Strivings and labors
150. "We live in this world only that we may go onward without
ceasing, a peculiar help in this direction being that one
enlightens the other by communicating his ideas; in the sciences
and fine arts there is always more to learn."
(Salzburg, September 7, 1776, to Padre Martini of Bologna, whose
opinion he asks concerning a motet which the Archbishop of
Salzburg had faulted.)
151. "I am just now reading 'Telemachus;' I am in the second
(Bologna, September 8, 1770, to his mother and sister.)
152. "Because you said yesterday that you could understand
anything, and that I might write what I please in Latin,
curiosity has led me to try you with some Latin lines. Have the
kindness when you have solved the problem to send the result to
me by the Hagenauer servant maid."
"Cuperem scire, de qua causa, a quam plurimis adolescentibus
ottium usque adeo aestimetur, ut ipsi se nec verbis, nec
verberibus ab hoc sinant abduci."
(The Archiepiscopal concertmaster, aged 13, writes thus to a girl
153. "Since then I have exercised myself daily in the French
language, and already taken three lessons in English. In three
months I hope to be able to read and understand the English books
(Vienna, August 17, 1782, to his father. Mozart had given it out
that he intended to go to Paris or London. Prince Kaunitz had
said to Archduke Maximilian that men like Mozart lived but once
in a hundred years, and should not be driven out of Germany.
Mozart, however, writes to his father: "But I do not want to wait
on charity; I find that, even if it were the Emperor, I am not
dependent on his bounty.")
154. "I place my confidence in three friends, and they are strong
and invincible friends, viz: God, your head and my head. True our
heads differ, but each is very good, serviceable, and useful in
its genre, and in time I hope that my head will be as good as
yours in the field in which now yours is superior."
(Mannheim, February 28, 1778, to his father.)
155. "Believe me, I do not love idleness, but work. True it was
difficult in Salzburg and cost me an effort and I could scarcely
persuade myself. Why? Because I was not happy there. You must
admit that, for me at least, there was not a pennyworth of
entertainment in Salzburg. I do not want to associate with many
and of the majority of the rest I am not fond. There is no
encouragement for my talent! If I play, or one of my compositions
is performed, the audience might as well consist of tables and
chairs....In Salzburg I sigh for a hundred amusements, and here
for not one; to live in Vienna is amusement enough."
(Vienna, May 26, 1781, to his father, who was concerned as to the
progress making in Vienna.)
156. "I beg of you, best and dearest of fathers, do not write me
any more letters of this kind,--I conjure you, for they serve no
other purpose than to heat my head and disturb my heart and mood.
And I, who must compose continually, need a clear head and quiet
(Vienna, June 9, 1781, to his father, who had reproached him
because of his rupture with the Archbishop.)
157. "If there ever was a time when I was not thinking about
marriage it is now. I wish for nothing less than a rich wife, and
if I could make my fortune by marriage now I should perforce have
to wait, because I have very different things in my head. God did
not give me my talent to put it a-dangle on a wife, and spend my
young life in inactivity. I am just beginning life, and shall I
embitter it myself? I have nothing against matrimony, but for me
it would be an evil just now."
(Vienna, July 25, 1781, to his father, who was solicitous lest he
fall in love with one of the daughters in the Weber family with
whom he was living. All manner of rumors had been carried to him.
The father persuaded his son to seek other lodgings; but
Constanze Weber eventually became Mozart's wife nevertheless.)
158. "This sort of composer can do nothing in this genre. He has
no conception of what is wanted. Lord! if God had only given me
such a place in the church and before such an orchestra!"
(A remark made in Leipsic, in 1789, in reference to a composer
who was suited to comic opera work, but had received an
appointment as Church composer. Mozart examined a mass of his and
said: "It sounds all very well, but not in church." He then
played it through with new words improvised by himself, such as
(in the Cum sancto spiritu) "Stolen property, gentlemen, but no
159. "You see my intentions are good; but if you can't, you
can't! I do not want to scribble, and therefore can not send you
the whole symphony before next post day."
(Vienna, July 31, 1782, to his father, who had asked for a
symphony for the Hafner family in Salzburg.)
160. "I do not beg pardon; no! But I beg of Herr Bullinger that
he himself apply to himself for pardon in my behalf, with the
assurance that as soon as I can do so in quiet I shall write to
him. Until now no such occasion has offered itself, for as soon
as I know that in all likelihood I must leave a place I have no
restful hour. And although I still have a modicum of hope, I am
not at ease and shall not be until I know my status."
(Mannheim, November 22, 1777, to his father. Abbe Bullinger was
the most intimate friend that the Mozart family had in Salzburg.
Mozart had been negligent in his correspondence.)
161. "To live well and to live happily are different things, and
the latter would be impossible for me without witchcraft; it
would have to be supernatural; and that is impossible for there
are no witches now-a-days."
(Paris, August 7, 1778, to his friend Bullinger, who had sought
to persuade him to return to Salzburg.)
162. "The Duke de Chabot sat himself down beside me and listened
attentively; and I--I forgot the cold, and the headache and
played regardless of the wretched clavier as I play when I am in
the mood. Give me the best clavier in Europe and at the same time
hearers who understand nothing or want to understand nothing, and
who do not feel what I play with me, and all my joy is gone."
(Paris, May 1, 1778, to his father. The Duchess had behaved very
haughtily and kept Mozart sitting in a cold room for a long time
before the Duke came.)