So let it be. I joyfully hasten to meet death. If it come before I have had opportunity to develop all my artistic faculties, it will come, my hard fate notwithstanding, too soon, and I should probably wish it later—yet even then I shall be happy, for will it not deliver me from a state of endless suffering? Come when thou wilt, I shall face thee courageously. Farewell, and when I am dead do not entirely forget me. This I deserve from you, for during my lifetime I often thought of you, and how to make you happy. Be ye so.
LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN.
Heiligenstadt, October 6, 1802.
TO THERESE VON MALFATTI
You receive herewith, honored Therese, what I promised, and had it not been for serious hindrances you would have received more, in order to show you that I always offer more to my friends than I actually promise. I hope and have every reason to believe that you are nicely occupied and as pleasantly entertained—but I hope not too much, so that you may also think of us. It would probably be expecting too much of you, or overrating my own importance, if I ascribed to you: “Men are not only together when they are together; even he who is far away, who has departed, is still in our thoughts.” Who would ascribe anything of the kind to the lively T., who takes life so easily?
Pray do not forget the pianoforte among your occupations, or, indeed, music generally. You have such fine talent for it. Why not devote yourself entirely to it—you who have such feeling for all that is beautiful and good? Why will you not make use of this, in order that you may recognize in so beautiful an art the higher perfection which casts down its rays even on us. I am very solitary and quiet, although lights now and again might awaken me; but since you all went away from here, I feel in me a void which cannot be filled; my art, even otherwise so faithful to me, has not been able to gain any triumph. Your piano is ordered, and you will soon receive it. What a difference you will have found between the treatment of the theme I improvised one evening, and the way in which I recently wrote it down for you!