Beethoven’s love letter is very famous and often quoted in literary media as well as television, movies, and commercials. Beethoven was known to love many women, and as his friend F.G. Wegeler once wrote, “Beethoven was never out of love.” The letter was found amongst the composers things after his death. It was not addressed to anyone specific (there was no address, city, or name written on the letter) nor was it dated with a year. It is unclear whether or not the letter was ever sent, or if it was sent, if it was returned. All we know is that it was written on the 6th and 7th of July.
July 6th, in the morning
My angel, my all, my very self. – Only a few words today, and, what is more, written in pencil (and with your pencil)-I shan’t be certain of my rooms here until tomorrow; what an unnecessary waste of time is all this–Why this profound sorrow, when necessity speaks–can our love endure without sacrifices, without our demanding everything from one another, can you alter the fact that you are not wholly mine, that I am not wholly yours?–Dear God, look at Nature in all her beauty and set your heart at rest about what must be–Love demands all, and rightly so, and thus it is for me with you, for you with me– but you forget so easily that I must live for me and for you; if we were completely united, you would fee this painful necessity just as little as I do–My journey was dreadful and I did not arrive here until yesterday at four o’clock in the morning. As there were few horses the mail coach chose another route, but what a dreadful road it was; at the last state but one I was warned not to travel by night; attempts were made to frighten me about a forest, but all this only spurred me on to proceed–and it was wrong of me to do so.. The coach broke down, of course, owing to the dreadful road which had not been made up and was nothing but a country track. If we hadn’t had those two postillions I should have been left stranded on the way–On the other ordinary road Esterhazy with eight horses met with the same fate as I did with four–Yet I felt to a certain extent that pleasure I always feel when I have overcome some difficulty successfully–Well, let me turn quickly from outer to inner experiences. No doubt we shall meet soon; and today also time fails me to tell you of the thoughts which during these last few days I have been revolving about my life–If our hearts were always closely united, I would certainly entertain no such thoughts. My hear overflows with a longing to tell you so many things–Oh–there are moments when I find that speech is quite inadequate–Be cheerful– and be for ever my faithful, my only sweetheart, my all, as I am yours. The gods must send us everything else, whatever must and shall be our fate–
Your faithful Ludwig
Monday evening, July 6th
You are suffering, you, my most precious one–I have noticed the very moment that letters have to be handed in very early, on Monday–or on Thursday–the only days when the mail coach goes from here to K[arlsbad].–You are suffering–Oh, where I am, you are with me–I will see to it that you and I, that I can live with you. What a life!!!! as it is now!!!! without you–pursued by the kindness of people here and there, a kindness that I think-that I wish to deserve just as little as I deserve it–man’s homage to man–that pains me–and when I consider myself in the setting of the universe, what I am and what is the man–whom one calls the greatest of me–and yet–on the other hand therein lies the divine element in man==I weep when I think that probably you will not receive the first news of me until Saturday–However much you love me–good night–Since I am taking the baths I must get off to sleep–Dear God–so near! so far! Is not our love truly founded in heaven–and, what is more, as strongly cemented as the firmament of Heaven?–
Good morning, on July 7th
Even when I am in bed my thoughts rush to you, my eternally beloved, now and then joyfully, then again sadly, waiting to know whether Fate will hear our prayer–To face life I must live altogether with you or never see you. Yes, I am resolved to be a wanderer abroad until I can fly to your arms and say that I have found my true home with you and enfolded in your arms can let my soul be wafted to the realm on blessed spirits–alas, unfortunately it must be so–You will become composed, the more so as you know that I am faithful to you; no other woman can ever possess my heart–never–never–Oh God, why must one be separated from her who is so dear. Yet my life in V[ienna] at present is a miserable life–Your love has made me both the happiest and the unhappiest of mortals–At my age I now need stability and regularity in my life–can this coexist with our relationship?–Angel, I have just heard that the post goes every day–and therefore I must close, so that you may receive the letter immediately–Be calm; for only by calmly considering our lives can we achieve our purpose to live together–Be calm–love me–Today–yesterday–what tearful longing for you–for you–you–my life–my all–all good wishes to you–Oh, do continue to love me–never misjudge your lover’s most faithful heart.
In celebration of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, here we will take a…