PART THE SECOND
TRAVELS IN 1783
Casanova left Venice in January 1783, and went to Vienna.
On the 16th April Elisabeth Catrolli wrote to him at Vienna:
"Dearest of friends,
"Your letter has given me great pleasure. Be assured, I infinitely
regret your departure. I have but two sincere friends, yourself and
Camerani. I do not hope for more. I could be happy if I could have at
least one of you near me to whom 1 could confide my cruel anxieties.
"To-day, I received from Camerani a letter informing me that, in a former
one, he had sent me a bill of exchange: I did not receive it, and I fear
it has been lost.
"Dear friend, when you reach Paris, clasp him to your heart for me. .In
regard to Chechina [Francesca Buschini] I would say that I have not seen
her since the day I took her your letter. Her mother is the ruin of that
poor girl; let that suffice; I will say no more. . . . "
After leaving Venice, Casanova apparently took an opportunity to pay his
last disrespects to the Tribunal. At least, in May 1783, M. Schlick,
French Secretary at Venice, wrote to Count Vergennes: "Last week there
reached the State Inquisitors an anonymous letter stating that, on the
25th of this month, an earthquake, more terrible than that of Messina,
would raze Venice to the ground. This letter has caused a panic here.
Many patricians have left the capital and others will follow their
example. The author of the anonymous letter . . . is a certain
Casanova, who wrote from Vienna and found means to slip it into the
Ambassador's own mails."
In about four months, Casanova was again on the way to Italy. He paused
for a week at Udine and arrived at Venice on the 16th June. Without
leaving his barge, he paused at his house just long enough to salute
Francesca. He left Mestre on Tuesday the 24th June and on the same day
dined at the house of F. Zanuzzi at Bassano. On the 25th he left Bassano
by post and arrived in the evening at Borgo di Valsugano.
On the 29th, he wrote to Francesca from the Augsbourg. He had stopped at
Innsbruck to attend the theater and was in perfect health. He had
reached Frankfort in forty-eight hours, traveling eighteen posts without
From Aix-la-Chapelle, on the 16th July, he wrote Francesca that he had
met, in that city, Cattina, the wife of Pocchini. Pocchini was sick and
in deep misery. Casanova, recalling all the abominable tricks this rogue
had played on him refused Cattina the assistance she begged for in tears,
laughed in her face, and said: "Farewell, I wish you a pleasant death."
At Mayence, Casanova embarked on the Rhine in company with the Marquis
Durazzo, former Austrian Ambassador at Venice. The voyage was excellent
and in two days he arrived at Cologne, in rugged health, sleeping well
and eating like a wolf.
On the 3oth July he wrote to Francesca from Spa and in this letter
enclosed a good coin. Everything was dear at Spa; his room cost eight
lires a day with everything else in proportion.
On the 6th September he wrote from Antwerp to one of his good friends,
the Abbe Eusebio della Lena, telling him that at Spa an English woman who
had a passion for speaking Latin wished to submit him to trials which he
judged it unnecessary to state precisely. He refused all her proposals,
saying, however, that he would not reveal them to anyone; but that he did
not feel he should refuse also "an order on her banker for twenty-five
On the 9th he wrote to Francesca from Brussels, and on the 12th he sent
her a bill of exchange on the banker Corrado for one hundred and fifty
lires. He said he had been intoxicated "because his reputation had
required it." "This greatly astonishes me," Francesca responded, "for I
have never seen you intoxicated nor even illuminated . . . . I am
very happy that the wine drove away the inflammation in your teeth."
Practically all information of Casanova's movements in 1783 and 1784 is
obtained from Francesca's letters which were in the library at Dux.
In her letters of the 27th June and 11th July, Francesca wrote Casanova
that she had directed the Jew Abraham to sell Casanova's satin habit and
velvet breeches, but could not hope for more than fifty lires because
they were patched. Abraham had observed that at one time the habit had
been placed in pledge with him by Casanova for three sequins.
On the 6th September, she wrote:
"With great pleasure, I reply to the three dear letters which you wrote
me from Spa: the first of the 6th August, from which I learned that your
departure had been delayed for some days to wait for someone who was to
arrive in that city. I was happy that your appetite had returned,
because good cheer is your greatest pleasure . . . .
"In your second letter which you wrote me from Spa on the 16th August, I
noted with sorrow that your affairs were not going as you wished. But
console yourself, dear friend, for happiness will come after trouble; at
least, I wish it so, also, for you yourself can imagine in what need I
find myself, I and all my family . . . . I have no work, because I
have not the courage to ask it of anyone. My mother has not earned even
enough to pay for the gold thread with the little cross which you know I
love. Necessity made me sell it.
"I received your last letter of the 20th August from Spa with another
letter for S. E. the Procurator Morosini. You directed me to take it to
him myself, and on Sunday the last day of August, I did not fail to go
there exactly at three o'clock. At once on my arrival, I spoke to a
servant who admitted me without delay; but, my dear friend, I regret
having to send you an unpleasant message. As soon as I handed him the
letter, and before he even opened it, he said to me, 'I always know
Casanova's affairs which trouble me.' After having read hardly more than
a page, he said: 'I know not what to do!' I told him that, on the 6th of
this month, I was to write you at Paris and that, if he would do me the
honor of giving me his reply, I would put it in my letter. Imagine what
answer he gave me! I was much surprised! He told me that I should wish
you happiness but that he would not write to you again. He said no more.
I kissed his hands and left. He did not give me even a sou. That is all
he said to me . . . .
"S. E. Pietro Zaguri sent to me to ask if I knew where you were, because
he had written two letters to Spa and had received no reply . . . ."
On the night of the 18th or 19th September 1783, Casanova arrived at
On the 30th he wrote Francesca that he had been well received by his
sister-in-law and by his brother, Francesco Casanova, the painter.
Nearly all his friends had departed for the other world, and he would now
have to make new ones, which would be difficult as he was no longer
pleasing to the women.
On the 14th October he wrote again, saying that he was in good health and
that Paris was a paradise which made him feel twenty years old. Four
letters followed; in the first, dated from Paris on S. Martin's Day, he
told Francesco not to reply for he did not know whether he would prolong
his visit nor where he might go. Finding no fortune in Paris, he said he
would go and search elsewhere. On the 23rd, he sent one hundred and
fifty lires; "a true blessing," to the poor girl who was always short of
Between times, Casanova passed eight days at Fontainebleau, where he met
"a charming young man of twenty-five," the son of "the young and lovely
O'Morphi" who indirectly owed to him her position, in 1752, as the
mistress of Louis XV. "I wrote my name on his tablets and begged him to
present my compliments to his mother."
He also met, in the same place, his own son by Mme. Dubois, his former
housekeeper at Soleure who had married the good M. Lebel. "We shall hear
of the young gentleman in twenty-one years at Fontainebleau."
"When I paid my third visit to Paris, with the intention of ending my
days in that capital, I reckoned on the friendship of M. d'Alembert, but
he died, like, Fontenelle, a fortnight after my arrival, toward the end
It is interesting to know that, at this time, Casanova met his famous
contemporary, Benjamin Franklin. "A few days after the death of the
illustrious d'Alembert," Casanova assisted, at the old Louvre, in a
session of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. "Seated
beside the learned Franklin, I was a little surprised to hear Condorcet
ask him if he believed that one could give various directions to an air
balloon. This was the response: 'The matter is still in its infancy, so
we must wait.' I was surprised. It is not believable that the great
philosopher could ignore the fact that it would be impossible to give the
machine any other direction than that governed by the air which fills it,
but these people 'nil tam verentur, quam ne dubitare aliqua de re
On the 13th November, Casanova left Paris in company with his brother,
Francesco, whose wife did not accompany him. "His new wife drove him
away from Paris."
"Now [1797 or 1798] I feel that I have seen Paris and France for the last
time. That popular effervescence [the French Revolution] has disgusted
me and I am too old to hope to see the end of it."
On the 29th November, Casanova wrote from Frankfort that a drunken
postillon had upset him and in the fall he had dislocated his left
shoulder, but that a good bone-setter had restored it to place. On the
1st December he wrote that he was healed, having taken medicine and
having been blooded. He promised to send Francesca eight sequins to pay
her rent. He reached Vienna about the 7th of December and on the 15th
sent Francescd a bill of exchange for eight sequins and two lires.
On the last day of 1783, Francesca wrote to him at Vienna:
"I see by your good letter that you will go to Dresden and then to Berlin
and that you will return to Vienna the 10th January . . . .
I am astonished, my dear friend, at the great journeys you make in this
cold weather, but, still, you are a great man, big-hearted, full of
spirit and courage; you travel in this terrible cold as though it were
nothing . . . ."
On the 9th January, Casanova wrote from Dessau to his brother Giovanni,
proposing to make peace with him, but without results. On the 27th, he
was at Prague. By the 16th February, he was again in Vienna, after a
trip lasting sixty-two days. His health was perfect, and he had gained
flesh due, as he wrote Francesca, to his contented mind which was no
In February, he entered the service of M. Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador,
"to write dispatches."
On the 10th March, Francesca wrote:
"Dearest of Friends, I reply at once to your good letter of the 28th
February which I received Sunday . . . . I thank you for your
kindness which makes you say that you love me and that when you have
money you will send me some . . . but that at the moment you are dry
as a salamander. I do not know what sort of animal that is. But as for
me I am certainly dry of money and I am consumed with the hope of having
some . . . . I see that you were amused at the Carnival and that you
were four times at the masked ball, where there were two hundred women,
and that you danced minuets and quadrilles to the great astonishment of
the ambassador Foscarini who told everyone that you were sixty years old,
although in reality you have not yet reached your sixtieth year. You
might well laugh at that and say that he must be blind to have such an
"I see that you assisted, with your brother, at a grand dinner at the
Ambassador's . . . .
"You say that you have read my letters to your brother and that he
salutes me. Make him my best compliments and thank him. You ask me to
advise you whether, if he should happen to return to Venice with you, he
could lodge with you in your house. Tell him yes, because the chickens
are always in the loft and make no dirt; and, as for the dogs, one
watches to see that they do not make dirt. The furniture of the
apartment is already in place; it lacks only a wardrobe and the little
bed which you bought for your nephew and the mirror; as for the rest,
everything is as you left it. . . ."
It is possible that, at the "grand dinner," Casanova was presented to
Count Waldstein, without whose kindness to Casanova the Memoirs probably
would never have been written. The Lord of Dux, Joseph Charles Emmanuel
Waldstein-Wartenberg, Chamberlain to Her Imperial Majesty, descendant of
the great Wallenstein, was the elder of the eleven children of Emmanuel
Philibert, Count Waldstein, and Maria Theresa, Princess Liechtenstein.
Very egotistic and willful in his youth, careless of his affairs, and an
imprudent gambler, at thirty years of age he had not yet settled down.
His mother was disconsolated that her son could not separate himself from
occupations "so little suited to his spirit and his birth:"
On the 13th March 1784, Count Lamberg wrote Casanova: "I know M. le C.
de Waldstein through having heard him praised by judges worthy of
appreciating the transcendent qualities of more than one kind peculiar to
the Count. I congratulate you on having such a Maecenas, and I
congratulate him in his turn on having chosen such a man as yourself."
Which last remark certainly foreshadows the library at Dux.
Later, on the lath March, 1785, Zaguri wrote: "In two months at the
latest, all will be settled. I am very happy." Referring further, it is
conjectured, to Casanova's hopes of placing himself with the Count.
LETTERS FROM FRANCESCA
20th March 1784. "I see that you will print one of your books; you say
that you will send me two hundred copies which I can sell at thirty sous
each; that you will tell Zaguri and that he will advise those who wish
copies to apply to me . . ."
This book was the Lettre historico-critique sur un fait connu dependant
d'une cause peu connue, adressee au duc de * * *, 1784.
3rd April 1784. "I see with pleasure that you have gone to amuse
yourself in company with two ladies and that you have traveled five posts
to see the Emperor [Joseph II] . . . . You say that your fortune
consists of one sequin . . . . I hope that you obtained permission to
print your book, that you will send me the two hundred copies, and that I
may be able to sell them. . . ."
14th April 1784. "You say that a man without money is the image of
death, that he is a very wretched animal. I learn with regret that I am
unlikely to see you at the approaching Festival of the Ascension . . .
that you hope to see me once more before dying . . . . You make me
laugh, telling me that at Vienna a balloon was made which arose in the
air with six persons and that it might be that you would go up also."
28th April 1784. "I see, to my lively regret, that you have been in bed
with your usual ailment [hemorrhoids]. But I am pleased to know that you
are better. You certainly should go to the baths . . . . I have been
discouraged in seeing that you have not come to Venice because you have
no money .... P. S. Just at this moment I have received a good letter,
enclosing a bill of exchange, which I will go and have paid . . . ."
5th May 1784. "I went to the house of M. Francesco Manenti, at
S. Polo di Campo, with my bill of exchange, and he gave me at once
eighteen pieces of ten lires each . . . . I figure that you made fun
of me saying seriously that you will go up in a balloon and that, if the
wind is favorable, you will go in the air to Trieste and then from
Trieste to Venice."
19th May 1784. "I see, to my great regret, that you are in poor health
and still short of money .... You say that you need twenty sequins and
that you have only twenty trari . . . . I hope that your book is
printed. . . ."
29th May 1784. "I note with pleasure that you are going to take the
baths; but I regret that this treatment enfeebles and depresses you. It
reassures me that you do not fail in your appetite nor your sleep....
I hope I will not hear you say again that you are disgusted with
everything, and no longer in love with life . . . . I see that for
you, at this moment, fortune sleeps . . . . I am not surprised that
everything is so dear in the city where you are, for at Venice also one
pays dearly and everything is priced beyond reach."
Zaguri wrote Casanova the 12th May, that he had met Francesca in the
Mongolfieri casino. And on the 2nd June Casanova, doubtless feeling his
helplessness in the matter of money, and the insufficiency of his
occasional remittances, and suspicious of Francesca's loyalty, wrote her
a letter of renunciation. Then came her news of the sale of his books;
and eighteen months passed before he wrote to her again.
On the 12th June 1784, Francesca replied: "I could not expect to convey
to you, nor could you figure, the sorrow that tries me in seeing that you
will not occupy yourself any more with me . . . . I hid from you that
I had been with that woman who lived with us, with her companion, the
cashier of the Academie des Mongolfceristes. Although I went to this
Academy with prudence and dignity, I did not want to write you for fear
you would scold me. That is the only reason, and hereafter you may be
certain of my sincerity and frankness. . . . I beg you to forgive me
this time, if I write you something I have never written for fear that
you would be angry with me because I had not told you. Know then that
four months ago, your books which were on the mezzanine were sold to a
library for the sum of fifty lires, when we were in urgent need. It was
my mother who did it. . . ."
26th June 1784. ". . . Mme. Zenobia [de Monti] has asked me if I
would enjoy her company. Certain that you would consent I have allowed
her to come and live with me. She has sympathy for me and has always
7th July 1784. "Your silence greatly disturbs me! To receive no more of
your letters! By good post I have sent you three letters, with this one,
and you have not replied to any of them. Certainly, you have reason for
being offended at me, because I hid from you something which you learned
from another . . . . But you might have seen, from my last letter,
that I have written you all the truth about my fault and that I have
asked your pardon for not writing it before.... Without you and your
help, God knows what will become of us.... For the rent of your chamber
Mme. Zenobia will give us eight lires a month and five lires for
preparing her meals. But what can one do with thirteen lires! . . .
I am afflicted and mortified . . . . Do not abandon me."
LAST DAYS AT VIENNA
In 1785, at Vienna, Casanova ran across Costa, his former secretary who,
in 1761, had fled from him taking "diamonds, watches, snuffbox, linen,
rich suits and a hundred louis." "In 1785, I found this runagate at
Vienna. He was then Count Erdich's man, and when we come to that period,
the reader shall hear what I did."
Casanova did not reach this period, in writing his Memoirs, but an
account of this meeting is given by Da Ponte, who was present at it, in
his Memoirs. Costa had met with many misfortunes, as he told Casanova,
and had himself been defrauded. Casanova threatened to have him hanged,
but according to Da Ponte, was dissuaded from this by counter accusations
made by Costa.
Da Ponte's narration of the incident is brilliant and amusing, in spite
of our feeling that it is maliciously exaggerated: "Strolling one morning
in the Graben with Casanova, I suddenly saw him knit his brows, squawk,
grind his teeth, twist himself, raise his hands skyward, and, snatching
himself away from me, throw himself on a man whom I seemed to know,
shouting with a very loud voice: 'Murderer, I have caught thee.'
A crowd having gathered as a result of this strange act and yell, I
approached them with some disgust; nevertheless, I caught Casanova's hand
and almost by force I separated him from the fray. He then told me the
story, with desperate motions and gestures, and said that his antagonist
was Gioachino Costa, by whom he had been betrayed. This Gioachino Costa,
although he had been forced to become a servant by his vices and bad
practices, and was at that very time servant to a Viennese gentleman, was
more or less of a poet. He was, in fact, one of those who had honored me
with their satire, when the Emperor Joseph selected me as poet of his
theater. Costa entered a cafe, and while I continued to walk with
Casanova, wrote and send him by a messenger, the following verses:
'Casanova, make no outcry;
You stole, indeed, as well as I;
You were the one who first taught me;
Your art I mastered thoroughly.
Silence your wisest course will be.'
"These verses had the desired effect. After a brief silence, Casanova
laughed and then said softly in my ear : 'The rogue is right.' He went
into the cafe and motioned to Costa to come out; they began to walk
together calmly, as if nothing had happened, and they parted shaking
hands repeatedly and seemingly calm and friendly. Casanova returned to
me with a cameo on his little finger, which by a strange coincidence,
represented Mercury, the god-protector of thieves. This was his greatest
valuable, and it was all that was left of the immense booty, but
represented the character of the two restored friends, perfectly."
Da Ponte precedes this account with a libellous narrative of Casanova's
relations with the Marquise d'Urfe, even stating that Casanova stole from
her the jewels stolen in turn by Costa, but, as M. Maynial remarks, we
may attribute this perverted account "solely to the rancour and antipathy
of the narrator." It is more likely that Casanova frightened Costa
almost out of his wits, was grimly amused at his misfortunes, and let him
go, since there was no remedy to Casanova's benefit, for his former
rascality. Casanova's own brief, anticipatory account is given in his
In 1797, correcting and revising his Memoirs, Casanova wrote: "Twelve
years ago, if it had not been for my guardian angel, I would have
foolishly married, at Vienna, a young, thoughtless girl, with whom I had
fallen in love." In which connection, his remark is interesting: "I have
loved women even to madness, but I have always loved liberty better; and
whenever I have been in danger of losing it, fate has come to my rescue."
While an identification of the "young, thoughtless girl" has been
impossible, M. Rava believes her to be "C. M.," the subject of a poem
found at Dux, written in duplicate, in Italian and French, and headed
"Giacomo Casanova, in love, to C. M."
"When, Catton, to your sight is shown the love
Which all my tenderest caresses prove,
Feeling all pleasure's sharpest joys and fears,
Burning one moment, shivering the next,
Caressing you while showering you with tears,
Giving each charm a thousand eager kisses,
Wishing to touch at once a thousand blisses
And, at the ones beyond my power, vexed,
Abandoned in a furious desire,
Leaving these charms for other charms that fire,
Possessing all and yet desiring
Until, destroyed by excesses of pleasure,
Finding no words of love nor anything
To express my fires overflowing measure
Than deepening sighs and obscure murmuring:
Ah! Then you think to read my inmost heart
To find the love that can these signs impart
....Be not deceived. These transports, amorous cries,
These kisses, tears, desires and heavy sighs,
Of all the fire which devours me
Could less than even the lightest tokens be."
Evidently this same girl is the authoress of the two following letters
written by "Caton M . . . ." to Casanova in 1786.
12th April 1786. "You will infinitely oblige me if you will tell me to
whom you wrote such pretty things about me; apparently it is the Abbe Da
Ponte; but I would go to his house and, either he would prove that you
had written it or I would have the honor of telling him that he is the
most infamous traducer in the world. I think that the lovely picture
which you make of my future has not as much excuse as you may think, and,
in spite of your science, you deceive yourself.... But just now I will
inform you of all my wooers and you can judge for yourself by this
whether I deserve all the reproaches you made me in your last letter. It
is two years since I came to know the Count de K . . . .; I could have
loved him but I was too honest to be willing to satisfy his desires . .
. . Some months afterward, I came to know the Count de M . . .; he was
not so handsome as K . . . . but he possessed every possible art for
seducing a girl; I did everything for him, but I never loved him as much
as his friend. In fine, to tell you all my giddinesses in a few words, I
set everything right again with K . . . . and got myself into a
quarrel with M . . . ., then I left K. . . . and returned to M .
. . ., but at the house of the latter there was always an officer who
pleased me more than both the two others and who sometimes conducted me
to the house; then we found ourselves at the house of a friend, and it is
of this same officer that I am ill. So, my dear friend, that is all. I
do not seek to justify my past conduct; on the contrary, I know well that
I have acted badly.... I am much afflicted at being the cause of your
remaining away from Venice during the Carnival . . . . I hope to see
you soon again and am, with much love,
Monsieur, your sincere
Caton M. . . ."
16th July 1786. "I have spoken with the Abbe Da Ponte. He invited me to
come to his house because, he said, he had something to tell me for you.
I went there, but was received so coldly that I am resolved not to go
there again. Also, Mlle. Nanette affected an air of reserve and took at
on herself to read me lessons on what she was pleased to call my
libertinism . . . . I beg that you will write nothing more about me
to these two very dangerous personages.... Just now I will tell you of a
little trick which I played on you, which without doubt deserves some
punishment. The young, little Kasper, whom you formerly loved, came to
ask me for the address of her dear Monsieur de Casanova, so that she
could write a very tender letter full of recollections. I had too much
politeness to wish to refuse a pretty girl, who was once the favorite of
my lover, so just a request, so I gave her the address she wished; but I
addressed the letter to a city far from you. Is it not, my dear friend,
that you would like well to know the name of the city, so that you could
secure the letter by posts. But you can depend on my word that you will
not know it until you have written me a very long letter begging me very
humbly to indicate the place where the divine letter of the adorable
object of your vows has gone. You might well make this sacrifice for a
girl in whom the Emperor [Joseph II] interests himself, for it is known
that, since your departure from Vienna, it is he who is teaching her
French and music; and apparently he takes the trouble of instructing her
himself, for she often goes to his house to thank him for his kindnesses
to her, but I know not in what way she expresses herself.
"Farewell, my dear friend. Think sometimes of me and believe that I am
your sincere friend.
On the 23rd April 1785, the ambassador Foscarini died, depriving Casanova
of a protector, probably leaving him without much money, and not in the
best of health. He applied for the position of secretary to Count
Fabris, his former friend, whose name had been changed from Tognolo, but
without success. Casanova then determined to go to Berlin in the hope of
a place in the Academy. On the 30th July he arrived at Bruen in Moravia,
where his friend Maximilian-Joseph, Count Lamberg gave him, among other
letters of recommendation, a letter addressed to Jean-Ferdinand Opiz,
Inspector of Finances and Banks at Czaslau, in which he wrote:
"A celebrated man, M. Casanova, will deliver to you, my dear friend, the
visiting card with which he is charged for Mme. Opiz and yourself.
Knowing this amiable and remarkable man, will mark an epoch in your life,
be polite and friendly to him, 'quod ipsi facies in mei memoriam
faciatis'. Keep yourself well, write to me, and if you can direct him
to some honest man at Carlsbad, fail not to do so. . . .'
On the 15th August 1785, M. Opiz wrote Count Lamberg about Casanova's
"Your letter of the 30th, including your cards for my wife and myself,
was delivered the first of this month by M. Casanova. He was very
anxious to meet the Princess Lubomirski again at Carlsbad. But as
something about his carriage was broken, he was obliged to stop in
Czaslau for two hours which he passed in my company. He has left Czaslau
with the promise of giving me a day on his return. I am already
delighted. Even in the short space of time in which I enjoyed his
company, I found in him a man worthy of our highest consideration and of
our love, a benevolent philosopher whose homeland is the great expanse of
our planet (and not Venice alone) and who values only the men in the
kings . . . . I know absolutely no one at Carlsbad, so I sincerely
regret being unable to recommend him to anyone there, according to your
desire. He did not wish, on account of his haste, to pause even at
Prague and, consequently, to deliver, at this time, your letter to Prince