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Title: Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 16: Depart Switzerland
Author: Casanova, Giacomo, 1725-1798
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 16: Depart Switzerland" ***

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The Door--Keeper's Daughters--The Horoscopes--Mdlle. Roman

The idea of the sorry plight in which I had left the Marquis de Prie, his
mistress, and perhaps all the company, who had undoubtedly coveted the
contents of my cash-box, amused me till I reached Chamberi, where I only
stopped to change horses. When I reached Grenoble, where I intended to
stay a week, I did not find my lodging to my liking, and went in my
carriage to the post-office, where I found several letters, amongst
others, one from Madame d'Urfe, enclosing a letter of introduction to an
officer named Valenglard, who, she told me, was a learned man, and would
present me at all the best houses in the town.

I called on this officer and received a cordial welcome. After reading
Madame d'Urfe's letter he said he was ready to be useful to me in
anything I pleased.

He was an amiable, middle aged man, and fifteen years before had been
Madame d'Urfe's friend, and in a much more intimate degree the friend of
her daughter, the Princess de Toudeville. I told him that I was
uncomfortable at the inn, and that the first service I would ask of him
would be to procure me a comfortable lodging. He rubbed his head, and

"I think I can get you rooms in a beautiful house, but it is outside the
town walls. The door-keeper is an excellent cook, and for the sake of
doing your cooking I am sure he will lodge you for nothing."

"I don't wish that," said I.

"Don't be afraid," said the baron, "he will make it up by means of his
dishes; and besides, the house is for sale and costs him nothing. Come
and see it."

I took a suite of three rooms and ordered supper for two, warning the man
that I was dainty, liked good things, and did not care for the cost. I
also begged M. de Valenglard to sup with me. The doorkeeper said that if
I was not pleased with his cooking I had only to say so, and in that case
I should have nothing to pay. I sent for my carriage, and felt that I had
established myself in my new abode. On the ground floor I saw three
charming girls and the door-keeper's wife, who all bowed profoundly. M.
de Valenglard took me to a concert with the idea of introducing me to
everybody, but I begged him not to do so, as I wished to see the ladies
before deciding which of them I should like to know.

The company was a numerous one, especially where women were concerned,
but the only one to attract my attention was a pretty and modest-looking
brunette, whose fine figure was dressed with great simplicity. Her
charming eyes, after having thrown one glance in my direction,
obstinately refused to look at me again. My vanity made me conclude at
once that she behaved thus only to increase my desire of knowing her, and
to give me plenty of time to examine her side-face and her figure, the
proportions of which were not concealed by her simple attire. Success
begets assurance, and the wish is father to the thought. I cast a hungry
gaze on this young lady without more ado, just as if all the women in
Europe were only a seraglio kept for my pleasures. I told the baron I
should like to know her.

"She is a good girl," said he, "who sees no company, and is quite poor."

"Those are three reasons which make me the more anxious to know her."

"You will really find nothing to do in that quarter."

"Very good."

"There is her aunt, I will introduce you to her as we leave the

After doing me this service, he came to sup with me. The door-keeper and
cook struck me as being very like Lebel. He made his two pretty daughters
wait on me, and I saw that Valenglard was delighted at having lodged me
to my satisfaction, but he grumbled when he saw fifteen dishes.

"He is making a fool of you and me," he said.

"On the contrary, he has guessed my tastes. Don't you think everything
was very good?"

"I don't deny it, but . . . . "

"Don't be afraid; I love spending my money."

"I beg your pardon, I only want you to be pleased."

We had exquisite wines, and at dessert some ratafia superior to the
Turkish 'visnat' I had tasted seventeen years before at Yussuf Ali's.
When my landlord came up at the end of supper, I told him that he ought
to be Louis XV.'s head cook.

"Go on as you have begun, and do better if you can; but let me have your
bill every morning."

"You are quite right; with such an arrangement one can tell how one is
getting on."

"I should like you always to give me ices, and you must let me have two
more lights. But, unless I am mistaken, those are candles that I see. I
am a Venetian, and accustomed to wax lights."

"That is your servant's fault, sir."

"How is that?"

"Because, after eating a good supper, he went to bed, saying he was ill.
Thus I heard nothing as to how you liked things done."

"Very good, you shall learn from my own lips."

"He asked my wife to make chocolate for you tomorrow morning; he gave her
the chocolate, I will make it myself."

When he had left the room M. de Valenglard said, in a manner that was at
the same time pleased and surprised, that Madame d'Urfe had been
apparently joking in telling him to spare me all expense.

"It's her goodness of heart. I am obliged to her all the same. She is an
excellent woman."

We stayed at table till eleven o'clock, discussing in numerable pleasant
topics, and animating our talk with that choice liqueur made at Grenoble,
of which we drank a bottle. It is composed of the juice of cherries,
brandy, sugar, and cinnamon, and cannot be surpassed, I am sure, by the
nectar of Olympus.

I sent home the baron in my carriage, after thanking him for his
services, and begging him to be my companion early and late while I
stayed at Grenoble--a re quest which he granted excepting for those days
on which he was on duty. At supper I had given him my bill of exchange on
Zappata, which I endorsed with the name de Seingalt, which Madame d'Urfe
had given me. He discounted it for me next day. A banker brought me four
hundred louis and I had thirteen hundred in my cash-box. I always had a
dread of penuriousness, and I delighted myself at the thought that M. de
Valenglard would write and tell Madame d'Urfe, who was always preaching
economy to me, what he had seen. I escorted my guest to the carriage, and
I was agreeably surprised when I got back to find the doorkeeper's two
charming daughters.

Le Duc had not waited for me to tell him to find some pretext for not
serving me. He knew my tastes, and that when there were pretty girls in a
house, the less I saw of him the better I was pleased.

The frank eagerness of the two girls to wait on me, their utter freedom
from suspicion or coquetry, made me determine that I would shew myself
deserving of their trust. They took off my shoes and stockings, did my
hair and put on my night-gown with perfect propriety on both sides. When
I was in bed I wished them a goodnight, and told them to shut the door
and bring me my chocolate at eight o'clock next morning.

I could not help confessing that I was perfectly happy as I reflected
over my present condition. I enjoyed perfect health, I was in the prime
of life, I had no calls on me, I was thoroughly independent, I had a rich
store of experience, plenty of money, plenty of luck, and I was a
favourite with women. The pains and troubles I had gone through had been
followed by so many days of happiness that I felt disposed to bless my
destiny. Full of these agreeable thoughts I fell asleep, and all the
night my dreams were of happiness and of the pretty brunette who had
played with me at the concert.

I woke with thoughts of her, and feeling sure that we should become
acquainted I felt curious to know what success I should have with her.
She was discreet and poor; and as I was discreet in my own way she ought
not to despise my friendship.

At eight o'clock, one of the door-keeper's daughters brought me my
chocolate, and told me that Le Duc had got the fever.

"You must take care of the poor fellow."

"My cousin has just taken him some broth."

"What is your name?"

"My name is Rose, and my sister is Manon."

Just then Manon came in with my shirt, on which she had put fresh lace. I
thanked her, and she said with a blush that she did her father's hair
very well.

"I am delighted to hear it, and I shall be very pleased if you will be
kind enough to do the same offices for me till my servant recovers."

"With pleasure, sir."

"And I," said Rose, laughing, "will shave you."

"I should like to see how you do it; get the water."

I rose hastily, while Manon was preparing to do my hair. Rose returned
and shaved me admirably. As soon as she had washed off the lather, I

"You must give me a kiss," presenting my cheek to her. She pretended not
to understand.

"I shall be vexed," said I, gravely but pleasantly, "if you refuse to
kiss me."

She begged to be excused, saying with a little smile, that it was not
customary to do so at Grenoble.

"Well, if you won't kiss me, you shan't shave me."

The father came in at that point, bringing his bill.

"Your daughter has just shaved me admirably," said I, "and she refuses to
kiss me, because it is not the custom at Grenoble."

"You little silly," said he, "it is the custom in Paris. You kiss me fast
enough after you have shaved me, why should you be less polite to this

She then kissed me with an air of submission to the paternal decree which
made Manon laugh.

"Ah!" said the father, "your turn will come when you have finished doing
the gentleman's hair."

He was a cunning fellow, who knew the best way to prevent me cheapening
him, but there was no need, as I thought his charges reasonable, and as I
paid him in full he went off in great glee.

Manon did my hair as well as my dear Dubois, and kissed me when she had
done without making as many difficulties as Rose. I thought I should get
on well with both of them. They went downstairs when the banker was

He was quite a young man, and after he had counted me out four hundred
Louis, he observed that I must be very comfortable.

"Certainly," said I, "the two sisters are delightful."

"Their cousin is better. They are too discreet."

"I suppose they are well off."

"The father has two thousand francs a year. They will be able to marry
well-to-do tradesmen."

I was curious to see the cousin who was said to be prettier than the
sisters, and as soon as the banker had gone I went downstairs to satisfy
my curiosity. I met the father and asked him which was Le Duc's room, and
thereon I went to see my fine fellow. I found him sitting up in a
comfortable bed with a rubicund face which did not look as if he were
dangerously ill.

"What is the matter with you?

"Nothing, sir. I am having a fine time of it. Yesterday I thought I would
be ill."

"What made you think that?"

"The sight of the three Graces here, who are made of better stuff than
your handsome housekeeper, who would not let me kiss her. They are making
me wait too long for my broth, however. I shall have to speak severely
about it."

"Le Duc, you are a rascal."

"Do you want me to get well?"

"I want you to put a stop to this farce, as I don't like it." Just then
the door opened, and the cousin came in with the broth. I thought her
ravishing, and I noticed that in waiting on Le Duc she had an imperious
little air which well became her.

"I shall dine in bed," said my Spaniard.

"You shall be attended to," said the pretty girl, and she went out.

"She puts on big airs," said Le Duc, "but that does not impose on me.
Don't you think she is very pretty?"

"I think you are very impudent. You ape your betters, and I don't approve
of it. Get up. You must wait on me at table, and afterwards you will eat
your dinner by yourself, and try to get yourself respected as an honest
man always is, whatever his condition, so long as he does not forget
himself. You must not stay any longer in this room, the doorkeeper will
give you another."

I went out, and on meeting the fair cousin I told her that I was jealous
of the honour which she had done my man, and that I begged her to wait on
him no longer.

"Oh, I am very glad!"

The door-keeper came up, and I gave him my orders, and went back to my
room to write.

Before dinner the baron came and told me that he had just come from the
lady to whom he had introduced me. She was the wife of a barrister named
Morin, and aunt to the young lady who had so interested me.

"I have been talking of you," said the baron, "and of the impression her
niece made on you. She promised to send for her, and to keep her at the
house all day."

After a dinner as good as the supper of the night before, though
different from it in its details, and appetising enough to awaken the
dead, we went to see Madame Morin, who received us with the easy grace of
a Parisian lady. She introduced me to seven children, of whom she was the
mother. Her eldest daughter, an ordinary-looking girl, was twelve years
old, but I should have taken her to be fourteen, and said so. To convince
me of her age the mother brought a book in which the year, the month, the
day, the hour, and even the minute of her birth were entered. I was
astonished at such minute accuracy, and asked if she had had a horoscope

"No," said she, "I have never found anybody to do it."

"It is never too late," I replied, "and without doubt God has willed that
this pleasure should be reserved for me."

At this moment M. Morin came in, his wife introduced me, and after the
customary compliments had passed, she returned to the subject of the
horoscope. The barrister sensibly observed that if judicial astrology was
not wholly false, it was, nevertheless, a suspected science; that he had
been so foolish as once to devote a considerable portion of his time to
it, but that on recognizing the inability of man to deal with the future
he had abandoned astrology, contenting himself with the veritable truths
of astronomy. I saw with pleasure that I had to deal with a man of sense
and education, but Valenglard, who was a believer in astrology, began an
argument with him on the subject. During their discussion I quietly
copied out on my tablets the date of Mdlle. Morin's birth. But M. Morin
saw what I was about, and shook his head at me, with a smile. I
understood what he meant, but I did not allow that to disconcert me, as I
had made up my mind fully five minutes ago that I would play the
astrologer on this occasion.

At last the fair niece arrived. Her aunt introduced me to her as Mdlle.
Roman Coupier, her sister's daughter; and then, turning to her, she
informed her how ardently I had been longing to know her since I had seen
her at the concert.

She was then seventeen. Her satin skin by its dazzling whiteness
displayed to greater advantage her magnificent black hair. Her features
were perfectly regular, and her complexion had a slight tinge of red; her
fine eyes were at once sweet and sparkling, her eyebrows were well
arched, her mouth small, her teeth regular and as white as pearls, and
her lips, of an exquisite rosy hue, afforded a seat to the deities of
grace and modesty.

After some moments' conversation, M. Morin was obliged to go out on
business, and a game of quadrille was proposed, at which I was greatly
pitied for having lost a louis. I thought Mdlle. Roman discreet,
judicious, pleasant without being brilliant, and, still better, without
any pretensions. She was high-spirited, even-tempered, and had a natural
art which did not allow her to seem to understand too flattering a
compliment, or a joke which passed in any way the bounds of propriety.
She was neatly dressed, but had no ornaments, and nothing which shewed
wealth; neither ear-rings, rings, nor a watch. One might have said that
her beauty was her only adornment, the only ornament she wore being a
small gold cross hanging from her necklace of black ribbon. Her breast
was well shaped and not too large. Fashion and custom made her shew half
of it as innocently as she shewed her plump white hand, or her cheeks,
whereon the lily and the rose were wedded. I looked at her features to
see if I might hope at all; but I was completely puzzled, and could come
to no conclusion. She gave no sign which made me hope, but on the other
hand she did nothing to make me despair. She was so natural and so
reserved that my sagacity was completely at fault. Nevertheless, a
liberty which I took at supper gave me a gleam of hope. Her napkin fell
down, and in returning it to her I pressed her thigh amorously, and could
not detect the slightest displeasure on her features. Content with so
much I begged everybody to come to dinner with me next day, telling
Madame Morin that I should not be going out, and that I was therefore
delighted to put my carriage at her service.

When I had taken Valenglard home, I went to my lodging building castles
in Spain as to the conquest of Mdlle. Roman.

I warned my landlord that we should be six at dinner and supper the
following day, and then I went to bed. As Le Duc was undressing me he

"Sir, you are punishing me, but what makes me sorry you are punishing
yourself in depriving yourself of the services of those pretty girls."

"You are a rogue."

"I know it, but I serve you with all my heart, and I love your pleasure
as well as my own."

"You plead well for yourself; I am afraid I have spoilt you."

"Shall I do your hair to-morrow?"

"No; you may go out every day till dinner-time."

"I shall be certain to catch it."

"Then I shall send you to the hospital."

"That is a fine prospect, 'por Dios'."

He was impudent, sly, profligate, and a rascally fellow; but also
obedient, devoted, discreet, and faithful, and his good qualities made me
overlook his defects.

Next morning, when Rose brought my chocolate, she told me with a laugh
that my man had sent for a carriage, and after dressing himself in the
height of fashion he had gone off with his sword at his side, to pay
calls, as he said.

"We laughed at him."

"You were quite right, my dear Rose."

As I spoke, Manon came in under some pretext or other. I saw that the two
sisters had an understanding never to be alone with me; I was displeased,
but pretended not to notice anything. I got up, and I had scarcely put on
my dressing-gown when the cousin came in with a packet under her arm.

"I am delighted to see you, and above all to look at your smiling face,
for I thought you much too serious yesterday."

"That's because M. le Duc is a greater gentleman than you are; I should
not have presumed to laugh in his presence; but I had my reward in seeing
him start off this morning in his gilded coach."

"Did he see you laughing at him?"

"Yes, unless he is blind."

"He will be vexed."

"All the better."

"You are really very charming. What have you got in that parcel?"

"Some goods of our own manufacture. Look; they are embroidered gloves."

"They are beautiful; the embroidery is exquisitely done. How much for the

"Are you a good hand at a bargain."


"Then we must take that into account."

After some whisperings together the cousin took a pen, put down the
numbers of gloves, added up and said,

"The lot will cost you two hundred and ten francs."

"There are nine louis; give me six francs change."

"But you told us you would make a bargain."

"You were wrong to believe it."

She blushed and gave me the six francs. Rose and Manon shaved me and did
my hair, giving me a kiss with the best grace imaginable; and when I
offered my cheek to the cousin she kissed me on the mouth in a manner
that told me she would be wholly mine on the first opportunity.

"Shall we have the pleasure of waiting on you at the table?" said Rose.

"I wish you would."

"But we should like to know who is coming to dinner first; as if it is
officers from the garrison we dare not come; they make so free."

"My guests are Madame Morin, her husband, and her niece."

"Very good."

The cousin said, "Mdlle. Roman is the prettiest and the best girl in
Grenoble; but she will find some difficulty in marrying as she has no

"She may meet some rich man who will think her goodness and her beauty
worth a million of money."

"There are not many men of that kind."

"No; but there are a few."

Manon and the cousin went out, and I was left alone with Rose, who stayed
to dress me. I attacked her, but she defended herself so resolutely that
I desisted, and promised it should not occur again. When she had finished
I gave her a louis, thanked her, and sent her away.

As soon as I was alone I locked the door, and proceeded to concoct the
horoscope I had promised to Madame Morin. I found it an easy task to fill
eight pages with learned folly; and I confined myself chiefly to
declaring the events which had already happened to the native. I had
deftly extracted some items of information in the course of conversation,
and filling up the rest according to the laws of probability and dressing
up the whole in astrological diction, I was pronounced to be a seer, and
no doubts were cast on my skill. I did not indeed run much risk, for
everything hung from an if, and in the judicious employment of ifs lies
the secret of all astrology.

I carefully re-read the document, and thought it admirable. I felt in the
vein, and the use of the cabala had made me an expert in this sort of

Just after noon all my guests arrived, and at one we sat down to table. I
have never seen a more sumptuous or more delicate repast. I saw that the
cook was an artist more in need of restraint than encouragement. Madame
Morin was very polite to the three girls, whom she knew well, and Le Duc
stood behind her chair all the time, looking after her wants, and dressed
as richly as the king's chamberlain. When we had nearly finished dinner
Mdlle. Roman passed a compliment on my three fair waiting-maids, and this
giving me occasion to speak of their talents I got up and brought the
gloves I had purchased from them. Mdlle. Roman praised the quality of the
material and the work. I took the opportunity, and begged leave of the
aunt to give her and her niece a dozen pair apiece. I obtained this
favour, and I then gave Madame Morin the horoscope. Her husband read it,
and though an unbeliever he was forced to admire, as all the deductions
were taken naturally from the position of the heavenly bodies at the
instant of his daughter's birth. We spent a couple of hours in talking
about astrology, and the same time in playing at quadrille, and then we
took a walk in the garden, where I was politely left to enjoy the society
of the fair Roman.

Our dialogue, or rather my monologue, turned solely on the profound
impression she had made on me, on the passion she had inspired, on her
beauty, her goodness, the purity of my intentions, and on my need of
love, lest I should go down to the grave the most hapless of men.

"Sir," said she, at last, "if my destiny points to marriage I do not deny
that I should be happy to find a husband like you."

I was emboldened by this frank declaration, and seizing her hand I
covered it with fiery kisses, saying passionately that I hoped she would
not let me languish long. She turned her head to look for her aunt. It
was getting dark, and she seemed to be afraid of something happening to
her. She drew me gently with her, and on rejoining the other guests we
returned to the dining-room, where I made a small bank at faro for their
amusement. Madame Morin gave her daughter and niece, whose pockets were
empty, some money, and Valenglard directed their play so well that when
we left off to go to supper I had the pleasure of seeing that each of the
three ladies had won two or three louis.

We sat at table till midnight. A cold wind from the Alps stopped my plan
of proposing a short turn in the garden. Madame Morin overwhelmed me with
thanks for my entertainment, and I gave each of my lady-visitors a
respectful kiss.

I heard singing in the kitchen, and on going in I found Le Duc in a high
state of excitement and very drunk. As soon as he saw me he tried to
rise, but he lost his centre of gravity, and fell right under the kitchen
table. He was carried away to bed.

I thought this accident favourable to my desire of amusing myself, and I
might have succeeded if the three Graces had not all been there. Love
only laughs when two are present, and thus it is that the ancient
mythology tells no story of the loves of the Graces, who were always
together. I had not yet found an opportunity of getting my three maids
one after the other, and I dared not risk a general attack, which might
have lost me the confidence of each one. Rose, I saw, was openly jealous
of her cousin, as she kept a keen look-out after her movements. I was not
sorry, for jealousy leads to anger, and anger goes a long way. When I was
in bed I sent them away with a modest good night.

Next morning, Rose came in by herself to ask me for a cake of chocolate,
for, as she said, Le Duc was now ill in real earnest. She brought me the
box, and I gave her the chocolate, and in doing so I took her hand and
shewed her how well I loved her. She was offended, drew back her hand
sharply, and left the room. A moment after Manon came in under the
pretext of shewing me a piece of lace I had torn away in my attempts of
the day before, and of asking me if she should mend it. I took her hand
to kiss it, but she did not give me time, presenting her lips, burning
with desire. I took her hand again, and it was just on the spot when the
cousin came in. Manon held the piece of lace, and seemed to be waiting
for my answer. I told her absently that I should be obliged if she would
mend it when she had time, and with this she went out.

I was troubled by this succession of disasters, and thought that the
cousin would not play me false from the earnest of her affection which
she had given me the day before in that ardent kiss of hers. I begged her
to give me my handkerchief, and gently drew her hand towards me. Her
mouth fastened to mine, and her hand, which she left to my pleasure with
all the gentleness of a lamb, was already in motion when Rose came in
with my chocolate. We regained our composure in a moment, but I was
furious at heart. I scowled at Rose, and I had a right to do so after the
manner in which she had repulsed me a quarter of an hour before. Though
the chocolate was excellent, I pronounced it badly made. I chid her for
her awkwardness in waiting on me, and repulsed her at every step. When I
got up I would not let her shave me; I shaved myself, which seemed to
humiliate her, and then Manon did my hair. Rose and the cousin then went
out, as if to make common cause together, but it was easy to see that
Rose was less angry with her sister than her cousin.

As Manon was finishing my toilette, M. de Valenglard came in. As soon as
we were alone, the officer, who was a man of honour and of much sense, in
spite of his belief in astrology and the occult sciences, said that he
thought me looking rather melancholy, and that if my sadness had any
connection with the fair Roman, he warned me to think no more of her,
unless I had resolved to ask her hand in marriage. I replied that to put
an end to all difficulties I had decided on leaving Grenoble in a few
days. We dined together and we then called on Madame Morin, with whom we
found her fair niece.

Madame Morin gave me a flattering welcome, and Mdlle. Roman received me
so graciously that I was emboldened to kiss her and place her on my knee.
The aunt laughed, the niece blushed, and then slipping into my hand a
little piece of paper made her escape. I read on the paper the year, day,
Hour, and minute of her birth, and guessed what she meant. She meant, I
thought, that I could do nothing with her before I had drawn up her
horoscope. My resolve was soon taken to profit by this circumstance, and
I told her that I would tell her whether I could oblige her or not next
day, if she would come to a ball I was giving. She looked at her aunt and
my invitation was accepted.

Just then the servant announced "The Russian Gentleman." I saw a
well-made man of about my own age, slightly marked with the small-pox,
and dressed as a traveller. He accosted Madame Morin with easy grace, was
welcomed heartily by her, spoke well, scarcely gave me a glance, and did
not say a word to the nieces. In the evening M. Morin came in, and the
Russian gave him a small phial full of a white liquid, and then made as
if he would go, but he was kept to supper.

At table the conversation ran on this marvellous liquid of his. M. Morin
told me that he had cured a young man of a bruise from a billiard ball in
five minutes, by only rubbing it with the liquid. He said modestly that
it was a trifling thing of his own invention, and he talked a good deal
about chemistry to Valenglard. As my attention was taken up by the fair
Mdlle. Roman I could not take part in their conversation; my hope of
succeeding with her on the following day absorbed all my thoughts. As I
was going away with Valenglard he told me that nobody knew who the
Russian was, and that he was nevertheless received everywhere.

"Has he a carriage and servants?"

"He has nothing, no servants and no money."

"Where did he come from?"

"From the skies."

"A fair abode, certainly; how long has he been here?"

"For the last fortnight. He visits, but asks for nothing."

"How does he live?"

"On credit at the inn; he is supposed to be waiting for his carriage and

"He is probably a vagabond."

"He does not look like one, as you saw for yourself, and his diamonds
contradict that hypothesis."

"Yes, if they are not imitation stones, for it seems to me that if they
were real he would sell them."

When I got home Rose came by herself to attend on me, but she continued
to sulk. I tried to rouse her up, but as I had no success I ordered her
to go and tell her father that I was going to give a ball next day in the
room by the garden, and that supper was to be laid for twenty.

When the door-keeper came to take my orders the following morning, I told
him that I should like his girls to dance if he didn't mind. At this Rose
condescended to smile, and I thought it a good omen. Just as she went out
with her father, Manon came in under the pretext of asking me what lace I
would wear for the day. I found her as gentle as a lamb and as loving as
a dove. The affair was happily consummated, but we had a narrow escape of
being caught by Rose, who came in with Le Duc and begged me to let him
dance, promising that he would behave himself properly. I was glad that
everybody should enjoy themselves and consented, telling him to thank
Rose, who had got him this favour.

I had a note from Madame Morin, asking me if she might bring with her to
the ball two ladies of her acquaintance and their daughters. I replied
that I should be delighted for her to invite not only as many ladies but
as many gentlemen as she pleased, as I had ordered supper for twenty
people. She came to dinner with her niece and Valenglard, her daughter
being busy dressing and her husband being engaged till the evening. She
assured me that I should have plenty of guests.

The fair Mdlle. Roman wore the same dress, but her beauty unadorned was
dazzling. Standing by me she asked if I had thought about her horoscope.
I took her hand, made her sit on my knee, and promised that she should
have it on the morrow. I held her thus, pressing her charming breasts
with my left hand, and imprinting fiery kisses on her lips, which she
only opened to beg me to calm myself. She was more astonished than afraid
to see me trembling, and though she defended herself successfully she did
not lose countenance for a moment, and in spite of my ardent gaze she did
not turn her face away. I calmed myself with an effort, and her eyes
expressed the satisfaction of one who has vanquished a generous enemy by
the force of reason. By my silence I praised the virtue of this celestial
being, in whose destiny I only had a part by one of those caprices of
chance which philosophy seeks to explain in vain.

Madame Morin came up to me, and asked me to explain some points in her
daughter's horoscope. She then told me that if I wanted to have four
beauties at my ball she had only to write a couple of notes.

"I shall only see one beauty," said I, looking at her niece.

"God alone knows," said Valenglard, "what people will say in Grenoble!"

"They will say it is your wedding ball," said Madame Morin to her niece.

"Yes, and they will doubtless talk of my magnificent dress, my lace, and
my diamonds," said the niece, pleasantly.

"They will talk of your beauty, your wit, and your goodness," I replied,
passionately, "goodness which will make your husband a happy man."

There was a silence, because they all thought I was alluding to myself. I
was doing nothing of the sort. I should have been glad to give five
hundred louis for her, but I did not see how the contract was to be drawn
up, and I was not going to throw my money away.

We went to my bedroom, and while Mdlle. Roman was amusing herself with
looking at the jewellry on my toilette-table, her aunt and Valenglard
examined the books on the table by my bedside. I saw Madame Morin going
to the window and looking closely at something she held in her hand. I
remembered I had left out the portrait of the fair nun. I ran to her and
begged her to give me the indecent picture I had so foolishly left about.

"I don't mind the indecency of it," she said, "but what strikes me is the
exact likeness."

I understood everything, and I shuddered at the carelessness of which I
had been guilty.

"Madam," I said, "that is the portrait of a Venetian, lady, of whom I was
very found."

"I daresay, but it's very curious. These two M's, these cast-off robes
sacrificed to love, everything makes my surprise greater."

"She is a nun and named M---- M----."

"And a Welsh niece of mine at Camberi is also named M---- M----, and
belongs to the same order. Nay, more, she has been at Aix, whence you
have come, to get cured of an illness."

"And this portrait is like her?"

"As one drop of water is like another."

"If you go to Chamberi call on her and say you come from me; you will be
welcome and you will be as much surprised as I am."

"I will do so, after I have been in Italy. However, I will not shew her
this portrait, which would scandalize her; I will put it away carefully."

"I beg you not to shew it to anyone."

"You may rely on me."

I was in an ecstasy at having put her off so effectually.

At eight o'clock all my guests arrived, and I saw before me all the
fairest ladies and the noblest gentlemen of Grenoble. The only thing
which vexed me was the compliments they lavished on me, as is customary
in the provinces.

I opened the ball with the lady pointed out to me by M. Valenglard, and
then I danced with all the ladies in succession; but my partner in all
the square dances was the fair Mdlle. Roman, who shone from her
simplicity--at least, in my eyes.

After a quadrille, in which I had exerted myself a good deal, I felt hot
and went up to my room to put on a lighter suit, and as I was doing so,
in came the fair cousin, who asked me if I required anything.

"Yes, you, dearest," I replied, going up to her and taking her in my
arms. "Did anyone see you coming in here?"

"No, I came from upstairs, and my cousins are in the dancing-room."

"That is capital. You are fair as Love himself, and this is an excellent
opportunity for skewing you how much I love you."

"Good heavens! What are you doing? Let me go, somebody might come in.
Well, put out the light!"

I put it out, shut the door, and, my head full of Mdlle. Roman, the
cousin found me as ardent as I should have been with that delightful
person. I confess, too, that the door-keeper's niece was well worthy of
being loved on her own merits. I found her perfect, perhaps better than
Mdlle. Roman, a novice, would have been. In spite of my ardour her
passion was soon appeased, and she begged me to let her go, and I did so;
but it was quite time. I wanted to begin over again, but she was afraid
that our absence would be noticed by her two Argus-eyed cousins, so she
kissed me and left the room.

I went back to the ball-room, and we danced on till the king of
door-keepers came to tell us supper was ready.

A collation composed of the luxuries which the season and the country
afforded covered the table; but what pleased the ladies most was the
number and artistic arrangement of the wax lights.

I sat down at a small table with a few of my guests, and I received the
most pressing invitations to spend the autumn in their town. I am sure
that if I had accepted I should have been treated like a prince, for the
nobility of Grenoble bear the highest character for hospitality. I told
them that if it had been possible I should have had the greatest pleasure
in accepting their invitation, and in that case I should have been
delighted to have made the acquaintance of the family of an illustrious
gentleman, a friend of my father's.

"What name is it?" they asked me, altogether.

"Bouchenu de Valbonnais."

"He was my uncle. Ah! sir, you must come and stay with us. You danced
with my daughter. What was your father's name?"

This story, which I invented, and uttered as I was wont, on the spur of
the moment, turned me into a sort of wonder in the eyes of the worthy

After we had laughed, jested, drank, and eaten, we rose from the table
and began to dance anew.

Seeing Madame Morin, her niece, and Valenglard going into the garden, I
followed them, and as we walked in the moonlight I led the fair Mdlle.
Roman through a covered alley; but all my fine speeches were in vain; I
could do nothing. I held her between my arms, I covered her with burning
kisses, but not one did she return to me, and her hands offered a
successful resistance to my hardy attempts. By a sudden effort, however,
I at last attained the porch of the temple of love, and held her in such
a way that further resistance would have been of no avail; but she
stopped me short by saying in a voice which no man of feeling could have

"Be my friend, sir, and not my enemy and the cause of my ruin."

I knelt before her, and taking her hand begged her pardon, swearing not
to renew my attempts. I then rose and asked her to kiss me as a pledge of
her forgiveness. We rejoined her aunt, and returned to the ball-room, but
with all my endeavours I could not regain my calm.

I sat down in a corner of the room, and I asked Rose, who passed by me,
to get me a glass of lemonade. When she brought it she gently chid me for
not having danced with her, her sister, or her cousin.

"It will give people but a poor opinion of our merits."

"I am tired," said I, "but if you will promise to be kind I will dance a
minuet with you."

"What do want me to do?" said she.

"Go into my bedroom and wait for me there in the dark when you see your
sister and your cousin busy dancing."

"And you will only dance with me."

"I swear!"

"Then you will find me in your room."

I found her passionate, and I had full satisfaction. To keep my word with
her I waited for the closing minuet, for having danced with Rose I felt
obliged in common decency to dance with the other two, especially as I
owed them the same debt.

At day-break the ladies began to vanish, and as I put the Morins into my
carriage I told them that I could not have the pleasure of seeing them
again that day, but that if they would come and spend the whole of the
day after with me I would have the horoscope ready.

I went to the kitchen to thank the worthy door-keeper for having made me
cut such a gallant figure, and I found the three nymphs there, filling
their pockets with sweetmeats. He told them, laughing, that as the master
was there they might rob him with a clear conscience, and I bade them
take as much as they would. I informed the door-keeper that I should not
dine till six, and I then went to bed.

I awoke at noon, and feeling myself well rested I set to work at the
horoscope, and I resolved to tell the fair Mdlle. Roman that fortune
awaited her at Paris, where she would become her master's mistress, but
that the monarch must see her before she had attained her eighteenth
year, as at that time her destiny would take a different turn. To give my
prophecy authority, I told her some curious circumstances which had
hitherto happened to her, and which I had learnt now and again from
herself or Madame Morin without pretending to heed what they said.

With an Ephemeris and another astrological book, I made out and copied in
six hours Mdlle. Roman's horoscope, and I had so well arranged it that it
struck Valenglard and even M. Morin with astonishment, and made the two
ladies quite enthusiastic.

My horoscope must only be known to the young lady and her family, who
would no doubt keep the secret well. After I had put the finishing
touches to it, read it, and read it again, I felt certain that I had made
a masterpiece, and I then dined in bed with my three nymphs. I was polite
and affectionate to them all, and we were all happy together, but I was
the happiest. M. de Valenglard came to see me early the next day, and
informed me that nobody suspected me of being in love with Mdlle. Roman,
but that I was thought to be amorous of my landlord's girls.

"Well, let them think so," said I; "they are worthy of love, though not
to be named in the same breath with one past compare, but who leaves me
no hope."

"Let me tell Madame d'Urfe all about it."

"Certainly; I shall be delighted."

M. and Madame Morin and their niece came at noon, and we spent the hour
before dinner in reading the horoscope. It would be impossible to
describe the four distinct sorts of surprise which I saw before me. The
interesting Mdlle. Roman looked very grave, and, not knowing whether she
had a will of her own, listened to what was said in silence. M. Morin
looked at me now and again, and seeing that I kept a serious countenance
did not dare to laugh. Valenglard shewed fanatic belief in astrology in
every feature. Madame Morin seemed struck as by a miracle, and, far from
thinking the fact prophesied too improbable, remarked that her niece was
much more worthy of becoming her sovereign's wife or mistress than the
bigoted Maintenon had been.

"She would never have done anything," said Madame Morin, "if she had not
left America and come to France; and if my niece does not go to Paris
nobody can say that the horoscope has prophesied falsely. We should
therefore--go to Paris, but how is it to be done? I don't see my way to
it. The prediction of the birth of a son has something divine and
entrancing about it. I don't wish to seem prejudiced, but my niece has
certainly more qualifications for gaining the king's affection than the
Maintenon had: my niece is a good girl and young, while the Maintenon was
no longer as young as she had been, and had led a strange life before she
became a devotee. But we shall never accomplish this journey to Paris."

"Nay," said Valenglard, in a serious tone, which struck me as supremely
ridiculous, "she must go; her fate must be fulfilled."

The fair Mdlle. Roman seemed all amazed. I let them talk on, and we sat
down to dinner.

[The next two paragraphs were misplaced in the original, likely by the
typesetter, and have been inserted here where it seems that they belong.

I hoped I should be asked to take the diamond to Paris myself, and I felt
inclined to grant the request. I flattered myself that they could not do
without me, and that I should get what I wanted, if not for love at any
rate through gratitude; indeed, who knew what might become of the plan?
The monarch would be sure to be caught directly. I had no doubts on that
subject, for where is the man in love who does not think that his beloved
object will win the hearts of all others? For the moment I felt quite
jealous of the king, but, from my thorough knowledge of my own
inconstancy, I felt sure that my jealousy would cease when my love had
been rewarded, and I was aware that Louis XV. did not altogether hold the
opinions of a Turk in such concerns. What gave an almost divine character
to the horoscope was the prediction of a son to be born, who would make
the happiness of France, and could only come from the royal blood and
from a singular vessel of election.

A curious fancy increased my delight, namely, the thought of becoming a
famous astrologer in an age when reason and science had so justly
demolished astrology. I enjoyed the thought of seeing myself sought out
by crowned heads, which are always the more accessible to superstitious
notions. I determined I would be particular to whom I gave my advice. Who
has not made his castles in Spain? If Mdlle. Roman gave birth to a
daughter instead of a son I should be amused, and all would not be lost,
for a son might come afterwards.

At first silence reigned, and then the conversation ran on a thousand
trifles, as is usual in good society, but by degrees, as I had thought,
they returned to the horoscope.

"According to the horoscope," said the aunt, "the king is to fall in love
with my niece in her eighteenth year; she is now close on it. What are we
to do? Where are we to get the hundred louis necessary? And when she gets
to Paris is she to go to the king and say, 'Here I am, your majesty'? And
who is going to take her there? I can't."

"My aunt Roman might," said the young lady, blushing up to her eyes at
the roar of laughter which none of us could restrain.

"Well," said Madame Morin, "there is Madame Varnier, of the Rue de
Richelieu; she is an aunt of yours. She has a good establishment, and
knows everybody."

"See," said Valenglard, "how the ways of destiny are made plain. You talk
of a hundred louis; twelve will be sufficient to take you to Madame
Varnier's. When you get there, leave the rest to your fate, which will
surely favour you."

"If you do go to Paris," said I, "say nothing to Madame Roman or Madame
Varnier about the horoscope."

"I will say nothing to anyone about it; but, after all, it is only a
happy dream. I shall never see Paris, still less Louis XV."

I arose, and going to my cash-box I took out a roll of a hundred and
fifty louis, which I gave to her, saying it was a packet of sweetmeats.
It felt rather heavy, and on opening it she found it to contain fifty
pieces-of-eight, which she took for medals.

"They are gold," said Valenglard.

"And the goldsmith will give you a hundred and fifty louis for them,"
added M. Morin.

"I beg you will keep them; you can give me a bill payable at Paris when
you become rich."

I knew she would refuse to accept my present, although I should have been
delighted if she had kept the money. But I admired her strength of mind
in restraining her tears, and that without disturbing for a moment the
smile on her face.

We went out to take a turn in the garden. Valenglard and Madame Morin
began on the topic of the horoscope anew, and I left them, taking Mdlle.
Roman with me.

"I wish you would tell me," said she, when we were out of hearing of the
others, "if this horoscope is not all a joke."

"No," I answered, "it is quite serious, but it all depends on an if. If
you do not go to Paris the prophecy will never be fulfilled."

"You must think so, certainly, or you would never have offered me those
fifty medals."

"Do me the pleasure of accepting them now; nobody will know anything
about it."

"No, I cannot, though I am much obliged to you. But why should you want
to give me such a large sum?"

"For the pleasure of contributing to your happiness, and in the hope that
you will allow me to love you."

"If you really love met why should I oppose your love? You need not buy
my consent; and to be happy I do not want to possess the King of France,
if you did but know to what my desires are limited."

"Tell me."

"I would fain find a kind husband, rich enough for us not to lack the
necessaries of life."

"But how if you did not love him?"

"If he was a good, kind man how could I help loving him?"

"I see that you do not know what love is."

"You are right. I do not know the love that maddens, and I thank God for

"Well, I think you are wise; may God preserve you from that love."

"You say, that as soon as the king sees me he will fall in love with me,
and to tell you the truth that strikes me as vastly improbable; for
though it is quite possible that he may not think me plain, or he might
even pronounce me pretty, yet I do not think he will become so madly in
love as you say."

"You don't? Let us sit down. You have only got to fancy that the king
will take the same liking to you that I have done; that is all."

"But what do you find in me that you will not find in most girls of my
age? I certainly may have struck you; but that only proves that I was
born to exercise this sway over you, and not at all that I am to rule the
king in like manner. Why should I go and look for the king, if you love
me yourself?"

"Because I cannot give you the position you deserve."

"I should have thought you had plenty of money."

"Then there's another reason: you are not in love with me."

"I love you as tenderly as if I were your wife. I might then kiss you,
though duty now forbids my doing so."

"I am much obliged to you for not being angry with me for being so happy
with you!"

"On the contrary, I am delighted to please you."

"Then you will allow me to call on you at an early hour to-morrow, and to
take coffee at your bedside."

"Do not dream of such a thing. If I would I could not. I sleep with my
aunt, and I always rise at the same time she does. Take away your hand;
you promised not to do it again. In God's name, let me alone."

Alas! I had to stop; there was no overcoming her. But what pleased me
extremely was that in spite of my amorous persecution she did not lose
that smiling calm which so became her. As for myself I looked as if I
deserved that pardon for which I pleaded on my knees, and in her eyes I
read that she was sorry that she could not grant what I required of her.

I could no longer stay beside her, my senses were too excited by her
beauty. I left her and went to my room where I found the kind Manon
busying herself on my cuffs, and she gave me the relief I wanted, and
when we were both satisfied made her escape. I reflected that I should
never obtain more than I had obtained hitherto from young Mdlle.
Roman--at least, unless I gave the lie to my horoscope by marrying her,
and I decided that I would not take any further steps in the matter. I
returned to the garden, and going up to the aunt I begged her to walk
with me. In vain I urged the worthy woman to accept a hundred louis for
her niece's journey from me. I swore to her by all I held sacred that no
one else should ever know of the circumstance. All my eloquence and all
my prayers were in vain. She told me that if her niece's destiny only
depended on that journey all would be well, for she had thought over a
plan which would, with her husband's consent, enable Mdlle. Roman to go
to Paris. At the same time she gave me her sincerest thanks, and said
that her niece was very fortunate to have pleased me so well.

"She pleased me so well," I replied, "that I have resolved to go away
to-morrow to avoid making proposals to you which would bring the great
fortune that awaits her to nought. If it were not for that I should have
been happy to have asked her hand of you."

"Alas! her happiness would, perhaps, be built on a better foundation.
Explain yourself."

"I dare not wage war with fate."

"But you are not going to-morrow?"

"Excuse me, but I shall call to take leave at two o'clock."

The news of my approaching departure saddened the supper-table. Madame
Morin, who, for all I know, may be alive now, was a most kind-hearted
woman. At table she announced her resolve that as I had decided on going,
and as I should only leave my house to take leave of her, she would not
force me to put myself out to such an extent, and ordained that our
farewells should be said that evening.

"At least," I said, "I may have the honour of escorting you to your

"That will protract our happiness for some minutes." Valenglard went away
on foot, and the fair Mdlle. Roman sat on my knee. I dared to be bold
with her, and contrary to expectation she shewed herself so kind that I
was half sorry I was going; but the die was cast.

A carriage lying overturned on the road outside an inn made my coachman
stop a short while, and this accident which made the poor driver curse
overwhelmed me with joy, for in these few moments I obtained all the
favours that she could possibly give under the circumstances.

Happiness enjoyed alone is never complete. Mine was not until I assured
myself, by looking at my sweetheart's features, that the part she had
taken had not been an entirely passive one; and I escorted the ladies to
their room. There, without any conceit, I was certain that I saw sadness
and love upon that fair creature's face. I could see that she was neither
cold nor insensible, and that the obstacles she had put in my way were
only suggested by fear and virtue. I gave Madame Morin a farewell kiss,
and she was kind enough to tell her niece to give me a similar mark of
friendship, which she did in a way that shewed me how completely she had
shared my ardour.

I left them, feeling amorous and sorry I had obliged myself to go. On
entering my room I found the three nymphs together, which vexed me as I
only wanted one. I whispered my wishes to Rose as she curled my hair, but
she told me it was impossible for her to slip away as they all slept in
one room. I then told them that I was going away the next day, and that
if they would pass the night with me I would give them a present of six
louis each. They laughed at my proposal and said it couldn't possibly be
done. I saw by this they had not made confidantes of one another, as
girls mostly do, and I also saw that they were jealous of each other. I
wished them a good night, and as soon as I was in bed the god of dreams
took me under his care, and made me pass the night with the adorable
Mdlle. Roman.

I rang rather late in the morning, and the cousin came in and said that
Rose would bring my chocolate, and that M. Charles Ivanoff wanted to
speak to me. I guessed that this was the Russian, but as he had not been
introduced to me I thought I might decline to see him.

"Tell him I don't know his name."

Rose went out, and came in again saying he was the gentleman who had had
the honour of supping with me at Madame Morin's.

"Tell him to come in."

"Sir," said he, "I want to speak with you in private."

"I cannot order these young ladies to leave my room, sir. Be kind enough
to wait for me outside till I have put on my dressing-gown, and then I
shall be ready to speak to you."

"If I am troubling you, I will call again to-morrow."

"You would not find me, as I am leaving Grenoble to-day."

"In that case I will wait."

I got up in haste and went out to him.

"Sir," said he, "I must leave this place, and I have not a penny to pay
my landlord. I beg of you to come to my aid. I dare not have recourse to
anyone else in the town for fear of exposing myself to the insult of a

"Perhaps I ought to feel myself flattered at the preference you have
shewn me, but without wishing to insult you in any way I am afraid I
shall be obliged to refuse your request."

"If you knew who I am I am sure you would not refuse me some small help."

"If you think so, tell me who you are; you may count on my silence."

"I am Charles, second son of Ivan, Duke of Courland, who is in exile in
Siberia. I made my escape."

"If you go to Genoa you will find yourself beyond the reach of poverty;
for no doubt the brother of your lady-mother would never abandon you."

"He died in Silesia."


"Two years ago, I believe."

"You have been deceived, for I saw him at Stuttgart scarcely six months
ago. He is the Baron de Treiden."

It did not cost me much to get wind of the adventurer, but I felt angry
that he had had the impudence to try and dupe me. If it had not been for
that I would willingly have given him six louis, for it would have been
bad form on my part to declare war against adventurers, as I was one
myself, and I ought to have pardoned his lies as nearly all adventurers
are more or less impostors. I gave a glance at his diamond buckles, which
were considered real at Grenoble, and I saw directly that they were
counterfeits of a kind made in Venice, which imitate the facets of the
diamonds in perfection, except to people who are experienced in diamonds.

"You have diamond buckles," said I. "Why don't you sell them?"

"It's the last piece of jewellery I possess out of all my mother gave me,
and I promised her never to part with them."

"I would not shew those buckles if I were you; your pocket would be a
better place for them. I may tell you frankly that I believe the stones
to be counterfeit, and that your lie displeases me."

"Sir, I am not a liar."

"We shall see. Prove that the stones are genuine, and I will give you six
louis. I shall be delighted if I am in the wrong. Farewell."

Seeing M. de Valerlglard coming up to my door, he begged me not to tell
him of what had passed between us; and I promised that I would tell no

Valenglard came to wish me a prosperous journey; he himself was obliged
to go with M. Monteinard. He begged me to correspond constantly with him,
and I had been intending to prefer the same request, as I took too great
an interest in the fair Mdlle. Roman not to wish to hear of her fate, and
the correspondence the worthy officer desired was the best way possible
for me to hear about her. As will be imagined, I promised what he asked
without making any difficulty. He shed tears as he embraced me, and I
promised to be his friend.


My Departure from Grenoble--Avignon--The Fountain of Vaucluse--The False
Astrodi and the Humpback--Gaetan Costa--I Arrive at Marseilles

While the three girls were helping Le Duc to pack my mails my landlord
entered, gave me his bill, and finding everything correct I paid him,
much to his satisfaction. I owed him a compliment, too, at which he
seemed extremely gratified.

"Sir," said I, "I do not wish to leave your house without having the
pleasure of dining with your charming girls, to shew them how I
appreciate the care they have taken of me. Let me have, then, a delicate
repast for four, and also order post horses, that I may start in the

"Sir," broke in Le Duc, "I entreat you to order a saddle-horse besides; I
was not made for a seat behind a chaise."

The cousin laughed openly at his vain boasting, and to avenge himself the
rascal told her that he was better than she.

"Nevertheless, M. le Duc, you will have to wait on her at table."

"Yes, as she waits on you in bed."

I ran for my stick, but the rogue, knowing what was going to happen,
opened the window and jumped into the courtyard. The girls gave a shriek
of terror, but when we looked out we saw him jumping about and performing
a thousand apish tricks.

Very glad to find that he had not broken a limb, I called out, "Come
back, I forgive you." The girls, and the man himself who escaped so
readily, were as delighted as I. Le Duc came in in high spirits,
observing that he did not know he was such a good jumper.

"Very good, but don't be so impudent another time. Here, take this

So saying, I gave him a valuable gold watch, which he received, saying,--

"I would jump again for another watch like this."

Such was my Spaniard, whom I had to dismiss two years afterwards. I have
often missed him.

The hours went by with such speed when I was seated at table with the
three girls, whom I vainly endeavoured to intoxicate, that I decided that
I would not leave till the next day. I was tired of making mysteries and
wanted to enjoy them all together, and resolved that the orgy should take
place that night. I told them that if they would pass the night in my
room I would not go till the next day. This proposition was received with
a storm of exclamations and with laughter, as at an impossibility, while
I endeavoured to excite them to grant my request. In the midst of this
the door-keeper came in, advising me not to travel by night, but to go to
Avignon by a boat in which I could ship my carriage.

"You will save time and money," said he.

"I will do so," I answered, "if these girls of yours will keep me company
all night, as I am determined I will not go to bed."

"O Lord!" said he with a laugh, "that's their business."

This decided them and they gave in. The door-keeper sent to order the
boat, and promised to let me have a dainty supper by midnight.

The hours passed by in jests and merriment, and when we sat down to
supper I made the champagne corks fly to such an extent that the girls
began to get rather gay. I myself felt a little heated, and as I held
each one's secret I had the hardihood to tell them that their scruples
were ridiculous, as each of them had shewn no reserve to me in private.

At this they gazed at one another in a kind of blank surprise, as if
indignant at what I had said. Foreseeing that feminine pride might prompt
them to treat my accusation as an idle calumny, I resolved not to give
them time, and drawing Manon on to my knee I embraced her with such
ardour that she gave in and abandoned herself to my passion. Her example
overcame the others, and for five hours we indulged in every kind of
voluptuous enjoyment. At the end of that time we were all in need of
rest, but I had to go. I wanted to give them some jewels, but they said
they would rather I ordered gloves to the amount of thirty louis, the
money to be paid in advance, and the gloves not to be called for.

I went to sleep on board the boat, and did not awake till we got to
Avignon. I was conducted to the inn of "St. Omen" and supped in my room
in spite of the marvellous tales which Le Duc told me of a young beauty
at the public table.

Next morning my Spaniard told me that the beauty and her husband slept in
a room next to mine. At the same time he brought me a bill of the play,
and I saw Company from Paris, with Mdlle. Astrodi, who was to sing and
dance. I gave a cry of wonder, and exclaimed,--

"The famous Astrodi at Avignon--how she will be astonished to see me!"

Not wanting to live in hermit fashion, I went downstairs to dine at the
public table, and I found a score of people sitting down to such a choice
repast that I could not conceive how it could be done for forty sous a
head. The fair stranger drew all eyes, and especially mine, towards her.
She was a young and perfect beauty, silent, her eyes fixed on a napkin,
replying in monosyllables to those who addressed her, and glancing at the
speaker with large blue eyes, the beauty of which it would be difficult
to describe. Her husband was seated at the other end of the table--a man
of a kind that inspires contempt at the first glance. He was young,
marked with the small-pox, a greedy eater, a loud talker, laughing and
speaking at random, and altogether I took him for a servant in disguise.
Feeling sure that such a fellow did not know how to refuse, I sent him a
glass of champagne, which he drank off to my health forthwith. "May I
have the pleasure of sending a glass to your wife?" He replied, with a
roar of laughter, to ask her myself; and with a slight bow she told me
that she never took anything to drink. When the dessert came in she rose,
and her husband followed her to their room.

A stranger who like myself had never seen her before, asked me who she
was. I said I was a newcomer and did not know, and somebody else said
that her husband called himself the Chevalier Stuard, that he came from
Lyons, and was going to Marseilles; he came, it appeared, to Avignon a
week ago, without servants, and in a very poor carriage.

I intended staying at Avignon only as long as might be necessary to see
the Fountain or Fall of Vaucluse, and so I had not got any letters of
introduction, and had not the pretext of acquaintance that I might stay
and enjoy her fine eyes. But an Italian who had read and enjoyed the
divine Petrarch would naturally wish to see the place made divine by the
poet's love for Laura. I went to the theatre, where I saw the vice-legate
Salviati, women of fashion, neither fair nor foul, and a wretched comic
opera; but I neither saw Astrodi nor any other actor from the Comedie
Italienne at Paris.

"Where is the famous Astrodi?" said I, to a young man sitting by me, "I
have not seen her yet."

"Excuse me, she has danced and sang before your eyes."

"By Jove, it's impossible! I know her perfectly, and if she has so
changed as not to be recognized she is no longer herself."

I turned to go, and two minutes after the young man I had addressed came
up and begged me to come back, and he would take me to Astradi's
dressing-room, as she had recognized me. I followed him without saying a
word, and saw a plain-looking girl, who threw her arms round my neck and
addressed me by my name, though I could have sworn I had never seen her
before, but she did not leave me time to speak. Close by I saw a man who
gave himself out as the father of the famous Astrodi, who was known to
all Paris, who had caused the death of the Comte d'Egmont, one of the
most amiable noblemen of the Court of Louis XV. I thought this ugly
female might be her sister, so I sat down and complimented her on her
talents. She asked if I would mind her changing her dress; and in a
moment she was running here and there, laughing and shewing a liberality
which possibly might have been absent if what she had to display had been
worth seeing.

I laughed internally at her wiles, for after my experiences at Grenoble
she would have found it a hard task to arouse my desires if she had been
as pretty as she was ugly. Her thinness and her tawny skin could not
divert my attention from other still less pleasing features about her. I
admired her confidence in spite of her disadvantages. She must have
credited me with a diabolic appetite, but these women often contrive to
extract charms out of their depravity which their delicacy would be
impotent to furnish. She begged me to sup with her, and as she persisted
I was obliged to refuse her in a way I should not have allowed myself to
use with any other woman. She then begged me to take four tickets for the
play the next day, which was to be for her benefit. I saw it was only a
matter of twelve francs, and delighted to be quit of her so cheaply I
told her to give me sixteen. I thought she would have gone mad with joy
when I gave her a double louis. She was not the real Astrodi. I went back
to my inn and had a delicious supper in my own room.

While Le Duc was doing my hair before I went to bed, he told me that the
landlord had paid a visit to the fair stranger and her husband before
supper, and had said in clear terms that he must be paid next morning;
and if he were not, no place would be laid for them at table, and their
linen would be detained.

"Who told you that?"

"I heard it from here; their room is only separated from this by a wooden
partition. If they were in it now, I am sure they could hear all we are

"Where are they, then?"

"At table, where they are eating for to-morrow, but the lady is crying.
There's a fine chance for you, sir."

"Be quiet; I shan't have anything to do with it. It's a trap, for a woman
of any worth would die rather than weep at a public table."

"Ah, if you saw how pretty she looks in tears! I am only a poor devil,
but I would willingly give her two louis if she would earn them."

"Go and offer her the money."

A moment after the gentleman and his wife came back to their room, and I
heard the loud voice of the one and the sobs of the other, but as he was
speaking Walloon I did not understand what he said.

"Go to bed," said I to Le Duc, "and next morning tell the landlord to get
me another room, for a wooden partition is too thin a barrier to keep off
people whom despair drive to extremities."

I went to bed myself, and the sobs and muttering did not die away till

I was shaving next morning, when Le Duc announced the Chevalier Stuard.

"Say I don't know anybody of that name."

He executed my orders, and returned saying that the chevalier on hearing
my refusal to see him had stamped with rage, gone into his chamber, and
come out again with his sword beside him.

"I am going to see," added Le Duc, "that your pistols are well primed for
the future."

I felt inclined to laugh, but none the less I admired the foresight of my
Spaniard, for a man in despair is capable of anything.

"Go," said I, "and ask the landlord to give me another room."

In due course the landlord came himself and told me that he could not
oblige me until the next day.

"If you don't get me another room I shall leave your house on the spot,
because I don't like hearing sobs and reproaches all night."

"Can you hear them, sir?"

"You can hear them yourself now. What do you think of it? The woman will
kill herself, and you will be the cause of her death."

"I, sir? I have only asked them to pay me my just debts."

"Hush! there goes the husband. I am sure he is telling his wife in his
language that you are an unfeeling monster."

"He may tell her what he likes so long as he pays me."

"You have condemned them to die of hunger. How much do they owe you?"

"Fifty francs."

"Aren't you ashamed of making such a row for a wretched sum like that?"

"Sir, I am only ashamed of an ill deed, and I do not commit such a deed
in asking for my own."

"There's your money. Go and tell them that you have been paid, and that
they may eat again; but don't say who gave you the money."

"That's what I call a good action," said the fellow; and he went and told
them that they did not owe him anything, but that they would never know
who paid the money.

"You may dine and sup," he added, "at the public table, but you must pay
me day by day."

After he had delivered this speech in a high voice, so that I could hear
as well as if I had been in the room, he came back to me.

"You stupid fool!" said I, pushing him away, "they will know everything."
So saying I shut my door.

Le Duc stood in front of me, staring stupidly before him.

"What's the matter with you, idiot?" said I.

"That's fine. I see. I am going on the stage. You would do well to become
an actor."

"You are a fool."

"Not so big a fool as you think."

"I am going for a walk; mind you don't leave my room for a moment."

I had scarcely shut the door when the chevalier accosted me and
overwhelmed me with thanks.

"Sir, I don't know to what you are referring."

He thanked me again and left me, and walking by the banks of the Rhone,
which geographers say is the most rapid river in Europe, I amused myself
by looking at the ancient bridge. At dinner-time I went back to the inn,
and as the landlord knew that I paid six francs a meal he treated me to
an exquisite repast. Here, I remember, I had some exceedingly choice
Hermitage. It was so delicious that I drank nothing else. I wished to
make a pilgrimage to Vaucluse and begged the landlord to procure me a
good guide, and after I had dressed I went to the theatre.

I found the Astrodi at the door, and giving her my sixteen tickets, I sat
down near the box of the vice-legate Salviati, who came in a little
later, surrounded by a numerous train of ladies and gentlemen bedizened
with orders and gold lace.

The so-called father of the false Astrodi came and whispered that his
daughter begged me to say that she was the celebrated Astrodi I had known
at Paris. I replied, also in a whisper, that I would not run the risk of
being posted as a liar by bolstering up an imposture. The ease with which
a rogue invites a gentleman to share in a knavery is astonishing; he must
think his confidence confers an honour.

At the end of the first act a score of lackeys in the prince's livery
took round ices to the front boxes. I thought it my duty to refuse. A
young gentleman, as fair as love, came up to me, and with easy politeness
asked me why I had refused an ice.

"Not having the honour to know anyone here, I did not care that anyone
should be able to say that he had regaled one who was unknown to him."

"But you, sir, are a man who needs no introduction."

"You do me too much honour."

"You are staying at the 'St. Omer'!"

"Yes; I am only stopping here to see Vaucluse, where I think of going
to-morrow if I can get a good guide."

"If you would do me the honour of accepting me, I should be delighted. My
name is Dolci, I am son of the captain of the vice-legate's guard."

"I feel the honour you do me, and I accept your obliging offer. I will
put off my start till your arrival."

"I will be with you at seven."

I was astonished at the easy grace of this young Adonis, who might have
been a pretty girl if the tone of his voice had not announced his
manhood. I laughed at the false Astrodi, whose acting was as poor as her
face, and who kept staring at me all the time. While she sang she
regarded me with a smile and gave me signs of an understanding, which
must have made the audience notice me, and doubtless pity my bad taste.
The voice and eyes of one actress pleased me; she was young and tall, but
hunchbacked to an extraordinary degree. She was tall in spite of her
enormous humps, and if it had not been for this malformation she would
have been six feet high. Besides her pleasing eyes and very tolerable
voice I fancied that, like all hunchbacks, she was intelligent. I found
her at the door with the ugly Astrodi when I was leaving the theatre. The
latter was waiting to thank me, and the other was selling tickets for her

After the Astrodi had thanked me, the hunchbacked girl turned towards me,
and with a smile that stretched from ear to ear and displayed at least
twenty-four exquisite teeth, she said that she hoped I would honour her
by being present at her benefit.

"If I don't leave before it comes off, I will," I replied.

At this the impudent Astrodi laughed, and in the hearing of several
ladies waiting for their carriages told me that her friend might be sure
of my presence, as she would not let me go before the benefit night.
"Give him sixteen tickets," she added. I was ashamed to refuse, and gave
her two louis. Then in a lower voice the Astrodi said, "After the show we
will come and sup with you, but on the condition that you ask nobody
else, as we want to be alone."

In spite of a feeling of anger, I thought that such a supper-party would
be amusing, and as no one in the town knew me I resolved to stay in the
hope of enjoying a hearty laugh.

I was having my supper when Stuard and his wife went to their room. This
night I heard no sobs nor reproaches, but early next morning I was
surprised to see the chevalier who said, as if we had been old friends,
that he had heard that I was going to Vaucluse, and that as I had taken a
carriage with four places he would be much obliged if I would allow him
and his wife, who wanted to see the fountain, to go with me. I consented.

Le Duc begged to be allowed to accompany me on horseback, saying that he
had been a true prophet. In fact it seemed as if the couple had agreed to
repay me for my expenditure by giving me new hopes. I was not displeased
with the expedition, and it was all to my advantage, as I had had
recourse to no stratagems to obtain it.

Dolci came, looking as handsome as an angel; my neighbours were ready,
and the carriage loaded with the best provisions in food and drink that
were obtainable; and we set off, Dolci seated beside the lady and I
beside the chevalier.

I had thought that the lady's sadness would give place, if not to gaiety,
at least to a quiet cheerfulness, but I was mistaken; for, to all my
remarks, grave or gay, she replied, either in monosyllables or in a
severely laconic style. Poor Dolci, who was full of wit, was stupefied.
He thought himself the cause of her melancholy, and was angry with
himself for having innocently cast a shadow on the party of pleasure. I
relieved him of his fears by telling him that when he offered me his
pleasant society I was not aware that I was to be of service to the fair
lady. I added that when at day-break I received this information, I was
pleased that he would have such good company. The lady did not say a
word. She kept silent and gloomy all the time, and gazed to right and
left like one who does not see what is before his [her] eyes.

Dolci felt at ease after my explanation, and did his best to arouse the
lady, but without success. He talked on a variety of topics to the
husband, always giving her an opportunity of joining in, but her lips
remained motionless. She looked like the statue of Pandora before it had
been quickened by the divine flame.

The beauty of her face was perfect; her eyes were of a brilliant blue,
her complexion a delicate mixture of white and red, her arms were as
rounded as a Grace's, her hands plump and well shaped, her figure was
that of a nymph's, giving delightful hints of a magnificent breast; her
hair was a chestnut brown, her foot small: she had all that constitutes a
beautiful woman save that gift of intellect, which makes beauty more
beautiful, and gives a charm to ugliness itself. My vagrant fancy shewed
me her naked form, all seemed ravishing, and yet I thought that though
she might inspire a passing fancy she could not arouse a durable
affection. She might minister to a man's pleasures, she could not make
him happy. I arrived at the isle resolved to trouble myself about her no
more; she might, I thought, be mad, or in despair at finding herself in
the power of a man whom she could not possibly love. I could not help
pitying her, and yet I could not forgive her for consenting to be of a
party which she knew she must spoil by her morose behaviour.

As for the self-styled Chevalier Stuard, I did not trouble my head
whether he were her husband or her lover. He was young,
commonplace-looking, he spoke affectedly; his manners were not good, and
his conversation betrayed both ignorance and stupidity. He was a beggar,
devoid of money and wits, and I could not make out why he took with him a
beauty who, unless she were over-kind, could add nothing to his means of
living. Perhaps he expected to live at the expense of simpletons, and had
come to the conclusion, in spite of his ignorance, that the world is full
of such; however, experience must have taught him that this plan cannot
be relied on.

When we got to Vaucluse I let Dolci lead; he had been there a hundred
times, and his merit was enhanced in my eyes by the fact that he was a
lover of the lover of Laura. We left the carriage at Apt, and wended our
way to the fountain which was honoured that day with a numerous throng of
pilgrims. The stream pours forth from a vast cavern, the handiwork of
nature, inimitable by man. It is situated at the foot of a rock with a
sheer descent of more than a hundred feet. The cavern is hardly half as
high, and the water pours forth from it in such abundance that it
deserves the name of river at its source. It is the Sorgue which falls
into the Rhone near Avignon. There is no other stream as pure and clear,
for the rocks over which it flows harbour no deposits of any kind. Those
who dislike it on account of its apparent blackness should remember that
the extreme darkness of the cavern gives it that gloomy tinge.

     Chiare fresche a dolce aque
     Ove le belle membra
     Pose colei the sola a me pay donna.

I wished to ascend to that part of the rock where Petrarch's house stood.
I gazed on the remains with tears in my eyes, like Leo Allatius at
Homer's grave. Sixteen years later I slept at Arqua, where Petrarch died,
and his house still remains. The likeness between the two situations was
astonishing, for from Petrarch's study at Arqua a rock can be seen
similar to that which may be viewed at Vaucluse; this was the residence
of Madonna Laura.

"Let us go there," said I, "it is not far off."

I will not endeavour to delineate my feelings as I contemplated the ruins
of the house where dwelt the lady whom the amorous Petrarch immortalised
in his verse--verse made to move a heart of stone:

     "Morte bella parea nel suo bel viso"

I threw myself with arms outstretched upon the ground as if I would
embrace the very stones. I kissed them, I watered them with my tears, I
strove to breathe the holy breath they once contained. I begged Madame
Stuard's pardon for having left her arm to do homage to the spirit of a
woman who had quickened the profoundest soul that ever lived.

I say soul advisedly, for after all the body and the senses had nothing
to do with the connection.

"Four hundred years have past and gone," said I to the statue of a woman
who gazed at me in astonishment, "since Laura de Sade walked here;
perhaps she was not as handsome as you, but she was lively, kindly,
polite, and good of heart. May this air which she breathed and which you
breathe now kindle in you the spark of fire divine; that fire that
coursed through her veins, and made her heart beat and her bosom swell.
Then you would win the worship of all worthy men, and from none would you
receive the least offence. Gladness, madam, is the lot of the happy, and
sadness the portion of souls condemned to everlasting pains. Be cheerful,
then, and you will do something to deserve your beauty."

The worthy Dolci was kindled by my enthusiasm. He threw himself upon me,
and kissed me again and again; the fool Stuard laughed; and his wife, who
possibly thought me mad, did not evince the slightest emotion. She took
my arm, and we walked slowly towards the house of Messer Francesco
d'Arezzo, where I spent a quarter of an hour in cutting my name. After
that we had our dinner.

Dolci lavished more attention on the extraordinary woman than I did.
Stuard did nothing but eat and drink, and despised the Sorgue water,
which, said he, would spoil the Hermitage; possibly Petrarch may have
been of the same opinion. We drank deeply without impairing our reason,
but the lady was very temperate. When we reached Avignon we bade her
farewell, declining the invitation of her foolish husband to come and
rest in his rooms.

I took Dolci's arm and we walked beside the Rhone as the sun went down.
Among other keen and witty observations the young man said,--

"That woman is an old hand, infatuated with a sense of her own merit. I
would bet that she has only left her own country because her charms, from
being too freely displayed, have ceased to please there. She must be sure
of making her fortune out of anybody she comes across. I suspect that the
fellow who passes for her husband is a rascal, and that her pretended
melancholy is put on to drive a persistent lover to distraction. She has
not yet succeeded in finding a dupe, but as she will no doubt try to
catch a rich man, it is not improbable that she is hovering over you.".

When a young man of Dolci's age reasons like that, he is bound to become
a great master. I kissed him as I bade him good-night, thanked him for
his kindness, and we agreed that we would see more of one another.

As I came back to my inn I was accosted by a fine-looking man of middle
age, who greeted me by name and asked with great politeness if I had
found Vaucluse as fine as I had expected. I was delighted to recognize
the Marquis of Grimaldi, a Genoese, a clever and good-natured man, with
plenty of money, who always lived at Venice because he was more at
liberty to enjoy himself there than in his native country; which shews
that there is no lack of freedom at Venice.

After I had answered his question I followed him into his room, where
having exhausted the subject of the fountain he asked me what I thought
of my fair companion.

"I did not find her satisfactory in all respects," I answered; and
noticing the reserve with which I spoke, he tried to remove it by the
following confession:

"There are some very pretty women in Genoa, but not one to compare with
her whom you took to Vaucluse to-day. I sat opposite to her at table
yesterday evening, and I was struck with her perfect beauty. I offered
her my arm up the stair; I told her that I was sorry to see her so sad,
and if I could do anything for her she had only to speak. You know I was
aware she had no money. Her husband, real or pretended, thanked me for my
offer, and after I had wished them a good night I left them.

"An hour ago you left her and her husband at the door of their apartment,
and soon afterwards I took the liberty of calling. She welcomed me with a
pretty bow, and her husband went out directly, begging me to keep her
company till his return. The fair one made no difficulty in sitting next
to me on a couch, and this struck me as a good omen, but when I took her
hand she gently drew it away. I then told, her, in as few words as I
could, that her beauty had made me in love with her, and that if she
wanted a hundred louis they were at her service, if she would drop her
melancholy, and behave in a manner suitable to the feelings with which
she had inspired me. She only replied by a motion of the head, which
shewed gratitude, but also an absolute refusal of my offer. 'I am going
to-morrow,' said I. No answer. I took her hand again, and she drew it
back with an air of disdain which wounded me. I begged her to excuse me,
and I left the room without more ado.

"That's an account of what happened an hour ago. I am not amorous of her,
it was only a whim; but knowing, as I do, that she has no money, her
manner astonished me. I fancied that you might have placed her in a
position to despise my offer, and this would explain her conduct, in a
measure; otherwise I can't understand it at all. May I ask you to tell me
whether you are more fortunate than I?"

I was enchanted with the frankness of this noble gentleman, and did not
hesitate to tell him all, and we laughed together at our bad fortune: I
had to promise to call on him at Genoa, and tell him whatever happened
between us during the two days I purposed to remain at Avignon. He asked
me to sup with him and admire the fair recalcitrant.

"She has had an excellent dinner," said I, "and in all probability she
will not have any supper."

"I bet she will," said the marquis; and he was right, which made me see
clearly that the woman was playing a part. A certain Comte de Bussi, who
had just come, was placed next to her at table. He was a good-looking
young man with a fatuous sense of his own superiority, and he afforded us
an amusing scene.

He was good-natured, a wit, and inclined to broad jokes, and his manner
towards women bordered on the impudent. He had to leave at midnight and
began to make love to his fair neighbour forthwith, and teased her in a
thousand ways; but she remained as dumb as a statue, while he did all the
talking and laughing, not regarding it within the bounds of possibility
that she might be laughing at him.

I looked at M. Grimaldi, who found it as difficult to keep his
countenance as I did. The young roue was hurt at her silence, and
continued pestering her, giving her all the best pieces on his plate
after tasting them first. The lady refused to take them, and he tried to
put them into her mouth, while she repulsed him in a rage. He saw that no
one seemed inclined to take her part, and determined to continue the
assault, and taking her hand he kissed it again and again. She tried to
draw it away, and as she rose he put his arm round her waist and made her
sit down on his knee; but at this point the husband took her arm and led
her out of the room. The attacking party looked rather taken aback for a
moment as he followed her with his eyes, but sat down again and began to
eat and laugh afresh, while everybody else kept a profound silence. He
then turned to the footman behind his chair and asked him if his sword
was upstairs. The footman said no, and then the fatuous young man turned
to an abbe who sat near me, and enquired who had taken away his mistress:

"It was her husband," said the abbe.

"Her husband! Oh, that's another thing; husbands don't fight--a man of
honour always apologises to them."

With that he got up, went upstairs, and came down again directly,

"The husband's a fool. He shut the door in my face, and told me to
satisfy my desires somewhere else. It isn't worth the trouble of
stopping, but I wish I had made an end of it."

He then called for champagne, offered it vainly to everybody, bade the
company a polite farewell and went upon his way.

As M. Grimaldi escorted me to my room he asked me what I had thought of
the scene we had just witnessed. I told him I would not have stirred a
finger, even if he had turned up her clothes.

"No more would I," said he, "but if she had accepted my hundred louis it
would have been different. I am curious to know the further history of
this siren, and I rely upon you to tell me all about it as you go through

He went away at day-break next morning.

When I got up I received a note from the false Astrodi, asking me if I
expected her and her great chum to supper. I had scarcely replied in the
affirmative, when the sham Duke of Courland I had left at Grenoble
appeared on the scene. He confessed in a humble voice that he was the son
of clock-maker at Narva, that his buckles were valueless, and that he had
come to beg an alms of me. I gave him four Louis, and he asked me to keep
his secret. I replied that if anyone asked me about him that I should say
what was absolutely true, that I knew him nothing about him. "Thank you;
I am now going to Marseilles." "I hope you will have a prosperous
journey." Later on my readers will hear how I found him at Genoa. It is
a good thing to know something about people of his kind, of whom there
are far too many in the world.

I called up the landlord and told him I wanted a delicate supper for
three in my own room.

He told me that I should have it, and then said, "I have just had a row
with the Chevalier Stuard."

"What about?"

"Because he has nothing to pay me with, and I am going to turn them out
immediately, although the lady is in bed in convulsions which are
suffocating her."

"Take out your bill in her charms."

"Ah, I don't care for that sort of thing! I am getting on in life, and I
don't want any more scenes to bring discredit on my house."

"Go and tell her that from henceforth she and her husband will dine and
sup in their own room and that I will pay for them as long as I remain

"You are very generous, sir, but you know that meals in a private room
are charged double."

"I know they are."

"Very good."

I shuddered at the idea of the woman being turned out of doors without
any resources but her body, by which she refused to profit. On the other
hand I could not condemn the inn-keeper who, like his fellows, was not
troubled with much gallantry. I had yielded to an impulse of pity without
any hopes of advantage for myself. Such were my thoughts when Stuard came
to thank me, begging me to come and see his wife and try and persuade her
to behave in a different manner.

"She will give me no answers, and you know that that sort of thing is
rather tedious."

"Come, she knows what you have done for her; she will talk to you, for
her feelings . . . ."

"What business have you to talk about feelings after what happened
yesterday evening?"

"It was well for that gentleman that he went away at midnight, otherwise
I should have killed him this morning."

"My dear sir, allow me to tell you that all that is pure braggadocio.
Yesterday, not to-day, was the time to kill him, or to throw your plate
at his head, at all events. We will now go and see your wife."

I found her in bed, her face to the wall, the coverlet right up to her
chin, and her body convulsed with sobs. I tried to bring her to reason,
but as usual got no reply. Stuard wanted to leave me, but I told him that
if he went out I would go too, as I could do nothing to console her, as
he might know after her refusing the Marquis of Grimaldi's hundred louis
for a smile and her hand to kiss.

"A hundred Louis!" cried the fellow with a sturdy oath; "what folly! We
might have been at home at Liege by now. A princess allows one to kiss
her hand for nothing, and she.... A hundred Louis! Oh, damnable!"

His exclamations, very natural under the circumstances, made me feel
inclined to laugh. The poor devil swore by all his gods, and I was about
to leave the room, when all at once the wretched woman was seized with
true or false convulsions. With one hand she seized a water-bottle and
sent it flying into the middle of the room, and with the other she tore
the clothes away from her breast. Stuard tried to hold her, but her
disorder increased in violence, and the coverlet was disarranged to such
a degree that I could see the most exquisite naked charms imaginable. At
last she grew calm, and her eyes closed as if exhausted; she remained in
the most voluptuous position that desire itself could have invented. I
began to get very excited. How was I to look on such beauties without
desiring to possess them? At this point her wretched husband left the
room, saying he was gone to fetch some water. I saw the snare, and my
self-respect prevented my being caught in it. I had an idea that the
whole scene had been arranged with the intent that I should deliver
myself up to brutal pleasure, while the proud and foolish woman would be
free to disavow all participation in the fact. I constrained myself, and
gently veiled what I would fain have revealed in all its naked beauty. I
condemned to darkness these charms which this monster of a woman only
wished me to enjoy that I might be debased.

Stuard was long enough gone. When he came back with the water-bottle
full, he was no doubt surprised to find me perfectly calm, and in no
disorder of any kind, and a few minutes afterwards I went out to cool
myself by the banks of the Rhone.

I walked along rapidly, feeling enraged with myself, for I felt that the
woman had bewitched me. In vain I tried to bring myself to reason; the
more I walked the more excited I became, and I determined that after what
I had seen the only cure for my disordered fancy was enjoyment, brutal or
not. I saw that I should have to win her, not by an appeal to sentiment
but by hard cash, without caring what sacrifices I made. I regretted my
conduct, which then struck me in the light of false delicacy, for if I
had satisfied my desires and she chose to turn prude, I might have
laughed her to scorn, and my position would have been unassailable. At
last I determined on telling the husband that I would give him
twenty-five louis if he could obtain me an interview in which I could
satisfy my desires.

Full of this idea I went back to the inn, and had my dinner in my own
room without troubling to enquire after her. Le Duc told me that she was
dining in her room too, and that the landlord had told the company that
she would not take her meals in public any more. This was information I
possessed already.

After dinner I called on the good-natured Dolci, who introduced me to his
father, an excellent man, but not rich enough to satisfy his son's desire
of travelling. The young man was possessed of considerable dexterity, and
performed a number of very clever conjuring tricks. He had an amiable
nature, and seeing that I was curious to know about his love affairs he
told me numerous little stories which shewed me that he was at that happy
age when one's inexperience is one's sole misfortune.

There was a rich lady for whom he did not care, as she wanted him to give
her that which he would be ashamed to give save for love, and there was a
girl who required him to treat her with respect. I thought I could give
him a piece of good advice, so I told him to grant his favours to the
rich woman, and to fail in respect now and again to the girl, who would
be sure to scold and then forgive. He was no profligate, and seemed
rather inclined to become a Protestant. He amused himself innocently with
his friends of his own age, in a garden near Avignon, and a sister of the
gardener's wife was kind to him when they were alone.

In the evening I went back to the inn, and I had not long to wait for the
Astrodi and the Lepi (so the hunchbacked girl was named); but when I saw
these two caricatures of women I felt stupefied. I had expected them, of
course, but the reality confounded me. The Astrodi tried to
counterbalance her ugliness by an outrageous freedom of manners; while
the Lepi, who though a hunchback was very talented and an excellent
actress, was sure of exciting desire by the rare beauty of her eyes and
teeth, which latter challenged admiration from her enormous mouth by
their regularity and whiteness. The Astrodi rushed up to me and gave me
an Italian embrace, to which, willy nilly, I was obliged to submit. The
quieter Lepi offered me her cheek, which I pretended to kiss. I saw that
the Astrodi was in a fair way to become intolerable, so I begged her to
moderate her transports, because as a novice at these parties I wanted to
get accustomed to them by degrees. She promised that she would be very

While we were waiting for supper I asked her, for the sake of something
to say, whether she had found a lover at Avignon.

"Only the vice-legate's auditor," she replied; "and though he makes me
his pathic he is good-natured and generous. I have accustomed myself to
his taste easily enough, though I should have thought such a thing
impossible a year ago, as I fancied the exercise a harmful one, but I was

"So the auditor makes a boy of you?"

"Yes. My sister would have adored him, as that sort of love is her

"But your sister has such fine haunches."

"So have I! Look here, feel me."

"You are right; but wait a bit, it is too soon for that kind of thing

"We will be wanton after supper."

"I think you are wanton now," said the Lepi.


"Why? Ought you to shew your person like that?"

"My dear girl, you will be shewing yourself soon. When one is in good
company, one is in the golden age."

"I wonder at your telling everyone what sort of a connection you have
with the auditor," said I.

"Nonsense! I don't tell everyone, but everyone tells me and congratulates
me too. They know the worthy man never cared for women, and it would be
absurd to deny what everybody guesses. I used to be astonished at my
sister, but the best plan in this world is to be astonished at nothing.
But don't you like that?"

"No, I only like this."

As I spoke I laid hands on the Lepi, on the spot where one usually finds
what I called "this;" but the Astrodi, seeing that I found nothing, burst
into a roar of laughter, and taking my hand put it just under her front
hump, where at last I found what I wanted. The reader will guess my
surprise. The poor creature, too ashamed to be prudish, laughed too. My
spirits also begin to rise, as I thought of the pleasure I should get out
of this new discovery after supper.

"Have you never had a lover?" said I to the Lepi.

"No," said the Astrodi, "she is still a maid."

"No, I am not," replied the Lepi, in some confusion, "I had a lover at
Bordeaux, and another at Montpellier."

"Yes, I know, but you are still as you were born."

"I can't deny it."

"What's that? Two lovers and still a maid! I don't understand; please
tell me about it, for I have never heard of such a thing."

"Before I satisfied my first lover which happened when I was only twelve,
I was just the same as I am now."

"It's wonderful. And what did he say when he saw it?"

"I swore that he was my first, and he believed me, putting it down to the
peculiar shape of my body."

"He was a man of spirit; but didn't he hurt you?"

"Not a bit; but then he was very gentle."

"You must have a try after supper," said the Astrodi to me, "that would
be fine fun."

"No, no," said the Lepi, "the gentleman would be too big for me."

"Nonsense! You don't want to take in all of him. I will show you how it

With these words the impudent hussy proceeded to exhibit me, and I let
her do what she liked.

"That's just what I should have thought," cried the Lepi; "it could never
be done."

"Well, he is rather big," answered the Astrodi; "but there's a cure for
everything, and he will be content with half-measures."

"It's not the length, my dear, but the thickness which frightens me; I am
afraid the door is too narrow."

"All the better for you, for you can sell your maidenhead after having
had two lovers."

This conversation, not devoid of wit, and still more the simplicity of
the hunchback, had made me resolve to verify things for myself.

Supper came up, and I had the pleasure of seeing the two nymphs eat like
starving savages, and drink still better. When the Hermitage had done its
work the Astrodi proposed that we should cast off the clothes which
disfigure nature.

"Certainly," said I; "and I will turn away while you are getting ready."

I went behind the curtains, took off my clothes, and went to bed with my
back to them. At last the Astrodi told me that they were ready, and when
I looked the Lepi took up all my attention. In spite of her double
deformity she was a handsome woman. My glances frightened her, for she
was doubtless taking part in an orgy for the first time. I gave her
courage, however, by dint of praising those charms which the white and
beautiful hands could not hide, and at last I persuaded her to come and
lie beside me. Her hump prevented her lying on her back, but the
ingenious Astrodi doubled up the pillows and succeeded in placing her in
a position similar to that of a ship about to be launched. It was also by
the tender care of the Astrodi that the introduction of the knife was
managed, to the great delight of priest and victim. After the operation
was over she got up and kissed me, which she could not do before, for her
mouth reached to the middle of my chest, while my feet were scarcely down
to her knees. I would have given ten louis to have been able to see the
curious sight we must have presented at work.

"Now comes my turn," said the Astrodi; "but I don't want you to infringe
on the rights of my auditor, so come and look round and see where the
path lies. Take that."

"What am I to do with this slice of lemon?"

"I want you to try whether the place is free from infection, or whether
it would be dangerous for you to pay it a visit."

"Is that a sure method?"

"Infallible; if everything were not right I could not bear the smart."

"There you are. How's that?"

"All right; but don't deceive me, I want no half measures. My reputation
would be made if I became with child."

I ask my reader's leave to draw a veil over some incidents of this truly
scandalous orgy, in which the ugly woman taught me some things I did not
know before. At last, more tired than exhausted, I told them to begone,
but the Astrodi insisted on finishing up with a bowl of punch. I agreed,
but not wishing to have anything more to do with either of them I dressed
myself again. However, the champagne punch excited them to such an extent
that at last they made me share their transports. The Astrodi placed her
friend in such a singular position that the humps were no longer visible,
and imagining that I had before me the high priestess of Jove, I paid her
a long sacrifice, in which death and resurrection followed one another in
succession. But I felt disgusted with myself, and drew away from their
lascivious frenzies, and gave them ten Louis to get rid of them. The
Astrodi fell on her knees, blessed me, thanked me, called me her god; and
the Lepi wept and laughed for joy at the same time; and thus for a
quarter of an hour I was treated to a scene of an extraordinary kind.

I had them taken home in my carriage, and slept till ten o'clock next
morning. Just as I was going out for a walk Stuard came to my room and
told me, with an air of despair, that if I did not give him the means of
going away before I left he would throw himself in the Rhine.

"That's rather tragic," said I, "but I can find a cure. I will disburse
twenty-five Louis, but it is your wife who must receive them; and the
only condition is that she must receive me alone for an hour, and be
entirely kind."

"Sir, we need just that sum; my wife is disposed to receive you; go and
talk to her. I shall not be in till noon."

I put twenty-five Louis in a pretty little purse, and left my room
thinking that the victory was won. I entered her room and approached her
bed respectfully. When she heard me she sat up in bed without taking the
trouble to cover her breast, and before I could wish her good-day she
spoke to me as follows:

"I am ready, sir, to pay with my body for the wretched twenty-five Louis
of which my husband is in need. You can do what you like with me; but
remember that in taking advantage of my position to assuage your brutal
lust you are the viler of the two, for I only sell myself so cheaply
because necessity compels me to do so. Your baseness is more shameful
than mine. Come on; here I am."

With this flattering address she threw off the coverlet with a vigorous
gesture, and displayed all her beauties, which I might have gazed on with
such different feelings from those which now filled my breast. For a
moment I was silent with indignation. All my passion had evaporated; in
those voluptuous rounded limbs I saw now only the covering of a wild
beast's soul. I put back the coverlet with the greatest calmness, and
addressed her in a tone of cold contempt:

"No, madam, I shall not leave this room degraded because you have told me
so, but I shall leave it after imparting to you a few degrading truths,
of which you cannot be ignorant if you are a woman of any decency
whatever. Here are twenty-five louis, a wretched sum to give a virtuous
woman in payment of her favours, but much more than you deserve. I am not
brutal, and to convince you of the fact I am going to leave you in the
undisturbed possession of your charms, which I despise as heartily as I
should have admired them if your behaviour had been different. I only
give you the money from a feeling of compassion which I cannot overcome,
and which is the only feeling I now have for you. Nevertheless, let me
tell you that whether a woman sells herself for twenty-five louis or
twenty-five million louis she is as much a prostitute in the one case as
in the other, if she does not give her love with herself, or at all
events the semblance of love. Farewell."

I went back to my room, and in course of time Stuard came to thank me.

"Sir," said I, "let me alone; I wish to hear no more about your wife."

They went away the next day for Lyons, and my readers will hear of them
again at Liege.

In the afternoon Dolci took me to his garden that I might see the
gardener's sister. She was pretty, but not so pretty as he was. He soon
got her into a good humour, and after some trifling objection she
consented to be loved by him in my presence. I saw that this Adonis had
been richly dowered by nature, and I told him that with such a physical
conformation he had no need of emptying his father's purse to travel, and
before long he took my advice. This fair Ganymede might easily have
turned me into Jove, as he struggled amorously with the gardener's

As I was going home I saw a young man coming out of a boat; he was from
twenty to twenty-five years old, and looked very sad. Seeing me looking
at him, he accosted me, and humbly asked for alms, shewing me a document
authorizing him to beg, and a passport stating he had left Madrid six
weeks before. He came from Parma, and was named Costa. When I saw Parma
my national prejudice spoke in his favour, and I asked him what
misfortune had reduced him to beggary.

"Only lack of money to return to my native country," said he.

"What were you doing at Madrid, and why did you leave?"

"I was there four years as valet to Dr. Pistoria, physician to the King
of Spain, but on my health failing I left him. Here is a certificate
which will shew you that I gave satisfaction."

"What can you do?"

"I write a good hand, I can assist a gentleman as his secretary, and I
intend being a scribe when I get home. Here are some verses I copied

"You write well; but can you write correctly without a book?"

"I can write from dictation in French, Latin, and Spanish."


"Yes, sir, if the dictation is done properly, for it is the business of
the one who dictates to see that everything is correct."

I saw that Master Gaetan Costa was an ignoramus, but in spite of that I
took him to my room and told Le Duc to address him in Spanish. He
answered well enough, but on my dictating to him in Italian and French I
found he had not the remotest ideas on orthography.

"But you can't write," said I to him. However, I saw he was mortified at
this, and I consoled him by saying that I would take him to his own
country at my expense. He kissed my hand, and assured me that I should
find a faithful servant in him.

This young fellow took my fancy by his originality; he had probably
assumed it to distinguish himself from the blockheads amongst whom he had
hitherto lived, and now used it in perfect good faith with everybody. He
thought that the art of a scribe solely consisted in possessing a good
hand, and that the fairest writer would be the best scribe. He said as
much while he was examining a paper I had written, and as my writing was
not as legible as his he tacitly told me I was his inferior, and that I
should therefore treat him with some degree of respect. I laughed at this
fad, and, not thinking him incorrigible I took him into my service. If it
had not been for that odd notion of his I should probably have merely
given him a louis, and no more. He said that spelling was of no
consequence, as those who knew how to spell could easily guess the words,
while those who did not know were unable to pick out the mistakes. I
laughed, but as I said nothing he thought the laugh signified approval.
In the dictation I gave him the Council of Trent happened to occur.
According to his system he wrote Trent by a three and a nought. I burst
out laughing; but he was not in the least put out, only remarking that
the pronunciation being the same it was of no consequence how the word
was spelt. In point of fact this lad was a fool solely through his
intelligence, matched with ignorance and unbounded self-confidence. I was
pleased with his originality and kept him, and was thus the greater fool
of the two, as the reader will see.

I left Avignon next day, and went straight to Marseilles, not troubling
to stop at Aix. I halted at the "Treize Cantons," wishing to stay for a
week at least in this ancient colony of the Phocaeans, and to do as I
liked there. With this idea I took no letter of introduction; I had
plenty of money, and needed nobody's help. I told my landlord to give me
a choice fish dinner in my own room, as I was aware that the fish in
those parts is better than anywhere else.

I went out the next morning with a guide, to take me back to the inn when
I was tired of walking. Not heeding where I went, I reached a fine quay;
I thought I was at Venice again, and I felt my bosom swell, so deeply is
the love of fatherland graven on the heart of every good man. I saw a
number of stalls where Spanish and Levantine wines were kept, and a
number of people drinking in them. A crowd of business men went hither
and thither, running up against each other, crossing each other's paths,
each occupied with his own business, and not caring whose way he got
into. Hucksters, well dressed and ill dressed, women, pretty and plain,
women who stared boldly at everyone, modest maidens with downcast eyes,
such was the picture I saw.

The mixture of nationalities, the grave Turk and the glittering
Andalusian, the French dandy, the gross Negro, the crafty Greek, the dull
Hollander; everything reminded me of Venice, and I enjoyed the scene.

I stopped a moment at a street corner to read a playbill, and then I went
back to the inn and refreshed my weary body with a delicious dinner,
washed down with choice Syracusan wine. After dinner I dressed and took a
place in the amphitheatre of the theatre.


Rosalie--Toulon--Nice--I Arrive at Genoa--M. Grimaldi--Veronique and Her

I noticed that the four principal boxes on both sides of the proscenium
were adorned with pretty women, but not a single gentleman. In the
interval between the first and second acts I saw gentlemen of all classes
paying their devoirs to these ladies. Suddenly I heard a Knight of Malta
say to a girl, who was the sole occupant of a box next to me,

"I will breakfast with you to-morrow."

This was enough for me. I looked at her more closely and finding her to
be a dainty morsel I said, as soon as the knight had gone--

"Will you give me my supper?"

"With pleasure; but I have been taken in so often that I shan't expect
you without an earnest."

"How can I give you an earnest? I don't understand."

"You must be a new-comer here."

"Just arrived."

She laughed, called the knight, and said,--

"Be pleased to explain to this gentleman, who has just asked me for
supper, the meaning of the word 'earnest.'"

The good-natured knight explained, with a smile, that the lady, fearing
lest my memory should prove defective, wanted me to pay for my supper in
advance. I thanked him, and asked her if a louis would be enough; and on
her replying in the affirmative, I gave her the Louis and asked for her
address. The knight told me politely that he would take me there himself
after the theatre, adding,--

"She's the wantonest wench in all Marseilles."

He then asked me if I knew the town, and when I told him that I had only
come that day he said he was glad to be the first to make my
acquaintance. We went to the middle of, the amphitheatre and he pointed
out a score of girls to right and left, all of them ready to treat the
first comer to supper. They are all on the free list, and the manager
finds they serve his ends as respectable women will not sit in their
boxes, and they draw people to the theatre. I noticed five or six of a
better type than the one I had engaged, but I resolved to stick to her
for the evening, and to make the acquaintance of the others another time.

"Is your favourite amongst them?" I said to the knight.

"No, I keep a ballet-girl, and I will introduce you to her, as I am glad
to say that I am free from all jealousy."

When the play came to an end he took me to my nymph's lodging, and we
parted with the understanding that we were to see more of one another.

I found the lady in undress--a circumstance which went against her, for
what I saw did not please me. She gave me a capital supper, and enlivened
me by some witty and wanton sallies which made me regard her in a more
favourable light. When we had supper she got into bed, and asked me to
follow her example; but I told her that I never slept out. She then
offered me the English article which brings peace to the soul, but I did
not accept the one she offered as I thought it looked of a common make.

"I have finer ones, but they are three francs each, and the maker only
sells them by the dozen," she said. "I will take a dozen if they are
really good," I replied.

She rang the bell, and a young, charming, and modest-looking girl came
in. I was struck with her.

"You have got a nice maid," I remarked, when the girl had gone for the
protective sheaths.

"She is only fifteen," she said, "and won't do anything, as she is new to

"Will you allow me to see for myself?"

"You may ask her if you like, but I don't think she will consent."

The girl came back with the packet, and putting myself in a proper
position I told her to try one on. She proceeded to do so with a sulky
air and with a kind of repugnance which made me feel interested in her.
Number one would not go on, so she had to try on a second, and the result
was that I besprinkled her plentifully. The mistress laughed, but she was
indignant, threw the whole packet in my face, and ran away in a rage. I
wanted nothing more after this, so I put the packet in my pocket, gave
the woman two Louis, and left the room. The girl I had treated so
cavalierly came to light me downstairs, and thinking I owed her an
apology I gave her a Louis and begged her pardon. The poor girl was
astonished, kissed my hand, and begged me to say nothing to her mistress.

"I will not, my dear, but tell me truly whether you are still a 'virgo

"Certainly, sir!"

"Wonderful! but tell me why you wouldn't let me see for myself?"

"Because it revolted me."

"Nevertheless you will have to do so, for otherwise, in spite of your
prettiness, people will not know what to make of you. Would you like to
let me try?"

"Yes, but not in this horrible house."

"Where, then?"

"Go to my mother's to-morrow, I will be there. Your guide knows where she

When I got outside, I asked the man if he knew her. He replied in the
affirmative, and said he believed her to be an honest girl.

"You will take me to-morrow to see her mother," I said.

Next morning he took me to the end of the town, to a poor house, where I
found a poor woman and poor children living on the ground floor, and
eating hard black bread.

"What do you want?" said she.

"Is you daughter here?"

"No, and what if she were? I am not her bawd."

"No, of course not, my good woman."

Just then the girl came in, and the enraged mother flung an old pot which
came handy, at her head. Luckily it missed, but she would not have
escaped her mother's talons if I had not flung myself between them.
However, the old woman set up a dismal shriek, the children imitated her,
and the poor girl began to cry. This hubbub made my man come in.

"You hussy!" screamed the mother, "you are bringing disgrace on me; get
out of my house. You are no longer my daughter!"

I was in a difficult position. The man begged her not to make such a
noise, as it would draw all the neighbours about the house; but the
enraged woman answered only by abuse. I drew six francs from my pocket
and gave them to her, but she flung them in my face. At last I went out
with the daughter, whose hair she attempted to pull out by the roots,
which project was defeated by the aid of my man. As soon as we got
outside, the mob which the uproar had attracted hooted me and followed
me, and no doubt I should have been torn to pieces if I had not escaped
into a church, which I left by another door a quarter of an hour later.
My fright saved me, for I knew the ferocity of the Provencals, and I took
care not to reply a word to the storm of abuse which poured on me. I
believe that I was never in greater danger than on that day.

Before I got back to my inn I was rejoined by the servant and the girl.

"How could you lead me into such a dangerous position?" said I. "You must
have known your mother was savage."

"I hoped she would behave respectfully to you."

"Be calm; don't weep any more. Tell me how I can serve you."

"Rather than return to that horrible house I was in yesterday I would
throw myself into the sea."

"Do you know of any respectable house where I can keep her?" said I to
the man.

He told me he did know a respectable individual who let furnished

"Take me to it, then."

The man was of an advanced age, and he had rooms to let on all the

"I only want a little nook," said the girl; and the old man took us to
the highest story, and opened the door of a garret, saying--

"This closet is six francs a month, a month's rent to be paid in advance,
and I may tell you that my door is always shut at ten o'clock, and that
nobody can come and pass the night with you."

The room held a bed with coarse sheets, two chairs, a little table, and a
chest of drawers.

"How much will you board this young woman for?" said I.

He asked twenty sous, and two sous for the maid who would bring her meals
and do her room.

"That will do," said the girl, and she paid the month's rent and the
day's board. I left her telling her I would come back again.

As I went down the stairs I asked the old man to shew me a room for
myself. He skewed me a very nice one at a Louis a month, and I paid in
advance. He then gave me a latch-key, that I might go and come when I

"If you wish to board here," said he, "I think I could give

Having done this good work, I had my dinner by myself, and then went to a
coffee-house where I found the amiable Knight of Malta who was playing.
He left the game as soon as he saw me, put the fistfull of gold he had
won into his pocket, accosted me with the politeness natural to a
Frenchman, and asked me how I had liked the lady who had given me my
supper. I told him what had happened, at which he laughed, and asked me
to come and see his ballet-girl. We found her under the hairdresser's
hands, and she received me with the playful familiarity with which one
greets an old acquaintance. I did not think much of her, but I pretended
to be immensely struck, with the idea of pleasing the good-natured

When the hairdresser left her, it was time for her to get ready for the
theatre, and she dressed herself, without caring who was present. The
knight helped her to change her chemise, which she allowed him to do as a
matter of course, though indeed she begged me to excuse her.

As I owed her a compliment, I could think of nothing better than to tell
her that though she had not offended me she had made me feel very

"I don't believe you," said she.

"It's true all the same."

She came up to me to verify the fact, and finding I had deceived her, she
said half crossly,

"You are a bad fellow."

The women of Marseilles are undoubtedly the most profligate in France.
They not only pride themselves on never refusing, but also on being the
first to propose. This girl skewed me a repeater, for which she had got
up a lottery at twelve francs a ticket. She had ten tickets left; I took
them all, and so delighted was she to touch my five Louis that she came
and kissed me, and told the knight that her unfaithfulness to him rested
only with me.

"I am charmed to hear it," said the Maltese. He asked me to sup with her,
and I accepted the invitation, but the sole pleasure I had was looking at
the knight at work. He was far inferior to Dolci!

I wished them good night, and went to the house where I had placed the
poor girl. The maid skewed me to my room, and I asked her if I might go
to the garret. She took the light, I followed her up, and Rosalie, as the
poor girl was named, heard my voice and opened the door. I told the maid
to wait for me in my room, and I went in and sat down on the bed.

"Are you contented, dear?" I said.

"I am quite happy."

"Then I hope you will be kind, and find room for me in your bed."

"You may come if you like, but I must tell you that you will not find me
a maid, as I have had one lover."

"You told me a lie, then?"

"Forgive me, I could not guess you would be my lover."

"I forgive you willingly; all the more so as I am no great stickler for

She was as gentle as a lamb, and allowed me to gaze on all those charms
of which my hands and my lips disputed the possession; and the notion
that I was master of all these treasures put fire in all my veins, but
her submissive air distressed me.

"How is it you do not partake my desires?" said I.

"I dare not, lest you take me for a pretender."

Artifice or studied coquetry might have prompted such an answer, but the
real timidity and the frankness with which these words were uttered could
not have been assumed. Impatient to gain possession of her I took off my
clothes, and on getting into bed to her I was astonished to find her a

"Why did you tell me you had a lover?" said I. "I never heard of a girl
telling a lie of that sort before."

"All the same I did not tell a lie, but I am very glad that I seem as if
I had done so."

"Tell me all about it."

"Certainly I will, for I want to win your confidence. This is the story:

"Two years ago my mother, though she was hot-tempered, still loved me. I
was a needle-woman, and earned from twenty to thirty sous a day. Whatever
I earned I gave my mother. I had never had a lover, never thought of such
a thing, and when my goodness was praised I felt inclined to laugh. I had
been brought up from a child never to look at young men when I met them
in the street, and never to reply to them when they addressed any
impudence to me.

"Two months ago a fine enough looking young man, a native of Genoa, and a
merchant in a small way, came to my mother to get her to wash some very
fine cotton stockings which the sea-water had stained. When he saw me he
was very complimentary, but in an honest way. I liked him, and, no doubt
seeing it, he came and came again every evening. My mother was always
present at our interviews, and he looked at me and talked to me, but did
not so much as ask to kiss my hand. My mother was very pleased to notice
that the young man liked me, and often scolded me because I was not
polite enough to him. In time he had to go to Genoa in a small ship which
belonged to him, and which was laden with goods. He assured us that he
would return again the next spring and declare his intentions. He said he
hoped he should find me as good as ever, and still without any lover.
This was enough; my mother looked upon him as my betrothed, and let us
talk together at the door till midnight. When he went I would shut the
door and lie down beside my mother, who was always asleep.

"Four or five days before his departure, he took my arm and got me to go
with him to a place about fifty paces from the house to drink a glass of
Muscat at a Greek's, who kept his tavern open all night. We were only
away for half an hour, and then it was that he first kissed me. When I
got home I found my mother awake, and told her all; it seemed so harmless
to me.

"Next day, excited by the recollection of what had happened the night
before, I went with him again, and love began to gain ground. We indulged
in caresses which were no longer innocent, as we well knew. However, we
forgave each other, as we had abstained from the chief liberty.

"The day after, my lover--as he had to journey in the night--took leave
of my mother, and as soon as she was in bed I was not longer in granting
what I desired as much as he. We went to the Greek's, ate and drank, and
our heated senses gained love's cause; we forgot our duty, and fancied
our misdemeanour a triumph.

"Afterwards we fell asleep, and when we awoke we saw our fault in the
clear, cold light of day. We parted sorrowful rather than rejoicing, and
the reception my mother gave me was like that you witnessed this morning.
I assured her that marriage would take away the shame of my sin, and with
this she took up a stick and would have done for me, if I had not taken
to my heels, more from instinct than from any idea of what I was doing.

"Once in the street I knew not where to turn, and taking refuge in a
church I stayed there like one in a dream till noon. Think of my
position. I was hungry, I had no refuge, nothing but the clothes I wore,
nothing that would get me a morsel of bread. A woman accosted me in the
street. I knew her and I also knew that she kept a servants' agency. I
asked her forthwith if she could get me a place.

"'I had enquiries about a maid this morning,' said she, 'but it is for a
gay woman, and you are pretty. You would have a good deal of difficulty
in remaining virtuous.'

"'I can keep off the infection,' I answered, 'and in the position I am in
I cannot pick and choose.'

"She thereupon took me to the lady, who was delighted to see me, and
still more delighted when I told her that I had never had anything to do
with a man. I have repented of this lie bitterly enough, for in the week
I spent at that profligate woman's house I have had to endure the most
humiliating insults that an honest girl ever suffered. No sooner did the
men who came to the house hear that I was a maid than they longed to
slake their brutal lust upon me, offering me gold if I would submit to
their caresses. I refused and was reviled, but that was not all. Five or
six times every day I was obliged to remain a witness of the disgusting
scenes enacted between my mistress and her customers, who, when I was
compelled to light them about the house at night, overwhelmed me with
insults, because I would not do them a disgusting service for a
twelve-sous piece. I could not bear this sort of life much longer, and I
was thinking of drowning myself. When you came you treated me so
ignominiously that my resolve to die was strengthened, but you were so
kind and polite as you went away that I fell in love with you directly,
thinking that Providence must have sent you to snatch me away from the
abyss. I thought your fine presence might calm my mother and persuade her
to take me back till my lover came to marry me. I was undeceived, and I
saw that she took me for a prostitute. Now, if you like, I am altogether
yours, and I renounce my lover of whom I am no longer worthy. Take me as
your maid, I will love you and you only; I will submit myself to you and
do whatever you bid me."

Whether it were weakness or virtue on my part, this tale of woe and a
mother's too great severity drew tears from my eyes, and when she saw my
emotion she wept profusely, for her heart was in need of some relief.

"I think, my poor Rosalie, you have only one chemise."

"Alas! that is all."

"Comfort yourself, my dear; all your wants shall be supplied tomorrow, and
in the evening you shall sup with me in my room on the second floor. I
will take care of you."

"You pity me, then?"

"I fancy there is more love than pity in it."

"Would to God it were so!"

This "would to God," which came from the very depths of her soul, sent me
away in a merry mood. The servant who had been waiting for me for two
hours, and was looking rather glum, relaxed when she saw the colour of a
crown which I gave her by way of atonement.

"Tell your master," said I, "that Rosalie will sup with me to-morrow; let
us have a fasting dinner, but let it be a good one."

I returned to my inn quite in love with Rosalie, and I congratulated
myself on having at last heard a true tale from a pretty mouth. She
appeared to me so well disposed that her small failing seemed to make her
shine the more. I resolved never to abandon her, and I did so in all
sincerity; was I not in love?

After I had had my chocolate next morning I went out with a guide to the
shops, where I got the necessary articles, paying a good but not an
excessive price. Rosalie was only fifteen, but with her figure, her
well-formed breasts, and her rounded arms, she would have been taken for
twenty. Her shape was so imprinted on my brain that everything I got for
her fitted as if she had been measured for it. This shopping took up all
the morning, and in the afternoon the man took her a small trunk
containing two dresses, chemises, petticoats, handkerchiefs, stockings,
gloves, caps, a pair of slippers, a fan, a work-bag, and a mantle. I was
pleased at giving her such a delightful surprise, and I longed for
suppertime that I might enjoy the sight of her pleasure.

The Knight of Malta came to dine with me without ceremony, and I was
charmed to see him. After we had dined he persuaded me to go to the
theatre, as in consequence of the suspense of the subscription
arrangements the boxes would be filled with all the quality in

"There will be no loose women in the amphitheatre," said he, "as
everybody has to pay."

That decided me and I went. He presented me to a lady with an excellent
connection, who asked me to come and see her. I excused myself on the
plea that I was leaving so shortly. Nevertheless she was very useful to
me on my second visit to Marseilles. Her name was Madame Audibert.

I did not wait for the play to end, but went where love called me. I had
a delightful surprise when I saw Rosalie; I should not have known her.
But I cannot resist the pleasure of recalling her picture as she stood
before me then, despite the years that have rolled by since that happy

Rosalie was an enticing-looking brunette, above the middle height. Her
face was a perfect oval, and exquisitely proportioned. Two fine black
eyes shed a soft and ravishing light around. Her eyebrows were arched,
and she had a wealth of hair, black and shining as ebony; her skin was
while and lightly tinged with colour. On her chin was a dimple, and her
slightest smile summoned into being two other dimples, one on each cheek.
Her mouth was small, disclosing two rows of fairest orient pearls, and
from her red lips flowed forth an indefinable sweetness. The lower lip
projected ever so lightly, and seemed designed to hold a kiss. I have
spoken of her arms, her breast, and her figure, which left nothing to be
desired, but I must add to this catalogue of her charms, that her hand
was exquisitely shaped, and that her foot was the smallest I have ever
seen. As to her other beauties, I will content myself with saying that
they were in harmony with those I have described.

To see her at her best, one had to see her smiling; and hitherto she had
been sad or vexed--states of mind which detract from a woman's
appearance. But now sadness was gone, and gratitude and pleasure had
taken its place. I examined her closely, and felt proud, as I saw what a
transformation I had effected; but I concealed my surprise, lest she
should think I had formed an unfavourable impression of her. I proceeded,
therefore, to tell her that I should expose myself to ridicule if I
attempted to keep a beauty like herself for a servant.

"You shall be my mistress," I said, "and my servants shall respect you as
if you were my wife."

At this Rosalie, as if I had given her another being, began to try and
express her gratitude for what I had done. Her words, which passion made
confused, increased my joy; here was no art nor deceit, but simple

There was no mirror in her garret, so she had dressed by her sense of
touch, and I could see that she was afraid to stand up and look at
herself in the mirror in my room. I knew the weak spot in all women's
hearts (which men are very wrong in considering as matter for reproach),
and I encouraged her to admire herself, whereupon she could not restrain
a smile of satisfaction.

"I think I must be in disguise," said she, "for I have never seen myself
so decked out before."

She praised the tasteful simplicity of the dress I had chosen, but was
vexed at the thought that her mother would still be displeased.

"Think no more of your mother, dearest one. You look like a lady of
quality, and I shall be quite proud when the people at Genoa ask me if
you are my daughter."

"At Genoa?"

"Yes, at Genoa. Why do you blush?"

"From surprise; perhaps I may see there one whom I have not yet

"Would you like to stay here better?"

"No, no! Love me and be sure that I love you and for your own sake, not
from any thought of my own interests."

"You are moved, my angel; let me wipe away your tears with kisses."

She fell into my arms, and she relieved the various feelings of which her
heart was full by weeping for some time. I did not try to console her,
for she had not grief; she wept as tender souls, and women, more
especially, often will. We had a delicious supper to which I did honour
for two, for she ate nothing. I asked her if she was so unfortunate as
not to care for good food.

"I have as good an appetite as anyone," she replied, "and an excellent
digestion. You shall see for yourself when I grow more accustomed to my
sudden happiness."

"At least you can drink; this wine is admirable. If you prefer Greek
muscat I will send for some. It will remind you of your lover."

"If you love me at all, I beg you will spare me that mortification."

"You shall have no more mortification from me, I promise you. It was only
a joke, and I beg your pardon for it."

"As I look upon you I feel in despair at not having known you first."

"That feeling of yours, which wells forth from the depths of your open
soul, is grand. You are beautiful and good, for you only yielded to the
voice of love with the prospect of becoming his wife; and when I think
what you are to me I am in despair at not being sure you love me. An evil
genius whispers in my ear that you only bear with me because I had the
happiness of helping you."

"Indeed, that is an evil genius. To be sure, if I had met you in the
street I should not have fallen head over ears in love with you, like a
wanton, but you would certainly have pleased me. I am sure I love you,
and not for what you have done for me; for if I were rich and you were
poor, I would do anything in the world for you. But I don't want it to be
like that, for I had rather be your debtor than for you to be mine. These
are my real feelings, and you can guess the rest."

We were still talking on the same subject when midnight struck, and my
old landlord came and asked me if I were pleased.

"I must thank you," I replied, "I am delighted. Who cooked this delicious

"My daughter."

"She understands her craft; tell her I thought it excellent."

"Yes, sir, but it is dear."

"Not too dear for me. You shall be pleased with me as I with you, and
take care to have as good a supper to-morrow evening, as I hope the lady
will be well enough to do justice to the products of your daughter's
culinary skill."

"Bed is a capital place to get an appetite. Ah! it is sixty years since I
have had anything to do with that sort of thing. What are you laughing
at, mademoiselle?"

"At the delight with which you must recollect it."

"You are right, it is a pleasant recollection; and thus I am always ready
to forgive young folks the peccadilloes that love makes them commit."

"You are a wise old man," said I, "everyone should sympathise with the
tenderest of all our mortal follies."

"If the old man is wise," said Rosalie, when he had left the room, "my
mother must be very foolish."

"Would you like me to take you to the play to-morrow?"

"Pray do not. I will come if you like, but it will vex me very much. I
don't want to walk out with you or to go to the theatre with you here.
Good heavens! What would people say. No, neither at Marseilles; but
elsewhere, anything you please and with all my heart."

"Very good, my dear, just as you please. But look at your room; no more
garret for you; and in three days we will start."

"So soon?"

"Yes; tell me to-morrow what you require for the journey, for I don't
want you to lack for anything, and if you leave it all to me I might
forget something which would vex me."

"Well, I should like another cloak, a cloak with a lining, some boots, a
night-cap, and a prayer-book."

"You know how to read, do you?"

"Certainly; and I can write fairly well."

"I am glad to hear it. Your asking me so freely for what you want is a
true proof of your love; where confidence dwells not there is no love. I
will not forget anything, but your feet are so small that I should advise
you to get your boots yourself."

Our talk was so pleasant, and I experienced such delight in studying her
disposition, that we did not go to bed till five o'clock. In the arms of
love and sleep we spent seven delicious hours, and when we rose at noon
we were fast lovers. She called me thou, talked of love and not of
gratitude, and, grown more familiar with her new estate, laughed at her
troubles. She kissed me at every opportunity, called me her darling boy,
her joy, and as the present moment is the only real thing in this life, I
enjoyed her love, I was pleased with her caresses, and put away all ideas
of the dreadful future, which has only one certainty--death, 'ultima
linea rerum'.

The second night was far sweeter than the first; she had made a good
supper, and drunk well, though moderately; thus she was disposed to
refine on her pleasure, and to deliver herself with greater ardour to all
the voluptuous enjoyments which love inspires.

I gave her a pretty watch and a gold shuttle for her to amuse herself

"I wanted it," said she, "but I should never have dared to ask for it."

I told her that this fear of my displeasure made me doubt once more
whether she really loved me. She threw herself into my arms, and promised
that henceforth she would shew me the utmost confidence.

I was pleased to educate this young girl, and I felt that when her mind
had been developed she would be perfect.

On the fourth day I warned her to hold herself in readiness to start at a
moment's notice. I had said nothing about my plans to Costa or Le Duc,
but Rosalie knew that I had two servants, and I told her that I should
often make them talk on the journey for the sake of the laughter their
folly would afford me.

"You, my dear," I had said to her, "must be very reserved with them, and
not allow them to take the slightest liberty. Give them your orders as a
mistress, but without pride, and you will be obeyed and respected. If
they forget themselves in the slightest particular, tell me at once."

I started from the hotel of the "Treize Cantons" with four post-horses,
Le Duc and Costa sitting on the coachman's seat. The guide, whom I had
paid well for his services, took us to Rosalie's door. I got out of the
carriage, and after thanking the kindly old landlord, who was sorry to
lose so good a boarder, I made her get in, sat down beside her, and
ordered the postillions to go to Toulon, as I wished to see that fine
port before returning to Italy. We got to Toulon at five o'clock.

My Rosalie behaved herself at supper like the mistress of a house
accustomed to the best society. I noticed that Le Duc as head man made
Costa wait upon her, but I got over him by telling my sweetheart that he
would have the honour of doing her hair, as he could do it as well as the
best barber in Paris. He swallowed the golden pill, and gave in with a
good grace, and said, with a profound bow, that he hoped to give madam

We went out next morning to see the port, and were shewn over the place
by the commandant, whose acquaintance we made by a lucky chance. He
offered his arm to Rosalie, and treated her with the consideration she
deserved for her appearance and the good sense of her questions. The
commandant accepted my invitation to dinner, at which Rosalie spoke to
the point though not to excess, and received the polite compliments of
our worthy guest with much grace. In the afternoon he took us over the
arsenal, and after having him to dinner could not refuse his invitation
to supper. There was no difficulty about Rosalie; the commandant
introduced her immediately to his wife, his daughter, and his son. I was
delighted to see that her manner with ladies even surpassed her manner
with gentlemen. She was one of Nature's own ladies. The commandant's wife
and daughter caressed her again and again, and she received their
attentions with that modest sensibility which is the seal of a good

They asked me to dinner the next day, but I was satisfied with what I had
seen, so I took leave, intending to start on the morrow.

When we got back to the inn I told her how pleased I was with her, and
she threw her arms round my neck for joy.

"I am always afraid," said she, "of being asked who I am."

"You needn't be afraid, dearest; in France no gentleman or lady would
think of asking such a question."

"But if they did, what ought I to do?"

"You should make use of an evasion."

"What's an evasion?"

"A way of escaping from a difficulty without satisfying impertinent

"Give me an example."

"Well, if such a question were asked you, you might say, 'You had better
ask this gentleman.'"

"I see, the question is avoided; but is not that impolite?"

"Yes; but not so impolite as to ask an embarrassing question."

"And what would you say if the question was passed on to you?"

"Well, my answer would vary in a ratio with the respect in which I held
the questioner. I would not tell the truth, but I should say something.
And I am glad to see you attentive to my lessons. Always ask questions,
and you will always find me ready to answer, for I want to teach you. And
now let us to bed; we have to start for Antibes at an early hour, and
love will reward you for the pleasure you have given me to-day."

At Antibes I hired a felucca to take me to Genoa, and as I intended to
return by the same route I had my carriage warehoused for a small monthly
payment. We started early with a good wind, but the sea becoming rough,
and Rosalie being mortally afraid, I had the felucca rowed into
Villafranca, where I engaged a carriage to take me to Nice. The weather
kept us back for three days, and I felt obliged to call on the
commandant, an old officer named Peterson.

He gave me an excellent reception, and after the usual compliments had
passed, said,--

"Do you know a Russian who calls himself Charles Ivanoff?"

"I saw him once at Grenoble."

"It is said that he has escaped from Siberia, and that he is the younger
son of the Duke of Courland."

"So I have heard, but I know no proof of his claim to the title."

"He is at Genoa, where it is said a banker is to give him twenty thousand
crowns. In spite of that, no one would give him a sou here, so I sent him
to Genoa at my own expense, to rid the place of him."

I felt very glad that the Russian had gone away before my arrival. An
officer named Ramini, who was staying at the same inn as myself, asked if
I would mind taking charge of a packet which M. de St. Pierre, the
Spanish consul, had to send to the Marquis Grimaldi, at Genoa. It was the
nobleman I had just seen at Avignon, and I was pleased to execute the
commission. The same officer asked me whether I had ever seen a certain
Madame Stuard.

"She came here a fortnight ago with a man who calls himself her husband.
The poor devils hadn't a penny, and she, a great beauty, enchanted
everybody, but would give no one a smile or a word."

"I have both seen and know her," I answered. "I furnished her with the
means to come here. How could she leave Nice without any money?"

"That's just what no one can understand. She went off in a carriage, and
the landlord's bill was paid. I was interested in the woman. The Marquis
Grimaldi told me that she had refused a hundred louis he offered her, and
that a Venetian of his acquaintance had fared just as badly. Perhaps that
is you?"

"It is, and I gave her some money despite my treatment."

M. Peterson came to see me, and was enchanted with Rosalie's amiable
manner. This was another conquest for her, and I duly complimented her
upon it.

Nice is a terribly dull place, and strangers are tormented by the midges,
who prefer them to the inhabitants. However, I amused myself at a small
bank at faro, which was held at a coffee-house, and at which Rosalie,
whose play I directed, won a score of Piedmontese pistoles. She put her
little earnings into a purse, and told me she liked to have some money of
her own. I scolded her for not having told me so before, and reminded her
of her promise.

"I don't really want it," said she, "it's only my thoughtlessness."

We soon made up our little quarrel.

In such ways did I make this girl my own, in the hope that for the
remnant of my days she would be mine, and so I should not be forced to
fly from one lady to another. But inexorable fate ordained it otherwise.

The weather grew fine again, and we got on board once more, and the next
day arrived at Genoa, which I had never seen before. I put up at "St.
Martin's Inn," and for decency's sake took two rooms, but they were
adjoining one another. The following day I sent the packet to M.
Grimaldi, and a little later I left my card at his palace.

My guide took me to a linen-draper's, and I bought some stuff for
Rosalie, who was in want of linen. She was very pleased with it.

We were still at table when the Marquis Grimaldi was announced; he kissed
me and thanked me for bringing the parcel. His next remark referred to
Madame Stuard. I told him what had happened, and he laughed, saying that
he was not quite sure what he would have done under the circumstances.

I saw him looking at Rosalie attentively, and I told him she was as good
as she was beautiful.

"I want to find her a maid," I said, "a good seamstress, who could go out
with her, and above all who could talk Italian to her, for I want her to
learn the language that I may take her into society at Florence, Rome and

"Don't deprive Genoa of the pleasure of entertaining her," said the
marquis. "I will introduce her under whatever name she pleases, and in my
own house to begin with."

"She has good reasons for preserving her incognito here."

"Ah, I see!--Do you think of staying here long?"

"A month, or thereabouts, and our pleasures will be limited to seeing the
town and its surroundings and going to the theatre. We shall also enjoy
the pleasures of the table. I hope to eat champignons every day, they are
better here than anywhere else."

"An excellent plan. I couldn't suggest a better. I am going to see what I
can do in the way of getting you a maid, mademoiselle."

"You sir? How can I deserve such great kindness?"

"My interest in you is the greater, as I think you come from Marseilles."

Rosalie blushed. She was not aware that she lisped, and that this
betrayed her. I extricated her from her confusion by telling the marquis
his conjecture was well founded.

I asked him how I could get the Journal de Savans, the Mercure de France,
and other papers of the same description. He promised to send me a man
who would get me all that kind of thing. He added that if I would allow
him to send me some of his excellent chocolate he would come and
breakfast with us. I said that both gift and guest were vastly agreeable
to me.

As soon as he had gone Rosalie asked me to take her to a milliner's.

"I want ribbons and other little things," said she, "but I should like to
bargain for them and pay for them out of my own money, without your
having anything to do with it."

"Do whatever you like, my dear, and afterwards we will go to the play."

The milliner to whom we went proved to be a Frenchwoman. It was a
charming sight to see Rosalie shopping. She put on an important air,
seemed to know all about it, ordered bonnets in the latest fashion,
bargained, and contrived to spend five or six louis with great grandeur.
As we left the shop I told her that I had been taken for her footman, and
I meant to be revenged. So saying, I made her come into a jeweller's,
where I bought her a necklace, ear-rings, and brooches in imitation
diamonds, and without letting her say a word I paid the price and left
the shop.

"You have bought me some beautiful things," said she, "but you are too
lavish with your money; if you had bargained you might have saved four
louis at least."

"Very likely, dearest, but I never was any hand at a bargain."

I took her to the play, but as she did not understand the language she
got dreadfully tired, and asked me to take her home at the end of the
first act, which I did very willingly. When we got in I found a box
waiting for me from M. Grimaldi. It proved to contain twenty-four pounds
of chocolate. Costa, who had boasted of his skill in making chocolate in
the Spanish fashion, received orders to make us three cups in the

At nine o'clock the marquis arrived with a tradesman, who sold me some
beautiful oriental materials. I gave them to Rosalie to make two
'mezzaro' for herself. The 'mezzaro' is a kind of hooded cloak worn by
the Genoese women, as the 'cendal' is worn at Venice, and the 'mantilla'
at Madrid.

I thanked M. Grimaldi for the chocolate, which was excellent; Costa was
quite proud of the praise the marquis gave him. Le Duc came in to
announce a woman, whose name I did not know.

"It's the mother of the maid I have engaged," said M. Grimaldi.

She came in, and I saw before me a well-dressed woman, followed by a girl
from twenty to twenty-four years old, who pleased me at the first glance.
The mother thanked the marquis, and presented her daughter to Rosalie,
enumerating her good qualities, and telling her that she would serve her
well, and walk with her when she wished to go out.

"My daughter," she added, "speaks French, and you will find her a good,
faithful, and obliging girl."

She ended by saying that her daughter had been in service lately with a
lady, and that she would be obliged if she could have her meals by

The girl was named Veronique. Rosalie told her that she was a good girl,
and that the only way to be respected was to be respectable. Veronique
kissed her hand, the mother went away, and Rosalie took the girl into her
room to begin her work.

I did not forget to thank the marquis, for he had evidently chosen a maid
more with a view to my likings than to those of my sweetheart. I told him
that I should not fail to call on him, and he replied that he would be
happy to see me at any hour, and that I should easily find him at his
casino at St. Pierre d'Arena, where he often spent the night.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 16: Depart Switzerland" ***

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