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Alternative Versions of Letter 184
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Music by Mozart in Letter 184

À Madame / Madame Marie Anne Mozart / à / Salzbourg

Naples 19 May 1770

You`ll have received my last letter from Rome by now - the one dated 2 May. I`m sorry that I haven`t been able to write again till now - you must have been very anxious in the meantime. We left Rome at 10 in the morning on 8 May in the company of three other sedias - 2-seater carriages - and had a light lunch at 1 o`clock at the Augustinian monastery at Marino, and on the evening of the 11th we were again well looked after at another Augustinian monastery at Sessa, we then called in on the Augustinian friars in Capua at midday on the 12th in the belief that we`d be in Naples that same evening. But on the following Sunday, namely, 13th, as fate would have it, a woman was to take the veil at a convent where one of my travelling companions, Padre Segarelli, was Father Confessor some years ago. He was supposed to attend the ceremony, and so he asked us to remain there, too, so we attended the ceremony, which was a most splendid occasion, for which a Kapellmeister and 3 or 4 carriages of virtuosos arrived on the evening of the 12th, opening the proceedings with some symphonies and a Salve Regina. All these virtuosos put up at the monastery, so you can easily imagine that we got to bed very late that night. The veiling didn`t take place until noon on the Sunday - in fact, it was more of a service, so that the whole affair went on until around 3. Apart from those ladies and gentlemen who were close friends of the woman, no one apart from us 2 was invited to dine at the convent. It would be impossible to describe it all. On the Monday we slept until 10 and after lunch drove to Naples, where we arrived in good time that same evening. We spent 2 nights in a house belonging to the Augustinian monastery of San Giovanni a Carbonaro, but we`re now in rooms for which we`re having to pay 10 silver ducats - 4 ducats in our own currency - a month. We drove out to Portici yesterday in order to call on the minister, Marchese Tannucci. We`ll be driving out there again tomorrow. We had terrible rain yesterday and a very cool breeze. We left our fine cloth suits in Rome and have had to wear our beautiful, braided summer suits. Wolfg.`s is made of pink moiré, but the colour is so unusual that in Italy it`s called colore di fuoco, or flame-coloured: with silver lace and lined with a sky-blue material. My suit is a kind of cinnamon colour, piquéd Florentine cloth, with silver lace and lined in apple-green. Both suits are very beautiful, but we`ll look like a couple of old maids by the time we get home. Yesterday evening we called on the English ambassador Hamilton footnote1 (our acquaintance from London), whose wife plays the keyboard with exceptional feeling and is a most pleasant person. She trembled at the prospect of having to play for Wolfg. She has a valuable instrument made in England by Tschudi, with 2 manuals and pedal stops that can be uncoupled by means of the foot. footnote2 Also present were Mr Beckfort footnote3 and Monsieur Weis, our acquaintances from England. On the 16th we lunched with Baron Tschudi |: who had been in Salzb. :|. He asked me to convey his good wishes to His Excellency Count Spauer and all our good friends, especially to you and Nannerl. He kissed us countless times, especially when we arrived and as we were leaving, and offered us his services, no matter what the occasion. The day before yesterday we bumped into Monsieur Meuricovre from Lyons, who had been looking for us everywhere. He`d even left a card for us, with his address, at the Augustinian monastery, before finally running into us by chance in the street. He came back with us to our rooms and then took us to his own house. We were due to have lunch with him tomorrow, but we have to go to Portici, so we can`t make it. He sends you his cordial regards. He and another person have set up a company here, and both of them have offered me their services in all eventualities. I expect you still remember him: a young man with brown hair who often had to sing the Italian song to Wolfg. with his glasses on his nose. I still can`t tell you how long we`ll be staying here. I`ve no choice in the matter. It could be 5 weeks or 5 months. I think it`ll be 5 weeks, but it all depends on the circumstances. While I was listening to High Mass on the Feast of St Philip and St James footnote4 in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, I saw a familiar face. He came over to me, and who do you think it was? - - it was our former servant, Porta. He was neatly dressed, lace cuffs, a gold watch, etc. etc. He`d been with the French troops in Corsica. The next day he came to offer me his services just as Herr Meissner was arriving. I refused even so much as to listen to him. Just ask Herr Meissner - he saw him. The fellow`s nothing but an adventurer. I was sincerely sorry to hear about Frau Adlgasser`s accidents and hope she`ll soon be better. Best wishes to them both. Frau De Amicis sends her best wishes to you and Nannerl, together with those of her mother, brother etc. When we read the article about the Miserere, footnote5 we couldn`t help laughing out loud. There`s not the slightest cause for worry. People are making far more of it elsewhere. The whole of Rome knows about it; and even the pope knows that Wolfg. wrote down the Miserere. There`s absolutely nothing to be afraid of: quite the opposite, it`s done him great credit, as you`ll shortly be hearing. footnote6 You must make absolutely certain that everyone reads the letter and make sure that His Grace hears about it. If the portraits footnote7 have turned out well, you may pay whatever you like for them. I must close now as we have to go and see the imperial ambassador, Count Kaunitz. Farewell, we kiss you and Nannerl 1000 times and I am your old
Mzt
I hope you`ve recovered from your cold.

NOTE ENCLOSED BY MOZART TO HIS SISTER

My dear sister, footnote8
I really don`t know how to reply to your letter as you wrote almost nothing. I`ll send you Sgr Haiden`s minuets footnote9 when I have more time. But [ I don`t understand. You say that they`ve been stolen, these minuets. Did you steal them, or what? ] Please write soon, and write every post-day. Thanks for sending me the maths tables, footnote10 and if ever you want a headache, please send me more of the same. Forgive me for writing so badly, but the reason is that I too have a slight headache. I really like the twelfth minuet by Heiden footnote11 that you sent me, and you`ve written a wonderful bass for it, without the slightest mistake. I`d like you to try your hand at such things more often: Mama mustn`t forget to have both the guns cleaned: write and tell me how Mr Canary is. Is he still singing? Is he still whistling? Do you know why I`m thinking of the canary? Because there`s one in our front room that makes a noise just like ours. By the way, I assume that Herr Johanes has received the letter of congratulation that we were going to write him, but if he hasn`t received it, I`ll tell him in person what it would have contained when I get back to Salzburg. We wore our new suits for the first time yesterday and were as beautiful as the angels, but I`m afraid that we won`t be bringing any other beautiful things back home with us. Addio, farewell, best wishes to Nandl, tell her to be a good girl and pray for me. I am
Wolfgang Mozart

SECOND POSTSCRIPT BY MOZART

The opera that Jomèlo is writing will open on the 30th. We saw the king and queen during Mass in the court chapel at Porteci, and we also saw Fesufius: Naples is beautiful, but it`s as crowded as Vienna and Paris. Of London and Naples, I`m not sure if the people in Naples are not more impertinent than those in London, for here the common people, the laceroni, have their own general or chief who receives 25 silver ducats from the king every month just to keep the laceroni in order. Deamicis is singing in the opera, we called on her and [ she recognized us at once ]. The second opera is being written by Càfaro, the third by Cìcio de Màjo, it`s not yet known who`s writing the 4th. Be a good girl and go to Mirawell to hear the litanies and the Regina Coeli or Salve Regina, and sleep well and don`t have bad dreams. Give Herr von Schidenhofen my barbarous good wishes, tralaliera, tralaliera, and tell him he should learn to play the repeating minuet footnote12 on the keyboard, so that he doesn`t forget it, he should do so soon so that he may do me the pleasure of letting me do the honours and accompany him. Do give my good wishes to all our other good friends, and do keep well and do not die but do me a favour and write me another letter, so that I can do the same, and then we can keep on doing so until we are done, for I`m someone who will keep on doing things until there`s finally nothing left to do, but for now I`m done. footnote13
Wolfgang Mozart
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 184 <http://letters.mozartways.com>. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.
In Mozart's Words. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.