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…When Mozart presented himself at our door, my little sister, Sophie and I would scamper to open it. We knew, you see, that Aloysia would make him wait. It was a torment she routinely inflicted on all her admirers.
Sophie and I didn’t care how long she took. While Mozart waited for his goddess, we had him all to ourselves. He was always obliging; a delightful playmate who showed us cat’s cradles we’d never seen. He was also a dangerous and incredibly dexterous opponent in games of jacks.
As soon as Aloysia appeared, however, the fun was over. By the time the little man straightened from bowing to the coquette posing in the doorway, lover’s anxiety had entirely extinguished his natural sparkle.
I couldn’t endure being around them then, even though their music was beautiful. I hated the slave who now gazed from Wolfgang’s blue eyes. I hated the gushing Italian compliments he paid. I knew my sister. The more he doted, the more she would despise.
Poor Wolfgang! His tics, and he had a fair number, intensified in the presence of his idol mio. His nervous fingers were the worst, often going completely out of control, either drumming on the tabletop or tying his watch chain into hopeless knots.
Within a few weeks Aloysia could mimic him perfectly—his busy hands, his submissive bow, his florid Italian. Spiteful Jo was her most appreciative audience. Heaven knows, Mama and Papa, who had begun to dream about a match with the wunderkind from
would not have been amused. Salzburg
“I think you’re both horrible,” I said, wanting to defend him, but this only sent Jo and Aloysia onto the sofa where they rolled about giggling in a most unladylike fashion...
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