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Rome 21 April 1770
I assume that your letters of the 2nd and the 6th are your replies to the two that I sent you from Bologna. Meanwhile you`ll have received one from Florence and my first one from Rome, footnote1 in which I reported in some haste on the bad weather we`d had and on our wearisome journey, but I forgot to say that we arrived at midday amid thunder and lightning and that at a good hour`s distance from Rome the heavens received us with thunderclaps and flashes of lightning just as great men are welcomed by the firing of heavy artillery, and so we were accompanied to Rome.
Until now we`ve had constant rain, and today is the first day on which we`ve been able to see one or two things in safety. We`ve met an astonishing number of Englishmen here, including Mr Beckfort, who knew us from Lady Effingham`s in London. This morning we went for a walk with him and a party of other English visitors in the gardens of the Villa Medici that belongs to the Grand Duke of Florence. We have moved from our first lodgings, and Herr Marcobruni, who sends you his best wishes, has put us up at the home of the papal courier, Signor Uslenghi, in the Piazza del Clementino. We like it here, and the wife and daughter are falling over each other waiting on us. The husband is in Portugal and so they look on us as the master of the house, we eat together and have a large room that gets the morning sun, so it`s very healthy. If friends visit us, we have the use of all the other rooms, and as the daughter is starting to play the keyboard, we are not without a harpsichord. News of our presence in Bologna and Florence etc. has already appeared in the papers, but I`ve never liked sending you this sort of thing. footnote2 Yesterday I received the letter from His Excellency the Lord Steward. It arrived, therefore, before the letter that His Grace kindly arranged to have sent to me but which we have not yet seen. I made enquiries about it in vain with His Grace`s representative in Rome, Signor Crivelli. footnote3 If the opportunity arises, you may thank His Excellency and give him our most humble respects. footnote4 That the Court Chancellor is feeling better is a source of all the greater pleasure in that his serious and dangerous illness had left me very anxious. Give Privy Councillor von Mölk my best wishes and tell him that I have no doubt that in these sad circumstances he will have recalled my words on more than one occasion. In particular, give my best wishes to Herr von Schiedenhofen: I am much obliged to him for making Nannerl play the harpsichord so often. I shall certainly be writing to him myself in the very near future. There`s nothing that I can tell you about our own affairs as I am tired: the deeper we got into Italy, the greater has been our astonishment. And Wolfg.`s knowledge is not standing still but increases by the day so that the greatest experts and masters cannot find the words to express their admiration. 2 days ago we were at the home of a Neapolitan Prince Sant`Angelo, while among those present yesterday at the house of Prince Ghigi were the so-called King of England or Pretender and the Secretary of State Cardinal Pallavicini. We shall soon be presented to His Holiness. Before I close, I must write and tell you about a delightful incident that befell us. In Florence we met a young Englishman who is a pupil of the famous violinist Nardini. This boy, who plays wonderfully well and who is the same height and age as Wolfg., turned up at the house of the learned poetess Signora Corilla, whom we were visiting on the recommendation of M. Laugier. These 2 boys took it in turns to perform all evening, constantly hugging each other. The next day the little Englishman - a most charming boy - had his violin brought to our rooms and spent the whole afternoon playing, while Wolfg. accompanied him on the violin. The next day we lunched with M. Gavard, who manages the Grand Duke`s finances, and these 2 boys spent the whole afternoon playing in turn, not like boys, but like men! Little Tomaso accompanied us home and wept the most bitter tears because we were leaving the next day. But when he heard that we wouldn`t be setting off till midday, he returned at 9 in the morning and, repeatedly hugging Wolfg., gave him the following poem, footnote5 which Signora Corilla had had to write for him the previous evening, and he then accompanied our carriage as far as the city gate. I wish you could have witnessed this scene. I must now close. With best wishes to all our friends, I am your old
We kiss you both 1000 times.


Cara sorella mia,
Io mi rallegro vi ha piacuto quel menuetto footnote6 che vi mandai da Bologna, che ballo il sig. pick à Milano. Spero che riceviste quella contradanza che vi mandai nella prima lettera di Roma, scrivetelomi poi tutto, come vi piacque… footnote7I`m sure you`ll find the maths tables as it was you yourself who wrote them out - I`ve lost them and so I no longer know the first thing about them. So please copy them out for me, together with some other examples of sums and send them to me here. Manzuoli is under contract with the Milanese to sing in my opera. As a result he sang four or five arias for me in Florence, including some of my own, footnote8 which I had to compose in Milan so that these people, who had heard none of my stuff for the theatre, would be able to see from this that I`m capable of writing an opera. Manzuoli is demanding 1000 ducats. No one knows if Gabrielli will definitely be coming. Some people are saying that de`Amicis, whom we`ll be seeing in Naples, will sing. I hope that it will be her and Manzuoli who perform. We`d then have two good acquaintances and friends. We still don`t know the libretto. footnote9 I recommended a text by Metastasio to Don Ferdinando and Herr von Troger. I`m currently working on the aria: Se ardire e speranza.
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 177 <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.