Wolfgang’s pleasantries, in the following; letter to his cousin, show that his good humor was fully restored. He was received at home with very great rejoicings, and his cousin soon followed him.
Salzburg, May 10, 1779.
Dearest, sweetest, most beauteous, fascinating, and charming of all cousins, most basely maltreated by an unworthy kinsman! Allow me to strive to soften and appease your just wrath, which only heightens your charms and winning beauty, as high as the heel of your slipper! I hope to soften you, Nature having bestowed on me a large amount of softness, and to appease you, being fond of sweet pease. As to the Leipzig affair, I can’t tell whether it may be worth stooping to pick up; were it a bag of ringing coin, it would be a very different thing, and nothing less do I mean to accept, so there is an end of it.
Sweetest cousin, such is life! One man has got a purse, but another has got the money, and he who has neither has nothing; and nothing is even less than little; while, on the other hand, much is a great deal more than nothing, and nothing can come of nothing. Thus has it been from the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; and as I can make it neither worse nor better, I may as well conclude my letter. The gods know I am sincere. How does Probst get on with his wife? and do they live in bliss or in strife? most silly questions, upon my life! Adieu, angel! My father sends you his uncle’s blessing, and a thousand cousinly kisses from my sister. Angel, adieu!
A tender Ode. [Footnote: A parody of Klopstock’s “Dein susses Bild, Edone”]
To my cousin.
Thy sweet image, cousin mine,
Hovers aye before me; Would the form indeed were thine!
How I would adore thee! I see it at the day’s decline; I see it
through the pale moonshine, And linger o’er that form divine
By all the flowers of sweet perfume
I’ll gather for my cousin,—By all the wreaths of myrtle-bloom
I’ll wreathe her by the dozen,—I call upon that image there To
pity my immense despair, And be indeed my cousin fair
[Footnote: These words are written round the slightly sketched caricature of a face.]
November 1780 to January 1781.
Mozart now remained stationary at Salzburg till the autumn of 1780, highly dissatisfied at being forced to waste his youthful days in inactivity, and in such an obscure place, but still as busy as ever. A succession of grand instrumental compositions were the fruits of this period: two masses, some vespers, the splendid music for “Konig Thamos,” and the operetta “Zaide” for Schikaneder. At length, however, to his very great joy, a proposal was made to him from Munich to write a grand opera