The library, which was formed, or at least arranged, by Casanova, and which remains as he left it, contains some twenty-five thousand volumes, some of them of considerable value . . . . The library forms part of the Museum, which occupies a ground-floor wing of the castle. The first room is an armoury, in which all kinds of arms are arranged, in a decorative way, covering the ceiling and the walls with strange patterns. The second room contains pottery, collected by Casanova's Waldstein on his Eastern travels. The third room is full of curious mechanical toys, and cabinets, and carvings in ivory. Finally, we come to the library, contained in the two innermost rooms. The book shelves are painted white and reach to the low vaulted ceilings, which are whitewashed. At the end of a bookcase, in the corner of one of the windows, hangs a fine engraved portrait of Casanova."

In this elaborate setting, Casanova found the refuge he so sadly needed for his last years. The evil days of Venice and Vienna, and the problems and makeshifts of mere existence, were left behind. And for this refuge he paid the world with his Memoirs.

II LETTERS FROM FRANCESCA

In 1786, Casanova renewed his correspondence with Francesca, who wrote:

1st July 1786. "After a silence of a year and a half, I received from you yesterday a good letter which has consoled me in informing me that you are in perfect health. But, on the other hand, I was much pained to see that in your letter you did not call me Friend, but Madame . . . . You have reason to chide me and to reproach me for having rented a house without surety or means of paying the rent. As to the advice you give me that if some honest person would pay me my rent, or at least a part of it, I should have no scruples about taking it because a little more, or a little less, would be of little importance . . . . I declare to you that I have been disconsolated at receiving from you such a reproach which is absolutely unjustified . . . . You tell me that you have near you a young girl who merits all your solicitations and your love, she and her family of six persons who adore you and give you every attention; that she costs you all you have, so that you cannot send me even a sou . . . . I am pained to hear you say that you will never return to Venice, and yet I hope to see you again. . . ."

The "young girl" referred to in Francesca's letter was Anna-Dorothea Kleer, daughter of the porter of the castle. This young girl became pregnant in 1786 and Casanova was accused of seducing her. The guilty one, however, was a painter named Schottner who married the unfortunate girl in January 1787.

9th August 1786.

"My only true friend,

"It is two days since I received your dear letter; I was very happy to see your writing .... You have reason to mortify me and reproach me in recalling all the troubles I caused you, and especially that which you call treachery, the sale of your books, of which in part I was not guilty . . . . Forgive me, my dear friend, me and my foolish mother who, despite all my objections, absolutely insisted on selling them. Regarding that which you write me that you know that my mother, last year, told about that you had been my ruin, this may unhappily be true, since you already know the evil thoughts of my mother, who even says that you are still at Venice . . . . When have I not been always sincere with you, and when have I not at least listened to your good advices and offers? I am in a desperate situation, abandoned by all, almost in the streets, almost about to be homeless . . . . Where are all the pleasures which formerly you procured me? Where are the theatres, the comedies which we once saw together? . . ."

5th January 1787.

"The first of the year I received your dear letter with the bill of exchange for one hundred and twenty-five lires which you sent me so generously .

Memoirs of Casanova Volume 6e Old Age and Death Page 17

Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

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