Monday, August 31, 2009

Beethoven to His Immortal Beloved


Letter 1

July 6, in the morning
My angel, my all, my very self -
     Only a few words today and at that with pencil (with yours) - Not till tomorrow will my lodgings be definitely determined upon - what a useless waste of time -
     Why this deep sorrow when necessity speaks - can our love endure except through sacrifices, through not demanding everything from one another; can you change the fact that you are not wholly mine, I not wholly thine -
     Oh God, look out into the beauties of nature and comfort your heart with that which must be -
     Love demands everything and that very justly - thus it is to me with you, and to you with me.
     But you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were wholly united you would feel the pain of it as little as I -
     My journey was a fearful one; I did not reach here until 4 o'clock yesterday morning. Lacking horses the post-coach chose another route, but what an awful one; at the stage before the last I was warned not to travel at night; I was made fearful of a forest, but that only made me the more eager - and I was wrong.
     The coach must needs break down on the wretched road, a bottomless mud road.
     Without such postilions as I had with me I should have remained stuck in the road.
     Esterhazy, traveling the usual road here, had the same fate with eight horses that I had with four - Yet I got some pleasure out of it, as I always do when I successfully overcome difficulties -
     Now a quick change to things internal from things external.
     We shall surely see each other soon; moreover, today I cannot share with you the thoughts I have had during these last few days touching my own life -
     If our hearts were always close together, I would have none of these.
     My heart is full of so many things to say to you - ah - there are moments when I feel that speech amounts to nothing at all -
     Cheer up - remain my true, my only treasure, my all as I am yours.
     The gods must send us the rest, what for us must and shall be -
Your faithful LUDWIG
                 Letter 2

Evening, Monday, July 6

     You are suffering, my dearest creature - only now have I learned that letters must be posted very early in the morning on Mondays to Thursdays - the only days on which the mail-coach goes from here to K. -
     You are suffering -
     Ah, wherever I am, there you are also - I will arrange it with you and me that I can live with you.
     What a life!!! thus!!! without you - pursued by the goodness of mankind hither and thither - which I as little want to deserve as I deserve it -
     Humility of man towards man - it pains me - and when I consider myself in relation to the universe, what am I and what is He - whom we call the greatest - and yet - herein lies the divine in man -
     I weep when I reflect that you will probably not receive the first report from me until Saturday -
     Much as you love me - I love you more -
     But do not ever conceal yourself from me - good night -
     As I am taking the baths I must go to bed -
     Oh God - so near! so far!
     Is not our love truly a heavenly structure, and also as firm as the vault of heaven?





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