I had not forgotten his treatment of me at Madrid, so I pretended not to see him; but as soon as he saw me, he came up and addressed me as follows:
"My dear Casanova, let us forget what happened at Madrid and be friends once more."
"So be it, provided no allusion is made to the cause of our quarrel; for I warn you that I cannot speak of it and keep my head cool."
"I dare say; but if you had understood my position at Madrid you would never have obliged me to take a course which gave me great pain."
"I do not understand you."
"I dare say not. You must know, then, that I was strongly suspected of being a Protestant; and if I had shewn myself indifferent to your conduct, I might possibly have been ruined. But dine with me tomorrow; we will make up a party of friends, and discuss our quarrel in a good bottle of wine. I know that you do not receive your brother, so he shall not be there. Indeed, I do not receive him myself, for if I did all honest people would give me the cold shoulder."
I accepted his friendly invitation, and was punctual to the appointment.
My brother left Rome a short time afterwards with Prince Beloselski, the Russian ambassador to Dresden, with whom he had come; but his visit was unsuccessful, as Rezzonico proved inexorable. We only saw each other two or three times at Rome.
Three or four days after he had gone I had the agreeable surprise of seeing my brother the priest, in rags as usual. He had the impudence to ask me to help him.
"Where do you come from?"
"From Venice; I had to leave the place, as I could no longer make a living there."
"Then how do you think of making a living at Rome?"
"By saying masses and teaching French."
"You a teacher of languages! Why, you do not know your native tongue."
"I know Italian and French too, and I have already got two pupils."
"They will no doubt make wonderful progress under your fostering care. Who are they?"
"The son and daughter of the inn-keeper, at whose house I am staying. But that's not enough to keep me, and you must give me something while I am starting."
"You have no right to count on me. Leave the room."
I would not listen to another word, and told Margarita to see that he did not come in again.
The wretched fellow did his best to ruin me with all my friends, including the Duchess of Fiano and the Abbe Gama. Everybody told me that I should either give him some help, or get him out of Rome; I got heartily sick of the sound of his name. At last the Abbe Ceruti came and told me that if I did not want to see my brother begging his bread in the streets I must give him some assistance.
"You can keep him out of Rome," he said, "and he is ready to go if you will allow him three pauls a day." I consented, and Ceruti hit on a plan which pleased me very much. He spoke to a priest who served a convent of Franciscan nuns. This priest took my brother into his service, and gave him three pauls for saying one mass every day. If he could preach well he might earn more.
Thus the Abbe Casanova passed away, and I did not care whether he knew or not where the three pauls had come from. As long as I stayed at Rome the nine piastres a month came in regularly, but after my departure he returned to Rome, went to another convent, and died there suddenly thirteen or fourteen years ago.
Medini had also arrived in Rome, but we had not seen each other. He lived in the street of the Ursulines at the house of one of the Pope's light-cavalry men, and subsisted on the money he cheated strangers of.
The rascal had done well and had sent to Mantua for his mistress, who came with her mother and a very pretty girl of twelve or thirteen. Thinking it would be to his advantage to take handsome furnished apartments he moved to the Place d'Espagne, and occupied a house four or five doors from me, but I knew nothing of all this at the time.
Happening to dine one day with the Venetian ambassador, his excellency told me that I should meet a certain Count. Manucci who had just arrived from Paris, and had evinced much delight on learning that I was at Rome.