Your sincerest friend and deaf brother,
TO HERR VON GOETHE
Vienna, April 12, 1811.
The pressing business of a friend of mine, one of your great admirers (as I also am), who is leaving here in a great hurry, gives me only a moment to offer my thanks for the long time I have known you (for I know you from the days of my childhood)—that is very little for so much. Bettina Brentano has assured me that you would receive me in a kindly—yes, indeed friendly, spirit. But how could I think of such a reception, seeing that I am only in a position to approach you with the deepest reverence, with an inexpressibly deep feeling for your noble creations? You will shortly receive from Leipzig, through Breitkopf and Haertel, the music to Egmont, this glorious Egmont, with which I, with the same warmth with which I read it, was again through you impressed by it and set it to music. I should much like to know your opinion of it; even blame will be profitable for me and for my art, and will be as willingly received as the greatest praise.
Your Excellency’s great admirer,
LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN.
TO B. SCHOTT & SON, MAINZ
I only tell you that next week the works will certainly be sent off. You will easily understand, if you only imagine to yourself, that with uncertain copying I have to look through each part separately—for this branch has already decreased here in proportion as tuning has been taken up. Everywhere poverty of spirit—and of purse! Your Cecilia I have not yet received.
The Overture which you had from my brother was performed here a few days ago, and I received high praise for it, etc.—but what is all that in comparison with the great Tone-Master above—above—above—and with right the greatest of all, while here below everything is a mockery—we the little dwarfs are the highest!!!?? You will receive the quartet at the same time as the other works. You are so open and frank—qualities which I have never yet noticed in publishers—and this pleases me. Let us shake hands over it; who knows whether I shall not do that in person and soon! I should be glad if you would now at once forward the honorarium for the quartet to Friess, for I just now want a great deal of money; everything must come to me from abroad, and here and there a delay arises—through my own fault. My brother adds what is necessary about the works offered to, and accepted by, you. I greet you heartily. Junker, as I see from your newspaper, is still living; he was one of the first who noticed me, an innocent and nothing more. Greet him.