Complete Memoirs of Casanova HTML version

Military Career
I Renounce the Clerical Profession, and Enter the Military Service--Therese Leaves for
Naples, and I Go to Venice--I Am Appointed Ensign in the Army of My Native Country-
-I Embark for Corfu, and Land at Orsera to Take a Walk
I had been careful, on my arrival in Bologna, to take up my quarters at a small inn, so as
not to attract any notice, and as soon as I had dispatched my letters to Therese and the
French officer, I thought of purchasing some linen, as it was at least doubtful whether I
should ever get my trunk. I deemed it expedient to order some clothes likewise. I was
thus ruminating, when it suddenly struck me that I was not likely now to succeed in the
Church, but feeling great uncertainty as to the profession I ought to adopt, I took a fancy
to transform myself into an officer, as it was evident that I had not to account to anyone
for my actions. It was a very natural fancy at my age, for I had just passed through two
armies in which I had seen no respect paid to any garb but to the military uniform, and I
did not see why I should not cause myself to be respected likewise. Besides, I was
thinking of returning to Venice, and felt great delight at the idea of shewing myself there
in the garb of honour, for I had been rather ill-treated in that of religion.
I enquired for a good tailor: death was brought to me, for the tailor sent to me was named
Morte. I explained to him how I wanted my uniform made, I chose the cloth, he took my
measure, and the next day I was transformed into a follower of Mars. I procured a long
sword, and with my fine cane in hand, with a well-brushed hat ornamented with a black
cockade, and wearing a long false pigtail, I sallied forth and walked all over the city.
I bethought myself that the importance of my new calling required a better and more
showy lodging than the one I had secured on my arrival, and I moved to the best inn. I
like even now to recollect the pleasing impression I felt when I was able to admire myself
full length in a large mirror. I was highly pleased with my own person! I thought myself
made by nature to wear and to honour the military costume, which I had adopted through
the most fortunate impulse. Certain that nobody knew me, I enjoyed by anticipation all
the conjectures which people would indulge in respecting me, when I made my first
appearance in the most fashionable cafe of the town.
My uniform was white, the vest blue, a gold and silver shoulder-knot, and a sword-knot
of the same material. Very well pleased with my grand appearance, I went to the coffee-
room, and, taking some chocolate, began to read the newspapers, quite at my ease, and
delighted to see that everybody was puzzled. A bold individual, in the hope of getting me
into conversation, came to me and addressed me; I answered him with a monosyllable,
and I observed that everyone was at a loss what to make of me. When I had sufficiently
enjoyed public admiration in the coffee-room, I promenaded in the busiest thoroughfares
of the city, and returned to the inn, where I had dinner by myself.