Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 3.djvu/366

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.



��however, when the doctor arrived, he was quite delirious, and typhus had unmistakeably broken out. The next day, Tuesday, he was very restless throughout, trying continually to get out of bed, and constantly fancying himself in a strange room. That evening he called Ferdinand on to the bed, made him put his ear close to his mouth, and whispered mysteriously ' What are they doing with me ?' ' Dear Franz,' was the reply, ' they are doing all they can to get you well again, and the doctor assures us you will soon be right, only you must do your best to stay in bed.' He re- turned to the idea in his wandering ' I implore you to put me in my own room, and not to leave me in this corner under the earth ; don't I de- serve a place above ground 1 ' ' Dear Franz,' said .the agonised brother, * be calm ; trust your bro- ther Ferdinand, whom you have always trusted, and who loves you so dearly. You are in the room which you always had, and lying on your own bed.' ' No,' said the dying man, ' that's not true; Beethoven is not here.' So strongly had the great composer taken possession of him ! An hour or two later the doctor came, and spoke to him in the same style. Schubert looked him full in the face and made no answer ; but turning round clutched at the wall with his poor tired hands, and said in a slow earnest voice, ' Here, here, is my end.' At 3 in the afternoon of Wed- nesday the i pth Nov. 1828 he breathed his last, and his simple earnest soul took its flight from the world. He was 31 years, 9 months, and 19 days old. There never has been one like him, and there never will be another.

His death, and the letters of the elder Franz and of Ferdinand, bring out the family rela- tions in a very pleasant light. The poor pious bereaved father, still at his drudgery as 'school teacher in the Rossau,' 'afflicted, yet strengthened by faith in God and the Blessed Sacraments,' writing to announce the loss of his ' beloved son, Franz Schubert, musician and com- poser ' ; the good innocent Ferdinand, evidently recognised as Franz's peculiar property, clinging to his brother as the one great man he had ever known ; thinking only of him, and of fulfilling his last wish to lie near Beethoven, and ready to sacrifice all his scanty savings to do it these form a pair of interesting figures. Neither Ignaz nor Carl appear at all in connexion with the event, the father and Ferdinand alone are visible.

The funeral took place on Friday Nov. 21. It was bad weather, but a number of friends and sympathisers assembled. He lay in his coffin, dressed, as the custom then was, like a hermit, with a crown of laurel round his brows. The face was calm, and looked more like sleep than death. By desire of the family Schober was chief mourner. The coffin left the house at half-past two, and was borne by a group of young men, students and others, in red cloaks and flowers, to the little church of S. Joseph in Margarethen, where the funeral service was said, and a motet by Gansbacher, and a hymn of Schober's, 'Der Friede sey mit dir, du engelreine Seele ' written that morning in substitution for his own earlier


words, to the music of Schubert's 'Pax vobiscum' were sung over the coffin. It was then taken to the Ortsfriedhof in the village of Wanting, and committed to the ground, three 1 places higher up than the grave of Beethoven. In ordinary course he would have been buried in the cemetery at Matzleinsdorf, but the appeal which he made almost with his dying breath was naturally a law to the tender heart of Ferdinand, and through his piety and self-denial his dear brother rests, if not next, yet near to the great musician, whom he so deeply reverenced and admired. Late in the after- noon Wilhelm von Chezy, son of the authoress of Euryanthe and Rosamunde, who though not in Schubert's intimate circle was yet one of his ac- quaintances, by some accident remembered that he had not seen him for many months, and he walked down to Bogner's coffee-house, where the com- poser was usually to be found between 5 and 7, smoking his pipe and joking with his friends, and where the Cooper's novels mentioned in his note to Schober were not improbably still waiting for him. He found the little room almost empty, and the familiar round table deserted. On entering he was accosted by the waiter 'Your honour is soon back from the funeral ! ' ' Whose funeral ? ' said Chezy in astonishment. ' Franz Schubert's,' replied the waiter, ' he died two days ago, and is buried this afternoon.' 2

He left no will. The official inventory 3 of his possessions at the time of his death, in which he is described as ' Tonkiinstler und Compositeur ' musician and composer is as follows : ' Three dress coats, 3 walking coats, 10 pairs of trowsers, 9 waistcoats together worth 37 florins ; I hat,

5 pairs of shoes and 2 of boots valued at 2 florins ; 4 shirts, 9 cravats and pocket handker- chiefs, 13 pairs of socks, I towel, I sheet, 2 bed- cases 8 florins ; I mattrass, I bolster, i quilt

6 florins ; a quantity of old music valued at 10 florins 63 florins (say 2 105.) in all. Beyond the above there were no effects.' Is it possible, then, that in the ' old music, valued at 8s. 6d.,' are included the whole of his unpublished manu- scripts ? Where else could they be but in the house he was inhabiting ?

The expenses of the illness and funeral, though the latter is especially mentioned as 'second class,' amounted in all to 269 silver florins, 19 kr. (say 27) a heavy sum for people in the poverty of Ferdinand and his father. Of this the preliminary service cost 84 fl. 35 kr. ; the burial 44 fl. 45 kr. ; and the ground 70 fl. ; leaving the rest for the doctor's fees and incidental disburse- ments. Illness and death were truly expensive luxuries in those days.

On the 27th Nov. the Kirchen-musikverein performed Mozart's Requiem in his honour; and on Dec. 23 a requiem by Anselm Huttenbrenner was given in the Augustine church. On the I4th Dec. his early Symphony in C, No. 6, was played

1 Next to Beethoven comes ' Frelherr von Wssehrd ' ; then -Job. Graf Odonel and Grata O'Donnell,' and then Schubert.

2 Wilhelm von Chezy, ' Erinnerungen aus meinen Leben ' (1863), 182, 183.

3 Given at length by Kreissle (p.4S7)-but entirely omitted in the translation-and materially misquoted by Gumprecht (p. 15).

�� �