О Природе

Beethoven, the Man and the Artist, As Revealed in His Own Words by Ludwig van Beethoven, edited by Friedrich Kerst and Henry Edward Krehbiel:

12. On the Kahlenberg, 1812, end of September:

          Almighty One
          In the woods
          I am blessed.
          Happy every one
          In the woods.
          Every tree speaks
          Through Thee.

          O God!
          What glory in the
          Woodland.
          On the Heights
          is Peace,—
          Peace to serve
          Him—
     (This poetic exclamation, accompanied by a few notes, is on a page of
music paper owned by Joseph Joachim.)

13. "How happy I am to be able to wander among bushes and herbs, under trees and over rocks; no man can love the country as I love it. Woods, trees and rocks send back the echo that man desires."

     (To Baroness von Drossdick.)

14. "O God! send your glance into beautiful nature and comfort your moody thoughts touching that which must be."

     (To the "Immortal Beloved," July 6, in the morning.)

[Thayer has spoiled the story so long believed, and still spooking in the books of careless writers, that the "Immortal Beloved" was the Countess Giulietta Guicciardi, to whom the C-sharp minor sonata is dedicated. The real person to whom the love-letters were addressed was the Countess Brunswick to whom Beethoven was engaged to be married when he composed the fourth Symphony. H. E. K.]

15. "My miserable hearing does not trouble me here. In the country it seems as if every tree said to me: 'Holy! holy!' Who can give complete expression to the ecstasy of the woods! O, the sweet stillness of the woods!"

     (July, 1814; he had gone to Baden after the benefit performance of
"Fidelio.")

16. "My fatherland, the beautiful locality in which I saw the light of the world, appears before me vividly and just as beautiful as when I left you; I shall count it the happiest experience of my life when I shall again be able to see you, and greet our Father Rhine."

     (Vienna, June 29, to Wegeler, in Bonn.)

[In 1825 Beethoven said to his pupil Ries, "Fare well in the Rhine country which is ever dear to me," and in 1826 wrote to Schott, the publisher in Mayence, about the "Rhine country which I so long to see again."]

17. "Bruhl, at 'The Lamb'—how lovely to see my native country again!"

     (Diary, 1812-1818.)

18. "A little house here, so small as to yield one's self a little room,—only a few days in this divine Bruehl,—longing or desire, emancipation or fulfillment."

     (Written in 1816 in Bruehl near Modling among the sketches for the
Scherzo of the pianoforte sonata op. 10.)

[Like many another ejaculatory remark of Beethoven's, it is difficult to understand. See Appendix. H. E. K.]

19. "When you reach the old ruins, think that Beethoven often paused there; if you wander through the mysterious fir forests, think that. Beethoven often poetized, or, as is said, composed there."

     (In the fall of 1817, to Mme. Streicher, who was at a cure in Baden.)

20. "Nature is a glorious school for the heart! It is well; I shall be a scholar in this school and bring an eager heart to her instruction. Here I shall learn wisdom, the only wisdom that is free from disgust; here I shall learn to know God and find a foretaste of heaven in His knowledge. Among these occupations my earthly days shall flow peacefully along until I am accepted into that world where I shall no longer be a student, but a knower of wisdom."

     (Copied into his diary, in 1818, from Sturm's "Betrachtungen uber die
Werke Gottes in der Natur.")

21. "Soon autumn will be here. Then I wish to be like unto a fruitful tree which pours rich stores of fruit into our laps! But in the winter of existence, when I shall be gray and sated with life, I desire for myself the good fortune that my repose be as honorable and beneficent as the repose of nature in the winter time."

     (Copied from the same work of Sturm's.)