Under the circumstances I think my behaviour will be thought only natural. I had beaten him, but that was not enough for me. I seemed to have done nothing, and indeed, I had got as good as I gave.
In the mean time he was in prison, and I went to M. de R---- to see what he could do for me.
As soon as M. de R heard my statement he said he could neither keep him in prison nor drive him out of the town unless I laid a plea before him, craving protection against this man, whom I believed to have come to Lugano with the purpose of assassinating me.
"You can make the document more effective," he added, "by placing your actual grievance in a strong light, and laying stress on his sudden appearance in your room without sending in his name. That's what you had better do, and it remains to be seen how I shall answer your plea. I shall ask him for his passport and delay the case, and order him to be severely treated; but in the end I shall only be able to drive him out of the town, unless he can find good bail."
I could ask no more. I sent in my plea, and the next day I had the pleasure of seeing him brought into the court bound hand and foot.
M. de R began to examine him, and Marazzani swore he had no evil intentions in calling on me. As to the calumny, he protested he had only repeated common rumour, and professed his joy at finding it had been mistaken.
This ought to have been enough for me, but I continued obdurate.
M. de R---- said the fact of my being sent to the galleys having been rumoured was no justification for his repeating it.
"And furthermore," he proceeded, "M. Casanova's suspicion that you were going to assassinate him is justified by your giving a false name, for the plaintiff maintains that you are not Count Marazzani at all. He offers to furnish surety on this behalf, and if M. Casanova does you wrong, his bail will escheat to you as damages. In the mean time you will remain in prison till we have further information about your real status."
He was taken back, and as the poor devil had not a penny in his pocket it would have been superfluous to tell the bargedlo to treat him severely.
M. de R wrote to the Swiss agent at Parma to obtain the necessary information; but as the rascal knew this would be against him, he wrote me a humble letter, in which he confessed that he was the son of a poor shopkeeper of Bobbio, and although his name was really Marazzani, he had nothing to do with the Marazzanis of Plaisance. He begged me to set him at liberty.
I shewed the letter to M. de R----, who let him out of prison with orders to leave Lugano in twenty-four hours.
I thought I had been rather too harsh with him, and gave the poor devil some money to take him to Augsburg, and also a letter for M. de Sellentin, who was recruiting there for the Prussian king. We shall hear of Marazzani again.
The Chevalier de Breche came to the Lugano Fair to buy some horses, and stopped a fortnight. I often met him at M. de R----'s, for whose wife he had a great admiration, and I was sorry to see him go.
I left Lugano myself a few days later, having made up my mind to winter in Turin, where I hoped to see some pleasant society.
Before I left I received a friendly letter from Prince Lubomirski, with a bill for a hundred ducats, in payment of fifty copies of my book. The prince had become lord high marshal on the death of Count Bilinski.
When I got to Turin I found a letter from the noble Venetian M. Girolamo Zulian, the same that had given me an introduction to Mocenigo. His letter contained an enclosure to M. Berlendis, the representative of the Republic at Turin, who thanked me for having enabled him to receive me.
The ambassador, a rich man, and a great lover of the fair sex, kept up a splendid establishment, and this was enough for his Government, for intelligence is not considered a necessary qualification for a Venetian ambassador. Indeed it is a positive disadvantage, and a witty ambassador would no doubt fall into disgrace with the Venetian Senate.