English  |  Deutsch  |  Italiano  |  Français

Bologna 4 August / 1770
I`m writing this to you from my bed. Not that my right leg is in any danger: no! Thank God, it`s better, although the skin is now peeling, making it look as if I`ve had chickenpox. But not only am I trying to avoid using my right leg in order to prevent a new swelling but I`m at present unable to walk because of my left leg: during the night I had such severe pain in the ball of the foot and some of the toes, together with a slight swelling, that it looks very much like gout and prevents me from walking. I shan`t get away with paying less than 20 ducats for this inn, assuming it all works out. In God`s name, the devil may take the money as long as one escapes with one`s skin! We were saddened to hear that Mistress Martha has consumption and a wasting of her neck. Of course, she always looked so thin. Isn`t it possible to treat such a young person with humectants? - - One can never be sure of the source of such a wasting disease. It doesn`t always have to be consumption. There are many other reasons why people contract wasting diseases, especially women. It`s also difficult to help them, of course, if one doesn`t know the cause. I can assure you that this news was a source of great sadness for us both. May God help her! - - We send our best wishes and with all our hearts wish her a full recovery. And has Herr Stöckl really lost his wits? - - It`s strange that in all the time I was in Salzb. I never had the honour of seeing him at his oddest. I feel sincerely sorry for his wife. It`s a most unfortunate case. I`m grateful to Frau Hagenauer for copying out the pomade recipe. Unless I`m much mistaken, it was her handwriting. It`s not yet been very hot, for which I`m grateful, otherwise I`d have been in despair at having to remain in bed. Tell Herr Johannes that I`m unlikely to see Signor Bortolo Tiboni before we reach Venice. I don`t know if I`ve told you that at a soirée at the home of the banker Signor Boracini in Naples I met Herr Obexer, footnote1 who has become a Jesuit. Herr Misliwetschek called on me recently, then the castrato Manfredini, who called in at our rooms on his way back from Russia. We also had a visit from his brother, the Kapellmeister Manfredini, and from a certain Herr Schmid, who gave a concert in Berne and whom Herr Schulz |: footnote2 to whom we send our best wishes :| will know well. Herr Misliwetschek has been asked to write the first opera for the 1772 carnival in Milan, in other words, a year after Wolfgangerl. My last letter footnote3 had more to say about the first opera in Milan and about who the singers are. The second opera will be Nitteti. Farewell, we kiss you 1000 times and I am your old, impatient, gout-afflicted
bed-ridden Mzt

Best wishes from us both to everyone inside and outside the house.


I`m sincerely sorry to hear that Mistress Martha is still so ill and I pray every day that she may get better. Tell her from me that she shouldn`t move too much and that she should be a good girl and eat plenty of salty things. By the way, did you give my letter to Sigerl Robinig? footnote4 You said nothing about it, if you see him, please tell him not to forget me. I can`t possibly write more beautifully because this pen is for writing music rather than letters. My violin has just been restrung, and I`ve been playing on it every day. I`m telling you this only because Mama once wanted to know if I was still playing the violin. On at least 6 occasions I`ve had the honour of going on my own to church or to some other important function. In the meantime I`ve written 4 Italian symphonies footnote5 in addition to the arias, footnote6 of which I`ve already written 5 or 6, as well as a motet. footnote7 Does Herr Deibl often visit you and still honour you with his entertaining conversation? And Herr Carl von Vogt? Does he still deign to listen to your intolerable voice? Herr von Schidenhofen should help you to write some minuets, otherwise he`ll get no sugar!
If I had the time, I would owe it to myself to plague both Herr Mölk and Herr Schidenhofen with a few lines, but I lack the time for even the most basic necessities, and so I would ask them to forgive me for this shortcoming and allow me to delay this honour until some future date.

* footnote8

There, I`ve done as you asked, though I hardly think it can be one of mine, for who would dare to pass off as his own a piece by the son of the Kapellmeister when his mother and sister are there? footnote9 Addio farewell: at present my sole amusement consists in dancing English steps and in cutting capers and doing the splits. Italy is a sleepy country! One always feels drowsy. Addio farewell.
4 August 1770.
Wolfgang Mozart
Best wishes to all our good friends. I kiss Mama`s hand.
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 202 <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.