But there on the table gleamed a beautiful
hair-net, thy gift,
Costly handwork of Byssos, spangled with golden bees.
This, when next in the flowery festal season
We shall worship the glorious child of Demeter,
This will I offer to her for thy and my sake,
So may she favor us both (for she much availeth),
That no mourning lock thou untimely sever
From thy beloved head for thy poor Erinna.
* * * * *
A ROMANCE OF HIS PRIVATE LIFE
BY EDUARD MOeRIKE
TRANSLATED BY FLORENCE LEONARD
In the fall of the year 1787 Mozart and his wife undertook a journey to Prague, where he was to finish and bring out his masterpiece, Don Juan.
Eleven o’clock of the fourteenth of September found them well on their way and in the best of spirits. They had been traveling two days, and were about one hundred and twenty miles from Vienna, among the beautiful Maehrische mountains. The splendid coach, drawn by three post-horses, belonged to an elderly Frau Volkstett, wife of General Volkstett, who prided herself on her intimacy with the Mozarts and on the favors she had shown them. The carriage was painted a bright yellowish-red, the body adorned with garlands of gay-colored flowers, the wheels finished with narrow stripes of gold. The high top was fitted with stiff leather curtains, now drawn back and fastened.
The dress of the travelers was simple, for the new clothes to be worn at court were carefully packed in the trunk. Mozart wore an embroidered waistcoat of a somewhat faded blue, his ordinary brown coat—with a row of large, curiously fashioned gilt buttons—black silk stockings and small-clothes, and shoes with gilt buckles. As the day grew warm, unusually warm for September, he had taken off both hat and coat and was sitting in his shirt-sleeves, bare headed, serenely chatting. His thick hair, drawn back into a braid, was powdered even more carelessly than usual.
Frau Mozart’s hair, a wealth of light brown curls, never disfigured by powder, fell, half unfastened, upon her shoulders. She wore a traveling-suit of striped stuff—light green and white.
They were slowly ascending a gentle slope, where rich fields alternated with long stretches of woodland, when Mozart exclaimed: “How many woods we have passed every day of our journey, and I hardly noticed them, much less thought of going into them! Postilion, stop and let your horses rest a bit, while we get some of those blue-bells yonder in the shade!”
As they rose to leave the coach they became aware of a slight accident for which the master had to take the blame. Through his carelessness a bottle of choice perfume had lost its cork, and its contents had run, unperceived, over clothing and carriage cushions. “I might have known it,” lamented Frau Mozart, “I have smelled it this long while! Oh dear! A whole bottle of real ‘Rosee d’Aurore!’ I was as careful of it as if it had been gold!”