to his Wife in Baden
October 7-8, 1791
Friday, half past ten at night
Dearest, Most Beloved Little Wife!
I have this moment returned from the opera, which was as full as ever. As usual the duet ‘Mann und Weib’ and Papageno’s glockenspiel in Act I had to be repeated and also the trio
of the boys in Act II. But what always gives me most pleasure is the silent approval! You can see how this opera is becoming more and more esteemed. Now for an account of my own doings. Immediately after your departure I played two games of billiards with Herr von Mozart, the fellow who wrote the opera which is running at Schikaneder’s theatre; then I sold my nag for fourteen ducats; then I told Joseph to get Primus to fetch me some black coffee, with which I smoked a splendid pipe of tobacco; and then I orchestrated almost the whole of Stadler’s rondo. Meanwhile I have had a letter which Stadler has sent me from Prague. All the Duscheks are well. I really think that she cannot have received a single one of your letters--and yet I can hardly believe it. Well, they have all heard already about the splendid reception of my German opera. And the strangest thing of all is that on the very evening when my new opera was performed for the first time with such success, ‘[La Clemenza di] Tito’ was given in Prague for the last time with tremendous applause. Bedini sang better than ever. The little duet in A major which the two maidens sing was repeated; and had not the audience wished to spare Madame Marchetti, a repetition of the rondo would have been very welcome. Cries of ‘Bravo’ were shouted.... At half past five I left my room and took my favorite walk by the Glacis to the theatre. But what do I see? What do I smell? Why, here is Don Primus with the cutlets! Che gusto! [What a delicious taste!] Now I am eating to your health! It is just striking eleven. Perhaps you are already asleep? St! St! St! I won’t wake you.
Saturday, the 8th You should have seen me at supper yesterday! I couldn’t find the old tablecloth, so I fished out one as white as a snowdrop, and put in front of me the double candlestick with wax candles... As I write, no doubt you will be having a good swim. The friseur [hairdresser] came punctually at six o’clock. At half past five Primus had lit the fire and he then woke me up at a quarter to six. Why must it rain just now? I did do hope that you would have lovely weather. Do keep very warm, so that you many not catch a cold. I hope that these baths will help you to keep well during the winter. For only the desire to see you in good health made me urge you to go to Baden. I already feel lonely without you. I knew I should. If I had had nothing to do, I should have gone off at once to spend the week with you; but I have no facilities for working in Baden, and I am anxious, as far as possible, to avoid all risk of money difficulties. For the most pleasant thing of all is to have a mind at peace. To achieve this, however, one must work hard; and I like hard work. Give [name deleted] a few sound boxes on the ear from me, and I ask [name deleted], whom I kiss a thousand times, to give him a couple too. For Heaven’s sake do not let him starve in this respect. The last thing in the world I could wish would be his reproach that you had not treated or looked after him properly. Rather give him too many blows than too few. It would be a good thing if you were to leave a bump on his nose, or knock out an eye, or inflict some other visible injury, so that the fellow may never be able to deny that he has got something from you.
Adieu, dear little wife! The coach is just going. I trust that I shall have a letter from you today and in this sweet hope I kiss you a thousand times and am ever
your loving husband
W. A. Mozart