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Memoirs of Casanova — Volume 13: Holland and Germany by Giacomo Casanova
page 3 of 121 (02%)
I, too, went to the play, and as chance would have it my neighbour in the
pit was Count Tot, brother to the count famous for his stay in

We had some conversation together, and he told me he had been obliged to
leave France on account of a duel which he had had with a man who had
jested with him for not being present at the battle of Minden, saying
that he had absented himself in view of the battle. The count had proved
his courage with the sword on the other's body--a rough kind of argument
which was fashionable then as now. He told me he had no money, and I
immediately put my purse at his service; but, as the saying goes, a
kindness is never thrown away, and five years later he did the same by me
at St. Petersburg. Between the acts he happened to notice the Countess
Piccolomini, and asked me if I knew her husband. "I know him very
slightly," I answered, "but we happen to be staying at the same hotel."

"He's a regular black sheep," said the count, "and his wife's no better
than he."

It seemed that they had already won a reputation in the town.

After the play I went back to the hotel by myself, and the head-waiter
told me that Piccolomini had set out hot-foot with his servant, his only
luggage being a light portmanteau. He did not know the reason of this
sudden departure, but a minute afterwards the countess came in, and her
maid having whispered something to her she told me that the count had
gone away because he had fought a duel but that often happened. She asked
me to sup with her and Walpole, and her appetite did not seem to suffer
from the absence of her spouse.

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