Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director
Mozart on marriage
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The Marriage of Figaro

Mozart on marriage

To his father, December 15, 1781

The voice of nature speaks as loud as me as in others, louder, perhaps, than in many a big strong lout of a fellow. I simply cannot live as most young men do in these days. In the first place, I have too much religion; in the second place, I have too great a love of my neighbour and too high a feeling of honour to seduce an innocent girl; and, in the third place, I have too much horror and disgust, too much dread and fear of diseases and too much care for my health to fool about with whores. So I can swear that I have never had relations of that sort with any woman. Besides, if such a thing had occurred, I should not have concealed it from you; for, after all, to err is natural enough in a man, and to err once would be mere weakness — although indeed I should not undertake to promise that if I had erred once in this way, I should stop short at one slip. However, I stake my life on the truth of what I have told you. I am well aware that this reason (powerful as it is) is not urgent enough. But owing to my disposition, which is more inclined to a peaceful and domesticated existence than to revelry, I who from my youth up have never been accustomed to look after my own belongings, linen clothes and so forth, cannot think of anything more necessary to me than a wife. I assure you that I am often obliged to spend unnecessarily, simply because I do not pay attention to things. I am absolutely convinced that I should manage better with a wife (on the same income which I have now) than I do by myself. And how many useless expenses would be avoided! True, other expenses would have to be met, but — one knows what they are and can be prepared for them — in short one leads a well-ordered existence. A bachelor, in my opinion is only half alive.

to his fiancee, April 29, 1752

In spite of all my entreaties you have thrown me over three times and told me to my face that you intend to have nothing more to do with me. I (to whom it means more than it does to you to lose the object of my love am not so hot-tempered so rash and so senseless as to accept my dismissal. I love you far too well to do so. I entreat you, therefore, to ponder and reflect upon the cause of all this unpleasantness, which arose from my being annoyed that you were so impudently inconsiderate as to say to your sisters — and, be it noted, in my presence — that you had let a chapeau (young gallant), measure the calves of your legs. No woman who cares for her honour can do such a thing. It is quite a good maxim to do as one's company does.

to his father, May 3, 1783

We have taken our lunch out of doors and shall stay or. until eight or nine in the evening. My whole company consists of my little wife who is pregnant, and hers consists of her little husband, who is not pregnant, but fat and flourishing ... ! must ask you to wait patiently for a longer letter and the aria with reservations — for, of course, cannot finish them in the Prater; and for the sake of my dear little wife I cannot miss this fine weather. Exercise is good for her.


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