BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Sunday, September 21, 1823

Karl observes that the village of Vöslau will probably be full of people with the fall festivals. Yesterday he rode the fiacre back from Vöslau for 15 kreuzer. He also reports that Frau von Blöchlinger’s parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Uncle Ludwig asks (probably testing Karl) which anniversary that would be, and he correctly answers the golden anniversary. Karl also observes that they have been married nearly as long as Uncle Ludwig has been in the world [Ludwig is 52.]

Karl brags about his calligraphic skill. Uncle Ludwig suggests that he get a job in the imperial court, but Karl notes that the emperor cannot stand decorated petitions. He also doesn’t want any educated people around him. Ludwig asks Karl how he knows this, and he responds, “They say it everywhere.” Uncle jests that Karl will need to get a job to support him in his old age, and Karl answers back, “Who knows whether I might die in yours?”

The day is overcast. Karl could run some errands, but the weather is threatening enough that he would prefer to put it off till tomorrow. Plus he is somewhat sleepy. Tomorrow would be a pleasanter walk.

Karl suggests they hire the new woman, keep the previous maid, and get rid of housekeeper Barbara Holzmann. “Then the housekeeping will be placed in the best position.”

Karl notes that despite the weather, because of the equinox there is music and dancing everywhere in Baden, and everyone is cheerful.

The housekeeper comes to them and says that she needs money, and isn’t being paid enough. Karl calculated it out and observes that she also denied Uncle Ludwig giving her 5 florins. Ludwig acknowledges that he didn’t give her 5 florins, and that Karl was distracted. Karl says he’s distracted because he still hasn’t decided on his major. The preparation is nonsense, but the uncertainty doesn’t allow him to get started. But he has made up his mind to go see his old teacher Pleugmackers in Vienna for advice. Blöchlinger himself is no help.

Karl believes three or four chickens were roasted.

Seelig wrote out the name of the banker who would buy Uncle Ludwig’s bank share.

The maid needs to come in the morning about 8 or 8:30 to do the cooking. In the evening there will be nothing made fresh. The cook who roasts the chickens for them in the local restaurant needs to get a small honorarium.

Karl observes that the summer people in Baden are beginning to pack up to move back to the City. Karl suggests that perhaps he should go visit Dr. Staudenhim now [perhaps to invite him to dinner.] But the old woman [Barbara Holzmann] doesn’t want the maid to go to the restaurant to learn cooking; if she goes, then they need to get another maid in. “She really takes many liberties.”

Karl and Uncle Ludwig have some beer outside. Karl observes, “The nectar of the barley is good!” He thinks one must have either beer or wine with a meal at a restaurant. Although cooking is a splendid thing, it takes half a year to learn to do it properly. The maid has learned some things, but not everything she needs to know. Karl likes the bitterness of the beer. But the meat is not fully cooked; “One still sees the blood.” There is still a Guglhuf [Viennese round cake] coming.

Uncle Ludwig cannot hear it, but Holzmann is despondent and screaming outside. “She will not be silent,” says Karl. He needs to go to the new apartment in the Landstrasse, and afterwards he will go to Staudenheim’s.

After the housekeeper leaves, Karl starts writing a letter for his uncle, to Herr v. Pelikan, director of the water Curative Institute on the Glacis. Karl observes that today is the 21st. They then get into a discussion of the Tantum ergo and the Genitori laus et jubilatio.

Karl decides he will go to Vienna on Wednesday the 24th, and hopefully pick up the money at last on the 25th. Uncle Ludwig reminds Karl that he needs the affidavit from a priest that he is still alive so that the pension can be collected. Karl says he already got the attestation of life from Pastor Kritsch.

As the day starts to get cool, Karl suggests that the next morning his uncle not go to the baths until after he has finished his composing. The afternoon would be better, though not immediately after dinner. Karl asks whether they are going to the theater today, and Uncle Ludwig suggests that Karl go without him. Karl disapproves that his uncle has had nothing to eat today. The old woman can stay till the end of the month, so far as Karl is concerned, and then the other woman can replace her. She would have come today, if it had not rained.

Karl goes to the theater alone. When he returns, his uncle asks who conducted, and Karl says it was Eckschlager. He appears to go to bed shortly thereafter.

Conversation Book 43, 7r-16v.