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TRANSLATED BY J.S. SHEDLOCK
TO DR. FRANZ WEGELER IN VIENNA
My dearest, my best one!
What a horrid picture you have drawn to me of myself. I recognize it; I do not deserve your friendship. You are so noble, so kindly disposed, and now for the first time I do not dare to compare myself with you; I have fallen far below you. Alas! for weeks I have given pain to my best, my noblest friends. You believe I have ceased to be kind-hearted, but, thank heaven, ’tis not so! It was not intentional, thought-out malice on my part, which caused me to act thus; but my unpardonable thoughtlessness, which prevented me from seeing the matter in the right light. I am thoroughly ashamed for your sake, also for mine. I scarcely venture to beg you to restore your friendship. Ah, Wegeler! My only consolation is that you knew me almost from my childhood, and—oh! let me say it myself—I was really always of good disposition, and in my dealings always strove to be upright and honest; how, otherwise, could you have loved me! Could I, then, in so short a time have suddenly changed so terribly, so greatly to my disadvantage? Impossible that these feelings for what is great and good should all of a sudden become extinct! My Wegeler, dear and best one, venture once again to come to the arms of your B. Trust to the good qualities which you formerly found in him. I will vouch for it that the pure temple of holy friendship which you will erect on them will forever stand firm; no chance event, no storm will be able to shake its foundations—firm—eternal—our friendship—forgiveness—forgetting—revival of dying, sinking friendship. Oh, Wegeler! do not cast off this hand of reconciliation; place your hand in mine—O God!—but no more! I myself come to you and throw myself in your arms, and sue for the lost friend, and you will give yourself to me full of contrition, who loves and ever will be mindful of you.
I have just received your letter on my return home.
TO THE COMPOSER J.N. HUMMEL
(Vienna, circa 1799)
Do not come any more to me. You are a false fellow, and the hangman take all such!
TO THE SAME
(The next day)
Good Friend Nazerl:
You are an honorable fellow, and I see you were right. So come this afternoon to me. You will also find Schuppanzigh, and both of us will blow you up, thump you, and shake you; so you will have a fine time of it.
Your Beethoven, also named Mehlschoeberl, embraces you.