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Haydn

Appendix A: Haydn's Last Will And Testament
The following draft of Haydn's will is copied from Lady Wallace's Letters of
Distinguished Musicians (London, 1867), where it was published in full for the first time.
The much-corrected original is in the Court Library at Vienna. Dies says: "Six weeks
before his death, in April 1809, he read over his will to his servants in the presence of
witnesses, and asked them whether they were satisfied with his provisions or not. The
good people were quite taken by surprise at the kindness of their master's heart, seeing
themselves thus provided for in time to come, and they thanked him with tears in their
eyes." The extracts given by Dies vary in some particulars from the following, because
Haydn's final testamentary dispositions were made at a later date. But, as Lady Wallace
says, it is not the legal but the moral aspect of the affair that interests us. Here we see
epitomized all the goodness and beauty of Haydn's character. The document runs as
follows:
FLORINS.
1. For holy masses,........................................12
2. To the Norman School,....................................5
3. To the Poorhouse,........................................5
4. To the executor of my will.............................200
And also the small portrait of Grassi.
5. To the pastor,..........................................10
6. Expenses of my funeral, first-class,...................200
7. To my dear brother Michael, in Salzburg,..............4000
 
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