BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Friday, February 27, 1824

Beethoven makes an errand list, yet again indicating they need candles, and to measure two supports for the chicken coop and then show them to the carpenter. Karl writes down directions for Herr Mayer’s shop for the candles. Molded candles are 8 for 36 kreutzers, kitchen candles are 10 for 30 kreutzers. Beethoven goes shopping and makes a number of purchases, including sugar, adding up his totals. He does appear to finally remember to purchase the candles, because they do not appear on the shopping lists again for a while.

On his return, Karl asks his uncle whether he has read the Petition. Presumably he has. Karl makes a number of random observations by way of conversation. “Mozart’s fingers were so bent from his incessant playing that he couldn’t cut meat by himself.” Karl asks whether his uncle learned to play a wind instrument. Ludwig likely answers that he learned horn from Nikolaus Simrock back in Bonn. Karl notes the vinegar is used up. A woman [likely Holzmann, or perhaps Frau Kummer the housekeeper applicant] says her tooth is decayed but she can’t have it pulled. She says that the kitchen is warmer than the room, even when it isn’t heated. Karl thinks people have misled her about how painful it is to have a tooth pulled; she would rather die. The Ancients must have been great lovers of lentils, since Esau sold his right of the firstborn for a lentil stew.

The unidentified woman asks whether she should bring salad. She made the fish into six pieces. Two are here, one was on the lentils and three are still being boiled. From the size of the head, the fish was quite large. Uncle Ludwig makes a remark about extrapolating an entire fish from just the head. “Blessed are they who believe without having seen,” quotes Karl in response [referencing John 20:29, when Jesus says to the doubting Thomas who placed his fingers in the wound in Jesus’ side, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.”]

Schindler is eating at Johann’s today. Karl thinks Johann is not helping his own cause, since he talks about it everywhere he goes; if he cannot maintain secrecy about his plans then he is wasting his time.

Later, at a coffee house, Beethoven makes note of Spar’s wax polish facility for polishing shoes or leather. Karl says that since he is eating tomorrow in the City, he will go to the Greek teacher and speak with him. Karl is confident the professor will be happy to find him a place [presumably as a French teacher.] Karl mentions that the cashier who paid the stipend from Archduke Rudolph is also now deaf. They have evening dinner, comprised of soup, beef and pastry, along with wine. Karl will pay for his share, which came to 58 kreutzers. For him the pastry is almost too strong. There is rum [in the pastry?] as well.

Conversation Book 57, 11r-14r.