Years were dragging on, I kept getting smaller and frailer. Can you imagine Mozart's Bäsle-Häsle as a small, wizened grandma? Well, but it was exactly like that. In the late thirties, Streitel had practically ruined us with his fruitless work, this ... this ... gigantic fool was driving me completely mad. It was about time for me to go. In fall of 1840, I could hardly get out of bed, I simply wasn't able any more to get on my feet. It was touching how Josepha, being herself already ill, was looking after me. Except for six short years, we had always lived together. Our happiness was coming to an end, as my time had come, and what a time I had had. I became 82 years old, not bad, right? I thanked the Lord for my daughter, and for the love and closeness to each other, confessed however also the grudge I had at first harboured against her existence now and then. On January 25th, 1841 the parish priest came to administer the last sacraments to me. Shortly after the midday peal of bells, I passed peacefully away, having still the sound of the bells ringing in my ears.

The only portrait of my beloved cousin I ever possessed Two days later, it would have been the 85th birthday of my dear cousin, whose fame had been assuming undreamt-of proportions in the meantime. In Salzburg even an association in his and his works' honour had been founded. Whether he might have enjoyed that? I believe in opposite to his father, who would certainly have been most satisfied, he would have just laughed heartily. Wolfgang -- whom I outlived for nearly 50 years, however had never forgotten, nor had I stopped loving him, whose little portrait I had kept like a treasure until my end ... On January 28th, my mortal remains were buried on the city cemetery near the chapel. Josepha had purchased the burial plot for the period of 60 years, and had a gravestone of artistic value made.

She herself should live for only one further year. On April 6th, 1842 on the 71st birthday of her husband, of all days, she followed me and died of chest- and abdomen-dropsy, being just 58 years of age. An early death just like her father, whom she had been resembling very much anyway. My child was buried not far away from me. Streitel, increasingly suffering from dementia, was retired soon after and left Bayreuth that hadn't brought him any luck. Burdened with debts he returned home to Regensburg where he died on June 5th, 1854 at the age of 83.

© copyright 2001-2019 Susanne M. Scholze. All rights reserved.

Picture by courtesy of Brigg Verlag Augsburg

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