This very short story offers a fascinating account of 18th century tabloid journalism, describing the `Venetian's' reaction to a slanderous newspaper story about his unceremonious dismissal from Poland, involving the customary defamation of character etcetera. Interestingly Casanova gives us a view on the tabloid readership of the period: a majority who "go along with what is reported" (how little changes!). The responsible hack is dealt with in due course and I think Casanova, in this passage, shows us the strength of his compassion directed at people who do him harm. And this aspect of his character is reflected in the duel. A trifle matter lands the Venetian on the threshhold of death, which he humorously handles with Stoic equanimity accompanied by tongue in cheek commentary on how much he respects his opponent. I find it difficult to relate to the bizarre rituals of 18th century `gentleman': the (sometimes beneficial, often unhealthy) obsession with honour and status seems to propel these individuals into ridiculous unnecessary confrontations. The duel is an aristocratic relic of a fictionalised chivalric past; no fisticuffs here, just lumps of hot lead or razor sharp blades. The Venetian, however, seeks the prestige of aristocratic patronage, which can be a risky occupation, as detailed in this fluent, colourful narrative. The accompanying extract of the same incident taken from Casanova's monumental autobiography is a delightful addition as is the brief introduction by Tim Parks. This edition provides an excellent introduction to the life of this misinterpreted person (it is interesting to note that the quarrel, no matter how petty, involved a woman)!