Complete Memoirs of Casanova HTML version
Return To Naples
Cardinal Passianei--The Pope--Masiuccia--I Arrive At Naples
Cardinal Passionei received me in a large hall where he was writing. He begged me to
wait till he had finished, but he could not ask me to take a seat as he occupied the only
chair that his vast room contained.
When he had put down his pen, he rose, came to me, and after informing me that he
would tell the Holy Father of my visit, he added,--
"My brother Cornaro might have made a better choice, as he knows the Pope does not
"He thought it better to choose the man who is esteemed than the man who is merely
"I don't know whether the Pope esteems me, but I am sure he knows I don't esteem him. I
both liked and esteemed him before he was pope, and I concurred in his election, but
since he has worn the tiara it's a different matter; he has shewn himself too much of a
"The conclave ought to have chosen your eminence."
"No, no; I'm a root-and-branch reformer, and my hand would not have been stayed for
fear of the vengeance of the guilty, and God alone knows what would have come of that.
The only cardinal fit to be pope was Tamburini; but it can't be helped now. I hear people
coming; good-bye, come again to-morrow."
What a delightful thing to have heard a cardinal call the Pope a fool, and name Tamburini
as a fit person. I did not lose a moment in noting this pleasant circumstance down: it was
too precious a morsel to let slip. But who was Tamburini? I had never heard of him. I
asked Winckelmann, who dined with me.
"He's a man deserving of respect for his virtues, his character, his firmness, and his
farseeing intelligence. He has never disguised his opinion of the Jesuits, whom he styles
the fathers of deceits, intrigues, and lies; and that's what made Passionei mention him. I
think, with him, that Tamburini would be a great and good pope."