was to be understood as meaning faster or slower than Andante, "for this term, like so many in music, is of so indefinite a significance that Andantino sometimes approaches an Allegro and sometimes, on the other hand, is played like Adagio."
A rather long note to Zmeskall of February 25, being about a servant, is not worth copying. It begins: "I have, my dear Z., been almost continuously ill since I saw you last," and closes after the signature with the word "Miserabilis." Omitting others of similar contents we come to this interesting letter to Varena: Dear Sir! No doubt Rode was right in all that he said about me; my health is not of the best and without fault of my own my condition otherwise is perhaps more unfavorable than at any time in my life; but neither this nor anything else shall dissuade me from helping the equally innocent sufferers, the Convent ladies, so far as my modest talents will permit. To this end, two entirely new symphonies are at your services, an air for bass voice with chorus, several smaller single choruses—if you need the overture to Hungary's Benefactor which you performed last year, it is at your service. The overture to "The Ruins of Athens," although in a smaller style, is also at your service. Amongst the choruses is a chorus of Dervishes, an attractive thing [literally: "a good signboard"] for a mixed public. In my opinion you would do best to choose a day on which you could give the oratorio "Christus am Olberg"; since then it has been played all over; this would then fill half of the concert; for the second Help For The Ursuljnes At Gratz 247
half you would play a new symphony, the overture and different choruses, as also the bass air with chorus mentioned; thus the evening would not be without variety; but you would better talk this over with the musical councillors in your city and let them decide. What you say concerning remuneration for me from a third person I think I can guess who he is; if I were in my former condition I would flatly say: "Beethoven never takes pay when the benefitting of humanity is concerned," but now, placed in a condition through my great benevolence (the cause of which can bring me no shame) and other circumstances which are to blame, which are caused by men without honesty or honor, I say frankly I would not decline such an offer from a rich third party; but there is no thought of a demand; even if there should prove to be nothing in the talk about a third person, be convinced that I am just as willing now to be of service to my friends, the reverend women, as I was last year without the least reward, and as I shall always be to suffering humanity as long as I breathe. And now farewell. Write to me soon and I will care for all that is necessary with the greatest zeal. My best wishes for the convent. Closely connected with this in subject, and no doubt in time, is the following letter to Zmeskall:See to the delivery of this letter to Brunswick at once to-day, so that it may arrive as soon as possible and correctly. Pardon me the burdens which I place upon you. I have just been asked again to send works to Gratz in the Steirmark for a concert to be given for the benefit of the Ursulines and their educational convent. Last year such a concert yielded generous receipts. With this academy and that which I gave in Karlsbad for the benefit of the sufferers from the fire in Baden three academies have been given in one year for, by and through me—to me everywhere a deaf ear is turned [literally: "for me everybody wears his ears on his feet"]. Thereupon he wrote again to Varena: Vienna, April 8, 1813. My dear V! I received with much pleasure your letter but again with much displeasure the 100 florins sent by the poor cloister ladies; meanwhile they are deposited with me to be applied to the payment of the expenses for copying. Whatever remains will be returned to the noble cloister women together with a view of the accounts. For such occasions I never accept anything—I thought that the third person to whom you referred was perhaps the ex-King of Holland and—yes, from him who probably took from the Hollanders in a less righteous way I would have had no hesitation in accepting something in my present condition; now, however, I beg kindly that nothing more be said on the subject. Write me your opinion as to whether if I came to Gratz I could give a concert; for it is not likely that Vienna will long remain my place of residence; perhaps it is already too late, but your opinion on the subject will always be welcome. The works will be copied and as soon as possible you shall have them—do whatever you please with the oratorio; wherever it can do any good my purposes will best be subserved. All things beautiful to our Ursulines, whom I am glad to be able to serve again. Numbers 8 and 9 of Kochel's "Drei-und-achtzig OriginalBriefe" by Beethoven to Archduke Rudolph and his chamberlain, pray the Archduke to intercede for him with the Rector of the University for permission to give two concerts in the hall of the University. The result is shown, in a note to Zmeskall dated April 19: The hall of the University, my dear Z., is—refused, I received this information day before yesterday, but being ill yesterday I could not come to you to talk it over, nor to-day. There will remain nothing probably except the Karnthnerthortheater or that An-der-Wien, and I fancy only one A (cademy). If that will not go we must resort to the Augarten, there of course we must give 2 A. Think the matter over a bit, my dear, and give me your opinion. It may be that the symphonies will be rehearsed to-morrow at the Archduke's, if I can go out, of which I shall let you know. The rehearsal took place on Resurrection Day, April 18, as we learn from the 48th letter in the Kbchel Collection, which, together with the preceding two (Nos. 46 and 47), belong in the year 1813, not in 1819, as Kochel surmised. The following little note to Zmeskall refers to the rehearsal: Meanwhile I thank you, dear Z., and inform you that the rehearsal will take place at the Archduke's to-morrow afternoon at 3 o'clock—but I shall give you the particulars to-morrow morning—for the present I have announced it. Your Beethoven. To Zmeskall he wrote on April 23:Dear Z.: All will go well, the Archduke will take this Prince Fitzly Putzly soundly by the ears—let me know if you intend to eat at the inn to-day or when you do? Then tell me please whether "Sentivant" is correctly spelled, as I want to write to him at the same time for the chorus. I must yet consult with you about the day to be chosen, moreover you must not let anything be observed about the enlistment of the Archduke, for Prince Fitzly Putzly will not come to the Archduke till Sunday, if this wicked debtor were to observe anything in advance he would try to get out of it.
(On April 26): Lobkowitz will give me the theatre for a day after May 15, it seems to me this is about as good as none at all—and I am almost of a mind to give up all thoughts of a concert. He above will surely not let me go utterly to ruin. (On May 10): I beg of you, dear Z., not to let anything be heard about what I said to you concerning Prince L., as the matter is really going forward and without this step nothing would ever have been certain. I have looked for you at the S. every day, but in vain.