Casanovas Adventure of a Lifetime
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Mouse over image to ZOOM! Friends, meet Casanova. Casanova is a noble, jovial little guy. He is a German Shepherd. He adores burying slippers.
Hunger of the lonely hearts by Albert Casanovas Padrós | Free Listening on SoundCloud
He is also terrified of hammocks. Casanova is irresistably adorable. And even though he often rolls in the biggest, dirtiest mud puddles he can find, he is as unwavering a pet as any canine could conceivably be. But one day everything changed; Casanova's human did not have enough money to take care of him. She came to discern his volatile nature, his lack of social background, and the precariousness of his finances.
Before leaving, she slipped into his pocket five hundred louis, mark of her evaluation of him. Crestfallen and despondent, Casanova returned to Venice, and after a good gambling streak, he recovered and set off on a grand tour , reaching Paris in Casanova was also attracted to Rosicrucianism. It was in Lyons that a respectable individual, whose acquaintance I made at the house of M.
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I arrived in Paris a simple apprentice; a few months after my arrival I became companion and master; the last is certainly the highest degree in Freemasonry, for all the other degrees which I took afterwards are only pleasing inventions, which, although symbolical, add nothing to the dignity of master. Casanova stayed in Paris for two years, learned the language, spent much time at the theater, and introduced himself to notables. Soon, however, his numerous liaisons were noted by the Paris police, as they were in nearly every city he visited. In , his brother Francesco and he moved from Paris to Dresden , where his mother and sister Maria Maddalena were living.
His new play, La Moluccheide , now lost, was performed at the Royal Theatre, where his mother often played in lead roles. He finally returned to Venice in His police record became a lengthening list of reported blasphemies, seductions, fights, and public controversy. Senator Bragadin, in total seriousness this time being a former inquisitor himself , advised his "son" to leave immediately or face the stiffest consequences.
On 26 July , at age 30, Casanova was arrested for affront to religion and common decency:  "The Tribunal, having taken cognizance of the grave faults committed by G.
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Casanova primarily in public outrages against the holy religion, their Excellencies have caused him to be arrested and imprisoned under the Leads. The following 12 September, without a trial and without being informed of the reasons for his arrest and of the sentence, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment. He was placed in solitary confinement with clothing, a pallet bed, table, and armchair in "the worst of all the cells",  where he suffered greatly from the darkness, summer heat, and "millions of fleas". He was soon housed with a series of cellmates, and after five months and a personal appeal from Count Bragadin, was given warm winter bedding and a monthly stipend for books and better food.
During exercise walks he was granted in the prison garret, he found a piece of black marble and an iron bar which he smuggled back to his cell; he hid the bar inside his armchair. When he was temporarily without cellmates, he spent two weeks sharpening the bar into a spike on the stone. Then he began to gouge through the wooden floor underneath his bed, knowing that his cell was directly above the Inquisitor's chamber.
In his new cell, "I sat in my armchair like a man in a stupor; motionless as a statue, I saw that I had wasted all the efforts I had made, and I could not repent of them. I felt that I had nothing to hope for, and the only relief left to me was not to think of the future. Overcoming his inertia, Casanova set upon another escape plan.
He solicited the help of the prisoner in the adjacent cell, Father Balbi, a renegade priest.
The spike, carried to the new cell inside the armchair, was passed to the priest in a folio Bible carried under a heaping plate of pasta by the hoodwinked jailer. The priest made a hole in his ceiling, climbed across and made a hole in the ceiling of Casanova's cell. To neutralize his new cellmate, who was a spy, Casanova played on his superstitions and terrorized him into silence. The spy remained behind, too frightened of the consequences if he were caught escaping with the others. Casanova and Balbi pried their way through the lead plates and onto the sloping roof of the Doge's Palace, with a heavy fog swirling.
The drop to the nearby canal being too great, Casanova prised open the grate over a dormer window, and broke the window to gain entry. They found a long ladder on the roof, and with the additional use of a bedsheet "rope" that Casanova had prepared, lowered themselves into the room whose floor was 25 feet below. They rested until morning, changed clothes, then broke a small lock on an exit door and passed into a palace corridor, through galleries and chambers, and down stairs, where by convincing the guard they had inadvertently been locked into the palace after an official function, they left through a final door.
Thirty years later in , Casanova wrote Story of My Flight , which was very popular and was reprinted in many languages, and he repeated the tale a little later in his memoirs. Thus did God provide me with what I needed for an escape which was to be a wonder if not a miracle.
I admit that I am proud of it; but my pride does not come from my having succeeded, for luck had a good deal to do with that; it comes from my having concluded that the thing could be done and having had the courage to undertake it. He knew his stay in Paris might be a long one and he proceeded accordingly: "I saw that to accomplish anything I must bring all my physical and moral faculties in play, make the acquaintance of the great and the powerful, exercise strict self-control, and play the chameleon.
His first task was to find a new patron. He reconnected with old friend de Bernis , now the Foreign Minister of France. Casanova was advised by his patron to find a means of raising funds for the state as a way to gain instant favor. Casanova promptly became one of the trustees of the first state lottery , and one of its best ticket salesmen. The enterprise earned him a large fortune quickly. In Casanova's view, "deceiving a fool is an exploit worthy of an intelligent man". Casanova claimed to be a Rosicrucian and an alchemist , aptitudes which made him popular with some of the most prominent figures of the era, among them Madame de Pompadour , Count de Saint-Germain , d'Alembert , and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
So popular was alchemy among the nobles, particularly the search for the " philosopher's stone ", that Casanova was highly sought after for his supposed knowledge, and he profited handsomely. De Bernis decided to send Casanova to Dunkirk on his first spying mission. He remarked in hindsight, "All the French ministers are the same.
They lavished money which came out of the other people's pockets to enrich their creatures, and they were absolute: The down-trodden people counted for nothing, and, through this, the indebtedness of the State and the confusion of finances were the inevitable results. A Revolution was necessary. As the Seven Years' War began, Casanova was again called to help increase the state treasury. He was entrusted with a mission of selling state bonds in Amsterdam , Holland being the financial center of Europe at the time.
The French government even offered him a title and a pension if he would become a French citizen and work on behalf of the finance ministry, but he declined, perhaps because it would frustrate his Wanderlust. He ran the business poorly, borrowed heavily trying to save it, and spent much of his wealth on constant liaisons with his female workers who were his " harem ". Unfortunately, though he was released, his patron de Bernis was dismissed by Louis XV at that time and Casanova's enemies closed in on him.
He sold the rest of his belongings and secured another mission to Holland to distance himself from his troubles. This time, however, his mission failed and he fled to Cologne , then Stuttgart in the spring of , where he lost the rest of his fortune. He was yet again arrested for his debts, but managed to escape to Switzerland. Weary of his wanton life, Casanova visited the monastery of Einsiedeln and considered the simple, scholarly life of a monk. He returned to his hotel to think on the decision, only to encounter a new object of desire, and reverting to his old instincts, all thoughts of a monk's life were quickly forgotten.
In , Casanova started styling himself the Chevalier de Seingalt, a name he would increasingly use for the rest of his life. Casanova traveled to England in , hoping to sell his idea of a state lottery to English officials.
He wrote of the English, "the people have a special character, common to the whole nation, which makes them think they are superior to everyone else. It is a belief shared by all nations, each thinking itself the best. And they are all right. While working the political angles, he also spent much time in the bedroom, as was his habit.