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Nothing But You


Robert Schumann on his way to Zwickau, wrote to Clara Wieck on the eve of Valentine’s Day 1836:

“It’s all I can do to keep my eyes open. For the last two hours I’ve been waiting for the express mail coach. The roads are so bad that it may be two in the morning before we get underway. How clearly I can see you, my own beloved Clara. You seem so near that I can almost touch you. Once upon a time I could express my feelings in pretty phrases, but no more….

“I may as well tell you that my future is now much more secure. Of course, I can’t just sit on my hands and I still have plenty to do if I’m going to earn the image you see in your mirror. You’ll want to continue with your art, to share my work and my burdens, my happiness and my sorrow.

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“My priority in Leipzig will be to put my material affairs in order. I am at peace with myself. Who knows? Maybe your father won’t refuse his blessing when I ask for it. There is still plenty to think about, but for now I trust in our good angel. Fate created us for each other. I’ve known that for a long time, even though I didn’t have the nerve to speak to you sooner or to come to an understanding with you.

“Later on I’ll give you a fuller explanation of today’s jottings, and if you can’t make them out, then be assured that I love you more than I can say. It’s getting very dark in this room, and my fellow passengers are sleeping. Outside there’s a snowstorm. As for me, I’ll take refuge in a corner, bury my head in a cushion, and think of nothing but you.”

Robert Schumann writing to Clara Wieck in February 1836.