piątek, 11 lutego 2011

1778-1779 Mozart letters from Paris, Nancy, Strasbourg, Mannheim, Munchen

Paris Match 1778-January 1779



Paris, March 24, 1778.

YESTERDAY (Monday, the 23d), at four o'clock in the afternoon, we
arrived here, thank God! safely, having been nine days and a half
on our journey. We thought we really could not have gone through
with it; in my life I never was so wearied. You may easily
imagine what it was to leave Mannheim and so many dear kind
friends, and then to travel for ten days, not only without these
friends, but without any human being--without a single soul whom
we could associate with or even speak to. Now, thank Heaven! we
are at our destination, and I trust that, with the help of God,
all will go well. To-day we are to take a fiacre and go in quest
of Grimm and Wendling. Early to-morrow I intend to call on the
Minister of the Palatinate, Herr von Sickingen, (a great
connoisseur and passionate lover of music, and for whom I have
two letters from Herr von Gemmingen and M. Cannabich.) Before
leaving Mannheim I had the quartet transcribed that I wrote at
Lodi one evening in the inn there, and also the quintet and the
Fischer variations for Herr von Gemmingen [author of the
"Deutsche Hausvater"], on which he wrote me a most polite note,
expressing his pleasure at the souvenir I had left him, and
sending me a letter to his intimate friend Herr von Sickingen,
adding, "I feel sure that you will be a greater recommendation to
the letter than the letter can possibly be to you;" and, to repay
the expense of writing out the music, he sent me three louis-
d'or; he also assured me of his friendship, and requested mine in
return. I must say that all those who knew me, Hofrathe,
Kammerrathe, and other high-class people, as well as all the
court musicians, were very grieved and reluctant to see me go;
and really and truly so.

We left on Saturday, the 14th, and on the previous Thursday there
was an afternoon concert at Cannabich's, where my concerto for
three pianos was given. Madlle. Rose Cannabich played the first,
Madlle. Weber the second, and Madlle. Pierron Serrarius (our
"house-nymph") the third. We had three rehearsals of the
concerto, and it went off well. Madlle. Weber sang three arias of
mine, the "Aer tranquillo" from the "Re Pastore," [Footnote: A
festal opera that Mozart had composed in 1775, in honor of the
visit of the Archduke Maximilian Francis to Salzburg.] and the
new "Non so d' onde viene." With this last air my dear Madlle.
Weber gained very great honor both for herself and for me. All
present said that no aria had ever affected them like this one;
and, indeed, she sang it as it ought to be sung. The moment it
was finished, Cannabich exclaimed, "Bravo! bravissimo maestro!
veramente scritta da maestro!" It was given for the first time on
this occasion with instruments. I should like you to have heard
it also, exactly as it was executed and sung there, with such
precision in time and taste, and in the pianos and fortes. Who
knows? you may perhaps still hear her. I earnestly hope so. The
members of the orchestra never ceased praising the aria and
talking about it.

I have many kind friends at Mannheim (both highly esteemed and
rich) who wished very much to keep me there. Well! where I am
properly paid, I am content to be. Who can tell? it may still
come to pass. I wish it may; and thus it ever is with me--I live
always in hope. Herr Cannabich is an honorable, worthy man, and a
kind friend of mine. He has only one fault, which is, that
although no longer very young, he is rather careless and absent,
--if you are not constantly before his eyes, he is very apt to
forget all about you. But where the interests of a real friend
are in question, he works like a horse, and takes the deepest
interest in the matter; and this is of great use, for he has
influence. I cannot, however, say much in favor of his courtesy
or gratitude; the Webers (for whom I have not done half so much),
in spite of their poverty and obscurity, have shown themselves
far more grateful. Madame Cannabich and her daughter never
thanked me by one single word, much less thought of offering me
some little remembrance, however trifling, merely as a proof of
kindly feeling; but nothing of the sort, not even thanks, though
I lost so much time in teaching the daughter, and took such pains
with her. She can now perfectly well perform before any one; as a
girl only fourteen, and an amateur, she plays remarkably well,
and for this they have to thank me, which indeed is very well
known to all in Mannheim. She has now neatness, time, and good
fingering, as well as even shakes, which she had not formerly.
They will find that they miss me much three months hence, for I
fear she will again be spoiled, and spoil herself; unless she has
a master constantly beside her, and one who thoroughly
understands what he is about, she will do no good, for she is
still too childish and giddy to practise steadily and carefully
alone. [Footnote: Rosa Cannabich became, indeed, a remarkable
virtuoso. C L. Junker mentions her, even in his musical almanac
of 1783, among the most eminent living artists.]

Madlle. Weber paid me the compliment kindly to knit two pairs of
mits for me, as a remembrance and slight acknowledgment. M. Weber
wrote out whatever I required gratis, gave me the music-paper,
and also made me a present of Moliere's Comedies (as he knew that
I had never read them), with this inscription:--"Ricevi, amico,
le opere di Moliere, in segno di gratitudine, e qualche volta
ricordati di me." [Footnote: "Accept, my dear friend, Moliere's
works as a token of my gratitude; and sometimes think of me."]
And when alone with mamma he said, "Our best friend, our
benefactor, is about to leave us. There can be no doubt that your
son has done a great deal for my daughter, and interested himself
much about her, and she cannot be too thankful to him."
[Footnote: Aloysia Weber became afterwards Madame Lange. She had
great fame as a singer. We shall hear more of her in the Vienna
letters.] The day before I set off, they would insist on my
supping with them, but I managed to give them two hours before
supper instead. They never ceased thanking me, and saying they
only wished they were in a position to testify their gratitude,
and when I went away they all wept. Pray forgive me, but really
tears come to my eyes when I think of it. Weber came down-stairs
with me, and remained standing at the door till I turned the
corner and called out Adieu!

In Paris he at once plunged into work, so that his love-affair
was for a time driven into the background. Compositions for the
Concert Spirituel, for the theatre, and for dilettanti, as well
as teaching and visits to great people, occupied him. His mother
writes: "I cannot describe to you how much Wolfgang is beloved
and praised here. Herr Wendling had said much in his favor before
he came, and has presented him to all his friends. He can dine
daily, if he chooses, with Noverre [the famed ballet-master], and
also with Madame d'Epinay" [Grimm's celebrated friend]. The
mother herself scarcely saw him all day, for on account of their
small close apartment, he was obliged to compose at Director Le
Gros's house. She had (womanlike) written to the father about the
composition of a Miserere. Wolfgang continues the letter, more
fully explaining the matter.


Paris, April 5, 1778.

I MUST now explain more, clearly what mamma alludes to, as she
has written rather obscurely. Capellmeister Holzbauer has sent a
Miserere here, but as the choruses at Mannheim are weak and poor,
whereas here they are strong and good, his choruses would make no
effect. M. Le Gros (Director of the Concert Spirituel) requested
me therefore to compose others; Holzbauer's introductory chorus
being retained. "Quoniam iniquitatem meam," an allegro, is the
first air by me. The second an adagio, "Ecce enim in
iniquitatibus." Then an allegro, "Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti"
to the "ossa humiliata." Then an andante for soprano, tenor, and
bass Soli; "Cor mundum," and "Redde mihi," allegro to "ad se
convertentur." I also composed a recitative for a bass air,
"Libera me de sanguinibus," because a bass air of Holzbauer's
follows. The "sacrificium Deo spiritus" being an aria andante for
Raaff, with a hautboy and a bassoon solo obligato. I have added a
short recitative with hautboy and bassoon, for here recitative is
much liked. "Benigne fac" to "muri Jerusalem" andante moderate.
Chorus. Then "Tunc acceptabis" to "super altare," allegro and
tenor solo (Le Gros) and chorus. Finis. [None of this music is

I must say that I am right glad to have done with this task, for
it is really detestable not to be able to write at home, and to
be hurried into the bargain; but now, God be praised! it is
finished, and I hope it will make some effect. M. Gussec, whom
you no doubt know, when he saw my first chorus, said to Le Gros
(I was not present) that it was charming, and could not fail to
be successful, that the words were so well arranged, and, above
all, admirably set to music. He is a kind friend of mine, but
very reserved. I am not merely to write an act for an opera, but
an entire one in two acts. The poet has already completed the
first act. Noverre [ballet-master], with whom I dine as often as
I please, managed this, and indeed suggested the idea. I think it
is to be called "Alexander and Roxana." Madame Jenome is also
here. I am about to compose a sinfonie concertante,--flute,
Wendling; oboe, Ramm; French horn, Punto; and bassoon, Ritter.
Punto plays splendidly. I have this moment returned from the
Concert Spirituel. Baron Grimm and I often give vent to our wrath
at the music here; N.B.--when tete-a-tete, for in public we call
out "Bravo! bravissimo!" and clap our hands till our fingers


Paris, May 1, 1778.

THE little violoncellist Zygmatofsky and his unprincipled father
are here. Perhaps I may already have written you this; I only
mention it cursorily, because I just remember that I met him at a
house which I must now tell you about. I mean that of the
Duchesse de Chabot. M. Grimm gave me a letter to her, so I drove
there, the purport of the letter being chiefly to recommend me to
the Duchesse de Bourbon, who when I was last here [during
Mozart's first visit to Paris] was in a convent, and to introduce
me afresh to her and recall me to her memory. A week elapsed
without the slightest notice of my visit, but as eight days
previously she had appointed me to call on her, I kept my
engagement and went. I waited half an hour in a large room
without any fire, and as cold as ice. At last the Duchess came
in, and was very polite, begging me to make allowances for her
piano, as none of her instruments were in good order, but I might
at least try it. I said that I would most gladly play something,
but at this moment it was impossible, as my fingers were quite
benumbed from the cold, so I asked her at all events to take me
to a room where there was a fire. "Oh! oui, Monsieur, vous avez
raison"--was her answer. She then seated herself, and drew for a
whole hour in company with several gentlemen, all sitting in a
circle round a large table, and during this time I had the honor
to wait. The windows and doors were open, so that not only my
hands, but my body and my feet were cold, and my head also began
to ache. Moreover, there was altum silentium, and I really did
not know what to do from cold, headache, and weariness. I again
and again thought to myself, that if it were not on M. Grimm's
account I would leave the house at once. At last, to cut matters
short, I played on the wretched, miserable piano. What however
vexed me most of all was, that the Duchess and all the gentlemen
did not cease drawing for a single moment, but coolly continued
their occupation; so I was left to play to the chairs and tables,
and the walls. My patience gave way under such unpropitious
circumstances. I therefore began the Fischer variations, and
after playing one half of them I rose. Then came eulogiums
without end. I, however, said all that could be said--which was,
that I could do myself no justice on such a piano, but I should
be very glad to fix some other day to play, when a better
instrument might be found. But the Duchess would not hear of my
going away; so I was obliged to wait till her husband came in,
who placed himself beside me and listened to me with great
attention, while, as for me, I became unconscious of all cold and
all headache, and, in spite of the wretched piano, played as I
CAN play when I am in the right mood. Give me the best piano in
Europe, and listeners who understand nothing, or don't wish to
understand, and who do not sympathize with me in what I am
playing, I no longer feel any pleasure. I afterwards told all
this to M. Grimm.

You write to me that I ought to pay a good many visits in order
to make new acquaintances, and to renew former ones. This is,
however, impossible, from the distances being so great, and it is
too muddy to go on foot, for really the mud in Paris is beyond
all description. To go in a carriage entails spending four or
five livres a day, and all for nothing; it is true the people say
all kinds of civil things, but there it ends, as they appoint me
to come on such and such a day, when I play, and hear them
exclaim, "Oh! c'est un prodige, c'est inconcevable, c'est
etonnant!" and then, Adieu! At first I spent money enough in
driving about, and to no purpose, from not finding the people at
home. Unless you lived here, you could not believe what an
annoyance this is. Besides, Paris is much changed; the French are
far from being as polite as they were fifteen years ago; their
manner now borders on rudeness, and they are odiously self-

I must proceed to give you an account of the Concert Spirituel.
By the by, I must first briefly tell you that my chorus-labors
were in a manner useless, for Holzbauer's Miserere was too long
in itself, and did not please, so they gave only two of my
choruses instead of four, and chose to leave out the best; but
this was of no great consequence, for many there were not aware
that any of the music was by me, and many knew nothing at all
about me. Still, at the rehearsal great approbation was
expressed, and I myself (for I place no great reliance on
Parisian praise) was very much satisfied with my choruses. With
regard to the sinfonie concertante there appears to be a hitch,
and I believe that some unseen mischief is at work. It seems that
I have enemies here also; where have I not had them? But this is
a good sign. I was obliged to write the symphony very hurriedly,
and worked very hard at it. The four performers were and are
perfectly enchanted with the piece. Le Gros had it for the last
four days to be copied, but I invariably saw it lying in the same
place. Two days ago I could not find it, though I searched
carefully among the music; and at last I discovered it hidden
away. I took no notice, but said to Le Gros, "A propos, have you
given my sinfonie to be copied?" "No; I forgot all about it." As,
of course, I have no power to compel him to have it transcribed
and performed, I said nothing; but I went to the concert on the
two days when the sinfonie was to have been performed, when Ramm
and Punto came to me in the greatest rage to ask me why my
sinfonie concertante was not to be given. "I don't know. This is
the first I hear of it. I cannot tell." Ramm was frantic, and
abused Le Gros in the music-room in French, saying how very
unhandsome it was on his part, etc. I alone was to be kept in
the dark! If he had even made an excuse--that the time was too
short, or something of the kind!--but he never said a syllable. I
believe the real cause to be Cambini, an Italian maestro; for at
our first meeting at Le Gros's, I unwittingly took the wind out
of his sails. He composes quintets, one of which I heard at
Mannheim; it was very pretty, so I praised it, and played the
beginning to him. Ritter, Ramm, and Punto were all present, and
gave me no peace till I agreed to continue, and to supply from my
own head what I could not remember. I therefore did so, and
Cambini was quite excited, and could not help saying, "Questa e
una gran testa!" Well, I suppose after all he did not quite
relish this, [The symphony in question has also entirely

If this were a place where people had ears to hear or hearts to
feel, and understood just a little of music, and had some degree
of taste, these things would only make me laugh heartily, but as
it is (so far as music is concerned) I am surrounded by mere
brute beasts. But how can it be otherwise? for in all their
actions, inclinations, and passions, they are just the same.
There is no place in the world like Paris. You must not think
that I exaggerate when I speak in this way of the music here;
refer to whom you will, except to a Frenchman born, and (if
trustworthy) you will hear the same. But I am now here, and must
endure it for your sake. I shall be grateful to Providence if I
get away with my natural taste uninjured. I pray to God every day
to grant me grace to be firm and steadfast here, that I may do
honor to the whole German nation, which will all redound to His
greater honor and glory, and to enable me to prosper and make
plenty of money, that I may extricate you from your present
emergencies, and also to permit us to meet soon, and to live
together happily and contentedly; but "His will be done in earth
as it is in heaven." I entreat you, dearest father, in the
meantime, to take measures that I may see Italy, in order to
bring me to life again. Bestow this great happiness upon me, I
implore you! I do hope you will keep up your spirits; I shall cut
my way through here as I best can, and trust I shall get off
safely. Adieu!


Paris, May 14, 1778.

I HAVE already so much to do that I don't know how I am to manage
when winter comes. I think I wrote to you in my last letter that
the Duc de Guines, whose daughter is my pupil in composition,
plays the flute inimitably, and she the harp magnificently; she
has a great deal of talent and genius, and, above all, a
wonderful memory, for she plays all her pieces, about 200 in
number, by heart. She, however, doubts much whether she has any
genius for composition, especially as regards ideas or invention;
but her father (who, entre nous, is rather too infatuated about
her) declares that she certainly has ideas, and that she is only
diffident and has too little self-reliance. Well, we shall see.
If she acquires no thoughts or ideas, (for hitherto she really
has none whatever,) it is all in vain, for God knows I can't give
her any! It is not the father's intention to make her a great
composer. He says, "I don't wish her to write operas, or arias,
or concertos, or symphonies, but grand sonatas for her instrument
and for mine." I gave her to-day her fourth lesson on the rules
of composition and harmony, and am pretty well satisfied with
her. She made a very good bass for the first minuet, of which I
had given her the melody, and she has already begun to write in
three parts; she can do it, but she quickly tires, and I cannot
get her on, for it is impossible to proceed further as yet; it is
too soon, even if she really had genius, but, alas! there appears
to be none; all must be done by rule; she has no ideas, and none
seem likely to come, for I have tried her in every possible way.
Among other things it occurred to me to write out a very simple
minuet, and to see if she could not make a variation on it. Well,
that utterly failed. Now, thought I, she has not a notion how or
what to do first. So I began to vary the first bar, and told her
to continue in the same manner, and to keep to the idea. At
length this went tolerably well. When it was finished, I told her
she must try to originate something herself--only the treble of a
melody. So she thought it over for a whole quarter of an hour,
AND NOTHING CAME. Then I wrote four bars of a minuet, saying to
her, "See what an ass I am! I have begun a minuet, and can't even
complete the first part; be so very good as to finish it for me."
She declared this was impossible. At last, with great difficulty,
SOMETHING CAME, and I was only too glad that ANYTHING AT ALL
CAME. I told her then to complete the minuet--that is, the treble
only. The task I set her for the next lesson was to change my
four bars, and replace them by something of her own, and to find
out another beginning, even if it were the same harmony, only
changing the melody. I shall see to-morrow what she has done.

I shall soon now, I think, receive the poetry for my two-act
opera, when I must first present it to the Director, M. de
Vismes, to see if he will accept it; but of this there can be no
doubt, as it is recommended by Noverre, to whom De Vismes is
indebted for his situation. Noverre, too, is soon to arrange a
new ballet, for which I am to write the music. Rudolf (who plays
the French horn) is in the royal service here, and a very kind
friend of mine; he understands composition thoroughly, and writes
well. He has offered me the place of organist at Versailles if I
choose to accept it: the salary is 2000 livres a year, but I must
live six months at Versailles and the remaining six in Paris, or
where I please. I don't, however, think that I shall close with
the offer; I must take the advice of good friends on the subject.
2000 livres is no such very great sum; in German money it may be
so, but not here. It amounts to 83 louis-d'or 8 livres a year--
that is, 915 florins 45 kreutzers of our money, (which is
certainly a considerable sum,) but only to 383 ecus 2 livres, and
that is not much, for it is frightful to see how quickly a dollar
goes here! I am not at all surprised that so little is thought of
a louis-d'or in Paris, for it does not go far. Four dollars, or a
louis-d'or, which are the same, are gone in no time. Adieu!


Paris, May 29, 1778.

I AM pretty well, thank God! but still I am often puzzled to know
what to make of it all. I feel neither hot nor cold, and don't
take much pleasure in anything. What, however, cheers and
strengthens me most is the thought that you, dearest papa, and my
dear sister, are well; that I am an honest German, and though I
cannot SAY, I may at all events THINK what I please, and, after
all, that is the chief thing. Yesterday I was for the second time
at Count Sickingen's, ambassador from the Elector Palatine; (I
dined there once before with Wendling and Ramm.) I don't know
whether I told you what a charming man he is, and a great
connoisseur and devoted lover of music. I passed eight hours
quite alone with him. The whole forenoon, and afternoon too, till
ten o'clock at night, we were at the piano, playing all kind of
music, praising, admiring, analyzing, discussing, and
criticizing. He has nearly thirty scores of operas. I must not
forget to tell you that I had the satisfaction of seeing your
"School for the Violin" translated into French; I believe it is
about eight years since the translation appeared. I have just
returned from a music-shop where I went to buy a sonata of
Schobert's for one of my pupils, and I mean to go again soon to
examine the book more closely, that I may write to you about it
minutely, for to-day I have not time to do this.


Paris, June 12, 1778.

I MUST now write something that concerns our Raaff. [Footnote:
Mozart wrote the part of Idomeneo for Raaff in the year 1781.]
You no doubt remember that I did not write much in his favor from
Mannheim, and was by no means satisfied with his singing--in
short, that he did not please me at all. The cause, however, was
that I can scarcely say I really heard him at Mannheim. The first
time was at the rehearsal of Holzbauer's "Gunther," when he was
in his every-day clothes, his hat on his head, and a stick in his
hand. When he was not singing, he stood looking like a sulky
child. When he began to sing the first recitative, it went
tolerably well, but every now and then he gave a kind of shriek,
which I could not bear. He sang the arias in a most indolent way,
and yet some of the notes with too much emphasis, which is not
what I like. This has been an invariable habit of his, which the
Bernacchi school probably entails; for he is a pupil of
Bernacchi's. At court, too, he used to sing all kinds of airs
which, in my opinion, by no means suited his voice; so he did not
at all please me. When at length he made his debut here in the
Concert Spirituel, he sang Bach's scena, "Non so d' onde viene"
which is, besides, my great favorite, and then for the first time
I really heard him sing, and he pleased me--that is, in this
class of music; but the style itself, the Bernacchi school, is
not to my taste. He is too apt to fall into the cantabile. I
admit that, when he was younger and in his prime, this must have
made a great impression and taken people by surprise; I could
like it also, but there is too much of it, and it often seems to
me positively ludicrous. What does please me in him is when he
sings short pieces--for instance, andantinos; and he has likewise
certain arias which he gives in a manner peculiar to himself. Let
each occupy his proper place. I fancy that bravura singing was
once his forte, which is even still perceptible in him, and so
far as age admits of it he has a good chest and a long breath;
and then his andantino! His voice is fine and very pleasing; if I
shut my eyes and listen to him, I think his singing very like
Meissner's, only Raaff's voice seems to me more agreeable. I speak
of the present time, for I never heard either in his best days. I
can therefore only refer to their style or method of singing, for
this a singer always retains. Meissner, as you know, had the bad
habit of purposely making his voice tremble at times,--entire
quavers and even crotchets, when marked sostenuto,--and this I
never could endure in him. Nothing can be more truly odious;
besides, it is a style of singing quite contrary to nature. The
human voice is naturally tremulous, but only so far as to be
beautiful; such is the nature of the voice, and it is imitated
not only on wind instruments, but on stringed instruments, and
even on the piano. But the moment the proper boundary is passed
it is no longer beautiful, because it becomes unnatural. It seems
to me then just like an organ when the bellows are panting. Now
Raaff never does this,--in fact, he cannot bear it. Still, so far
as a genuine cantabile goes, Meissner pleases me (though not
altogether, for he also exaggerates) better than Raaff. In
bravura passages and roulades, Raaff is indeed a perfect master,
and he has such a good and distinct articulation, which is a
great charm; and, as I already said, his andantinus and
canzonetti are delightful. He composed four German songs, which
are lovely. He likes me much, and we are very intimate; he comes
to us almost every day. I have dined at least six times with
Count von Sickingen, and always stay from one o'clock till ten.
Time, however, flies so quickly in his house that it passes quite
imperceptibly. He seems fond of me, and I like very much being
with him, for he is a most friendly, sensible person, possessing
excellent judgment and a true insight into music, I was there
again to-day with Raaff. I took some music with me, as the Count
(long since) asked me to do so. I brought my newly completed
symphony, with which, on Corpus Christi day, the Concert
Spirituel is to commence. The work pleased them both exceedingly,
and I am also well satisfied with it. Whether it will be popular
here, however, I cannot tell, and, to say the truth, I care very
little about it. For whom is it to please? I can answer for its
pleasing the few intelligent Frenchmen who may be there; as for
the numskulls--why, it would be no great misfortune if they were
dissatisfied. I have some hope, nevertheless, that even the
dunces among them may find something to admire. Besides, I have
been careful not to neglect le premier coup d'archet; and that is
sufficient. All the wiseacres here make such a fuss on that
point! Deuce take me if I can see any difference! Their orchestra
begins all at one stroke, just as in other places. It is too
laughable! Raaff told me a story of Abaco on this subject. He was
asked by a Frenchman, in Munich or elsewhere,--"Monsieur, vous
avez ete a Paris?" "Oui." "Est-ce que vous etiez au Concert
Spirituel?" "Oui." "Que dites-vous du premier coup d'archet?
avez-vous entendu le premier coup d'archet?" "Oui, j'ai entendu
le premier et le dernier." "Comment le dernier? que veut dire
cela?" "Mais oui, le premier et le dernier; et le dernier meme
m'a donne plus de plaisir." [Footnote: The imposing impression
produced by the first grand crash of a numerous orchestra,
commencing with precision, in tutti, gave rise to this
pleasantry.] A few days afterwards his kind mother was taken ill.
Even in her letters from Mannheim she often complained of various
ailments, and in Paris also she was still exposed to the
discomfort of cold dark lodgings, which she was obliged to submit
to for the sake of economy; so her illness soon assumed the worst
aspect, and Mozart experienced the first severe trial of his
life. The following letter is addressed to his beloved and
faithful friend, Abbe Bullinger, tutor in Count Lodron's family
in Salzburg.

(Private.) 106.

Paris, July 3, 1778.


Mourn with me! This has been the most melancholy day of my life;
I am now writing at two o'clock in the morning. I must tell you
that my mother, my darling mother, is no more. God has called her
to Himself; I clearly see that it was His will to take her from
us, and I must learn to submit to the will of God. The Lord
giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Only think of all the distress,
anxiety, and care I have endured for the last fourteen days. She
died quite unconscious, and her life went out like a light. She
confessed three days before, took the sacrament, and received
extreme unction. The last three days, however, she was constantly
delirious, and to-day, at twenty minutes past five o'clock, her
features became distorted, and she lost all feeling and
perception. I pressed her hand, I spoke to her, but she did not
see me, she did not hear me, and all feeling was gone. She lay
thus till the moment of her death, five hours after, at twenty
minutes past ten at night. There was no one present but myself,
Herr Heiner, a kind friend whom my father knows, and the nurse.
It is quite impossible for me to describe the whole course of the
illness to-day. I am firmly convinced that she must have died,
and that God had so ordained it. All I would ask of you at
present is to act the part of a true friend, by preparing my
father by degrees for this sad intelligence. I have written to
him by this post, but only that she is seriously ill; and now I
shall wait for your answer and be guided by it. May God give him
strength and courage! My dear friend, I am consoled not only now,
but have been so for some time past. By the mercy of God I have
borne it all with firmness and composure. When the danger became
imminent, I prayed to God for only two things--a happy death for
my mother, and strength and courage for myself; and our gracious
God heard my prayer and conferred these two boons fully on me. I
entreat you, therefore, my best friend, to watch over my father
for me; try to inspire him with courage, that the blow may not be
too hard and heavy on him when he learns the worst. I also, from
my heart, implore you to comfort my sister. Pray go straight to
them, but do not tell them she is actually dead--only prepare
them for the truth. Do what you think best, say what you please;
only act so that my mind may be relieved, and that I may not have
to dread another misfortune. Support and comfort my dear father
and my dear sister. Answer me at once, I entreat. Adieu! Your

W. A. M.


Paris, July 3, 1778.


I have very painful and sad news to give you, which has, in fact,
been the cause of my not having sooner replied to your letter of
the 11th. My dearest mother is very ill. She has been bled
according to her usual custom, which was indeed very necessary;
it did her much good, but a few days afterwards she complained of
shivering and feverishness; then diarrhoea came on and headache.
At first we only used our home remedies, antispasmodic powders;
we would gladly have had recourse to the black powder, but we had
none, and could not get it here. As she became every moment
worse, could hardly speak, and lost her hearing, so that we were
obliged to shout to her, Baron Grimm sent his doctor to see her.
She is very weak, and still feverish and delirious. They do give
me some hope, but I have not much. I hoped and feared alternately
day and night for long, but I am quite reconciled to the will of
God, and hope that you and my sister will be the same. What other
resource have we to make us calm? More calm, I ought to say; for
altogether so we cannot be. Whatever the result may be, I am
resigned, knowing that it comes from God, who wills all things
for our good, (however unaccountable they may seem to us;) and I
do firmly believe (and shall never think otherwise) that no
doctor, no man living, no misfortune, no casualty, can either
save or take away the life of any human being--none but God
alone. These are only the instruments that He usually employs,
but not always; we sometimes see people swoon, fall down, and be
dead in a moment. When our time does come, all means are vain,--
they rather hurry on death than retard it; this we saw in the
case of our friend Hefner. I do not mean to say by this that my
mother will or must die, or that all hope is at an end; she may
recover and be restored to health, but only if the Lord wills it
thus. After praying to God with all my strength for health and
life for my darling mother, I like to indulge in such consolatory
thoughts, and, after doing so, I feel more cheerful and more calm
and tranquil, and you may easily imagine how much I require
comfort. Now for another subject. Let us put aside these sad
thoughts, and still hope, but not too much; we must place our
trust in the Lord, and console ourselves by the thought that all
must go well if it be in accordance with the will of the
Almighty, as he knows best what is most profitable and beneficial
both for our temporal and spiritual welfare.

I have composed a symphony for the opening of the Concert
Spirituel, which was performed with great applause on Corpus
Christi day. I hear, too, that there is a notice of it in the
"Courrier de l'Europe," and that it has given the greatest
satisfaction. I was very nervous during the rehearsal, for in my
life I never heard anything go so badly. You can have no idea of
the way in which they scraped and scrambled through my symphony
twice over; I was really very uneasy, and would gladly have had
it rehearsed again, but so many things had been tried over that
there was no time left. I therefore went to bed with an aching
heart and in a discontented and angry spirit. Next day I resolved
not to go to the concert at all; but in the evening, the weather
being fine, I made up my mind at last to go, determined that if
it went as badly as at the rehearsal, I would go into the
orchestra, take the violin out of the hands of M. La Haussaye,
the first violin, and lead myself. I prayed to God that it might
go well, for all is to His greater honor and glory; and ecce, the
symphony began, Raaff was standing beside me, and just in the
middle of the allegro a passage occurred which I felt sure must
please, and there was a burst of applause; but as I knew at the
time I wrote it what effect it was sure to produce, I brought it
in once more at the close, and then rose shouts of "Da capo!" The
andante was also liked, but the last allegro still more so.
Having observed that all last as well as first allegros here
begin together with all the other instruments, and generally
unisono, mine commenced with only two violins, piano for the
first eight bars, followed instantly by a forte; the audience, as
I expected, called out "hush!" at the soft beginning, and the
instant the forte was heard began to clap their hands. The moment
the symphony was over I went off in my joy to the Palais Royal,
where I took a good ice, told over my beads, as I had vowed, and
went home, where I am always happiest, and always shall be
happiest, or in the company of some good, true, upright German,
who, so long as he is unmarried, lives a good Christian life, and
when he marries loves his wife, and brings up his children

I must give you a piece of intelligence that you perhaps already
know--namely, that the ungodly arch-villain Voltaire has died
miserably like a dog--just like a brute. This is his reward! You
must long since have remarked that I do not like being here, for
many reasons, which, however, do not signify as I am actually
here. I never fail to do my very best, and to do so with all my
strength. Well, God will make all things right. I have a project
in my head, for the success of which I daily pray to God. If it
be His almighty will, it must come to pass; but, if not, I am
quite contented. I shall then at all events have done my part.
When this is in train, and if it turns out as I wish, you must
then do your part also, or the whole work would be incomplete.
Your kindness leads me to hope that you will certainly do so.
Don't trouble yourself by any useless thoughts on the subject;
and one favor I must beg of you beforehand, which is, not to ask
me to reveal my thoughts more clearly till the time comes. It is
very difficult at present to find a good libretto for an opera.
The old ones, which are the best, are not written in the modern
style, and the new ones are all good for nothing; for poetry,
which was the only thing of which France had reason to be proud,
becomes every day worse, and poetry is the only thing which
requires to be good here, for music they do not understand. There
are now two operas in aria which I could write, one in two acts,
and the other in three. The two-act one is "Alexandra et Roxane,"
but the author of the libretto is still in the country; the one
in three acts is "Demofonte" (by Metastasio). It is a translation
interspersed with choruses and dancing, and specially adapted to
the French stage. But this one I have not yet got a sight of.
Write to me whether you have Schroter's concertos in Salzburg, or
Hullmandell's sonatas. I should like to buy them to send to you.
Both of them are beautiful. With regard to Versailles, it never
was my intention to go there. I asked the advice of Baron Grimm
and other kind friends on the point, and they all thought just as
I did. The salary is not much, and I should be obliged to live a
dreary life for six months in a place where nothing is to be
gained, and my talents completely buried. Whoever enters the
king's service is forgotten in Paris; and then to become an
organist! A good appointment would be most welcome to me, but
only that of a Capellmeister, and a well-paid one too.

Now, farewell! Be careful of your health; place your trust in
God, and then you will find consolation. My dearest mother is in
the hands of the Almighty. If He still spares her to us, as I
wish He may, we will thank Him for this blessing, but if He takes
her to Himself, all our anguish, misery, and despair can be of no
avail. Let us rather submit with firmness to His almighty will,
in the full conviction that it will prove for our good, as he
does nothing without a cause. Farewell, dearest papa! Do what you
can to preserve your health for my sake.


Paris, July 9, 1778.

I HOPE you are prepared to receive with firmness most melancholy
and painful intelligence. My last letter of the 3d must have
shown you that no good news could be hoped for. That very same
day, the 3d, at twenty minutes past ten at night, my mother fell
asleep peacefully in the Lord; indeed, when I wrote to you she
was already in the enjoyment of heavenly bliss, for all was then
over. I wrote to you in the night, and I hope you and my dear
sister will forgive me for this slight but very necessary
deception; for, judging of your grief and sorrow by my own, I
could not prevail on myself to startle you suddenly by such
dreadful intelligence; but I hope you have now summoned up
courage to hear the worst, and that, after at first giving way to
natural and only too just anguish and tears, you will eventually
submit to the will of God, and adore His inscrutable,
unfathomable, and all-wise providence. You can easily conceive
what I have had to endure, and what courage and fortitude I
required to bear with composure seeing her become daily worse and
worse; and yet our gracious God bestowed this boon on me. I have,
indeed, suffered and wept, but what did it avail? So I strove to
be comforted, and I do hope, my dear father, that my dear sister
and you will do likewise. Weep, weep, as you cannot fail to weep,
but take comfort at last; remember that God Almighty has ordained
it, and how can we rebel against Him? Let us rather pray to Him
and thank Him for His goodness, for she died a happy death. Under
these heart-rending circumstances there were three things that
consoled me--my entire and steadfast submission to the will of
God, and the sight of her easy and blessed death, which made me
feel that in a moment she had become so happy; for how far
happier is she now than we are! Indeed, I would fain at that
moment have gone with her. From this wish and longing proceeded
my third source of consolation--namely, that she is not lost to
us forever, that we shall see her again, and live together far
more happily and blessedly than in this world. The time as yet we
know not, but that does not disturb me; when God wills it I am
ready. His heavenly and holy will has been fulfilled. Let us
therefore pray a pious Vater unser for her soul, and turn our
thoughts to other matters, for there is a time for everything.

I write this in the house of Madame d'Epinay and M. Grimm, with
whom I now live; I have a pretty little room with a very
agreeable prospect, and am as happy as it is possible to be under
my present circumstances. It will be a great aid in restoring my
tranquillity, to hear that my dear father and sister submit with
calmness and fortitude to the will of God, and trust Him with
their whole heart, in the entire belief that He orders all for
the best. My dearest father, do not give way! My dearest sister,
be firm! You do not as yet know your brother's kind heart,
because he has not yet had an opportunity to prove it. Remember,
my loved ones both, that you have a son and a brother anxious to
devote all his powers to make you happy, knowing well that the
day must come when you will not be hostile to his wish and his
desire,--not certainly such as to be any discredit to him,--and
that you will do all that lies in your power to make him happy.
Oh! then we shall all live together as peacefully, honorably, and
contentedly as it is possible to do in this world, and at last in
God's good time all meet again above--the purpose for which we
were destined and created.

I received your last letter of the 29th, and see with pleasure
that you are both, thank God! in good health. I could not help
laughing heartily at Haydn's tipsy fit. Had I been there, I
certainly should have whispered in his ear "Adlgasser!" It is
really disgraceful in so clever a man to render himself incapable
by his own folly of performing his duties at a festival
instituted in honor of God; when the Archbishop too and his whole
court were present, and the church full of people, it was quite
abominable.[Footnote: The father had written, "Haydn (organist of
the church of the Holy Trinity) played the organ in the afternoon
at the Litany, and the Te Deum laudamus, but in such a dreadful
manner that we were quite startled, and thought he was about to
undergo the fate of the deceased Adlgasser [who was seized with
paralysis when playing the organ] It turned out, however, that he
was only rather intoxicated, so his head and hands did not
agree"] This is one of my chief reasons for detesting Salzburg--
those coarse, slovenly, dissipated court musicians, with whom no
honest man of good breeding could possibly live! instead of being
glad to associate with them, he must feel ashamed of them. It is
probably from this very cause that musicians are neither loved
nor respected with us. If the orchestra were only organised like
that at Mannheim! I wish you could see the subordination that
prevails there--the authority Cannabich exercises; where all is
done in earnest. Cannabich, who is the best director I ever saw,
is both beloved and feared by his subordinates, who, as well as
himself, are respected by the whole town. But certainly they
behave very differently, have good manners, are well dressed (and
do not go to public-houses to get drunk). This can never be the
case in Salzburg, unless the Prince will place confidence either
in you or me and give us full powers, which are indispensable to
a conductor of music; otherwise it is all in vain. In Salzburg
every one is master--so no one is master. If I were to undertake
it, I should insist on exercising entire authority. The Grand
Chamberlain must have nothing to say as to musical matters, or on
any point relating to music. Not every person in authority can
become a Capellmeister, but a Capellmeister must become a person
of authority.

By the by, the Elector is again in Mannheim. Madame Cannabich and
also her husband correspond with me. If what I fear were to come
to pass, and it would be a sad pity if it did,--namely, that the
orchestra were to be much diminished,--I still cherish one hope.
You know that there is nothing I desire more than a good
appointment,--good in reputation, and good in money,--no matter
where, provided it be in a Catholic country. You fenced skilfully
indeed with Count Stahremberg [FOOTNOTE: A prebendary of
Salzburg, to whom the father had "opened his heart," and told him
all that had occurred in Salzburg. Wolfgang's reinstatement in
his situation was being negotiated at the time.] throughout the
whole affair; only continue as you have begun, and do not allow
yourself to be deluded; more especially be on your guard if by
any chance you enter into conversation with that silly goose---;
[FOOTNOTE: He probably alludes to the Archbishop's sister,
Countess Franziska von Walles, who did the honors of her
brother's court, and who, no doubt, also interfered in this
matter.] I know her, and believe me, though she may have sugar
and honey on her lips, she has gall and wormwood in her head and
in her heart. It is quite natural that the whole affair should
still be in an unsettled state, and many things must be conceded
before I could accept the offer; and even if every point were
favorably adjusted, I would rather be anywhere than at Salzburg.
But I need not concern myself on the matter, for it is not likely
that all I ask should be granted, as I ask a great deal. Still it
is not impossible; and if all were rightly organized, I would no
longer hesitate, but solely for the happiness of being with you.
If the Salzburgers wish to have me, they must comply with my
wishes, or they shall never get me.

So the Prelate of Baumburg has died the usual prelatical death;
but I had not heard that the Prelate of the Holy Cross [in
Augsburg] was also dead. I grieve to hear it, for he was a good,
honest, upright man. So you had no faith in Deacon Zeschinger
[see No. 68] being made prelate? I give you my honor I never
conjectured anything else; indeed, I do not know who else could
have got it; and what better prelate could we have for music?

My friend Raaff leaves this to-morrow; he goes by Brussels to
Aix-la-Chapelle and Spa, and thence to Mannheim, when he is to
give me immediate notice of his arrival, for we mean to
correspond. He sends numerous greetings to you and to my sister.
You write that you have heard nothing for a very long time of my
pupil in composition; very true, but what can I say about her?
She will never be a composer; all labor is vain with her, for she
is not only vastly stupid, but also vastly lazy.

I had previously answered you about the opera. As to Noverre's
ballet, I only wrote that he might perhaps arrange a new one. He
wanted about one half to complete it, and this I set to music.
That is, six pieces are written by others, consisting entirely of
old trumpery French airs; the symphony and contre-danses, and
about twelve more pieces, are contributed by me. This ballet has
already been given four times with great applause. I am now
positively determined to write nothing more without previously
knowing what I am to get for it: but this was only a friendly act
towards Noverre. Herr Wendling left this last May. If I were to
see Baron Bach, I must have very good eyes, for he is not here
but in London. Is it possible that I did not tell you this? You
shall find that, in future, I will answer all your letters
minutely. It is said that Baron Bach will soon return here; I
should be glad of that for many reasons, especially because at
his house there will be always opportunity to try things over in
good earnest. Capellmeister Bach will also soon be here; I
believe he is writing an opera. The French are, and always will
be, downright donkeys; they can do nothing themselves, so they
must have recourse to foreigners. I talked to Piccini at the
Concert Spirituel; he is always most polite to me and I to him
when we do by chance meet. Otherwise I do not seek much
acquaintance, either with him or any of the other composers; they
understand their work and I mine, and that is enough. I already
wrote to you of the extraordinary success my symphony had in the
Concert Spirituel. If I receive a commission to write an opera, I
shall have annoyance enough, but this I shall not much mind,
being pretty well accustomed to it--if only that confounded
French language were not so detestable for music! It is, indeed,
too provoking; even German is divine in comparison. And then the
singers--but they do not deserve the name, for they do not sing,
but scream and bawl with all their might through their noses and
throats. I am to compose a French oratorio for the ensuing Lent,
to be given at the Concert Spirituel. M. Le Gros (the director)
is amazingly well-disposed towards me. You must know that (though
I used to see him every day) I have not been near him since
Easter; I felt so indignant at his not having my symphony
performed. I was often in the same house visiting Raaff, and thus
passed his rooms constantly. His servants often saw me, when I
always sent him my compliments. It is really a pity he did not
give the symphony--it would have been a good hit; and now he has
no longer the opportunity to do so, for how seldom are four such
performers to be found together! One day, when I went to call on
Raaff, I was told that he was out, but would soon be home; so I
waited. M. Le Gros came into the room and said, "It is really
quite a marvel to have the pleasure of seeing you once more."
"Yes; I have a great deal to do." "I hope you will stay and dine
with us to-day?" "I regret that I cannot, being already engaged."
"M. Mozart, we really must soon spend a day together." "It will
give me much pleasure." A long pause; at length, "A propos, are
you disposed to write a grand symphony for me for Corpus Christi
day?" "Why not?" "May I then rely on this?" "Oh, yes! if I may,
with equal confidence, rely on its being performed, and that it
will not fare like the sinfonie concertante." This opened the
flood-gates; he excused himself in the best way he could, but did
not find much to say. In short, the symphony [Kochel, No. 297]
was highly approved of; and Le Gros is so satisfied with it that
he says it is his very best symphony. The andante, however, has
not the good fortune to please him; he declares that it has too
many modulations, and is too long. He derives this opinion from
the audience forgetting to clap their hands as loudly, and to be
as vociferous, as at the end of the first and last movements. But
this andante is a great favorite WITH MYSELF, as well as with all
connoisseurs, amateurs, and the greater part of those who heard
it. It is the exact reverse of what Le Gros says, for it is both
simple and short. But in order to satisfy him (and no doubt some
others) I have written a fresh one. Each good in its own way--
each having a different character. The last pleases me the best.
The first good opportunity I have, I will send you this sinfonie
concertante, and also the "School for the Violin," some pieces
for the piano, and Vogler's book ("Ton Wissenschaft und Kunst"),
and then I hope to have your opinion of them. On August 15th,
Ascension Day, my sinfonie, with the new andante, is to be
performed for the second time. The sinfonie is in Re, the
andante in Sol, for here one must not say in D or in G. Le Gros is
now all for me.

Take comfort and pray without ceasing; this is the only resource
we have. I hope you will cause a holy mass to be said in Maria
Plain and in Loretto. I have done so here. As for the letter to
Herr Bahr, I don't think it is necessary to send it to me; I am
not as yet acquainted with him; I only know that he plays the
clarionet well, but is in other respects no desirable companion,
and I do not willingly associate with such people; no credit is
derived from them, and I really should feel positively ashamed to
give him a letter recommending me to him--even if he could be of
service to me; but it so happens that he is by no means in good
repute here. Many do not know him at all. Of the two Staunitz,
the junior only is here [Mannheim composer]. The elder of the two
(the veritable Hafeneder composer) is in London. They are
wretched scribblers, gamblers, and drunkards, and not the kind of
people for me. The one now here has scarcely a coat to his back.
By the by, if Brunetti should ever be dismissed, I would be glad
to recommend a friend of mine to the Archbishop as first violin;
he is a most worthy man, and very steady. I think he is about
forty years of age, and a widower; his name is Rothfischer. He is
Concertmeister at Kirchheim-Boland, with the Princess of Nassau-
Weilberg [see No. 91]. Entre nous, he is dissatisfied, for he is
no favorite with his Prince--that is, his music is not. He urged
me to forward his interests, and it would cause me real pleasure
to be of use to him, for never was there such a kind man.


Paris, July 18, 1778.

I HOPE you got my last two letters. Let us allude no more to
their chief purport. All is over; and were we to write whole
pages on the subject, we could not alter the fact.

The principal object of this letter is to congratulate my dear
sister on her name-day. I think I wrote to you that M. Raaff had
left this, but that he is my very true and most particular
friend, and I can entirely depend on his regard. I could not
possibly write to you, because I did not myself know that he had
so much affection for me. Now, to write a story properly, one
ought to begin from the beginning. I ought to tell you, first,
that Raaff lodged with M. Le Gros. It just occurs to me that you
already know this; but what am I to do? It is written, and I
can't begin the letter again, so I proceed. When he arrived, we
happened to be at dinner. This, too, has nothing to do with the
matter; it is only to let you know that people do dine in Paris,
as elsewhere. When I went home I found a letter for me from Herr
Weber, and the bearer of it was Raaff. If I wished to deserve the
name of a historian, I ought here to insert the contents of this
letter; and I can with truth say that I am very reluctant to
decline giving them. But I must not be too prolix; to be concise
is a fine thing, which you can see by my letter. The third day I
found him at home and thanked him; it is always advisable to be
polite. I no longer remember what we talked about. An historian
must be unusually dull who cannot forthwith supply some
falsehood--I mean some romance. Well! we spoke of the fine
weather; and when we had said our say, we were silent, and I went
away. Some days after--though what day it was I really forget,
but one day in the week assuredly--I had just seated myself, at
the piano of course; and Ritter, the worthy Holzbeisser, was
sitting beside me. Now, what is to be deduced from that? A great
deal. Raaff had never heard me at Mannheim except at a concert,
where the noise and uproar was so great that nothing could be
heard; and HE had such a miserable piano that I could not have
done myself any justice on it. Here, however, the instrument was
good, and I saw Raaff sitting opposite me with a speculative air;
so, as you may imagine, I played some preludes in the Fischietti
method, and also played a florid sonata in the style and with the
fire, spirit, and precision of Haydn, and then a fugue with all
the skill of Lipp, Silber, and Aman. [Footnote: Fischietti was
Capellmeister in Salzburg; Michael Haydn and Lipp, organists.] My
fugue-playing has everywhere gained me the greatest applause.
When I had quite finished, (Raaff all the time calling out Bravo!
while his countenance showed his true and sincere delight,) I
entered into conversation with Ritter, and among other things
said that I by no means liked being here; adding, "The chief
cause of this is music; besides, I can find no resources here, no
amusement, no agreeable or sociable intercourse with any one,--
especially with ladies, many of whom are disreputable, and those
who are not so are deficient in good breeding." Ritter could not
deny that I was right. Raaff at last said, smiling, "I can quite
believe it, for M. Mozart is not WHOLLY here to admire the
Parisian beauties; one half of him is elsewhere--where I have
just come from." This of course gave rise to much laughing and
joking; but Raaff presently said, in a serious tone, "You are
quite right, and I cannot blame you; she deserves it, for she is
a sweet, pretty, good girl, well educated, and a superior person
with considerable talent." This gave me an excellent opportunity
strongly to recommend my beloved Madlle. Weber to him; but there
was no occasion for me to say much, as he was already quite
fascinated by her. He promised me, as soon as he returned to
Mannheim, to give her lessons, and to interest himself in her
favor. I ought, by rights, to insert something here, but I must
first finish the history of our friendship; if there is still
room, I may do so. He was in my eyes only an every-day
acquaintance, and no more; but I often sat with him in his room,
so by degrees I began to place more confidence in him, and at
last told him all my Mannheim history,--how I had been bamboozled
and made a fool of, adding that perhaps I might still get an
appointment there. He neither said yes nor no; and on every
occasion when I alluded to it he seemed each time more
indifferent and less interested in the matter. At last, however,
I thought I remarked more complacency in his manner, and he
often, indeed, began to speak of the affair himself. I introduced
him to Herr Grimm and to Madame d'Epinay. On one occasion he came
to me and said that he and I were to dine with Count Sickingen
some day soon; adding, "The Count and I were conversing together,
and I said to him, 'A propos, has your Excellency heard our
Mozart?' 'No; but I should like very much both to see and to hear
him, for they write me most astonishing things about him from
Mannheim.' 'When your Excellency does hear him, you will see that
what has been written to you is rather too little than too much.'
'Is it possible?' 'Beyond all doubt, your Excellency.'" Now, this
was the first time that I had any reason to think Raaff
interested in me. Then it went on increasing, and one day I asked
him to come home with me; and after that he often came of his own
accord, and at length every day. The day after he left this, a
good-looking man called on me in the forenoon with a picture, and
said, "Monsieur, je viens de la part de ce Monsieur," showing me
a portrait of Raaff, and an admirable likeness. Presently he
began to speak German; and it turned out that he was a painter of
the Elector's, whom Raaff had often mentioned to me, but always
forgot to take me to see him. I believe you know him, for it must
be the very person Madame Urspringer, of Mayence, alludes to in
her letter, because he says he often met us at the Urspringers'.
His name is Kymli. He is a most kind, amiable man, well-
principled, honorable, and a good Christian; one proof of which
is the friendship between him and Raaff. Now comes the best
evidence of Raaff's regard for me, and the sincere interest he
takes in my welfare: it is, that he imparts his intentions rather
to those whom he can trust than to those more immediately
concerned, being unwilling to promise without the certainty of a
happy result. This is what Kymli told me. Raaff asked him to call
on me and to show me his portrait, to see me often, and to assist
me in every way, and to establish an intimate friendship with me.
It seems he went to him every morning, and repeatedly said to
Kymli, "I was at Herr Mozart's again yesterday evening; he is,
indeed, a wonderful little fellow; he is an out-and-outer, and no
mistake!" and was always praising me. He told Kymli everything,
and the whole Mannheim story--in short, all. The fact is, that
high-principled, religious, and well-conducted people always like
each other. Kymli says I may rest assured that I am in good
hands. "Raaff will certainly do all he can for you, and he is a
prudent man who will set to work cleverly; he will not say that
it is your wish, but rather your due. He is on the best footing
with the Oberststallmeister. Rely on it, he will not be beat;
only you must let him go his own way to work." One thing more.
Father Martini's letter to Raaff, praising me, must have been
lost. Raaff had, some time since, a letter from him, but not a
word about me in it. Possibly it is still lying in Mannheim; but
this is unlikely, as I know that, during his stay in Paris, all
his letters have been regularly forwarded to him. As the Elector
justly entertains a very high opinion of the Padre Maestro, I
think it would be a good thing if you would be so kind as to
apply to him to write again about me to Raaff; it might be of
use, and good Father Martini would not hesitate to do a friendly
thing twice over for me, knowing that he might thus make my
fortune. He no doubt would express the letter in such a manner
that it could be shown, if need be, to the Elector. Now enough as
to this; my wish for a favorable issue is chiefly that I may soon
have the happiness of embracing my dear father and sister. Oh!
how joyously and happily we shall live together! I pray fervently
to God to grant me this favor; a new leaf will at last be turned,
please God! In the fond hope that the day will come, and the
sooner the better, when we shall all be happy, I mean, in God's
name, to persevere in my life here, though so totally opposed to
my genius, inclinations, knowledge, and sympathies. Believe me,
this is but too true,--I write you only the simple truth. If I
were to attempt to give you all my reasons, I might write my
fingers off and do no good. For here I am, and I must do all that
is in my power. God grant that I may not thus impair my talents;
but I hope it will not continue long enough for that. God grant
it! By the by, the other day an ecclesiastic called on me. He is
the leader of the choir at St. Peter's, in Salzburg, and knows
you very well; his name is Zendorff; perhaps you may not remember
him? He gives lessons here on the piano--in Paris. N. B., have
not you a horror of the very name of Paris? I strongly recommend
him as organist to the Archbishop; he says he would be satisfied
with three hundred florins. Now farewell! Be careful of your
health, and strive to be cheerful. Remember that possibly you may
ere long have the satisfaction of tossing off a good glass of
Rhenish wine with your son--your truly happy son. Adieu!

20th.--Pray forgive my being so late in sending you my
congratulations, but I wished to present my sister with a little
prelude. The mode of playing it I leave to her own feeling. This
is not the kind of prelude to pass from one key to another, but
merely a capriccio to try over a piano. My sonatas [Kochel, Nos.
301-306] are soon to be published. No one as yet would agree to
give me what I asked for them, so I have been obliged at last to
give in, and to let them go for 15 louis-d'or. It is the best way
too to make my name known here. As soon as they appear I will
send them to you by some good opportunity (and as economically as
possible) along with your "School for the Violin," Vogler's book,
Hullmandel's sonatas, Schroter's concertos, some of my pianoforte
sonatas, the sinfonie concertante, two quartets for the flute,
and a concerto for harp and flute [Kochel, No. 298, 299].

Pray, what do you hear about the war? For three days I was very
depressed and sorrowful; it is, after all, nothing to me, but I
am so sensitive that I feel quickly interested in any matter. I
heard that the Emperor had been defeated. At first it was
reported that the King of Prussia had surprised the Emperor, or
rather the troops commanded by Archduke Maximilian; that two
thousand had fallen on the Austrian side, but fortunately the
Emperor had come to his assistance with forty thousand men, but
was forced to retreat. Secondly, it was said that the King had
attacked the Emperor himself, and entirely surrounded him, and
that if General Laudon had not come to his relief with eighteen
hundred cuirassiers, he would have been taken prisoner; that
sixteen hundred cuirassiers had been killed, and Laudon himself
shot dead. I have not, however, seen this in any newspaper, but
to-day I was told that the Emperor had invaded Saxony with forty
thousand troops. Whether the news be true I know not. This is a
fine griffonage, to be sure! but I have not patience to write
prettily; if you can only read it, it will do well enough. A
propos, I saw in the papers that, in a skirmish between the
Saxons and Croats, a Saxon captain of grenadiers named Hopfgarten
had lost his life, and was much lamented. Can this be the kind,
worthy Baron Hopfgarten whom we knew at Paris with Herr von Bose?
I should grieve if it were, but I would rather he died this
glorious death than have sacrificed his life, as too many young
men do here, to dissipation and vice. You know this already, but
it is now worse than ever.

N. B. I hope you will be able to decipher the end of the prelude;
you need not be very particular about the time; it is the kind of
thing that may be played as you feel inclined. I should like to
inflict twenty-five stripes on the sorry Vatel's shoulders for
not having married Katherl. Nothing is more shameful, in my
opinion, than to make a fool of an honest girl, and to play her
false eventually; but I hope this may not be the case. If I were
her father, I would soon put a stop to the affair.


Paris, July 31, 1778.

I HOPE you have got my two letters of the 11th and 18th. Meantime
I have received yours of the 13th and 20th. The first brought
tears of sorrow to my eyes, as I was reminded by it of the sad
death of my darling mother, and the whole scene recurred vividly
to me. Never can I forget it while I live. You know that (though
I often wished it) I had never seen any one die, and the first
time I did so it was fated to be my own mother! My greatest
misery was the thoughts of that hour, and I prayed earnestly to
God for strength. I was heard, and strength was given to me.
Melancholy as your letter made me, still I was inexpressibly
happy to find that you both bear this sorrow as it ought to be
borne, and that my mind may now be at ease about my beloved
father and sister. As soon as I read your letter, my first
impulse was to throw myself on my knees, and fervently to thank
our gracious God for this blessing. I am now comparatively happy,
because I have no longer anything to dread on account of the two
persons who are dearest to me in this world; had it been
otherwise, such a terrible misfortune would have utterly
overwhelmed me. Be careful therefore of your precious health for
my sake, I entreat, and grant to him who flatters himself that he
is now what you love most in the world the joy and felicity soon
to embrace you.

Your last letter also caused my tears to flow from joy, as it
convinced me more than ever of your fatherly love and care. I
shall strive with all my might still more to deserve your
affection. I thank you for the powder, but am sure you will be
glad to hear that I do not require to use it. During my dear
mother's illness it would have been very useful, but now, thank
God! I am perfectly well and healthy. At times I have fits of
melancholy, but the best way to get rid of them is by writing or
receiving letters, which always cheers me; but, believe me, these
sad feelings never recur without too good cause. You wish to have
an account of her illness and every detail connected with it;
that you shall have; but I must ask you to let it be short, and I
shall only allude to the principal facts, as the event is over,
and cannot, alas! now be altered, and I require some space to
write on business topics.

In the first place, I must tell you that NOTHING could have saved
my mother. No doctor in the world could have restored her to
health. It was the manifest will of God; her time was come, and
God chose to take her to Himself. You think she put off being
bled too long? it may be so, as she did delay it for a little,
but I rather agree with the people here, who dissuaded her from
being bled at all. The cause of my mother's illness was internal
inflammation. After being bled she rallied for some days, but on
the 19th she complained of headache, and for the first time
stayed in bed the whole day. On the 20th she was seized first
with shivering and then with fever, so I gave her an anti-
spasmodic powder. I was at that time very anxious to send for
another doctor, but she would not allow me to do so, and when I
urged her very strongly, she told me that she had no confidence
in any French medical man. I therefore looked about for a German
one. I could not, of course, go out and leave her, but I
anxiously waited for M. Heina, who came regularly every day to
see us; but on this occasion two days passed without his
appearing. At last he came, but as our doctor was prevented
paying his usual visit next day, we could not consult with him;
in fact, he did not come till the 24th. The previous day, when I
had been expecting him so eagerly, I was in great trouble, for my
mother suddenly lost her sense of hearing. The doctor, an old
German about seventy, gave her rhubarb in wine. I could not
understand this, as wine is usually thought heating; but when I
said so, every one exclaimed, "How can you say so? Wine is not
heating, but strengthening; water is heating." And all the time
the poor invalid was longing for a drink of fresh water. How
gladly would I have complied with her wish! My dear father, you
cannot conceive what I went through, but nothing could be done,
except to leave her in the hands of the physician. All that I
could do with a good conscience, was to pray to God without
ceasing, that He would order all things for her good. I went
about as if I had altogether lost my head. I had ample leisure
then to compose, but I was in such a state that I could not have
written a single note. The 25th the doctor did not come; on the
26th he visited her again. Imagine my feelings when he all at
once said to me, "I fear she will scarcely live through the
night; she may die at any moment. You had better see that she
receives the sacrament." So I hurried off to the end of the
Chaussee d'Antin, and went on beyond the Barriere to find Heina,
knowing that he was at a concert in the house of some count. He
said that he would bring a German priest with him next morning.
On my way back I looked in on Madame d'Epinay and M. Grimm for a
moment as I passed. They were distressed that I had not spoken
sooner, as they would at once have sent their doctor. I did not
tell them my reason, which was, that my mother would not see a
French doctor. I was hard put to it, as they said they would send
their physician that very evening. When I came home, I told my
mother that I had met Herr Heina with a German priest, who had
heard a great deal about me and was anxious to hear me play, and
that they were both to call on me next day. She seemed quite
satisfied, and though I am no doctor, still seeing that she was
better I said nothing more. I find it impossible not to write at
full length--indeed, I am glad to give you every particular, for
it will be more satisfactory to you; but as I have some things to
write that are indispensable, I shall continue my account of the
illness in my next letter. In the mean time you must have seen
from my last letter, that all my darling mother's affairs and my
own are in good order. When I come to this point, I will tell you
how things were arranged. Heina and I regulated everything

Now for business. Do not allow your thoughts to dwell on what I
wrote, asking your permission not to reveal my ideas till the
proper time arrived. Pray do not let it trouble you. I cannot yet
tell you about it, and if I did, I should probably do more harm
than good; but, to tranquillize you, I may at least say that it
only concerns myself. Your circumstances will be made neither
better nor worse, and until I see you in a better position I
shall think no more about the matter. If the day ever arrives
when we can live together in peace and happiness, (which is my
grand object),--when that joyful time comes, and God grant it may
come soon!--then the right moment will have arrived, and the rest
will depend on yourself. Do not, therefore, discompose yourself
on the subject, and be assured that in every case where I know
that your happiness and peace are involved, I shall invariably
place entire confidence in you, my kind father and true friend,
and detail everything to you minutely. If in the interim I have
not done so, the fault is not solely mine. [FOOTNOTE: He had
evidently in his thoughts, what was indeed manifest in his
previous letters, a speedy marriage with his beloved Aloysia.] M.
Grimm recently said to me, "What am I to write to your father?
What course do you intend to pursue? Do you remain here, or go to
Mannheim?" I really could not help laughing: "What could I do at
Mannheim now? would that I had never come to Paris! but so it is.
Here I am, and I must use every effort to get forward." "Well,"
said he, "I scarcely think that you will do much good here."
"Why? I see a number of wretched bunglers who make a livelihood,
and why, with my talents, am I to fail? I assure you that I like
being at Mannheim, and wish very much to get some appointment
there, but it must be one that is honorable and of good repute. I
must have entire certainty on the subject before I move a step."
"I fear," said he, "that you are not sufficiently active here--
you don't go about enough." "Well," said I, "that is the hardest
of all for me to do." Besides, I could go nowhere during my
mother's long illness, and now two of my pupils are in the
country, and the third (the Duke de Guines's daughter) is
betrothed, and means no longer to continue her lessons, which, so
far as my credit is concerned, does not distress me much. It is
no particular loss to me, for the Duke only pays me what every
one else does. Only imagine! I went to his house every day for
two hours, being engaged to give twenty-four lessons, (but it is
the custom here to pay after each twelve lessons.) They went into
the country, and when they came back ten days afterwards, I was
not apprised of it; had I not by chance inquired out of mere
curiosity, I should not have known that they were here. When I
did go, the governess took out her purse and said to me, "Pray
excuse my only paying you at present for twelve lessons, for I
have not enough money." This is a noble proceeding! She then gave
me three louis-d'or, adding, "I hope you are satisfied; if not, I
beg you will say so." M. le Duc can have no sense of honor, or
probably thinks that I am only a young man and a thick-headed
German, (for this is the way in which the French always speak of
us,) and that I shall be quite contented. The thick-headed
German, however, was very far from being contented, so he
declined receiving the sum offered. The Duke intended to pay me
for one hour instead of two, and all from economy. As he has now
had a concerto of mine for harp and flute, for the last four
months, which he has not yet paid me for, I am only waiting till
the wedding is over to go to the governess and ask for my money.
What provokes me most of all is that these stupid Frenchmen think
I am still only seven years old, as they saw me first when I was
that age. This is perfectly true, for Madame d'Epinay herself
told me so quite seriously. I am therefore treated here like a
beginner, except by the musicians, who think very differently;
but most votes carry the day!

After my conversation with Grimm, I went the very next day to
call on Count Sickingen. He was quite of my opinion that I ought
to have patience and wait till Raaff arrives at his destination,
who will do all that lies in his power to serve me. If he should
fail, Count Sickingen has offered to procure a situation for me
at Mayence. In the mean time my plan is to do my utmost to gain a
livelihood by teaching, and to earn as much money as possible.
This I am now doing, in the fond hope that some change may soon
occur; for I cannot deny, and indeed at once frankly confess,
that I shall be delighted to be released from this place. Giving
lessons is no joke here, and unless you wear yourself out by
taking a number of pupils, not much money can be made. You must
not think that this proceeds from laziness. No! it is only quite
opposed to my genius and my habits. You know that I am, so to
speak, plunged into music,--that I am occupied with it the whole
day,--that I like to speculate, to study, and to reflect. Now my
present mode of life effectually prevents this. I have, indeed,
some hours at liberty, but those few hours are more necessary for
rest than for work.

I told you already about the opera. One thing is certain--I must
compose a great opera or none. If I write only smaller ones, I
shall get very little, for here everything is done at a fixed
price, and if it should be so unfortunate as not to please the
obtuse French, it is all up with it. I should get no more to
write, have very little profit, and find my reputation damaged.
If, on the other hand, I write a great opera, the remuneration is
better, I am working in my own peculiar sphere, in which I
delight, and I have a greater chance of being appreciated,
because in a great work there is more opportunity to gain
approval. I assure you that if I receive a commission to write an
opera, I have no fears on the subject. It is true that the devil
himself invented their language, and I see the difficulties which
all composers have found in it. But, in spite of this, I feel
myself as able to surmount these difficulties as any one else.
Indeed, when I sometimes think in my own mind that I may look on
my opera as a certainty, I feel quite a fiery impulse within me,
and tremble from head to foot, through the eager desire to teach
the French more fully how to know, and value, and fear the
Germans. Why is a great opera never intrusted to a Frenchman? Why
is it always given to a foreigner? To me the most insupportable
part of it will be the singers. Well, I am ready. I wish to avoid
all strife, but if I am challenged I know how to defend myself.
If it runs its course without a duel, I should prefer it, for I
do not care to wrestle with dwarfs.

God grant that some change may soon come to pass! In the mean
time I shall certainly not be deficient in industry, trouble, and
labor. My hopes are centred on the winter, when every one returns
from the country. My heart beats with joy at the thought of the
happy day when I shall once more see and embrace you.

The day before yesterday my dear friend Weber, among other
things, wrote to me that the day after the Elector's arrival it
was publicly announced that he was to take up his residence in
Munich, which came like a thunder-clap on Mannheim, wholly, so to
say, extinguishing the universal illumination by which the
inhabitants had testified their joy on the previous day. The fact
was also communicated to all the court musicians, with the
addition that each was at liberty to follow the court to Munich
or to remain in Mannheim, (retaining the same salaries,) and in a
fortnight each was to give a written and sealed decision to the
Intendant. Weber, who is, as you know, in the most miserable
circumstances, wrote as follows:--"I anxiously desire to follow
my gracious master to Munich, but my decayed circumstances
prevent my doing so." Before this occurred there was a grand
court concert, where poor Madlle. Weber felt the fangs of her
enemies; for on this occasion she did not sing! It is not known
who was the cause of this. Afterwards there was a concert at Herr
von Gemmingen's, where Count Seeau also was. She sang two arias
of mine, and was so fortunate as to please, in spite of those
Italian scoundrels [the singers of Munich], those infamous
charlatans, who circulated a report that she had very much gone
off in her singing. When her songs were finished, Cannabich said
to her, "Mademoiselle, I hope you will always continue to fall
off in this manner; tomorrow I will write to M. Mozart in your
praise." One thing is certain; if war had not already broken out,
the court would by this time have been transferred to Munich.
Count Seeau, who is quite determined to engage Madlle. Weber,
would have left nothing undone to insure her coming to Munich, so
that there was some hope that the family might have been placed
in better circumstances; but now that all is again quiet about
the Munich journey, these poor people may have to wait a long
time, while their debts daily accumulate. If I could only help
them! Dearest father, I recommend them to you from my heart. If
they could even for a few years be in possession of 1000 florins!



Paris, August 7, 1778.


Allow me above all to thank you most warmly for the proof of
friendship you gave me by your interest in my dear father--first
in preparing, and then kindly consoling him for his loss [see No.
106]. You played your part admirably. These are my father's own
words. My kind friend, how can I sufficiently thank you? You
saved my father for me. I have you to thank that I still have
him. Permit me to say no more on the subject, and not to attempt
to express my gratitude, for I feel too weak and incompetent to
do so. My best friend, I am forever your debtor; but patience! It
is too true that I am not yet in a position to repay what I owe
you, but rely on it God will one day grant me the opportunity of
showing by deeds what I am unable to express by words. Such is my
hope; till that happy time, however, arrives, allow me to beg you
to continue your precious and valued friendship to me, and also
to accept mine afresh, now and forever; to which I pledge myself
in all sincerity of heart. It will not, indeed, be of much use to
you, but not on that account less sincere and lasting. You know
well that the best and truest of all friends are the poor. The
rich know nothing of friendship, especially those who are born
to riches, and even those whom fate enriches often become very
different when fortunate in life. But when a man is placed in
favorable circumstances, not by blind, but reasonable good
fortune and merit, who during his early and less prosperous days
never lost courage, remaining faithful to his religion and his
God, striving to be an honest man and good Christian, knowing how
to value his true friends,--in short, one who really deserves
better fortune,--from such a man no ingratitude is to be feared.

I must now proceed to answer your letter. You can be under no
further anxiety as to my health, for you must have ere this
received three letters from me. The first, containing the sad
news of my mother's death, was enclosed, my dear friend, to you.
You must forgive my silence on the subject, but my thoughts recur
to it constantly. You write that I should now think only of my
father, tell him frankly all my thoughts, and place entire
confidence in him. How unhappy should I be if I required this
injunction! It was expedient that you should suggest it, but I am
happy to say (and you will also be glad to hear it) that I do not
need this advice. In my last letter to my dear father, I wrote to
him all that I myself know up to this time, assuring him that I
would always keep him minutely informed of everything, and
candidly tell him my intentions, as I place entire faith in him,
being confident of his fatherly care, love, and goodness. I feel
assured that at a future day he will not deny me a request on
which my whole happiness in life depends, and which (for he
cannot expect anything else from me) will certainly be quite fair
and reasonable. My dear friend, do not let my father read this.
You know him; he would only fancy all kinds of things, and to no

Now for our Salzburg affair. You, my dear friend, are well aware
how I do hate Salzburg, not only on account of the injustice
shown to my father and myself there, which was in itself enough
to make us wish to forget such a place, and to blot it out wholly
from our memory. But do not let us refer to that, if we can
contrive to live respectably there. To live respectably and to
live happily, are two very different things; but the latter I
never could do short of witchcraft,--it would indeed be
supernatural if I did,--so this is impossible, for in these days
there are no longer any witches. Well, happen what may, it will
always be the greatest possible pleasure to me to embrace my dear
father and sister, and the sooner the better. Still I cannot deny
that my joy would be twofold were this to be elsewhere, for I
have far more hope of living happily anywhere else. Perhaps you
may misunderstand me, and think that Salzburg is on too small a
scale for me. If so, you are quite mistaken. I have already
written some of my reasons to my father. In the mean time, let
this one suffice, that Salzburg is no place for my talent. In the
first place, professional musicians are not held in much
consideration; and, secondly, one hears nothing. There is no
theatre, no opera there; and if they really wished to have one,
who is there to sing? For the last five or six years the Salzburg
orchestra has always been rich in what is useless and
superfluous, but very poor in what is useful and indispensable;
and such is the case at the present moment. Those cruel French
are the cause of the band there being without a Capellmeister.
[FOOTNOTE: The old Capellmeister, Lolli, had died a short time
previously.] I therefore feel assured that quiet and order are
now reigning in the orchestra. This is the result of not making
provision in time. Half a dozen Capellmeisters should always be
held in readiness, that, if one fails, another can instantly be
substituted. But where, at present, is even ONE to be found? And
yet the danger is urgent. It will not do to allow order, quiet,
and good-fellowship to prevail in the orchestra, or the mischief
would still further increase, and in the long run become
irremediable. Is there no ass-eared old periwig, no dunderhead
forthcoming, to restore the concern to its former disabled
condition? I shall certainly do my best in the matter. To-morrow
I intend to hire a carriage for the day, and visit all the
hospitals and infirmaries, to see if I can't find a Capellmeister
in one of them. Why were they so improvident as to allow
Misliweczeck to give them the slip, and he so near too? [See No.
64.] He would have been a prize, and one not so easy to replace,
--freshly emerged, too, from the Duke's Clementi Conservatorio. He
was just the man to have awed the whole court orchestra by his
presence. Well, we need not be uneasy: where there is money there
are always plenty of people to be had. My opinion is that they
should not wait too long, not from the foolish fear that they
might not get one at all,--for I am well aware that all these
gentlemen are expecting one as eagerly and anxiously as the Jews
do their Messiah,--but simply because things cannot go on at all
under such circumstances. It would therefore be more useful and
profitable to look out for a Capellmeister, there being NONE at
present, than to write in all directions (as I have been told) to
secure a good female singer.

[FOOTNOTE: In order the better to conciliate Wolfgang, Bullinger
had been desired to say that the Archbishop, no longer satisfied
with Madlle. Haydn, intended to engage another singer; and it was
hinted to Mozart, that he might be induced to make choice of
Aloysia Weber; (Jahn, ii. 307.) Madlle. Haydn was a daughter of
Lipp, the organist, and sent by the Archbishop to Italy to
cultivate her voice. She did not enjoy a very good reputation.]

I really can scarcely believe this. Another female singer, when
we have already so many, and all admirable! A tenor, though we do
not require one either, I could more easily understand--but a
prima donna, when we have still Cecarelli! It is true that
Madlle. Haydn is in bad health, for her austere mode of life has
been carried too far. There are few of whom this can be said. I
wonder that she has not long since lost her voice from her
perpetual scourgings and flagellations, her hair-cloth, unnatural
fasts, and night-prayers! But she will still long retain her
powers, and instead of becoming worse, her voice will daily
improve. When at last, however, she departs this life to be
numbered among the saints, we still have five left, each of whom
can dispute the palm with the other. So you see how superfluous a
new one is. But, knowing how much changes and novelty and variety
are liked with us, I see a wide field before me which may yet
form an epoch. [FOOTNOTE: Archbishop Hieronymus, in the true
spirit of Frederick the Great, liked to introduce innovations
with an unsparing hand; many, however, being both necessary and
beneficent.] Do your best that the orchestra may have a leg to
stand on, for that is what is most wanted. A head they have [the
Archbishop], but that is just the misfortune; and till a change
is made in this respect, I will never come to Salzburg. When it
does take place, I am willing to come and to turn over the leaf
as often as I see V. S. [volti subito] written. Now as to the war
[the Bavarian Succession]. So far as I hear, we shall soon have
peace in Germany. The King of Prussia is certainly rather
alarmed. I read in the papers that the Prussians had surprised an
Imperial detachment, but that the Croats and two Cuirassier
regiments were near, and, hearing the tumult, came at once to
their rescue, and attacked the Prussians, placing them between
two fires, and capturing five of their cannon. The route by which
the Prussians entered Bohemia is now entirely cut up and
destroyed. The Bohemian peasantry do all the mischief they can to
the Prussians, who have besides constant desertions among their
troops; but these are matters which you must know both sooner and
better than we do. But I must write you some of our news here.
The French have forced the English to retreat, but it was not a
very hot affair. The most remarkable thing is that, friends and
foes included, only 100 men were killed. In spite of this, there
is a grand jubilation here, and nothing else is talked of. It is
also reported that we shall soon have peace. It is a matter of
indifference to me, so far as this place is concerned; but I
should indeed be very glad if we were soon to have peace in
Germany, for many reasons. Now farewell! Your true friend and
obedient servant,



St. Germains, August 27, 1778.

I WRITE to you very hurriedly; you will see that I am not in
Paris. Herr Bach, from London [Johann Christian], has been here
for the last fortnight. He is going to write a French opera, and
is only come for the purpose of hearing the singers, and
afterwards goes to London to complete the opera, and returns here
to put it on the stage. You may easily imagine his joy and mine
when we met again; perhaps his delight may not be quite as
sincere as mine, but it must be admitted that he is an honorable
man and willing to do justice to others. I love him from my heart
(as you know), and esteem him; and as for him, there is no doubt
that he praises me warmly, not only to my face, but to others
also, and not in the exaggerated manner in which some speak, but
in earnest. Tenducci is also here, Bach's dearest friend, and he
expressed the greatest delight at seeing me again. I must now
tell you how I happen to be at St. Germains. The Marechal de
Noailles lives here, as you no doubt know, (for I am told I was
here fifteen years ago, though I don't remember it.) Tenducci is
a great favorite of his, and as he is exceedingly partial to me,
he was anxious to procure me this acquaintance. I shall gain
nothing here, a trifling present perhaps, but at the same time I
do not lose, for it costs me nothing; and even if I do not get
anything, still I have made an acquaintance that may be very
useful to me. I must make haste, for I am writing a scena for
Tenducci, which is to be given on Sunday; it is for pianoforte,
hautboy, horn, and bassoon, the performers being the Marechal's
own people--Germans, who play very well. I should like to have
written to you long since, but just as I had begun the letter
(which is now lying in Paris) I was obliged to drive to St.
Germains, intending to return the same day, and I have now been
here a week. I shall return to Paris as soon as I can, though I
shall not lose much there by my absence, for I have now only one
pupil, the others being in the country. I could not write to you
from here either, because we were obliged to wait for an
opportunity to send a letter to Paris. I am quite well, thank
God, and trust that both of you are the same. You must have
patience--all goes on slowly; I must make friends. France is not
unlike Germany in feeding people with encomiums, and yet there is
a good hope that, by means of your friends, you may make your
fortune. One lucky thing is, that food and lodging cost me
nothing. When you write to the friend with whom I am staying
[Herr Grimm], do not be too obsequious in your thanks. There are
some reasons for this which I will write to you some other time.
The rest of the sad history of the illness will follow in the
next letter. You desire to have a faithful portrait of
Rothfischer? He is an attentive, assiduous director, not a great
genius, but I am very much pleased with him, and, best of all, he
is the kindest creature, with whom you can do anything--if you
know how to set about it, of course. He directs better than
Brunetti, but is not so good in solo-playing. He has more
execution, and plays well in his way, (a little in the old-
fashioned Tartini mode,) but Brunetti's style is more agreeable.
The concertos which he writes for himself are pretty and pleasant
to listen to, and also to play occasionally. Who can tell whether
he may not please? At all events, he plays a thousand million
times better than Spitzeger, and, as I already said, he directs
well, and is active in his calling. I recommend him to you
heartily, for he is the most good-natured man! Adieu!


Paris, Sept. 11, 1778.

I HAVE received your three letters. I shall only reply to the
last, being the most important. When I read it, (Heina was with
me and sends you his regards,) I trembled with joy, for I fancied
myself already in your arms. True it is (and this you will
yourself confess) that no great stroke of good fortune awaits me;
still, when I think of once more embracing you and my dear
sister, I care for no other advantage. This is indeed the only
excuse I can make to the people here, who are vociferous that I
should remain in Paris; but my reply invariably is, "What would
you have? I am content, and that is everything; I have now a
place I can call my home, and where I can live in peace and quiet
with my excellent father and beloved sister. I can do what I
choose when not on duty. I shall be my own master, and have a
certain competency; I may leave when I like, and travel every
second year. What can I wish for more?" The only thing that
disgusts me with Salzburg, and I tell you of it just as I feel
it, is the impossibility of having any satisfactory intercourse
with the people, and that musicians are not in good repute there,
and--that the Archbishop places no faith in the experience of
intelligent persons who have seen the world. For I assure you
that people who do not travel (especially artists and scientific
men) are but poor creatures. And I at once say that if the
Archbishop is not prepared to allow me to travel every second
year, I cannot possibly accept the engagement. A man of moderate
talent will never rise above mediocrity, whether he travels or
not, but a man of superior talents (which, without being
unthankful to Providence, I cannot deny that I possess)
deteriorates if he always remains in the same place. If the
Archbishop would only place confidence in me, I could soon make
his music celebrated; of this there can be no doubt. I also
maintain that my journey has not been unprofitable to me--I mean,
with regard to composition, for as to the piano, I play it as
well as I ever shall. One thing more I must settle about
Salzburg, that I am not to take up the violin as I formerly did.
I will no longer conduct with the violin; I intend to conduct,
and also accompany airs, with the piano. It would have been a
good thing to have got a written agreement about the situation of
Capellmeister, for otherwise I may have the honor to discharge a
double duty, and be paid only for one, and at last be superseded
by some stranger. My dear father, I must decidedly say that I
really could not make up my mind to take this step were it not
for the pleasure of seeing you both again; I wish also to get
away from Paris, which I detest, though my affairs here begin to
improve, and I don't doubt that if I could bring myself to endure
this place for a few years, I could not fail to succeed. I am now
pretty well known--that is, the people all know ME, even if I
don't know them. I acquired considerable fame by my two
symphonies; and (having heard that I was about to leave) they now
really want me to write an opera, so I said to Noverre, "If you
will be responsible for its BEING PERFORMED as soon as it is
finished, and will name the exact sum that I am to receive for
it, I will remain here for the next three months on purpose," for
I could not at once decline, or they would have thought that I
distrusted myself. This was not, however, done; and I knew
beforehand that they could not do it, for such is not the custom
here. You probably know that in Paris it is thus:--When the opera
is finished it is rehearsed, and if these stupid Frenchmen do not
think it good it is not given, and the composer has had all his
trouble for nothing; if they approve, it is then put on the
stage; as its popularity increases, so does the rate of payment.
There is no certainty. I reserve the discussion of these matters
till we meet, but I must candidly say that my own affairs begin
to prosper. It is no use trying to hurry matters--chi va piano,
va sano. My complaisance has gained me both friends and patrons;
were I to write you all, my fingers would ache. I will relate it
to you personally and place it clearly before you. M. Grimm may
be able to help CHILDREN, but not grown-up people; and--but no, I
had better not write on the subject. Yet I must! Do not imagine
that he is the same that he was; were it not for Madame d'Epinay,
I should be no longer in this house. And he has no great cause to
be so proud of his good deeds towards me, for there were four
houses where I could have had both board and lodging. The worthy
man does not know that, if I had remained in Paris, I intended to
have left him next month to go to a house that, unlike his, is
neither stupid nor tiresome, and where a man has not constantly
thrown in his face that a kindness has been done him. Such
conduct is enough to cause me to forget a benefit, but I will be
more generous than he is. I regret not remaining here only
because I should have liked to show him that I do not require
him, and that I can do as much as his Piccini, although I am only
a German! The greatest service he has done me consists in fifteen
louis-d'or which he lent me bit by bit during my mother's life
and at her death. Is he afraid of losing them? If he has a doubt
on the subject, then he deserves to be kicked, for in that case
he must mistrust my honesty (which is the only thing that can
rouse me to rage) and also my talents; but the latter, indeed, I
know he does, for he once said to me that he did not believe I
was capable of writing a French opera. I mean to repay him his
fifteen louis-d'or, with thanks, when I go to take leave of him,
accompanied by some polite expressions. My poor mother often said
to me, "I don't know why, but he seems to me somehow changed."
But I always took his part, though I secretly felt convinced of
the very same thing. He seldom spoke of me to any one, and when
he did, it was always in a stupid, injudicious, or disparaging
way. He was constantly urging me to go to see Piccini, and also
Caribaldi,--for there is a miserable opera buffa here,--but I
always said, "No, I will not go a single step," &c. In short, he
is of the Italian faction; he is insincere himself, and strives
to crush me. This seems incredible, does it not? But still such
is the fact, and I give you the proof of it. I opened my whole
heart to him as a true friend, and a pretty use he made of this!
He always gave me bad advice, knowing that I would follow it; but
he only succeeded in two or three instances, and latterly I never
asked his opinion at all, and if he did advise me to do anything,
I never did it, but always appeared to acquiesce, that I might
not subject myself to further insolence on his part.

But enough of this; we can talk it over when we meet. At all
events, Madame d'Epinay has a better heart. The room I inhabit
belongs to her, not to him. It is the invalid's room--that is, if
any one is ill in the house, he is put there; it has nothing to
recommend it except the view,--only four bare walls, no chest of
drawers--in fact, nothing. Now you may judge whether I could
stand it any longer. I would have written this to you long ago,
but feared you would not believe me. I can, however, no longer be
silent, whether you believe me or not; but you do believe me, I
feel sure. I have still sufficient credit with you to persuade
you that I speak the truth. I board too with Madame d'Epinay, and
you must not suppose that he pays anything towards it, but indeed
I cost her next to nothing. They have the same dinner whether I
am there or not, for they never know when I am to be at home, so
they can make no difference for me; and at night I eat fruit and
drink one glass of wine. All the time I have been in their house,
now more than two months, I have not dined with them more than
fourteen times at most, and with the exception of the fifteen
louis-d'or, which I mean to repay with thanks, he has no outlay
whatever on my account but candles, and I should really be
ashamed of myself more than of him, were I to offer to supply
these; in fact I could not bring myself to say such a thing. This
is my nature. Recently, when he spoke to me in such a hard,
senseless, and stupid way, I had not nerve to say that he need
not be alarmed about his fifteen louis-d'or, because I was afraid
of offending him; I only heard him calmly to the end, when I
asked whether he had said all he wished--and then I was off! He
presumes to say that I must leave this a week hence--IN SUCH
HASTE IS HE. I told him it was impossible, and my reasons for
saying so. "Oh! that does not matter; it is your father's wish."
"Excuse me, in his last letter he wrote that he would let me know
in his next when I was to set off." "At all events hold yourself
in readiness for your journey." But I must tell you plainly that
it will be impossible for me to leave this before the beginning
of next month, or at the soonest the end of the present one, for
I have still six arias to write, which will be well paid. I must
also first get my money from Le Gros and the Duc de Guines; and
as the court goes to Munich the end of this month, I should like
to be there at the same time to present my sonatas myself to the
Electress, which perhaps might bring me a present. I mean to sell
my three concertos to the man who has printed them, provided he
gives me ready money for them; one is dedicated to Jenomy,
another to Litzau; the third is in B. I shall do the same with my
six difficult sonatas, if I can; even if not much, it is better
than nothing. Money is much wanted on a journey. As for the
symphonies, most of them are not according to the taste of the
people here; if I have time, I mean to arrange some violin
concertos from them, and curtail them; in Germany we rather like
length, but after all it is better to be short and good. In your
next letter I shall no doubt find instructions as to my journey;
I only wish you had written to me alone, for I would rather have
nothing more to do with Grimm. I hope so, and in fact it would be
better, for no doubt our friends Geschwender and Heina can
arrange things better than this upstart Baron. Indeed, I am under
greater obligations to Heina than to him, look at it as you will
by the light of a farthing-candle. I expect a speedy reply to
this, and shall not leave Paris till it comes. I have no reason
to hurry away, nor am I here either in vain or fruitlessly,
because I shut myself up and work, in order to make as much money
as possible. I have still a request, which I hope you will not
refuse. If it should so happen, though I hope and believe it is
not so, that the Webers are not in Munich, but still at Mannheim,
I wish to have the pleasure of going there to visit them. It
takes me, I own, rather out of my way, but not much--at all
events it does not appear much to me. I don't believe, after all,
that it will be necessary, for I think I shall meet them in
Munich; but I shall ascertain this to-morrow by a letter. If it
is not the case, I feel beforehand that you will not deny me this
happiness. My dear father, if the Archbishop wishes to have a new
singer, I can, by heavens! find none better than her. He will
never get a Teyberin or a De' Amicis, and the others are
assuredly worse. I only lament that when people from Salzburg
flock to the next Carnival, and "Rosamunde" is given, Madlle.
Weber will not please, or at all events they will not be able to
judge of her merits as they deserve, for she has a miserable
part, almost that of a dumb personage, having only to sing some
stanzas between the choruses. She has one aria where something
might be expected from the ritournelle; the voice part is,
however, alla Schweitzer, as if dogs were yelping. There is only
one air, a kind of rondo in the second act, where she has an
opportunity of sustaining her voice, and thus showing what she
can do. Unhappy indeed is the singer who falls into Schweitzer's
hands; for never while he lives will he learn how to write for
the voice. When I go to Salzburg I shall certainly not fail to
plead zealously for my dear friend; in the mean time you will not
neglect doing all you can in her favor, for you cannot cause your
son greater joy. I think of nothing now but the pleasure of soon
embracing you. Pray see that everything the Archbishop promised
you is made quite secure, and also what I stipulated, that my
place should be at the piano. My kind regards to all my friends,
and to Herr Bullinger in particular. How merry shall we be
together! I have all this already in my thoughts, already before
my eyes. Adieu!


Nancy, Oct. 3, 1778.

PRAY excuse my not having told you of my journey previous to
leaving Paris. But I really cannot describe to you the way in
which the whole affair was hurried forward, contrary to my
expectations, wish, or will. At the very last moment I wanted to
send my luggage to Count Sickingen's, instead of to the bureau of
the diligence, and to remain some days longer in Paris. This, I
give you my honor, I should at once have done had I not thought
of you, for I did not wish to displease you. We can talk of these
matters better at Salzburg. But one thing more--only fancy how
Herr Grimm deceived me, saying that I was going by the diligence,
and should arrive at Strassburg in five days; and I did not find
out till the last day that it was quite another carriage, which
goes at a snail's pace, never changes horses, and is ten days on
the journey. You may easily conceive my rage; but I only gave way
to it when with my intimate friends, for in his presence I
affected to be quite merry and pleased. When I got into the
carriage, I received the agreeable information that we should be
travelling for twelve days. So this is an instance of Grimm's
good sense! It was entirely to save money that he sent me by this
slow conveyance, not adverting to the fact that the expense would
amount to the same thing from the constant living at inns. Well,
it is now past. What vexed me most in the whole affair was his
not being straightforward with me. He spared his own money, but
not mine, as he paid for my journey, but not for my board. If I
had stayed eight or ten days longer in Paris, I could have paid
my own journey, and made it comfortably.

I submitted to this conveyance for eight days, but longer I could
not stand it--not on account of the fatigue, for the carriage was
well hung, but from want of sleep. We were off every morning at
four o'clock, and thus obliged to rise at three. Twice I had the
satisfaction of being forced to get up at one o'clock in the
morning, as we were to set off at two. You know that I cannot
sleep in a carriage, so I really could not continue this without
the risk of being ill. I would have taken the post, but it was
not necessary, for I had the good fortune to meet with a person
who quite suited me--a German merchant who resides in Paris, and
deals in English wares. Before getting into the carriage we
exchanged a few words, and from that moment we remained together.
We did not take our meals with the other passengers, but in our
own room, where we also slept. I was glad to meet this man, for,
being a great traveller, he understands it well. He also was very
much disgusted with our carriage; so we proceed to-morrow by a
good conveyance, which does not cost us much, to Strassburg. You
must excuse my not writing more, but when I am in a town where I
know no one, I am never in a good humor; though I believe that if
I had friends here I should like to remain, for the town is
indeed charming--handsome houses, spacious streets, and superb

I have one request to make, which is to give me a large chest in
my room that I may have all my things within my reach. I should
like also to have the little piano that Fischietti and Rust had,
beside my writing-table, as it suits me better than the small one
of Stein. I don't bring many new things of my own with me, for I
have not composed much. I have not yet got the three quartets and
the flute concerto I wrote for M. de Jean; for when he went to
Paris he packed them in the wrong trunk, so they are left at
Mannheim. I can therefore bring nothing finished with me except
my sonatas [with violin]; M. Le Gros purchased the two overtures
from me and the sinfonie concertante, which he thinks exclusively
his own; but this is not the case, for I have it still fresh in
my head, and mean to write it out again as soon as I am at home.

The Munich company of comedians are, I conclude, now acting? [in
Salzburg.] Do they give satisfaction? Do people go to see them? I
suppose that, as for the operettas, the "Fischermadchen" ("La
Pescatrice" of Piccini), or "Das Bauernmadchen bei Hof" ("La
Contadina in Corte," by Sacchini), will be given first? The prima
donna is, no doubt, Madlle. Keiserin, whom I wrote to you about
from Munich. I have heard her, but do not know her. At that time
it was only her third appearance on any stage, and she had only
learned music three weeks [see No. 62]. Now farewell! I shall not
have a moment's peace till I once more see those I love.


Strassburg, Oct. 15, 1778.

I GOT your three letters safely, but could not possibly answer
them sooner. What you write about M. Grimm, I, of course, know
better than you can do. That he was all courtesy and civility I
do not deny; indeed, had this not been the case, I would not have
stood on such ceremony with him. All that I owe M. Grimm is
fifteen louis-d'or, and he has only himself to blame for their
not being repaid, and this I told him. But what avails any
discussion? We can talk it over at Salzburg. I am very much
obliged to you for having put my case so strongly before Father
Martini, and also for having written about me to M. Raaff. I
never doubted your doing so, for I am well aware that it rejoices
you to see your son happy and pleased, and you know that I could
never be more so than in Munich; being so near Salzburg, I could
constantly visit you. That Madlle. Weber, or rather MY DEAR
WEBERIN, should now receive a salary, and justice be at last done
to her merits, rejoices me to a degree natural in one who feels
such deep interest in all that concerns her. I still warmly
recommend her to you; though I must now, alas! give up all hope
of what I so much wished,--her getting an engagement in
Salzburg,--for the Archbishop would never give her the salary she
now has. All we can now hope for is that she may sometimes come
to Salzburg to sing in an opera. I had a hurried letter from her
father the day before they went to Munich, in which he also
mentions this news. These poor people were in the greatest
distress about me, fearing that I must be dead, a whole month
having elapsed without any letter from me, (owing to the last one
being lost;) an idea that was confirmed by a report in Mannheim
that my poor dear mother had died of a contagious disease. So
they have been all praying for my soul. The poor girl went every
day for this purpose into the Capuchin church. Perhaps you may
laugh at this? I did not; on the contrary, I could not help being
much touched by it.

To proceed. I think I shall certainly go by Stuttgart to
Augsburg, because I see by your letter that nothing, or at least
not much, is to be made in Donaueschingen; but I will apprise you
of all this before leaving Strassburg. Dearest father, I do
assure you that, were it not for the pleasure of soon embracing
you, I would never come to Salzburg; for, with the exception of
this commendable and delightful impulse, I am really committing
the greatest folly in the world. Rest assured that these are my
own thoughts, and not borrowed from others. When my resolution to
leave Paris was known, certain facts were placed before me, and
the sole weapons I had to contend against or to conquer these,
were my true and tender love for my kind father, which could not
be otherwise than laudable in their eyes, but with the remark
that if my father had known my present circumstances and fair
prospects, (and had not got different and false impressions by
means of a kind friend,) he certainly would not have written to
me in such a strain as to render me wholly incapable of offering
the least resistance to his wish; and in my own mind I thought,
that had I not been exposed to so much annoyance in the house
where I lived, and the journey come on me like a sudden thunder-
clap, leaving me no time to reflect coolly on the subject, I
should have earnestly besought you to have patience for a time,
and to let me remain a little longer in Paris. I do assure you
that I should have succeeded in gaining fame, honor, and wealth,
and been thus enabled to defray your debts. But now it is
settled, and do not for a moment suppose that I regret it; but
you alone, dearest father, you alone can sweeten the bitterness
of Salzburg for me; and that you will do so, I feel convinced. I
must also candidly say that I should arrive in Salzburg with a
lighter heart were it not for my official capacity there, for
this thought is to me the most intolerable of all. Reflect on it
yourself, place yourself in my position. At Salzburg I never know
how I stand; at one time I am everything, at another absolutely
nothing. I neither desire SO MUCH nor SO LITTLE, but still I wish
to be SOMETHING--if indeed I am something! In every other place I
know what my duties are. Elsewhere those who undertake the violin
stick to it,--the same with the piano, &c., &c. I trust this will
be regulated hereafter, so that all may turn out well and for my
happiness and satisfaction. I rely wholly on you.

Things here are in a poor state; but the day after to-morrow,
Saturday the 17th, I MYSELF ALONE, (to save expense,) to please
some kind friends, amateurs, and connoisseurs, intend to give a
subscription concert. If I engaged an orchestra, it would with
the lighting cost me more than three louis-d'or, and who knows
whether we shall get as much? My sonatas are not yet published,
though promised for the end of September. Such is the effect of
not looking after things yourself, for which that obstinate Grimm
is also to blame. They will probably be full of mistakes, not
being able to revise them myself, for I was obliged to devolve
the task on another, and I shall be without my sonatas in Munich.
Such an occurrence, though apparently a trifle, may often bring
success, honor, and wealth, or, on the other hand, misfortune.


Strassburg, Oct. 20, 1778.

You will perceive that I am still here, by the advice of Herr
Frank and other Strassburg magnates, but I leave this to-morrow.
In my last letter I mentioned that on the 17th I was to give a
kind of sample of a concert, as concerts here fare worse than
even at Salzburg. It is, of course, over. I played quite alone,
having engaged no musicians, so that I might at least lose
nothing; briefly, I took three louis-d'or. The chief receipts
consisted in the shouts of Bravo! and Bravissimo! which echoed on
every side. Prince Max of Zweibrucken also honored the concert by
his presence. I need not tell you that every one was pleased. I
intended then to pursue my journey, but was advised to stay till
the following Saturday, in order to give a grand concert in the
theatre. I did so, and, to the surprise, indignation, and
disgrace of all the Strassburgers, my receipts were exactly the
same. The Director, M. de Villeneuve, abused the inhabitants of
this most detestable town in the most unmeasured terms. I took a
little more money, certainly, but the cost of the band (which is
very bad, but its pay very good), the lighting, printing, the
guard at the door, and the check-takers at the entrances, &c.,
made up a considerable sum. Still I must tell you that the
applause and clapping of hands almost deafened me, and made my
ears ache; it was as if the whole theatre had gone crazy. Those
who were present, loudly and publicly denounced their fellow-
citizens, and I told them all that if I could have reasonably
supposed so few people would have come, I would gladly have given
the concert gratis, merely for the pleasure of seeing the theatre
well filled. And in truth I should have preferred it, for, upon
my word, I don't know a more desolate sight than a long table
laid for fifty, and only three at dinner. Besides, it was so
cold; but I soon warmed myself, for, to show the Strassburg
gentlemen how little I cared, I played a very long time for my
own amusement, giving a concerto more than I had promised, and,
at the close, extemporizing. It is now over, but at all events I
gained honor and fame.

I have drawn on Herr Scherz for eight louis-d'or, as a
precaution, for no one can tell what may happen on a journey; and
I HAVE is better than I MIGHT HAVE HAD. I have read the fatherly
well-meaning letter which you wrote to M. Frank when in such
anxiety about me. [Footnote: "Your sister and I confessed, and
took the Holy Communion," writes the father, "and prayed to God
fervently for your recovery. Our excellent Bullinger prays daily
for you also."] When I wrote to you from Nancy, not knowing
myself, you of course could not know, that I should have to wait
so long for a good opportunity. Your mind may be quite at ease
about the merchant with whom I am travelling; he is the most
upright man in the world, takes more care of me than of himself,
and, entirely to oblige me, is to go with me to Augsburg and
Munich, and possibly even to Salzburg. We actually shed tears
when we think that we must separate. He is not a learned man, but
a man of experience, and we live together like children. When he
thinks of his wife and family whom he has left in Paris, I try to
comfort him, and when I think of my own people he speaks comfort
to me.

On the 31st of October, my name-day, I amused myself (and, better
still, others) for a couple of hours. At the repeated entreaties
of Herr Frank, de Berger, &c., &c., I gave another concert, by
which, after paying the expenses, (not heavy this time,) I
actually cleared a louis-d'or! Now you see what Strassburg is! I
wrote at the beginning of this letter that I was to leave this on
the 27th or 28th, but it proved impossible, owing to a sudden
inundation here, when the floods caused great damage. You will
probably see this in the papers. Of course travelling was out of
the question, which was the only thing that induced me to consent
to give another concert, being obliged to remain at all events.

To-morrow I go by the diligence to Mannheim. Do not be startled
at this. In foreign countries it is expedient to follow the
advice of those who know from experience what ought to be done.
Most of the strangers who go to Stuttgart (N.B., by the
diligence) do not object to this detour of eight hours, because
the road is better and also the conveyance. I must now, dearest
father, cordially wish you joy of your approaching name-day. My
kind father, I wish you from my heart all that a son can wish for
a good father, whom he so highly esteems and dearly loves. I
thank the Almighty that He has permitted you again to pass this
day in the enjoyment of perfect health, and implore from Him the
boon, that during the whole of my life (and I hope to live for a
good many years to come) I may be able to congratulate you every
year. However strange, and perhaps ridiculous, this wish may seem
to you, I do assure you it is both sincere and well-intended.

I hope you received my last letter from Strassburg. I wish to
write nothing further of M. Grimm, but it is entirely owing to
his stupidity in pressing forward my departure so much, that my
sonatas are not yet engraved, or at all events that I have not
got them, and when I do I shall probably find them full of
mistakes. If I had only stayed three days longer in Paris, I
could have revised them myself and brought them with me. The
engraver was desperate when I told him that I could not correct
them, but must commission someone else to do so. Why? Because,
being resolved not to be three days longer in the same house with
Grimm, I told him that on account of the sonatas I was going to
stay with Count Sickingen, when he replied, his eyes sparkling
with rage, "If you leave my house before you leave Paris, I will
never in my life see you again. In that case do not presume ever
to come near me, and look on me as your bitterest enemy." Self-
control was indeed very necessary. Had it not been for your sake,
who knew nothing about the matter, I certainly should have
replied, "Be my enemy; by all means be so. You are so already, or
you would not have prevented me putting my affairs in order here,
which would have enabled me to keep my word, to preserve my honor
and reputation, and also to make money, and probably a lucky hit;
for if I present my sonatas to the Electress when I go to Munich,
I shall thus keep my promise, probably receive a present, and
make my fortune besides." But as it was, I only bowed, and left
the room without saying a syllable. Before quitting Paris,
however, I said all this to him, but he answered me like a man
totally devoid of sense, or rather like a malicious man who
affects to have none. I have written twice to Herr Heina, but
have got no answer. The sonatas ought to have appeared by the end
of September, and M. Grimm was to have forwarded the promised
copies immediately to me, so I expected to have found them in
Strassburg; but M. Grimm writes to me that he neither hears nor
sees anything of them, but as soon as he does they are to be
forwarded, and I hope to have them ere long.

Strassburg can scarcely do without me. You cannot think how much
I am esteemed and beloved here. People say that I am
disinterested as well as steady and polite, and praise my
manners. Every one knows me. As soon as they heard my name, the
two Herrn Silbermann and Herr Hepp (organist) came to call on me,
and also Capellmeister Richter. He has now restricted himself
very much; instead of forty bottles of wine a day, he only drinks
twenty! I played publicly on the two best organs that Silbermann
has here, in the Lutheran and New Churches, and in the Thomas
Church. If the Cardinal had died, (and he was very ill when I
arrived,) I might have got a good situation, for Herr Richter is
seventy-eight years of age. Now farewell! Be cheerful and in good
spirits, and remember that your son is, thank God! well, and
rejoicing that his happiness daily draws nearer. Last Sunday I
heard a new mass of Herr Richter's, which is charmingly written.


Mannheim, November 12, 1778.

I arrived here safely on the 6th, agreeably surprising all my
kind friends. God be praised that I am once more in my beloved
Mannheim! I assure you, if you were here you would say the same.
I am living at Madame Cannabich's, who, as well as her family and
all my good friends here, was quite beside herself with joy at
seeing me again. We have not yet done talking, for she tells me
of all the events and changes that have taken place during my
absence. I have not been able to dine once at home since I came,
for people are fighting to have me; in a word, just as I love
Mannheim, so Mannheim loves me; and, though of course I don't
know it positively, still I do think it possible that I may get
an appointment here. But HERE, not in Munich, for my own belief
is that the Elector will soon once more take up his residence in
Mannheim, for he surely cannot long submit to the coarseness of
the Bavarian gentlemen. You know that the Mannheim company is in
Munich. There they hissed the two best actresses, Madame Toscani
and Madame Urban. There was such an uproar that the Elector
himself leant over his box and called out, "Hush!" To this,
however, no one paid any attention; so he sent down Count Seeau,
who told some of the officers not to make such a noise, as the
Elector did not like it; but the only answer he got was, that
they had paid their money, and no man had a right to give them
any orders. But what a simpleton I am! You no doubt have heard
this long ago through our....

I have now something to say. I may PERHAPS make forty louis-d'or
here. To be sure, I should have to stay six weeks, or at most two
months, in Mannheim. Seiler's company is here, whom you no doubt
already know by reputation. Herr von Dalberg is the director. He
will not hear of my leaving this till I have written a duodrama
for him, and indeed I did not long hesitate, for I have often
wished to write this style of drama. I forget if I wrote to you
about it the first time that I was here. Twice at that time I saw
a similar piece performed, which afforded me the greatest
pleasure; in fact, nothing ever surprised me so much, for I had
always imagined that a thing of this kind would make no effect.
Of course you know that there is no singing in it, but merely
recitation, to which the music is a sort of obligato recitativo.
At intervals there is speaking while the music goes on, which
produces the most striking effect. What I saw was Benda's
"Medea." He also wrote another, "Ariadne auf Naxos," and both are
truly admirable. You are aware that of all the Lutheran
Capellmeisters Benda was always my favorite, and I like those two
works of his so much that I constantly carry them about with me.
Conceive my joy at now composing the very thing I so much wished!
Do you know what my idea is?--that most operatic recitatives
should be treated in this way, and the recitative only
THE MUSIC. An Academie des Amateurs is about to be established
here, like the one in Paris, where Herr Franzl is violin leader,
and I am at this moment writing a concerto for violin and piano.
I found my dear friend Raaff still here, but he leaves this on
the 8th. He has sounded my praises here, and shown sincere
interest in me, and I hope he will do the same in Munich. Do you
know what that confounded fellow Seeau said here?--that my opera
buffa had been hissed at Munich! Fortunately he said so in a
place where I am well known; still, his audacity provokes me; but
the people, when they go to Munich, will hear the exact reverse.
A whole flock of Bavarians are here, among others Fraulein de
Pauli (for I don't know her present name). I have been to see her
because she sent for me immediately. Oh! what a difference there
is between the people of the Palatinate and those of Bavaria!
What a language it is! so coarse! and their whole mode of
address! It quite annoys me to hear once more their hoben and
olles (haben and alles), and their WORSHIPFUL SIR. Now good-bye!
and pray write to me soon. Put only my name, for they know where
I am at the post-office. I am so well known here that it is
impossible a letter for me can be lost. My cousin wrote to me,
and by mistake put Franconian Hotel instead of Palatine Hotel.
The landlord immediately sent the letter to M. Serrarius's, where
I lodged when I was last here. What rejoices me most of all in
the whole Mannheim and Munich story is that Weber has managed his
affairs so well. They have now 1600 florins; for the daughter has
1000 florins and her father 400, and 200 more as prompter.
Cannabich did the most for them. It is quite a history about
Count Seeau; if you don't know it, I will write you the details
next time.

I beg, dearest father, that you will make use of this affair at
Salzburg, and speak so strongly and so decidedly, that the
Archbishop may think it possible I may not come after all, and
thus be induced to give me a better salary, for I declare I
cannot think of it with composure. The Archbishop cannot pay me
sufficiently for the slavery of Salzburg. As I said before, I
feel the greatest pleasure at the thought of paying you a visit,
but only annoyance and misery in seeing myself once more at that
beggarly court. The Archbishop must no longer attempt to play the
great man with me as he used to do, or I may possibly play him a
trick,--this is by no means unlikely,--and I am sure that you
would participate in my satisfaction.


Mannheim, Nov. 24, 1778.


I called on you twice, but had not the good fortune to find you
at home; yesterday you were in the house, but engaged, so I could
not see you. I hope you will therefore excuse my troubling you
with these few lines, as it is very important to me to explain
myself fully. Herr Baron, you are well aware that I am not an
interested man, particularly when I know that it is in my power
to do a service to so great a connoisseur and lover of music as
yourself. On the other hand, I also know that you certainly would
not wish that I should be a loser on this occasion; I therefore
take the liberty to make my final stipulations on the subject, as
it is impossible for me to remain here longer in uncertainty. I
agree to write a monodrama for the sum of twenty-five louis-d'or,
and to stay here for two months longer to complete everything,
and to attend all the rehearsals, &c., but on this condition,
that, happen what may, I am to be paid by the end of January. Of
course I shall also expect free admission to the theatre. Now, my
dear Baron, this is all that I can do, and if you consider, you
will admit that I certainly am acting with great discretion. With
regard to your opera, I do assure you I should rejoice to compose
music for it, but you must yourself perceive that I could not
undertake such a work for twenty-five louis-d'or, as it would be
twice the labor of a monodrama (taken at the lowest rate). The
chief obstacle would be your having told me that Gluck and
Schweitzer are partially engaged to write this work. But were you
even to give me fifty louis-d'or, I would still as an honest man
dissuade you from it. An opera without any singers! what is to be
done in such a case? Still, if on this occasion there is a
prospect of its being performed, I will not hesitate to undertake
the work to oblige you; but it is no trifling one--of that I
pledge you my word. I have now set forth my ideas clearly and
candidly, and request your decision.


Mannheim, Dec. 3, 1778.

I MUST ask your forgiveness for two things,--first, that I have
not written to you for so long; and secondly, that this time also
I must be brief. My not having answered you sooner is the fault
of no one but yourself, and your first letter to me at Mannheim.
I really never could have believed--but silence! I will say no
more on the subject. Lot us have done with it. Next Wednesday,
the 9th, I leave this; I cannot do so sooner, because, thinking
that I was to be here for a couple of months, I accepted some
pupils, and of course wish to make out the twelve lessons. I
assure you that you have no idea what kind and true friends I
have here, which time will prove. Why must I be so brief? Because
my hands are more than full. To please Herr Gemmingen and myself,
I am writing the first act of the melodramatic opera (that I was
commissioned to write), but now do so gratis; I shall bring it
with me and finish it at home. You see how strong my inclination
must be for this kind of composition. Of course Herr von
Gemmingen is the poet. The duodrama is called "Semiramis."

Next Wednesday I set off, and do you know how I travel? With the
worthy prelate, the Bishop of Kaisersheim. When a kind friend of
mine mentioned me to him, he at once knew my name, expressing the
pleasure it would be to him to have me as a travelling companion.
He is (though a priest and prelate) a most amiable man. I am
therefore going by Kaisersheim and not by Stuttgart; but it is
just the same to me, for I am very lucky in being able to spare
my purse a little (as it is slender enough) on the journey. Be so
good as to answer me the following questions. How do the
comedians please at Salzburg? Is not the young lady who sings,
Madlle. Keiserin? Does Herr Feiner play the English horn? Ah! if
we had only clarionets too! You cannot imagine the splendid
effect of a symphony with flutes, hautboys, and clarionets. At my
first audience of the Archbishop I shall tell him much that is
new, and also make some suggestions. Oh, how much finer and
better our orchestra might be if the Archbishop only chose! The
chief cause why it is not so, is that there are far too many
performances. I make no objection to the chamber-music, only to
the concerts on a larger scale.

A propos, you say nothing of it, but I conclude you have received
the trunk; if not, Herr von Grimm is responsible for it. You will
find in it the aria I wrote for Madlle. Weber. You can have no
idea of the effect of that aria with instruments; you may not
think so when you see it, but it ought to be sung by a Madlle.
Weber! Pray, give it to no one, for that would be most unfair, as
it was written solely for her, and fits her like a well-fitting


Kaisersheim, Dec. 18, 1778.

I ARRIVED here safely on Sunday the 13th, God be praised! I
travelled in the most agreeable way, and had likewise the
inexpressible pleasure to find a letter from you here. The reason
that I did not forthwith answer it was, because I wished to give
you sure and precise information as to my departure, for which I
had not fixed any time; but I have at length resolved, as the
prelate goes to Munich on the 26th or 27th, to be again his
companion. I must tell you, however, that he does not go by
Augsburg. I lose nothing by this; but if you have anything to
arrange or transact where my presence is wanted, I can at any
time, if you wish it, (being so near,) make a little expedition
from Munich. My journey from Mannheim to this place would have
been most agreeable to a man, leaving a city with a light heart.
The prelate and his Chancellor, an honest, upright, and amiable
man, drove together in one carriage, and Herr Kellermeister,
Father Daniel, Brother Anton, the Secretary, and I, preceded them
always half an hour, or an hour. But for me, to whom nothing
could be more painful than leaving Mannheim, this journey was
only partly agreeable, and would not have been at all so, but
rather very tiresome, if I had not from my early youth been so
much accustomed to leave people, countries, and cities, and with
no very sanguine hope of soon or ever again seeing the kind
friends I left. I cannot deny, but at once admit, that not only I
myself, but all my intimate friends, particularly the Cannabichs,
were in the most pitiable distress during the last few days after
my departure was finally settled. We felt as if it were not
possible for us to part. I set off at half-past eight o'clock in
the morning, and Madame Cannabich did not leave her room; she
neither would nor could take leave of me. I did not wish to
distress her, so left the house without seeing her. My very dear
father, I can safely say that she is one of my best and truest
friends, for I only call those friends who are so in every
situation, who, day and night, think how they can best serve the
interests of their friend, applying to all influential persons,
and toiling to secure his happiness. Now I do assure you such is
the faithful portrait of Madame Cannabich. There may indeed be an
alloy of self-interest in this, for where does anything take
place--indeed, how can anything be done in this world--without
some alloy of selfishness? What I like best in Madame Cannabich
is, that she never attempts to deny this. I will tell you when we
meet in what way she told me so, for when we are alone, which, I
regret to say, is very seldom, we become quite confidential. Of
all the intimate friends who frequent her house, I alone possess
her entire confidence; for I alone know all her domestic and
family troubles, concerns, secrets, and circumstances. We were
not nearly so well acquainted the first time I was here, (we have
agreed on this point,) nor did we mutually under stand each other
so well; but living in the same house affords greater facilities
to know a person. When in Paris I first began fully to appreciate
the sincere friendship of the Cannabichs, having heard from a
trustworthy source the interest both she and her husband took in
me. I reserve many topics to explain and to discuss personally,
for since my return from Paris the scene has undergone some
remarkable changes, but not in all things. Now as to my cloister
life. The monastery itself made no great impression on me, after
having seen the celebrated Abbey of Kremsmunster. I speak of the
exterior and what they call here the court square, for the most
renowned part I have yet to see. What appears to me truly
ridiculous is the formidable military. I should like to know of
what use they are. At night I hear perpetual shouts of "Who goes
there?" and I invariably reply, "Guess!" You know what a good and
kind man the prelate is, but you do not know that I may class
myself among his favorites, which, I believe, does me neither good
nor harm, but it is always pleasant to have one more friend in
the world. With regard to the monodrama, or duodrama, a voice
part is by no means necessary, as not a single note is sung, but
entirely spoken; in short, it is a recitative with instruments,
only the actor speaks the words instead of singing them. If you
were to hear it even with the piano, it could not fail to please
you, but properly performed, you would be quite transported. I
can answer for this; but it requires a good actor or actress.

I shall really feel quite ashamed if I arrive in Munich without
my sonatas. I cannot understand the delay; it was a stupid trick
of Grimm's, and I have written to him to that effect. He will now
see that he was in rather too great a hurry. Nothing ever
provoked me so much. Just reflect on it. I know that my sonatas
were published in the beginning of November, and I, the author,
have not yet got them, therefore cannot present them to the
Electress, to whom they are dedicated. I have, however, taken
measures in the mean time which will insure my getting them. I
hope that my cousin in Augsburg has received them, or that they
are lying at Josef Killiau's for her; so I have written to beg
her to send them to me at once.

Until I come myself, I commend to your good offices an organist,
and also a good pianist, Herr Demmler, from Augsburg. I had
entirely forgotten him, and was very glad when I heard of him
here. He has considerable genius; a situation in Salzburg might
be very useful in promoting his further success, for all he
requires is a good leader in music; and I could not find him a
better conductor than you, dear father, and it would really be a
pity if he were to leave the right path. [See No. 68.] That
melancholy "Alceste" of Schweitzer's is to be performed in
Munich. The best part (besides some of the openings, middle
passages, and the finales of some arias) is the beginning of the
recitative "O Jugendzeit," and this was made what it is by
Raaff's assistance; he punctuated it for Hartig (who plays
Admet), and by so doing introduced the true expression into the
aria. The worst of all, however, (as well as the greater part of
the opera,) is certainly the overture.

As for the trifles that are not to be found in the trunk, it is
quite natural that under such circumstances something should be
lost, or even stolen. The little amethyst ring I felt I ought to
give to the nurse who attended my dear mother, whose wedding-ring
was left on her finger. [A large blot.] The ink-bottle is so
full, and I am too hasty in dipping in my pen, as you will
perceive. As for the watch, you have guessed rightly. I sold it,
but only got five louis-d'or for it, and that in consideration of
the works, which were good; for the shape, as you know, was old-
fashioned and quite out of date. Speaking of watches, I must tell
you that I am bringing one with me--a genuine Parisian. You know
what sort of thing my jewelled watch was--how inferior all the
so-called precious stones were, how clumsy and awkward its shape;
but I would not have cared so much about that, had I not been
obliged to spend so much money in repairing and regulating it,
and after all the watch would one day gain a couple of hours, and
next day lose in the same proportion. The one the Elector gave me
did just the same, and, moreover, the works were even worse and
more fragile. I exchanged these two watches and their chains for
a Parisian one which is worth twenty louis-d'or. So now at last I
know what o'clock it is; with my five watches I never got so far
as that before! At present, out of four, I have, at all events,
one on which I can depend.


Kaisersheim, Dec. 23, 1778.


I write to you in the greatest haste, and in the deepest sorrow
and remorse, and with the determined purpose to tell you that it
is my intention to set off to-morrow to Munich. I would, I assure
you, gladly have gone to Augsburg, but the prelate was resolved
to claim me, for which you cannot blame me. It is my loss, so
don't be cross. I may perhaps make an escapade from Munich to
Augsburg, but this is by no means certain. If you will be as glad
to see me, as I shall be to see you, do come to the good town of
Munich. Be sure you come by the new year, that I may see your
face so dear, and escort you far and near. One thing I very much
regret, which is that I cannot give you house-room, because I am
not at an hotel, but am living with--whom do you think? I should
like to know this myself [with the Webers]. But now Spassus
apart. For that very reason, and for my sake, it would be
advisable you should come; perhaps you may have a great part to
play, but at all events come. I can then pay you in my own mighty
person all proper compliments. Now adieu, angel of piety! I await
you with anxiety. Your sincere cousin,


P.S.--Write to me forthwith to Munich, Poste Restante, a little
note of twenty-four pages, but do not mention where you are to
lodge, that I may not find you out nor you me.


Munich, Dec. 29, 1778.

I WRITE from the house of M. Becke [flute-player; see No. 60]. I
arrived here safely, God be praised! on the 25th, but have been
unable to write to you till now. I reserve everything till our
glad, joyous meeting, when I can once more have the happiness of
conversing with you, for to-day I can only weep. I have far too
sensitive a heart. In the mean time, I must tell you that the day
before I left Kaisersheim I received the sonatas; so I shall be
able to present them myself to the Electress. I only delay
leaving this till the opera [Footnote: Schweitzer's "Alceste."
(See No. 120.)] is given, when I intend immediately to leave
Munich, unless I were to find that it would be very beneficial
and useful to me to remain here for some time longer. In which
case I feel convinced, quite convinced, that you would not only
be satisfied I should do so, but would yourself advise it. I
naturally write very badly, for I never learned to write; still,
in my whole life I never wrote worse than this very day, for I
really am unfit for anything--my heart is too full of tears. I
hope you will soon write to me and comfort me. Address to me,
Poste Restante, and then I can fetch the letter myself. I am
staying with the Webers. I think, after all, it would be better,
far better, to enclose your letter to me to our friend Becke.

I intend (I mention it to you in the strictest secrecy) to write
a mass here; all my best friends advise my doing so. I cannot
tell you what friends Cannabich and Raaff have been to me. Now
farewell, my kindest and most beloved father! Write to me soon.

A happy new-year! More I cannot bring myself to write to-day.
This letter is scrawled hurriedly, quite unlike the others, and
betrays the most violent agitation of mind. During the whole
journey there was nothing to which Mozart looked forward with
such joy as once more seeing his beloved Madlle. Weber in Munich.
He had even destined "a great part" for the Basle (his cousin) in
the affair; but he was now to learn that Aloysia had been
faithless to him. Nissen relates: "Mozart, being in mourning for
his mother, appeared dressed, according to the French custom, in
a red coat with black buttons; but soon discovered that Aloysia's
feelings towards him had undergone a change. She seemed scarcely
to recognize one for whose sake she had once shed so many tears.
On which Mozart quickly seated himself at the piano and sang,
"Ich lass das Madel gern das mich nicht will," ["I gladly give up
the girl who slights me."] His father, moreover, was displeased
in the highest degree by Wolfgang's protracted absence, fearing
that the Archbishop might recall his appointment; so Wolfgang
became very uneasy lest he should not meet with a kind reception
from his father on his return home."


Munich, Dec. 31, 1778.

I HAVE this instant received your latter from my friend Becke. I
wrote to you from his house two days ago, but a letter such as I
never wrote before; for this kind friend said so much to me about
your tender paternal love, your indulgence towards me, your
complaisance and discretion in the promotion of my future
happiness, that my feelings were softened even to tears. But,
from your letter of the 28th, I see only too clearly that Herr
Becke, in his conversation with me, rather exaggerated. Now,
distinctly, and once for all, as soon as the opera ("Alceste") is
given, I intend to leave this, whether the diligence goes the day
after or the same night. If you had spoken to Madame Robinig, I
might have travelled home with her. But be that as it may, the
opera is to be given on the 11th, and on the 12th (if the
diligence goes) I set off. It would be more for my interest to
stay here a little longer, but I am willing to sacrifice this to
you, in the hope that I shall have a twofold reward for it in
Salzburg. I don't think your idea about the sonatas at all good;
even if I do not get them, I ought to leave Munich forthwith.
Then you advise my not being seen at court; to a man so well
known as I am here such a thing is impossible. But do not be
uneasy. I received my sonatas at Kaisersheim; and, as soon as
they are bound, I mean to present them to the Electress. A.
propos, what do you mean by DREAMS OF PLEASURE? I do not wish to
give up dreaming, for what mortal on the whole compass of the
earth does not often dream? above all DREAMS OF PLEASURE--
peaceful dreams, sweet, cheering dreams if you will--dreams
which, if realized, would have rendered my life (now far rather
sad than pleasurable) more endurable.

The 1st.--I have this moment received, through a Salzburg
vetturino, a letter from you, which really at first quite
startled me. For Heaven's sake tell me, do you really think that
I can at once fix a day for my journey; or is it your belief that
I don't mean to come at all? When I am so very near, I do think
you might be at ease on that point. When the fellow had explained
his route to me, I felt a strong inclination to go with him, but
at present I really cannot; to-morrow or next day I intend to
present the sonatas to the Electress, and then (no matter how
strongly I may be urged) I must wait a few days for a present. Of
one thing I give you my word, that to please you I have resolved
not to wait to see the opera, but intend to leave this the day
after I receive the present I expect. At the same time I confess
I feel this to be very hard on me; but if a few days more or less
appear of such importance to you, so let it be. Write to me at
once on this point. The 2d.--I rejoice at the thoughts of
conversing with you, for then you will first comprehend how my
matters stand here. You need have neither mistrust nor misgivings
as to Raaff, for he is the most upright man in the world, though
no lover of letter-writing. The chief cause of his silence,
however, is no doubt that he is unwilling to make premature
promises, and yet is glad to hold out some hope too; besides,
like Cannabich, he has worked for me with might and main.