It was fortunate that the Kassel offer was refused, and that an earlier attempt (in 1796) to win him for Berlin had also led to naught; for Vienna was the proper place for Beethoven. It was at that time the world's musical centre, owing largely to the unusual interest talcen in music by the aristocratic circles. To under stand the significance of this fact we must bear in mind that at that time there were few public concerts; it was the nobility who maintained the orchestras and patronized the great artists, the audiences being invited guests. Beethoven brought with him from Bonn letters of intro duction to leading members of the aristocracy, and thus found himself at once 4in the swim.° He had not yet done anything very remarkable as a composer and was at first admired chiefly for his improvisations on the pianoforte; but gradually a sense of his greatness dawned on his patrons, who bore patiently all his eccentrici ties. While recognizing the advantage of being intimate in the houses of the aristocracy, he never truckled to rank and refused to submit to the intricate and artificial rules of court etiquette. At the same time he expected the aristocrats to behave like ladies and gentlemen; one day when a young man talked loudly while he was playing, he suddenly stopped and ex claimed: 41 play no longer for such hogs.° His attitude toward wealth is illustrated by his once sending back his brother's card on which (Johann van Beethoven, land proprietor° was printed, after writing on the back: °Ludwig van Beethoven, brain proprietor.° In the homes of some of his aristocratic friends he gave lessons to the women and girls. He did this unwillingly, looldng at the time thus spent as filched from his compositions. He often failed to keep his appointments and was apt to be irascible and bearish; but his fair pupils were only too glad to put up with all this for the sake of the benefit they got from his lessons. He was, at the same time, a great admirer of women and often in love, although none of his infatuations appears to have lasted more than seven months. He was never married, for al though he repeatedly proposed he was each time refused. These love affairs call for mention because they had an influence on not a few of his compositions. A well-regulated house hold was a blessing he greatly needed. His eccentric habits were forever forcing him to change his lodgings and he seldom could keep a servant longer than a few weeks. If his cook brought him a bad egg he threw it at her. He often got angry when the servants laughed at the sight he presented while composing— toss ing his hands about, beating time with his feet, and singing or rather, growling. His rooms pre sented scenes of great disorder. His gastro nomic habits were unwise, and the dyspepsia they gave rise to was responsible for much melancholy and for many of the outbreaks of ill-temper for which he became notorious as he grew older. While naturally of an affectionate disposition (as instanced in his fondness for his nephew) and always fond of jokes, he would, on occasion, insult and abuse his best friends on slight provocation; but these outbursts of irascibility were usually followed by the most abject apologies. He was, in short, like his music, highly emotional and regardless of rules.
The chief cause of his growing moroseness and irritability was the difficulty of hearing which began in 1798 and gradually ended in complete deafness. In 1802 (25 years before his death) he wrote in his last will: 40 ye, who consider or declare me to be hostile, ob stinate, or misanthropic, what injustice ye do me! Ye Icnow not the secret causes of that which to you wears such an appearance and he proceeds to speak of his heanng, whirl had been growing more and more defective for six years, and which made him shun people, as he did not wish to say constantly: °Speak louder—bawl—for I am deaf." His last appear
ance in public in concerted music was in 1814. Two years later he began to experiment with ear-trumpets, his collection of which is now the Royal Library of Berlin. His attempts to conduct after this usually led to mortifying and pathetic scenes. The last was in 1824, when, although totally deaf, he insisted on con ducting his ninth sytnphony; he could not even hear the applause which followed it. All com munication with him was, in the last years of his life,_carried on with the aid of pencil and paper. The autopsy showed that not only were the auditory nerves practically paralyzed, but there were other advanced troubles (the liver was tough as leather and shrunIc to half its normal size), which made it remarkable that he should have retained his vitality so long. The immediate causes of death were inflamma tion of the lungs and dropsy. A week before his death he was still busy with letters and with plans for new compositions, including a tenth sgmdphony, a requiem and music to Faust. He e during a violent thunder and hail storm, about six o'clock on 26 March 1827. The Viennese, who had been neglecting him during the last few years, because of the Rossini furore (in 1823 no operas but Rossini's were sung in Vienna, and the whole musical atmosphere was affected by them), now realized their loss and a crowd of 20,000 persons attended the funeral. He was buried in the Wahringer Fried hof, but in 1888 his remains were transferred, with those of Schubert, to the Central Ceme tery. Statues of him were erected at Bonn in 1845, in Vienna in 1880, in Brooklyn in 1894, at Leipzig (Max Klinger) in 1902. In 1815 the freedom of the city of Vienna had been con ferred upon him.
A certain wildness was given to Beethoven's appearance by his long, abundant hair, which was always in a state of disorder. He was strongly built and muscular, but below medium stature, his height being five feet five inches. His small black eyes were bright and piercing, his forehead broad and high, his complexion ruddy. His friend Schindler wrote that when a musical idea took possession of his mind, °there was an air of inspiration and dignity in his aspect; and his diminutive figure seemed to tower to the gigantic proportions of his mind.' Already in Bonn his friends used to note the occasions when he was °in his rapists." These moments of inspiration would corne to him at any time and anywhere—in his room, in the streets of Vienna, and particularly in the coun try. He was extremely found of nature and country life, and spent his summers in the picturesque regions near Vienna. A sketch book was always in his pocket, and into this he jotted his ideas as they came. Afterward he revised and re-revised these sketches. °There is hardly a bar in his music," says Grove, °of which it may not be said with confidence that it has been rewritten a dozen times. Of the air (0 Hoffnung,' in (Fidelio,) the sketch books show 18 atteinpts, and of the concluding chorus 10." These sketches have been collected by Nottebohm and printed; they give an in teresting and instructive insight into the work shop of genius. Another curious fact regard ing his creative power is that, lilce Wagner s, it matured slowly. Mendelssolui wrote his best piece, the (Midsununer Night's Dream' overture at the age of 17; Schubert was 18 when he wrote his wonderful (Erlking;' but Wagner was 28 when he wrote his first really original opera ((The Flying Dutchman)), and Bee thoven 29 when he composed his first symphony, and that might have been almost as well written by Mozart or Haydn.