Complete Memoirs of Casanova
Eccentricity of the English--Castelbajac Count Schwerin--Sophie at School--My
Reception at the Betting Club--The Charpillon
I passed a night which seemed like a never-ending nightmare, and I got up sad and
savage, feeling as if I could kill a man on the smallest provocation. It seemed as if the
house, which I had hitherto thought so beautiful, was like a millstone about my neck. I
went out in my travelling clothes, and walked into a coffee-house, where I saw a score of
people reading the papers.
I sat down, and, not understanding English, passed my time in gazing at the goers and
comers. I had been there some time when my attention was attracted by the voice of a
man speaking as follows in French:
"Tommy has committed suicide, and he was wise, for he was in such a state that he could
only expect unhappiness for the rest of his life."
"You are quite mistaken," said the other, with the greatest composure. "I was one of his
creditors myself, and on making an inventory of his effects I feel satisfied that he has
done a very foolish and a very childish thing; he might have lived on comfortably, and
not killed himself for fully six months."
At any other time this calculation would have made me laugh, and, as it was, I felt as if
the incident had done me good.
I left the coffee-house without having said a word or spent a penny, and I went towards
the Exchange to get some money. Bosanquet gave me what I wanted directly, and as I
walked out with him I noticed a curious-looking individual, whose name I asked.
"He's worth a hundred thousand," said the banker.
"And who is that other man over there?"
"He's not worth a ten-pound note."
"But I don't want to hear what they are worth; it's their names I want."
"I really don't know."
"How can you tell how much they are worth, not knowing their names?"