BEETHOVEN 200 YEARS AGO TODAY: Wednesday, January 29, 1823

In the morning, Beethoven makes another note that he needs a night stool with chest. He begins drafting a letter (probably to unpaid assistant Anton Schindler or possibly his friend editor Joseph Carl Bernard about finding him a new housekeeper to replace Barbara Holzmann, preferably a widow with a pension who understands cooking, or maybe a separate cook.

Schindler arrives mid-morning. He mentions that he saw Count Moritz Lichnowsky (1771-1837), the younger brother of Beethoven’s deceased patron Prince Karl Lichnowsky. They were both at the Zisius ball the other night, and Schindler stayed up until 1 AM.He is interested in getting to know Beethoven better. Schindler will be meeting him again tomorrow at the offices of Georg von Griesinger, the Councillor from Saxony.

The Danish ambassador has told Schindler that he can’t accept the subscription solicitation, and Beethoven should write directly to the King of Denmark, Friedrich VI (1768-1839). The ambassador of Mecklenburg had a similar message, and said he should write Baron Pleassen, the minister of state. Schindler intends to visit Tettenborn to get his input on what he’s being told.

Beethoven continues to be unwell with diarrhea; Schindler cautions him against drinking too much water, which is cold as ice. The wine is similarly cold. Schindler mentions that he knows a fine woman, 40 years old, who was a cook in a house where he visited, who might be suitable for Beethoven.

Apparently attorney Bach drank too much at lunch with Beethoven the other day; he came to a consultation with a client afterwards “thoroughly drunk” and gave ridiculous advice. He joked that he can never come to dinner at Beethoven’s again. Bach warns that the country is likely to go bankrupt again just as it did in 1811, adding further confusion to the value of currency.

Beethoven seems discouraged about the subscriptions, and Schindler tries to encourage him a bit. “As many difficulties as we always have, don’t be afraid of it; we shall achieve our purpose.” He repeats that the Danish ambassador and the ambassador from Mecklenburg insist that the subscriptions need to be made directly to the Court, since they have no authority. Every ambassador’s instructions are different. He expects the others to respond within the month.

In the afternoon, brother Johann pays a call. He notes that although Rossini’s Maometto II was to be performed at the K√§rntnertor Theater last night, one of the stars was ill so they hastily replaced it with Beethoven’s Fidelio.

Johann says that the newspapers indicate likely war between Austria and Spain.He suggests that rhubarb powder might help Ludwig’s diarrhea. He cautions against eating fish. Contrary to Schindler’s advice, Johann tells him to drink plenty of water.

Conversation Book 21, 8v-14v.