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to ensue.

Inflamed by the example of the July revolution
in Paris, the Polish youth, whom Constantine hated
so intensely, instigated the insurrection of November
29th, 1830. The army and the whole nation followed
the revolutionary banners, for all classes were equally
incensed against the tyrannical government of the
Grand Prince.

At the first news of disquietude in Poland, Titus
Woyciechowski at once left Vienna to enter the
army. Frederic wished to do the same, as he
thought that in such circumstances he could not
endure to be so far from his family and friends, and
he was only prevented from doing so by the en-
treaties of his parents, who knew that their son's
health was not fit for the hardships of war. Chopin's
family were naturally undesirous that he should cut
short the artistic career on which he had just entered
at so much cost, and in which he had already
achieved good success. But his anxiety about his
parents and sisters was so great that he followed his
friend by the extra post, and had he overtaken him,
he would certainly have gone back to Warsaw.
Returned to Vienna, Chopin yielded to his father's
will, and resumed the idea of giving a concert.



174 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

This, however, was not so speedily arranged.
The interest of the Viennese musicians had waxed
somewhat faint, and he had no benevolent or
influential friends among the newly-arrived artists.
When he played gratuitously help was readily
forthcoming; but the case was altered now, and
Frederic saw himself neglected. It is not im-
possible, in the time of Metternich, that people
kept aloof from Poles from motives of prudence;
and the energy necessary for overcomi-ng all these
obstacles failed Chopin.

Some of his former acquaintances were ill, others
had gone away, and the rest were afraid that the
agreeable, educated, and highly-gifted artist might
settle in Vienna, and thus become a dangerous rival.
Many even were displeased at his success in the
drawing rooms. The rapid succession of military
events in Poland frightened most of his patrons
from serving him, while his own mind was more
occupied with politics than music.

Several of Frederic's letters, written in a spirit
of patriotic enthusiasm, were destroyed by his
parents, in case they should fall into the hands of
the Russian Government, .hich had even instituted
domiciliary visits. In consequence of the war,
much that he wrote never reached Warsaw at all.
The sad condition of his country made a deep and
lasting impression on the mind of the young artist,
so sensitive alike to happiness and sorrovv'. The
gay, buoyant tone of his letters, which had formerly



DANCING AT THE HOUSE OF A JEWES3. I75

SO delighted their recipients, changed to a certain
discontent and sadness; even his pleasant wit, as
the reader will see by the following correspondence,
was frequently turned into bitter sarcasm,

Vienna.,
Wednesday h^ ^ore Christmas-day,

fl have no almanack at hand, so do
not know the day J

Dearest Parents and Sisters,

It was seven weeks, yesterday, since I left you.
What for ? But it is so, and cannot be helped.

I was invited, yesterday, at the very hour that I
was conducted to Wola, to a little dancing party, at
the Weiberheim's. There were several handsome
young people there, not old-fashioned looking, that
is, not Old Testament-looking."^

I was pressed to join the Cotillon ; so I went
round a few times and then returned home. The
hostess and her amiable daughters had asked several
musical people, but I was not in a humour for play-
ing the piano.

Herr Likl, who knows Louise, was introduced to
me. He is a good, honest German, and thinks me
a great man ; so I would not destroy his good
opinion by playing when I was not in the right
mood. I also spoke to Lampi's nephew, who knov^s

* Viz., not Jewish.



176 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

Papa well. He is a handsome, agreeable young
man, and paints very well. A propos of painting,
Hummel and his son were with me yesterday.
The latter has now almost finished my portrait.
It is so good, one cannot imagine it better. I am
sitting in my dressing-gown, with a look of inspira-
tion which I do not know why the artist should have
given me. The portrait is in quarto size, drawn in
chalk, and looks like a steel engraving. The elder
Hummel was exceedingly polite, and introduced
me to his old acquaintance, M. Duport, director of
the Karthner-Thor Theatre. The latter, who has
been a celebrated dancer, is said to be very stingy;
however, he was exceedingly complaisant to me,
thinking, perhaps, that I should play gratuitously
for him. He makes a mistake there ! We had a
sort of conference together, but nothing definite was
decided on. If Herr Duport offers too little, I shall
give my concert in the large Redoubt Hall.

Wiirfel is better ; I met Slawick, an excellent
violinist,* at his house last week. He is at the
most twenty-six, and pleased me very much. When
we left Wiirfel's he asked me if I were going home,
to which I replied in the affirmative. ** Come with me
instead, to your countrywoman's, Frau Beyer's, said

* Joseph Slawick, born in Bohemia in 1806, studied at the
Prague Conservatoire, under Pixis, at the expense of Count
Wrbna ; de died at Pesth in 1833, just as he was about to
commence a long artistic tour.



slawick's good playing. 177

Slawick. I agreed. Now Kraszewski had sent me,
the same day, from Dresden, a letter to Frau Beyer,
but without any address, and Beyer is a common
name in Vienna. So I resolved at once to fetch my
letter and go with Slawick ; when, lo and behold ! I
really went to the right Frau Beyer, Her husband
is a Pole from Odessa, She declared that she had
heard of me, and invited both Slawick and myself
to dinner the next day.

After dinner Slawick played, and pleased me
immensely, more than any one since Paganini.
As my playing was also agreeable to him, we
determined to compose a duet together for violin
and piano. I had thought of doing so in Warsaw.
Slawick is, indeed, a great and talented violinist.
When I become acquainted with Merk, we shall be
able to manage a trio. I hope to meet him soon at
Mechetti's.

Czerny was with me at Diabelli's, yesterday ; the
latter invited me to a soiree on Monday next, where
I am to meet none but artists. On Sunday there is
a soiree at Likl's, where the aristocratic musical
world assemble, and the Overture for four per-
formers is to be given. On Saturday there is to be
a performance of old church music at Kiesewetter's
(author of a work On music.)

I am living on the fourth floor; some English
people took such a fancy to my abode, that they
said they would rent it of me for eighty gulden ; a
proposal to which I acceded most willingly. My

M



,/■



178 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

young and agreeable hostess, Frau Baroness of
Lachmanowicz, sister-in-law of Frau von Uszakow,
has just as roomy apartments on the fourth storey for
twenty gulden, which satisfy me quite well. I know
you will say, " the poor wretch lives in a garret."
But it is not so ; there is another floor between me
and the roof, and eighty gulden are not to be despised
either. People visit me notwithstanding ; even Count
Hussarzweski took the trouble to mount up. The
street is in an advantageous position-for me, in the
midst of the city, close to where I most often want
to go. Artaria is at the left, Mechetti and Haslinger
are at my right, and the Royal Opera Theatre is
behind. Could I have anything more convenient ?

I have not yet written to Herr Eisner, but I was
at Czerny's just now. Up till to-day, the Quartett
has not appeared.

Dr. Malfatti scolded me for appearing at Madame
Schaschek's to dinner at four instead of two. I am
to dine with Malfatti again next Saturday, and if I
am late again, Malfatti will — so he threatens —
subject me to a painful operation.

I can imagine dear Papa looking grave over my
frivolity, and want of respect to my elders ; but I
will improve. I am proud to say that Malfatti is
really fond of me, Nidecki comes to me every day
to play. If my concerto for two pianos succeeds to
my satisfaction, we are going to play it together in
pubhc, but I shall play alone first.

Haslinger is always pleasant, but do,es not say



AN AGREEABLE ACQUAINTANCE. Ijq

a word about publishing. Shall I go shortly to
Italy, or shall I wait ? * Dearest Papa, please tell
me what are your and dear Mamma's wishes.

I daresay Mamma is glad I did not return to
Warsaw, but how I should like to be there 1
Embrace dear Titus for me, and beg him to write
me a few words.

I know you believe in my affection and deep
attachment ; but you can scarcely imagine what a
very great delight your letters are to me. Why is
not the post quicker ? You will think it natural that
I should be very anxious about you, and impatiently
await news of you.

I have made a very agreeable acquaintance, a
young man of the name of Leibenfrost ; he is a
friend of Kessler's. We meet frequently, and when
I am not invited out we dine together in the city.
He knows Vienna perfectly, and will be sure to take
me to see whatever is worth seeing. For instance,
yesterday, we had a splendid walk to the fortifica-
tions ; Dukes, Princes, Counts, in a word, all the
aristocracy of Vienna were assembled there. I met
Slawick, and we agreed to choose a Beethoven theme
for our Variations.

For some reasons I am very glad that I am here,

but for others I

I am very comfortable in my room ; there is a
roof opposite, and the people walking below look like



* A reference, perhaps, to the disturbances then prevailing
in the Peninsular.



l8o LIFE OF CHOPIN.

dwarfs. I am most happy, when I have played to
my heart's content on Graff's magnificent instru-
ment. Now I am going to sleep with your letters
in my hand ; then I shall dream only of you.

The Mazurka was danced, yesterday, at Beyer's.
Slawick fell down with his partner, an old Countess
with a coarse face and a large nose, who daintily
held her dress in the old-fashioned way, by the tips
of her fingers, her head resting on the flap of his
coat. But all respect to the couple, and to the lady
in particular, who is sensible and entertaining and
knows the usage du monde.

Among the most popular of the numerous amuse-
ments of Vienna are the Garden Concerts, where
Launer and Strauss play waltzes while the public
sup. After every waltz the musicians receive a
boisterous bravo. If an ad libitum is played, intro-
ducing favourite operatic melodies, songs, and dances,
the enthusiasm of the Viennese knows no bounds.

I wanted to send you with this my last Waltz, but
the post goes, and I have no time to write it out, so
must wait till another opportunity. The Mazurkas,
too, I must get copied first ; but they are not for
dancing.

I do not like to say goodbye already; I would
gladly write more. If you should see Fontana tell
him that he shall soon have a letter from me.
Matuszynski will have a long epistle either to-day or
by the next post.

Farewell, my dearests.

Your FREDERIC.



*' SECOND ONLY TO PAGANINI." l8l

To John Matuszynski.

Vienna,

Sunday, Christmas Morning.

This time last year I was in the Bernhardine
church, to-day I am sitting in my dressing gown,
quite alone ; I kiss my sweet ring and write.*

Dear Hanschen,

I have just come from hearing the famous
violinist, Slawick, who is second only to Paganini,
He takes sixty-nine staccato notes at one stroke of
the bow ! It is almost incredible ! When I heard
him I wanted to rush home and sketch out some
variations for piano and violin on an Adagio by
Beethoven ; but a glance at the post office, which I
always pass (that I may ask for letters from home),
diverted my desires.

The tears which this heavenly theme brought to
my eyes have moistened your letter. I long, un-
speakably, for a word from you ; you know why.

How any news of my angel of peace always
delights me !

How gladly would I touch the strings which
should awaken not only stormy feelings, but the
songs whose half echoes still haunt the shores of the



* Fraulein Constantia Gladkowska was in the habit of
going to the Bernhardine Church, which was close to the
Conservatoire.



l82 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

Danube — songs sung by the warriors of King John
Sobieski.

You advised me to choose a poet. But you know
that I am an indecisive being, and only once in my
Hfe made a good choice.

I would not willingly be a burden to my father ;
were I not afraid of that, I should immediately
return to Warsaw. I am often in such a mood that
I curse the moment in which I left my beloved
home. You will, I am sure, understand my con-
dition, and that since Titus went awa}- too much
has fallen suddenly upon me. The numerous
dinners, soirees, concerts, and balls I am obliged to
attend only weary me. I am melancholy. I feel so
lonely and deserted here, yet I cannot live as I like.
I have to dress, and look cheerful in drawing rooms;
but when I am in my room again, I talk to my piano,
to whom, as my best friend in Vienna, I pour out all
my sorrows. There is not a soul I can unreservedly
confide in, and yet I have to treat everyone as a
friend. Plenty of people seem, indeed, to like me,
take my portrait, and seek after my company, but
they do not make up for you. I have lost my peace
of mind, and only feel happy when I can read your
letters, think of the monument of King Sigismund,*
or look at my precious ring.

Pray forgive me, dear Hanschen, for writing so



* The Conservatoire, where Constantia boarded, was near
the statue of King Sigismund.



A lover's anxieties. i8^

complainingly, but my heart feels lighter when I can
thus talk to you, and I have always told you every-
thing that concerned myself. Did you receive a
short letter from me the day before yesterday ?
Perhaps my scribbling is not of much consequence
to you as you are at home, but I read your letters
again and again.

Dr. Freyer, having learnt from Schuch that I was
in Vienna, has been to see me two or three times.
He gave me a g^reat deal of interesting news, and
was very pleased with your letters, which I read to
him up to a certain passage, which passage made me
feel very sad. Does she really look so changed ?
Do you think she was ill ? She is of such a
sensitive nature that this is not at all unlikely.
But, perhaps, it was only your imagination, or
she had been frightened by something. God forbid
that she should suffer anything on my account !
Comfort her, and assure her that as long as my
heart beats I shall not cease to adore her. Tell
her that, after my death, my ashes shall be spread
beneath her feet. But this is not half what you
might say to her on my behalf. I would write to
her myself, and, indeed, should have done so long
ago, to escape the torments I endure, but if my
letter chanced to fall into other hands, might it not
injure her reputation ? So you must be the inter-
preter of my thoughts ; speak for me, ** et j'en con-
viendrai." These words of yours flashed through
me like lightning, when I read your letter. A



184 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

Viennese, who happened to be walking with me at
the time, seized me by the arm, and could scarcely
hold me in. He could not make out what had
come to me. I could have embraced and kissed
all the passers by, for your first letter had made my
heart feel lighter than it had been for many a day.

I am sure I must be wearying you, my dear
friend, but it is difficult for me to hide from you
anything that touches my heart. The day before
yesterday I dined with Frau Beyer, who is also
called Constantia. I enjoy visiting her very much,
because she bears a name so unspeakably dear to
me ; I even rejoice if one of her pocket-hand<
kerchiefs or serviettes marked "Constantia" falls
into my hands. Slawick is a friend of hers, and I
often go to her house with him.

Yesterday, as on Christmas Eve, we played in the
fore and afternoon. The weather was spring-like.
As I was returning in the evening from the Baroness's
circle, I walked slowly into St. Stephen's. I was
alone, for Slawick was obliged to go to the Imperial
Chapel. The church was empty, and, to get the full
effect of the lofty and imposing edifice, I leant
against a pillar in the darkest corner. The vastness
and splendour of the arching are indescribable : one
must see St, Stephen's for one's self. The pro-
foundest silence, broken only by the resounding
steps of the vergers coming to light the tapers,
reigned around.

Before and behind me, indeed everywhere but



THE STARS OF THE ROYAL OPERA. 185

overhead, were graves, and I felt my loneliness and
desertion as I never had before. When the lights
had burned up, and the cathedral began to fill, I
muffled myself in my cloak (you know how I used
to go about in the Cracow suburb), and hastened off
to the Mass at the Imperial Chapel. Amid a merry
crowd, I threaded my way to the palace, where
I heard some sleepy musicians play three movements
of a mass. I returned home at one o'clock in the
morning, and went to bed to dream of you, of her,
and of my dear children.*

Next morning I was awakened by an invitation
to dinner from Frau Elkan, a Polish lady, and the
wife of a well-known wealthy banker. The first
thing I did that day was to play some melancholy
fantasias, and, after receiving calls from Nidecki,
Liebenfrost, and Steinkeller, I went to dine with
Malfatti. This excellent man thinks of everything ;
he even goes so far as to provide dishes cooked
in Polish fashion.

Wildt, the famous tenor, came after dinner. I
accompanied him, from memory, in an air from
" Otello," which he sang admirably. Wildt and
Fraulein Heinefetter are the stars of the Royal
opera; the other singers are not so good as one
would expect. But a voice like Heinefetter's is
very rare ; her intonation also is always pure, her
colouring refined, and, indeed, her singing altogether

* Chopin often called his sisters his children.



l86 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

faultless ; but she is cold ; I nearly got my nose
frozen in the pit. She looks particularly handsome
as a man. I liked her better in *' Otello " than in
" Barbiere," in which she represented the con-
summate coquette, instead of the lively witty girl.
As Sextus in " Titus " she was exceedingly brilliant.
In a few days she will appear in '' Der Diebische
Elster," which I am curious to see. Fraulein
Wolkow pleased me better as Rosine in the
" Barbiere," but she certainly has not the voice
of Heinefetter. I wished I had heard Pasta.

You know that I have letters from the Saxon
court to the Viceroy of Milan, but what had I best
do ? My parents leave me to follow my own wishes,
but I would rather they had given me directions.
Shall I go to Paris ? Friends here advise me to
stay in Vienna. Or shall I go home, or stay here
and kill myself? Advise me what to do. Please
ask a certain person in Warsaw, who has always
had great influence over me. Tell me her opinion,
and I will act upon it.

Let me hear again before you go to the war.
Address, Poste Restante, Vienna. Do go and see
my dear parents and Constantia ; and, as long as
you are in Warsaw, please pay frequent visits to my
sisters that they way think you are coming to see
me, and I am in the next room ; sit with them
that they may fancy it is me ; in a word, take my
place at home.

I am not thinking any more of concert-giving



ALOYS SCHMITT. THALBERG. 187

just now. Aloys Schmitt, the pianist from Frank-
fort-on-the-Maine, whose studies are so famous, is
here at present. He is something over forty years
of age. I have made his acquaintance, and he
promised to come and see me. He intends giving
a concert, and it must be admitted that he is a
clever musician. On musical matters we shall, I
think, soon understand one another.

Thalberg is also here, and playing famously, but
he is not the man for me. He is younger than I am,
very popular with the ladies, makes pot-pourris on the
*' Mutes," plays forte and piano with the pedals, but
not with his hands, takes tenths as I do octaves, and
wears diamond studs. He does not at all admire
Moscheles; so it is not surprising that the tutti were
the only part of my concerto that pleased him. He,
too, writes concertos.

I finish this letter three days after I began it, and
have read through my stupid scribble again. Pray
excuse having to pay the postage, dear Hanschen.
When dining to-day at the Italian restaurant, I
heard some one say, *' God made a mistake in
creating Poland." Is it any wonder that my feelings
are more than I can express ? Somebody else said,
" There is nothing to be got out of Poland," so you
ought not to expect anything new from me who
am a Pole.

There is a Frenchman here who makes all kinds
of sausages, and for a month past crowds have
gathered round his attractive shop, for there is



l88 LIFE OF CHOPIN.

something new in it every day. Some people
imagine that they are beholding the remains of the
French Revolution, and look compassionately at the
sausages and hams, which hang up like pictures,
or they are indignant at the revolutionary French-
man being allowed to open a meat shop, as there
were quite enough pigs in his own country. He
is the talk of Vienna, and there is a general dread
that if there should be a disturbance the French
will be at the bottom of it.

I must close, for the time is quite up. Embrace
all my dear friends for me, and be assured that I
shall not leave off loving you till I have ceased
to love my parents, my sisters, and her. My
dearest, do write me a few lines soon. You can
show this to her if you like. I am going to
Malfatti's again to-day, but to the post first. My
parents do not know of my writing to you. You
can tell them, only don't show them the letter.

I do not know how to part from my sweet

Hanschen. Depart, you wretch ! If W loves

you as warmly as I do, so would Con No,

I cannot even write the name, my hand is too
unworthy. Oh ! I should tear my hair out if I
thought she forgot me : I feel a regular Othello
to-day. I was about to fold and seal the letter
without an envelope, forgetting that it was going
where everybody reads Polish. As I have a little
space left, I will describe my life here.

I am living on the fourth floor in a handsome



DIVISION OF THE DAY. 189

street, but I have to be on the alert if I want to see
what passes. When I come home you will see the
room in my new album, young Hummel having
kindly made me a drawing of it. It is spacious, and
has five windows, to which the bed stands opposite.
My wonderful piano stands on the right, the sofa
on the left, a looking-glass between the windows,
a large handsome round mahogany table in the
middle of the room ; the floor is waxed. Don't
be alarmed ! . . . .

"The gentleman does not receive in the after-
noon," so I can be in your midst in thought. The
intolerably stupid servant wakes me early ; I rise,
take my coffee, which is often cold, because I forget
my breakfast over my music. My German teacher
appears punctually at 9 o'clock; then I generally
write. Hummel comes to work at my portrait, and
Nidecki to study my Concerto. I keep on my
comfortable dressing-gown till 12 o'clock, at which
hour Dr. Leibenfrost, a lawyer here, comes in to
see me. Weather permitting, I walk with him on
the Glacis, then we dine at the " Zum Bomischen
Kochin," the rendezvous of the students from the
Academy, and afterwards, according to the custom
here, we go to one of the best coffee-houses. Then
I make calls, returning home at dusk, when I throw
myself into evening dress, and go to a soiree.
About II or 12 o'clock (never later) I come home,
play, laugh, read, and then go to bed and dream
of you.



igo LIFE OF CHOPIN*

My portrait — which is a secret between you and
me — is very good. If you think she would like it I
could send it through Schuch, who will probably
leave here with Freyer, about the 15th of next
month. I began to write this letter quite clearly,
but I have finished it in such a way that you will
have some trouble in reading it. Embrace my
college friends, and, if possible, get them to write
to me. Kindest love to Eisner.



To the same.

Vienna,

New Year's Day, 183 1.
Dearest Heart,

Now you have what you wanted. Did you

receive the letter, and deliver any of it ? I still

regret what I have done. I was full of sweet hopes,

and now I am tormented with doubt and anxiety.

Perhaps she scorns me, or laughs at me ! Perhaps —

oh, does she love me ? asks my throbbing heart.

You good-for-nothing Esculapius. You were in the

theatre with your opera glasses, and did not take


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