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Complete Memoirs of Casanova

Return To Venice
CHAPTER XVI
A Fearful Misfortune Befalls Me--Love Cools Down--Leave Corfu and Return to
Venice--Give Up the Army and Become a Fiddler
The wound was rapidly healing up, and I saw near at hand the moment when Madame F--
-- would leave her bed, and resume her usual avocations.
The governor of the galeasses having issued orders for a general review at Gouyn, M. F--
--, left for that place in his galley, telling me to join him there early on the following day
with the felucca. I took supper alone with Madame F----, and I told her how unhappy it
made me to remain one day away from her.
"Let us make up to-night for to-morrow's disappointment," she said, "and let us spend it
together in conversation. Here are the keys; when you know that my maid has left me,
come to me through my husband's room."
I did not fail to follow her instructions to the letter, and we found ourselves alone with
five hours before us. It was the month of June, and the heat was intense. She had gone to
bed; I folded her in my arms, she pressed me to her bosom, but, condemning herself to
the most cruel torture, she thought I had no right to complain, if I was subjected to the
same privation which she imposed upon herself. My remonstrances, my prayers, my
entreaties were of no avail.
"Love," she said, "must be kept in check with a tight hand, and we can laugh at him,
since, in spite of the tyranny which we force him to obey, we succeed all the same in
gratifying our desires."
After the first ecstacy, our eyes and lips unclosed together, and a little apart from each
other we take delight in seeing the mutual satisfaction beaming on our features.
Our desires revive; she casts a look upon my state of innocence entirely exposed to her
sight. She seems vexed at my want of excitement, and, throwing off everything which
makes the heat unpleasant and interferes with our pleasure, she bounds upon me. It is
more than amorous fury, it is desperate lust. I share her frenzy, I hug her with a sort of
delirium, I enjoy a felicity which is on the point of carrying me to the regions of bliss....
but, at the very moment of completing the offering, she fails me, moves off, slips away,
and comes back to work off my excitement with a hand which strikes me as cold as ice.
"Ah, thou cruel, beloved woman! Thou art burning with the fire of love, and thou
deprivest thyself of the only remedy which could bring calm to thy senses! Thy lovely
hand is more humane than thou art, but thou has not enjoyed the felicity that thy hand has
given me. My hand must owe nothing to thine. Come, darling light of my heart, come!
 
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