Let the bearer of this, Herr Ries, have some easy duets, and, better still, let him have them for nothing. Conduct yourself in accordance with the reformed doctrines. Farewell!
[Footnote 1: Date unknown. Leidesdorf was also a music-seller.]
TO HERR RIES.
Baden, July 14, 1804.
If you can find me better lodgings, I shall be very glad. Tell my brothers not to engage these at once; I have a great desire to get one in a spacious, quiet square or on the Bastei. It it really inexcusable in my brother not to have provided wine, as it is so beneficial and necessary to me. I shall take care to be present at the rehearsal on Wednesday. I am not pleased to hear that it is to be at Schuppanzigh’s. He may well be grateful to me if my impertinences make him thinner! Farewell, dear Ries! We have bad weather here, and I am not safe from visitors; so I must take flight in order to be alone.
Your true friend,
L. V. BEETHOVEN.
TO HERR RIES.
Baden, July, 1804.
As Breuning [see Nos. 13, 14, and 18] by his conduct has not scrupled to display my character to you and the house-steward as that of a mean, petty, base man, I beg you will convey my reply at once in person to Breuning. I answer only one point, the first in his letter, and I do so solely because it is the only mode of justifying myself in your eyes. Say also to him that I had no intention of reproaching him on account of the delay of the notice to quit, and even if Breuning were really to blame for this, our harmonious relations are so dear and precious in my sight, that, for the sake of a few hundreds more or less, I would never subject any friend of mine to vexation. You are aware, indeed, that I jestingly accused you as the cause of the notice arriving too late. I am quite sure that you must remember this. I had entirely forgotten the whole matter, but at dinner my brother began to say that he thought Breuning was to blame in the affair, which I at once denied, saying that you were in fault. I think this shows plainly enough that I attributed no blame to Breuning; but on this he sprang up like a madman, and insisted on sending for the house-steward. Such behavior, in the presence of all those with whom I usually associate, and to which I am wholly unaccustomed, caused me to lose all self-control; so I also started up, upset my chair, left the room, and did not return. This conduct induced Breuning to place me in a pretty light to you and the house-steward, and also to send me a letter which I only answered by silence. I have not another word to say to Breuning. His mode of thinking and of acting, with regard to me, proves that there never ought to have been such friendly intimacy between us, and assuredly it can never more be restored. I wished to make you acquainted with this, as your version of the occurrence degraded both my words and actions. I know that, had you been aware of the real state of the affair, you would not have said what you did, and with this I am satisfied.