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Tales' romGas'a9ova' f s'fl2emoirs' ---Thelifeof Casanova, oneof history'smost celebrated womanizers, wasmuchmorethan merely colourful tringof amorous a s aftairs,as

thesethreeepisodes takenfromhisinfamous memoirs reveal. Read howtheself-confessed philanderer seduces thebeautiful aterina, C fallsvictimto the hideous shrew, ndescapesromthe most a f notorious prisonin theVenetian Republic.


Tales from Casanova's Memoirs

Chapter 1
Casanova in Pars and Veniceand his first reallove, the beautiful Caterina

When I first arrived in Pars, I was most pleased by the cleanliness of the inns, the good food served in them, the excelIent beds and the good manners of the servers in the restaurants. One evening I decided to go to a play at the Italian Theater and I went there early to get a good seat. As I was sitting in my box staring at the audience, a very fat, but very welI-dressed man carne up to me and asked me politely if I was a foreigner. When I told him I was, he asked me ifI liked Paris. As I was about to answer, an enormous lady covered with jewelry entered the box next to mine. Her immense size impressed me and I asked the gentleman, "Who's that fat sowl?" "She's the wife of this fat pig," and he gestured toward himself. "Oh, excuse me, monsieur!" But my fat friend wasn't offended; he was almost choking with laughter. I was, of course, enormously embarrassed and when he retumed to his wife and spoke to her she instantly joined her husband in laughter. Their laughter increased my embarrassment and I was starting to leave the theater when I heard him calI out to me, "Monsieur! Monsieur!" Not wanting to be rude, I went over to their box and he invited me to have dinner with them that evening. I later leamed that he was Monsieur de Beaucharnp, the ChiefTax ColIector ofFrance.

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The next morning at a cafe I met a famous actress named Mademoiselle Le Fel, beloved by all of Paris. She had three charming children with her. "1 adore them," she told me.
"Each one of their faces has a different beauty," I replied. "Of course! The oldest is the son of the Duke of Anneci, the middle one is the child ofCount Egmont, and the youngest is the son ofMonsieur Maisonrouge." "Oh, excuse me, Madame. I thought you were the mother of all three." She laughed and said, "You aren't mistaken," which confirmed my 'faux pas'. If I had known the morals of the society a bit better, I would have known that it was quite common for ladies to improve their financial situation by bearing' the children of rich noblemen who paid to leave the children in their mothers' careo My next 'faux pas' occurred not long after the first one. One day I was visiting the home of the ballet master of the Opera and I saw five or six young girls there, all about thirteen or fourteen years old. They had that air of confidence that a good education gives children. When one of them complained of a headache, her friend said to her, "You must not have slept welllast night."

was kept4 by the Prince of Monaco, her officiallover. One day I met the Prince and he took me to meet the Duchess of Ruf. I was about to meet a duchess things were going well for me. Dear reader, at the risk ofhorrifying you, I'll try to paint an accurate picture of the Duchess. Imagine an ancient face covered with thick rouge, a scarred5 complexion, hollow6 cheeks and features marked with signs of debauchery7. She was stretched out seductively on a sofa when I came into her salon and she cried out with savagejoy, "Oh, what a handsome boy! Prince, it was so kind ofyou to bring him to me! Come sit beside me, my boy!" When the Prince left us alone for a moment she put her hand on my shoulder, and, before I knew what was happening, she put her wrinkled8lips to my cheek. Her other hand wandered9 indecently about my body and she said, "Come, my boy, let me see if you have a nice, big..."
I resisted her charms and she exclaimed, "Don't be childish! Are you such a novice?"

"No madame, but..."

"What is it?
"1 have... a disease." "Oh, you devil! Just think about what I almost exposed myself to!" Taking advantage of my opportunity, I picked up my hat and escaped through the ITontdoor of the house. When I told Coraline about it later, she laughed and agreed with me that her Prince had played a dirty trick on me. She praised me for pretending to have a disease, but she didn't give me the opportunity to prove my good health to her. Toward the middle of August I left Paris. I had spent two years in that fabulous city and had enjoyed great pleasures there. My only disappointment was that I ran out

"Oh, it's not that. I think I'm pregnant."

I was surprised to hear this reply IToma girlwhose age and expression made me think she was a virgin. Without thinking, I said to her, "1 didn't know you were married." She looked at me with surprise for a moment, and then she and her friends all began to laugh uncontrollably. I left them, feeling embarrassed and ashamed, and promised myself that I would never again assume virtue in a class of women in whom it is so rare. Even young girls take pride in having no modesty at all. All of the ltalian actors living in Paris were eager to entertain me in order to impress me with their affiuence. The richest of them was Pantalon, who invited me to dinner with his two charming daughters, Coraline and Camille. Coraline

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of money and decided to go to Dresden to visit my mother. The only extraordinary thing I did in Dresden was to write a tragic-comic play,mainly to please my mother and the actors and actresses at the camival of 1753. It delighted the Prince and made him laugh and he gave me wonderful gifts to show bis appreciation. A less than extraordinary occurrence in Dresden was my contraction of an 'amorous souvenir' of which I cured myself by following a strict diet for six weeks. It has often occurred to me that I have spent the greater part of my life trying to catch a disease, and then, after succeeding, trying to cure myself of it. Now, I'm sorry not to be able to make myself ill again: old age forces me to be healthy in spite of myself.


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This disease, which we Italians stupidly call the "French disease", when we should claimthe honor ofbeing the first to import it, doesn't shorten life,but it does leave permanent, visible signs of its occurrence. Its scars, less honorable perhaps than those received on a batdefield, are acquired with pleasure and should never be regretted.
I returned to my native city ofVenice with that delightful feeling that any sensitive person has when he revisits the places where he received bis first lasting impressions. Through my travels,I had acquired valuable experience; I was now familiarwith the laws ofhonor and politeness and I feltsuperior to almost all of my equals. I was eager to e11ioy old habits again, but this time I intended to behave more prudendy. my I was drinking a cup of coffee at the Piazza San Marco when a masked woman provocatively tappedlOme on the shoulder with her fan. Since I didn't recognizt her, I ignored her. I finished my coffee and walked over to where Signor Bragadino's gondola was waiting for me. I saw the woman again near the bridgo lid 1 approached her and asked, "Why did you tap me with your fan?" II'lh Pllllish you for not recognizing me after saving my life." 1 11'llIrlllhcrcd that the day before I had prevented a very pretty woman rl'Oln 1111111111. 0111 ofher gondola in the Grand Canal.

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I offered to take her for a ride in my gondola and, after consulting a masked man in a German uniform who was with her, she accepted for both of them. Before they entered my gondola, I asked them to remove their masks. They refused, telling me that they had reasons for not wanting to be recognized. I sat beside the lady and tried to put my arm around her, but she annoyed me by changing her seat. When we returned to Venice after a brief tour of the lagoon, the officer invited me to have dinner with them. I accepted because I was quite curious about the lady. When I was alone with her for a moment before dinner, I told her I was in love with her and that if she would give me hope I wasn't wasting time, I would serve her with devotion during the entire carnival. I said to her, "If you intend to be cruel to me, please tell me now."

I no longer had any desire to pursue his mistress and was pleased when later that week he took me to his house and introduced me to bis sister Caterina, a true beauty. It took her less than half an hour to completely captivate and dazzlel2 me. Her quick mind, beauty, high intelligence and innocence - a combination of qualities that has alwayshad great power over me - made me a slaveto the most perfect woman imaginable. Yet I didn't praise her or tell her what I thought; I had lied to so many other women about my feelingsthat I was afraid Caterina might be suspicious of me.
I left her house feeling sad and pensive. I decided never to see her again because I knew I wouldn't be able to sacrifice my freedom by marrying her, even though I felt we were made for each other and I was madly in love with her. When I saw Pietro in the street he told me his sister spoke of nothing else but me. "She would be a good match for you because she'll have an inheritance of ten thousand ducats." I had promised myself never to see her again, but I was tempted to break my promise under this new development. I was frightened by my feelings because with her I couldn't act as an honorable man, or, as a libertine. I didn't think I could marry her, and yet I would have killed the man who advised me to seduce her. To distract myself from this conflict, I went to a casino to gamble; gambling is sometimes an excellent sedative for love. Pietro had come up with the noble idea that he would sell bis sister to me. I felt sorry for bis mother and sister, who trusted him, but I wasn't virtuous enough to refuse bis offer. I convinced myself that, since I was in love with her, it was my duty to accept, because ifI refused, he might find someone less worthy to marry her and this idea was unbearable. Mter attending an opera performance, we had dinner at a cafe. Pietro told his sister I was in love with her and that, to relieve my amorous excitement, she

"What kind of woman do you think I am?"

"A charming one! I only ask you for a word of encouragement. Give it to me and you will see me as the modest, submissive and discreet person I am."

"Control yourself,"she replied.

When we sat down at the table and she took off her mask, I saw that she was even more beautiful than I remembered. I had to learn whether the officer was her husband, her lover, her relative, or her benefactor. I proceeded with caution, offering them a night at the opera in my box, wbich they accepted.

After the opera, I took them home in my gondola and obtained from her all of the favorsthat a lady can givea man in the presence of another persono
The next day the officer carne to see me. "My name is Pietro Capretta. My father is rich, but we are estrangedll. The lady you saw me with has left her husband because of me, and it was because of her I argued with my father. I wear this uniform because lama captain in the Austrian army, but I've never fought in a battle."

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Tales from Casanova's Memoirs

needed to let me kiss her. 1 was burning with desire but 1 had such respect for this innocent and mve creature that 1 kissed her only on the cheek. "What a kiss!" Pietro exclaimed. "Come on, give her a real one!" Caterina said seriously, "Don't insisto I'm not lucky enough to please him."

protected between two of the most beautiful guards nature ever created; my hand was trembling as 1 removed it. We walked around the garden until Pietro retumed for us, and then had dinner with him and his mistress in his salon. After dinner Pietro kissed his mistress and urged me to imitate his actions with his sister. 1 told him 1would only take such liberties when 1had won her heart, because 1was sincerely in love with her. He laughed, and pulled his mistress up &om the table and drew her onto the sofa. When their scene becarne quite risqu and erotic, 1 tried to prevent Caterina &om seeing it and gendy guided her to the window. She saw them in a mirror, though, and her face tumed red. After his conquest, Pietro carne over to us and embraced me. It was difficult to endure14 such a scene when 1 had to struggle with my own desires to prevent taking advantage of my innocent Caterina!

"What!" 1 cried. 1 took her in my arms and gave her a long, ardent kiss. She moved back, astonished at my display of love for her. She put on her mask to hide her emotion.
We continued to see each other with her brother as our chaperonel3. One day, Pietro told me he had an appointrnent and left me alone with Caterina. "Why don't we go to a garden in Zuecca?" she asked me. "That's an excellent idea." We went to a garden which 1 rented for the rest of the day and gave instructions that no one was to enter it until we left. The charming Caterina was wearing only a simple skirt and blouse, but she was ravishing! My amorous eyes saw through her clothing and 1 sighed with desire and tried to control myself.

The next day 1 criticized his behavior and he tried to justify his actions by sayinghe had been convinced that 1had already done the same with his sister. He told me he would bring Caterina to me that night after the opera and so 1 rented a private apartrnent where we could spend the eveningin privacy.
We had several hours ahead of us before dawn, and Caterina told me we wouldn't be bored. She said 1 had conquered her heart with the way 1had tried to protect her &om Pietro's actions with his mistress. "Did you see what he did to her when she got on top ofhim? 1 could only see them in the mirror, but 1had a pretty good idea of what they were doing." "Weren't you a&aid that 1 might treat you the sarne way?" 1 asked her. "No, not at all. How could 1 be afraid, knowing how much you love me? We're saving ourselves for marriage, aren't we? I'm ready to marry tomorrow if you want me to. Once we're married, my father will have to give his permission." "Yes, but 1 still want to ask his permission in advance."

She challenged me to a race around the garden and 1 told her, "The loser will have to do whatever the winner tells him to do."
She agreed and 1was sure 1 could win, but 1 wanted to lose in order to see what she would tell me to do. She 'won' and then ordered me to find a ring she had hidden on her body. 1 was delighted, because 1 knew her intentions were not entirely innocent. We sat down on the grass. 1 searched everywhere, even her shoes. The reader can guess that 1 suspected where the ring was hidden, but gave myself a thousand pleasures before my fingers arrived there. 1 finally found the ring



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"He'll say I'm too young."

"And he may be right."
1 was burning with desire and it was becoming impossible to resist the flame that was consuming me. 1 asked Caterina, "Are you certain you'll never regret being my wife?"

"I'm more than certain, love." "Then let us become man and wife this very moment! God alone will be the witness of our union and he knows the purity of our intentions. We'll have the religious ceremonyas soon as we can, but for now;be mine and giveyourself to me completely." "Do whatever you like with me, my love. 1 promise to be your faithfull5 wife for as long as 1 live." She lay down on the bed in her clothes. 1 told her they interfered with love, and in less than a minute 1had transformed her into a modem Eve, beautiful and naked. Her soft, white skin contrasted beautifully with her black hair. Her slenderl6 waist, round hips, perfectly shaped breasts, pink lips and large eyes - in which both
gentleness and the heat of desire were visible

made her a perfect Venus.

In my ecstasy, 1 was beginning to fear that 1 might not be able to make my happiness perfect by bringing it to a climax when Caterina suddenly asked me, "ls it a rule that the husband must leave his clothes on?" 1 threw off all my clothes in an instant and then it was her tum to follow the impulses that her curiosity was stimulating in her. She gave herself to me heroically and the intensity of her love made even her pain sweet. After three hours of ecstasy,we were starving and ordered something to eat. Over dinner we looked at each other without speaking, unable to express our feelings. The sun was rising when we left each other; we were happy, satisfied, and certain that we were married.

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Tales &0111 Casanova's


Chapter 2
Ca.'ianova encounters Barone.'Is Roll and the infamous Shrew

I carne to Zurich, Switzerland to enter a monastery because I wanted to escape my chao tic and decadent lifestyle. But an encounter one day confirmed my suspicion that I wasn't destined to become a mook.. From the window of my room at an ion where I was staying, I saw three women step out of a carriage in front of the inn. Two of them were ugly, and the ugliest one walked with a limp., but the beautiful brunette one looked up at my window and saw me looking down at her. She cried out, as though she had seen a ghost. I was enchanted; I had never seen a more exciting and beautiful woman! In order to get a closer look at the beauty, whom I later leamed was Baroness Roll, I posed as a waiter during their two days at the ion. She was married to the much older Baron Roll, from Zurich. When the three women left for Solothum, I did too, ending my brief consideration of religious obligation.

The former French ambassador to Venice, Monsieur de Chavigny, lived in Solothum, and when he found out I was there, invited me to dinner. "I'll always remember the kindness that was shown to me during my stay in that beautiful city," he told me. I hoped that I would see Baroness Roll at the dinner, but was disappointed. After dinner, I noticed the Baroness's two companions from the inn looking at me with recognition. I left immediately, pretending not to recognize them.

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The next day Monsieur de Chavignyvisited me and said, "I'm going to repeat a ridiculous story to you and 1assure you that 1don't believe one word of it." "I'm listening."
"Two ladies who saw you at my house last night carne to me after you left and warned me about you. They insisted that you were actually a waiter in a Zurich inn who was skilled2in carving3a turkey and changing plates quickly.l'm sure they are wrong, but I've invited them to come to dinner again today and told them that you would be there. Is there any truth in their claims. Please ten me now." "Their story is partially true, but I'm not really a waiter, Ijust played the part of one. Did they ten you they were with the beautiful Baroness Ron?"

and the lovely woman introduced me to her husband as 'the friendly waiter &om Zurich' and he thanked me for being so kind to his wife. 1 was happy with this proof the Baroness had noticed me and told her husband about me. Monsieur de Chavigny seated me between the two malicious ladies. 1 hardly looked at the Baroness, and noticed that her husband wasn'tjealous or as old as 1 had been toldo 1 ignored the widow on my right, preferring to talk with the other, less malicious lady on my left. After dinner we practiced some theatrical scenes &om Voltaire's comedy L'Ecossaise, which we were going to perform later that week for the Solothum society. One day,for the sake of appearance and to practice our lines, 1met with the shrew and her friendo She told me that, after seeing me disguised as a waiter, she wouldn't have believed 1was so timid (her interpretation of my polite manner).

"Yes. Ah, now 1 understand. This explains everything! Baroness Ron has a perfect reputation, though, so you must ten me everything to prevent us &om darnagingher honor."
1 told him the whole story, adding, "1 will deny the two ugly ladies' claim. Ir they aren't intelligent enough to realize that 1 was just pretending to be a waiter in order to meet their beautiful companion, then they are jealous and malicious creatures." When 1 went to his house later that day, the more malicious of the two 'ladies' carne up to me. She was a wido\0, between thirty and forty years old. She had abad complexion, and black, close-setS eyes. One of her legs was shorter than the other and she tried to appear intelligent to hide her insecurity. As a result, she was extremely talkative and boring. She said to me, "Do you admit you're a waiter in a Zurich inn?" "Not exactly, madarne. But 1 will admit that you didn't speak one word to me, even though the only reason 1 was there was to meet you." My flattery6 and pretense pleased the shrew7. 1 was then introduced to the Baron and Baroness

"What makes you think I'm timid, Madarne?" 1 said, easily guessing her suggestion.1decided to stop seeing her immediatelyafter the performance.
My shrew played the roles of the unpleasant Lady Alton. She was delighted to be able to horrifY the audience with her performance, undoubtedly aware that her own appearance and personality had a lot to do with the successful effect she produced. 1 nearly fainted9 on stage when her character said to mine in the fifth act, "What! You? You dare to love me?" She said these words with such energy and contempt that the audience erupted in applause. 1 was so annoyed by her attempt to insult my honor that 1 almost forgot my next line. "Yes! 1adore you, and 1have no choice." 1 spoke these words with such tendemess and deep emotion that the audience shouted "Bravo!", and "Encore!" After the performance we had dinner at Monsieur de Chavigny's country house. As we were about to leave, 1 had a very pleasant surprise. The ambassador asked Baron Roll to ride with him in his carriage to discuss a business matter. "We'll be able to talk there and Monsieur Casanova can keep your wife company in your carriage." The reader can imagine the heated flame that raced through my veins!

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The Baroness and 1 sat down next to each other with our knees pressed tightly together. Half an hour passed in an instant and we did not waste time. We kissed and didn't separate our lips until we were a few meters from her house.

1 was certain that my perfect beauty shared my feelings of love. My plan to pursue her was much more sensible than the one ofbecoming a monk.
Mter leaving the Baroness at her house, 1went to see the ambassador. "Well, did you take advantage of the 'tete-a-tete' 1 arranged for you?" he asked. 1 embraced him and replied that 1 had every reason to hope but that 1 didn't want to rush things. 1 told him my plan. "1 must be careful not to darnage her honor. 1 need an elegant country house, a fine carriage, a good cook and a housekeeper." 1 think the reader would have done the sarne thing ifhe were in my situation: rich, young, independent, full of passion and focused only on the pursuit of pleasure.

Monsieur de Chavigny advised me that, "The first thing to do is to make the Baron your friend without making him suspicious. The second thing is to invent some reason for needing to rent a country house so that when the Baroness comes to visit you, no one will think you're havingan affair;she'lljust be a kind and thoughtful friend."
He had a perfect idea: 1 would pretend to be iD and go to see a doctor friend of Monsieur's who loved to prescribe country air for all ofhis patients' iDnesses. 1 saw the doctor and gave him every symptom 1 could think of for 'bad' health. After examining me the good doctor said, "You have a serious iDness, but 1~an cure you. First, spend six weeks in the country, and second, take cold baths." The next day, everyone in Solothum knew 1was iDand was going to the country. The shrew carne to see me immediately when she heard the news. "1 know everything," said the malignant female, "and 1 will have my revenge." "You have no reason to have such a strong reaction because I've never offended you. However, if you intend to have someone murder me, I'll bire a bodyguard."

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"We don't have people murdered around here. We're not Italian." To my delight, she left and I was free to pursue my beautiful Baroness. I had dinner at the ambassador's house that next evening and when I saw my enchantresslO sitting in a corner reading a letter, I went over to her. She told me that, ifI hadn't chosen a country house yet, she would like me to rent the one her husband was going to suggest over dinner. I knew then that she was my willing accomplice and eager for our love to be consummated. During dinner, Baron Roll told me about a charming house near the Aar River. We agreed to go look at it in the morning. I picked him up at his house at eight o'clock the next day. "1 asked my wife to come with us, but she's lazy and prefers to sleep." He showed me a beautiful, large house for rent, and I arranged to move in two days later. Monsieur de Chavigny offered to help me find the staff I needed if I promised to keep him postedll on the progress ofmy campaign. "Does the Baroness know that I know what's going on?" he asked. "Yes, I've told her that you know we love each other and she doesn't mind, because she knows you are discreet." I moved into my house that week and was surprised by the housekeeper that the ambassador had hired for me. Her name was Madame Dubois, and she was so beautiful, charming and intelligent that I suspected the Monsieur had played a trick on me; she was more qualified to be my mistress than my housekeeper. "She'll be an excellent remedy to cure you of your love for the Baroness," he told me later. "You're mistaken. I may fall in love with her, but that won't cure me of the love I feel for my enchantress." Madame Dubois and I were sitting down to lunch the next day when a carriage entered the courtyard and out of it stepped my horrible shrew. I was extremely annoyed by her arrival, but my good manners required me to invite her inside for our meal.

I introduced the shrew to my lovely Madame Dubois and as soon as Madame left the room the shrew asked me for the favor of using two of the rooms in my house for three or four weeks to improve her health in the fresh air. In reply to this bold and presumptuous request, I told her that I could not possibly grant her the favor. "You can't refuse," she said, "because everyone in town knows I have come here to ask for your help."

"Well, then everyone in town will know I've said 'no'. I want to be alone, absolutely alone, and completelyfree." "1 won't bother you, and you can ignore me. I'll have my servant prepare my meals and I'll only go to the garden when I know you're not there. How can you refuse to giveme this ordinary courtesy?" "If you had any conception of 'ordinary courtesy' madame, you wouldn't continue to ask me for a favor I have already refused." She was silent. I paced up and down the room, full of rage. I thought about throwing her out of my house, but then I remembered that she had relatives who had important positions in society and she might be able to carry out her threat of revenge. AIso, the Baroness would disapprove if I treated the shrew too harshlyl2.
"Very well, madame. You may have your rooms, but I'll return to Solothurn as soon as you have moved into them." "1 accept, and know that you won't go to Solothurn because everyone in town willlaugh at you." She stood up and left without saying goodbye. After she had gone, I felt foolish; I should have reacted to her proposal as if it were ajoke and forced her to leave, with my servants acting as witnessesl3 to the scene. When Madame Dubois returned, she was shocked when I told her what had happened. "Her request is hard to believe, but so is your consent, unless you have reasons I don't know about." I said nothing and went for a walk to calm myself.

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When I told him about the shrew's demand, Monsieur de Chavigny laughed. "You might think it's funny, but I don't," I responded.

He said, "Believe me, the best thing you can do is to laugh before she does. Ignore her completelyand that will be enough punishment for her. People will say she's in love with you and that you rejected her. Tell Baron Roll about it."
The Baron and rus wife were furious when I told them of their friend's behavior. They agreed to come and spend a few days with me in the country. I took the couple to the apartment I had chosen for them; it was the best one for my plans, on the first floor and opposite my own apartment. The two apartments were separated by a small bedroom that had a door opening into the garden, and also a small dressing room on each end, each separated by a door. I had keys to all of these doors. We had dinner with the shrew, at the Baroness's request, and I had to show her to her room after dinner. She told me, with an evil smile, that since I had behaved so well at dinner I deserved to have all of my desires satisfied. I did not answer her.

The next day,I took a walk in the garden with my enchantress and explained my plan to her. She said, "I'm expecting a visit ITommy husband tonight because he has communicated his desires through certain touches that I am familiar with. You will have to wait until tomorrow night; he is never passionate with me two nights in a row."
I had no choice but to wait. The next day she said, "My husband performed his sacrifice last night. So that we won't be discovered tonight, I will force rum to make another sacrifice as soon as he is in bed; he'll be sure to fall asleep very quickly." A few minutes before one o'clock in the morning, I left my room and felt my way through the darkness. I expected the first dressing room door to be unlocked, but it wasn't. I wasn't concerned by this small detail. As I opened the door into the bedroom, I felt a hand grab14 my arm while another one closed over my mouth. I heard a soft "shhh", which I obeyed. There was a sofa near the door

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Tales from Casanova's Mcmoirs

and 1 didn't waste a single momento 1was at last holding in my arms the woman 1 had desired for so long! 1gave her repeated proof of my passionate love for two hours. When the sun began to rise, 1 kissed her all over with tender kisses, went to my room and fell asleep, my heart full ofjoy. Just as 1 was about to go out for a walk the next morning, 1 saw the widow, who cheerfully said to me, "1 thank you monsieur; 1 thank you with all my heart. 1 give you back your ffeedom - l'm leaving for Solothurn immediately." "Please wait, madame, and we can have breakfast with the Baron and Baroness." "No, 1 can't wait another instant. Good-bye, and don't forget me." During breakfast, the Baron and Baroness, Madame Dubois and 1all commented on her sudden departure. The Baron and Madame Dubois went for a walk and 1 noticed the Baroness seemed depressed. 1 asked her if she had slept well. "1 didn't go to sleep until four o'clock. What kept you ffom coming to me?" 1 froze with horror and stared at her without answering. 1 started to tremble and felt so upset and sick that my intestines began to release. 1hid behind a tree, and considered the possibility that 1 had spent two hours in the arms of the horrible shrew 1 had allowed into my house. The thought occurred to me that Baroness Roll, having satisfied her own pleasure, would need to deny it - the only alternative for a respectable woman who agrees to meet a stranger in the dark. 1 knew her too well, though, to think she was capable of such treacherous behavior. How had the widow discovered our plan and how had she succeeded in fooling me? 1 had to face the awful truth that 1 had spent two hours making love with a monster, but the most horrifying thought of all was that 1 had been perfecdy satisfied with her. The two women were as different as night and day, and my sense oftouch should have been sufficient to warn me ofthe switchl5. 1 decided to k.illmyself, but not until 1 first tore the shrew to pieces.

As 1 was trying to control my emotions, one of my servants delivered a letter to me that the infamous widow had just sent by special courier. 1 put it into my pocket and said 1 would read it later. When we were alone, the Baroness saw my distress and said, "Control yourself, my dear ffiend; you're not guilty and 1 love you more than ever. Give me the letter she wrote to you and l'll read it first." She gave me the letter back after she had read it and asked me not to read it myself until 1 was calmer. "l'm sure she won't make the incident public because she would be the first to suffer. However, in her letter she gives you a piece of advice that you can't ignore."
After she left with the Baron 1went to my bedroom and read it. Here was what it said:

[ left your house quite happy today, but not because [ spent two hours with you; you're no different than any other mano I'm happy because [ now have my revenge Jor the contempt you have shown me in publico [ have exposed your plan and also the hypocrisy oJyour lovely lady, who won't be able to look at me with her air oJ superiority. She must have waited Jor you aU night long and [ would give anything to have heard your words to each other this morning. I've made it impossible Jor you to ever think oJ her again as such afeminine wonder; since you thought [ was her, our differences must be slight. [ have also provided you with an important service which wiU help coolyour mad passion. For ten years [ have had a disease which no one has been able to cure. :Youwent to great lengths to prove your love to me, so ['m certain you have caught this disease. The main reason for my warning is so that you don't pass it on toyour sweetheart, as she has never reaUy harmed me. [knew that the two oJyou would try to deceive her husband and that was why [ decided to come to stay in your house. 1 spent two nights on the soJa in the small bedroom, and then decided to spend the third there as well, and my persistence was rewarded! No one saw me and so you are free to remain silent - [ advise you to do so. [ warn you that

}5. Switch

- Camhio.

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Vaughan Systems

Tales from Casanova's Memoirs

if your


offends me in the future, to fiar

1 wiU not hesitate

to make the

facts publico 1 have nothing

because I'm a widow and completely is in a high position

independent. :Your sweetheart, with much to lose.

on the other hand,

I found this woman's claimsl6 so outrageous that I almost started to laugh. She had given me a disease whose symptoms would probably appear very soon. After thinking about the matter for a couple ofhours, I decided to say nothing, but I also decided I would get my revenge at the first opportunity.

Chapter 3
The infamous prison under the lead roof of the Doge~5 Palace in Venice

It was at about this time that I met Marc Antonio Zorzi, a patrician and intellectual who loved the theater and wrote a comedy that the public hated. In response to the negative reaction, he began to publicly criticize Abate Chiari, a local playwright', who he thought was responsible for the play's failure. 1 was happy to become his friend because he had an excellent cook and a charming wife. He knew I didn't like Chiari either. 1helped him get his revenge against Chiari by writing critical essays about his plays which Zorzi then distributed in Venice. 1 became an enemy of a person named Signor Condulmer, who owned a large portion of the theater where Chiari's plays were performed. Signor Conduhner lost money as a result of my criticisms because the theater seats had to be sold at reduced prices. Signor Condulmer was sixty years old and religious but he loved women, gambling and money and was respected because he went to mass every morning. He was a State Inquisitor and, in that powerful position, it was very easy for him to convince his powerful friends that they should imprison me because 1 was a 'disturber of the public peace.' One night when I was having supper at Mr. Murray's house, Murray asked me if 1 had read a book by Abate Chiari that hadjust been published. 1 said 1 hadn't, and so he gaveme a copy ofit, certain that it would amuse me. He was right. It was a very critical satire ofZorzi's mends in which I was mentioned in a very negative way.

I fi. Claim . A!inna,"n.

1. Pla)'wright - Dramaturgo.

- 26-

- 27-

Vaughan Systems

I soon received an anonymous letter warning me that I should stop criticizing Chiari publicly,because I was in danger. I didn't reply to the letter and this was my mistake; I should have taken advantageof this information.
At this time an evil spy named Manuzzi, who worked for the State Inquisitors, introduced himself to me. He offered to sen me some diamonds on credit and so, I allowed him to enter my room. He looked at some of the books I had and was particularly interested in the ones that were about the subject of magic. This pleased me for some reason, and so I showed him more books about making contact with spirits. I hope my readers will understand that I didn't believe in this ridiculous subject, but I did think it was amusing. A few days later Manuzzi carne to ten me that an anonymous person would pay me a thousand sequins for my five books on the subject, but that he wanted to examine them first to make sure they were authentic. He returned them the next day, telling me that the prospective buyer didn't think they were authentic. Many years later I discovered that Manuzzi had taken them to the State Inquisitors, who decided that I was a notorious sorcerer. Signor Condulmer declared that I was a public enemy and that I believed in the devil - which was ridiculous because that belief would necessarily require a belief in God! I was also accused of eating meat on fasting2days and ofbeing a Freemason. The Tribunal used these false accusations to call me an 'enemy ofthe state'. My &iends advised me to leave Venice and I should have listened to them; in Venice the only people who can live in peace are people the Tribunal doesn't know. I said to myself, "I'm innocent and I have nothing to fear." But I was a fool, because I was thinking like a &ee mano

InJuly, 1755, the Tribunal ordered me to be arrested 'dead or alive'.I had been gambling all night and lost five hundred sequins. I needed to calm my nerves and so, at dawn, I went to Signor Bragadino's to ten him the whole story. My relationship to him had always been a subject of astonishment' for the Venetians. He was virtuous and very devoted to God; I was the most flagrant

2.1'0 fast

.-\\"UI1lU 'l. ,\stonishnlcnt



{;.'Itupdl 'IOn

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Vaughan Systems

Tales from Casallova's Memoirs

libertine in Venice. Mter a quiet dinner Signor Bragadino told me, calmly, that I should leave Venice for my own safety and that he would never see me again.

"Giacomo, your papers and books were only an excuse to arrest you. I was a State Inquisitor for eight months and I know the types of arrests the Tribunal makes. The Tribunal may convict you of real or imaginary crimes without tellingyou about them." He desperately tried to persuade me to spend the next two days in his house, where I would be protected from the police. I'm sorry now that I didn't listen to the old man I loved so muchoHis prediction was correct and I never saw him again. He died elevenyears later.
The next morning an official carne into my room and asked me ifI was Giacomo Casanova. When I said I was, he ordered me to get up, get dressed and to give him all of my papers. "Where does this order come from?" I asked. "From the Tribunal," was his answer. The power of these words was indescribable. The word "Tribunal" petrified me and I was instantly obedient. Leaving my room, I was surprised to see thirty or forty guards in my living room. I felt honored that they thought so many men were needed to arrest me when two would have been sufficient. They locked me in a room at police headquarters for four hours and then the chief guard carne in to tell me he had orders to put me under the Leads. We got into a gondola, entered the Grand Canal and then got out at the Quay4 of the Prisons. We climbed several flights of stairs and then crossed an elevated, covered bridge connecting the prisons to the Ducal Palace over the Ro di Palazzo. This bridge was known as the Bridge of Sighs, so called because the little windows on each side of the bridge gave new prisoners their last view of Venice, filling them with sadness and remorse.

entered a large attic with two small windows. I thought this was my cell, but I was wrong. The warden took out a large key and opened a thick iron door, one meter high, with a round hole, twenty centimeters in diarneter, in the middle of it. When I crawled6 into the cell I saw a small iron mechanism nailed7 to the thick wall, shaped like a horseshoe and thirteen centimeters from one parallel side to the other. The warden smiled and said, "1 see, signore, you are trying to guess what this is used foroWhen Their Excellencies order someone to be strangled, he is seated on a stool with his back to this device and his head positioned so this device endoses half ofhis neck. A silk cord is nserted through this hole and then attached to a winch8. A man tums the winch until the patient delivers his soul to God."

"That's very dever," I told him, "and I will bet, signore, that you yourselfhave the honor of turning the winch." He did not answer me, and instead asked me what I wanted to eat. "1 haven't thought about it yet," I answered.
The ceiling of the cell was just under two meters high and I was one hundred and eighty-five centimeters talloI walked with my head down over to the little window in my cell. It was a half-meter square and had six iron bars that formed sixteen small square holes. I could see into the attic, where huge rats ran up to my window without showing any fear at all. I leaned on the bottom edge of the window and was completely frozen and silent for eight hours. By the late aftemoon, I began to worry because no one had come to bring me food or something to sleep on. I was constantly worried about the rats, which were everywhere. By sunset, I was furious and kicked, shouted and hit the walls with my fists. I had never been abandoned or treated so cruelly before! I decided that the State Inquisitors had probably condemned me to death. I had plenty of time to think about my actions, but I couldn't come up with a reason for this sentence. I was a libertine, a garnbler, a bold9 speaker and I was only concemed with enjoying life; I didn't consider any of this a crime, but I was being treated like a criminal. Exhausted by these tortuous thoughts, I went to sleep. When I woke up, I put out my right arm to pick up my handkerchief'. Imagine my shock when my right hand grabbed another hand that was as cold as ice! I
6.1.. crawl '\rrastrarsc. 7. Tu nait - Clavar. R. Winch - Tomo. !l. Huid - \trcvido.

With the prison warden', I walked down one long hall and then another, each one separated by a locked door. Finally, after four more halls and doors, I
4. Qua}' - Muelle. 5. Warden - (~arl'dcrc.

10. Handkcrchicf

- PaJiuclo.

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Tales rol1lCasallova's Memoirs

was electrified with fear and my hair stood up all over my body. I have never in my life felt such terror and was paralyzed for three or four minutes. I tried to tell myself that it was my imagination and I reached out again, finding the same, cold hand. I screamed. When I was calm again, I decided that the cadaver of some poor prisoner had been placed next to me; I was sure it wasn't there when I lay down. I thought, "They must have put it there to warn me of my own fate." This thought turned my fear into fury, and I reached out aggressively for the third time to verify my suspicion. But when I rose up on my left elbow I realized that I was holding my own left hand! It was numbll and had lost all warmth and feeling because of the weight of my body on the hard floor.

This comical incident didn't make me laugh at my circumstances. Instead, I became even more depressed and realized I was in a place where a man's intelligencewas reduced by half and where his fantasies could torture him. I needed to protect myself,so for the first time in my life, I used philosophy to help me, something I had never needed before.
I lived from day to day, thinking every night that I would be set free the next day. I was disappointed each morning. Then I decided that they would set me free on October 1, the day when the new Inquisitors took office. I was sure that the current Inquisitors knew I was innocent and were keeping me in prison only to protect their reputation. But my thinking was wrong; the fact that the State Inquisitors have imprisoned someone makes that person guilty and so why wouldanyone ever need to speak to him again? On October 6, I was filled with fury and despair and concluded that I was going to be in prison for the rest of my life. It was on this day that I decided I would escape or be killed in the attempt. In order for the reader to understand how I escaped from The Leads, I need to describe the infamous prison. It consists of a group of cells where prisoners of the state are incarcerated. These cells are really just the attic of the ducal palace;

J l. Numb . EntullIecido.

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Vaughan Systems

Tales from Casanova's Memoirs

the name of the prison, 'The Leads', comes &om the wide sheets oflead that cover the roof of the palace. In order to get to the attic cells, you must pass through the hall where the State Inquisitors hold their meetings. The only person who has a key to the attic is the secretary, and he only gives it to the jailersl2 for the short time it takes to check on and feed the prisoners every morning. The cells are located on each side of the attic. There are three on the west side (this is where mine was) and four on the east side. The rain gutterl3 on the west side empties into the courtyard of the palace and the one on the east side empties into the canal called the Ro di Palazzo. My cell was direcdy above The Inquisitors' assembly room, where they met after their daily session with The Council of Ten. In addition to The Leads, the State Inquisitors also have nineteen horrible underground cells where they keep prisoners they don't want to kill but whose crimes deserve death. These cells are known as "The Wellsl4" because there is always one meter of water on the floor; it comes in &om the sea through the same window that gives the unfortunate prisoner light. The prisoner has to spend all his time on a wooden platform to stay above the water. In the moming he is given some weak soup and a piece of bread that he must eat immediately to prevent the rats &om eating it. Prisoners who are sentenced to The Wells usually stay there for the rest of their lives. Even though it seemed impossible, I was obsessed with trying to find a way out ofThe Leads. Tools for making an escape hole would be difficult to obtain in a place where all outside communication was forbidden and I couldn't bribel5 a guard to get tools for me because I had no money. I was convinced that the only way I could figure out how to escape was to think of nothing else but a solution; I would not accept any unrelated thoughts. I have always believed that if aman decides he wants to accomplish something and concems himself only with the success of the accomplishment, he will succeed in spite of all the difficulties. In the middle of November, after almost four months in my cell, I was allowed to take a walk in the attic for half an hour each day. This was wonderful for my

health, and also for my escape plans. One day on my walk, I saw a boltl6 as thick as my thumb and about one half meter long in a comer of the attic. I didn't touch it, because I was still creating my plan for escape.

On New Year's Day, 1756, I received some presents: a fur nightgown, a silk blanket and a bearskinl7bag for my legs.I was so happy because it was very,very cold in the attic. Myjailer Lorenzo told me I would be givensix sequins a month to buy whateverbooks I wanted - these were allgifts&omSignor Bragadinoand I sent him a thank you note that read, "1 am grateful for the generosity of the Tribunal and Signor Bragadino."
One moming when I was taking my walk I looked at the bolt and realized it could be a good weapon. I quickly picked it up, hid it under my new nightgown and took it back to my cell. I sharpened it on a stone continuously for a week; it is difficult to imagine the pain that I had to endure. My right arm became so stiff that I could hardly move it. The palm of my right hand was destroyed by several blisterslS caused by this extreme effort but I had transformed the bolt into a dangerous pike19. I was proud of my pike but I didn't yet know how I could use it. My first concem was to hide it in my cell so my jailers wouldn't find it. I decided to hide it in my chair in such a way that no one would be able to find it.

It was in this way that I prepared for an escape which was admirable, if not exceptional. I will admit that I am proud of it, even though good luck was a critical factor. I am mosdy proud that I thought it was possible and that I had the courage to try it in spite of the difficulties,knowing that if I failed I would make my situation in the prison infinitelyworse.
Because I was very familiar with the palace and the daily habits of the Inquisitors, I knew that my only chance of escape was to dig a hole in the floor under my bed. I also knew that the meeting room for the Tribunal was direcdy under my cell and that it was unlocked20 every morning. I could lower myself

I (i. nolt

- Pestillo.


17. Uearskin

. Piel de oso.

I S. Blister

- Ampolla,

I !I. I'ikc - Pica.

12.Jailer - Carcelero.

U. CuUer- Canalet... 14. Well- Pozo. 15. Bribc - Soborno.

20. Unlockcd

. Abierto.

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Vaughan Systems

Tales from Casanova's Memoirs

through the hole into the room below by making a rope out of my sheets which 1 could tie to my bed. 1 would hide under the table in the Tribunal room until morning and then, as soon as the door was unlocked, 1 would run outside and find a safe place to hide while they started to look for me. The dust21created by digging22through the three layers of floor in the cell was a potential problem. 1 had insisted that the guards sweep23my cell floor every day to get rid OF4 the fleas. If 1 asked them to stop now, they would be suspicious. As a test, 1 told them the dust from their sweeping made me cough and might cause me to become very sick. They stopped sweeping for a week, but then my jailer Lorenzo ordered me to sweep my cell, which proved he was suspicious. 1 acted indifferent and Lorenzo found nothing. The next day 1 lay down on the floor and began to dig into the floor with the point of my pike. At first, the pieces were smaller than a grain of rice, but soon they became larger. 1 worked for six hours and in the moming emptied my towel, full of pieces, in a dark comer of the attic. By August 23, after more than one year in The Leads, 1 was finished digging. 1 had created a hole big enough for me to slide down through the floor into the Tribunal room below. 1planned my escape for the 27th, when 1 knew the room would be empty because of a Council meeting in the palace ballroom25 on Sto Augustine's Day. But on the 25th something happened which still makes me tremble when 1 think about it. At noon my doors were unlocked and my heart began to pound26violendy. 1froze27 in my chair and waited. Lorenzo carne into my cell and said cheerfully, "1 have good news for you!" Thinking that he meant 1was about to be set free, 1 trembled, realizing that if he discovered the hole my pardon would be revoked. "You're being moved into a cell that is light and clean. You'll have two windows and you can see half ofVenice from them. You'll be able to stand up straight and..."

"Are you crazy? They want to take you from hell and put you in paradise and you refuse to go? Get up. 1will have your books and clothes carried to your new cell."

1 had no choice but to go. 1 was gready relieved when 1 heard Lorenzo tell a gt!.ardto bring my chair to the new cell. My pike would go with me! 1 had hope! 1 wished 1 could also take my beautiful hole with me; the thought that all of my effort had been wasted made me think this new development was a punishment28from God.
Two guards brought my bed and chair into the new cell. It had a window and was 6lled with light; from it 1 could see a beautiful view as far as the Lido. Two more hours passed before 1saw anyone else. This delay wasn't normal and 1becarne very paranoid; 1 tried to calm my mind to keep disastrous thoughts from entering it. During the two hours 1 waited in my cell, 1 thought they were probably going to send me to The Wells. Lorenzo suddenly rushed29into my cell and screarned for me to give him the tools 1 had used to make my hole in the floor; they had discovered it! 1 answered calmly that 1 didn't know what they were talking about. He searched my clothes, my bed and my chair for the tools but found nothing. "You won't tell me where the tools are now, but there are ways to make you talk." "I'll say it was you who gave me the tools and that 1gave them back to you when 1 was finished," 1 told Lorenzo. The Tribunal might think 1 had bribed him and it would be my word against his. Lorenzo slarnmed3the small window that gave me a litde air and rushed out of my celllike a lunatic. 1 was left in the tiny cell with almost no air to breathe. My situation could have been much worse. Lorenzo didn't think to tum my chair upside down; 1 still had my spike and believed it to be the instrument that would sooner or later help me escape.

1 interrupted him because 1 thought 1 was going to faint. "Tell the Tribunal 1 thank them for their kindness but that 1ask them to let me stay here."
21. Oust - Polvo. 22.1'0 dig - b:('avar. 2:j. 1" sweep - Barrer. 24.1" get cid 01'- Deshacerse de.

The next moming a guard who was a 'friend' of mine came into my cell and tapped3l0n the walls and floor with an iron bar to check for hollow2 sounds.
28. Punishment - CastIgo. 29. Rushed (into) . [~ntr6 corriendo. 30. Slammed - Cerrar de un portazo.

25. RaIlroom - Saln de baile. 26.1,1 IlOuud - Palpitar, latir con fuerza. 27.1'0 frceze - Helar.

:n. Tapped - Dar toques o golpecitos.

32. Hollow (souud) - Hueco.

- S6-


Vaughan Systems Tales from Casanova's Memoirs

1noticed that he didn't tap on the ceiling, though, and 1thought, "That's how I'llleave this hell."
On the eighth day in this cell 1 asked Lorenzo, loudly and in the presence of the other guards, how much money remained in my account. The next day he brought me a large basket oflemons, a delicious roast chicken and some books. 1 told him to give the remaining money to his wife, saving a sequin for the guards. My generosity impressed the guards and Lorenzo said nothing to his masters about the tools or the hole. The next day 1 told Lorenzo 1 had read all of the books and asked him to trade them for some different ones with another prisoner. He reluctantly agreed, and 1 gave him one in which 1 had secretly written a message in Latin. My plan was to begin corresponding with someone who might help me with my escape. He brought me a different book and in it 1 found a sheet of paper with these words, also written in Latin:
There are two of us in this cell and we are both glad to see that Lorenzo's ignorance has given us this unprecedented opportunity. 1 am Marino Balbi, a Vendian nobleman and a monk. My cell mate is Count Andrea Asquino. We will hide our notes in the sPines of the

volume, but when he brought it the next day, 1 could see that my pike was ten centimeters too long. 1 needed to prevent Lorenzo from seeing the protrusion. 1 told him 1 wanted to thank the person (Balbi) who had been kind enough to trade books with me by sending him my Bible and a large plate of macaroni and cheese, which 1 wanted to personally prepare for him. "Bring me the biggest plate you have in your house because 1 like to do things in a big way." When Lorenzo brought the ingredients to me, 1 put my pike in the spine of the Bible, making sure it protruded evenly from both ends. 1 planned to put the large plate of macaroni, covered with lots of melted'5 butter, over the Bible. 1was sure Lorenzo wouldn't see the point of the pike because he would have to carefully watch the plate while walking to avoid spilling'6 butter on the book. Lorenzo wanted to take the plate of macaroni first and then the Bible, but 1 told him that the dramatic effect of my presents required him to present them together. 1 heard Lorenzo complain that 1 had put too much butter on the macaroni as he carefully walked to Balbi's cell. 1 heard Balbi blow his nose three times, our signal that the delivery had been successfully made. On the evening of October 17, 1 heard three short taps above my head. Balbi broke through to my cell in three minutes and fell into my arms. We embraced and he gave me back my pike. "Your work is finished and now mine begins," 1 told him. He stayed in my cell while 1 climbed up into the hole to investigate the situation. 1was sure that we would be able to make a hole in the roof of the palace in three or four hours, climb through it and then lower ourselves to the ground. With a few sequins we had borrowed from Asquino, a rope and two bags of clothes, we climbed out of the hole and onto the roof ofThe Leads. Balbi hung onto my belt as 1 crawled to the top of the slippery roof with the help of my pike. When we reached the top of the roof, we rested with our legs on each side of the peak. As Balbi carefully put the rope in his lap'7, his hat fell off the edge of the roof into the canal far below. He said it was abad omen,g and 1 said, "It's a reminder that God is watching over us, because if it had fallen into the courtyard of the palace to the right instead of left into the canal, the guards would have found it and known that someone was on the roof."

books that we trade with you.

hide our system from Lorenzo.

warn you to be very, very careful to

1leamed that Balbi was thirty eight and Asquino was sixty years old. 1 chose the monk as my helper because the older man would not be able to escape along the steep", slippery'4 lead roof. Balbi wrote that he was ready to risk everything to escape with me. 1 needed to find a way to get my pike to Balbi so that he could make a hole in the ceiling ofhis cell and crawl above the ceiling over to my cell, where he would make a hole in my ceiling. We would then escape together through my cell's hole and find a way to break through the roof. After thinking for severa! days, 1 finally had a good idea. 1 told Lorenzo to buy me a copy of the Bible. 1 intended to put my pike in the spine of the huge
:J3. Stcep - Empiuddo. :H. Slippcry - Reshabdizo.

35. 'n. rnclt - Derrelirse.

36. '1'0 'pill- Dermu,",', :J7. Lap

Regaz{,. .3ti. lJad <llIIell l\1a1augurio.

- 38-

- 39-

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Tales frolO Casanova's

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1 searched for several minutes to find an open attic window we could lower ourselves into with the rope. Servants would help us escape if they found us in the morning because everyone hated the Tribunal. When 1returned for Balbi he was furious, thinking 1had deserted him. 1 showed Balbi the window and asked him how he could get the second man into the window after the first one had been lowered down into it with the rope. He said, "Lower me first and then when I'm inside you'll have plenty of time to think of a way to come down after me." My guardian angel made me resist my first impulse to plunge39my pike into his chest over his selfishness! 1 lowered him into the window and then found a ladder leaning against a cupola. 1 tied my rope to it and then pulled the ladder to the window, where Balbi waited inside. With great difficulty, 1was able to get inside the attic and bring the ladder inside after me; it would have revealed our hiding place if we had left it there. 1inspected the dark room but didn't recognize the place. 1had visited rooms like this one with several women during my palace visits in the pasto 1 surrendered40 to nature and slept for three and a halfhours. 1 woke up at five o'clock to find a frantic Balbi beside me, amazed at my ability to sleep. 1 said, "This place isn't a prison, so there must be some easy way to get out of it." We walked down some steps and opened a door to a room 1 recognized: the ducal chancery41.

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By breaking several locks and going through several more doors, we eventually arrived at a door leading to the royal staircase. It was locked and we couldn't break through it. We sat down to think and wait. 1told Balbi, "Today is All Saints' Day, so 1 don't know if the palace cleaners will come in here. If someone does come in, I'll ron out as soon as the door is opened and you can followme."

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1 opened a window and was immediately noticed by people in the courtyard. The concierge thought he had locked someone in from the night before and in a few moments 1 heard him coming up the stairs with keys in his hand.


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.~ ~~~ ~

1 told Balbi to stand behind me and 1 held the pike in my right hand and put myself in position. 1 prayed that the concierge wouldn't resist me because 1
:19. '1'0 1,Iunge - Clavar. 40.1" surrendcl' - Ahdlj(lonarse. 41. Chaneel')' - Sala de un trihunal.



, .;4"'~1~

- 41 -

Vaughan Systems

~~~~~~~~~~I~~~~~ necessary to succeed. The door opened and the poor man was shocked by the sight of uso Balbi looked like a peasant, but at least his clothes were intacto The clothes 1had worn into The Leads the year before were ripped and covered with blood. 1 looked like a man who had gone to a party and spent the night in a brothel. Without saying a word and taking advantage of his momentary disbelief, 1 ran down the royal staircase with Balbi running behind me. 1 ignored Balbi's cries of "Into the church!", knowing that, in Venice, the churches didn't give sanctuary to criminals anyrnore. The sanctuary 1 was looking for now was outside the borders of the Venetian Republic.

42. Brotltel- Burdel.

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