. . ."

In the autumn of 1795, Casanova left Dux. The Prince de Ligne writes in his Memoirs: "God directed him to leave Dux. Scarcely believing in more than his death, which he no longer doubted, he pretended that each thing he had done was by the direction of God and this was his guide. God directed him to ask me for letters of recommendation to the Duke of Weimar, who was my good friend, to the Duchess of Gotha, who did not know me, and to the Jews of Berlin. And he departed secretly, leaving for Count Waldstein a letter at once tender, proud, honest and irritating. Waldstein laughed and said he would return. Casanova waited in ante- chambers; no one would place him either as governor, librarian or chamberlain. He said everywhere that the Germans were thorough beasts. The excellent and very amiable Duke of Weimer welcomed him wonderfully; but in an instant he became jealous of Goethe and Wieland, who were under the Duke's protection. He declaimed against them and against the literature of the country which he did not, and could not, know. At Berlin, he declaimed against the ignorance, the superstition and the knavery of the Hebrews to whom I had addressed him, drawing meanwhile, for the money they claimed of him, bills of exchange on the Count who laughed, paid, and embraced him when he returned. Casanova laughed, wept, and told him that God had ordered him to make this trip of six weeks, to leave without speaking of it, and to return to his chamber at Dux. Enchanted at seeing us again, he agreeably related to us all the misfortunes which had tried him and to which his susceptibility gave the name of humiliations. 'I am proud,' he said, 'because I am nothing'. . . . Eight days after his return, what new troubles! Everyone had been served strawberries before him, and none remained for him."

The Prince de Ligne, although he was Casanova's sincere friend and admirer, gives a rather somber picture of Casanova's life at Dux: "It must not be imagined that he was satisfied to live quietly in the refuge provided him through the kindness of Waldstein. That was not within his nature. Not a day passed without trouble; something was certain to be wrong with the coffee, the milk, the dish of macaroni, which he required each day. There were always quarrels in the house. The cook had ruined his polenta; the coachman had given him a bad driver to bring him to see me; the dogs had barked all night; there had been more guests than usual and he had found it necessary to eat at a side table. Some hunting-horn had tormented his ear with its blasts; the priest had been trying to convert him; Count Waldstein had not anticipated his morning greeting; the servant had delayed with his wine; he had not been introduced to some distinguished personage who had come to see the lance which had pierced the side of the great Wallenstein; the Count had lent a book without telling him; a groom had not touched his hat to him; his German speech had been misunderstood; he had become angry and people had laughed at him."

Like Count Waldstein, however, the Prince de Ligne made the widest allowances, understanding the chafing of Casanova's restless spirit. "Casanova has a mind without an equal, from which each word is extraordinary and each thought a book."

On the 16th December, he wrote Casanova: "One is never old with your heart, your genius and your stomach."

Casanova's own comment on his trip away from Dux will be found in the Memoirs. "Two years ago, I set out for Hamburg, but my good genius made me return to Dux. What had I to do at Hamburg?"

On the 10th December, Casanova's brother Giovanni [Jean] died. He was the Director of the Academy of Painting at Dresden. Apparently the two brothers could not remain friends.

Giovanni left two daughters, Teresa and Augusta, and two sons, Carlo and Lorenzo. While he was unable to remain friendly with his brother, Casanova apparently wished to be of assistance to his nieces, who were not in the best of circumstances, and he exchanged a number of letters with Teresa after her father's death.

Memoirs of Casanova Volume 6e Old Age and Death Page 23

Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

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