Complete Memoirs of Casanova HTML version
Leave Bologna a Happy Man--The Captain Parts from Us in Reggio, where I Spend a
Delightful Night with Henriette--Our Arrival in Parma--Henriette Resumes the Costume
of a Woman; Our Mutual Felicity--I Meet Some Relatives of Mine, but Do not Discover
The reader can easily guess that there was a change as sudden as a transformation in a
pantomime, and that the short but magic sentence, "Come to Parma," proved a very
fortunate catastrophe, thanks to which I rapidly changed, passing from the tragic to the
gentle mood, from the serious to the tender tone. Sooth to say, I fell at her feet, and
lovingly pressing her knees I kissed them repeatedly with raptures of gratitude. No more
'furore', no more bitter words; they do not suit the sweetest of all human feelings! Loving,
docile, grateful, I swear never to beg for any favour, not even to kiss her hand, until I
have shewn myself worthy of her precious love! The heavenly creature, delighted to see
me pass so rapidly from despair to the most lively tenderness, tells me, with a voice the
tone of which breathes of love, to get up from my knees.
"I am sure that you love me," says she, "and be quite certain that I shall leave nothing
undone to secure the constancy of your feelings." Even if she had said that she loved me
as much as I adored her, she would not have been more eloquent, for her words expressed
all that can be felt. My lips were pressed to her beautiful hands as the captain entered the
room. He complimented us with perfect good faith, and I told him, my face beaming with
happiness, that I was going to order the carriage. I left them together, and in a short time
we were on our road, cheerful, pleased, and merry.
Before reaching Reggio the honest captain told me that in his opinion it would be better
for him to proceed to Parma alone, as, if we arrived in that city all together, it might
cause some remarks, and people would talk about us much less if we were without him.
We both thought him quite right, and we immediately made up our minds to pass the
night in Reggio, while the captain would take a post-chaise and go alone to Parma.
According to that arrangement his trunk was transferred to the vehicle which he hired in
Reggio, he bade us farewell and went away, after having promised to dine with us on the
following day in Parma.
The decision taken by the worthy Hungarian was, doubtless, as agreeable to my lovely
friend as to me, for our delicacy would have condemned us to a great reserve in his
presence. And truly, under the new circumstances, how were we to arrange for our
lodgings in Reggio? Henriette could not, of course, share the bed of the captain any more,
and she could not have slept with me as long as he was with us, without being guilty of
great immodesty. We should all three have laughed at that compulsory reserve which we
would have felt to be ridiculous, but we should, for all that, have submitted to it. Love is
the little impudent god, the enemy of bashfulness, although he may very often enjoy