Open Letters on Viscount Neumann’s Desk
Dear Viscount Philip Neumann,
The weather has been pleasantly cool of late, how has Lord Neumann been spending his days?
We’re deeply sorry that this reply comes so belatedly, but things have been dreadfully busy here and I couldn’t find the time to write you this letter.
Now then, since you must be a busy man as well, I shall cut straight to the heart of the matter with this letter.
It is in regards to my engagement to your daughter, Miss Therese.
Although we settled the engagement between our two houses last year, considering the current situation regarding my family, as well as the circumstances surrounding Therese presently, I feel that it would be in the best interests of both our houses to annul the matter.
As much as I too wish to support Miss Therese at this time, one must consider that marriage is not simply between the two of us, but affects the entirety of two families. As it stands, not only my parents, but my entire family was against me continuing with this engagement, and there wasn’t anything I could do to go against them.
I truly am deeply sorry for the selfish contents of this letter, but I hope that you too can understand my position in all this.
I am sure that one day Miss Therese will find a partner who is much better than I am.
My family has already informed Count and Countess Storm, who are still the legal parents of Miss Therese, of this matter.
It was supposed to have been settled with only a letter to them, but I felt that was much too harsh and endeavoured to write to you myself.
I hope that you’ll keep this in mind and come to a prudent decision.
Dear Lord Philip Neumann,
Thank you very much for your continued support.
This is Randolph Ardern, from the Ardern Merchant Company.
I am writing today to formally inform you that a decision has been made to discontinue the provision and distribution of products received from the Neumann household considering the current circumstances.
In addition, the Bartolet sheet music composition submitted by Lord Neumann has been rejected in consideration of the aforementioned circumstances.
All products entrusted to us by the Neumann estate will be returned posthaste. Please be aware that, in accordance with our contract, you are obliged to pay half the value of the returned item as recompense.
Further details in regards to invoice and the returns process are attached with this letter.
Thank you for choosing Ardern Merchant Company.
Head of Musical Instrument and Score Distribution for Ardern Merchant Company.
Dear Lord Philip Neumann,
It’s me, Richard Bartolet.
I’m deeply sorry that I am late in replying to the letter you sent me the other day.
I’ve spent this week moving into a boarding home, and was late in receiving your letter.
I’m deeply sorry for not informing you of my move. You seemed dreadfully busy at the time, and I also had my own circumstances so I had to prioritize certain things over others.
In fact, during our period of not being in contact, I was approached by a patron who asked me if I would like to compose a piece for them, and I am greatly indebted to their kindness. I had refused him once before, citing that I was still indebted to your patronage, Lord Neumann, but by chance we spoke once more.
Lord Neumann, when I had no name and couldn’t sell a single silver’s worth of music, it was you who saved me at that time. I truly was anxious about accepting this offer, but I am sure that you also appreciate the desire to live up to the expectations of someone who believes in what you can do.
I’m truly sorry that I am only reporting this to you now, after I have already accepted the offer. But, considering the current circumstances of House Neumann, I don’t know when I would be able to compose a new piece to sell, and I wish to aim as high as I can with my music. The person who approached me has connections with the capital’s orchestral and operatic companies and promised me that I could achieve new heights by working with him.
I want to become a first-rate composer, I want to hear people hum my songs in the street. I’m sure that Lord Neumann can understand my feelings.
I will no longer be a nuisance for you, Lord Neumann, and since it may cause trouble with my current employer, you don’t need to send a reply to this letter. Once again, thank you deeply for all that you’ve done for me.
To my dear friend, Philip Neumann,
Hey, Philip, it’s Joachim. I’m writing today as a representative of the Joachim Kean Store.
I’m sure you can already guess what I’m about to say without even reading ahead. It’s about our deal together.
I’m sure that you’ve probably received more than a few similar letters by now.
But, as you can expect, I cannot accept any further goods from you right now. Even just having your name on products riles our customers up to no end.
Of course, you must be well aware of why that is. It’s because of your adopted daughter, Therese. The rumour about her ‘Slandering Camilla Storm and conspiring with traitors’ has really taken off lately.
I don’t claim to know the truth of all this, obviously. I’ve heard that Miss Camilla, your niece, declined to press any charges against Therese as well.
But, well, I’m sure you can already tell, but the truth doesn’t really matter at this point. Even the name ‘Therese’ has become infamous with most people. I’ve even heard of parents admonishing children who lie by using her name. The fact that it’s well known you’re still taking care of Therese in your home and supporting her is only adding fuel to the fire. Things may change if you publically denounced Therese and cast her out, but I don’t think you have the heart to do such a thing. If you did, you wouldn’t be you.
But, business is business.
And right now, I can’t do business with you.
I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me over the years. When it comes to the arts, especially music, no one has a more discerning eye or ear than you do. I really will regret losing that incredible knowledge of yours.
But, consider our ‘deal’ finished as of today.
I won’t ask for you to have your things returned or demand a refund, since I will not be giving your products back. Instead, I’ll be waiting for the day I can once again proudly display them in my store, with your name attached.
I know that things must be difficult right now, but I’m sure that you’ll find a way through.
I’ve heard that some of the composers you helped bring up to the light are being siphoned away. Is it true that kid Bartolet was stolen as well?
From what I can gather, people are seeing your hardship as an opportunity to pounce. Those guys must be having a ball, even though they can’t see talent for squat, it doesn’t matter if they can just steal the talents you saw yourself.
But, maybe you can learn something from them. You’re a connoisseur, but you’re not much of a businessman.
Did you know that, when working with those sharks, those composers only earn about 10% of the profits from their work? Almost all of the profits go straight into stuffing the pockets of their ‘managers’.
Of course, they won’t let that sort of news get out even if the composer learns about the trick. To see to that, they have them gagged and bound by the contract they signed.
I know you kept your own margins low to protect the composers themselves, but your leniency will probably make them easy prey to tricks like this. You need to stop worrying so much about others and worry about yourself as well. You need to find the balance between a connoisseur and a businessman.
I’m sorry if my words were too harsh.
I wish you all the best in the future.