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Münich/Augsburg/Mannheim Sept. 1777-March 1778



On the 22d of December, 1777, Mozart's father wrote as follows to
Padre Martini in Bologna:--"My son has been now five years in the
service of our Prince, at a mere nominal salary, hoping that by
degrees his earnest endeavors and any talents he may possess,
combined with the utmost industry and most unremitting study,
would be rewarded; but in this hope we find ourselves deceived. I
forbear all allusion to our Prince's mode of thinking and acting;
but he was not ashamed to declare that my son knew nothing, and
that he ought to go to the musical training school in Naples to
learn music. And why did he say all this? In order to intimate
that a young man should not be so absurd as to believe that he
deserved a rather higher salary after such a decisive verdict had
issued from the lips of a prince. This has induced me to sanction
my son giving up his present situation. He therefore left
Salzburg on the 23d of September" [with his mother].


Wasserburg, Sept. 23, 1777.

Mon Tres-Cher Pere,--

God be praised! we reached Waging, Stain, Ferbertshaim, and
Wasserburg safely. Now for a brief report of our journey. When we
arrived at the city gates, we were kept waiting for nearly a
quarter of an hour till they could be thrown open for us, as they
were under repair. Near Schinn we met a drove of cows, and one of
these very remarkable, for each side was a different color, which
we never before saw. When at last we got to Schinn, we met a
carriage, which stopped, and ecce, our postilion called out we
must change. "I don't care," said I. Mamma and I were parleying,
when a portly gentleman came up, whose physiognomy I at once
recognized; he was a Memmingen merchant. He stared at me for some
time, and at last said, "You surely are Herr Mozart?" "At your
service," said I; "I know you, too, by sight, but not your name.
I saw you, a year ago, at Mirabell's [the palace garden in
Salzburg] at a concert." He then told me his name, which, thank
God! I have forgotten; but I retained one of probably more
importance to me. When I saw this gentleman in Salzburg, he was
accompanied by a young man whose brother was now with him, and
who lives in Memmingen. His name is Herr Unhold, and he pressed
me very much to come to Memmingen if possible. We sent a hundred
thousand loves to papa by them, and to my sister, the madcap,
which they promised to deliver without fail. This change of
carriages was a great bore to me, for I wished to send a letter
back from Waging by the postilion. We then (after a slight meal)
had the honor of being conveyed as far as Stain, by the aforesaid
post-horses, in an hour and a half. At Waging I was alone for a
few minutes with the clergyman, who looked quite amazed, knowing
nothing of our history. From Stain we were driven by a most
tiresome phlegmatic postilion--N. B., in driving I mean; we
thought we never were to arrive at the next stage. At last we did
arrive, as you may see from my writing this letter. (Mamma is
half asleep.) From Ferbertshaim to Wasserburg all went on well.
Viviamo come i principi; we want nothing except you, dear papa.
Well, this is the will of God; no doubt all will go on right. I
hope to hear that papa is as well as I am and as happy. Nothing
comes amiss to me; I am quite a second papa, and look after
everything.[Footnote: The father had been very uneasy at the idea
of allowing the inexperienced youth, whose unsuspicious good-
nature exposed him still more to danger, to travel alone; for the
mother also was not very expert in travelling.] I settled from
the first to pay the postilions, for I can talk to such fellows
better than mamma. At the Stern, in Wasserburg, we are capitally
served; I am treated here like a prince. About half an hour ago
(mamma being engaged at the time) the Boots knocked at the door
to take my orders about various things, and I gave them to him
with the same grave air that I have in my portrait. Mamma is just
going to bed. We both beg that papa will be careful of his
health, not go out too early, nor fret, [Footnote: The Father was
strongly disposed to hypochondria.] but laugh and be merry and in
good spirits. We think the Mufti H. C. [the Archbishop Hieronymus
Colloredo] a MUFF, but we know God to be compassionate, merciful,
and loving. I kiss papa's hands a thousand times, and embrace my
SISTER MADCAP as often as I have to-day taken snuff. I think I
have left my diplomas at home? [his appointment at court.] I beg
you will send them to me soon. My pen is rude, and I am not


Munich, Sept. 26, 1777.

WE arrived safely in Munich on the afternoon of the 24th, at
half-past four o'clock. A complete novelty to me was being
obliged to drive to the Custom House, escorted by a grenadier
with a fixed bayonet. The first person we knew, who met us when
driving, was Signor Consoli; he recognized me at once, and showed
the utmost joy at seeing me again. Next day he called on us. I
cannot attempt to describe the delight of Herr Albert [the
"learned landlord" of the Black Eagle, on the Kaufinger Gasse,
now Hotel Detzer]; he is indeed a truly honest man, and a very
good friend of ours. On my arrival I went to the piano, and did
not leave it till dinner-time. Herr Albert was not at home, but
he soon came in, and we went down to dinner together. There I met
M. Sfeer and a certain secretary, an intimate friend of his; both
send their compliments to you. Though tired by our journey, we
did not go to bed till late; we, however, rose next morning at
seven o'clock. My hair was in such disorder that I could not go
to Count Seeau's till half-past ten o'clock. When I got there I
was told that he had driven out to the chasse. Patience! In the
mean time I wished to call on Chorus-master Bernard, but he had
gone to the country with Baron Schmid. I found Herr von Belvall
deeply engaged in business; he sent you a thousand compliments.
Rossi came to dinner, and at two o'clock Consoli, and at three
arrived Becke [a friend of Mozart's and an admirable flute-
player], and also Herr von Belvall. I paid a visit to Frau von
Durst [with whom Nannerl had lived], who now lodges with the
Franciscans. At six o'clock I took a short walk with Herr Becke.
There is a Professor Huber here, whom you may perhaps remember
better than I do; he says that the last time he either saw or
heard me was at Vienna, at Herr von Mesmer's, junior. He is
neither tall nor short, pale, with silvery-gray hair, and his
physiognomy rather like that of Herr Unterbereiter. This
gentleman is vice-intendant of the theatre; his occupation is to
read through all the comedies to be acted, to improve or to
spoil, to add to or to put them aside. He comes every evening to
Albert's, and often talks to me. To-day, Friday, the 26th, I
called on Count Seeau at half-past eight o'clock. This was what
passed. As I was going into the house I met Madame Niesser, the
actress, just coming out, who said, "I suppose you wish to see
the Count?" "Yes!" "He is still in his garden, and Heaven knows
when he may come!" I asked her where the garden was. "As I must
see him also," said she, "let us go together." We had scarcely
left the house when we saw the Count coming towards us about
twelve paces off; he recognized and instantly named me. He was
very polite, and seemed already to know all that had taken place
about me. We went up the steps together slowly and alone; I told
him briefly the whole affair. He said that I ought at once to
request an audience of his Highness the Elector, but that, if I
failed in obtaining it, I must make a written statement. I
entreated him to keep this all quite private, and he agreed to do
so. When I remarked to him that there really was room for a
genuine composer here, he said, "I know that well." I afterwards
went to the Bishop of Chiemsee, and was with him for half an
hour. I told him everything, and he promised to do all he could
for me in the matter. At one o'clock he drove to Nymphenburg, and
declared positively he would speak to the Electress. On Sunday
the Count comes here. Herr Joannes Kronner has been appointed
Vice-Concertmeister, which he owes to a blunt speech of his. He
has produced two symphonies--Deo mene liberi [God preserve me
from such]--of his own composition. The Elector asked him, "Did
you really compose these?" "Yes, your Royal Highness!" "From whom
did you learn?" "From a schoolmaster in Switzerland, where so
much importance is attached to the study of composition. This
schoolmaster taught me more than all your composers here, put
together, could teach me." Count Schonborn and his Countess, a
sister of the Archbishop [of Salzburg], passed through here to-
day. I chanced to be at the play at the time. Herr Albert, in the
course of conversation, told them that I was here, and that I had
given up my situation. They were all astonishment, and positively
refused to believe him when he said that my salary, of blessed
memory, was only twelve florins thirty kreuzers! They merely
changed horses, and would gladly have spoken with me, but I was
too late to meet them. Now I must inquire what you are doing, and
how you are. Mamma and I hope that you are quite well. I am still
in my very happiest humor; my head feels as light as a feather
since I got away from that chicanery. I have grown fatter


Munich, Sept. 29, 1777.

TRUE enough, a great many kind friends, but unluckily most of
them have little or nothing in their power. I was with Count
Seeau yesterday, at half-past ten o'clock, and found him graver
and less natural than the first time; but it was only in
appearance, for to-day I was at Prince Zeill's [Bishop of
Chiemsee--No. 56], who, with all courtesy, said to me, "I don't
think we shall effect much here. During dinner, at Nymphenburg, I
spoke privately to the Elector, who replied: 'It is too soon at
this moment; he must leave this and go to Italy and become
famous. I do not actually reject him, but these are too early
days as yet.'" There it is! Most of these grandees have such
paroxysms of enthusiasm for Italy. Still, he advised me to go to
the Elector, and to place my case before him as I had previously
intended. I spoke confidentially at dinner to-day with Herr
Woschitka [violoncellist in the Munich court orchestra, and a
member of the Elector's private band], and he appointed me to
come to-morrow at nine o'clock, when he will certainly procure me
an audience. We are very good friends now. He insisted on knowing
the name of my informant; but I said to him, "Rest assured that I
am your friend and shall continue to be so; I am in turn equally
convinced of your friendship, so you must be satisfied with
this." But to return to my narrative. The Bishop of Chiemsee also
spoke to the Electress when tete-a-tete with her. She shrugged
her shoulders, and said she would do her best, but was very
doubtful as to her success. I now return to Count Seeau, who
asked Prince Zeill (after he had told him everything). "Do you
know whether Mozart has not enough from his family to enable him
to remain here with a little assistance? I should really like to
keep him." Prince Zeill answered: "I don't know, but I doubt it
much; all you have to do is to speak to himself on the subject."
This, then, was the cause of Count Seeau being so thoughtful on
the following day. I like being here, and I am of the same
opinion with many of my friends, that if I could only remain here
for a year or two, I might acquire both money and fame by my
works, and then more probably be sought by the court than be
obliged to seek it myself. Since my return here Herr Albert has a
project in his head, the fulfilment of which does not seem to me
impossible. It is this: He wishes to form an association of ten
kind friends, each of these to subscribe 1 ducat (50 gulden)
monthly, 600 florins a year. If in addition to this I had even
200 florins per annum from Count Seeau, this would make 800
florins altogether. How does papa like this idea? Is it not
friendly? Ought not I to accept it if they are in earnest? I am
perfectly satisfied with it; for I should be near Salzburg, and
if you, dearest papa, were seized with a fancy to leave Salzburg
(which from my heart I wish you were) and to pass your life in
Munich, how easy and pleasant would it be! For if we are obliged
to live in Salzburg with 504 florins, surely we might live in
Munich with 800.

To-day, the 30th, after a conversation with Herr Woschitka, I
went to court by appointment. Every one was in hunting-costume.
Baron Kern was the chamberlain on service. I might have gone
there last night, but I could not offend M. Woschitka, who
himself offered to find me an opportunity of speaking to the
Elector. At 10 o'clock he took me into a narrow little room,
through which his Royal Highness was to pass on his way to hear
mass, before going to hunt. Count Seeau went by, and greeted me
very kindly: "How are you, dear Mozart?" When the Elector came up
to me, I said, "Will your Royal Highness permit me to pay my
homage and to offer your Royal Highness my services?" "So you
have finally left Salzburg?" "I have left it forever, your Royal
Highness. I only asked leave to make a journey, and being
refused, I was obliged to take this step, although I have long
intended to leave Salzburg, which is no place for me, I feel
sure." "Good heavens! you are quite a young man. But your father
is still in Salzburg?" "Yes, your Royal Highness; he humbly lays
his homage at your feet, &c., &c. I have already been three times
in Italy. I have written three operas, and am a member of the
Bologna Academy; I underwent a trial where several maestri toiled
and labored for four or five hours, whereas I finished my work in
one. This is a sufficient testimony that I have abilities to
serve any court. My greatest wish is to be appointed by your
Royal Highness, who is himself such a great &c., &c." "But, my
good young friend, I regret that there is not a single vacancy.
If there were only a vacancy!" "I can assure your Royal Highness
that I would do credit to Munich." "Yes, but what does that avail
when there is no vacancy?" This he said as he was moving on; so I
bowed and took leave of his Royal Highness. Herr Woschitka
advises me to place myself often in the way of the Elector. This
afternoon I went to Count Salern's. His daughter is a maid of
honor, and was one of the hunting-party. Ravani and I were in the
street when the whole procession passed. The Elector and the
Electress noticed me very kindly. Young Countess Salern
recognized me at once, and waved her hand to me repeatedly. Baron
Rumling, whom I had previously seen in the antechamber, never was
so courteous to me as on this occasion. I will soon write to you
what passed with Salern. He was very kind, polite, and
straightforward.--P. S. Ma tres-chere soeur, next time I mean to
write you a letter all for yourself. My remembrances to B. C. M.
R. and various other letters of the alphabet. Adieu! A man built
a house here and inscribed on it: "Building is beyond all doubt
an immense pleasure, but I little thought that it would cost so
much treasure." During the night some one wrote underneath, "You
ought first to have counted the cost."


Munich, Oct. 2, 1777.

YESTERDAY, October 1st, I was again at Count Salern's, and to-day
I even dined with him. I have played a great deal during the last
three days, and with right good will too. Papa must not, however,
imagine that I like to be at Count Salern's on account of the
young lady; by no means, for she is unhappily in waiting, and
therefore never at home, but I am to see her at court to-morrow
morning, at ten o'clock, in company with Madame Hepp, formerly
Madlle. Tosson. On Saturday the court leaves this, and does not
return till the 20th. To-morrow I am to dine with Madame and
Madlle. de Branca, the latter being a kind of half pupil of mine,
for Sigl seldom comes, and Becke, who usually accompanies her on
the flute, is not here. On the three days that I was at Count
Salern's I played a great many things extempore--two Cassations
[Divertimentos] for the Countess, and the finale and Rondo, and
the latter by heart. You cannot imagine the delight this causes
Count Salern. He understands music, for he was constantly saying
Bravo! while other gentlemen were taking snuff, humming and
hawing, and clearing their throats, or holding forth. I said to
him, "How I do wish the Elector were only here, that he might
hear me play! He knows nothing of me--he does not know what I can
do. How sad it is that these great gentlemen should believe what
any one tells them, and do not choose to judge for themselves!
BUT IT IS ALWAYS SO. Let him put me to the test. He may assemble
all the composers in Munich, and also send in quest of some from
Italy and France, Germany, and England and Spain, and I will
undertake to write against them all." I related to him all that
had occurred to me in Italy, and begged him, if the conversation
turned on me, to bring in these things. He said, "I have very
little influence, but the little that is in my power I will do
with pleasure." He is also decidedly of opinion that if I could
only remain here, the affair would come right of itself. It would
not be impossible for me to contrive to live, were I alone here,
for I should get at least 300 florins from Count Seeau. My board
would cost little, for I should be often invited out; and even
were it not so, Albert would always be charmed to see me at
dinner in his house. I eat little, drink water, and for dessert
take only a little fruit and a small glass of wine. Subject to
the advice of my kind friends, I would make the following
contract with Count Seeau:--I would engage to produce every year
four German operas, partly buffe and partly serie; from each of
these I should claim the profits of one performance, for such is
the custom here. This alone would bring me in 500 florins, which
along with my salary would make up 800 florins, but in all
probability more; for Reiner, an actor and singer, cleared 200
florins by his benefit, and I am VERY MUCH BELOVED HERE, and how
much more so should I be if I contributed to the elevation of
the national theatre of Germany in music! And this would
certainly be the case with me, for I was inspired with the most
eager desire to write when I heard the German operettas. The name
of the first singer here is Keiserin; her father is cook to a
count here; she is a very pleasing girl, and pretty on the stage;
I have not yet seen her near. She is a native of this place. When
I heard her it was only her third appearance on the stage. She
has a fine voice, not powerful, though by no means weak, very
pure, and a good intonation. Her instructor is Valesi; and her
style of singing shows that her master knows how to sing as well
as how to teach. When she sustains her voice for a couple of
bars, I am quite surprised at the beauty of her crescendo and
decrescendo. She as yet takes her shakes slowly, and this I
highly approve of, for it will be all the more pure and clear if
she ever wishes to take it quicker; besides, it is easier when
quick. She is a great favorite with the people here, and with me.

Mamma was in the pit; she went as early as half-past four o'clock
to get a place. I, however, did not go till half-past six
o'clock, for I can go to any box I please, being pretty well
known. I was in the Brancas' box; I looked at Keiserin with my
opera-glass, and at times she drew tears from my eyes. I often
called out bravo, bravissimo, for I always remembered that it was
only her third appearance. The piece was Das Fischermadchen, a
very good translation of Piccini's opera, with his music. As yet
they have no original pieces, but are now anxious soon to give a
German opera seria, and a strong wish prevails that I should
compose it. The aforesaid Professor Huber is one of those who
wish this. I shall now go to bed, for I can sit up no longer. It
is just ten o'clock. Baron Rumling lately paid me the following
compliment: "The theatre is my delight--good actors and
actresses, good singers, and a clever composer, such as
yourself." This is indeed only talk, and words are not of much
value, but he never before spoke to me in this way.

I write this on the 3d of October. To-morrow the court departs,
and does not return till the 20th. If it had remained here, I
would have taken the step I intended, and stayed on here for a
time; but as it is, I hope to resume my journey with mamma next
Tuesday. But meanwhile the project of the associated friends,
which I lately wrote to you about, may be realized, so that when
we no longer care to travel we shall have a resource to fall back
upon. Herr von Krimmel was to-day with the Bishop of Chiemsee,
with whom he has a good deal to do on the subject of salt. He is
a strange man; here he is called "your Grace,"--that is, THE
LACKEYS do so. Having a great desire that I should remain here,
he spoke very zealously to the Prince in my favor. He said to me,
"Only let me alone; I will speak to the Prince, and I have a
right to do so, for I have done many things to oblige him." The
Prince promised him that I should POSITIVELY be appointed, but
the affair cannot be so quickly settled. On the return of the
court he is to speak to the Elector with all possible earnestness
and zeal. At eight o'clock this morning I called on Count Seeau.
I was very brief, and merely said, "I have only come, your
Excellency, to explain my case clearly. I have been told that I
ought to go to Italy, which is casting a reproach on me. I was
sixteen months in Italy, I have written three operas, and all
this is notorious enough. What further occurred, your Excellency
will see from these papers." And after showing him the diplomata,
I added, "I only show these and say this to your Excellency that,
in the event of my being spoken of, and any injustice done me,
your Excellency may with good grounds take my part." He asked me
if I was now going to France. I said I intended to remain in
Germany; by this, however, he supposed I meant Munich, and said,
with a merry laugh, "So you are to stay here after all?" I
replied, "No! to tell you the truth, I should like to have
stayed, if the Elector had favored me with a small sum, so that I
might then have offered my compositions to your Excellency devoid
of all interested motives. It would have been a pleasure to me to
do this." At these words he half lifted his skull-cap.

At ten o'clock I went to court to call on Countess Salern. I
dined afterwards with the Brancas. Herr Geheimrath von Branca,
having been invited by the French Ambassador, was not at home. He
is called "your Excellency." Countess Salern is a Frenchwoman,
and scarcely knows a word of German; so I have always been in the
habit of talking French to her. I do so quite boldly, and she
says that I don't speak at all badly, and that I have the good
habit of speaking slowly, which makes me more easily understood.
She is a most excellent person, and very well-bred. The daughter
plays nicely, but fails in time. I thought this arose from want
of ear on her part, but I find I can blame no one but her
teacher, who is too indulgent and too easily satisfied. I
practised with her to-day, and I could pledge myself that if she
were to learn from me for a couple of months, she would play both
well and accurately.

At four o'clock I went to Frau von Tosson's, where I found mamma
and also Frau von Hepp. I played there till eight o'clock, and
after that we went home; and at half-past nine a small band of
music arrived, consisting of five persons--two clarionet-players,
two horns, and one bassoon. Herr Albert (whose name-day is to-
morrow) arranged this music in honor of me and himself. They
played rather well together, and were the same people whom we
hear during dinner at Albert's, but it is well known that they
are trained by Fiala. They played some of his pieces, and I must
say they are very pretty: he has some excellent ideas. To-morrow
we are to have a small musical party together, where I am to
play. (Nota bene, on that miserable piano! oh, dear! oh, dear!
oh, dear!) I beg you will excuse my horrid writing, but ink,
haste, sleep, and dreams are all against me. I am now and forever
amen, your dutiful son,



Munich, Oct. 6, 1777.

Mamma cannot write; in the first place, she is not inclined, and,
secondly, she has a headache. So I must hold the pen for her and
keep faith with her. I am just going with the Professor to call
on Madlle. Keiserin. Yesterday we had in our house a clerical
wedding, or altum tempus ecclesiasticum. There was dancing, but I
only danced four minuets, and was in my own room again by eleven
o'clock, for, out of fifty young ladies, there was only one who
danced in time--Madlle. Kaser, a sister of Count Perusa's
secretary. The Professor thought fit to leave me in the lurch, so
I did not go to Madlle. Keiserin, because I don't know where she
lives. Last Saturday, the 4th, on the stately and solemn occasion
of the name-day of his Royal Highness the Archduke Albert, we had
a select music-party at home, which commenced at half-past three
o'clock and finished at eight. M. Dubreil, whom papa no doubt
remembers, was also present; he is a pupil of Tartini's. In the
forenoon he gave a lesson on the violin to the youngest son,
Carl, and I chanced to come in at the time, I never gave him
credit for much talent, but I saw that he took great pains in
giving his lesson; and when we entered into conversation about
violin, concert, and orchestral playing, he reasoned very well,
and was always of my opinion, so I retracted my former sentiments
with regard to him, and was persuaded that I should find him play
well in time, and a correct violinist in the orchestra. I,
therefore, invited him to be so kind as to attend our little
music rehearsal that afternoon. We played, first of all, the two
quintets of Haydn, but to my dismay I could scarcely hear
Dubreil, who could not play four continuous bars without a
mistake. He could never find the positions, and he was no good
friend to the sospirs [short pauses]. The only good thing was
that he spoke politely and praised the quintets; otherwise--As it
was, I said nothing to him, but he kept constantly saying
himself, "I beg your pardon, but really I am out again! the thing
is puzzling, but fine!" I invariably replied, "It does not in the
least signify; we are only among ourselves." I then played the
concertos in C, in B, and in E flat, and after that a trio of
mine. This was finely accompanied, truly! In the adagio I was
obliged to play six bars of his part. As a finale, I played my
last divertimento in B; they all pricked up their ears. I played
as if I had been the greatest violin-player in all Europe.

The Sunday after, at three o'clock, we were at a certain Herr von
Hamm's. The Bishop of Chiemsee set off to-day for Salzburg. N.
B.--I send my sister, by him, "6 duetti a clavicembalo e
violino," by Schuster. I have often played them here; they are by
no means bad. If I remain long enough, I intend to compose six in
this style, for it is much liked here.


Munich, Oct. 11, 1777.

WHY have I not as yet written anything about Misliweczeck? [See
No. 43.] Because I was only too glad not to think of him; for
when he is spoken of I invariably hear how highly he praises me,
and what a kind and true friend he is of mine; but then follow
pity and lamentation. He was described to me, and deeply was I
distressed. How could I bear that Misliweczeck, my intimate
friend, should be in the same town, nay, even in the same
corner of the world with me, and neither see him nor speak to
him? Impossible! so I resolved to go to visit him. On the
previous day, I called on the manager of the Duke's Hospital to
ask if I might see my friend in the garden, which I thought best,
though the doctors assured me there was no longer any risk of
infection. The manager agreed to my proposal, and said I should
find him in the garden between eleven and twelve o'clock, and, if
he was not there when I came, to send for him. Next day I went
with Herr von Hamm, secretary in the Crown Office, (of whom I
shall speak presently,) and mamma to the Duke's Hospital. Mamma
went into the Hospital church, and we into the garden.
Misliweczeck was not there, so we sent him a message. I saw him
coming across, and knew him at once from his manner of walking. I
must tell you that he had already sent me his remembrances by
Herr Heller, a violoncello-player, and begged me to visit him
before I left Munich. When he came up to me, we shook hands
cordially. "You see," said he, "how unfortunate I am." These
words and his appearance, which papa is already aware of from
description, so went to my heart that I could only say, with
tears in my eyes, "I pity you from my heart, my dear friend." He
saw how deeply I was affected, so rejoined quite cheerfully, "Now
tell me what you are doing; when I heard that you were in Munich,
I could scarcely believe it; how could Mozart be here and not
long ago have come to see me?" "I hope you will forgive me, but I
had such a number of visits to make, and I have so many kind
friends here." "I feel quite sure that you have indeed many kind
friends, but a truer friend than myself you cannot have." He
asked me whether papa had told me anything of a letter he had
received. I said, "Yes, he did write to me," (I was quite
confused, and trembled so much in every limb that I could
scarcely speak,) "but he gave me no details." He then told me
that Signor Gaetano Santoro, the Neapolitan impresario, was
obliged, owing to impegni and protezione, to give the composition
of the opera for this Carnival to a certain Maestro Valentini;
but he added, "Next year he has three at liberty, one of which is
to be at my service. But as I have already composed six times for
Naples, I don't in the least mind undertaking the less promising
one, and making over to you the best libretto, viz. the one for
the Carnival. God knows whether I shall be able to travel by that
time, but if not, I shall send back the scrittura. The company
for next year is good, being all people whom I have recommended.
You must know that I have such influence in Naples that, when I
say engage such a one, they do so at once." Marquesi is the primo
uomo, whom he, and indeed all Munich too, praises very highly;
Marchiani is a good prima donna; and there is a tenor, whose name
I cannot recall, but Misliweczeck says he is the best in all
Italy. He also said, "I do beg of you to go to Italy; there one
is esteemed and highly prized." And in truth he is right. When I
come to reflect on the subject, in no country have I received
such honors, or been so esteemed, as in Italy, and nothing
contributes more to a man's fame than to have written Italian
operas, and especially for Naples. He said he would write a
letter for me to Santoro, which I was to copy out when I went to
see him next day; but finding it impossible to return, he sent me
a sketch of the letter to-day. I was told that when Misliweczeck
heard people here speaking of Becke, or other performers on the
piano, he invariably said, "Let no one deceive himself; none can
play like Mozart; in Italy, where the greatest masters are, they
speak of no one but Mozart; when his name is mentioned, not a
word is said of others." I can now write the letter to Naples
when I please; but, indeed, the sooner the better. I should,
however, first like to have the opinion of that highly discreet
Hofcapellmeister, Herr von Mozart. I have the most ardent desire
to write another opera. The distance is certainly great, but the
period is still a long way off when I am to write this opera, and
there may be many changes before then. I think I might at all
events undertake it. If, in the mean time, I get no situation,
eh, bien! I shall then have a resource in Italy. I am at all
events certain to receive 100 ducats in the Carnival; and when I
have once written for Naples I shall be sought for everywhere. As
papa well knows, there is an opera buffa in Naples in spring,
summer, and autumn, for which I might write for the sake of
practice, not to be quite idle. It is true that there is not much
to be got by this, but still there is something, and it would be
the means of gaining more honor and reputation than by giving a
hundred concerts in Germany, and I am far happier when I have
something to compose, which is my chief delight and passion; and
if I get a situation anywhere, or have hopes of one, the
scrittura would be a great recommendation to me, and excite a
sensation, and cause me to be more thought of. This is mere talk,
but still I say what is in my heart. If papa gives me any good
grounds to show that I am wrong, then I will give it up, though,
I own, reluctantly. Even when I hear an opera discussed, or am in
a theatre myself and hear voices, oh! I really am beside myself!

To-morrow, mamma and I are to meet Misliweczeck in the Hospital
garden to take leave of him; for he wished me last time to fetch
mamma out of church, as he said he should like to see the mother
of so great a virtuoso. My dear papa, do write to him as often as
you have time to do so; you cannot confer a greater pleasure on
him, for the man is quite forsaken. Sometimes he sees no one for
a whole week, and he said to me, "I do assure you it does seem so
strange to me to see so few people; in Italy I had company every
day." He looks thin, of course, but is still full of fire and
life and genius, and the same kind, animated person he always
was. People talk much of his oratorio of "Abraham and Isaac,"
which he produced here. He has just completed (with the exception
of a few arias) a Cantata, or Serenata, for Lent; and when he was
at the worst he wrote an opera for Padua. Herr Heller is just
come from him. When I wrote to him yesterday I sent him the
Serenata that I wrote in Salzburg: for the Archduke Maximilian
["Il Re Pastore"].

Now to turn to something else. Yesterday I went with mamma
immediately after dinner to take coffee with the two Fraulein von
Freysinger. Mamma, however, took none, but drank two bottles of
Tyrolese wine. At three o'clock she went home again to make
preparations for our journey. I, however, went with the two
ladies to Herr von Hamm's, whose three young ladies each played a
concerto, and I one of Aichner's prima vista, and then went on
extemporizing. The teacher of these little simpletons, the
Demoiselles Hamm, is a certain clerical gentleman of the name of
Schreier. He is a good organ-player, but no pianist. He kept
staring at me with an eye-glass. He is a reserved kind of man who
does not talk much; he patted me on the shoulder, sighed, and
said, "Yes--you are--you understand--yes--it is true--you are an
out-and-outer!" By the by, can you recall the name of Freysingen
--the papa of the two pretty girls I mentioned? He says he knows
you well, and that he studied with you. He particularly remembers
Messenbrunn, where papa (this was quite new to me) played most
incomparably on the organ. He said, "It was quite startling to
see the pace at which both hands and feet went, but quite
inimitable; a thorough master indeed; my father thought a great
deal of him; and how he humbugged the priests about entering the
Church! You are just what he was then, as like as possible; only
he was a degree shorter when I knew him." A propos, a certain
Hofrath Effeln sends you his kind regards; he is one of the best
Hofraths here, and would long ago have been made chancellor but
for one defect--TIPPLING. When we saw him for the first time at
Albert's, both mamma and I thought, "What an odd-looking fish!"
Just imagine a very tall man, stout and corpulent, and a
ridiculous face. When he crosses the room to another table, he
folds both hands on his stomach, stoops very low, and then draws
himself up again, and makes little nods; and when this is over he
draws back his right foot, and does this to each individual
separately. He says that he knows papa intimately. I am now going
for a little to the play. Next time I will write more fully, but
I can't possibly go on to-day, for my fingers do ache uncommonly.

Munich, October 11th, at 1/4 to 12 at night, I write as
follows:--I have been at the Drittl comedy, but only went in time
for the ballet, or rather the pantomime, which I had not before
seen. It is called "Das von der fur
Girigaricanarimanarischaribari verfertigte Ei." It was very good
and funny. We are going to-morrow to Augsburg on account of
Prince Taxis not being at Ratisbon but at Teschingen. He is, in
fact, at present at his country-seat, which is, however, only an
hour from Teschingen. I send my sister, with this, four preludes;
she will see and hear for herself the different keys into which
they lead. My compliments to all my kind friends, particularly to
young Count Arco, to Madlle. Sallerl, and to my best of all
friends, Herr Bullinger; I do beg that next Sunday at the usual
eleven-o'clock music he will be so good as to make an
authoritative oration in my name, and present my regards to all
the members of the orchestra and exhort them to industry, that I
may not one day be accused of being a humbug, for I have
everywhere extolled their orchestra, and I intend always to do


Augsburg, Oct. 14, 1777.

I HAVE made no mistake in my date, for I write before dinner, and
I think that next Friday, the day after to-morrow, we shall be
off again. Pray hear how generous the gentlemen of Augsburg are.
In no place was I ever so overwhelmed with marks of distinction
as here. My first visit was to the Stadtpfleger Longo Tabarro
[Burgomaster Langenmantl]. My cousin, [Footnote: Leopold Mozart
had a brother in Augsburg, a bookbinder, whose daughter, "das
Basle" (the cousin), was two years younger than Mozart.] a good,
kind, honest man and worthy citizen, went with me, and had the
honor to wait in the hall like a footman till my interview with
the high and mighty Stadtpfleger was over. I did not fail first
of all to present papa's respectful compliments. He deigned
graciously to remember you, and said, "And pray how have things
gone with him?" "Vastly well, God be praised!" I instantly
rejoined, "and I hope things have also gone well with you?" He
then became more civil, and addressed me in the third person, so
I called him "Sir"; though, indeed, I had done so from the first.
He gave me no peace till I went up with him to see his son-in-law
(on the second floor), my cousin meanwhile having the pleasure of
waiting in the staircase-hall. I was obliged to control myself
with all my might, or I must have given some polite hint about
this. On going upstairs I had the satisfaction of playing for
nearly three-quarters of an hour on a good clavichord of Stein's,
in the presence of the stuck-up young son, and his prim
condescending wife, and the simple old lady. I first
extemporized, and then played all the music he had, prima, vista,
and among others some very pretty pieces of Edlmann's. Nothing
could be more polite than they all were, and I was equally so,
for my rule is to behave to people just as they behave to me; I
find this to be the best plan. I said that I meant to go to
Stein's after dinner, so the young man offered to take me there
himself. I thanked him for his kindness, and promised to return
at two o'clock. I did so, and we went together in company with
his brother-in-law, who looks a genuine student. Although I had
begged that my name should not be mentioned, Herr von Langenmantl
was so incautious as to say, with a simper, to Herr Stein, "I
have the honor to present to you a virtuoso on the piano." I
instantly protested against this, saying that I was only an
indifferent pupil of Herr Sigl in Munich, who had charged me with
a thousand compliments to him. Stein shook his head dubiously,
and at length said, "Surely I have the honor of seeing M.
Mozart?" "Oh, no," said I; "my name is Trazom, and I have a
letter for you." He took the letter and was about to break the
seal instantly, but I gave him no time for that, saying, "What is
the use of reading the letter just now? Pray open the door of
your saloon at once, for I am so very anxious to see your
pianofortes." "With all my heart," said he, "just as you please;
but for all that I believe I am not mistaken." He opened the
door, and I ran straight up to one of the three pianos that stood
in the room. I began to play, and he scarcely gave himself time
to glance at the letter, so anxious was he to ascertain the
truth; so he only read the signature. "Oh!" cried he, embracing
me, and crossing himself and making all sorts of grimaces from
intense delight. I will write to you another day about his
pianos. He then took me to a coffee-house, but when we went in I
really thought I must bolt, there was such a stench of tobacco-
smoke, but for all that I was obliged to bear it for a good hour.
I submitted to it all with a good grace, though I could have
fancied that I was in Turkey. He made a great fuss to me about a
certain Graf, a composer (of flute concertos only); and said, "He
is something quite extraordinary," and every other possible
exaggeration. I became first hot and then cold from nervousness.
This Graf is a brother of the two who are in Harz and Zurich. He
would not give up his intention, but took me straight to him--a
dignified gentleman indeed; he wore a dressing-gown that I would
not be ashamed to wear in the street. All his words are on
stilts, and he has a habit of opening his mouth before knowing
what he is going to say; so he often shuts it again without
having said anything. After a great deal of ceremony he produced
a concerto for two flutes; I was to play first violin. The
concerto is confused, not natural, too abrupt in its modulations,
and devoid of all genius. When it was over I praised it highly,
for, indeed, he deserves this. The poor man must have had labor
and study enough to write it. At last they brought a clavichord
of Stein's out of the next room, a very good one, but inch-thick
with dust. Herr Graf, who is director here, stood there looking
like a man who had hitherto believed his own modulations to be
something very clever, but all at once discovers that others may
be still more so, and without grating on the ear. In a word, they
all seemed lost in astonishment.


Augsburg, Oct. 17, 1777.

WITH regard to the daughter of Hamm, the Secretary of War, I can
only say that there can be no doubt she has a decided talent for
music, for she has only learned three years, and can play a
number of pieces very well. I find it difficult, however, to
explain distinctly the impression she makes on me while she is
playing; she seems to me so curiously constrained, and she has
such an odd way of stalking over the keys with her long bony
fingers! To be sure, she has had no really good master, and if
she remains in Munich she will never become what her father
wishes and hopes, for he is eager beyond measure that she should
one day be a distinguished pianiste. If she goes to papa at
Salzburg, it will be a twofold benefit to her, both as to music
and common sense, of which she certainly has no great share. She
has often made me laugh very much, and you would have amusement
enough for your trouble. She is too absent to think of eating
much. You say I ought to have practised with her? I really could
not for laughing, for when I occasionally played something with
the right hand, she instantly said bravissimo, and that in the
voice of a little mouse.

I will now relate to you as briefly as possible the Augsburg
history to which I have already alluded. Herr von Fingerle, who
sent his compliments to you, was also at Herr Graf's. The people
were very civil, and discussed the concert I proposed to give,
all saying, "It will be one of the most brilliant concerts ever
given in Augsburg. You have a great advantage in having made the
acquaintance of our Stadtpfleger Langenmantl; besides, the name
of Mozart has much influence here." So we separated mutually
pleased. I must now tell you that Herr von Langenmantl, junior,
when at Herr Stein's, said that he would pledge himself to
arrange a concert in the Stube, [Footnote: The Bauernstube, the
Patrician Casino.] (as something very select, and complimentary
to me,) for the nobility alone. You can't think with what zeal he
spoke, and promised to undertake it. We agreed that I should call
on him the next morning for the answer; accordingly I went; this
was on the 13th. He was very polite, but said that as yet he
could not say anything decided. I played there again for an hour,
and he invited me next day, the 14th, to dinner. In the forenoon
he sent to beg that I would come to him at eleven o'clock, and
bring some pieces with me, as he had asked some of the
professional musicians, and they intended to have some music. I
immediately sent some music, and went myself at eleven, when,
with many lame excuses, he coolly said, "By the by, I could do
nothing about the concert; oh, I was in such a rage yesterday on
your account. The patrician members of the Casino said that their
cashbox was at a very low ebb, and that you were not the kind of
virtuoso who could expect a souverain d'or." I merely smiled, and
said, "I quite agree with them." N. B.--He is Intendant of Music
in the Casino, and the old father a magistrate! but I cared very
little about it. We sat down to dinner; the old gentleman also
dined up-stairs with us, and was very civil, but did not say a
word about the concert. After dinner I played two concertos,
something out of my head, and then a trio of Hafeneder's on the
violin. I would gladly have played more, but I was so badly
accompanied that it gave me the colic. He said to me, good-
naturedly, "Don't let us part company to-day; go to the play with
us, and return here to supper." We were all very merry. When we
came back from the theatre, I played again till we went to
supper. Young Langenmantl had already questioned me in the
forenoon about my cross, [Footnote: Mozart, by his father's
desire, wore the "Order of the Golden Spur," conferred on him by
the Pope.] and I told him exactly how I got it, and what it was.
He and his brother-in-law said over and over again, "Let us order
a cross, too, that we may be on a par with Herr Mozart." I took
no notice of this. They also repeatedly said, "Hallo! you sir!
Knight of the Spur!" I said not a word; but during supper it
became really too bad. "What may it have cost? three ducats? must
you have permission to wear it? Do you pay extra for leave to do
so? We really must get one just like it." An officer there of the
name of Bach, said, "For shame! what would you do with the
cross?" That young ass, Kurzen Mantl, winked at him, but I saw
him, and he knew that I did. A pause ensued, and then he offered
me snuff, saying, "There, show that you don't care a pinch of
snuff for it." I still said nothing. At length he began once more
in a sneering tone: "I may then send to you to-morrow, and you
will be so good as to lend me the cross for a few minutes, and I
will return it immediately after I have spoken to the goldsmith
about it. I know that when I ask him its value (for he is a queer
kind of man) he will say a Bavarian thaler; it can't be worth
more, for it is not gold, only copper, ha! ha!" I said, "By no
means--it is lead, ha! ha!" I was burning with anger and rage. "I
say," rejoined he, "I suppose I may, if need be, leave out the
spur?" "Oh, yes," said I, "for you have one already in your head;
I, too, have one in mine, but of a very different kind, and I
should be sorry to exchange mine for yours; so there, take a
pinch of snuff on that!" and I offered him snuff. He became pale
with rage, but began again: "Just now that order looked so well
on that grand waistcoat of yours." I made no reply, so he called
the servant and said "Hallo! you must have greater respect for my
brother-in-law and myself when we wear the same cross as Herr
Mozart; take a pinch of snuff on that!" I started up; all did the
same, and showed great embarrassment. I took my hat and my sword,
and said, "I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you to-morrow."
"To-morrow I shall not be here." "Well, then, the next morning,
when I shall still be here." "Ho, ho! you surely don't mean to"--
"I mean nothing; you are a set of boors, so good-night," and off
I went.

Next day I told the whole story to Herr Stein, Herr Geniaulx, and
to Herr Director Graf--I don't mean about the cross, but how
highly disgusted I was at their having bragged so much about a
concert, and now it had come to nothing. "I call this making a
fool of a person and leaving him in the lurch. I am very sorry
that I ever came here. I could not possibly have believed that in
Augsburg, my papa's native town, such an insult could have been
offered to his son." You cannot imagine, dear papa, how angry and
indignant these three gentlemen were, saying, "Oh, you must
positively give a concert here; we don't stand in need of the
patricians." I, however, adhered to my resolution and said, "I am
willing to give a small farewell concert at Herr Stein's, for my
few kind friends here who are connoisseurs." The Director was
quite distressed, and exclaimed, "It is abominable--shameful; who
could have believed such a thing of Langenmantl! Par Dieu! if he
really wished it, no doubt it would have been carried through."
We then separated. The Director went down-stairs with me in his
dressing-gown as far as the door, and Herr Stein and Geniaulx
walked home with me. They urged us to make up our mind to stay
here for a time, but we remained firm. I must not forget to say
that, when young Langenmantl lisped out to me, in his usual cool
indifferent way, the pleasant news as to my concert, he added,
that the patricians invited me to their concert next Thursday. I
said, "I will come as one of the audience." "Oh, we hope you will
give us the pleasure of hearing you play also." "Well, perhaps I
may; why not?" But having received so grievous an insult the next
evening, I resolved not to go near him again, to steer clear of
the whole set of patricians, and to leave Augsburg. During
dinner, on the 16th, I was called out by a servant-maid of
Langenmantl's, who wished to know whether he might expect me to
go with him to the concert? and he begged I would come to him
immediately after dinner. I sent my compliments in return, that I
had no intention of going to the concert; nor could I come to
him, as I was already engaged (which was quite true); but that I
would call next morning to take leave of him, as on Saturday
next, at furthest, I was to leave Augsburg. In the meantime Herr
Stein had been to see the other patricians of the Evangelical
party, and spoke so strongly to them that these gentlemen were
quite excited. "What!" said they, "shall we permit a man who does
us so much honor to leave this without even hearing him? Herr von
Langenmantl, having already heard him, thinks that is enough."

At last they became so excited that Herr Kurzenmantl, the
excellent youth, was obliged to go to Herr Stein himself to
entreat him, in the name of the patricians, to do all in his
power to persuade me to attend the concert, but to say that I
must not expect great things. At last I went with him, though
with considerable reluctance. The principal gentlemen were very
polite, particularly Baron Belling, who is a director or some
such animal; he opened my music-portfolio himself. I brought a
symphony with me, which they played, and I took a violin part.
The orchestra is enough to throw any one into fits. That young
puppy Langenmantl was all courtesy, but his face looked as
impertinent as ever; he said to me, "I was rather afraid you
might have escaped us, or been offended by our jokes the other
evening." "By no means," said I coolly; "you are still very
young; but I advise you to be more cautious in future, for I am
not accustomed to such jokes. The subject on which you were so
facetious did you no credit, nor did it answer your purpose, for
you see I still wear the order; you had better have chosen some
other topic for your wit." "I assure you," said he, "it was only
my brother-in-law who"--"Let us say no more about it," said I.
"We had nearly been deprived of the pleasure of seeing you
altogether," he rejoined. "Yes; had it not been for Herr Stein, I
certainly should not have come; and, to tell you the truth, I am
only here now to prevent you Augsburg gentlemen being the
laughing-stock of other countries, which would have been the case
if I had told them that I was eight days in the city where my
father was born, without any one there taking the trouble to hear
me!" I played a concerto, and all went off well except the
accompaniment; and as a finale I played a sonata. At the close,
Baron Belling thanked me in the warmest manner in the name of all
the company; and, begging me to consider only their good will,
presented me with two ducats.

They give me no peace here till I agree to give a public concert
next Saturday. Perhaps--but I own I am heartily sick of it all. I
shall be indeed glad when I arrive at a place where there is a
court. I may with truth say that, were it not for my kind
cousins, my regrets would be as numberless as the hairs on my
head for ever having come to Augsburg. I must write you some
account of my fair cousin, but you must excuse my deferring this
till to-morrow, for one ought to be quite fresh to praise her as
highly as she deserves.

The 17th.--I now write early in the morning to say that my cousin
is pretty, intelligent, lovable, clever, and gay, probably
because she has lived so much in society; she was also some time
at Munich. We do, indeed, exactly suit each other, for she too is
rather inclined to be satirical, so we banter our friends most
merrily together. [The Mozart family were both well known and
dreaded for their somewhat sharp tongues.]


Augsburg, Oct. 17, 1777.

I must now tell you about the Stein pianos. Before seeing these,
Spath's pianos were my favorites; but I must own that I give the
preference to those of Stein, for they damp much better than
those in Ratisbon. If I strike hard, whether I let my fingers
rest on the notes or lift them, the tone dies away at the same
instant that it is heard. Strike the keys as I choose, the tone
always remains even, never either jarring or failing to sound. It
is true that a piano of this kind is not to be had for less than
three hundred florins, but the pains and skill which Stein
bestows on them cannot be sufficiently repaid. His instruments
have a feature of their own; they are supplied with a peculiar
escapement. Not one in a hundred makers attends to this; but,
without it, it is impossible that a piano should not buzz and
jar. His hammers fall as soon as they touch the strings, whether
the keys be held down by the fingers or not. When he has
completed an instrument of this class, (which he told me
himself,) he tries all kinds of passages and runs on it, and
works away at it, testing its powers till it is capable of doing
anything, for he labors not for his own benefit alone, (or he
might be saved much trouble,) but for that of music. He often
says, "If I were not such a passionate lover of music, playing
also myself a little on the piano, I should long ago have lost
patience with my work, but I like my instruments to respond to
the player, and to be durable." His pianos do really last well.
He warrants the sounding-board neither breaking nor cracking;
when he has finished one, he exposes it in the air to rain, snow,
sun, and every kind of devilry, that it may give way, and then
inserts slips of wood which he glues in, making it quite strong
and solid. He is very glad when it does crack, for then he is
pretty sure nothing further can happen to it. He frequently makes
cuts into them himself, and then glues them up, thus making them
doubly strong. He has three of these pianos at this moment
finished, and I played on them again to-day.

We dined to-day with young Herr Gassner, who is the handsome
widower of a lovely young wife; they were only married two years.
He is an excellent and kind young man; he gave us a capital
dinner. A colleague of the Abbe Henri Bullinger, and Wishofer
also dined there, and an ex-Jesuit, who is at present
Capellmeister in the cathedral here. He knows Herr Schachtner
well [court-trumpeter at Salzburg], and was leader of his band in
Ingolstadt; he is called Father Gerbl. Herr Gassner, and one of
his wife's unmarried sisters, mamma, our cousin, and I went after
dinner to Herr Stein's. At four o'clock came the Capellmeister
and Herr Schmittbauer, the organist of St. Ulrich, a worthy good
old man. I played at sight a sonata of Becke's, which was rather
difficult, but very poor, al solito. The astonishment of the
Capellmeister and the organist was indescribable. I have played
my six sonatas by heart repeatedly, both here and in Munich. The
fifth in G, I played at the distinguished Casino concert, and the
last in D, which has an incomparable effect on Stein's pianos.
The pedals, pressed by the knees, are also better made by him
than by any one else; you scarcely require to touch them to make
them act, and as soon as the pressure is removed not the
slightest vibration is perceptible.

To-morrow perhaps I shall come to his organs, that is, write to
you about them, and I reserve for the last the subject of his
little daughter. When I said to Herr Stein that I should like to
play on one of his organs, as the organ was my passion, he seemed
surprised, and said, "What! such a man as you, so great a
pianist, like to play on an instrument devoid of sweetness and
expression, with no gradations from piano to forte, but always
going on the same?" "That does not signify; the organ always was,
both in my eyes and ears, the king of all instruments." "Well,
just as you please." So we went together. I could readily
perceive from his conversation that he did not expect me to do
great things on his organ, evidently thinking that I should
handle it in the style of a piano. He told me that by Schobert's
own desire he had taken him also to the organ, "and very nervous
it made me," said he, "for Schobert had told everybody, and the
church was nearly full. I did not doubt the man's spirit, fire,
and execution; still, this does not much suit the organ. But the
moment he began my opinion was entirely changed." I only said in
reply, "Do you then think, Herr Stein, that I am likely to run
wild on the organ?" "Oh! you!"--When we came to the organ-loft, I
began a prelude, when he laughed. A fugue followed. "I can now
quite understand why you like to play the organ," said he, "when
you can play in this manner." At first the pedal was a little
awkward for me, as it was without the breaks, beginning with C,
then D E in one row, whereas with us D and E are above, just
where E flat and F sharp are here; but I quickly mastered it.

I went also to try the old organ at St. Ulrich's. The stair that
leads to it is really dreadful. I requested that some other
person might play the organ for me, that I might go down and
listen to it, for above the organ has no effect; but I profited
very little by this, for the young leader of the choir, a priest,
made such reckless runs on the organ that it was impossible to
understand them, and when he attempted harmonies they proved only
discords, being always false. Afterwards they would insist on our
going to a coffee-room, for mamma and my cousin were with us. A
certain Father Emilian, a conceited jackass and a sorry witling,
was very sweet on my cousin, and wished to have his jest with
her, but she made a jest of him. At last, when rather tipsy,
(which soon occurred,) he began to talk about music, and sang a
canon, saying, "I never in my life heard anything finer." I said,
"I regret that I can't sing it with you, for nature has not given
me the power of intoning." "No matter," said he. So he began. I
made the third, but I sang different words--thus: "Pater Emilian,
oh! thou numskull"--sotto voce to my cousin; then we laughed on
for at least half an hour. The Pater said to me, "If we only
could be longer together, we could discuss the art of musical
composition." "In that case," said I, "our discussion would soon
come to an end." A famous rap on the knuckles for him! TO BE


Augsburg, Oct. 23, 1777.

MY concert took place yesterday. Count Wolfeck interested himself
much in it, and brought some chanoinesses with him. I went to his
lodgings the very day I arrived, but he was not here at that
time. A few days ago he returned, and on hearing that I was still
in Augsburg, he did not wait for a visit from me, but at the very
moment when I was taking my hat and sword to go to call on him he
walked in. I must now give you a description of the last few days
before my concert. Last Saturday I was at St. Ulrich's, as I
already told you. Some days before my cousin took me with him to
present me to the Prelate of the Holy Cross, a kind excellent old
man. Previous to going to St. Ulrich's last Saturday, I went with
my cousin to the Monastery of the Holy Cross, as the first time I
was there neither the Deacon nor the Procurator was at home, and
my cousin told me that the Procurator was very jolly. [Here mamma
inserts a few lines--which frequently occurs in the letters. She
says at the close:] "I am quite surprised that Schuster's duets
[see No. 63] are still"--Wolfgang: "Oh, he has got them." Mamma:
"No, indeed; he always writes that he has not got them."
Wolfgang: "I hate arguing; I am sure he has got them, so there's
an end of it." Mamma: "You are mistaken." Wolfgang: "No; I am
right. I will show it to mamma in his own writing." Mamma: "Well,
where is it?" Wolfgang: "Here; read it." She is reading it at
this moment.

Last Sunday I attended service at the Holy Cross, and at ten
o'clock we went to Herr Stein's, where we tried over a couple of
symphonies for the concert. Afterwards I dined with my cousin at
the Holy Cross, where a band played during dinner. Badly as they
play in the monastery, I prefer it to the Augsburg orchestra. I
played a symphony, and a concerto in B of Vanhall's, on the
violin, with unanimous applause. The Dean is a kind, jovial man,
a cousin of Eberlin [deceased Capellmeister of Salzburg]. His
name is Zeschinger. He knows papa well. At night, after supper, I
played the Strassburg concerto; it went as smooth as oil; every
one praised the fine pure tone. A small clavichord was then
brought in, on which I preluded, and played a sonata and the
Fischer variations. Some of those present whispered to the Dean
that he ought to hear me play in the organ style. I asked him to
give me a theme, which he declined, but one of the monks did so.
I handled it quite leisurely, and all at once (the fugue being in
G minor) I brought in a lively movement in the major key, but in
the same tempo, and then at the end the original subject, only
reversed. At last it occurred to me to employ the lively movement
for the subject of the fugue also, I did not hesitate long, but
did so at once, and it went as accurately as if Daser [a Salzburg
tailor] had taken its measure. The Dean was in a state of great
excitement. "It is over," said he, "and it's no use talking about
it, but I could scarcely have believed what I have just heard;
you are indeed an able man. My prelate told me beforehand that in
his life he never heard any one play the organ in a more finished
and solid style" (he having heard me some days previously when
the Dean was not here). At last some one brought me a fugued
sonata, and asked me to play it. But I said, "Gentlemen, I really
must say this is asking rather too much, for it is not likely I
shall be able to play such a sonata at sight." "Indeed, I think
so too; it is too much; no one could do it," said the Dean
eagerly, being all in my favor. "At all events," said I, "I can
but try." I heard the Dean muttering all the time behind me, "Oh,
you rogue! oh, you knave!" I played till 11 o'clock, bombarded
and besieged, as it were, by fugue themes.

Lately, at Stein's, he brought me a sonata of Becke's, but I
think I already told you this. A propos, as to his little girl,
[Footnote: Nanette, at that time eight years old; afterwards the
admirable wife of Andreas Streicher, the friend of Schiller's
youth, and one of Beethoven's best friends in Vienna.] any one
who can see and hear her play without laughing must be Stein
[stone] like her father. She perches herself exactly opposite the
treble, avoiding the centre, that she may have more room to throw
herself about and make grimaces. She rolls her eyes and smirks;
when a passage comes twice she always plays it slower the second
time, and if three times, slower still. She raises her arms in
playing a passage, and if it is to be played with emphasis she
seems to give it with her elbows and not her fingers, as
awkwardly and heavily as possible. The finest thing is, that if a
passage occurs (which ought to flow like oil) where the fingers
must necessarily be changed, she does not pay much heed to that,
but lifts her hands, and quite coolly goes on again. This,
moreover, puts her in a fair way to get hold of a wrong note,
which often produces a curious effect. I only write this in order
to give you some idea of pianoforte-playing and teaching here, so
that you may in turn derive some benefit from it. Herr Stein is
quite infatuated about his daughter. She is eight years old, and
learns everything by heart. She may one day be clever, for she
has genius, but on this system she will never improve, nor will
she ever acquire much velocity of finger, for her present method
is sure to make her hand heavy. She will never master what is the
most difficult and necessary, and in fact the principal thing in
music, namely, time; because from her infancy she has never been
in the habit of playing in correct time. Herr Stein and I
discussed this point together for at least two hours. I have,
however, in some degree converted him; he asks my advice now on
every subject. He was quite devoted to Becke, and now he sees and
hears that I can do more than Becke, that I make no grimaces, and
yet play with so much expression that he himself acknowledges
none of his acquaintances have ever handled his pianos as I do.
My keeping so accurately in time causes them all much surprise.
The left hand being quite independent in the tempo rubato of an
adagio, they cannot at all comprehend. With them the left hand
always yields to the right. Count Wolfeck and others, who have a
passionate admiration for Becke, said lately publicly in a
concert that I beat Becke hollow. Count Wolfeck went round the
room saying, "In my life I never heard anything like this." He
said to me, "I must tell you that I never heard you play as you
did to-day, and I mean to say so to your father as soon as I go
to Salzburg." What do you think was the first piece after the
symphony? The concerto for three pianos. Herr Demmler took the
first part, I the second, and Herr Stein the third. I then played
a solo, my last sonata in D, for Durnitz, and afterwards my
concerto in B; then again a solo in the organ style, namely, a
fugue in C minor, then all of a sudden a splendid sonata in C
major, finishing with a rondo, all extempore. What a noise and
commotion there was! Herr Stein did nothing but make faces and
grimaces of astonishment. Herr Demmler was seized with fits of
laughter, for he is a queer creature, and when anything pleases
him exceedingly, he can't help laughing heartily; indeed, on this
occasion he actually began to swear! Addio!


Augsburg, Oct. 25, 1777.

The receipts of the concert were 90 florins, without deducting
the expenses. Including, therefore, the two ducats we took in the
Casino concert, we had 100 florins. The expenses of the concert
did not exceed 16 florins 30 kreutzers; the room I had gratis. I
believe most of the musicians will make no charge. We have now
ALTOGETHER lost about 26 or 27 florins. This is not of much
moment. I am writing this on Saturday the 25th. This morning
early I received the letter with the sad news of Frau
Oberbereiterin's death. Madlle. Tonerl can now purse up her
mouth, or perhaps open it wide, and shut it again as empty as
ever. As to the baker's daughter, I have no objection to make; I
foresaw all this long ago. This was the cause of my reluctance to
leave home, and finding it so difficult to go. I hope the affair
is not by this time known all over Salzburg? I beg you, dear
papa, most urgently to keep the matter quiet as long as possible,
and in the mean time to pay her father on my account any expenses
he may have incurred by her entrance into the convent, which I
will repay gladly when I return to Salzburg.

I thank you most truly, dear papa, for your good wishes on my
name-day. Do not be uneasy on my account, for I have always God
before my eyes, I acknowledge His omnipotence, I dread His wrath;
but I also know His love, His compassion and mercy towards His
creatures, and that He will never forsake His servants. When His
will is done I am resigned; so I never can fail to be happy and
contented. I shall certainly also strive to live as strictly as
possible in accordance with your injunctions and advice. Thank
Herr Bullinger a thousand times for his congratulations. I mean
to write to him soon and thank him myself, but I may in the mean
time assure him that I neither know nor have any better, more
sincere, or truer friend than himself. I beg also humbly to thank
Madlle. Sallerl; pray tell her I mean to enclose some verses to
show my gratitude to her in my letter to Herr Bullinger. Thank my
sister also; she is to keep the Schuster duets, and give herself
no further trouble on the subject.

In your first letter, dear papa, you write that I lowered myself
by my conduct to that lad Langenmantl. Anything but that! I was
only straightforward, no more. I see you think he is still a boy;
he is one or two and twenty, and a married man. Can any one be
considered a boy who is married? I have never gone near him
since. I left two cards for him to-day, and excused myself for
not going in, having so many indispensable calls to make. I must
now conclude, for mamma insists absolument on going to dinner,
and then to pack. To-morrow we go straight to Wallerstein. My
dear little cousin, who sends you her regards, is anything but a
prude. She dressed a la Francaise to please me yesterday. She
looked at least 5 per cent, prettier in consequence. Now, Addio!

On the 26th of October the mother and son set off to Mannheim.
The mother writes that Wolfgang intended to write to Augsburg,
"but he will scarcely be able to do so to-day, for he is now at
the rehearsal of the oratorio; so I must beg you to accept my
humble self instead." Wolfgang then adds:--


Mannheim, Oct. 30, 1777.

I must beg you also to accept my insignificancy. I went to-day
with Herr Danner to M. Cannabich's [Director of the Elector's
orchestra]. He was uncommonly polite, and I played something for
him on his piano, which is a very good one. We went together to
the rehearsal. I could scarcely help laughing when I was
presented to the musicians, because, though some who knew me by
renomme were very civil and courteous, the rest, who knew nothing
whatever about me, stared in such a ludicrous way, evidently
thinking that because I am little and young nothing great or
mature is to be found in me; but they shall soon find it out.
Herr Cannabich is to take me himself to-morrow to Count Savioli,
the Intendant of Music. One good thing is that the Elector's
name-day is close at hand. The oratorio they are rehearsing is
Handel's, but I did not stay to hear it, for they first rehearsed
a Psalm Magnificat of the Vice-Capellmeister here, [Abbe] Vogler,
which lasted a good hour. I must now conclude, for I have still
to write to my cousin.


Mannheim, Nov. 4, 1777.

I am at Cannabich's every day, and mamma went with me there to-
day. He is a very different man from what he formerly was,
[FOOTNOTE: Mozart had been at his house, when a boy, with his
father.] and the whole orchestra say the same. He is very fond of
me. He has a daughter who plays the piano very nicely, and in
order to make him still more friendly towards me I am working
just now at a sonata for her, which is finished all but the
Rondo. When I had completed the first allegro and andante, I took
it to him myself and played it over; you can't think what
applause this sonata receives. There chanced to be some of the
musicians there at the moment--young Danner, Lang, who plays the
French horn, and the hautboy-player, whose name I forget, but who
plays remarkably well, and has a pleasing delicate tone [Ramm]. I
made him a present of a concerto for the hautboy; it is being
copied in Cannabich's room. The man is wild with delight. I
played him the concerto to-day at Cannabich's, and THOUGH KNOWN
TO BE MINE it pleased very much. No one said that it was NOT WELL
COMPOSED, because people here don't understand these things. They
ought to apply to the Archbishop; he would soon put them on the
right scent. [FOOTNOTE: The Archbishop never was satisfied with
any of the compositions that Mozart wrote for his concerts, but
invariably had some fault to find with them.] I played all my six
sonatas to-day at Cannabich's. Herr Kapellmeister Holzbauer went
with me to-day to Count Savioli's. Cannabich was there at the
time. Herr Holzbauer said to the Count in Italian that I wished
to have the honor of playing before his Serene Highness the
Elector. "I was here fifteen years ago," said I, "but now I am
older and more advanced, and I may say in music also"--"Oh!" said
the Count, "you are"--I have no idea whom he took me for, as
Cannabich interrupted him, but I affected not to hear, and
entered into conversation with the others. Still I observed that
he was speaking of me very earnestly. The Count then said to me,
"I hear that you play the piano very tolerably?" I bowed.

I must now tell you about the music here. On Saturday, All-
Saints' day, I attended high mass. The orchestra is very good and
numerous. On each side ten or eleven violins, four tenors, two
hautboys, two flutes, and two clarionets, two corni, four
violoncellos, four bassoons, and four double basses, besides
trumpets and kettle-drums. This should give fine music, but I
would not venture to produce one of my masses here. Why? From
their being short? No, everything is liked short. From their
church style? By no means; but solely because NOW in Mannheim,
under present circumstances, it is necessary to write chiefly for
the instruments, for nothing can possibly be conceived worse than
the voices here. Six soprani, six alti, six tenori, and six
bassi, to twenty violins and twelve bassi, are in the same
proportion as 0 to 1. Is it not so, Herr Bullinger? It proceeds
from this:--The Italians are miserably represented: they have
only two musici here, and they are already old. This race is
dying out. These soprano singers, too, would prefer singing
counter-tenor; for they can no longer take the high notes. The
few boys they have are wretched. The tenor and bass just like our
singers at funerals. Vogler, who lately conducted the mass, is
barren and frivolous--a man who imagines he can do a great deal,
and does very little. The whole orchestra dislike him. To-day,
Sunday, I heard a mass of Holzbauer's, which is now twenty-six
years old, but excellent. He writes very well, and has a good
church style, arranges the vocal parts as well as the
instrumental, and writes good fugues. They have two organists
here; it would be worth while to come to Mannheim on purpose to
hear them--which I had a famous opportunity of doing, as it is
the custom here for the organist to play during the whole of the
Benedictus. I heard the second organist first, and then the
other. In my opinion the second is preferable to the first; for
when I heard the former, I asked, "Who is that playing on the
organ?" "Our second organist." "He plays miserably." When the
other began, I said, "Who may that be?" "Our first organist."
"Why, he plays more miserably still." I believe if they were
pounded together, something even worse would be the result. It is
enough to kill one with laughing to look at these gentlemen. The
second at the organ is like a child trying to lift a millstone.
You can see his anguish in his face. The first wears spectacles.
I stood beside him at the organ and watched him with the
intention of learning something from him; at each note he lifts
his hands entirely off the keys. What he believes to be his forte
is to play in six parts, but he mostly makes fifths and octaves.
He often chooses to dispense altogether with his right hand when
there is not the slightest need to do so, and plays with the left
alone; in short, he fancies that he can do as he will, and that
he is a thorough master of his organ.

Mamma sends her love to you all; she cannot possibly write, for
she has still to say her officium. We came home very late from
the grand opera rehearsal. I must go to-morrow after high mass to
the illustrious Electress; she is resolved absolument to teach me
to knit filee. I am very eager about this, as she and the Elector
wish that I should knit in public next Thursday at the great gala
concert. The young Princess here, who is a child compared with
the Electress, knits very prettily. The Zweenbruck and his
Zwobrucken (Deux Ponts) arrived here at eight o'clock. A propos,
mamma and I earnestly beg you, dear papa, to send our charming
cousin a souvenir; we both regretted so much having nothing with
us, but we promised to write to you to send her something. We
wish two things to be sent--a double neckerchief in mamma's name,
like the one she wears, and in mine some ornament; a box, or
etui, or anything you like, only it must be pretty, for she
deserves it. [FOOTNOTE: The father was still in possession of
many of the ornaments and jewels presented to these children
during their artistic tours.] She and her father took a great
deal of trouble on our account, and wasted much time on us. My
cousin took the receipts for me at my concert. Addio!


Mannheim, Nov. 5, 1777.

My dear Coz--Buzz,--

I have safely received your precious epistle--thistle, and from
it I perceive--achieve, that my aunt--gaunt, and you--shoe, are
quite well--bell. I have to-day a letter--setter, from my papa--
ah-ha, safe in my hands--sands. I hope you also got--trot, my
Mannheim letter--setter. Now for a little sense--pence. The
prelate's seizure--leisure, grieves me much--touch, but he will,
I hope, get well--sell. You write--blight, you will keep--cheap,
your promise to write to me--he-he, to Augsburg soon--spoon.
Well, I shall be very glad--mad. You further write, indeed you
declare, you pretend, you hint, you vow, you explain, you
distinctly say, you long, you wish, you desire, you choose,
command, and point out, you let me know and inform me that I must
send you my portrait soon--moon. Eh, bien! you shall have it
before long--song. Now I wish you good night--tight.

The 5th.--Yesterday I conversed with the illustrious Electress;
and to-morrow, the 6th, I am to play in the gala concert, and
afterwards, by desire of the Princess, in their private
apartments. Now for something rational! I beg of you--why not?--I
beg of you, my very dear cousin--why not?--when you write to
Madame Tavernier in Munich, to convey a message from me to the
two Demoiselles Freysinger--why not? odd enough! but why not?--
and I humbly ask pardon of Madlle. Josepha--I mean the youngest,
and pray why not? why should I not ask her pardon? strange! but I
don't know why I should not, so I do ask her pardon very humbly--
for not having yet sent the sonata I promised her, but I mean to
do so as soon as possible. Why not? I don't know why not. I can
now write no more--which makes my heart sore. To all my kind
friends much love--dove. Addio! Your old young, till death--


Miennham, eht ht5 rebotoc, 7771.


Mannheim, Nov. 8, 1777.

This forenoon, at Herr Cannabich's, I wrote the Rondo of the
sonata for his daughter; so they would not let me leave them all
day. The Elector and the Electress, and the whole court, are very
much pleased with me. Both times I played at the concert, the
Elector and she stood close beside me at the piano. After the
music was at an end, Cannabich managed that I should be noticed
by the court. I kissed the Elector's hand, who said, "I think it
is now fifteen years since you were here?" "Yes, your Highness,
it is fifteen years since I had that honor." "You play
inimitably." The Princess, when I kissed her hand, said,
"Monsieur, je vous assure, on ne peut pas jouer mieux."

Yesterday I went with Cannabich to pay the visit mamma already
wrote to you about [to Duke Carl Theodor's children], and there I
conversed with the Elector as if he had been some kind friend. He
is a most gracious and good Prince. He said to me, "I hear you
wrote an opera at Munich" ["La finta Giardiniera"]? "Yes, your
Highness, and, with your gracious permission, my most anxious
wish is to write an opera here; I entreat you will not quite
forget me. I could also write a German one, God be praised!" said
I, smiling. "That may easily be arranged." He has one son and
three daughters, the eldest of whom and the young Count play the
piano. The Elector questioned me confidentially about his
children. I spoke quite honestly, but without detracting from
their master. Cannabich was entirely of my opinion. The Elector,
on going away, took leave of me with much courtesy.

After dinner to-day I went, at two o'clock, with Cannabich to
Wendling's, the flute-player, where they were all complaisance.
The daughter, who was formerly the Elector's favorite, plays the
piano very prettily; afterwards I played. I cannot describe to
you the happy mood I was in. I played extempore, and then three
duets with the violin, which I had never in my life seen, nor do
I now know the name of the author. They were all so delighted
that I--was desired to embrace the ladies. No hard task with the
daughter, for she is very pretty.

We then went again to the Elector's children; I played three
times, and from my heart too,--the Elector himself each time
asking me to play. He seated himself each time close to me and
never stirred. I also asked a certain Professor there to give me
a theme for a fugue, and worked it out.

Now for my congratulations!

My very dearest papa,--I cannot write poetically, for I am no
poet. I cannot make fine artistic phrases that cast light and
shadow, for I am no painter; I can neither by signs nor by
pantomime express my thoughts and feelings, for I am no dancer;
but I can by tones, for I am a musician. So to-morrow, at
Cannabich's, I intend to play my congratulations both for your
name-day and birthday. Mon tres-cher pere, I can only on this day
wish for you, what from my whole heart I wish for you every day
and every night--health, long life, and a cheerful spirit. I
would fain hope, too, that you have now less annoyance than when
I was in Salzburg; for I must admit that I was the chief cause of
this. They treated me badly, which I did not deserve, and you
naturally took my part, only too lovingly. I can tell you this
was indeed one of the principal and most urgent reasons for my
leaving Salzburg in such haste. I hope, therefore, that my wish
is fulfilled. I must now close by a musical congratulation. I
wish that you may live as many years as must elapse before no
more new music can be composed. Farewell! I earnestly beg you to
go on loving me a little, and, in the mean time, to excuse these
very poor congratulations till I open new shelves in my small and
confined knowledge-box, where I can stow away the good sense
which I have every intention to acquire.


Mannheim, Nov. 13, 1777.

We received your last two letters, and now I must answer them in
detail. Your letter desiring me to inquire about Becke's parents
[in Wallerstein, No. 68] I did not get till I had gone to
Mannheim, so too late to comply with your wish; but it never
would have occurred to me to do so, for, in truth, I care very
little about him. Would you like to know how I was received by
him? Well and civilly; that is, he asked where I was going. I
said, most probably to Paris. He then gave me a vast deal of
advice, saying he had recently been there, and adding, "You will
make a great deal by giving lessons, for the piano is highly
prized in Paris." He also arranged that I should dine at the
officers' table, and promised to put me in the way of speaking to
the Prince. He regretted very much having at that moment a sore
throat, (which was indeed quite true,) so that he could not go
out with me himself to procure me some amusement. He was also
sorry that he could have no music in honor of me, because most of
the musical people had gone that very day on some pedestrian
excursion to--Heaven knows where! At his request I tried his
piano, which is very good. He often said Bravo! I extemporized,
and also played the sonatas in B and D. In short, he was very
polite, and I was also polite, but grave. We conversed on a
variety of topics--among others, about Vienna, and more
particularly that the Emperor [Joseph II.] was no great lover of
music. He said, "It is true he has some knowledge of composition,
but of nothing else. I can still recall (and he rubbed his
forehead) that when I was to play before him I had no idea what
to play; so I began with some fugues and trifles of that kind,
which in my own mind I only laughed at." I could scarcely resist
saying, "I can quite fancy your laughing, but scarcely so loud as
I must have done had I heard you!" He further said (what is the
fact) that the music in the Emperor's private apartments is
enough to frighten the crows. I replied, that whenever I heard
such music, if I did not quickly leave the room it gave me a
headache. "Oh! no; it has no such effect on me; bad music does
not affect my nerves, but fine music never fails to give me a
headache." I thought to myself again, such a shallow head as
yours is sure to suffer when listening to what is beyond its

Now for some of our news here. I was desired to go yesterday with
Cannabich to the Intendant, Count Savioli, to receive my present.
It was just what I had anticipated--a handsome gold watch. Ten
Carolins would have pleased me better just now, though the watch
and chain, with its appendages, are valued at twenty Carolins.
Money is what is most needed on a journey; and, by your leave, I
have now five watches. Indeed, I have serious thoughts of having
a second watch-pocket made, and, when I visit a grandee, to wear
two watches, (which is indeed the fashion here,) that no one may
ever again think of giving me another. I see from your letter
that you have not yet read Vogler's book. [FOOTNOTE: Ton
Wissenschaft und Ton Kunst.] I have just finished it, having
borrowed it from Cannabich. His history is very short. He came
here in a miserable condition, performed on the piano, and
composed a ballet. This excited the Elector's compassion, who
sent him to Italy. When the Elector was in Bologna, he questioned
Father Valoti about Vogler. "Oh! your Highness, he is a great
man," &c., &c. He then asked Father Martini the same question.
"Your Highness, he has talent; and by degrees, when he is older
and more solid, he will no doubt improve, though he must first
change considerably." When Vogler came back he entered the
Church, was immediately appointed Court Chaplain, and composed a
Miserere which all the world declares to be detestable, being
full of false harmony. Hearing; that it was not much commended,
he went to the Elector and complained that the orchestra played
badly on purpose to vex and annoy him; in short, he knew so well
how to make his game (entering into so many petty intrigues with
women) that he became Vice-Capellmeister. He is a fool, who
fancies that no one can be better or more perfect than himself.
The whole orchestra, from the first to the last, detest him. He
has been the cause of much annoyance to Holzbauer. His book is
more fit to teach arithmetic than composition. He says that he
can make a composer in three weeks, and a singer in six months;
but we have not yet seen any proof of this. He despises the
greatest masters. To myself he spoke with contempt of Bach
[Johann Christian, J. Sebastian's youngest son, called the London
Bach], who wrote two operas here, the first of which pleased more
than the second, Lucio Silla. As I had composed the same opera in
Milan, I was anxious to see it, and hearing from Holzbauer that
Vogler had it, I asked him to lend it to me. "With all my heart,"
said he; "I will send it to you to-morrow without fail, but you
won't find much talent in it." Some days after, when he saw me, he
said with a sneer, "Well, did you discover anything very fine--
did you learn anything from it? One air is rather good. What are
the words?" asked he of some person standing near. "What air do
you mean?" "Why, that odious air of Bach's, that vile--oh! yes,
pupille amate. He must have written it after a carouse of punch."
I really thought I must have laid hold of his pigtail; I
affected, however, not to hear him, said nothing, and went away.
He has now served out his time with the Elector.

The sonata for Madlle. Rosa Cannabich is finished. Last Sunday I
played the organ in the chapel for my amusement. I came in while
the Kyrie was going on, played the last part, and when the priest
intoned the Gloria I made a cadence, so different, however, from
what is usually heard here, that every one looked round in
surprise, and above all Holzbauer. He said to me, "If I had known
you were coming, I would have put out another mass for you."
"Oh!" said I, "to puzzle me, I suppose?" Old Toeschi and Wendling
stood all the time close beside me. I gave them enough to laugh
at. Every now and then came a pizzicato, when I rattled the keys
well; I was in my best humor. Instead of the Benedictus here,
there is always a voluntary, so I took the ideas of the Sanctus
and worked them out in a fugue. There they all stood making
faces. At the close, after Ita missa est, I played a fugue. Their
pedal is different from ours, which at first rather puzzled me,
but I soon got used to it. I must now conclude. Pray write to us
still at Mannheim. I know all about Misliweczeck's sonatas [see
No. 64], and played them lately at Munich; they are very easy and
agreeable to listen to. My advice is that my sister, to whom I
humbly commend myself, should play them with much expression,
taste, and fire, and learn them by heart. For these are sonatas
which cannot fail to please every one, are not difficult to
commit to memory, and produce a good effect when played with


Mannheim, Nov. 13, 1777.

Potz Himmel! Croatians, demons, witches, hags, and cross
batteries! Potz Element! air, earth, fire, and water! Europe,
Asia, Africa, and America! Jesuits, Augustines, Benedictines,
Capucins, Minorites, Franciscans, Dominicans, Carthusians, and
Knights of the Cross! privateers, canons regular and irregular,
sluggards, rascals, scoundrels, imps, and villains all! donkeys,
buffaloes, oxen, fools, blockheads, numskulls, and foxes! What
means this? Four soldiers and three shoulder-belts! Such a thick
packet and no portrait! [FOOTNOTE: The "Basle" (his cousin) had
promised him her portrait. She sent it subsequently to Salzburg,
where it still hangs in the Mozarteum.] I was so anxious about
it--indeed, I felt sure of getting it, having yourself written
long ago to say that I should have it soon, very soon. Perhaps
you doubt my keeping my promise [about the ornaments--see No.
71], but I cannot think this either. So pray let me have the
likeness as quickly as you can; and I trust it is taken as I
entreated--in French costume.

How do I like Mannheim? As well as I can any place where my
cousin is not. I hope, on the other hand, that you have at all
events received my two letters--one from Hohenaltheim, and one
from Mannheim--this, such as it is, being the third from here,
but making the fourth in all. I must conclude, for we are just
going to dinner, and I am not yet dressed. Love me as I love you,
and then we shall never cease loving each other. Adieu! J'espere
que vous aurez deja pris quelque lection dans la langue
francaise, et je ne doute point que--ecoutez!--que vous aurez
bientot le francais mieux que moi; car il y a certainement deux
ans que je n'ai pas ecrit un mot de cette langue. Encore adieu!
Je vous baise les mains.


Mannheim, Nov. 14-16, 1777.

I, Johannes, Chrysostomus, Amadeus, Wolfgangus, Sigismundus,
Mozart, plead guilty to having both yesterday and the day before
(and very often besides) stayed away from home till twelve
o'clock at night, from ten o'clock till the aforesaid hour, I
being in the presence and company of M. Cannabich, his wife and
daughter, the Herrn Schatzmeister, Ramm, and Lang, making
doggerel rhymes with the utmost facility, in thought and word,
but not in deed. I should not, however, have conducted myself in
so reckless a manner if our ringleader, namely, the so-called
Lisel (Elisabeth Cannabich), had not inveigled and instigated me
to mischief, and I am bound to admit that I took great pleasure
in it myself. I confess all these my sins and shortcomings from
the depths of my heart; and in the hope of often having similar
ones to confess, I firmly resolve to amend my present sinful
life. I therefore beg for a dispensation if it can be granted;
but, if not, it is a matter of indifference to me, for the game
will go on all the same. Lusus enim suum habet ambitum, says the
pious singer Meissner, (chap. 9, p. 24,) and also the pious
Ascenditor, patron of singed coffee, musty lemonade, milk of
almonds with no almonds in it, and, above all, strawberry ice
full of lumps of ice, being himself a great connoisseur and
artist in these delicacies.

The sonata I composed for Madlle. Cannabich I intend to write out
as soon as possible on small paper, and to send it to my sister.
I began to teach it to Madlle. Rose three days ago, and she has
learned the allegro. The andante will give us most trouble, for
it is full of expression, and must be played with accuracy and
taste, and the fortes and pianos given just as they are marked.
She is very clever, and learns with facility. Her right hand is
very good, but the left is unhappily quite ruined. I must say
that I do really feel very sorry for her, when I see her laboring
away till she is actually panting for breath; and this not from
natural awkwardness on her part, but because, being so accustomed
to this method, she cannot play in any other way, never having
been shown the right one. I said, both to her mother and herself,
that if I were her regular master I would lock up all her music,
cover the keys of the piano with a handkerchief, and make her
exercise her right and left hand, at first quite slowly in
nothing but passages and shakes, &c., until her hands were
thoroughly trained; and after that I should feel confident of
making her a genuine pianiste. They both acknowledged that I was
right. It is a sad pity; for she has so much genius, reads very
tolerably, has great natural aptitude, and plays with great

Now about the opera briefly. Holzbauer's music [for the first
great German operetta, "Gunther von Schwarzburg"] is very
beautiful, but the poetry is not worthy of such music. What
surprises me most is, that so old a man as Holzbauer should still
have so much spirit, for the opera is incredibly full of fire.
The prima donna was Madame Elisabeth Wendling, not the wife of
the flute-player, but of the violinist. She is in very delicate
health; and, besides, this opera was not written for her, but for
a certain Madame Danzi, who is now in England; so it does not
suit her voice, and is too high for her. Herr Raaff, in four
arias of somewhere about 450 bars, sang in a manner which gave
rise to the remark that his want of voice was the principal cause
of his singing so badly. When he begins an air, unless at the
same moment it recurs to your mind that this is Raaff, the old
but once so renowned tenor, I defy any one not to burst out
laughing. It is a fact, that in my own case I thought, if I did
not know that this is the celebrated Raaff, I should be bent
double from laughing, but as it is--I only take out my
handkerchief to hide a smile. They tell me here that he never was
a good actor; that people went to hear, but not to see him. He
has by no means a pleasing exterior. In this opera he was to die,
singing in a long, long, slow air; and he died laughing! and
towards the end of the aria his voice failed him so entirely that
it was impossible to stand it! I was in the orchestra next
Wendling the flute-player, and as he had previously criticized
the song, saying it was unnatural to sing so long before dying,
adding, "I do think he will never die!" I said in return, "Have a
little patience; it will soon be all over with him, for I can
hear he is at the last gasp!" "And I too," said he, laughing. The
second singer, Madlle. Strasserin, sang very well, and is an
admirable actress.

There is a national stage here, which is permanent like that at
Munich; German operettas are sometimes given, but the singers in
them are wretched. Yesterday I dined with the Baron and Baroness
von Hagen, Oberstjagermeister here. Three days ago I called on
Herr Schmalz, a banker, to whom Herr Herzog, or rather Nocker and
Schidl, had given me a letter. I expected to have found a very
civil good sort of man. When I gave him the letter he read it
through, made me a slight bow, and said nothing. At last, after
many apologies for not having sooner waited on him, I told him
that I had played before the Elector. "Really!" Altum silentium.
I said nothing, he said nothing. At last I began again: "I will
no longer intrude on you. I have the honor to"--Here he
interrupted me. "If I can be of any service to you, I beg"--
"Before I leave this I must take the liberty to ask you"--"Not
for money?" "Yes, if you will be so good as to"--"Oh! that I
can't do; there is nothing in the letter about money. I cannot
give you any money, but anything else"--"There is nothing else in
which you can serve me--nothing whatever. I have the honor to
take my leave." I wrote the whole history yesterday to Herr
Herzog in Augsburg. We must now wait here for the answer, so you
may still write to us at Mannheim. I kiss your hand, and am your
young brother and father, as in your last letter you say "I am
the old man and son." To-day is the 16th when I finish this, or
else you will not know when it was sent off. "Is the letter
ready?" "Yes, mamma, here it is!"


Mannheim, Nov. 20, 1777.

The gala began again yesterday [in honor of the Elector's name-
day]. I went to hear the mass, which was a spick-and-span new
composition of Vogler's. Two days ago I was present at the
rehearsal in the afternoon, but came away immediately after the
Kyrie. I never in my life heard anything like it; there is often
false harmony, and he rambles into the different keys as if he
wished to drag you into them by the hair of your head; but it
neither repays the trouble, nor does it possess any originality,
but is only quite abrupt. I shall say nothing of the way in which
he carries out his ideas. I only say that no mass of Vogler's can
possibly please any composer (who deserves the name). For
example, I suddenly hear an idea which is NOT BAD. Well, instead
of remaining NOT BAD, no doubt it soon becomes good? Not at all!
it becomes not only BAD, but VERY BAD, and this in two or three
different ways: namely, scarcely has the thought arisen when
something else interferes to destroy it; or he does not finish it
naturally, so that it may remain good; or it is not introduced in
the right place; or it is finally ruined by bad instrumentation.
Such is Vogler's music.

Cannabich composes far better than when we knew him in Paris, but
what both mamma and I remarked here at once in the symphonies is,
that one begins just like another, always slow and unisono. I
must now, dear papa, write you something about the Holy Cross in
Augsburg, which I have always forgotten to do. I met with a great
many civilities there, and the Prelate is the most good-natured
man in the world--a kind, worthy old simpleton, who may be
carried off at any moment, for his breath fails sadly. He
recently--in fact, the very day we left--had an attack of
paralysis. He, and the Dean and Procurator, begged us when we
came back to Augsburg to drive straight to the Holy Cross. The
Procurator is as jolly as Father Leopold at Seeon. [FOOTNOTE: A
cloister in Lower Bavaria, that Wolfgang often visited with his
father, as they had a dear friend there, Father Johannes.] My
cousin told me beforehand what kind of man he was, so we soon
became as well acquainted as if we had known each other for
twenty years. I lent him the mass in F, and the first of the
short masses in C, and the offertorium in counterpoint in D
minor. My fair cousin has undertaken to be custodian of these. I
got back the offertorium punctually, having desired that it
should be returned first. They all, and even the Prelate, plagued
me to give them a litany, De venerabili. I said I had not got it
with me. I really was by no means sure; so I searched, but did
not find it. They gave me no peace, evidently thinking that I
only wished to evade their request; so I said, "I really have not
the litany with me; it is at Salzburg. Write to my father; it is
his affair. If he chooses to give it to you, well and good; if
not, I have nothing to do with it." A letter from the Deacon to
you will therefore probably soon make its appearance. Do just as
you please, but if you do send him one, let it be the last in E
flat; they have voices enough for anything, and a great many
people will be assembled at that time; they even write for them
to come from a distance, for it is their greatest festival.


Mannheim, Nov. 22, 1777.

THE first piece of information that I have to give you is, that
my truthful letter to Herr Herzog in Augsburg, puncto Schmalzii,
has had a capital effect. He wrote me a very polite letter in
return, expressing his annoyance that I should have been received
so uncourteously by detto Schmalz [melted butter]; so he herewith
sent me a sealed letter to detto Herr Milk, with a bill of
exchange for 150 florins on detto Herr Cheese. You must know
that, though I only saw Herr Herzog once, I could not resist
asking him to send me a draft on Herr Schmalz, or to Herrn
Butter, Milk, and Cheese, or whom he would--a ca! This joke has
succeeded; it is no good making a poor mouth!

We received this forenoon (the 21st) your letter of the 17th. I
was not at home, but at Cannabich's, where Wendling was
rehearsing a concerto for which I have written the orchestral
accompaniments. To-day at six o'clock the gala concert took
place. I had the pleasure of hearing Herr Franzl (who married a
sister of Madame Cannabich's) play a concerto on the violin; he
pleased me very much. You know that I am no lover of mere
difficulties. He plays difficult music, but it does not appear to
be so; indeed, it seems as if one could easily do the same, and
this is real talent. He has a very fine round tone, not a note
wanting, and everything distinct and well accentuated. He has
also a beautiful staccato in bowing, both up and down, and I
never heard such a double shake as his. In short, though in my
opinion no WIZARD, he is a very solid violin-player.--I do wish I
could conquer my confounded habit of writing crooked.

I am sorry I was not at Salzburg when that unhappy occurrence
took place about Madame Adlgasserin, so that I might have
comforted her; and that I would have done--particularly being so
handsome a woman. [Footnote: Adlgasser was the organist of the
cathedral. His wife was thought very stupid. See the letter of
August 26, 1781.] I know already all that you write to me about
Mannheim, but I never wish to say anything prematurely; all in
good time. Perhaps in my next letter I may tell you of something
VERY GOOD in your eyes, but only GOOD in mine; or something you
will think VERY BAD, but I TOLERABLE; possibly, too, something
for me! This sounds rather oracular, does it not? It is
ambiguous, but still may be divined.

My regards to Herr Bullinger; every time that I get a letter from
you, usually containing a few lines from him, I feel ashamed, as
it reminds me that I have never once written to my best and
truest friend, from whom I have received so much kindness and
civility. But I cannot try to excuse myself. I only beg of him to
do so for me as far as possible, and to believe that, as soon as
I have a little leisure, I will write to him--as yet I have had
none; for from the moment I know that it is even possible or
probable that I may leave a place, I have no longer a single hour
I can call my own, and though I have now a glimmer of hope, still
I shall not be at rest till I know how things are. One of the
oracle's sayings must come to pass. I think it will be the middle
one or the last--I care not which, for at all events it will be
something settled.

I no doubt wrote to you that Holzbauer's grand opera is in
German. If not, I write it now. The title is "Gunther von
Schwarzburg," but not our worshipful Herr Gunther, barber and
councillor at Salzburg! "Rosamunde" is to be given during the
ensuing Carnival, the libretto being a recent composition of
Wieland's, and the music also a new composition of Herr
Schweitzer. Both are to come here. I have already seen some parts
of the opera and tried it over on the piano, but I say nothing
about it as yet. The target you have had painted for me, to be
given in my name to the shooting-match, is first-rate, and the
verses inimitable. [Footnote: For cross-bow practice, attended
weekly by a circle of his Salzburg friends. On the target was
represented "the melancholy farewell of two persons dissolved in
tears, Wolfgang and the 'Basle.'"] I have now no more to write,
except that I wish you all a good night's rest, and that you may
all sleep soundly till this letter comes to wake you. Adieu! I
embrace from my heart--cart, my dear sister--blister, and am your
dutiful and attached son,


Knight of the Golden Spur, Member of the great Verona Academy,
Bologna--oui, mon ami!


Mannheim, Nov. 26, 1777.

--MOREOVER, every one acquainted with Mannheim, even the
nobility, advised me to come here. The reason why we are still in
this place is that I have some thoughts of remaining the winter
here, and I am only waiting for an answer from the Elector to
decide my plans. The Intendant, Count Savioli, is a very worthy
gentleman, and I told him to inform the Elector that, this being
such severe weather for travelling, I am willing to remain here
to teach the young Count [Carl Theodor's son]. He promised me to
do his best for me, but said that I must have patience till the
gala days were over. All this took place with the consent and at
the SUGGESTION of Cannabich. When I told him that I had spoken to
Savioli and what I had said, he replied he really thought it was
more likely to be brought about than not. Indeed, Cannabich spoke
to the Elector on the subject before the Count did so; and now I
must wait to hear the result. I am going to call on Herr Schmalz
to draw my 150 florins, for my landlord would no doubt prefer the
sound of gold to that of music. I little thought that I should
have the gift of a watch here, [see No. 74,] but such is again
the case. I would have been off long ago, but every one says to
me, "Where do you intend to go for the winter? Travelling is
detestable in such weather; stay here." Cannabich also wishes it
very much; so now I have taken steps to do so, and as such an
affair cannot be hurried, I must wait with patience, and I hope
soon to be able to send you good news. I have already two pupils
certain, besides the ARCH ones, who certainly won't give me less
than a louis each monthly. Without these I could not indeed
manage to remain. Now let the matter rest as it is, or as it may
be, what avail useless speculations? What is to occur we do not
know; still in so far we do! what God wills!

Now for a cheerful allegro--non siete si pegro. [Footnote: "Don't
be so desponding."] If we do leave this, we shall go straight
to--where? To Weilburg, or whatever the name of the place may be, to
the Princess, sister of the Prince of Orange, whom we knew so
well at the Hague. There we shall stay--N. B., so long as we like
the officers' table, and no doubt receive at least six louis-

A few days ago Herr Sterkel came here from Wurzburg. The day
before yesterday, the 24th, I dined with Cannabich's, and again
at Oberstjager von Hagen's, and spent the evening al solito with
Cannabich, where Sterkel joined us, [Footnote: Abbe Sterkel, a
favorite composer and virtuoso on the piano, whom Beethoven,
along with Simrock, Ries, and the two Rombergs, visited in the
autumn of 1791, in Aschaffenberg.] and played five duets [sonatas
with violin], but so quick that it was difficult to follow the
music, and neither distinctly nor in time. Every one said the
same. Madlle. Cannabich played my six sonatas, and in fact better
than Sterkel. I must now conclude, for I cannot write in bed, and
I am too sleepy to sit up any longer.


Mannheim, Nov. 29, 1777.

I RECEIVED this morning your letter of the 24th, and perceive
that you cannot reconcile yourself to the chances of good or bad
fortune, if, indeed, the latter is to befall us. Hitherto, we
four have neither been very lucky nor very unlucky, for which I
thank God. You make us many reproaches which we do not deserve.
We spend nothing but what is absolutely necessary, and as to what
is required on a journey, you know that as well or better than we
do. No one BUT MYSELF has been the cause of our remaining so long
in Munich; and had I been alone I should have stayed there
altogether. Why were we fourteen days in Augsburg? Surely you
cannot have got my letters from there? I wished to give a
concert. They played me false, so I thus lost eight days. I was
absolument determined to go away, but was not allowed, so strong
was the wish that I should give a concert. I wished to be urged
to do so, and I was urged. I gave the concert; this accounts for
the fourteen days. Why did we go direct to Mannheim? This I
answered in my last letter. Why are we still here? How can you
suppose that I would stay here without good cause? But my father,
at all events, should--Well! you shall hear my reasons and the
whole course of the affair; but I had quite resolved not to write
to you on the subject until I could say something decided, (which
even yet I cannot do,) on purpose to avoid causing you care and
anxiety, which I always strive to do, for I knew that uncertain
intelligence would only fret you. But when you ascribe this to my
negligence, thoughtlessness, and indolence, I can only regret
your having such an opinion of me, and from my heart grieve that
you so little know your son. I am not careless, I am only
prepared for the worst; so I can wait and bear everything
patiently, so long as my honor and my good name of Mozart remain
uninjured. But if it must be so, so let it be. I only beg that
you will neither rejoice nor lament prematurely; for whatever may
happen, all will be well if we only have health; for happiness
exists--merely in the imagination.

Last Thursday week I went in the forenoon to wait on Count
Savioli, and asked him if it were possible to induce the Elector
to keep me here this winter, as I was anxious to give lessons to
his children. His answer was, "I will suggest it to the Elector,
and if it depends on me, the thing will certainly be done." In
the afternoon I went to Cannabich's, and as I had gone to Savioli
by his advice, he immediately asked me if I had been there. I
told him everything, on which he said, "I should like you very
much to spend the winter with us, but still more to see you in
some permanent situation." I replied, "I could wish nothing
better than to be settled near you, but I don't see how it is
possible. You have already two Capellmeisters, so I don't know
what I could have, for I would not be subordinate to Vogler."
"That you would never be," said he. "Here not one of the
orchestra is under the Capellmeister, nor even under the
Intendant. The Elector might appoint you Chamber Court composer;
only wait a little, and I will speak to Count Savioli on the
subject." On the Thursday after there was a grand concert. When
the Count saw me, he apologized for not having yet spoken to the
Elector, these being still gala days; but as soon as they were
over (next Monday) he would certainly speak to his Royal
Highness. I let three days pass, and, still hearing nothing
whatever, I went to him to make inquiries. He said, "My good M.
Mozart, (this was yesterday, Friday,) today there was a chasse,
so it was impossible for me to ask the Elector, but to-morrow at
this hour I will certainly give you an answer." I begged him not
to forget it. To tell you the truth, when I left him I felt
rather indignant, so I resolved to take with me the easiest of my
six variations of the Fischer minuet, (which I wrote here for
this express purpose,) to present to the young Count, in order to
have an opportunity to speak to the Elector myself. When I went
there, you cannot conceive the delight of the governess, by whom
I was most politely received. When I produced the variations, and
said that they were intended for the young Count, she said, "Oh!
that is charming, but I hope you have something for the Countess
also." "Nothing as yet," said I, "but if I stay here long enough
to have time to write something I will do so." "A propos," said
she, "I am so glad that you stay the winter here." "I? I have not
heard a word of it." "That does surprise me; how very odd! for
the Elector told me so himself lately; he said, 'By the by,
Mozart remains here all winter.'" "Well, when he said so, he was
the only man who could say so, for without the Elector I of
course cannot remain here;" and then I told her the whole story.
We agreed that I should come the next day (that is, to-day) at
four o'clock, and bring some piece of music for the Countess. She
was to speak to the Elector before I came; and I should be
certain to meet him. I went today, but he had not been there at
all; but I shall go again to-morrow. I have written a Rondo for
the Countess. Have I not then sufficient cause to stay here and
await the result? As this important step is finally taken, ought
I at this moment to set off? I have now an opportunity of
speaking to the Elector myself. I shall most probably spend the
winter here, for I am a favorite with his Royal Highness, who
thinks highly of me, and knows what I can do. I hope to be able
to give you good news in my next letter. I entreat you once more
neither to rejoice nor to be uneasy too soon, and not to confide
the affair to any one except Herr Bullinger and my sister. I send
my sister the allegro and the andante of the sonata I wrote for
Madlle. Cannabich. The Rondo will follow shortly; the packet
would have been too heavy had I sent it with the others. You must
be satisfied with the original, for you can more easily get it
copied for six kreutzers a sheet than I for twenty-four. Is not
that dear? Adieu! Possibly you have heard some stray bits of this
sonata; for at Cannabich's it is sung three times a day at least,
played on the piano and violin, or whistled--only sotto voce, to
be sure.


Mannheim, Dec. 3, 1777.

I CAN still write nothing certain about my fate here. Last
Monday, after going three days in succession to my ARCH pupils,
morning and afternoon, I had the good fortune at last to meet the
Elector. We all, indeed, thought that I had again come in vain,
as it was so late in the day, but at length we saw him coming.
The governess made the Countess seat herself at the piano, and I
placed myself beside her to give her a lesson, and it was thus
the Elector found us on entering. We rose, but he desired us to
continue the lesson. When she had finished playing, the governess
addressed him, saying that I had written a beautiful Rondo. I
played it, and it pleased him exceedingly. At last he said, "Do
you think that she will be able to learn it?" "Oh! yes," said I;
"I only wish I had the good fortune to teach it to her myself."
He smiled, and said, "I should also like it; but would it not be
prejudicial to her to have two masters?" "Oh, no! your Highness,"
said I; "it all depends on whether she has a good or a bad one. I
hope your Highness will place trust and confidence in me." "Oh,
assuredly," said he. The governess then said, "M. Mozart has also
written these variations on the Fischer minuet for the young
Count." I played them, and he seemed to like them much. He now
began to jest with the Countess. I thanked him for his present of
a watch. He said, "I must reflect on your wish; how long do you
intend to remain here?" My answer was, "As long as your Highness
commands me to do so;" and then the interview was at an end. I
went there again this morning, and was told that the Elector had
repeated yesterday, "Mozart stays here this winter." Now I am
fairly in for it; so you see I must wait.

I dined to-day (for the fourth time) with Wendling. Before
dinner, Count Savioli came in with Capellmeister Schweitzer, who
arrived yesterday evening. Savioli said to me, "I spoke again
yesterday to the Elector, but he has not yet made up his mind." I
answered, "I wish to say a few words to you privately;" so we
went to the window. I told him the doubt the Elector had
expressed, and complained of the affair dragging on so long, and
said how much I had already spent here, entreating him to
persuade the Elector to engage me permanently; for I fear that he
will give me so little during the winter that it will be
impossible for me to remain. "Let him give me work; for I like
work." He said he would certainly suggest it to him, but this
evening it was out of the question, as he was not to go to court;
to-morrow, however, he promised me a decided answer. Now, let
what will happen. If he does not engage me, I shall, at all
events, apply for a sum of money for my travelling expenses, as I
have no intention to make him a present of the Rondo and the
variations. I assure you I am very easy on the subject, because I
feel quite certain that, come what may, all will go right. I am
entirely submissive to the will of God.

Your letter of the 27th arrived yesterday, and I hope you
received the allegro and andante of the sonata. I now enclose the
Rondo. Schweitzer is a good, worthy, upright man, dry and candid
like our Haydn; only his mode of speaking is more polished. There
are some very beautiful things in his new opera, and I don't
doubt that it will prove a great success. "Alceste" is much
liked, and yet it is not half so fine as "Rosamunde." Being the
first German operetta no doubt contributed very much to its
popularity; but now--N. B., on minds chiefly attracted by
novelty--it scarcely makes the same impression. Herr Wieland,
whose poetry it is, is also to come here this winter. That is a
man I should indeed like to see. Who knows? Perhaps I may. When
you read this, dear papa, please God, all will be settled.

If I do stay here, I am going to Paris during Lent with Herr
Wendling, Herr Ramm, the hautboy-player, who plays admirably, and
Ballet-master Cauchery. Wendling assures me I shall never regret
it; he has been twice in Paris, and has only just returned from
there. He says, "It is, in fact, the only place where either real
fame or money is to be acquired. You are a man of genius; I will
put you on the right path. You must write an opera seria and
comique, an oratorio, and every kind of thing. Any one who
composes a couple of operas in Paris receives a certain sum
yearly. There is also the Concert Spirituel and the Academie des
Amateurs, where you get five louis-d'or for a symphony. If you
teach, the custom is three louis-d'or for twelve lessons; and
then you get your sonatas, trios, and quartets published by
subscription. Cannabich and Toeschi send a great part of their
music to Paris." Wendling is a man who understands travelling.
Write me your opinion of this scheme, I beg; it seems to me both
wise and profitable. I shall travel with a man who knows all the
ins and outs of Paris (as it now is) by heart, for it is very
much changed. I should spend very little--indeed, I believe not
one half of what I do at present, for I should only have to pay
for myself, as mamma would stay here, and probably with the

On the 12th of this month, Herr Ritter, who plays the bassoon
beautifully, sets off for Paris. If I had been alone, this would
have been a famous opportunity for me; indeed, he spoke to me
himself about it. Ramm (hautboy-player) is a good, jolly, worthy
man, about thirty-five, who has travelled a great deal, so has
much experience. The first and best musicians here like me very
much, and respect me too. They always call me Herr Capellmeister.
I cannot say how much I regret not having at least the copy of a
mass with me, for I should certainly have had it performed,
having lately heard one of Holzbauer's, which is also in our
style. If I had only a copy of the Misericordias! But so it is,
and it can't be helped now. I would have had one transcribed
here, but copying does cost so much. Perhaps I should not have
got as much for the mass itself as I must have paid for the copy.
People here are by no means so very liberal.


Mannheim, Dec. 6, 1777.

I CAN tell you nothing certain yet. I begin to be rather tired of
this joke; I am only curious to know the result. Count Savioli
has spoken three times to the Elector, and the answer was
invariably a shrug of the shoulders, and "I will give you an
answer presently, but--I have not yet made up my mind." My kind
friends here quite agree with me in thinking that this hesitation
and reserve are rather a favorable omen than the reverse. For if
the Elector was resolved not to engage me, he would have said so
at once; so I attribute the delay to Denari siamo un poco
scrocconi [we are a little stingy of our money]. Besides, I know
for certain that the Prince likes me; a buon canto, so we must
wait. I may now say that it will be very welcome to me if the
affair turns out well; if not, I shall much regret having
lingered here so long and spent so much money. At all events,
whatever the issue may be, it cannot be an evil one if it be the
will of God; and my daily prayer is that the result may be in
accordance with it. You have indeed, dear papa, rightly guessed
the chief cause of Herr Cannabich's friendship for me. There is,
however, another small matter in which he can make use of me--
namely, he is obliged to publish a collection of all his ballets
arranged for the piano. Now, he cannot possibly write these out
himself in such a manner that the work may be correct and yet
easy. For this purpose I am very welcome to him; (this was the
case already with one of his contredanses.) He has been out
shooting for the last week, and is not to return till next
Tuesday. Such things contribute, indeed, very much to our good
friendship; but, independent of this, he would at least never be
inimical to me, for he is very much changed. When a man comes to
a certain age, and sees his children grown up, he then no doubt
thinks a little differently. His daughter, who is fifteen, and
his eldest child, is a very pretty, pleasing girl. She has great
good sense for her age, and an engaging demeanor; she is rather
grave and does not talk much, but what she does say is always
amiable and good-natured. She caused me most indescribable
pleasure yesterday, by playing my sonata in the most admirable
manner. The andante (which must not be played QUICK) she executed
with the greatest possible feeling; and she likes to play it. You
know that I finished the first allegro when I had been only two
days here, and that I had then only seen Madlle. Cannabich once.
Young Danner asked me how I intended to compose the andante.
"Entirely in accordance with Madlle. Rose's character," said I.
When I played it, it seemed to please much. Danner mentioned
afterwards what I had said. And it is really so; she is just what
the andante is. To-day I dined for the sixth time with Wendling,
and for the second time in the company of Herr Schweitzer. To-
morrow, by way of a change, I dine there again; I actually have
my board there. I must now go to bed, so I wish you good-night.

I have this moment returned from Wendling's, and as soon as I
have posted this letter I am going back there, for the opera is
to be rehearsed in camera caritatis, as it were. I am going to
Cannabich's afterwards, at half-past six o'clock, to give my
usual daily music-lesson. A propos, I must correct a statement of
mine. I said yesterday that Madlle. Cannabich was fifteen; it
seems, however, that she is only just thirteen. Our kind regards
to all our friends, especially to Herr Bullinger.


Mannheim, Dec. 10, 1777.

ALL is at an end, for the present, with the Elector. I went to
the court concert the day before yesterday, in the hope of
getting an answer. Count Savioli evidently wished to avoid me;
but I went up to him. When he saw me he shrugged his shoulders.
"What!" said I, "still no answer?" "Pardon me!" said he, "but I
grieve to say nothing can be done." "Eh, bien!" said I, "the
Elector might have told me so sooner!" "True," said he, "but he
would not even now have made up his mind, if I had not driven him
to it by saying that you had already stayed here too long,
spending your money in a hotel." "Truly, that is what vexes me
most of all," I replied; "it is very far from pleasant. But, at
all events, I am very much indebted to you, Count, (for he is not
called "your Excellency,") for having taken my part so zealously,
and I beg you will thank the Elector from me for his gracious,
though somewhat tardy information; and I can assure him that, had
he accepted my services, he never would have had cause to regret
it." "Oh!" said he, "I feel more convinced of that than perhaps
you think." When I told Herr Wendling of the final decision, he
colored and said, quite indignantly, "Then we must find the
means; you must, at least, remain here for the next two months,
and after that we can go together to Paris. To-morrow Cannabich
returns from shooting, and then we can talk further on the
subject." I left the concert immediately, and went straight to
Madame Cannabich. On my way thither, Herr Schatzmeister having
come away from the concert with me, I told him all about it, as
he is a good worthy man and a kind friend of mine. You cannot
conceive how angry he was. When we went into Madame Cannabich's
house, he spoke first, saying, "I bring you a man who shares the
usual happy fate of those who have to do with courts." "What!"
said Madame, "so it has all come to nothing?" I told her the
whole, and in return they related to me numbers of similar things
which had occurred here. When Madlle. Rose (who was in the third
room from us, busy with the linen) had finished, she came in and
said to me, "Do you wish me to begin now?" as it was the hour for
her lesson. "I am at your orders," said I. "Do you know," said
she, "that I mean to be very attentive to-day?" "I am sure you
will," answered I, "for the lessons will not continue much
longer." "How so? What do you mean?--Why?" She turned to her
mamma, who told her. "What!" said she, "is this quite certain? I
cannot believe it." "Yes--yes; quite certain," said I. She then
played my sonata, but looked very grave. Do you know, I really
could not suppress my tears; and at last they had all tears in
their eyes--mother, daughter, and Schatzmeister, for she was
playing the sonata at the moment, which is the favorite of the
whole family. "Indeed," said Schatzmeister, "if the Herr
Capellmeister (I am never called anything else here) leaves us,
it will make us all weep." I must say that I have very kind
friends here, for it is under such circumstances that we learn to
know them; for they are so, not only in words but in deeds.
Listen to this! The other day I went, as usual, to dine with
Wendling, when he said to me, "Our Indian friend (a Dutchman, who
lives on his own means, and is an amateur of all the fine arts,
and a great friend and admirer of mine) is certainly an excellent
fellow. He will give you twenty florins to write for him three
little easy short concertos, and a couple of quattros for a
leading flute. Cannabich can get you at least two pupils, who
will play well; and you could write duets for the piano and
violin, and publish them by subscription. Dinner and supper you
will always have with us, and lodgings you have at the Herr
Hofkammerrath's; so all this will cost you nothing. As for your
mother, we can easily find her a cheap lodging for these two
months, till you have had time to write about the matter to your
father, when she will leave this for Salzburg and we for Paris."
Mamma is quite satisfied; so all that is yet wanting is your
consent, of which I feel so sure that, if the time for our
journey were now come, I would set off for Paris without waiting
for your reply; for I could expect nothing else from a sensible
father, hitherto so anxious for the welfare of his children. Herr
Wendling, who sends you his compliments, is very intimate with
our dear friend Grimm, who, when he was here, spoke a great deal
about me to Wendling; this was when he had just come from us at
Salzburg. As soon as I receive your answer to this letter, I mean
to write to him, for a stranger whom I met at dinner to-day told
me that Grimm was now in Paris. As we don't leave this till the
8th of March, I beg you, if possible, to try to procure for me,
either through Herr Mesmer at Vienna, or some one else, a letter
to the Queen of France, if it can be done without much
difficulty; if not, it does not much matter. It would be better
if I could have one--of that there is no doubt; this is also the
advice of Herr Wendling. I suppose what I am now writing must
appear very strange to you, because you are in a city where there
are only stupid enemies, and weak and simple friends, whose
dreary daily bread at Salzburg is so essential to them, that they
become flatterers, and are not to be depended on from day to day.
Indeed, this was why I wrote you nothing but childish nonsense,
and jokes, and folly; I wished to await the event here, to save
you from vexation, and my good friends from blame; for you very
unwarrantably accuse them of working against me in an underhand
way, which they certainly never did. Your letters obliged me to
relate the whole affair to you. I entreat you most earnestly not
to distress yourself on the subject; God has willed it so.
Reflect also on this most undoubted truth, that we cannot do all
we wish. We often think that such and such a thing would be very
good, and another equally bad and evil, and yet if these things
came to pass, we should sometimes learn that the very reverse was
the case.

I must now go to bed. I shall have plenty of work to do during
the two months of my stay,--three concertos, two quartets, five
or six duets for the piano, and I also have thoughts of composing
a new grand mass, and dedicating it to the Elector. Adieu! I will
write to Prince Zeill next post-day to press forward matters in
Munich; if you would also write to him, I should be very glad.
But short and to the point--no cringing! for that I cannot bear.
It is quite certain that he can do it if he likes, for all Munich
told me so [see Nos. 56 and 60].


Mannheim, Dec. 14, 1777.

I CAN only write a few words, as I did not get home till four
o'clock, when I had a lesson to give to the young lady of the
house. It is now nearly half-past five, so time to close my
letter. I will ask mamma to write a few days beforehand, so that
all our news may not be of the same date, for I can't easily do
this. The little time that I have for writing must be devoted to
composition, for I have a great deal of work before me. I entreat
you to answer me very soon as to my journey to Paris. I played
over my concertone on the piano to Herr Wendling, who said it was
just the thing for Paris; if I were to play that to Baron Bach,
he would be in ecstasies. Adieu!



Mannheim, Dec. 18, 1777.

IN the greatest haste and hurry! The organ that was tried to-day
in the Lutheran church is very good, not only in certain
registers, but in its whole compass. [Footnote: The mother
writes: "A Lutheran of degree called on us to-day, and invited
Wolfgang, with all due politeness, to try their new organ."]
Vogler played on it. He is only a juggler, so to speak; as soon
as he wishes to play in a majestic style, he becomes dull.
Happily this seems equally tedious to himself, so it does not
last long; but then, what follows? only an incomprehensible
scramble. I listened to him from a distance. He began a fugue, in
chords of six notes, and presto. I then went up to him, for I
would far rather see than hear him. There were a great many
people present, and among the musicians Holzbauer, Cannabich,
Toeschi, &c.

A quartet for the Indian Dutchman, that true benefactor of man,
will soon be finished. A propos, Herr told me that he had written
to you by the last post. Addio! I was lately obliged to direct
the opera with some violins at Wendling's, Schweitzer being


Mannheim, Dec. 20, 1777.

I WISH you, dearest papa, a very happy new-year, and that your
health, so precious in my eyes, may daily improve, for the
benefit and happiness of your wife and children, the satisfaction
of your true friends, and for the annoyance and vexation of your
enemies. I hope also that in the coming year you will love me
with the same fatherly tenderness you have hitherto shown me. I
on my part will strive, and honestly strive, to deserve still
more the love of such an admirable father. I was cordially
delighted with your last letter of the 15th of December, for,
thank God! I could gather from it that you are very well indeed.
We, too, are in perfect health, God be praised! Mine is not
likely to fail if constant work can preserve it. I am writing
this at eleven at night, because I have no other leisure time. We
cannot very well rise before eight o'clock, for in our rooms (on
the ground-floor) it is not light till half-past eight. I then
dress quickly; at ten o'clock I sit down to compose till twelve
or half-past twelve, when I go to Wendling's, where I generally
write till half-past one; we then dine. At three o'clock I go to
the Mainzer Hof (an hotel) to a Dutch officer, to give him
lessons in galanterie playing and thorough bass, for which, if I
mistake not, he gives me four ducats for twelve lessons. At four
o'clock I go home to teach the daughter of the house. We never
begin till half past four, as we wait for lights. At six o'clock
I go to Cannabich's to instruct Madlle. Rose. I stay to supper
there, when we converse and sometimes play; I then invariably
take a book out of my pocket and read, as I used to do at
Salzburg. I have already written to you the pleasure your last
letter caused me, which is quite true; only one thing rather
vexed me, the inquiry whether I had not perchance forgotten to go
to confession. I shall not say anything further on this. Only
allow me to make you one request, which is, not to think so badly
of me. I like to be merry, but rest assured that I can be as
serious as any one. Since I quitted Salzburg (and even in
Salzburg) I have met with people who spoke and acted in a way
that I should have felt ashamed to do, though they were ten,
twenty, and thirty years older than myself. I implore of you
therefore once more, and most earnestly, to have a better opinion
of me.


Mannheim, Dec. 27, 1777.

A PRETTY sort of paper this! I only wish I could make it better;
but it is now too late to send for any other. You know, from our
previous letters, that mamma and I have a capital lodging. It
never was my intention that she should live apart from me; in
fact, when the Hofkammerrath Serrarius so kindly offered me his
house, I only expressed my thanks, which is by no means saying
yes. The next day I went to see him with Herr Wendling and M. de
Jean (our worthy Dutchman), and only waited till he should
himself begin the subject. At length he renewed his offer, and I
thanked him in these words: "I feel that it is a true proof of
friendship on your part to do me the honor to invite me to live
in your house; but I regret that unfortunately I cannot accept
your most kind proposal. I am sure you will not take it amiss
when I say that I am unwilling to allow my mother to leave me
without sufficient cause; and I certainly know no reason why
mamma should live in one part of the town and I in another. When
I go to Paris, her not going with me would be a considerable
pecuniary advantage to me, but here for a couple of months a few
gulden more or less do not signify."

By this speech my wish was entirely fulfilled,--that is, that our
board and lodging do not at all events make us poorer. I must go
up-stairs to supper, for we have now chatted till half-past ten
o'clock. I lately went with my scholar, the Dutch officer, M. de
la Pottrie, into the Reformed church, where I played for an hour
and a half on the organ. It came right from my heart too. We--
that is, the Cannabichs, Wendlings, Serrariuses, and Mozarts--are
going to the Lutheran Church, where I shall amuse myself
gloriously on the organ. I tried its tone at the same rehearsal
that I wrote to you about, but played very little, only a prelude
and a fugue.

I have made acquaintance with Herr Wieland. He does not, however,
know me as I know him, for he has heard nothing of me as yet. I
had not at all imagined him to be what I find him. He speaks in
rather a constrained way, and has a childish voice, his eyes very
watery, and a certain pedantic uncouthness, and yet at times
provokingly condescending. I am not, however, surprised that he
should choose to behave in this way at Mannheim, though no doubt
very differently at Weimar and elsewhere, for here he is stared
at as if he had fallen from the skies. People seem to be so
ceremonious in his presence, no one speaks, all are as still as
possible, striving to catch every word he utters. It is unlucky
that they are kept so long in expectation, for he has some
impediment in his speech which causes him to speak very slowly,
and he cannot say six words without pausing. Otherwise he is, as
we all know, a man of excellent parts. His face is downright ugly
and seamed with the small-pox, and he has a long nose. His height
is rather beyond that of papa.

You need have no misgivings as to the Dutchman's 200 florins. I
must now conclude, as I should like to compose for a little time.
One thing more: I suppose I had better not write to Prince Zeill
at present. The reason you no doubt already know, (Munich being
nearer to Salzburg than to Mannheim,) that the Elector is at the
point of death from small-pox. This is certain, so there will be
a struggle there. Farewell! As for mamma's journey home, I think
it could be managed best during Lent, by her joining some
merchants. This is only my own idea; but what I do feel quite
sure of is, that whatever you think right will be best, for you
are not only the Herr Hofcapellmeister, but the most rational of
all rational beings. If you know such a person as papa, tell him
I kiss his hands 1000 times, and embrace my sister from my heart,
and in spite of all this scribbling I am your dutiful son and
affectionate brother.


Mannheim, Jan. 7, 1778.

I HOPE you are both well. I am, thank God! in good health and
spirits. You may easily conceive my sorrow at the death of the
Elector of Bavaria. My sole wish is that our Elector here may
have the whole of Bavaria, and transfer himself to Munich. I
think you also would like this. This forenoon at twelve o'clock,
Carl Theodor was proclaimed at court Duke of Bavaria. At Munich,
Count Daun, Oberststallmeister, immediately on the death of the
Prince, received homage in the name of the Elector, and sent the
dragoons to ride all round the environs of the city with trumpets
and kettledrums, and to shout "Long live our Elector, Carl
Theodor!" If all goes well, as I hope it may, Count Daun will
receive a very handsome present. His aid-de-camp, whom he
dispatched here with the tidings, (his name is Lilienau,) got
3000 florins from the Elector.


Mannheim, Jan 10, 1778

YES, indeed! I also wish that from my heart. [Footnote: In the
mother's letter, she had written, "May God grant us the blessing
of peace'" for there was much talk about the invasion of Bavaria
by the Prussians and Austrians, on account of the succession.]
You have already learned my true desire from my last letter. It
is really high time that we should think of mamma's journey home,
for though we have had various rehearsals of the opera, still its
being performed is by no means certain, and if it is not given,
we shall probably leave this on the 15th of February. When that
time arrives, (after receiving your advice on the subject,) I
mean to follow the opinions and habits of my fellow-travellers,
and, like them, order a suit of black clothes, reserving the
laced suit for Germany, as it is no longer the fashion in Paris.
In the first place, it is an economy, (which is my chief object
in my Paris journey,) and, secondly, it wears well and suits both
country and town. You can go anywhere with a black coat. To-day
the tailor brought Herr Wendling his suit. The clothes I think of
taking with me are my puce-brown spagnolet coat, and the two

Now for something else. Herr Wieland, after meeting me twice,
seems quite enchanted with me. The last time, after every sort of
eulogium, he said, "It is really fortunate for me having met you
here," and pressed my hand. To-day "Rosamunde" has been rehearsed
in the theatre; it is well enough, but nothing more, for if it
were positively bad it could not be performed, I suppose,--just
as some people cannot sleep without lying in a bed! But there is
no rule without an exception, and I have seen an instance of
this; so good night! Now for something more to the purpose. I
know for certain that the Emperor intends to establish a German
opera in Vienna, and is eagerly looking out for a young
Capellmeister who understands the German language, and has
genius, and is capable of bringing something new into the world.
Benda at Gotha has applied, but Schweitzer is determined to
succeed. I think it would be just the thing for me, but well paid
of course. If the Emperor gives me 1000 gulden, I will write a
German opera for him, and if he does not choose to give me a
permanent engagement, it is all the same to me. Pray write to
every kind friend you can think of in Vienna, that I am capable
of doing credit to the Emperor. If he will do nothing else, he
may at least try me with an opera, and as to what may occur
hereafter I care not. Adieu! I hope you will put the thing in
train at once, or some one may forestall me.


Mannheim, Jan. 17, 1778.

NEXT Wednesday I am going for some days to Kirchheim-Boland, the
residence of the Princess of Orange. I have heard so much praise
of her here, that at last I have resolved to go. A Dutch officer,
a particular friend of mine, [M. de la Pottrie,] was much
upbraided by her for not bringing me with him when he went to
offer his new-year's congratulations. I expect to receive at
least eight louis-d'or, for as she has a passionate admiration of
singing, I have had four arias copied out for her. I will also
present her with a symphony, for she has a very nice orchestra
and gives a concert every day. Besides, the copying of the airs
will not cost me much, for a M. Weber who is going there with me
has copied them. He has a daughter who sings admirably, and has a
lovely pure voice; she is only fifteen. [Footnote: Aloysia,
second daughter of the prompter and theatrical copyist, Weber, a
brother of Carl Maria von Weber's father.] She fails in nothing
but in stage action; were it not for that, she might be the prima
donna of any theatre. Her father is a downright honest German who
brings up his children well, for which very reason the girl is
persecuted here. He has six children,--five girls and a son. He
and his wife and children have been obliged to live for the last
fourteen years on an income of 200 florins, but as he has always
done his duty well, and has lately provided a very accomplished
singer for the Elector, he has now actually 400 florins. My aria
for De' Amicis she sings to perfection with all its tremendous
passages: she is to sing it at Kirchheim-Boland.

Now for another subject. Last Wednesday there was a great feast
in our house, [at Hofkammerrath Serrarius's,] to which I was also
invited. There were fifteen guests, and the young lady of the
house [Pierron, the "House Nymph"] was to play in the evening the
concerto I had taught her at eleven o'clock in the forenoon. The
Herr Kammerrath and Herr Vogler called on me. Herr Vogler seems
quite determined to become acquainted with me, as he often
importuned me to go to see him, but he has overcome his pride and
paid me the first visit. Besides, people tell me that he is now
very different, being no longer so much admired; for at first he
was made quite an idol of here. We went up-stairs together, when
by degrees the guests assembled, and there was no end to talking.
After dinner, Vogler sent for two pianos of his, which were tuned
alike, and also his wearisome engraved sonatas. I had to play
them, while he accompanied me on the other piano. At his urgent
request I sent for my sonatas also. N. B.--Before dinner he had
scrambled through my sonata at sight, (the Litzau one which the
young lady of the house plays.) He took the first part
prestissimo--the Andante allegro--and the Rondo more prestissimo
still. He played great part of the bass very differently from the
way in which it is written, inventing at times quite another
harmony and melody. It is impossible to do otherwise in playing
at such a pace, for the eyes cannot see the notes, nor the hands
get hold of them. What merit is there in this? The listeners (I
mean those worthy of the name) can only say that they have SEEN
music and piano-playing. All this makes them hear, and think, and
feel as little--as he does. You may easily believe that this was
beyond all endurance, because I could not venture to say to him
MUCH TOO QUICK! besides, it is far easier to play a thing quickly
than slowly; some notes may then be dropped without being
observed. But is this genuine music? In rapid playing the right
and left hands may be changed, and no one either see or hear it;
but is this good? and in what does the art of reading prima vista
consist? In this--to play the piece in the time in which it ought
to be played, and to express all the notes and apoggiaturas, &c.,
with proper taste and feeling as written, so that it should give
the impression of being composed by the person who plays it. His
fingering also is miserable; his left thumb is just like that of
the late Adlgasser, all the runs downwards with the right hand he
makes with the first finger and thumb!


Mannheim, Feb. 2 1778.

I COULD no delay writing to you till the usual Saturday arrived,
because it was so long since I had the pleasure of conversing
with you by means of my pen. The first thing I mean to write
about is how my worthy friends and I got on at Kirchheim-Boland.
It was simply a holiday excursion, and nothing more. On Friday
morning at eight o'clock we drove away from here, after I had
breakfasted with Herr Weber. We had a capital covered coach which
held four; at four o'clock we arrived at Kirchheim-Boland. We
immediately sent a list of our names to the palace. Next morning
early, Herr Concertmeister Rothfischer called on us. He had been
already described to me at Mannheim as a most honorable man, and
such I find him to be. In the evening we went to court, (this was
on Saturday,) where Madlle. Weber sang three airs. I say nothing
of her singing, but it is indeed admirable. I wrote to you lately
with regard to her merits; but I cannot finish this letter
without writing further about her, as I have only recently known
her well, so now first discover her great powers. We dined
afterwards at the officers' table. Next day we went some distance
to church, for the Catholic one is rather far away. This was on
Sunday. In the forenoon we dined again with the officers. In the
evening there was no music, because it was Sunday. Thus they have
music only 300 times during the year. In the evening we might
have supped at court, but we preferred being all together at the
inn. We would gladly have made them a present also of the dinners
at the officers' table, for we were never so pleased as when by
ourselves; but economy rather entered our thoughts, since we were
obliged to pay heavily enough at the inn.

The following day, Monday, we had music again, and also on
Tuesday and Wednesday. Madlle. Weber sang in all thirteen times,
and played twice on the piano, for she plays by no means badly.
What surprises me most is, that she reads music so well. Only
think of her playing my difficult sonatas at sight, SLOWLY, but
without missing a single note. I give you my honor I would rather
hear my sonatas played by her than by Vogler. I played twelve
times, and once, by desire, on the organ of the Lutheran church.
I presented the Princess with four symphonies, and received only
seven louis-d'or in silver, and our poor dear Madlle. Weber only
five. This I certainly did not anticipate! I never expected great
things, but at all events I hoped that each of us would at least
receive eight louis-d'or. Basta! We were not, however, losers,
for I have a profit of forty-two florins, and the inexpressible
pleasure of becoming better acquainted with worthy upright
Christian people, and good Catholics, I regret much not having
known them long ago.

The 4th.--Now comes something urgent, about which I request an
answer. Mamma and I have discussed the matter, and we agree that
we do not like the sort of life the Wendlings lead. Wendling is a
very honorable and kind man, but unhappily devoid of all
religion, and the whole family are the same. I say enough when I
tell you that his daughter was a most disreputable character.
Ramm is a good fellow, but a libertine. I know myself, and I have
such a sense of religion that I shall never do anything which I
would not do before the whole world; but I am alarmed even at the
very thoughts of being in the society of people, during my
journey, whose mode of thinking is so entirely different from
mine (and from that of all good people). But of course they must
do as they please. I have no heart to travel with them, nor could
I enjoy one pleasant hour, nor know what to talk about; for, in
short, I have no great confidence in them. Friends who have no
religion cannot he long our friends. I have already given them a
hint of this by saying that during my absence three letters had
arrived, of which I could for the present divulge nothing further
than that it was unlikely I should be able to go with them to
Paris, but that perhaps I might come later, or possibly go
elsewhere; so they must not depend on me. I shall be able to
finish my music now quite at my ease for De Jean, who is to give
me 200 florins for it. I can remain here as long as I please, and
neither board nor lodging cost me anything. In the meantime Herr
Weber will endeavor to make various engagements for concerts with
me, and then we shall travel together. If I am with him, it is
just as if I were with you. This is the reason that I like him so
much; except in personal appearance, he resembles you in all
respects, and has exactly your character and mode of thinking. If
my mother were not, as you know, too COMFORTABLY LAZY to write,
she would say precisely what I do. I must confess that I much
enjoyed my excursion with them. We were pleased and merry; I
heard a man converse just like you; I had no occasion to trouble
myself about anything; what was torn I found repaired. In short,
I was treated like a prince. I am so attached to this oppressed
family that my greatest wish is to make them happy, and perhaps I
may be able to do so. My advice is that they should go to Italy,
so I am all anxiety for you to write to our good friend Lugiati
[impresario], and the sooner the better, to inquire what are the
highest terms given to a prima donna in Verona--the more the
better, for it is always easy to accept lower terms. Perhaps it
would be possible to obtain the Ascensa in Venice. I will be
answerable with my life for her singing, and her doing credit to
my recommendation. She has, even during this short period,
derived much profit from me, and how much further progress she
will have made by that time! I have no fears either with regard
to her acting. If this plan be realized, M. Weber, his two
daughters, and I, will have the happiness of visiting my dear
papa and dear sister for a fortnight, on our way through
Salzburg. My sister will find a friend and companion in Madlle.
Weber, for, like my sister in Salzburg, she enjoys the best
reputation here, owing to the careful way in which she has been
brought up; the father resembles you, and the whole family that
of Mozart. They have indeed detractors, as with us, but when it
comes to the point they must confess the truth; and truth lasts
longest. I should be glad to go with them to Salzburg, that you
might hear her. My air that De' Amicis used to sing, and the
bravura aria "Parto m' affretto," and "Dalla sponda tenebrosa,"
she sings splendidly. Pray do all you can to insure our going to
Italy together. You know my greatest desire is--to write operas.

I will gladly write an opera for Verona for thirty zecchini,
solely that Madlle. Weber may acquire fame by it; for, if I do
not, I fear she may be sacrificed. Before then I hope to make so
much money by visiting different places that I shall be no loser.
I think we shall go to Switzerland, perhaps also to Holland; pray
write to me soon about this. Should we stay long anywhere, the
eldest daughter [Josepha, afterwards Madaine Hofer, for whom the
part of the Queen of the Night in the "Flauto magico" was
written] would be of the greatest use to us; for we could have
our own menage, as she understands cooking.

Send me an answer soon, I beg. Don't forget my wish to write an
opera; I envy every person who writes one; I could almost weep
from vexation when I hear or see an aria. But Italian, not
German--seria, not buffa! I have now written you all that is in
my heart; my mother is satisfied with my plan.

The mother, however, adds the following postscript:--

"No doubt you perceive by the accompanying letter that when
Wolfgang makes new friends he would give his life for them. It is
true that she does sing incomparably; still, we ought not to lose
sight of our own interests. I never liked his being in the
society of Wendling and Ramm, but I did not venture to object to
it, nor would he have listened to me; but no sooner did he know
these Webers than he instantly changed his mind. In short, he
prefers other people to me, for I remonstrate with him sometimes,
and that he does not like. I write this quite secretly while he
is at dinner, for I don't wish him to know it."

A few days later Wolfgang urges his father still more strongly.


Mannheim, Feb. 7, 1778.

HERR SCHIEDENHOFEN might have let me know long ago through you
that his wedding was soon to take place [see Nos. 7, 10, 19], and
I would have composed a new minuet for the occasion. I cordially
wish him joy; but his is, after all, only one of those money
matches, and nothing else! I hope never to marry in this way; I
wish to make my wife happy, but not to become rich by her means;
so I will let things alone, and enjoy my golden freedom till I am
so well off that I can support both wife and children. Herr
Schiedenhofen was forced to choose a rich wife; his title imposed
this on him. The nobility must not marry for love or from
inclination, but from interest, and all kinds of other
considerations. It would not at all suit a grandee to love his
wife after she had done her duty, and brought into the world an
heir to the property. But we poor humble people are privileged
not only to choose a wife who loves us, and whom we love, but we
may, can, and do take such a one, because we are neither noble,
nor highborn, nor rich, but, on the contrary, lowly, humble, and
poor; we therefore need no wealthy wife, for our riches being in
our heads, die with us, and these no man can deprive us of unless
he cut them off, in which case we need nothing more.

I lately wrote to you my chief reason for not going to Paris with
these people, but another is that I have reflected well on what I
have to do in Paris. I could not get on passably without pupils,
which is a kind of work that does not suit me--of this I have a
strong example here. I might have had two pupils: I went three
times to each, but finding one of them not at home, I never went
back. I am willing to give lessons out of complaisance,
especially when I see genius, and inclination and anxiety to
learn; but to be obliged to go to a house at a certain hour, or
else to wait at home, is what I cannot submit to, if I were to
gain twice what I do. I find it impossible, so must leave it to
those who can do nothing but play the piano. I am a composer, and
born to become a Kapellmeister, and I neither can nor ought thus
to bury the talent for composition with which God has so richly
endowed me (I may say this without arrogance, for I feel it now
more than ever); and this I should do were I to take many pupils,
for it is a most unsettled metier; and I would rather, SO TO
SPEAK, neglect the piano than composition, for I look on the
piano to be only a secondary consideration, though, thank God! a
very strong one too. My third reason is, that I am by no means
sure our friend Grimm is in Paris. If he is, I can go there at
any time with the post-carriage, for a capital one travels from
here to Paris by Strassburg. We intended at all events to have
gone by it. They travel also in this way. Herr Wendling is
inconsolable at my not going with them, but I believe this
proceeds more from self-interest than from friendship. Besides
the reason I gave him (about the three letters that had come
during my absence), I also told him about the pupils, and begged
him to procure something certain for me, in which case I would be
only too glad to follow him to Paris, (for I can easily do so,)--
above all, if I am to write an opera, which is always in my
thoughts; but French rather than German, and Italian rather than
French or German. The Wendlings, one and all, are of opinion that
my compositions would please much in Paris. I have no fears on
the subject, for, as you know, I can pretty well adapt or conform
myself to any style of composition. Shortly after my arrival I
composed a French song for Madlle. Gustel (the daughter), who
gave me the words, and she sings it inimitably. I have the
pleasure to enclose it for you. It is sung every day at
Wendling's, for they are quite infatuated with it.


Mannheim, Feb. 14, 1778.

I PERCEIVE by your letter of the 9th of February that you have
not yet received my last two letters. Wendling and Kamm leave
this early to-morrow morning. If I thought that you would be
really displeased with me for not going to Paris with them, I
should repent having stayed here; but I hope it is not so. The
road to Paris is still open to me. Wendling has promised to
inquire immediately about Herr Grimm, and to send me information
at once. With such a friend in Paris, I certainly shall go there,
for no doubt he will bring something to bear for me. The main
cause of my not going with them is, that we have not been able to
arrange about mamma returning to Augsburg. The journey will not
cost much, for there are vetturini here who can be engaged at a
cheap rate. By that time, however, I hope to have made enough to
pay mamma's journey home. Just now I don't really see that it is
possible. Herr de Jean sets off to-morrow for Paris, and as I
have only finished two concertos and three quartets for him, he
sent me 96 florins (having made a mistake of four florins,
thinking this sum the half of the 200); he must, however, pay me
in full, for such was the agreement I made with Wendling, and I
can send him the other pieces. It is not surprising that I have
been unable to finish them, for I never have a single quiet hour
here. I can only write at night, so I cannot rise early; besides,
one is not always disposed to work. I could, to be sure, scrawl
away all day, but a thing of this kind goes forth to the world,
and I am resolved not to have cause to be ashamed of my name on
the title-page. Moreover, you know that I become quite obtuse
when obliged to write perpetually for an instrument that I cannot
bear; so from time to time I do something else, such as duets for
the piano and violin, and I also worked at the mass. Now I have
begun the pianoforte duets in good earnest, in order to publish
them. If the Elector were only here, I would very quickly finish
the mass; but what must be must be!

I am very grateful to you, dear papa, for your fatherly letter; I
will preserve it as a treasure, and always refer to it. Pray do
not forget about my mother's journey from Augsburg to Salzburg,
and let me know the precise day; and I beg you will also remember
the arias I mentioned in my last letter. If I recollect rightly,
there are also some cadenzas which I once jotted down, and at all
events an aria cantabile with coloraturas? I wish to have these
first, for they will serve as exercises for Madlle. Weber. I have
just taught her an andantino cantabile of Bach's. Yesterday there
was a concert at Cannabich's, where from first to last all the
music was of my composition, except the first symphony, which was
Cannabich's. Madlle. Rose played my concerto in B, then Herr Ramm
(by way of a change) played for the fifth time the hautboy
concerto dedicated to Ferlendi, which makes a great sensation
here. It is now quite Ramm's cheval de bataille. Madlle. Weber
sang De' Amicis's aria di bravura quite charmingly. Then I played
my old concerto in D, because it is such a favorite here, and
likewise extemporized for half an hour, after which Madlle. Weber
sang De' Amicis's air, "Parto m' affretto;" and, as a finale, my
symphony "Il Re Pastore" was given. I do entreat you urgently to
interest yourself in Madlle. Weber; it would make me so happy if
good-fortune were to attend her. Husband and wife, five children,
and a salary of 450 florins! Don't forget about Italy, and my
desire to go there; you know my strong wish and passion. I hope
all may go right. I place my trust in God, who will never forsake
us. Now farewell, and don't forget all my requests and

These letters alarmed the father exceedingly, so he wrote a long
and very earnest letter to his son as follows:--"The object of
your journey was to assist your parents, and to contribute to
your dear sister's welfare, but, above all, that you might
acquire honor and fame in the world, which you in some degree did
in your boyhood; and now it rests entirely with you to raise
yourself by degrees to one of the highest positions ever attained
by any musician. This is a duty you owe to a kind Providence in
return for the remarkable talents with which He has gifted you;
and it depends wholly on your own good sense and good conduct,
whether you become a commonplace artist whom the world will
forget, or a celebrated Capellmeister, of whom posterity will
read hereafter in books,--whether, infatuated with some pretty
face, you one day breathe your last on a straw sack, your wife
and children in a state of starvation, or, after a well-spent
Christian life, die peacefully in honor and independence, and
your family well provided for." He goes on to represent to him
how little he has hitherto fulfilled the object of his journey,
and, above all, the folly of wishing to place so young a girl on
the Italian stage as a prima donna, both time and great training
being previously required. Moreover, it would be quite unworthy
of him to wander about the world with strangers, and to compose
at random merely for money. "Get off to Paris without delay. Take
your place by the side of really great people. Aut Caesar aut
nihil. The very idea of Paris should have guarded you from all
passing fancies."

To this Wolfgang replies:--


Mannheim, Feb. 19, 1778.

I ALWAYS thought that you would disapprove of my journey with the
Webers, but I never had any such intention--I mean, UNDER PRESENT
CIRCUMSTANCES. I gave them my word of honor to write to you to
that effect. Herr Weber does not know how we stand, and I
certainly shall tell it to no one. I wish my position had been
such that I had no cause to consider any one else, and that we
were all independent; but in the intoxication of the moment I
forgot the present impossibility of the affair, and also to tell
you what I had done. The reasons of my not being now in Paris
must be evident to you from my last two letters. If my mother had
not first begun on the subject, I certainly would have gone with
my friends; but when I saw that she did not like it, I began to
dislike it also. When people lose confidence in me, I am apt to
lose confidence in myself. The days when, standing on a stool, I
sang Oragna fiaguta fa, [Footnote: Words sounding like Italian,
but devoid of meaning, for which he had invented a melody. Nissen
gives it in his Life of Mozart, p. 35.] and at the end kissed the
tip of your nose, are indeed gone by; but still, have my
reverence, love, and obedience towards yourself ever failed on
that account? I say no more. As for your reproach about the
little singer in Munich [see No. 62], I must confess that I was
an ass to write such a complete falsehood. She does not as yet
know even what singing means. It was true that, for a person who
had only learned music for three months, she sang surprisingly;
and, besides, she has a pleasing pure voice. The reason why I
praised her so much was probably my hearing people say, from
morning to night, "There is no better singer in all Europe; those
who have not heard her have heard nothing." I did not venture to
disagree with them, partly because I wished to acquire friends,
and partly because I had come direct from Salzburg, where we are
not in the habit of contradicting any one; but as soon as I was
alone I never could help laughing. Why, then, did I not laugh at
her in my letter to you? I really cannot tell.

The bitter way in which you write about my merry and innocent
intercourse with your brother's daughter, makes me justly
indignant; but as it is not as you think, I require to give you
no answer on the subject. I don't know what to say about
Wallerstein; I was very grave and reserved with Becke, and at the
officers' table also I had a very serious demeanor, not saying
one word to anybody. But let this all pass; you only wrote it in
a moment of irritation [see No. 74]. Your remarks about Madlle.
Weber are just; but at the time I wrote to you I knew quite as
well as you that she is still too young, and must be first taught
how to act, and must rehearse frequently on the stage. But with
some people one must proceed step by step. These good people are
as tired of being here as--you know WHO and WHERE, [meaning the
Mozarts, father and son, in Salzburg,] and they think everything
feasible. I promised them to write everything to my father; but
when the letter was sent off to Salzburg, I constantly told her
that she must have a little patience, for she was still rather
too young, &c. They take in all I say in good part, for they have
a high opinion of me. By my advice, Herr Weber has engaged
Madlle. Toscani (an actress) to give his daughter lessons in
acting. All you write of Madlle. Weber is true, except, that she
sings like a Gabrielli, [see Nos. 10, 37,] for I should not at
all like her to sing in that style. Those who have heard
Gabrielli say, and must say, that she was only an adept in runs
and roulades; but as she adopted so uncommon a reading, she
gained admiration, which, however, did not last longer than
hearing her four times. She could not please in the long run, for
roulades soon become very tiresome, and she had the misfortune of
not being able to sing. She was not capable of sustaining a breve
properly, and having no messa di voce, she could not dwell on her
notes; in short, she sang with skill, but devoid of intelligence.
Madlle. Weber's singing, on the contrary, goes to the heart, and
she prefers a cantabile. I have lately made her practise the
passages in the Grand Aria, because, if she goes to Italy, it is
necessary that she should sing bravuras. The cantabile she
certainly will never forget, being her natural bent. Raaff (who
is no flatterer), when asked to give his sincere opinion, said,
"She does not sing like a scholar, but like a professor."

So now you know everything. I do still recommend her to you with
my whole heart, and I beg you will not forget about the arias,
cadenzas, &c. I can scarcely write from actual hunger. My mother
will display the contents of our large money-box. I embrace my
sister lovingly. She is not to lament about every trifle, or I
will never come back to her.


Mannheim, Feb. 22, 1778.

I HAVE been now two days confined to the house, and taking
antispasmodics, black powders, and elderflower tea as a
sudorific, because I have had a catarrh, a cold in my head, sore
throat, headache, pains in my eyes, and earache; but, thank God,
I am now better, and hope to be able to go out tomorrow, being
Sunday. I got your letter of the 16th and the two unsealed
letters of introduction for Paris. I rejoice that my French song
pleases you [see No. 92]. You must forgive my not writing much
this time, but I really cannot--I am so afraid of bringing back
my headache, and, besides, I feel no inclination to write to-day.
It is impossible to write all we think--at least, I find it to be
so. I would rather say it than write it. My last letter told you
the whole thing just as it stands. Believe what you please of me,
only nothing bad. There are people who think no one can love a
poor girl without evil designs. But I am no Brunetti [a violinist
in Salzburg], no Misliweczeck. I am a Mozart; and, though young,
still a high-principled Mozart. Pardon me if, in my eagerness, I
become somewhat excited--which is, I suppose, the term, though I
might rather say, if I write as I feel. I might have said a great
deal on this subject, but I cannot--I feel it to be impossible.
Among my many faults I have also that of believing that those
friends who know me, do so thoroughly. Then many words are not
necessary; and if they do not know me, oh! how could I find words
sufficient? It is painful enough to employ words and letters for
such a purpose. This, however, is not at all meant to apply to
you, dearest papa. No! You understand me too well, and you are
too kind to try to deprive any one of his good name. I only meant
it for--you can guess to whom I allude--to people who can believe
such a thing.

I have resolved to stay in the house to-day, although Sunday, as
it is snowing heavily. To-morrow I must go out, for our "house-
nymph," Madlle. Pierron, my highly esteemed pupil, who has
usually a French concert every Monday, intends to scramble
through my hochgrafliche Litzau concerto. I also mean, for my
sins, to let them give me something to hack away at, and show
that I can do something too prima fista; for I am a regular
greenhorn, and all I can do is to strum a little on the piano! I
must now conclude, being more disposed to-day to write music than
letters. Don't forget the cadenzas and the cantabile. Many thanks
for having had the arias written out so quickly, for it shows
that you place confidence in me when I beg a favor of you.


Mannheim, Feb. 28, 1778.

I HOPE to receive the arias next Friday or Saturday, although in
your last letter you made no further mention of them, so I don't
know whether you sent them off on the 22d by the post-carriage. I
hope so, for I should like to play and sing them to Madlle.
Weber. I was yesterday at Raafl's to take him an aria that I
lately wrote for him [Kochel, No. 295]. The words are--"Se al
labbro mio non credi, nemica mia." I don't think they are by
Metastasio. The aria pleased him beyond all measure. It is
necessary to be very particular with a man of this kind. I chose
these words expressly, because he had already composed an aria
for them, so of course he can sing it with greater facility, and
more agreeably to himself. I told him to say honestly if it did
not suit his voice or please him, for I would alter it if he
wished, or write another. "Heaven forbid!" said he; "it must
remain just as it is, for nothing can be more beautiful. I only
wish you to curtail it a little, for I am no longer able to
sustain my voice through so long a piece." "Most gladly," I
answered, "as much as ever you please; I made it purposely rather
long, for it is always easy to shorten, but not so easy to
lengthen." After he had sung the second part, he took off his
spectacles, and, looking at me deliberately, said, "Beautiful!
beautiful! This second part is quite charming;" and he sang it
three times. When I went away he cordially thanked me, while I
assured him that I would so arrange the aria that he would
certainly like to sing it. I think an aria should fit a singer as
accurately as a well-made coat. I have also, for practice,
arranged the air "Non so d' onde viene" which has been so
charmingly composed by Bach. Just because I know that of Bach so
well, and it pleases me and haunts my ear, I wished to try if, in
spite of all this, I could succeed in writing an aria totally
unlike the other. And, indeed, it does not in the very least
resemble it. I at first intended this aria for Raaff; but the
beginning seemed to me too high for Raaff's voice, but it pleased
me so much that I would not alter it; and from the orchestral
accompaniment, too, I thought it better suited to a soprano. I
therefore resolved to write it for Madlle. Weber. I laid it
aside, and took the words "Se al labbro" for Raaff. But all in
vain, for I could write nothing else, as the first air always
came back into my head; so I returned to it, with the intention
of making it exactly in accordance with Madlle. Weber's voice. It
is andante sostenuto, (preceded by a short recitative,) then
follows the other part, Nel seno destarmi, and after this the
sostenuto again. When it was finished, I said to Madlle. Weber,
"Learn the air by yourself, sing it according to your own taste,
then let me hear it, and I will afterwards tell you candidly what
pleases and what displeases me."

In the course of a couple of days I went to see her, when she
sang it for me and accompanied herself, and I was obliged to
confess that she had sung it precisely as I could have wished,
and as I would have taught it to her myself. This is now the best
aria that she has, and will insure her success whereever she
goes. [Footnote: This wonderfully beautiful aria is appended to
my Life of Mozart.--Stuttgart, Bruckmaun, 1863.] Yesterday at
Wendling's I sketched the aria I promised his wife [Madame
Wendling was a fine singer], with a short recitative. The words
were chosen by himself from "Didone": "Ah non lasciarmi no." She
and her daughter quite rave about this air. I promised the
daughter also some French ariettes, one of which I began to-day.
I think with delight of the Concert Spirituel in Paris, for
probably I shall be desired to compose something for it. The
orchestra is said to be good and numerous, so my favorite style
of composition can be well given there--I mean choruses, and I am
very glad to hear that the French place so much value on this
class of music. The only fault found with Piccini's [Gluck's
well-known rival] new opera "Roland" is that the choruses are too
meagre and weak, and the music also a little monotonous;
otherwise it was universally liked. In Paris they are accustomed
to hear nothing but Gluck's choruses. Only place confidence in
me; I shall strive with all my might to do honor to the name of
Mozart. I have no fears at all on the subject.

My last letters must have shown you HOW THINGS ARE, and WHAT I
REALLY MEANT. I do entreat of you never to allow the thought to
cross your mind that I can ever forget you, for I cannot bear
such an idea. My chief aim is, and always will be, to endeavor
that we may meet soon and happily, but we must have patience. You
know even better than I do that things often take a perverse
turn, but they will one day go straight--only patience! Let us
place our trust in God, who will never forsake us. I shall not be
found wanting; how can you possibly doubt me? Surely it concerns
me also to work with all my strength, that I may have the
pleasure and the happiness (the sooner the better, too) of
embracing from my heart my dearest and kindest father. But, lo
and behold! nothing in this world is wholly free from interested
motives. If war should break out in Bavaria, I do hope you will
come and join me at once. I place faith in three friends--and
they are powerful and invincible ones--namely, God, and your head
and mine. Our heads are, indeed, very different, but each in its
own way is good, serviceable, and useful; and in time I hope mine
may by degrees equal yours in that class of knowledge in which
you at present surpass me. Farewell! Be merry and of good cheer!
Remember that you have a son who never intentionally failed in
his filial duty towards you, and who will strive to become daily
more worthy of so good a father.

After these frank confessions, which would, he knew, restore the
previous good understanding between him and his father, Mozart's
genuine good heart was so relieved and lightened, that the
natural balance of his mind, which had for some weeks past been
entirely destroyed, was speedily restored, and his usual lively
humor soon began to revive. Indeed, his old delight in doggerel
rhymes and all kinds of silly puns seems to return. He indulges
fully in these in a letter to his Basle (cousin), which is
undoubtedly written just after the previous one.


Mannheim, Feb. 28, 1778.


You perhaps think or believe that I must be dead? Not at all! I
beg you will not think so, for how could I write so beautifully
if I were dead? Could such a thing be possible? I do not attempt
to make any excuses for my long silence, for you would not
believe me if I did. But truth is truth; I have had so much to do
that though I have had time to think of my cousin, I have had no
time to write to her, so I was obliged to let it alone. But at
last I have the honor to inquire how you are, and how you fare?
If we soon shall have a talk? If you write with a lump of chalk?
If I am sometimes in your mind? If to hang yourself you're
inclined? If you're angry with me, poor fool? If your wrath
begins to cool?--Oh! you are laughing! VICTORIA! I knew you could
not long resist me, and in your favor would enlist me. Yes! yes!
I know well how this is, though I'm in ten days off to Paris. If
you write to me from pity, do so soon from Augsburg city, so that
I may get your letter, which to me would be far better.

Now let us talk of other things. Were you very merry during the
Carnival? They are much gayer at Augsburg at that time than here.
I only wish I had been there that I might have frolicked about
with you. Mamma and I send our love to your father and mother,
and to our cousin, and hope they are well and happy; better so,
so better! A propos, how goes on your French? May I soon write
you a French letter? from Paris, I suppose?

Now, before I conclude, which I must soon do because I am in
haste, (having just at this moment nothing to do,) and also have
no more room, as you see my paper is done, and I am very tired,
and my fingers tingling from writing so much, and lastly, even if
I had room, I don't know what I could say, except, indeed, a
story which I have a great mind to tell you. So listen! It is not
long since it happened, and in this very country too, where it
made a great sensation, for really it seemed almost incredible,
and, indeed, between ourselves, no one yet knows the result of
the affair. So, to be brief, about four miles from here--I can't
remember the name of the place, but it was either a village or a
hamlet, or something of that kind. Well, after all, it don't much
signify whether it was called Triebetrill or Burmsquick; there is
no doubt that it was some place or other. There a shepherd or
herdsman lived, who was pretty well advanced in years, but still
looked strong and robust; he was unmarried and well-to-do, and
lived happily. But before telling you the story, I must not
forget to say that this man had a most astounding voice when he
spoke; he terrified people when he spoke! Well! to make my tale
as short as possible, you must know that he had a dog called
Bellot, a very handsome large dog, white with black spots. Well!
this shepherd was going along with his sheep, for he had a flock
of eleven thousand under his care, and he had a staff in his
hand, with a pretty rose-colored topknot of ribbons, for he never
went out without his staff; such was his invariable custom. Now
to proceed; being tired, after having gone a couple of miles, he
sat down on a bank beside a river to rest. At last he fell
asleep, when he dreamt that he had lost all his sheep, and this
fear awoke him, but to his great joy he saw his flock close
beside him. At length he got up again and went on, but not for
long; indeed, half an hour could scarcely have elapsed, when he
came to a bridge which was very long, but with a parapet on both
sides to prevent any one falling into the river. Well; he looked
at his flock, and as he was obliged to cross the bridge, he began
to drive over his eleven thousand sheep. Now be so obliging as to
wait till the eleven thousand sheep are all safely across, and
then I will finish the story. I already told you that the result
is not yet known; I hope, however, that by the time I next write
to you, all the sheep will have crossed the bridge; but if not,
why should I care? So far as I am concerned, they might all have
stayed on this side. In the meantime you must accept the story so
far as it goes; what I really know to be true I have written, and
it is better to stop now than to tell you what is false, for in
that case you would probably have discredited the whole, whereas
now you will only disbelieve one half.

I must conclude, but don't think me rude; he who begins must
cease, or the world would have no peace. My compliments to every
friend, welcome to kiss me without end, forever and a day, till
good sense comes my way; and a fine kissing that will be, which
frightens you as well as me. Adieu, ma chere cousine! I am, I
was, I have been, oh! that I were, would to heavens I were! I
will or shall be, would, could, or should be--what?--A blockhead!
W. A. M.


Mannheim, March 7, 1778.

I have received your letter on the 26th February, and am much
obliged to you for all the trouble you have taken about the
arias, which are quite accurate in every respect. "Next to God
comes papa" was my axiom when a child, and I still think the
same. You are right when you say that "knowledge is power";
besides, except your trouble and fatigue, you will have no cause
for regret, as Madlle. Weber certainly deserves your kindness. I
only wish that you could hear her sing my new aria which I lately
mentioned to you,--I say, hear her sing it, because it seems made
expressly for her; a man like you who really understands what
portamento in singing means, would certainly feel the most
intense pleasure in hearing her. When I am happily settled in
Paris, and our circumstances, please God, improved, and we are
all more cheerful and in better humor, I will write you my
thoughts more fully, and ask you to do me a great kindness. I
must now tell you I was so shocked that tears came to my eyes, on
reading in your last letter that you are obliged to go about so
shabbily dressed. My very dearest papa, this is certainly not my
fault; you know it is not. We economize in every possible way
here; food and lodging, wood and light, cost us nothing, which is
all we could hope for. As for dress, you are well aware that, in
places where you are not known, it is out of the question to be
badly dressed, for appearances must be kept up.

My whole hopes are now centred in Paris, for German princes are
all niggards. I mean to work with all my strength, that I may
soon have the happiness of extricating you from your present
distressing circumstances.


Mannheim, March. 11, 1778.

I HAVE duly received your letter of the 26th February, and learn
from it with great joy that our best and kindest of all friends,
Baron Grimm [the well-known Encyclopedist, with whom Mozart had
become acquainted during his last visit to France], is now in
Paris. The vetturino has offered to convey us to Paris by Metz
(which, as you probably know, is the shortest route) for eleven
louis-d'or. If to-morrow he agrees to do it for ten, I shall
certainly engage him, and perhaps at eleven, for even then it
will be the cheapest way for us, which is the main point, and
more convenient too, for he will take our carriage--that is, he
will place the body on wheels of his own. The convenience is
great, as we have so many small packages that we can stow away
quite comfortably in our own carriage, which we cannot do in the
DILIGENCE, and besides we shall be alone and able to talk as we
like. But I do assure you that if, after all, we go in the
DILIGENCE, my sole annoyance is the bore of not being able to say
what we choose and wish, though, as it is very necessary that we
should take the cheapest conveyance, I am still rather disposed
to do so.