BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Thursday, September 18, 1823

While Beethoven waits for Nephew Karl to return from Vienna, he makes some notes in Conversation Book 42 about several items noted in the newspapers: the book Walter von Montbarry, Grand Master of the Order of the Temple [by Benedicte Naubert (1756-1819)] and elastic neckties in the English style at the shop of Adelheit Schultz.

Karl and Niemetz return from Vienna in the evening, and the coachman demands a 2 florin tip. Karl ran into Uncle Ludwig’s former maid or cook Maria Pamer, who said that “If fate were to send me the good fortune to work for Herr v. Beethoven again, he would surely never again drive me away as long as I live.”

Karl thinks it best to tell the old woman, Barbara Holzmann, that things don’t work any more with her, and hire the other woman without being secretive about. There’s nothing to gossip about, since the salary and the position will remain the same.

Wine disagrees with Karl, since he drinks it so often. The roast costs 24 kr.

Banker Franz Salzmann sent Karl to Seelig, a winehouse proprietor, to try to get him to lend against the bank shares, but Seelig refused, saying why should he do so when the banks refused? It would be better to just sell the bank share now, since its price is currently high, and then redeem it back later. Since he didn’t have any money to give to S.A. Steiner on Ludwig’s debts, Steiner was pretty angry.

Karl delivered the letters to Louis Spohr and Prince Galitzin to the post office as directed. The postage was very high; 1 fl. 38 kr. for the two of them. The post office refuses to accept W.W. Viennese currency; Karl had to change the 10 fl. W.W. he was given into C.M. convention coinage.

Karl went to the place where he bought the diary; there were other books [presumably conversation books] that were better made and more durable than the sewn ones. If he had known whether Uncle Ludwig would approve, he would have bought one. They want 45 kr. for them. Karl observes that in more professionally made books, one tends to write smaller, but it depends on how many pages will be ripped out for various purposes, as Ludwig tended to do.

Conversation Book 42, 23v-28v.

Today’s Wiener Zeitung at 870 includes a report on the opening of the conclave of cardinals that is to elect the new pope, Pius VII having died on August 20th, after serving as pope for over 23 years. The conclave began on September 2, with 49 of the 53 eligible in attendance. Archduke Rudolph, as Archbishop and Cardinal of Olmütz, would have been eligible to attend the conclave, but did not do so. The Wiener Zeitung does not, however, comment on Rudolph’s absence.

Those attending were split in two groups: the zelanti, who were reactionary and were opposed to secularizing reforms, and the politicani, who though still conservative were more moderate and favored a conciliatory approach. The first days of the conclave at the Quirinal Palace conclude at 9 or 10 p.m., with no decisions having been reached.

Quirinal Palace. Photo by Wolfgang Moroder, CC BY-SA 3.0

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