[Footnote 1: Fraeulein Giannatasio del Rio, in the journal she sent to the Grenz Boten in 1857, states that Beethoven once declared, “It is very pleasant to associate with the great of the earth, but one must possess some quality which inspires them with respect.”]
[Footnote 2: According to Bettina (see Goethe’s Correspondence with a Child, II. 193), their first acquaintance was made in Beethoven’s apartments.]
Vienna, Dec. 30, 1812.
The dreadful event which deprived you of your husband, Prince von Kinsky, snatching him from his father-land and from all those who love him, as well as from many whom he generously supported, filling every heart capable of appreciating goodness and greatness with the deepest sorrow, affected me also in the most profound and painful degree. The stern duty of self-interest compels me to lay before your Highness a humble petition, the reasonable purport of which may, I hope, plead my excuse for intruding on your Highness at a time when so many affairs of importance claim your attention. Permit me to state the matter to your Highness.
Y.H. is no doubt aware that when I received a summons to Westphalia in the year 1809, his Highness Prince von Kinsky, your late husband, together with his I.H. Archduke Rudolph and H.H. the Prince von Lobkowitz, offered to settle on me for life an annual income of 4000 gulden, provided I declined the proposal in question, and determined to remain in Austria. Although this sum was by no means in proportion to that secured to me in Westphalia, still my predilection for Austria, as well as my sense of this most generous proposal, induced me to accept it without hesitation. The share contributed by H.H. Prince Kinsky consisted of 1800 florins, which I have received by quarterly instalments since 1809 from the Prince’s privy purse. Though subsequent occurrences partially