Complete Memoirs of Casanova HTML version
A Cleric In Naples
My Misfortunes in Chiozza--Father Stephano--The Lazzaretto at Ancona--The Greek
Slave--My Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Loretto--I Go to Rome on Foot, and From Rome to
Naples to Meet the Bishop--I Cannot Join Him--Good Luck Offers Me the Means of
Reaching Martorano, Which Place I Very Quickly Leave to Return to Naples
The retinue of the ambassador, which was styled "grand," appeared to me very small. It
was composed of a Milanese steward, named Carcinelli, of a priest who fulfilled the
duties of secretary because he could not write, of an old woman acting as housekeeper, of
a man cook with his ugly wife, and eight or ten servants.
We reached Chiozza about noon. Immediately after landing, I politely asked the steward
where I should put up, and his answer was:
"Wherever you please, provided you let this man know where it is, so that he can give
you notice when the peotta is ready to sail. My duty," he added, "is to leave you at the
lazzaretto of Ancona free of expense from the moment we leave this place. Until then
enjoy yourself as well as you can."
The man to whom I was to give my address was the captain of the peotta. I asked him to
recommend me a lodging.
"You can come to my house," he said, "if you have no objection to share a large bed with
the cook, whose wife remains on board."
Unable to devise any better plan, I accepted the offer, and a sailor, carrying my trunk,
accompanied me to the dwelling of the honest captain. My trunk had to be placed under
the bed which filled up the room. I was amused at this, for I was not in a position to be
over-fastidious, and, after partaking of some dinner at the inn, I went about the town.
Chiozza is a peninsula, a sea-port belonging to Venice, with a population of ten thousand
inhabitants, seamen, fishermen, merchants, lawyers, and government clerks.
I entered a coffee-room, and I had scarcely taken a seat when a young doctor-at-law, with
whom I had studied in Padua, came up to me, and introduced me to a druggist whose
shop was near by, saying that his house was the rendezvous of all the literary men of the
place. A few minutes afterwards, a tall Jacobin friar, blind of one eye, called Corsini,
whom I had known in Venice, came in and paid me many compliments. He told me that I
had arrived just in time to go to a picnic got up by the Macaronic academicians for the
next day, after a sitting of the academy in which every member was to recite something
of his composition. He invited me to join them, and to gratify the meeting with the
delivery of one of my productions. I accepted the invitation, and, after the reading of ten
stanzas which I had written for the occasion, I was unanimously elected a member. My