Saturday, September 26, 2009

Department of Quotation: Casanova in Paris

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Susan reports:

Paris, 1757

"The youngest daughter of my landlady Madame Quinson often came to my room unsummoned, and having perceived that she loved me, I should have thought it strange in me if I had taken it into my head to be cold to her -- the more so as she was not without qualities, she had a pretty voice and rattled away about everything with a vivacity which was charming. Her age was an ambrosial sixteen.
"For the first four or five months there was nothing between us but childish trifling; but happening one night to come in very late I found her asleep on my bed. Curious to see if she would wake, I undressed myself, got into the bed, and the rest goes without saying. At daybreak she went downstairs and got into her own bed. Her name was Mimi....
"[Later that morning] in comes Madame Quinson with Mimi to make my bed. I sit down to write, and I hear her say: 
"'Oh, the sluts!'
"'To whom do you refer, Madame?"
"'The riddle is easily answered; these sheets are ruined.'
"'I am sorry; excuse me; say nothing and change them.'
"'Say nothing? Just let the hussies come back!'
   "She goes downstairs for fresh sheets, Mimi remains. I reproach her for her imprudence, she laughs and says that Heaven has protected the innocence of our doings. From that day on Mimi stood on no ceremony; she came to sleep with me when she felt the need, and I, no less unceremoniously, sent her away when I did not want her, and our little household was as harmonious as possible...."

The History of My Life, by Giacomo Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt, Vol. Three, Chapter Twelve

Above: Le Verrou (The Lock) by Jean-Honore Fragonard, c. 1776, Musee du Louvre

8 comments:

Loretta Chase said...

Oh, I love it! "She loves me. How can I resist her?"

Vanessa Kelly said...

And she is at that ambrosial age!

Pippa said...

What a pair of raging egomaniacs!
TOO much, though pretty funny anyway.
Thanks to you & Loretta for sharing!

Susan Holloway Scott said...

Yeah, we seem to be binging on these guys (Byron, Rochester, Casanova) here lately. As Loretta and I have been saying to each other, it's not only that they're supremely self-centered -- of COURSE every woman is madly in love with me!!!--but they also don't feel the need at all to express any guilt about it, as most modern men would. Too much, indeed!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

"She loves me, how could I disappoint her," too, it seems. :) Oh, that image. TNHGs are always good for a sigh first thing in the am... Grazie, Susan.

Susan Holloway Scott said...

I've always loved that painting, Michelle. Soooo romantic, with those swirling red bed curtains -- though I've never been able to figure out who is locking whom into the bedchamber!

Monica Burns said...

Ain't that just like the man! Did any of them ever run into a female who wouldn't give them the time of day? It still leaves me wondering why Casanova fascinates me.

Le Loup said...

Me thinks those breeches to be a little too tight for 1757, & a little too short to be his own!
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