de Voltaire; adventured in Genoa, Marseilles, Florence and in Rome where the Pope Rezzonico, a Venetian, made me a Chevalier of Saint-Jean-Latran and an apostolic protonotary. This was in the year 1760.

"In the same year I found good fortune at Naples; at Florence I carried off a girl; and, the following year, I was to attend the Congress at Augsburg, charged with a commission from the King of Portugal. The Congress did not meet there and, after the publication of peace, I passed on into England, which great misfortunes caused me to leave in the following year, 1764. I avoided the gibbet which, however, should not have dishonored me as I should only have been hung. In the same year I searched in vain for fortune at Berlin and at Petersburg, but I found it at Warsaw in the following year. Nine months afterwards, I lost it through being embroiled in a pistol duel with General Branicki; I pierced his abdomen but in eight months he was well again and I was very much pleased. He was a brave man. Obliged to leave Poland, I returned to Paris in 1767, but a 'lettre de cachet' obliged me to leave and I went to Spain where I met with great misfortunes. I committed the crime of making nocturnal visits to the mistress of the 'vice-roi', who was a great scoundrel.

"At the frontiers of Spain, I escaped from assassins only to suffer, at Aix, in Provence, an illness which took me to the edge of the grave, after spitting blood for eighteen months.

"In the year 1769, I published my Defense of the Government of Venice, in three large volumes, written against Amelot de la Houssaie.

"In the following year the English Minister at the Court of Turin sent me, well recommended, to Leghorn. I wished to go to Constantinople with the Russian fleet, but as Admiral Orlof, would not meet my conditions, I retraced my steps and went to Rome under the pontificate of Ganganelli.

"A happy love affair made me leave Rome and go to Naples and, three months later, an unhappy love made me return to Rome. I had measured swords for the third time with Count Medini who died four years ago at London, in prison for his debts.

"Having considerable money, I went to Florence, where, during the Christmas Festival, the Archduke Leopold, the Emperor who died four or five years ago, ordered me to leave his dominions within three days. I had a mistress who, by my advice, became Marquise de * * * at Bologna.

"Weary of running about Europe, I determined to solicit mercy from the Venetian State Inquisitors. For this purpose, I established myself at Trieste where, two years later, I obtained it. This was the 14th September 1774. My return to Venice after nineteen years was the most pleasant moment of my life.

"In 1782, I became embroiled with the entire body of the Venetian nobility. At the beginning of 1783, I voluntarily left the ungrateful country and went to Vienna. Six months later I went to Paris with the intention of establishing myself there, but my brother, who had lived there for twenty-six years, made me forget my interests in favor of his. I rescued him from the hands of his wife and took him to Vienna where Prince Kaunitz engaged him to establish himself. He is still there, older than I am by two years.

"I placed myself in the service of M. Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador, to write dispatches. Two years later, he died in my arms, killed by the gout which mounted into his chest. I then set out for Berlin in the hope of securing a position with the Academy, but, half way there, Count Waldstein stopped me at Teplitz and led me to Dux where I still am and where, according to all appearances, I shall die.

"This is the only summary of my life that I have written, and I permit any use of it which may be desired.

"'Non erubesco evangelium'.

"This 17th November 1797.

"Jacques Casanova."

In reference to Casanova's ironic remark about his escape from England, see his conversation, on the subject of "dishonor," with Sir Augustus Hervey at London in 1763, which is given in the Memoirs.

Romance Books
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book