I am, sir, your obedient
TO STEPHAN V. BREUNING.
MY DEAR AND MUCH-LOVED STEPHAN,—
May our temporary estrangement be forever effaced by the portrait I now send. I know that I have rent your heart. The emotion which you cannot fail now to see in mine has sufficiently punished me for it. There was no malice towards you in my heart, for then I should be no longer worthy of your friendship. It was passion both on your part and on mine; but mistrust was rife within me, for people had come between us, unworthy both of you and of me.
My portrait was long ago intended for you; you knew that it was destined for some one—and to whom could I give it with such warmth of heart as to you, my faithful, good, and noble Stephan?
Forgive me for having grieved you; but I did not myself suffer less when I no longer saw you near me. I then first keenly felt how dear you were, and ever will be to my heart. Surely you will once more fly to my arms as you formerly did.
[Footnote 1: Schindler places this letter in the summer of 1826, when his nephew attempted self-destruction in Baden, which reduced Beethoven to the most miserable state of mind, and brought afresh to his recollection those dear friends of his youth, whom he seemed almost to have forgotten in the society of Holz and his colleagues. Schindler states that the more immediate cause of this estrangement was Breuning having tried to dissuade him from adopting his nephew. Dr. v. Breuning in Vienna is of opinion that the reunion of the two old friends had already occurred in 1825, or even perhaps at an earlier period. I am not at present capable of finally deciding on this discrepancy, but I believe the latter assertion to be correct.]
[Footnote 2: Schindler says, “It was Stieler’s lithograph, which the maestro had previously sent to Dr. Wegeler.” See No. 459.]
TO STEPHAN VON BREUNING.
MY BELOVED FRIEND,—
You are harassed by work, and so am I—besides, I am still far from well. I would have invited you to dinner ere this, but I have been obliged to entertain people whose most highly prized author is the cook, and not finding his interesting productions at home, they hunt after them in the kitchens and cellars of others [Holz for instance]. Such society would not be very eligible for you, but all this will