Produced by David Widger. THE COMPLETE MEMOIRS OF JACQUES CASANOVA de SEINGALT century; they are the history of a unique life, a unique personality, one as secret agent of the Inquisitors, and remained in their service from. Seducer, gambler, necromancer, swindler, swashbuckler, poet, self-made gentleman, bon vivant, Giacomo Casanova was not only the most. They tell the story of a man who loved life passionately for its own sake: one to .. 13th October , day dedicated to St. Lucy, memorable in my too long life.
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THE MEMOIRS OF JACQUES CASANOVA. VENETIAN . VI — SUMMARY of MY LIFE. VII — LAST century; they are the history of a unique life, a unique personality, one of the . access up to 5 PDF/TXT eBooks per month each month ). Willard Trask, ) - Free ebook download as Text File .txt), PDF File .pdf) or GIACOMO CASANOVA Chevalier de Seingalt HISTORY OF MY LIFE FIRST. They tell the story of a man who loved life passionately for its own sake: one to . Casanova's Memoirs were first published, doubts were expressed as to their.
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Sort order. Jul 10, David rated it it was amazing. When he was writing his memoirs in old age, impoverished financially but rich in memories, she blazed back into life for him again, untarnished, forever young and forever his. Casanova grasped that the most we can have is fleeting moments that encapsulate transient joys and preserve them in memory like flies in amber, to be contemplated and cherished later, when everything has changed. But time itself is the problem. These people have changed, though parts of them are scattered across the years like fragments of meteorites that burned up in our atmosphere, and some of those fragments persist and continue to glow incandescently.
View 1 comment. Sep 13, Jonathan rated it did not like it. The rating is for this edition and this translation. Not only is it so heavily edited as to remove any of the power of the original text, but the translator himself has admitted he "modernised" the language to make it "easier" for modern readers. Fuck you is what I say to that. And fuck Penguin.
Also fuck Penguin for this type of crap: View 2 comments. Feb 01, Denis rated it it was amazing.
What an extraordinary, exhilarating, brilliant book! Of course this is an abridged version: But to be honest, the editors seem to have done a great job at patching all the present chapters together, and at explaining each times briefly what happens during the ones that have been cut: Casanova wrote in French - I would have read the book in its original language had I known that when I bought it, but I found the translation flawless.
I was not sure what I was getting into when I opened this book, except that it seemed like a good read while sipping coffee in Venice after having visiting the cavernous jail where Casanova was once incarcerated. I was in for quite a surprise. First, Casanova writes marvelously well: Second, his life is so incredibly filled with adventures of all sorts that it's as entertaining as any popular best-seller. You'll find everything, in this book. Absolute suspense. Diabolical political intrigue.
Intelligent religious discourse. Intense historical drama. Convoluted romance. Wild sex. Lots of wild sex. Esoteric mysteries. And much more. Casanova travels all of Europe, from France to Russia, from Poland to Spain, from Turkey to Germany, while Venice remains at the heart of his complicated life: Everywhere he goes, Casanova encounters the most brilliant minds of his time the likes of Voltaire or Catherine the Great, for example , but he also falls madly in love either with innocent or dangerous women , and engages himself in situations that become sometimes so complicated that you just wonder how he'll find his way out of them.
Is it all real? Maybe not. Who cares. It's just amazing. Casanova's reputation as a great lover is not usurped, and some scenes are wonderfully naughty - I have in mind the torrid love affair he had at some point with a nun, or some delirious orgies to which he participated. But there's much more to him than that, and if sex is often his downfall, it's certainly not all that this memoir is about.
Capable of laughing at himself always a good point, as far as I'm concerned , Casanova is also quite proud of himself, but never to the point of becoming conceited. And, actually, he's quite humble in his own way, and he does not shy away from narrating dubious episodes which cast him in a rather bad light. He was a scoundrel, and a thief, and he's not hiding it.
There is, especially toward the end, when his constant wandering seems to take a toll on him, a hint of melancholy that is quite touching. As for people who think that what happens today in our society is new, read this book - Casanova's life as a debauched student makes the Spring break students look tame in comparison, and his descriptions of religious intolerance, and political tyranny, invite chilling comparisons. Quite simply a great, great book.
Jan 03, Shelly Jenkins rated it really liked it. He had adventure after adventure. I loved the story! It was a really wild ride. And the thing I liked most about it was it was so fresh and exciting - not your average book from the s! This guy knew how to get what he wanted out of life. I recommend it highly. Oct 06, Nick Ruffilo rated it it was amazing.
I actually read the unabridged version of this book Diaries of Casanova Vol but I think its important to put this review here as I believe it will get the most exposure. Critics hailed this as the best slice of s culture throughout Europe and I have to agree. What drew me most about the book was the nature in which it pulled me in. I mainly read psychology and business type books, so for me to get engrossed in a story is a rarity.
On top of that - I'm usually not one for books more than I actually read the unabridged version of this book Diaries of Casanova Vol but I think its important to put this review here as I believe it will get the most exposure. On top of that - I'm usually not one for books more than pages this was nearly pages in total. But, despite all of that, the conversational nature as well as the perspective from which it was written was amazing. Because it was a true story or at least it is told as such, and while many facts were verifiable, it is impossible to prove some of the adventures Casanova writes of the introspection that you get is very real and easy to relate to.
I found myself caring a great deal about all of the characters as they were painted in such a way that they became real to me. My only complaint is the sheer amount of names in the book. Casanova did a great deal of traveling, and was a very popular person, so it is very reasonable that he would meet 20 new people in each region, but it became a bit tedious trying to keep up with them as time went on.
If you like that, continue on, otherwise I guess you can just shoot for this shortened version. View all 6 comments. Feb 02, Robyn Blaber rated it it was amazing Shelves: When I read old book, I don't often consider them to be "instructional". Any advice of a philosophical or scientific nature that has been written more than a few years ago is likely to contain assertions that are remarkable for their time, but laughable for our time.
Casanova is not like this at all. His memoirs could be titled "Bad advice for a good life. He keeps bad company. He drinks. He gambles. He falls in an out of love unimaginably quick When I read old book, I don't often consider them to be "instructional". He falls in an out of love unimaginably quickly Despite his bad habits and inconstancy, we like him because he always means well.
His conquests in love stand up to any memoir I've ever read, though at times his stories have the ring of the unbelievable. One might question whether they are complete fictions, but I'm inclined to believe every one despite the assertion of the occasional critic.
Casanova's hedonistic philosophy ends up as admirable as any I've ever read, if not impossible to follow. If I could sum it up only in a line it would be, "Be a slave only to your passion.
Apr 04, Melanie rated it it was amazing. Even though this is the abridged version, it is a must read. Many people think Casanova was a romantic, which he was, but he was also a seducer of nuns, a thief, con-man, charlatan, and addict! After a visit to Venice I believed I needed to read about the man I'd heard of, in his own words. There is sex of course, but there is also humor, action, and adventure.
I learned much about Italian history, geography, privilege, and politics all while thoroughly enjoying an entertaining - and yes, sensua Even though this is the abridged version, it is a must read. I learned much about Italian history, geography, privilege, and politics all while thoroughly enjoying an entertaining - and yes, sensual - story.
Jul 10, Brendan rated it liked it Recommends it for: It's just so good. Where else are you going to meet a complete dirt bag who can tell you everything about meeting Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin and who gets congratulated by doctors for giving people VD? This version is very puritanical. The original is pages and this version is cut down to and you will read dozens of pages about the food he ate and then in italics the authors will cut between chapters Casanova soon met a pair of sisters whom he pitted against each other in a threesome, It's just so good.
The original is pages and this version is cut down to and you will read dozens of pages about the food he ate and then in italics the authors will cut between chapters Casanova soon met a pair of sisters whom he pitted against each other in a threesome, which is where he lost his virginity. And after reading all about pre-enlightenment Venetian life for pages you kinda want to read about pre-enlightenment threesoms.
Jun 21, L. The guy was an asshole pervert with no regard for females, but he was also genius. And I named my dog after him. Utterly fascinating Memoirs, well deserving twelve volumes. By comparison, my boring life will barely occupy several sheets of paper. My only regret is that I didn't have the means to acquire the unabridged edition, translated by William R. This 'Everymans' Library' is a heavily abridged edition, although on good paper and well-bound hardback.
For instance, the last volume, consisting of 14 chapters, is not even included. Sep 24, Marti rated it it was amazing Shelves: The entire story of Casanova's life is about seven volumes. After reading this edition -- which consists of what the editors think are the best parts -- I want to read the entire thing one day.
It's hard to believe all of this is true as it reads more like an adventure novel. Casanova's name of course has become synonymous with flagrant womanizing, and there The entire story of Casanova's life is about seven volumes.
Casanova's name of course has become synonymous with flagrant womanizing, and there is a lot of that here including a few instances which readers may find a little disturbing in that they seem more like child prostitution.
There is however, much more to this story. Casanova was someone who moved between the high and the low worlds. Born to an actress, he managed to get enough of a good education as to be able to hobnob with the intellectuals and courtiers of his day who found his conversation and person amusing.
It seems he almost always had large sums of money, even if it is not always clear how he got it odd translation jobs for noblemen, setting up lotteries and gambling seemed to be his main sources of income.
However, as is often the case, many of his powerful friends distanced themselves from him later in life after too much reckless behavior won him the enmity of more conservative elements of society who sought to banish him from their cities. Particularly gripping was the account of his escape from the "Leads" prison in Venice and his soujourns to Paris and Madrid where he was again thrown into prison "by mistake". His observations of the people and customs still ring true today.
Buku ini adalah salah satu memoar dari Giacomo Casanova yg terkenal sbg perayu wanita paling terkenal dalam sejarah. Diawali pertemuannya dgn Henriette yg diajak dan diakuinya sbg istrinya, Casanova memanjakan wanita ini dgn seringnya mereka menonton opera. Bab berikutnya mengisahkan petualangan Casanova menaklukkan biarawati yg sebenarnya adalah simpanan seorang duta besar, y Buku ini adalah salah satu memoar dari Giacomo Casanova yg terkenal sbg perayu wanita paling terkenal dalam sejarah.
Bab berikutnya mengisahkan petualangan Casanova menaklukkan biarawati yg sebenarnya adalah simpanan seorang duta besar, yg hobi voyeurism. Dan ditutup dgn penipuan pd seorang marquesse kaya yg kepingin terlahir kembali sbg seorang pria.
Disini Casanova dibantu seorang wanita jelita bernama Marcolina, yg hebat dlm memberikan Ciuman Florentine alias blowjob. Dan saya ngakak dalam hati saat membaca bagian ini krn teori dan prakteknya, Casanova tidak bisa menerapkannya secara gemilang.
Sosok Casanova sendiri menurur saya kelewat hedonis Casanova selain hobi mengejar wanita, juga seorang penjudi akut yg sudah sulit tertolong lagi. Tampaknya Casanova lebih bagus difilmkan drpd dibaca. Mar 16, Paul Phillips rated it really liked it. Well that was an interesting read. Both what I expected and not what I expected. According to the late Mr. Brockhaus in his Publisher's Preface to the Brockhaus-Plon edition the full bibliographical details of this e dition, on which the present translation is based, are given further on.
Laforgue, hostile to the Church and a disciple of revolutionary thought, di d not hesitate to change Casanova's work to accord with his own ideas. He even w ent so far as to add a number of passages, without the publisher's authorization. As for anticlericalism, referring to his first meeting with the pretended castrato Bellino, Casanova wri tes: Brockhaus's statement that Laforgue added a number of unauthorized p assages still seems to refer to his revolutionary and anticlerical propaganda.
T he fact is that he added a great many which have no such bearing. And here we co me to the worst, and the most pervasive, of Laforgue's meddlings. He is constant. For example, at the beginning of the scene of the seduction of the two s isters, already quoted in part above, Casanova writes: I began with the one toward whom I was turned , not knowing whether it was Nanetta or Marta. Then, in obedience to another of his manias--that of insisting upon making everything more accurate than Casanova saw fit to make it--Laforgue goes on to transform "the one toward whom I was turned" into "the one who was lying on my right.
He gave us white truffles, several kinds of shellfish," and so on. H ere Laforgue's interpolation is again not only obtrusive, it actually obscures-or indeed contradicts--the motivation given by Casanova. Between the two sentenc es Laforgue inserts: The scene is from one of the episodes in Casanova's lengthy siege of his first aristocratic mistress, Signora F. The phrases I have put in italics in this quotation from Laforgue have no equivalents in Casanova's text: These, too, are legion; and everywhere their effect is to red uce Casanova's concrete descriptions--his visual, olfactory Casanova writes in his Preface: Here is the same passage as Casanova wrote it with the italics this tim e indicating Laforgue's suppressions: Yet this was jus t what she did not do.
I saw her in bed. He was allowed to consult the manuscript "only superficially and under the eye of its owner. The charges implied against Casanova as a stylist in the other two are tr ue.
He is often obscure--though not often so obscure that a little patience will. Everything is secondary to somehow getting down the memori es which crowded into his mind. Did he not have behind him sixty-five years of a life more full of incident than the lives of twenty ordinary men?
Determined to recapture it in the minutest detail, he let the chips of awkwardness, ambiguity , carelessness fall where they might. I have not thought it any part of my duty as a translator to gloss over these defects. They are a small price to pay for t he vividness which he achieves at his best and which is one of the most brillian tly positive accomplishments of the memoirs as Casanova wrote them. The final impression--which his faults, indeed, rath er accentuate than diminish--is that Casanova is not recollecting his life, but reliving it.
As if the vicissitudes of editing and adaptation had not been enough, the origin al manuscript itself came very near to being destroyed during the Second World W ar. When it became at length possible to penetrate to the bunker th e manuscript was found to be intact and undamaged except for some slight mildewi ng. It was then transported on bicycles to the vaults of the one bank remaining in Leipzig. With the appearance of the American Army in Brockhaus was offer ed a truck for the removal of the firm to Wiesbaden.
Stowing in it the Casanova manuscript and such of the firm's most precious possessions as it would contain, the whole was removed III , p. Brockhaus's announcement, made in February , that Casanova's memoirs were at last to be published as he wrote them created a sensation in the litera ry world. Rives Childs, and added: Brockhaus and Librairie Plon, ]. Previous English translations, including Arthur Machen 's, have been made from Laforgue 's versi on.
However, if the term "dition originale" was a misnomer as applied to Laforgu e's version, the "dition intgrale" "complete edition" which appears on the title pages of the Brockhaus-Plon publication is not quite accurate. The differences between the printed text and the manuscript were explained by the late Mr. Brockhaus in his Publisher's Preface: The manuscript consists of ten volumes of different sizes.
The first edition I. The present edition pre serves this division--that is, two volumes in one double-volume--as well as the division into chapters and their titles, which the author frequently failed to s upply The author The present edition gives o nly the version which can be considered the more detailed and which is also to b e found in the first edition This summary appears in the present edition, printed in italics Laforgue undoubtedly had them at his disposal, but they ha ve since disappeared for some unknown reason.
In the present edition they appear in italics A facs imile edition of the manuscript is promised "if a sufficient number of subscribe rs can be found. Arthur Hbscher and on the notes in the cu rrently appearing German translations by its editor Professor Erich Loos. T hey are intended to identify persons brought on the stage, or even merely mentio ned, in the memoirs and to elucidate Casanova's historical and other references for the general reader.
In large part, they go back to the notes supplied by a number of Casanova specialists--notably Gustav Gugitz--for the La Sirne edition. The notes to that edition, in their full form, are still indispensable to any th orough student of Casanova. Willard R. Trask Brooklyn, New York, February Casanova was prevented by death from fulfilling this promise. His memoi rs end with the summer of The doctrine of the Stoics,  and of any other sect, on the power of Destiny is a figment of the imagination which smacks of atheism.
I am not only a monotheist but a Christian whose faith is strengthened by philosophy, which has never injured anything. I believe in the existence of an immaterial God, creator and lord of all forms; and what proves to me that I have never doubted it is that I have always counted upon his providence, turning to him through prayer in all my tribulatio. Despair kills; prayer dissipates it; an d after praying man trusts and acts. What means the Being of Beings employs to a vert the evils which hang over those who implore his aid is a question above the power of human intelligence, which, even as it contemplates the incomprehensibi lity of Divine Providence, cannot but adore it.
Our ignorance becomes our only r esource; and the truly happy are they who cherish it. So we must pray to God and believe that we have obtained grace even when appearances tell us that we have not. As for the bodily position we should assume when we address our requests to the Creator, a line of Petrarch's  instructs us: Reason is a particle of the Creator's divinity.
If we use it to make our selves humble and just, we cannot but please him who gave it to us. God does not cease to be God except for those who consider his nonexistence possible. They c annot suffer a greater punishment. Though man is free, he must not believe that he is free to do whatever h e pleases. He becomes a slave as soon as he decides to act when he is moved by s ome passion. Such a b eing is rare. The reader who likes to think will see in these memoirs that, since I ne ver aimed at a set goal, the only system I followed, if system it may be called, was to let myself go wherever the wind which was blowing drove me.
What vicissi tudes in this independence from method and system!
My ill fortune no less than m y good proved to me that both in this physical world and in the moral world good comes from evil as evil comes from good. My errors will show thoughtful readers these opposite roads or will teach them the great art of straddling the ditch. The one thing necessary is courage, for strength without confidence is useless. I have often seen good fortune fall in my lap as the result of some incautious s tep which should have cast me into the abyss; and, though I blamed myself, I tha nked God.
On the other hand, I have also seen an overwhelming misfortune follow upon a course of conduct duly weighed by prudence; I was humiliated; but, sure t hat I had been right, I soon consoled myself. Despite an excellent moral foundation, the inevitable fruit of the divin e principles which were rooted in my heart, I was all my life the victim of my s enses; I have delighted in going astray and I have constantly lived in error, wi th no other consolation than that of knowing I had erred.
For this reason I hope , dear reader, that, far from finding my history mere impudent boasting, you wil l find that it has the tone suited to a general confession, though in the style of my narratives you will find neither a show of repentance nor the constraint o f one who blushes to confess his escapades.
My follies are the follies of youth. You will see that I laugh at them, and if you are kind you will laugh at them w ith me. You will laugh when you discover that I often had no scruples about dece iving nitwits and scoundrels and fools when I found it necessary. As for women, this sort of reciprocal deceit cancels itself out, for when love enters in, both parties are usually dupes. But fools are a very different matter.
I always cong ratulate myself when I remember catching them in my snares, for they are insolen t and presumptuous to the point of challenging intelligence. We avenge intellige nce when we deceive a fool, and the victory is worth the effort, for a fool is e ncased in armor and we do not know where to attack him.
In short, deceiving a fo ol is an exploit worthy of an intelligent man. What has infused my very blood wi th an unconquerable hatred of the whole tribe of fools from the day of my birth is that I become a fool myself whenever I am in their company.
They are, however , to be distinguished from the class of men whom we term stupid, for since the s tupidity of the latter is due only to their lack of education, I rather like the m. I have found some of them who were very decent and whose stupidity was almost. They are like eyes which, but for a cataract, would be extremely beautiful. If you, my dear reader, will consider the nature of this preface, you wi ll find it easy to see my purpose in it.
I have written it because I want you to know me before you read me. It is only at coffeehouses and inns that we convers e with strangers. I have written my story, and no one can object to that. But am I wise to give it to a public of which I know nothing but what is to its discredit?
I know that I am being unwise. But I need something to occupy me, something to ma ke me laugh; so why should I deny myself? Worthy or unworthy, my life is my subject, my subject is my life. Having lived it without ever thinking that I should take a fancy to write it, i t may have an interest which it might not have if I had lived it intending to wr ite it in my old age and, what is more, to publish it.
To write we ll, I have but to imagine that my readers will belong to it: Remembering the pleasures I enjoyed, I renew them, and I laugh at the pa ins which I have endured and which I no longer feel.
A member of the universe, I speak to the air and I imagine I am rendering an account of my stewardship as t he majordomo does to his master, before vanishing. So far as my future is concer ned, as a philosopher I have never thought it worth worrying over since I know n othing about it, and as a Christian, I know that faith must believe without argu ing and that the purest faith keeps the deepest silence.
I know that I have exis ted, and since I am sure of that because I have felt, I also know that I shall n o longer exist when I have ceased to feel. If by any chance I continue to feel a fter my death, I shall have no more doubts; but I will give the lie to anyone wh o comes to tell me that I am dead. Since my history should begin with the earliest fact which my memory can recall to me, it will begin when I had reached the age of eight years and four months.
Since human thought consists only in co mparisons drawn in order to examine relationships, it cannot precede the existen ce of memory. The organ of memory did not develop in my head until eight years a nd four months after my birth; it was only then that my soul began to be capable of receiving impressions. A consoling philosophy maintains, in harmony with religion, that the dep endence of the soul upon the senses and organs is only fortuitous and temporary and that the soul will be free and happy when the death of the body liberates it from their tyranny.
This is all very fine but, religion apart, it is not certai n. So, since I cannot be perfectly sure that I am immortal until after I have ce ased to live, I may be forgiven if I am in no hurry to learn this truth. A knowl edge downloadd at the price of life is bought too dearly. Meanwhile, I worship G od, I refrain from committing any injustice and shun those who are unjust, thoug h I do nothing to harm them.
I am content to abstain from doing them good. I must also say something about my temperament and my character. Here th e most indulgent among my readers will not be those who are least endowed with h onesty and intelligence.
I have been of all the four temperaments: By adapting my diet to my constitution, I h ave always enjoyed good health, and having once learned that what impairs it is always excess, either in eating or in abstaining, I have never had any physician but myself. But I have found that abstinence is the more dangerous by far.
At my present advanced age I fi nd that, despite an excellent stomach, I should eat but once a day, but what mak es up to me for this privation is sweet sleep and the ease with which I set down my thoughts on paper without any need to indulge in paradoxes or to weave a tis sue of sophisms more apt to deceive me than my readers, for I could never bring myself to give them counterfeit coin if I knew it was counterfeit.
The sanguine temperament made me extremely susceptible to the seduction of any pleasurable sensation, always cheerful, eager to pass from one enjoyment to another and ingenious in inventing them. From it came my inclination to make new acquaintances as well as my readiness to break them off, though always for s ome good reason and never from mere fickleness. Defects arising from a temperame nt cannot be corrected, because our temperament is independent of our powers; bu t character is another matter.
It is constituted by heart and mind and, since te mperament has very little influence here, it follows that character depends on u pbringing and that it can be altered and reformed. I leave it to others to decide if my character is good or bad, but such as it is, anyone versed in physiognomy can easily read it in my face.
It is only there that a man's character becomes visible, for the physiognomy is its seat. It is worth noting that men who have no physiognomy, and there are a great many such, are equally lacking in what is called a character.
Hence the diversity of physiognomies will be equal to the diversity of characters. Having observed that I have all my life acted more from the force of fee ling than from my reflections, I have concluded that my conduct has depended mor e on my character than on my mind, after a long struggle between them in which I have alternately found myself with too little intelligence for my character and too little character for my intelligence. Feeling that I was born for the sex opposite to mine, I have always loved it and done all th at I could to make myself loved by it.
I have also been extravagantly fond of go od food and irresistibly drawn by anything which could excite curiosity. I had friends who did me good turns, and I was so fortunate on all such occasions as to have it in my power to show them my gratitude; and I had execrab le enemies who persecuted me and whom I did not destroy only because I could not.
I would never have forgiven them if I had not forgotten the wrongs they did me. The man who forgets a wrong has not forgiven it, he has simply forgotten it; f or forgiveness comes from a heroic sentiment in a noble heart and a magnanimous mind, whereas forgetting comes from weakness of memory or from an easy apathy na tural to a pacific soul, and often from a need for peace and quiet; for hatred, in the end, kills the unfortunate man who fosters it. If anyone calls me a sensualist he will be wrong, for the power of my se nses never drew me from my duty when I had one.
For the same reason Homer should never have been taxed with drunkenness: I have always liked highly seasoned dishes: As for women, I have always found that the one I was in love with smelled good, and the more copious her sweat th e sweeter I found it. What a depraved taste! How disgraceful to admit it and not blush for it! This sort of criticism makes me laugh. It is precisely by virtue of my coarse t astes, I have the temerity to believe, that I am happier than other men, since I am convinced that my tastes make me capable of more pleasure.
Happy they who kn ow how to obtain pleasure without harming anyone; they are madmen who imagine th at the Great Being can enjoy the griefs, the sufferings, the abstinences which t hey offer him in sacrifice, and that he loves none but fanatics who inflict them on themselves. God can demand of his creatures only that they practice the virt ues whose seed he has sown in their souls, and he has given us nothing which is not meant to make us happy: It is the strongest proof of that moral freedom in us which sophism has so often argued against.
Yet nature rightly holds it in abhorr ence; and all religions cannot but forbid it. A would-be freethinker told me one day that I could not call myself a ph ilosopher and at the same time accept revelation. If we do not doubt it in the physical world, why should we not accept it in religion? It is only a question of the form which it takes.
Spirit speaks to spirit, not to the ears. The principles of all that we know must have been reve aled to those who handed them down to us by the great and supreme principle whic h contains all principles. The bee making its hive, the swallow building its nes t, the ant digging its hole, the spider weaving its web would never have done an ything without a previous eternal revelation.
We must either believe that this i s so, or admit that matter thinks. Why not, Locke would say, if God so wille d? But we dare not do such honor to matter. So let us hold to revelation. The great philosopher who, after studying nature, thought he could cry " Victory!
If he had lived a few more years he would have gone much further and his journey would not have been a long one. Finding himself in his author, he could no longer have denied h im: Could God, the great principle of principles, and who never had a principle--could even he conceive himself if to conceive himself he had to know his own principle?
O happ y ignorance! Spinoza, the virtuous Spinoza, died without having attained to it. He would have died a wise man, with the right to expect the reward of his virtue s, if he had supposed that his soul was immortal. It is not true that an expectation of reward is unworthy of true virtue and impairs its purity, for, on the contrary, it helps to sustain virtue, since man is too weak to wish to be virtuous only for his own satisfaction.
In short, I believe that there is not an honest man in the world without some sort of expectation. And now I w ill set forth mine. I expect the friendship, the esteem, and the gratitude of my readers.
Th eir gratitude, if reading my memoirs will have given them instruction and pleasu re. Their esteem if, doing me justice, they will have found that I have more vir tues than faults; and their friendship as soon as they come to find me deserving of it by the frankness and good faith with which I submit myself to their judgm ent without in any way disguising what I am.
They will find that I have always loved truth so passionately that I hav e often resorted to lying as a way of first introducing it into minds which were ignorant of its charms. They will not condemn me when they see me emptying my f riends' purses to satisfy my whims.
They were possessed by chimerical projects,. I deceived them to make them wise; and I d id not consider myself guilty, because what I did was not prompted by avarice.
I was simply paying for my pleasures with money allotted to acquiring possessions which nature makes it impossible to obtain.
I should consider myself guilty if I were a rich man today. I have nothing; whatever I had, I have squandered; and this consoles and justifies me. It was money which was to be spent on follies; I merely changed its application by making it pay for mine If I am deceived in my hope of pleasing, I admit that I should be sorry, but not sorry enough to make me repent of having written, for nothing can change the fact that I have found i t a pastime.
The cruelty of boredom! It can only be because they had forgotten i t that the inventors of the pains of hell did not include it among them. Yet I will confess that I cannot rid myself of the fear of being hissed. It is too natural a fear for me to dare boast that I am above it; and I am far from consoling myself by hoping that when my memoirs are published I shall be no more.
It horrifies me even to imagine myself contracting the slightest obligati on to death, which I loathe. Happy or unhappy, life is the only treasure which m an possesses, and they who do not love it do not deserve it. Honor is set above it only because dishonor blasts it.
If a man faced with this choice kills himsel f, philosophy can have nothing to say. O death! Cicero says tha t it frees us from our ills. That great philosopher records the expenditure, but does not include the receipts in his accounting. I do not remember if, when he wrote his Tusculans, his Tulliola was dead.
Death is a monster which drives an a ttentive spectator from the great theater before the play in which he is infinit ely interested is over. This alone is reason enough to hate it. In these memoirs the reader will not find all my adventures. I have left out those which would have offended the people who played a part in them, for t hey would cut a sorry figure in them. Even so, there are those who will sometime s think me only too indiscreet; I am sorry for it.
If I become wise before I die , and if I have time, I will burn my whole manuscript. At the moment I have not the strength of mind for that. Those who think that I lay on too much color when I describe certain amo rous adventures in detail will be wrong, unless, that is, they consider me a bad painter altogether.
I beg them to forgive me if, in my old age, my soul is redu ced to feeling no joys but those of memory. Virtue will skip all the pictures wh ich may affright it; and I am glad to give it this warning in my preface. So muc h the worse for those who do not read it. The preface stands to the work as the bill does to the play. It is to be read. I have not written these memoirs for th ose young people who can only save themselves from falling by spending their you th in ignorance, but for those whom experience of life has rendered proof agains t being seduced, whom living in the fire has transformed into salamanders.
Since true virtues are only habits, I can say that the truly virtuous are those happy people who practice them without any effort. Such people have no notion of into lerance. It is for them that I have written. I have written in French instead of in Italian because the French language is more widely known than mine. The puri sts who, finding turns of expression proper to my native country in my style, wi ll criticize me on that score will be right if they are prevented from understan ding me.
The Greeks relished Theophrastus despite his Eresian expressions, a s the Romans did their Livy despite his "Patavinity. All Italy relishes Algarotti  although his style is full of Gallicisms. Yet it is worth observing that among all the living languages in the rep ublic of letters, French is the only one which its presiding judges have sentenced not to enrich itself at the expense of the other languages, whereas t hese, though all richer than French, pillaged it not only of its words but also of its mannerisms as soon as they realized that these little thefts beautified t hem.
Yet those who subjected it to this law at the same time admitted its povert y. They said that since it had reached the point of possessing all the beauties of which it was capable, the slightest foreign admixture would disfigure it.
In Lully's day the whole nation thought the same of its music, until Rameau came to teach it better. Today, under the Republican government, eloquent orators and learned writers hav e already convinced all Europe that they will raise French to a pitch of beauty and power which the world has not yet seen in any other language.
In the short s pace of five years it has already acquired some hundred words which are amazing either for their sweetness or their majesty or their noble harmony. Long live the Re public! A body without a head cannot possibly commit follies. The motto which I have flaunted justifies my digressions and the comment aries in which I indulge, perhaps too often, on my exploits of various kinds: For my part, since I have always admitted that I was the chief cause of all the misfortunes which have befallen me, I have rejoiced in my ability to be my own pupil, and in my duty to love my teacher.
He was secretary to King Alfonso. A ll the offspring of this marriage died in infancy except Don Juan, who in m arried Eleonora Albini, by whom he had a son named Marcantonio. He fled to Como with his wife and son, then he set out to seek his fortune. He died on a voyage with Christopher Columbus i n the year The same Giulio de' Medici, having become Pope Clement VII, pardoned him and summoned him back to Rome, where, after the city was taken and pillaged by the Imperial troops in the year , he died of the plague.
Otherwise he wo uld have died of poverty, for the soldiers of Charles V had robbed him of al l he possessed. Three months after his death his wife gave birth to Giacomo Casanova, wh o died at an advanced age in France as a colonel in the army commanded by Farnes e against Henri, King of Navarre, later King of France.
He had left a so. Giacomo had two sons, of whom the elder, Giovanni Battista , left Parma in the year ; what became of him is not known.
The younger son, Gaetano Giuseppe Giacomo, also forsook his family in the year , at the age of seventeen. This is all that I have found in a notebook of my father's. What follows I learned from my mother's lips: Gaetano Giuseppe Giacomo left his family, enam ored by the charms of an actress named Fragoletta who played soubrette roles.
In love and without means of support, he decided to earn his living by turning his personal advantages to account. He took up dancing and, five years later, t urned actor, becoming even more highly regarded for his probity than for his tal ent. Whether from fickleness or because she had given him cause for jealousy, he abandoned Fragoletta and went to Venice, where he joined a troop of actors w hich played at the Teatro San Samuele. The young actor fell in love with the girl, succeeded in awakening her heart, and persuaded her to elop e with him.
Being an actor, he could not hope to obtain her by gaining the conse nt of Marzia her mother, still less that of Girolamo her father, who thought an actor an abomination. Provided with the necessary certificates and accompanied b y two witnesses, the young lovers presented themselves before the Patriarch of V enice, who united them in marriage.
Marzia, the girl's mother, protested lou dly, and the father died of grief. I was born of this marriage nine months l ater, on April 2 of the year The following year my mother left me in the care of hers, who had forgiv en her when she learned that my father had promised never to force her to appear on the stage.
This is a promise which all actors make to the daughters of bourg eois families whom they marry, and which they never keep because their wives nev er hold them to it.
As it turned out, my mother was very glad that she had learn ed to act, for, being left a widow with six children nine years later, she could not have brought them up. I was one year old, then, when my father left me in Venice to go to Lond on to act.
It was in that great city that my mother made her first appearance on the stage, and it was there that, in the year , she gave birth to my br other Francesco, the celebrated painter of battle pictures, who has been living at Venice since the year , practicing his profession.
My mother came back to Venice with her husband toward the end of the yea r and, having become an actress, she continued in that career. In the year she gave birth to my brother Giovanni, who died at Dresden toward the end o f the year , serving the Elector as director of the Academy of Painting.
In the course of the three following years, she gave birth to two girls, of whom one died in infancy and the other was married in Dresden, where, in this y ear , she is still living. I had another brother, born posthumously, who became a priest and died at Rome fifteen years ago. And now to come to the beginning of my own existence as a thinking being. In the beginning of August in the year my organ of memory developed. I wa s then eight years and four months old.
I remember nothing of what may have happ ened to me before that time. This is the incident: I was standing in the corner of a room, leaning against the wall, holding my head, and staring at the blood w hich was streaming to the floor from my nose. My grandmother Marzia, whose pet I was, came to me, washed my face with cold water, and, unknown to anyone in the house, boarded a gondola with me and took me to Murano.
This is a densely popula ted island about half an hour from Venice. Leaving the gondola, we enter a hovel, where we find an old woman sittin g on a pallet, with a black cat in her arms and five or six others around her. S he was a witch. The two old women had a long conversation, of which I must have been the subject.
At the end of their dialogue in the Friulian language, my grandmother gave the witch a silver ducat, whereupon she opened a chest, too k me up in her arms, put me into it, shut it, and locked the lid on me, telling. I kept quiet, holding my handkerchief to my n ose because I was still bleeding and feeling quite unperturbed by the racket I h eard being made outside.
I heard alternate laughter and weeping, cries, singing, and sundry thumps on the chest. It was all one to me. Finally they took me out; my blood stops flowing.
After giving me numberless caresses, this strange woman undresses me, lays me on the bed, burns simples, collects the smoke from them i n a sheet, wraps me in it, recites spells over me, then unwraps me and gives me five very good-tasting sweetmeats. She next rubs my temples and the back of my n eck with a sweet-smelling unguent, and dresses me again. She says that my bleedi ng will gradually diminish, provided I tell no one what she had done to cure me, but solemnly warns me that I will lose all my blood and die if I dare reveal he r mysteries to anyone.
After impressing this upon me she tells me that a charmin g lady will visit me the following night, and that my happiness will depend upon her, if I have the strength of mind to tell no one that I received such a visit. We left and returned home. I had scarcely gone to bed before I fell asleep without even remembering the fine visitor I was to receive. But waking several hours later, I saw, or th ought I saw, a dazzlingly beautiful woman come down by the chimney, wearing a hu ge pannier and a dress of magnificent material, with a crown on her head set wit h a profusion of stones which seemed to me to be sparkling with fire.
She approa ched slowly, looking at once majestic and kindly, and sat down on my bed. From h er pocket she drew several small boxes, which she emptied on my head, at the sam e time muttering words.
After delivering a long discourse, of which I understood nothing, and kissing me, she left as she had entered, and I went back to sleep. Coming to dress me the next morning, my grandmother was no sooner at my bedside than she commanded me to keep silence. She then impressed it on me that I would die if I dared to tell anyone what must have happened to me during the n ight.
These solemn adjurations from the lips of the only woman whose influence o ver me was absolute, and who had accustomed me to obey her every command blindly , were why I have remembered this incident; they made me seal it away in the mos t secret corner of my budding memory. In any case, I felt no temptation to tell the story. I did not know whether anyone would find it interesting, or to whom I might tell it.
My disease had made me dull, and very poor company; people felt sorry for me and left me alone; everyone supposed that I would not live long. My father and mother never spoke to me. After the journey to Murano and my nocturnal visit from the fairy I stil l bled, but less and less; my memory developed, and in less than a month I learn ed to read.
It would be ridiculous to attribute my cure to these two absurdities , but it would be a mistake to hold that they could not contribute to it. As for the appearance of the beautiful queen, I have always believed that it was a dre am, unless it was a masquerade deliberately contrived; but the remedies for the worst diseases are not always found in pharmacy. One phenomenon or another demon strates our ignorance to us every day.
I believe it is for this reason that noth ing is harder to find than a learned man whose mind is entirely free from supers tition. There have never been wizards on this earth, but their power has always existed for those whom they have been able to cajole into believing them such.
The second incident which I remember, and which concerns myself, happene d to me three months after my journey to Murano, six weeks before my father's de ath.
I record it in order to give my reader an idea of the way in which my chara cter was developing. One day about the middle of November I and my brother Francesco, who was two years younger than myself, were in my father's room watching him attentivel y as he worked at optics. On the table I noticed a large round crystal cut in facets, and I was en.
Observing that no one was watching me, I seized the opportunity to slip it into my pocket. Three or four minutes later my father rose, went to get the crystal, and , not finding it, said that one of us must have taken it. My brother assured him that he knew nothing about it and, though I was the culprit, I said the same.
H e threatened to search us and promised to give the liar a beating. After pretend ing to look for it in every corner of the room, I adroitly dropped it into my br other's coat pocket. I was instantly sorry, for I could have pretended to find i t somewhere; but the crime was already committed.
My father, exasperated by our fruitless efforts, searches us, finds the crystal in my innocent brother's pocke t, and inflicts the promised punishment. Three or four years later I was stupid enough to boast to my brother that I had played this trick on him.
He has never forgiven me and has taken every opportunity to avenge himself. When I once related this crime in all its particulars in a general confe ssion, my confessor rewarded me with a bit of recondite learning which I was gla d to acquire. He was a Jesuit. He told me that, since I was named Giacomo, I had by this action verified the meaning of my name, for Jacob in Hebrew meant "supp lanter.
Six weeks after this event my father was attacked by an abscess inside h is head at the level of the ear, which brought him to the grave in a week. The p hysician, who had begun by giving the patient oppilative remedies,thought to rep air his mistake by castoreum, which brought on death in convulsions. The apo stem discharged through his ear one minute after he died; it left after kill ing him, as if it found nothing further to do in him.
He was in the prime of lif e, at thirty-six years of age. He died regretted by the public, and particularly by the nobility, who conceded that he was superior to his station both by his p robity and by his knowledge of mechanics. Two days before his death he sent for us all to appear at his bedside in the presence of his wife and of the Signori G rimani, Venetian noblemen, as he wished to obtain their promise to become ou r protectors.
After giving us his blessing, he made our mother, who dissolved in tears , swear that she would bring none of his children up for the stage, on which he would never have appeared if he had not been driven to it by an unfortunate pass ion. She took the oath, and the three patricians gave him their words to see tha t it was not broken. Circumstances helped her to keep her promise. Beautiful and young as she was, she refused her hand to all who sued for it.
Never losing courage, she believed that she could bring us up with out assistance. She considered that her first duty was to me, not so much from a ny special fondness as because of my disease, which had reduced me to such a sta te that no one knew what to do with me. I was extremely weak, had no appetite, w as unable to apply myself to anything, and looked like an idiot.
The doctors arg ued among themselves over the cause of my disease. Then where can such an abundant flow of blood come from? All this I learned six years later from Signor Baffo, a g reat friend of my father's. It was he who consulted the famous physician Macoppe, of Padua, who gave him his opinion in writing.
This document, which I have kept, says that "ou r blood is an elastic fluid, which can increase and diminish in density, but nev er in quantity," and that my hemorrhage "could only come from the density of the mass, which relieved itself naturally, in order to facilitate its circulation.
According to him, the density of my blood was the reason for the stupidity which appeared on my counte.
It was Signor Baffo, then--a sublime genius, a poet in the most lasc ivious of all genres, but great and unrivaled--who was the cause of the decision that I should be sent to board in Padua, and to whom, in consequence, I owe my life.
He died twenty years later, the last of his ancient patrician family; but his poems, though indecent, will never let his name perish. The State Inquisitor s of Venice have contributed to his fame by their piety. His name was Ottaviani and he was als o an antiquarian.
Within a few days the boardinghouse was found. We went on board two hours before midnight, after supping. It has a sal oon with a cabin at either end, and quarters for servants at the bow and stern; it is a long rectangle, roofed by a deck and with glazed windows with shutters a long the sides; the short journey is made in eight hours.
Those who accompanied me were, besides my mother, the Abate Grimani and Signor Baffo. The bed was low.
I did not see the ground. All that I saw through the s ame window was the tops of the trees which line the banks of the river. The boat was moving, but so smoothly that I did not know it; hence I was amazed to see t he trees passing rapidly out of my sight.
The trees are walking. Get dressed. It is Signor Baffo who restores me to life. He rushes to me, kisses me tenderl y, and says: The sun does not move, take courage, alw ays reason logically, and let people laugh. This was the first real pleasure I enjoyed in my life. But for Signor Baffo, that moment would have been enough to corrupt my intelligence: The stupidity of the two others would certainly have blunted the edge of a faculty b y which I do not know if I have progressed very far; but I do know that to it al one I owe all the happiness I enjoy when I commune with myself in solitude.
We reached Padua early and were soon at the house of Ottaviani, whose wi fe gave me many caresses. I saw five or six children, among them a girl of eight years named Maria and another of seven named Rosa, pretty as an angel. Ten year s later Maria became the wife of the broker Colonda; and a few years afterward R osa married the patrician Piero Marcello, who had a son by her and two daughters , one of whom was married to Signor Piero Moncenigo and the other to a nobleman of the Corraro family, whose marriage was later annulled.
I shall have occasion to speak of all these persons. Ottaviani at once took us to the house where I wa s to board. That done, she received six zecchini for six months' board for me in advance.
For this sma ll sum she was to feed me, keep me clean and neat, and send me to school. Her pr otestation that it was not enough went unheeded. I was kissed, told always to ob ey her in everything, and left standing where I was. So they got rid of me. My first love. She then took me down to the garden and told me I might walk there until dinnertime.
I felt neither h appy nor unhappy; I said nothing; I experienced neither hope nor despair nor eve n curiosity; I was neither cheerful nor sad. The only thing that troubled me was my mistress's person. Though I had no settled notion of beauty or ugliness, her face, her look, her voice, her manner of speech repelled me; her masculine feat ures unnerved me every time I raised my eyes to her face to listen to what she w as saying to me.
She was tall and as heavy-set as a soldier, with a yellow compl exion, black hair, and long, shaggy eyebrows. She had several long hairs on her chin, hideous half-exposed breasts which hung, with a great cleft between them, halfway down her tall body, and her age appeared to be fifty. The maidservant wa s a peasant who did everything.
The so-called garden was an open space measuring thirty or forty paces in either direction, the only pleasant thing about it bei ng its green color. Toward noon I saw three boys approaching me; they chattered away at me a s if we were old acquaintances, saying all manner of things which assumed a back ground of experience I did not possess. I said nothing in reply, but this did no t dash them at all; they made me join in their innocent pleasures.
These consist ed in running, playing horse-and-rider, and turning somersaults. I let them init iate me into all these pastimes without protesting, until we were called in to d inner. I sit down at the table and, seeing a wooden spoon before me, I push it a way and demand my silver service, which I cherished as a present from my grandmo ther.
The maid said that since her mistress insisted on equality, I must conform to the customs of the house. This annoyed me, but I submitted.
Having learned t hat there must be equality in everything, I ate my soup from the tureen like the others, without complaining of the speed with which my fellow boarders ate, tho ugh I was much surprised that it was sanctioned. After the very bad soup we were given a small portion of dried cod, then an apple, and dinner was over.
It was Lent. From then on I drank nothin g but water. This fare surprised me, because I did not know if I was allowed to consider it bad.
After dinner the maid took me to school to a young priest named Doctor G ozzi. This is the eleventh part of a zecchino. He was to begin by teaching me to write. I w as put with the five-year-olds, who at once fell to jeering at me. Supper, as might be expected, was even worse than dinner.
I was astonish ed that I was not allowed to complain of it. I was then consigned to a bed, in w hich the three notorious insects would not let me shut my eyes. In addition, rat s ran all over the attic and jumped up on my bed, filling me with fear which fro ze my blood.
Thus did I begin to learn what it is to be unhappy and to bear misf. Meanwhile, the insects that were eating me up diminished the t error that the rats inspired in me, and my terror in turn made me less conscious of the bites. My soul profited from the competition between my afflictions.
The maidservant remained deaf to my cries. At the first rays of morning I left the nest of vermin. After complainin g a little of all the sufferings I had endured, I asked the maid for a shirt, si nce the one I had on was hideous with the stains from the lice. She told me that shirts were changed only on Sunday and laughed when I threatened to complain of her to her mistress.
For the first time in my life, I wept with vexation and an ger when I heard my companions mocking me. They were in the same state as I was; but they were used to it. I need say no more. Profoundly depressed, I spent the whole morning at school in a heavy doz e. One of my fellow boarders told the Doctor the reason, but only to ridicule me. The good priest, whom Eternal Providence had bestowed on me, took me into anot her room, where, having heard my story and confirmed it with his own eyes, he wa s distressed to see the welts which covered my innocent skin.
He quickly put on his cloak, took me to my boardinghouse, and showed the Laestrygonian giantess the state I was in. Feigning astonishment, she blamed the maid. She had to yiel d to the priest's insistence upon seeing my bed, and I was as astonished as he t o see the filthiness of the sheets between which I had spent that cruel night.
T he accursed woman, still stoutly laying the blame on the maid, assured him that she would discharge her; but the maid, entering just then and unable to stomach the reprimand, told her to her face that the fault was hers, at the same time un covering the beds of my three fellow boarders, which were just as dirty as mine.
The mistress then gave her a slap on the face, to which the maid replied with a more vigorous one, and instantly took to her heels. The Doctor then departed, l eaving me there and telling the Slavonian woman that he could not admit me to hi s school again until she should send me there as clean as the other pupils. I wa s then treated to a violent scolding, which she ended by telling me that if ever I made such a fuss over nothing again, she would turn me out of the house.
I felt completely bewildered; I was scarcely entering on conscious exist ence, I knew only the house in which I had been born and brought up, where clean liness and a decent sufficiency were the rule; I found myself being ill-treated and scolded; I could not conceive that I was guilty.
She flung a shirt in my fac e; and an hour later I saw a new maid changing the sheets, and we ate dinner. My schoolmaster took particular pains to teach me. He had me sit at his own table, where, to convince him that I deserved the distinction, I applied mys elf to studying with all my power. At the end of a month I was writing so well t hat he set me to grammar. The new life I was leading, the hunger I was forced to endure, and, abov e all, the air of Padua brought me such health as I had never conceived of befor e; but this very health made my hunger even more unendurable; I was as ravenous as a dog.
I was growing visibly taller; I slept nine hours of the deepest sleep untroubled by any dream, except one in which I always seemed to be seated at a b ig table satisfying my cruel appetite. Pleasing dreams are worse than nightmares. This ravenous hunger would finally have wasted me away if I had not made up my mind to steal and swallow anything edible I could lay my hands on when I was sure I was not observed.
In a few days I ate some fifty smoked herring I fou nd stored in a cupboard in the kitchen, to which I made my way in the dark of ni ght, and all the sausages which were hanging in the chimney, raw and utterly ind igestible as they were; while all the eggs I could find in the poultry-yard, sca rcely laid and still warm, provided me with exquisite food.
I even went so far a s to steal food from the kitchen of my schoolmaster the Doctor. The Slavonian wo man, in despair because she could not catch the thieves, discharged maid after m aid. However, since I could not always find a chance to steal I was thin as a sk eleton, mere skin and bones. In five or six months I had made such rapid progress that the Doctor app ointed me proctor of the school.
My duties were to examine the written lessons o f my thirty schoolmates, correct their mistakes, and report on them to the maste. But my strictness did not last long.
The lazy boys easily discovered how to mollify me. When their La tin was full of mistakes they won me over with roast cutlets and chickens and of ten gave me money.
But I was not content with imposing a tax on the ignorant; I let my greed turn me into a tyrant. I refused my approval even to those who dese rved it, when they tried to escape paying the levy I demanded. No longer able to stomach my injustice, they accused me to the master. Seeing me convicted of ext ortion, he dismissed me from my office. But my destiny was already about to end my cruel apprenticeship. Taking me into his private room with him one day, the Doctor asked me if I was willing to do as he would suggest in order to leave the Slavonian woman a nd come to board with him.
Finding me delighted by his proposal, he had me copy out three letters, of which I sent one to the Abate Grimani, the second to my fr iend Signor Baffo, and the third to my good grandmother.
My mother was not in Ve nice at this period, and since my half year was about to end, there was no time to lose. In these letters I described all my sufferings, and prophesied my death if I were not rescued from the clutches of the Slavonian woman and put to board with my schoolmaster, who was willing to take me but who asked two zecchini a m onth.
Signor Grimani, instead of answering me, sent his friend Ottaviani to re primand me for having let myself be inveigled. But Signor Baffo talked with my g randmother, who did not know how to write, and wrote me that in a few days I wou ld find myself better off. A week later that excellent woman, who loved me unfailingly to the day o f her death, appeared just when I had sat down to dinner.
She came in with the m istress. As soon as I saw her, I flung myself on her neck, unable to hold back m y tears, in which she instantly joined. She sat down and took me on her lap. Thu s encouraged, I gave her a detailed account of all my sufferings, in the presenc e of the Slavonian woman. Then, first showing her the beggarly table at which I was expected to find adequate nourishment, I took her to see my bed.
I ended by imploring her to take me to dine with her, after six months of hunger and weakne ss. Undaunted, the Slavonian woman said only that she could not do more for the money she received. It was true. But who obliged her to keep a boardinghouse and so become the murderess of boys whom avarice put in her care and who needed to be properly fed? My grandmother calmly told her to pack all my clothes in my trunk, for s he was going to take me away.
Delighted to see my silver table-service again, I quickly put it in my pocket. My joy was beyond words.