Father Mozart’s Demand


It was as if they were playing cat and mouse. In mid-December 1778, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had written to his father Leopold from Keysersheim explaining why ~ contrary to his father’s wishes — he had not yet come home to Salzburg. On December 28th Leopold wrote back:

“I thought you would have been guided by your common sense and that you would put more stock in your father’s judgement — which you know to he sound — than in your own fruitless wishes. So I had no doubt that by the New Year at the latest you would be home in Salzburg.

“But what is the use of saying anything? If you will disregard all of your cheerful dreams, you will have to concede that I am right. [And it is hardly necessary for me to bother to justify my opinion to you. All the more because] I an sick to death of composing these long letters, and for the past fifteen months have practically written myself blind!

“You left Paris on September 26th. If you had come straight to Salzburg, I could have paid off a large portion of our debts. So I command you to leave right away since your behavior is disgraceful and I’m thoroughly embarrassed by having assured everyone that you would positively be home by the New Year at the very latest. Good God! How many times you’ve made a liar of me!

“I think I have made myself completely clear. Or do I have to take the mail coach myself and go get you? Surely my son won’t let things come to such a pass.

Everybody sends greetings to you. Your sister and I kiss you several hundred thousand times and I remain your father who is still waiting for you.”

Leopold Mozart, writing to his errant son, Wolfgang Amadeus, on December 28th, 1778.

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