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À Madame / Madame Marie Anne Mozart / à / Salzbourg / per Mantova / Insprugg.

Milan 13 Feb. / 1773

I haven`t received a letter from you today, of course, as I told you some time ago not to write to me again in Milan. But if some untoward incident should occur, we can do nothing to avoid it, as I`ve discovered for myself a thousand times. My rheumatism, which had moved to my right shoulder, has settled there far more obstinately than when I had it in my thigh and both knees. And I`ve not been able to treat it properly as it`s easier to keep one`s legs warm in bed in an icy cold room than one`s shoulders. I was in constant fear that it would afflict me as badly as it did 10 years ago, when I had these terrible pains in both shoulders for 14 whole weeks. I hope to God that the present attack won`t be so bad as the pain is already less severe, only I can`t use my right arm, and as Wolfg. isn`t able to do much for me or even for himself, you can easily imagine what a farce this has been. I would have written to Hs Ex the Chief Steward and most humbly begged him to apologize to Hs Gce for our belated return to Salzb., but I can assure you that I can`t write a single intelligent or sensible line without feeling feverish and can`t even write the odd word in a neat and tidy hand. So you may care to find an opportunity to seek out Hs Ex in our name and assure him that we`ll be leaving as soon as we can. Also, you should know that such a terrible amount of snow has fallen hereabouts during the last week that, now that it`s turned to mud and water, the roads are so impassable that today`s post hasn`t arrived and the post that should have arrived yesterday won`t be arriving until this evening, in other words, a whole day late. Those people in Salzb. who imagine that we`re staying here simply for the pleasure of it couldn`t be more mistaken as we`re extremely annoyed at not being able to produce the masques that we were thinking of putting on in Salzb. Given my rheumatism, the most natural role for me to have performed would have been that of the twisted devil. footnote1 H Leutgeb arrived late in the evening a week ago. He came to see us the following Sunday. But I haven`t seen him for the last 2 days as he`s staying with the painter H Martin Knoller, a good quarter of an hour from our lodgings, where his rooms don`t cost him anything. So far he`s done fairly well for himself and will earn a pretty penny while he`s here as he`s amazingly popular, and if the concert that the courtiers want to arrange for him does indeed go ahead, I`ll wager that he`ll make 100 cigliati. The Archduke, too, wants to hear him. I`m tired of holding this pen, my head is hot, my feet and hands are cold, so I must close. Best wishes to all our good friends, we kiss you many 1000 times, and I am your old
Once again you mustn`t write to me, because as soon as I can use my arm, we`ll be leaving. We`re speaking to the copyist in honeyed tones and urging him to finish the score of Wolfg.`s opera so that we can bring it home with us. Whether we`ll be so lucky remains to be seen.
Please use the following reference when citing this website:
Eisen, Cliff et al. In Mozart's Words, Letter 284 <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.