I went to the count, and addressing him as my dear wife communicated the order which was to part us.

"I was afraid he would betray himself, but he was strong-minded enough to restrain his emotion, and only replied that we must needs submit, and that we should see each other again in a couple of months.

"As the captain stood beside us, I could only utter common-places. I warned him, however, that I should write to the abbess directly I got to London, who was the first person he must go and see at Lisbon, as she would have my address. I took care not to ask for my jewel-case, as the captain might have thought that my false wife was some rich young lady whom I had seduced.

"We had to abandon ourselves to our destiny. We embraced each other and mingled our ears, and the captain wept, too, when he heard me say,

"'Trust in all things to the worthy captain, and let us not fear at all.'

"The count's trunk was lowered into the boat, and as I did not dare to take my bag I found myself loaded with nothing but a man's clothes, which would not have fitted me, even if I had intended to keep up my disguise.

"When I came to the custom-house I saw my possessions. There were books, letters, linen, some suits of clothes, a sword and two pairs of pistols, one pair of which I put in my pockets, and then I went to an inn where the host said that if I wanted to travel to London the next morning I should only have to pay for one horse.

"'Who are the people,' said I, 'who desire a companion?

"'You shall sup with them if you like,' said he.

"I accepted the offer, and found the party consisted of a minister of religion and two ladies whose faces pleased me. I was fortunate enough to win their good graces, and early the next day we got to London and alighted in the Strand at an inn where I only dined, going out to seek a lodging appropriate to my means and the kind of life I wished to lead. Fifty Lisbon pieces and a ring of about the same value was all that I possessed in the world.

"I took a room on the third floor, being attracted by the honest and kindly expression of the landlady. I could only trust in God and confide my position to her. I agreed to pay her ten shillings a week, and begged her to get me some woman's clothes, for I was afraid to go out in my man's dress any longer.

"The next day I was clothed like a poor girl who desires to escape notice. I spoke English well enough to seem a native of the country, and I knew how I must behave if I wished to be let alone. Although the landlady was a worthy woman, her house was not exactly suitable for me; my stay in England might be protracted, and if I came to destitution I should be wretched indeed; so I resolved to leave the house. I received no visitors, but I could not prevent the inquisitive from hovering round my door, and the more it became known that I saw no one, the more their curiosity increased. The house was not quiet enough. It was near the Exchange, and the neighborhood swarmed with young men who came to dine on the first floor of the house, and did their best to cure me of my sadness, as they called it, though I had not shewn any signs of wishing to be cured.

"I made up my mind not to spend more than a guinea a week, and resolved to sell my ring if I could have the money paid to me at intervals. An old jeweler who lodged next door, and for whose honesty my landlady answered, told me it was worth a hundred and fifty guineas, and asked me to let him have it if I had no better offer. I had not thought it to be so valuable, and I sold it to him on condition that he would pay me four guineas a month, and that I should be at liberty to buy it back if I could do so before all the payments had been made.

"I wanted to keep my ready money, which I still have by me, so as to be able to go back to Lisbon by land when I can do so in safety, for I could not face the horrors of a sea voyage a second time.

"I told my case to my worthy landlady who still befriends me, and she helped me to get another lodging, but I had to procure a servant to fetch me my food; I could not summon up courage to have my meals in a coffee-house.

Memoirs of Casanova Volume 5b To London Page 54

Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

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