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Complete Memoirs of Casanova
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
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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