Conversation Book 13, leaves 48v through 52r.
This is not a good day. Beethoven starts his morning with a shopping list, including ink, salt, a vest and cloth for three underpants. Things go badly. When Beethoven goes shopping, he becomes convinced that the merchant has cheated him on the price of salt. His deafness makes him suspicious, and he fears being taken advantage of.
Franz Oliva visits Beethoven at his apartment and finds the composer in a very distraught frame of mind. First, he has to deal with the paranoia about the salt; Oliva tries to convince Beethoven that he has not been cheated on the salt. “Salt is the same price everywhere; he has not cheated you. If you begin with mistrust, without evidence, where can you end?”
Beethoven is also highly agitated about his general finances this morning. What will become of him? And nephew Karl? Oliva, who has been advising the composer in financial matters, tries to reassure him. Beethoven has money coming from Frankfurt, the dividends on his eight national bank shares will be paid in June, and he has a stipend coming from the heirs of Prince Lobkowitz (who in 1809, with Archduke Rudolph and Prince Kinsky, agreed to pay Beethoven 4,000 florins per year as long as he stayed in Vienna). If worst comes to worst, he can sell one of his bank shares, and then repurchase it when he has money in the fall. The main thing is to keep calm so he can compose; that’s the first consideration and then Karl will be provided for.
Once Oliva has talked Beethoven down, and just as they are about to go into the city for lunch, the moving agent for his move to Mödling in the country arrives. He will provide two carriages tomorrow, May 10, at 5:30 pm. Beethoven changes his mind about lunch, and Oliva goes into the city alone. Beethoven presumably spends the rest of the day packing.