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Lettres women Comments

Thanks to Virginia Beahrs for having given me her translation of this famous letter...
Title Presentation

The letter, found after Beethoven's death at the same time as "Heiligenstadt's Testament" is made up of two double pages, written on both sides, (8 pages), of about 200 x 238 mm and on a single sheet of about 201 x 119 mm both sides. Therefore a total of 10 pages.

The letters were written in pencil. Careful analysis shows that certain words have been gone over again in pencil, in an attempt to make them more legible, without doubt by Anton Schindler, who used part of the letter in facsimile in the third edition of his biography of Beethoven.

The pages were numbered by Schindler, as well as an attempt at the crossing out of "Oh geh mit, geh mit" (literally, "oh come with" meaning "come with me" or "accompany me").

Two stamps can be seen at the tops of pages 1 and 5 which are the marks of Berlin Library.

TitleThe Lettres to the Immortal beloved
July 6
In the morning-

My angel, my all
my self - only a few
words today, and indeed with pencil
(with yours)
only tomorrow is my lodging positively fixed
what a worthless waste
of time on such - why
this deep grief, where
necessity speaks -
can our love exist but
by sacrifices
by not demanding everything
can you change it, that you
not completely mine. I am not
completely yours - Oh God

look upon beautiful nature
and calm your soul
over what must be - love
demands everything and completely with good reason.
so it is for me with you, for you
with me - only you forget
so easily, that I must live for myself and
for you, were
we wholly united, you would
feel this painfulness
just as little as I -

my trip was frightful.
I arrived here only at 4
o'clock yesterday morning.
because they lacked horses,
the postal service chose another
route but what a

horrible way, at the next to the
last station they warned
me about traveling at night,
made me afraid of a forest,
but this only
provoked me - and I was
mistaken, the coach had
to break down
on the terrible route,
a mere bottomless
country road [crossed out: and the] without 2 such postil-
lions as I had, I would have
been stranded on the way

Esterhazy on the
other customary route
here had the same fate
with 8 horses, as I with
four - still I had
some pleasure again.

as always, whenever I fortunately
survive something - now quickly
to interior from exterior.
we will probably see each other soon.
even today I cannot
convey to you observances,
which I made during these
few days about my
life - were
our hearts always close
together, I would of course make none of the sort
my heart is full of much
to tell you - Oh - there
are still moments when I find
that speech is nothing
at all - cheer up -
remain my faithful only
treasure, my all, as I for you
the rest the gods must
send what must
and should be for us -- your faithful
ludwig -

Monday evening on July 6 -

You are suffering you my dearest
creature - just now I notice
that letters must be posted
very early in the morning.
Mondays - Thursdays -
the only days on which
the mail goes from here
to K - you are suffering -Oh, wherever
I am, you are with me.
I say to myself and to you, arrange
that I can live with you.
what a life!!!! as it is!!!!
without you - Persecuted by
the kindness of people here
and there, which I think - I want
to deserve just as little
as I deserve it - Humility
of man to
man - it pains
me - and when I regard myself

in the framewoek
of the universe
what am I and what is
he - whom one
calls the Greatest -
and yet - herein is
again the divine spark
of man - I
weep when I think
that you will probably
not receive the first
news of me until
Saturday - as much as you
love me - I love you
even more deeply but - but
never hide yourself from

me - good night - as
one bathing I must go to
sleep [struck out: o go with]
[struck out: go with --]
so near! so far! is
not our love a true
heavenly edifice -
but also firm, like
the firmament -
good morning on July 7 -
while still in bed thoughts
thrust themselves toward you my
eternally beloved
now and then happy
then again sad.
awaiting fate.
if it will grant us a favorable hearing -
I can only live either
wholly with you or not at all.

yes I have resolved
to stray about
in the distance, until I
can fly into your arms
and call myself
entirely at home with you.
can send my soul
embraced by you
into the realm of spirits -
yes unfortunately it must be - you
will compose yourself all the more
since you know my faithfulness
to you, never can another
own my heart,
never - never - O God why
have to separate oneself,
what one loves so, and yet my
life in V [ienna] as it is now is a
miserable life - Your
love makes me the most happy
and the most unhappy
at once - at my age I would
need some conformity
regularity of life - can

this exist in our
relationship? -- Angel, right now
I hear that the mail
goes every day -
and I must therefore
close, so that you
will receive the L [etter] immediately -
be calm, only through
quiet contemplation of our
existence can we
reach our goal
to live together -
be patient -love me -
today - yesterday -
What longing with
tears for you -
you - you my

love - my
all - fare-
well - o continue
to love me - never
misjudge the most faithful
heart of your
forever yours
forever mine
forever us

Title Notes

This letter has been translated by Virginia Beahrs, word for word. She kept Beethoven's original punctuation, spelling and capitalization just as he had written it. She also placed the words as he had them on the page. He had large handwriting and the paper was rather small, so the letter took ten sheets of paper.

Many thanks to Hannah SALTER for her translation of this page from French into English
© Dominique PREVOT
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