But nosy people tend to crop up where he least expects them, out to destroy his chances. She can take care of herself. It is her baby after all.
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But when Hunter begins displaying all the traits she so desires in a man, she knows her heart is in grave danger. How can Hunter prove to her that he is utterly and undeniably in love with her? Create Widget. About Wanitta Praks. The love story of three best friends and how they found love.
He called to mind past splendors, when he had travelled as a man of distinction, driving in a fine carriage; when he had been well furnished both with necessaries and with superfluities; when he had even had his own servingman—who had usually, of course, been a rogue. These memories brought impotent anger in their train, and his eyes filled with tears. A young woman drove towards him, whip in hand.
In her little cart, amid sacks and various odds and ends, lay her husband, drunk and snoring. Casanova strode by beneath the chestnut trees that lined the highway, his face working with wrath, unintelligible phrases hissing from between his clenched teeth. The woman glanced at him inquisitively and mockingly at first, then, on encountering an angry glare, with some alarm, and finally, after she had passed, there was amorous invitation in the look she gave him over her shoulder. Casanova, who was well aware that rage and hatred can assume the semblance of youth more readily than can gentleness and amiability, was prompt to realize that a bold response on his part would bring the cart to a standstill, and that the young woman would be ready to give him any assignation he pleased.
Nevertheless, although the recognition of this fact put him in a better humor for the nonce, it seemed hardly worth while to waste minutes upon so trivial an adventure. He was content, therefore, to allow the peasant woman to drive her cart and all its contents unimpeded through the dust of the roadway.
The sun was now high in the heavens, and the shade of the trees hardly tempered the heat.
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Casanova was soon compelled to moderate his pace. Under the thick powder of dust the shabbiness of his garments was no longer apparent, so that by his dress and bearing he might easily have been taken for a gentleman of station who had been pleased for once in a way to walk instead of drive.
He had almost reached the arched gateway near his inn, when he met a heavy country carriage lumbering along the road. In it was seated a stoutish man, well dressed, and still fairly young. His hands were clasped across his stomach, his eyelids drooped, and he seemed about to doze off, when of a sudden he caught sight of Casanova, and a great change took place in him.
His whole aspect betrayed great excitement. He sprang to his feet, but too quickly, and fell back into his seat. Rising again, he gave the driver a punch in the back, to make the fellow pull up. But since the carriage did not stop instantly, the passenger turned round so as not to lose sight of Casanova, signalled with both hands, and finally called to him thrice by name, in a thin, clear voice. Not till he heard the voice, did Casanova recognize who it was.
By now the carriage had stopped, and Casanova smilingly seized two hands outstretched towards him, saying:.
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And it is more than fifteen years; the sixteen years were up a few days ago. As you can imagine, Amalia and I had a good talk about you on the anniversary of our wedding. How could we ever forget our benefactor? Should we do so Do you know, I have been living in Mantua three months, very quietly to be sure, but taking plenty of walks as I always have done.
How is it, Olivo, that I never met you or your wife before? Both Amalia and I detest the town, and we gave up living there a long time ago. Would you do me the favor to jump in? We shall be at home in an hour. How delighted Amalia will be to see you once more, and how proud to show you our three children. Yes, we have three, Signor Casanova. All girls. He laughed good-humoredly, and made as if to help Casanova into the carriage. The latter shook his head. Then his impatience returned in full force, and he assured his would-be host that unfortunately urgent business called him away from Mantua that very afternoon.
Sixteen years were a long time! Amalia would be no younger and no prettier. At his age, a girl of thirteen would not find him interesting.
Olivo, too, whom he had known in old days as a lean and eager student, was now a portly, countrified paterfamilias. The proposed visit did not offer sufficient attractions to induce Casanova to abandon a journey that was to bring him thirty or forty miles nearer to Venice. Olivo, however, was disinclined to take no for an answer. Casanova must at least accept a lift back to the inn, a kindly suggestion that could not decently be refused. The hostess, a buxom woman in the middle thirties, welcomed Casanova with a glance that did not fail to disclose to Olivo the tender relationship between the pair.
She shook hands with Olivo as an old acquaintance. Olivo hastened to announce that the Chevalier de Seingalt the hostess had addressed Casanova by this title, and Olivo promptly followed suit was so churlish as to refuse the invitation of an old friend, on the ridiculous plea that to-day of all days he had to leave Mantua. Olivo protested that the Chevalier de Seingalt would do his modest home the greatest possible honor by finishing the work in question there.
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A change to the country could not but be helpful in such an undertaking. Should any guests drop in at times of an evening, the Chevalier need not put himself about—unless, indeed, after the labors of the day, cheerful conversation or a game of cards might offer welcome distraction. He begged the hostess to forward promptly by messenger any letters that should arrive during his absence, since they might be of the first importance. Olivo, meanwhile, had been having a lively business talk with the hostess.
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He now rose, drank off his glass of wine, and with a significant wink promised to bring the Chevalier back, not perhaps to-morrow or the day after, but in any case in good order and condition. Casanova, however, had suddenly grown distrait and irritable. So cold was his farewell to the fond hostess that, at the carriage door, she whispered a parting word in his ear which was anything but amiable.
Shortly after his marriage he had bought a plot of land near the town, and had started in a small way as market gardener. Doing well at this trade, he had gradually been able to undertake more ambitious farming ventures. He, his wife, and his children were comfortably settled upon this patrician estate, though with no pretence to patrician splendor. All these successes were ultimately due to the hundred and fifty gold pieces that Casanova had presented to Amalia, or rather to her mother.
He would still have been giving instruction in reading and writing to ill-behaved youngsters. Most likely, he would have been an old bachelor and Amalia an old maid. Casanova let him ramble on without paying much heed. The incident was one among many of the date to which it belonged. As he turned it over in his mind, it seemed to him the most trivial of them all, it had hardly even troubled the waters of memory.
He had been travelling from Rome to Turin or Paris—he had forgotten which. During a brief stay in Mantua, he caught sight of Amalia in church one morning. Pleased with her appearance, with her handsome but pale and somewhat woebegone face, he gallantly addressed her a friendly question. In those days everyone had been complaisant to Casanova.
Gladly opening her heart to him, the girl told him that she was not well off; that she was in love with an usher who was likewise poor; that his father and her own mother were both unwilling to give their consent to so inauspicious a union. Casanova promptly declared himself ready to help matters on. Ere long Casanova was on such intimate terms with her that his word was law. To Amalia, her generous patron seemed like a messenger from a higher world. She showed her gratitude in the manner prompted by her own heart. Casanova had never troubled himself as to whether Amalia had confessed to Olivo the length to which she had gone in gratitude to her benefactor; whether, perchance, Olivo had taken her sacrifice as a matter of course, and had not considered it any reason for retrospective jealousy; or whether Olivo had always remained in ignorance of the matter.
Nor did Casanova allow these questions to harass his mind to-day. The heat continued to increase. The carriage, with bad springs and hard cushions, jolted the occupants abominably. Olivo went on chattering in his high, thin voice; talking incessantly of the fertility of his land, the excellencies of his wife, the good behavior of his children, and the innocent pleasures of intercourse with his neighbors—farmers and landed gentry.
Casanova was bored. He began to ask himself irritably why on earth he had accepted an invitation which could bring nothing but petty vexations, if not positive disagreeables. He thought longingly of the cool parlor in Mantua, where at this very hour he might have been working unhindered at his polemic against Voltaire.
Three young girls sprang out, moving with such activity that the knife-board on which they had been sitting flew into the air and was overturned. Maria, Nanetta, Teresina, this is the Chevalier de Seingalt, an old friend of mine.
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Shake hands with him. But for him you would Like their father, the girls had black hair and dark eyes. All of them including Teresina, the eldest, who was still quite the child, looked at the stranger with frank rustic curiosity. Casanova did not stand upon ceremony; he kissed each of the girls upon either cheek.
Olivo said a word or two to the lad who was driving the trap in which the children had come, and the fellow whipped up the pony and drove along the road towards Mantua. Laughing and joking, the girls took possession of the seat opposite Olivo and Casanova. They were closely packed; they all spoke at once; and since their father likewise went on talking, Casanova found it far from easy at first to follow the conversation.
One name caught his ear, that of Lieutenant Lorenzi.