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[Autograph in the possession of Professor Hermann Scholtz in Dresden.]
I am shockingly behindhand with you, my dear Freund, but I won't make any excuses, although an illness of more than a month comes rather a propos to justify me fully and even more.
Herewith letters and cards for Baron Lannoy (Haslinger will give you the address), for Prince Fritz Schwarzenberg, and for Doctor Uwe, Kriehuber, and Simon Lowy, who will soon be back in Vienna.
I shall be glad if you will give them in any case, whether now or later. If you want to give me a pleasure you will go and see my uncle Eduard Liszt, and try to distract him a little.
I detest repeating myself in letters so much that I can't write over again to you my plans of travel up to the beginning of winter; these I have just told Kroll in full, and you already know them from Hanover.
Teleky, Bethlen (Friends of Liszt's), and Corracioni are here, and form a kind of colony which I call the Tribe of the Huns!
Probably Teleky will come and pick me up at Weymar towards the middle of February, and we shall go together to Vienna and Pest-- not forgetting Temesvar, Debreczin, and Klausenburg!
I hope then to find you in Vienna, and shall perhaps be able to give you a good lift.
Meanwhile acknowledge the receipt of these lines: enjoy yourself, and remain to me always friend Freund. [A play on his name Freund, which means friend.]
Yours most sincerely and affectionately,
Port Marly, June 11th, 1844.
40. To Franz Von Schober.
Gibraltar, March 3rd, 1845.
Your letter pleases me like a child, my dear good Schober!
Everything comes to him who can wait. But I scarcely can wait to congratulate you and to see you again in Weymar [as Councillor of Legation there]. Unhappily it is not probable that I can get there before the end of next autumn. Keep me in your good books, therefore, until then, and accept my best thanks in advance for all you will have done for me and fought for me till then, both in Weymar and in Hungary!
With regard to Vienna, Lowy writes me almost exactly the same as you. To tell the truth I am extremely thankful to the Vienna public, for it was they who, in a critically apathetic moment, roused and raised me [When he came from Venice to Vienna in the spring of 1838, to give a concert for the benefit of his Hungarian compatriots after the inundations, on which occasion, although Thalberg, Clara Wieck, and Henselt had been there before him, he aroused the utmost enthusiasm.]; but still I don't feel the slightest obligation to return there a year sooner or later.
My Vienna journey will pretty much mark the end of my virtuoso career. I hope to go thence (in the month of August, 1846) to Constantinople, and on my return to Italy to pa.s.s my dramatic Rubicon or Fiasco.
So much for my settled plans.
What precisely is going to become of me this coming spring and summer I do not exactly know. In any case to Paris I will not go.
You know why. My incredibly wretched connection with _____ has perhaps indirectly contributed more than anything to my Spanish- Portuguese tour. I have no reason to regret having come, although my best friends tried to dissuade me from it. Sometimes it seems to me that my thoughts ripen and that my troubles grow prematurely old under the bright and penetrating sun of Spain...
Many kind messages to Eckermann and Wolff. [Professor Wolff, editor of "Der poetische Hausschatz."] I will write to the latter from the Rhine, where I shall at any rate spend a month this summer (perhaps with my mother and Cosima). If he is still inclined to return to his and your countries (Denmark and Sweden), we can make a nice little trip there as a holiday treat.
Good-bye, my dear excellent friend. Allow me to give you as true a love as I feel is a necessity of my heart! Ever yours,
What is Villers doing? If you see him tell him to write me a line to Ma.r.s.eilles, care of M. Boisselot, Pianoforte Maker.
41. To Franz Kroll at Glogau
Weymar, March 26th, 1845
My very dear Kroll,
The arrival of your letter and the packet which accompanied it decided a matter of warm contest between our friend Lupus [Presumably Liszt's friend, Professor Wolff (1791-1851).] and Farfa-Magne-quint-quatorze! [For whom this name was intended is not clear.] It consisted in making the latter see the difference between the two German verbs "verwundern" (to amaze) and "bewundern" (to admire), and to translate clearly, according to her wits, which are sometimes so ingeniously refractory, what progress there is from Verwundern (amazement) to Erstaunen (astonishment). Imagine, now, with what a wonderful solution of the difficulty your packet and letter furnished us, and how pleased I was at the following demonstration:--
"We must admire (bewundern) Kroll's fine feeling of friendship; we may be amazed (verwundern) at the proof he has given of his industry in copying out the Ma.s.s; should this industry continue we shall first of all be astonished (erstaunen), and by degrees, through the results he will bring about, we again attain to admiration (Bewunderung)."
I don't know how you will judge, critically, of this example, but what is certain is that it appeared to be quite conclusive to our auditory.
Ernst [The celebrated violinist (1814-65)] has just been spending a week here, during which he has played some hundred rubbers of whist at the "Erbprinz." His is a n.o.ble, sweet, and delicate nature, and more than once during his stay I have caught myself regretting you for him, and regretting him for you. Last Monday he was good enough to play, in his usual and admirable manner, at the concert for the Orchestral Pension Fund. The pieces he had selected were his new "Concerto pathetique" (in F~ minor) and an extremely piquant and brilliant "Caprice on Hungarian Melodies."
(This latter piece is dedicated to me.) The public was in a good humor, even really warm, which is usually one of its least faults.
Milde, who is, as you know, not much of a talker, has nevertheless the tact to say the right thing sometimes. Thus, when we went to see Ernst off at the railway, he expressed the feeling of us all--"What a pity that Kroll is not here!"
For the most part you have left here the impression which you will leave in every country--that of a man of heart, talent, tact, and intellect. One of these qualities alone is enough to distinguish a man from the vulgar herd; but when one is so well born as to possess a quartet of them it is absolutely necessary that the will, and an active will, should be added to them in order to make them bring out their best fruits,--and this I am sure you will not be slow to do.
Your brother came through here the day before yesterday, thinking he should still find you here. I have given him your address, and told him to inquire about you at Schlesinger's in Berlin, where he expects to be on the 8th of April; so do not fail to let Schlesinger know, in one way or another, when you get to Berlin.
As M. de Zigesar [The Intendant at Weimar.] I was obliged to start in a great hurry for The Hague, in the suite of the Hereditary Grand d.u.c.h.ess, I will wait till his return to send you the letters for Mr. de Witzleben. I will address them to Schlesinger early in April.
We are studying hard at the Duke of Coburg's opera "Toni, oder die Vergellung," ["Toni, or the Requital"] which we shall give next Sat.u.r.day. The score really contains some pretty things and which make a pleasing effect; unluckily I cannot say as much for the libretto.
Your castle in the air for May we will build up on a solid basis in Weymar; for I am quite calculating on seeing you then, together with our charming, good, worthy friend Conradi. Will you please, dear Kroll, tell Mr. Germershausen and his family how gratified I am with their kind remembrance? When I go to Sagan I shall certainly give myself the pleasure of calling on him.
Believe me ever your very sincere and affectionate friend,
42. To Abbe de Lamennais
[Autograph in the possession of M. Alfred Bovet at Valentigney.]
Permit me, ill.u.s.trious and venerable friend, to recall myself to your remembrance through M. Ciabatta, who has already had the honor of being introduced to you last year at my house. He has just been making a tour in Spain and Portugal with me, and can give you all particulars about it. I should have been glad also to get him to take back to you the score, now completed, of the chorus which you were so good as to entrust to me ("The iron is hard, let us strike!"), but unfortunately it is not with music as with painting and poetry: body and soul alone are not enough to make it comprehensible; it has to be performed, and very well performed too, to be understood and felt. Now the performance of a chorus of the size of that is not an easy matter in Paris, and I would not even risk it without myself conducting the preliminary rehearsals. While waiting till a favorable opportunity offers, allow me to tell you that I have been happy to do this work, and that I trust I have not altogether failed in it. Were it not for the fear of appearing to you very indiscreet, I should perhaps venture to trespa.s.s on your kindness for the complete series of these simple, and at the same time sublime, compositions, of which you alone know the secret. Three other choruses of the same kind as that of the Blacksmiths, which should sum up the most poetical methods of human activity, and which should be called (unless you advise otherwise) Labourers, Sailors, and Soldiers, would form a lyric epic of which the genius of Rossini or Meyerbeer would be proud. I know I have no right to make any such claim, but your kindness to me has always been so great that I have a faint hope of obtaining this new and glorious favor. If, however, this work would give you even an hour's trouble, please consider my request as not having been made, and pardon me for the regret which I shall feel at this beautiful idea being unrealized.
As business matters do not necessarily call me to Paris, I prefer not to return there just now. I expect to go to Bonn in the month of July, for the inauguration of the Beethoven Monument, and to have a Cantata performed there which I have written for this occasion. The text, at any rate, is tolerably new; it is a sort of Magnificat of human Genius conquered by G.o.d in the eternal revelation through time and s.p.a.ce,--a text which might apply equally well to Goethe or Raphael or Columbus, as to Beethoven.
At the beginning of winter I shall resume my duties at the Court of Weymar, to which I attach more and more a serious importance.
If you were to be so very good as to write me a few lines, I should be most happy and grateful. If you would send them either to my mother's address, Rue Louis le Grand, 20; or to that of my secretary, Mr. Belloni, Rue Neuve St. George, No. 5, I should always get them in a very short time.
I have the honor to be, sir, yours very gratefully,
Ma.r.s.eilles, April 28th, 1845