An Unpublished Chapter of History, By Arthur Symons


The Memoirs of Casanova, though they have enjoyed the popularity of a
bad reputation, have never had justice done to them by serious
students of literature, of life, and of history.  One English writer,
indeed, Mr. Havelock Ellis, has realised that 'there are few more
delightful books in the world,' and he has analysed them in an essay
on Casanova, published in Affirmations, with extreme care and
remarkable subtlety.  But this essay stands alone, at all events in
English, as an attempt to take Casanova seriously, to show him in his
relation to his time, and in his relation to human problems.  And yet
these Memoirs are perhaps the most valuable document which we possess
on the society of the eighteenth century; they are the history of a
unique life, a unique personality, one of the greatest of
autobiographies; as a record of adventures, they are more
entertaining than Gil Blas, or Monte Cristo, or any of the imaginary
travels, and escapes, and masquerades in life, which have been
written in imitation of them.  They tell the story of a man who loved
life passionately for its own sake: one to whom woman was, indeed,
the most important thing in the world, but to whom nothing in the
world was indifferent.  The bust which gives us the most lively
notion of him shows us a great, vivid, intellectual face, full of
fiery energy and calm resource, the face of a thinker and a fighter
in one.  A scholar, an adventurer, perhaps a Cabalist, a busy stirrer
in politics, a gamester, one 'born for the fairer sex,' as he tells
us, and born also to be a vagabond; this man, who is remembered now
for his written account of his own life, was that rarest kind of
autobiographer, one who did not live to write, but wrote because he
had lived, and when he could live no longer.

And his Memoirs take one all over Europe, giving sidelights, all the
more valuable in being almost accidental, upon many of the affairs
and people most interesting to us during two-thirds of the eighteenth
century.  Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice, of Spanish and Italian
parentage, on April 2, 1725; he died at the Chateau of Dux, in
Bohemia, on June 4, 1798.  In that lifetime of seventy-three years he
travelled, as his Memoirs show us, in Italy, France, Germany,
Austria, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Russia, Poland, Spain,
Holland, Turkey; he met Voltaire at Ferney, Rousseau at Montmorency,
Fontenelle, d'Alembert and Crebillon at Paris, George III. in London,
Louis XV. at Fontainebleau, Catherine the Great at St. Petersburg,
Benedict XII. at Rome, Joseph II. at Vienna, Frederick the Great at
Sans-Souci.  Imprisoned by the Inquisitors of State in the Piombi at
Venice, he made, in 1755, the most famous escape in history.  His
Memoirs, as we have them, break off abruptly at the moment when he is
expecting a safe conduct, and the permission to return to Venice
after twenty years' wanderings.  He did return, as we know from
documents in the Venetian archives; he returned as secret agent of
the Inquisitors, and remained in their service from 1774 until 1782.
At the end of 1782 he left Venice; and next year we find him in
Paris, where, in 1784, he met Count Waldstein at the Venetian
Ambassador's, and was invited by him to become his librarian at Dux.
He accepted, and for the fourteen remaining years of his life lived
at Dux, where he wrote his Memoirs.

Casanova died in 1798, but nothing was heard of the Memoirs (which
the Prince de Ligne, in his own Memoirs, tells us that Casanova had
read to him, and in which he found 'du dyamatique, de la rapidite, du
comique, de la philosophie, des choses neuves, sublimes, inimitables
meme') until the year 1820, when a certain Carlo Angiolini brought to
the publishing house of Brockhaus, in Leipzig, a manuscript entitled
Histoire de ma vie jusqua Pan 1797, in the handwriting of Casanova.
This manuscript, which I have examined at Leipzig, is written on
foolscap paper, rather rough and yellow; it is written on both sides
of the page, and in sheets or quires; here and there the paging shows
that some pages have been omitted, and in their place are smaller
sheets of thinner and whiter paper, all in Casanova's handsome,
unmistakable handwriting.  The manuscript is done up in twelve
bundles, corresponding with the twelve volumes of the original
edition; and only in one place is there a gap.  The fourth and fifth
chapters of the twelfth volume are missing, as the editor of the
original edition points out, adding: 'It is not probable that these
two chapters have been withdrawn from the manuscript of Casanova by a
strange hand; everything leads us to believe that the author himself
suppressed them, in the intention, no doubt, of re-writing them, but
without having found time to do so.' The manuscript ends abruptly
with the year 1774, and not with the year 1797, as the title would
lead us to suppose.

This manuscript, in its original state, has never been printed.  Herr
Brockhaus, on obtaining possession of the manuscript, had it
translated into German by Wilhelm Schutz, but with many omissions and
alterations, and published this translation, volume by volume, from
1822 to 1828, under the title, 'Aus den Memoiren des Venetianers
Jacob Casanova de Seingalt.'  While the German edition was in course
of publication, Herr Brockhaus employed a certain Jean Laforgue, a
professor of the French language at Dresden, to revise the original
manuscript, correcting Casanova's vigorous, but at times incorrect,
and often somewhat Italian, French according to his own notions of
elegant writing, suppressing passages which seemed too free-spoken
from the point of view of morals and of politics, and altering the
names of some of the persons referred to, or replacing those names by
initials.  This revised text was published in twelve volumes, the
first two in 1826, the third and fourth in 1828, the fifth to the
eighth in 1832, and the ninth to the twelfth in 1837 ; the first four
bearing the imprint of Brockhaus at Leipzig and Ponthieu et Cie at
Paris; the next four the imprint of Heideloff et Campe at Paris; and
the last four nothing but 'A Bruxelles.'  The volumes are all
uniform, and were all really printed for the firm of Brockhaus.
This, however far from representing the real text, is the only
authoritative edition, and my references throughout this article will
always be to this edition.

In turning over the manuscript at Leipzig, I read some of the
suppressed passages, and regretted their suppression; but Herr
Brockhaus, the present head of the firm, assured me that they are not
really very considerable in number.  The damage, however, to the
vivacity of the whole narrative, by the persistent alterations of M.
Laforgue, is incalculable.  I compared many passages, and found
scarcely three consecutive sentences untouched.  Herr Brockhaus
(whose courtesy I cannot sufficiently acknowledge) was kind enough to
have a passage copied out for me, which I afterwards read over, and
checked word by word.  In this passage Casanova says, for instance:
'Elle venoit presque tous les jours lui faire une belle visite.'
This is altered into: 'Cependant chaque jour Therese venait lui faire
une visite.'  Casanova says that some one 'avoit, comme de raison,
forme le projet d'allier Dieu avec le diable.'  This is made to read:
'Qui, comme de raison, avait saintement forme le projet d'allier les
interets du ciel aux oeuvres de ce monde.'  Casanova tells us that
Therese would not commit a mortal sin 'pour devenir reine du monde;'
pour une couronne,' corrects the indefatigable Laforgue.  'Il ne
savoit que lui dire' becomes 'Dans cet etat de perplexite;' and so
forth.  It must, therefore, be realized that the Memoirs, as we have
them, are only a kind of pale tracing of the vivid colours of the

When Casanova's Memoirs were first published, doubts were expressed
as to their authenticity, first by Ugo Foscolo (in the Westminster
Review, 1827), then by Querard, supposed to be an authority in regard
to anonymous and pseudonymous writings, finally by Paul Lacroix, 'le
bibliophile Jacob', who suggested, or rather expressed his
'certainty,' that the real author of the Memoirs was Stendhal, whose
'mind, character, ideas and style' he seemed to recognise on every
page.  This theory, as foolish and as unsupported as the Baconian
theory of Shakespeare, has been carelessly accepted, or at all events
accepted as possible, by many good scholars who have never taken the
trouble to look into the matter for themselves.  It was finally
disproved by a series of articles of Armand Baschet, entitled
'Preuves curieuses de l'authenticite des Memoires de Jacques Casanova
de Seingalt,' in 'Le Livre,' January, February, April and May,
1881; and these proofs were further corroborated by two articles of
Alessandro d'Ancona, entitled 'Un Avventuriere del Secolo XVIII., in
the 'Nuovo Antologia,' February 1 and August 1, 1882.  Baschet had
never himself seen the manuscript of the Memoirs, but he had learnt
all the facts about it from Messrs. Brockhaus, and he had himself
examined the numerous papers relating to Casanova in the Venetian
archives.  A similar examination was made at the Frari at about the
same time by the Abbe Fulin; and I myself, in 1894, not knowing at
the time that the discovery had been already made, made it over again
for myself.  There the arrest of Casanova, his imprisonment in the
Piombi, the exact date of his escape, the name of the monk who
accompanied him, are all authenticated by documents contained in the
'riferte' of the Inquisition of State; there are the bills for the
repairs of the roof and walls of the cell from which he escaped;
there are the reports of the spies on whose information he was
arrested, for his too dangerous free-spokenness in matters of
religion and morality.  The same archives contain forty-eight letters
of Casanova to the Inquisitors of State, dating from 1763 to 1782,
among the Riferte dei Confidenti, or reports of secret agents; the
earliest asking permission to return to Venice, the rest giving
information in regard to the immoralities of the city, after his
return there; all in the same handwriting as the Memoirs.  Further
proof could scarcely be needed, but Baschet has done more than prove
the authenticity, he has proved the extraordinary veracity, of the
Memoirs.   F. W. Barthold, in 'Die Geschichtlichen Personlichkeiten
in J. Casanova's Memoiren,' 2 vols., 1846, had already examined about
a hundred of Casanova's allusions to well known people, showing the
perfect exactitude of all but six or seven, and out of these six or
seven inexactitudes ascribing only a single one to the author's
intention.  Baschet and d'Ancona both carry on what Barthold had
begun; other investigators, in France, Italy and Germany, have
followed them; and two things are now certain, first, that Casanova
himself wrote the Memoirs published under his name, though not
textually in the precise form in which we have them; and, second,
that as their veracity becomes more and more evident as they are
confronted with more and more independent witnesses, it is only fair
to suppose that they are equally truthful where the facts are such as
could only have been known to Casanova himself.


For more than two-thirds of a century it has been known that Casanova
spent the last fourteen years of his life at Dux, that he wrote his
Memoirs there, and that he died there.  During all this time people
have been discussing the authenticity and the truthfulness of the
Memoirs, they have been searching for information about Casanova in
various directions, and yet hardly any one has ever taken the
trouble, or obtained the permission, to make a careful examination in
precisely the one place where information was most likely to be
found.  The very existence of the manuscripts at Dux was known only
to a few, and to most of these only on hearsay; and thus the singular
good fortune was reserved for me, on my visit to Count Waldstein in
September 1899, to be the first to discover the most interesting
things contained in these manuscripts.  M. Octave Uzanne, though he
had not himself visited Dux, had indeed procured copies of some of
the manuscripts, a few of which were published by him in Le Livre, in
1887 and 1889.  But with the death of Le Livre in 1889 the 'Casanova
inedit' came to an end, and has never, so far as I know, been
continued elsewhere.  Beyond the publication of these fragments,
nothing has been done with the manuscripts at Dux, nor has an account
of them ever been given by any one who has been allowed to examine

For five years, ever since I had discovered the documents in the
Venetian archives, I had wanted to go to Dux; and in 1899, when I was
staying with Count Lutzow at Zampach, in Bohemia, I found the way
kindly opened for me.  Count Waldstein, the present head of the
family, with extreme courtesy, put all his manuscripts at my
disposal, and invited me to stay with him.  Unluckily, he was called
away on the morning of the day that I reached Dux.  He had left
everything ready for me, and I was shown over the castle by a friend
of his, Dr. Kittel, whose courtesy I should like also to acknowledge.
After a hurried visit to the castle we started on the long drive to
Oberleutensdorf, a smaller Schloss near Komotau, where the Waldstein
family was then staying.  The air was sharp and bracing; the two
Russian horses flew like the wind; I was whirled along in an
unfamiliar darkness, through a strange country, black with coal
mines, through dark pine woods, where a wild peasantry dwelt in
little mining towns.  Here and there, a few men and women passed us
on the road, in their Sunday finery; then a long space of silence,
and we were in the open country, galloping between broad fields; and
always in a haze of lovely hills, which I saw more distinctly as we
drove back next morning.

The return to Dux was like a triumphal entry, as we dashed through
the market-place filled with people come for the Monday market, pots
and pans and vegetables strewn in heaps all over the ground, on the
rough paving stones, up to the great gateway of the castle, leaving
but just room for us to drive through their midst.  I had the
sensation of an enormous building: all Bohemian castles are big, but
this one was like a royal palace.  Set there in the midst of the
town, after the Bohemian fashion, it opens at the back upon great
gardens, as if it were in the midst of the country.  I walked through
room after room, along corridor after corridor; everywhere there were
pictures, everywhere portraits of Wallenstein, and battle-scenes in
which he led on his troops.  The library, which was formed, or at
least arranged, by Casanova, and which remains as he left it,
contains some 25,000 volumes, some of them of considerable value; one
of the most famous books in Bohemian literature, Skala's History of
the Church, exists in manuscript at Dux, and it is from this
manuscript that the two published volumes of it were printed.  The
library forms part of the Museum, which occupies a ground-floor wing
of the castle.  The first room is an armoury, in which all kinds of
arms are arranged, in a decorative way, covering the ceiling and the
walls with strange patterns.  The second room contains pottery,
collected by Casanova's Waldstein on his Eastern travels.  The third
room is full of curious mechanical toys, and cabinets, and carvings
in ivory.  Finally, we come to the library, contained in the two
innermost rooms.  The book-shelves are painted white, and reach to
the low-vaulted ceilings, which are whitewashed.  At the end of a
bookcase, in the corner of one of the windows, hangs a fine engraved
portrait of Casanova.

After I had been all over the castle, so long Casanova's home, I was
taken to Count Waldstein's study, and left there with the
manuscripts.  I found six huge cardboard cases, large enough to
contain foolscap paper, lettered on the back: 'Grafl. Waldstein-
Wartenberg'sches Real Fideicommiss.  Dux-Oberleutensdorf:
Handschriftlicher Nachlass Casanova.'  The cases were arranged so as
to stand like books; they opened at the side; and on opening them,
one after another, I found series after series of manuscripts roughly
thrown together, after some pretence at arrangement, and lettered
with a very generalised description of contents.  The greater part of
the manuscripts were in Casanova's handwriting, which I could see
gradually beginning to get shaky with years.  Most were written in
French, a certain number in Italian.  The beginning of a catalogue in
the library, though said to be by him, was not in his handwriting.
Perhaps it was taken down at his dictation.  There were also some
copies of Italian and Latin poems not written by him.  Then there
were many big bundles of letters addressed to him, dating over more
than thirty years.  Almost all the rest was in his own handwriting.

I came first upon the smaller manuscripts, among which I, found,
jumbled  together on the same and on separate scraps of paper,
washing-bills, accounts, hotel bills, lists of letters written, first
drafts of letters with many erasures, notes on books, theological and
mathematical notes, sums, Latin quotations, French and Italian
verses, with variants, a long list of classical names which have and
have not been 'francises,' with reasons for and against; 'what I must
wear at Dresden'; headings without anything to follow, such as:
'Reflexions on respiration, on the true cause of youth-the crows'; a
new method of winning the lottery at Rome; recipes, among which is a
long printed list of perfumes sold at Spa; a newspaper cutting, dated
Prague, 25th October 1790, on the thirty-seventh balloon ascent of
Blanchard; thanks to some 'noble donor' for the gift of a dog called
'Finette'; a passport for 'Monsieur de Casanova, Venitien, allant
d'ici en Hollande, October 13, 1758 (Ce Passeport bon pour quinze
jours)', together with an order for post-horses, gratis, from Paris
to Bordeaux and Bayonne.'

Occasionally, one gets a glimpse into his daily life at Dux, as in
this note, scribbled on a fragment of paper (here and always I
translate the French literally): 'I beg you to tell my servant what
the biscuits are that I like to eat; dipped in wine, to fortify my
stomach.  I believe that they can all be found at Roman's.'  Usually,
however, these notes, though often suggested by something closely
personal, branch off into more general considerations; or else begin
with general considerations, and end with a case in point.  Thus, for
instance, a fragment of three pages begins: 'A compliment which is
only made to gild the pill is a positive impertinence, and Monsieur
Bailli is nothing but a charlatan; the monarch ought to have spit in
his face, but the monarch trembled with fear.'  A manuscript entitled
'Essai d'Egoisme,' dated, 'Dux, this 27th June, 1769,' contains, in
the midst of various reflections, an offer to let his 'appartement'
in return for enough money to 'tranquillise for six months two Jew
creditors at Prague.'  Another manuscript is headed 'Pride and
Folly,' and begins with a long series of antitheses, such as: 'All
fools are not proud, and all proud men are fools.  Many fools are
happy, all proud men are unhappy.'  On the same sheet follows this
instance or application:

Whether it is possible to compose a Latin distich of the greatest
beauty without knowing either the Latin language or prosody.  We must
examine the possibility and the impossibility, and afterwards see who
is the man who says he is the author of the distich, for there are
extraordinary people in the world.  My brother, in short, ought to
have composed the distich, because he says so, and because he
confided it to me tete-'a-tete.  I had, it is true, difficulty in
believing him; but what is one to do!  Either one must believe, or
suppose him capable of telling a lie which could only be told by a
fool; and that is impossible, for all Europe knows that my brother is
not a fool.

Here, as so often in these manuscripts, we seem to see Casanova
thinking on paper.  He uses scraps of paper (sometimes the blank page
of a letter, on the other side of which we see the address) as a kind
of informal diary; and it is characteristic of him, of the man of
infinitely curious mind, which this adventurer really was, that there
are so few merely personal notes among these casual jottings.  Often,
they are purely abstract; at times, metaphysical 'jeux d'esprit,'
like the sheet of fourteen 'Different Wagers,' which begins:

I wager that it is not true that a man who weighs a hundred pounds
will weigh more if you kill him.  I wager that if there is any
difference, he will weigh less.  I wager that diamond powder has not
sufficient force to kill a man.

Side by side with these fanciful excursions into science, come more
serious ones, as in the note on Algebra, which traces its progress
since the year 1494, before which 'it had only arrived at the
solution of problems of the second degree, inclusive.'  A scrap of
paper tells us that Casanova 'did not like regular towns.'  'I like,'
he says, 'Venice, Rome, Florence, Milan, Constantinople, Genoa.'
Then he becomes abstract and inquisitive again, and writes two pages,
full of curious, out-of-the-way learning, on the name of Paradise:

The name of Paradise is a name in Genesis which indicates a place of
pleasure (lieu voluptueux): this term is Persian.  This place of
pleasure was made by God before he had created man.

It may be remembered that Casanova quarrelled with Voltaire, because
Voltaire had told him frankly that his translation of L'Ecossaise was
a bad translation.  It is piquant to read another note written in
this style of righteous indignation:

Voltaire, the hardy Voltaire, whose pen is without bit or bridle;
Voltaire, who devoured the Bible, and ridiculed our dogmas, doubts,
and after having made proselytes to impiety, is not ashamed, being
reduced to the extremity of life, to ask for the sacraments, and to
cover his body with more relics than St. Louis had at Amboise.

Here is an argument more in keeping with the tone of the Memoirs:

A girl who is pretty and good, and as virtuous as you please, ought
not to take it ill that a man, carried away by her charms, should set
himself to the task of making their conquest.  If this man cannot
please her by any means, even if his passion be criminal, she ought
never to take offence at it, nor treat him unkindly; she ought to be
gentle, and pity him, if she does not love him, and think it enough
to keep invincibly hold upon her own duty.

Occasionally he touches upon aesthetical matters, as in a fragment
which begins with this liberal definition of beauty:

Harmony makes beauty, says M. de S. P. (Bernardin de St. Pierre), but
the definition is too short, if he thinks he has said everything.
Here is mine.  Remember that the subject is metaphysical.  An object
really beautiful ought to seem beautiful to all whose eyes fall upon
it.  That is all; there is nothing more to be said.

At times we have an anecdote and its commentary, perhaps jotted down
for use in that latter part of the Memoirs which was never written,
or which has been lost.  Here is a single sheet, dated 'this 2nd
September, 1791,' and headed Souvenir:

The Prince de Rosenberg said to me, as we went down stairs, that
Madame de Rosenberg was dead, and asked me if the Comte de Waldstein
had in the library the illustration of the Villa d'Altichiero, which
the Emperor had asked for in vain at the city library of Prague, and
when I answered 'yes,' he gave an equivocal laugh.  A moment
afterwards, he asked me if he might tell the Emperor.  'Why not,
monseigneur?  It is not a secret, 'Is His Majesty coming to Dux?'
'If he goes to Oberlaitensdorf (sic) he will go to Dux, too; and he
may ask you for it, for there is a monument there which relates to
him when he was Grand Duke.'  'In that case, His Majesty can also see
my critical remarks on the Egyptian prints.'

The Emperor asked me this morning, 6th October, how I employed my
time at Dux, and I told him that I was making an Italian anthology.
'You have all the Italians, then?'  'All, sire.'  See what a lie
leads to.  If I had not lied in saying that I was making an
anthology, I should not have found myself obliged to lie again in
saying that we have all the Italian poets.  If the Emperor comes to
Dux, I shall kill myself.

'They say that this Dux is a delightful spot,' says Casanova in one
of the most personal of his notes, 'and I see that it might be for
many; but not for me, for what delights me in my old age is
independent of the place which I inhabit.  When I do not sleep I
dream, and when I am tired of dreaming I blacken paper, then I read,
and most often reject all that my pen has vomited.'  Here we see him
blackening paper, on every occasion, and for every purpose.  In one
bundle I found an unfinished story about Roland, and some adventure
with women in a cave; then a 'Meditation on arising from sleep, 19th
May 1789'; then a 'Short Reflection of a Philosopher who finds
himself thinking of procuring his own death.  At Dux, on getting out
of bed on 13th October 1793, day dedicated to St. Lucy, memorable in
my too long life.'  A big budget, containing cryptograms, is headed
'Grammatical Lottery'; and there is the title-page of a treatise on
The Duplication of the Hexahedron, demonstrated geometrically to all
the Universities and all the Academies of Europe.' [See Charles
Henry, Les Connaissances Mathimatiques de Casanova.  Rome, 1883.]
There are innumerable verses, French and Italian, in all stages,
occasionally attaining the finality of these lines, which appear in
half a dozen tentative forms:

    'Sans mystere point de plaisirs,
     Sans silence point de mystere.
     Charme divin de mes loisirs,
     Solitude! que tu mes chere!

Then there are a number of more or less complete manuscripts of some
extent.  There is the manuscript of the translation of Homer's
'Iliad, in ottava rima (published in Venice, 1775-8); of the
'Histoire de Venise,' of the 'Icosameron,' a curious book published
in 1787, purporting to be 'translated from English,' but really an
original work of Casanova; 'Philocalies sur les Sottises des
Mortels,' a long manuscript never published; the sketch and beginning
of 'Le Pollmarque, ou la Calomnie demasquee par la presence d'esprit.
Tragicomedie en trois actes, composed a Dux dans le mois de Juin de
l'Annee, 1791,' which recurs again under the form of the
'Polemoscope: La Lorgnette menteuse ou la Calomnie demasquge,' acted
before the Princess de Ligne, at her chateau at Teplitz, 1791.  There
is a treatise in Italian, 'Delle Passioni'; there are long dialogues,
such as 'Le Philosophe et le Theologien', and 'Reve': 'Dieu-Moi';
there is the 'Songe d'un Quart d'Heure', divided into minutes; there
is the very lengthy criticism of 'Bernardin de Saint-Pierre'; there
is the 'Confutation d'une Censure indiscrate qu'on lit dans la
Gazette de Iena, 19 Juin 1789'; with another large manuscript,
unfortunately imperfect, first called 'L'Insulte', and then 'Placet
au Public', dated 'Dux, this 2nd March, 1790,' referring to the same
criticism on the 'Icosameron' and the 'Fuite des Prisons.  L'Histoire
de ma Fuite des Prisons de la Republique de Venise, qu'on appelle les
Plombs', which is the first draft of the most famous part of the
Memoirs, was published at Leipzig in 1788; and, having read it in the
Marcian Library at Venice, I am not surprised to learn from this
indignant document that it was printed 'under the care of a young
Swiss, who had the talent to commit a hundred faults of orthography.'


We come now to the documents directly relating to the Memoirs, and
among these are several attempts at a preface, in which we see the
actual preface coming gradually into form.  One is entitled 'Casanova
au Lecteur', another 'Histoire de mon Existence', and a third
Preface.  There is also a brief and characteristic 'Precis de ma
vie', dated November 17, 1797.  Some of these have been printed in Le
Livre, 1887.  But by far the most important manuscript that I
discovered, one which, apparently, I am the first to discover, is a
manuscript entitled 'Extrait du Chapitre 4 et 5.  It is written on
paper similar to that on which the Memoirs are written; the pages are
numbered 104-148; and though it is described as Extrait, it seems to
contain, at all events, the greater part of the missing chapters to
which I have already referred, Chapters IV. and V.  of the last
volume of the Memoirs.  In this manuscript we find Armeliine and
Scolastica, whose story is interrupted by the abrupt ending of
Chapter III.; we find Mariuccia of Vol. VII, Chapter IX., who married
a hairdresser; and we find also Jaconine, whom Casanova recognises as
his daughter, 'much prettier than Sophia, the daughter of Therese
Pompeati, whom I had left at London.'   It is curious that this very
important manuscript, which supplies the one missing link in the
Memoirs, should never have been discovered by any of the few people
who have had the opportunity of looking over the Dux manuscripts.  I
am inclined to explain it by the fact that the case in which I found
this manuscript contains some papers not relating to Casanova.
Probably, those who looked into this case looked no further.  I have
told Herr Brockhaus of my discovery, and I hope to see Chapters IV.
and V.  in their places when the long-looked-for edition of the
complete text is at length given to the world.

Another manuscript which I found tells with great piquancy the whole
story of the Abbe de Brosses' ointment, the curing of the Princess de
Conti's pimples, and the birth of the Duc de Montpensier, which is
told very briefly, and with much less point, in the Memoirs (vol.
iii., p. 327).  Readers of the Memoirs will remember the duel at
Warsaw with Count Branicki in 1766 (vol. X., pp. 274-320), an affair
which attracted a good deal of attention at the time, and of which
there is an account in a letter from the Abbe Taruffi to the
dramatist, Francesco Albergati, dated Warsaw, March 19, 1766, quoted
in Ernesto Masi's Life of Albergati, Bologna, 1878.  A manuscript at
Dux in Casanova's handwriting gives an account of this duel in the
third person; it is entitled, 'Description de l'affaire arrivee a
Varsovie le 5 Mars, 1766'.  D'Ancona, in the Nuova Antologia (vol.
lxvii., p.  412), referring to the Abbe Taruffi's account, mentions
what he considers to be a slight discrepancy: that Taruffi refers to
the danseuse, about whom the duel was fought, as La Casacci, while
Casanova refers to her as La Catai.  In this manuscript Casanova
always refers to her as La Casacci; La Catai is evidently one of M.
Laforgue's arbitrary alterations of the text.

In turning over another manuscript, I was caught by the name
Charpillon, which every reader of the Memoirs will remember as the
name of the harpy by whom Casanova suffered so much in London, in
1763-4.  This manuscript begins by saying: 'I have been in London for
six months and have been to see them (that is, the mother and
daughter) in their own house,' where he finds nothing but 'swindlers,
who cause all who go there to lose their money in gambling.'  This
manuscript adds some details to the story told in the ninth and tenth
volumes of the Memoirs, and refers to the meeting with the
Charpillons four and a half years before, described in Volume V.,
pages 428-485.  It is written in a tone of great indignation.
Elsewhere, I found a letter written by Casanova, but not signed,
referring to an anonymous letter which he had received in reference
to the Charpillons, and ending: 'My handwriting is known.'  It was
not until the last that I came upon great bundles of letters
addressed to Casanova, and so carefully preserved that little scraps
of paper, on which postscripts are written, are still in their
places.  One still sees the seals on the backs of many of the
letters, on paper which has slightly yellowed with age, leaving the
ink, however, almost always fresh.  They come from Venice, Paris,
Rome, Prague, Bayreuth, The Hague, Genoa, Fiume, Trieste, etc., and
are addressed to as many places, often poste restante.  Many are
letters from women, some in beautiful handwriting, on thick paper;
others on scraps of paper, in painful hands, ill-spelt.  A Countess
writes pitifully, imploring help; one protests her love, in spite of
the 'many chagrins' he has caused her; another asks 'how they are to
live together'; another laments that a report has gone about that she
is secretly living with him, which may harm his reputation.  Some are
in French, more in Italian.  'Mon cher Giacometto', writes one woman,
in French; 'Carissimo a Amatissimo', writes another, in Italian.
These letters from women are in some confusion, and are in need of a
good deal of sorting over and rearranging before their full extent
can be realised.  Thus I found letters in the same handwriting
separated by letters in other handwritings; many are unsigned, or
signed only by a single initial; many are undated, or dated only with
the day of the week or month.  There are a great many letters, dating
from 1779 to 1786, signed 'Francesca Buschini,' a name which I cannot
identify; they are written in Italian, and one of them begins: 'Unico
Mio vero Amico' ('my only true friend').  Others are signed 'Virginia
B.'; one of these is dated, 'Forli, October 15, 1773.'  There is also
a 'Theresa B.,' who writes from Genoa.  I was at first unable to
identify the writer of a whole series of letters in French, very
affectionate and intimate letters, usually unsigned, occasionally
signed 'B.'  She calls herself votre petite amie; or she ends with a
half-smiling, half-reproachful 'goodnight, and sleep better than I'
In one letter, sent from Paris in 1759, she writes: 'Never believe
me, but when I tell you that I love you, and that I shall love you
always: In another letter, ill-spelt, as her letters often are, she
writes: 'Be assured that evil tongues, vapours, calumny, nothing can
change my heart, which is yours entirely, and has no will to change
its master.'  Now, it seems to me that these letters must be from
Manon Baletti, and that they are the letters referred to in the sixth
volume of the Memoirs.  We read there (page 60) how on Christmas Day,
1759, Casanova receives a letter from Manon in Paris, announcing her
marriage with 'M. Blondel, architect to the King, and member of his
Academy'; she returns him his letters, and begs him to return hers,
or burn them.  Instead of doing so he allows Esther to read them,
intending to burn them afterwards.  Esther begs to be allowed to keep
the letters, promising to 'preserve them religiously all her life.'
'These letters,' he says, 'numbered more than two hundred, and the
shortest were of four pages: Certainly there are not two hundred of
them at Dux, but it seems to me highly probable that Casanova made a
final selection from Manon's letters, and that it is these which I
have found.

But, however this may be, I was fortunate enough to find the set of
letters which I was most anxious to find the letters from Henriette,
whose loss every writer on Casanova has lamented.  Henriette, it will
be remembered, makes her first appearance at Cesena, in the year
1748; after their meeting at Geneva, she reappears, romantically 'a
propos', twenty-two years later, at Aix in Provence; and she writes
to Casanova proposing 'un commerce epistolaire', asking him what he
has done since his escape from prison, and promising to do her best
to tell him all that has happened to her during the long interval.
After quoting her letter, he adds: 'I replied to her, accepting the
correspondence that she offered me, and telling her briefly all my
vicissitudes.  She related to me in turn, in some forty letters, all
the history of her life.  If she dies before me, I shall add these
letters to these Memoirs; but to-day she is still alive, and always
happy, though now old.'  It has never been known what became of these
letters, and why they were not added to the Memoirs.  I have found a
great quantity of them, some signed with her married name in full,
'Henriette de Schnetzmann,' and I am inclined to think that she
survived Casanova, for one of the letters is dated Bayreuth, 1798,
the year of Casanova's death.  They are remarkably charming, written
with a mixture of piquancy and distinction; and I will quote the
characteristic beginning and end of the last letter I was able to
find.  It begins: 'No, it is impossible to be sulky with you!' and
ends: 'If I become vicious, it is you, my Mentor, who make me so, and
I cast my sins upon you.  Even if I were damned I should still be
your most devoted friend, Henriette de Schnetzmann.'  Casanova was
twenty-three when he met Henriette; now, herself an old woman, she
writes to him when he is seventy-three, as if the fifty years that
had passed were blotted out in the faithful affection of her memory.
How many more discreet and less changing lovers have had the quality
of constancy in change, to which this life-long correspondence bears
witness?  Does it not suggest a view of Casanova not quite the view
of all the world?  To me it shows the real man, who perhaps of all
others best understood what Shelley meant when he said:

          True love in this differs from gold or clay
          That to divide is not to take away.

But, though the letters from women naturally interested me the most,
they were only a certain proportion of the great mass of
correspondence which I turned over.  There were letters from Carlo
Angiolini, who was afterwards to bring the manuscript of the Memoirs
to Brockhaus; from Balbi, the monk with whom Casanova escaped from
the Piombi; from the Marquis Albergati, playwright, actor, and
eccentric, of whom there is some account in the Memoirs; from the
Marquis Mosca, 'a distinguished man of letters whom I was anxious to
see,' Casanova tells us in the same volume in which he describes his
visit to the Moscas at Pesaro; from Zulian, brother of the Duchess of
Fiano; from Richard Lorrain, 'bel homme, ayant de l'esprit, le ton et
le gout de la bonne societe', who came to settle at Gorizia in 1773,
while Casanova was there; from the Procurator Morosini, whom he
speaks of in the Memoirs as his 'protector,' and as one of those
through whom he obtained permission to return to Venice.  His other
'protector,' the 'avogador' Zaguri, had, says Casanova, 'since the
affair of the Marquis Albergati, carried on a most interesting
correspondence with me'; and in fact I found a bundle of no less than
a hundred and thirty-eight letters from him, dating from 1784 to
1798.  Another bundle contains one hundred and seventy-two letters
from Count Lamberg.  In the Memoirs Casanova says, referring to his
visit to Augsburg at the end of 1761:

I used to spend my evenings in a very agreeable manner at the house
of Count Max de Lamberg, who resided at the court of the
Prince-Bishop with the title of Grand Marshal.  What particularly
attached me to Count Lamberg was his literary talent.  A first-rate
scholar, learned to a degree, he has published several much esteemed
works.  I carried on an exchange of letters with him which ended only
with his death four years ago in 1792.

Casanova tells us that, at his second visit to Augsburg in the early
part of 1767, he 'supped with Count Lamberg two or three times a
week,' during the four months he was there.  It is with this year
that the letters I have found begin: they end with the year of his
death, 1792.  In his 'Memorial d'un Mondain' Lamberg refers to
Casanova as 'a man known in literature, a man of profound knowledge.'
In the first edition of 1774, he laments that 'a man such as M. de S.
Galt' should not yet have been taken back into favour by the Venetian
government, and in the second edition, 1775, rejoices over Casanova's
return to Venice.  Then there are letters from Da Ponte, who tells
the story of Casanova's curious relations with Mme. d'Urfe, in his
'Memorie scritte da esso', 1829; from Pittoni, Bono, and others
mentioned in different parts of the Memoirs, and from some dozen
others who are not mentioned in them.  The only letters in the whole
collection that have been published are those from the Prince de
Ligne and from Count Koenig.


Casanova tells us in his Memoirs that, during his later years at Dux,
he had only been able to 'hinder black melancholy from devouring his
poor existence, or sending him out of his mind,' by writing ten or
twelve hours a day.  The copious manuscripts at Dux show us how
persistently he was at work on a singular variety of subjects, in
addition to the Memoirs, and to the various books which he published
during those years.  We see him jotting down everything that comes
into his head, for his own amusement, and certainly without any
thought of publication; engaging in learned controversies, writing
treatises on abstruse mathematical problems, composing comedies to be
acted before Count Waldstein's neighbours, practising verse-writing
in two languages, indeed with more patience than success, writing
philosophical dialogues in which God and himself are the speakers,
and keeping up an extensive correspondence, both with distinguished
men and with delightful women.  His mental activity, up to the age of
seventy-three, is as prodigious as the activity which he had expended
in living a multiform and incalculable life.  As in life everything
living had interested him so in his retirement from life every idea
makes its separate appeal to him; and he welcomes ideas with the same
impartiality with which he had welcomed adventures.  Passion has
intellectualised itself, and remains not less passionate.  He wishes
to do everything, to compete with every one; and it is only after
having spent seven years in heaping up miscellaneous learning, and
exercising his faculties in many directions, that he turns to look
back over his own past life, and to live it over again in memory, as
he writes down the narrative of what had interested him most in it.
'I write in the hope that my history will never see the broad day
light of publication,' he tells us, scarcely meaning it, we may be
sure, even in the moment of hesitancy which may naturally come to
him.  But if ever a book was written for the pleasure of writing it,
it was this one; and an autobiography written for oneself is not
likely to be anything but frank.

'Truth is the only God I have ever adored,' he tells us: and we now
know how truthful he was in saying so.  I have only summarised in
this article the most important confirmations of his exact accuracy
in facts and dates; the number could be extended indefinitely.  In
the manuscripts we find innumerable further confirmations; and their
chief value as testimony is that they tell us nothing which we should
not have already known, if we had merely taken Casanova at his word.
But it is not always easy to take people at their own word, when they
are writing about themselves; and the world has been very loth to
believe in Casanova as he represents himself.  It has been specially
loth to believe that he is telling the truth when he tells us about
his adventures with women.  But the letters contained among these
manuscripts shows us the women of Casanova writing to him with all
the fervour and all the fidelity which he attributes to them; and
they show him to us in the character of as fervid and faithful a
lover.  In every fact, every detail, and in the whole mental
impression which they convey, these manuscripts bring before us the
Casanova of the Memoirs.  As I seemed to come upon Casanova at home,
it was as if I came upon old friend, already perfectly known to me,
before I had made my pilgrimage to Dux.