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Brahms to Clara Schumann 30 Jan. 1861

June 12, 2010

Brahms to Clara
Hamburg, Wednesday, Jan. 30

Most Beloved Clara,

There is a time for everything, including letter writing unfortunately.  Oh why am I not a musical conductor at a Royal Court?  If I had been in Detmold – and I so often wished you could be there – what a very different holiday I could have given you from the one in Hamburg…  What a blank there was here after your departure!  It was impossible to get back into the old routine, and one could settle down to nothing.  But we shall have to put up with it.
 
I am now beginning all kinds of new lessons.  Whenever I enter a strange house to meet and to become acquainted with new people I always have a sort of presentiment or wish that they may be really fine examples of humanity, but everybody looks like everybody else;  how seldom is one deeply stirred by the sight of one s fellow creatures!  I often wish that I might be allowed to see this person or that, you, for instance, for the first time again so as to have a real thrill once more.  But I am quite pleased with things as they are.  You must feel the same.  You must be able to count on the fingers of one hand the people whom you can rave about, who appear to you to be complete.  But don t you also often wish there were more of them about?……

Litzmann, Berthold, Ed., Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms 1853-1896, Vol. I, Edward Arnold & Co. 1927

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