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Title: The True History of The State Prisoner, commonly called The Iron Mask - Extracted from Documents in the French Archives
Author: Ellis, George Agar
Language: English
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project.)



Transcriber’s Note

  Obvious typographical and printing errors have been corrected.
  Variations in hyphenation have been normalized; other spelling
  inconsistencies have been retained.

  Additional notes and details of the corrections can be found at
  the end of this e-text.



                     THE

                TRUE HISTORY

                     OF

             THE STATE PRISONER,

               COMMONLY CALLED

                THE IRON MASK,


                  EXTRACTED
      FROM DOCUMENTS IN THE FRENCH ARCHIVES.



                     BY

         THE HON. GEORGE AGAR ELLIS.



                   LONDON:
         JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET
                  MDCCCXXVI.



                   LONDON:
  PRINTED BY S. AND R. BENTLEY, DORSET STREET.



PREFACE.


I was led to undertake the following Narrative by the perusal of
a work, lately published at Paris, entitled “Histoire de L’Homme
au Masque de Fer, par J. Delort;” in which the name of that state
prisoner is most clearly and satisfactorily ascertained, by means of
authentic documents.

Under these circumstances, it may be asked why I was not contented
to leave the question, thus set at rest, in the hands of M. Delort,
who had the original merit of the discovery:--to this I would
answer, that M. Delort’s part of the book struck me as peculiarly
ill arranged and confused; besides being unnecessarily filled with
the most fulsome flattery of Lewis the Fourteenth, never, certainly,
more inappropriately bestowed, than while in the act of recording
one of the most cruel and oppressive acts of that Sovereign’s cruel
and oppressive reign.

I have also thought, that the subject was one of sufficient
historical curiosity to interest the English public.

For these reasons, I have been induced to throw together the
following chain of evidence upon the subject, making use of the same
documents as M. Delort, to which I have added some others previously
published, and printing the whole series in an Appendix.

                              G. A. E.

    _April, 1826._



CONTENTS.

                                                        Page

  HISTORY OF THE IRON MASK                                 1


  APPENDIX.

  No. 1. Estrades to Lewis the Fourteenth.
    Commencement of the Negociation.--State of the
      Court of Mantua.--Influence of the Spaniards
      there                                               89

  No. 2. Matthioli to Lewis the Fourteenth.
    Protestations of devotion to Lewis.--Belief in
      the good intentions of the Duke of Mantua          101

  No. 3. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Continuation of the negociation.--Intrigues of
      the Austrian Party                                 104

  No. 4. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Intrigues of the Spaniards to form a league in
      Italy against France                               108

  No. 5. Pomponne to Estrades                            110

  No. 6. Pomponne to Estrades.
    The King’s approval of the negociation               ib.

  No. 7. Lewis the Fourteenth to Estrades.
    Approval of the negociation.--Answer to the
      demands of the Duke of Mantua                      112

  No. 8. Lewis the Fourteenth to Matthioli               116

  No. 9. Estrades to Pomponne                            117

  No. 10. Estrades to Lewis the Fourteenth.
    Conference with Matthioli.--Discussion of the
      demands of the Duke of Mantua                      119

  No. 11. Estrades to Pomponne.
    The Duke of Mantua watched by the Spaniards          126

  No. 12. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Impatience of the Duke of Mantua to conclude the
      Negociation                                        130

  No. 13. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Plans of the Spaniards.--Dispositions of the
      Venetian Government                                131

  No. 14. Pomponne to Estrades.
    Recommendations of Delay in the Negociation          138

  No. 15. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Information respecting the Dispositions of the
      Venetians                                          140

  No. 16. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Fears of the Duke of Mantua                          143

  No. 17. Estrades to Lewis the Fourteenth.
    Account of his Interview with the Duke of
      Mantua.--The latter insists upon sending
      Matthioli to Paris                                 146

  No. 18. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Reasons for consenting to the mission of Matthioli
      to                                                 151

  No. 19. Estrades to Pomponne                           155

  No. 20. Pomponne to Estrades.
    Approval of Matthioli’s Mission to
      France.--Permission to Estrades to leave Venice    156

  No. 21. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Conversation with Matthioli                          158

  No. 22. Pomponne to Estrades                           160

  No. 23. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Means of protracting the Negociation.--Views of
      Matthioli                                          162

  No. 24. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Delay in Matthioli’s Journey to Paris                164

  No. 25. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Interview with Matthioli                             166

  No. 26. Pomponne to Estrades                           169

  No. 27. Pomponne to Estrades                           170

  No. 28. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Differences between the Duke of Mantua and the
      Spaniards                                          171

  No. 29. Estrades to Pomponne.
    Excuses for the delay of Matthioli                   173

  No. 30. Pomponne to Estrades                           174

  No. 31. Estrades to Pomponne                           175

  No. 32. Pomponne to Estrades                           176

  No. 33. Estrades to Lewis the Fourteenth.
    Good dispositions of the Duke of Mantua, and of
      the Garrison of Casale                             177

  No. 34. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          179

  No. 35. Matthioli to Lewis the Fourteenth.
    Excuses his own delay                                ib.

  No. 36. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          180

  No. 37. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          181

  No. 38. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          182

  No. 39. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Intention of Estrades to leave Venice                183

  No. 40. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Continued delay of Matthioli                         184

  No. 41. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          185

  No. 42. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          186

  No. 43. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          ib.

  No. 44. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          187

  No. 45. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          188

  No. 46. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          ib.

  No. 47. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          189

  No. 48.
    Powers granted to Pomponne, to treat with
      Matthioli                                          190

  No. 49. Lewis the Fourteenth to the Duke of Mantua.
    Promises his protection to the Duke                  192

  No. 50. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          193

  No. 51. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Interview of Pinchesne with Don Joseph Varano        194

  No. 52. Pomponne to Pinchesne.
    A courier sent to Venice with a new cypher           196

  No. 53. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Catinat sent to Pignerol                             197

  No. 54. Pomponne to Pinchesne.
    D’Asfeld sent to Venice                              198

  No. 55. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          199

  No. 56. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          200

  No. 57. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          201

  No. 58. Pinchesne to Pomponne                          202

  No. 59. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Arrival of d’Asfeld at Venice                        203

  No. 60. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Delays of Matthioli, and of the Duke of Mantua       206

  No. 61. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Further Delays of Matthioli                          208

  No. 62. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          211

  No. 63. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Interviews with Matthioli.--Further Delays in the
      Ratification of the Treaty                         212

  No. 64. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          215

  No. 65. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          ib.

  No. 66. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Reasons for the Duke of Mantua’s delay in going
      to Casale                                          216

  No. 67. Pomponne to Matthioli                          220

  No. 68. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Arrangements for the Exchange of the Ratifications
      of the Treaty                                      222

  No. 69. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Suspicions of the House of Austria respecting the
      Negociations                                       225

  No. 70. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Arrest of d’Asfeld.--Departure of the Duke of
      Mantua from Venice                                 227

  No. 71. Pomponne to Matthioli.
    Letter of Credence to be presented to Matthioli by
      Catinat                                            230

  No. 72. Estrades to Matthioli.
    Complaints of the Delays in the Conclusion of the
      Negociation                                        232

  No. 73. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          235

  No. 74. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          237

  No. 75. Pomponne to Pinchesne.
    Suspicions of the Fidelity of Matthioli              238

  No. 76. Chanois to Louvois.
    Reports of Catinat being at Pignerol.--Different
      Rumours respecting the Negociation                 239

  No. 77. Catinat to Louvois                             241

  No. 78. Catinat to Louvois.
    Rumours of Catinat’s being at Pignerol.--Civilities
      of Saint-Mars to him                               242

  No. 79. Pomponne to Pinchesne.
    Continued Suspicions of Matthioli                    245

  No. 80. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          246

  No. 81. Pomponne to Pinchesne.
    Confirmation of the Suspicions respecting
      Matthioli’s want of fidelity                       247

  No. 82. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Order to receive Matthioli as a Prisoner             248

  No. 83. Pomponne to Pinchesne.
    Further confirmation of the Treachery of Matthioli   249

  No. 84. Catinat to Louvois.
    Arrest of Matthioli                                  250

  No. 85. Catinat to Louvois.
    Intelligence respecting Matthioli’s Papers           252

  No. 86.
    Inventory sent by Catinat to Louvois, of the Papers
      which Matthioli had about his person               256

  No. 87. Catinat to Louvois.
    First Examination of Matthioli                       260

  No. 88. Pomponne to Pinchesne                          271

  No. 89. Pinchesne to Pomponne.
    Interviews between the Duke of Mantua and the
      Senator Foscarini                                  272

  No. 90. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Orders to treat Matthioli with severity              275

  No. 91. Catinat to Louvois.
    Plans of Catinat for obtaining possession of Casale  276

  No. 92.
    Second Examination of Matthioli                      280

  No. 93. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          293

  No. 94. Catinat to Louvois.
    Further particulars respecting Matthioli             ib.

  No. 95.
    Third Examination of Matthioli                       296

  No. 96. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          302

  No. 97. Catinat to Louvois.
    Concluding Examination of Matthioli                  303

  No. 98. Varengeville to Pomponne.
    Proposed recompense to Giuliani                      307

  No. 99. Louvois to Saint-Mars                          309

  No. 100. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         310

  No. 101. Saint-Mars to Louvois                         ib.

  No. 102. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Matthioli complains of his Treatment, and gives
      Proofs of Insanity                                 311

  No. 103. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         312

  No. 104. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         313

  No. 105. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Matthioli and the Jacobin placed together            314

  No. 106. Saint-Mars to Louvois                         315

  No. 107. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Particulars respecting the Ring given by Matthioli
      to Blainvilliers                                   316

  No. 108. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         317

  No. 109. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         318

  No. 110. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         319

  No. 111. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Appointment of Saint-Mars to the Government of
      Exiles--Measures to be taken by him thereupon      320

  No. 112. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Precautions for the Journey of the Prisoners from
      Pignerol to Exiles                                 322

  No. 113. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         325

  No. 114. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         326

  No. 115. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Precautions for the Security and Concealment of the
      Prisoners at Exiles                                327

  No. 116. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Departure of Saint-Mars from Pignerol ordered to be
      deferred, in order that he might receive Catinat
      there                                              328

  No. 117. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         329

  No. 118. Louvois to Saint-Mars.
    Orders for the Reception of Catinat at Pignerol      330

  No. 119. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         332

  No. 120. Louvois to Saint-Mars                         ib.

  No. 121. Saint-Mars to Louvois                         333

  No. 122. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Description of the Apartment and manner of
      Confinement of the Prisoners at Exiles             334

  No. 123. Saint-Mars to Louvois                         336

  No. 124. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Saint-Mars is made Governor of the Islands of Saint
      Margaret                                           337

  No. 125. Saint-Mars to Louvois                         338

  No. 126. Saint-Mars to Louvois.
    Arrival of Matthioli at the Islands of Saint
      Margaret                                           340

  No. 127. Saint-Mars to the Minister.
    Relation of the conduct of two Protestant Ministers  341

  No. 128.
    Extract from the Register of the Bastille, published
      in the Work entitled, “La Bastille Dévoilée”       342

  No. 129.
    Second Extract from the Register of the Bastille,
      published in the Work entitled, “La Bastille
      Dévoilée”                                          343

  No. 130.
    Extract from the Register of Burials of the Church
      of Saint Paul, at Paris                            345

  No. 131.
    Extract from the Work entitled “La Correspondance
      Interceptée,” by M. Lewis Dutens, published in
      1789                                               346

  No. 132.
    Extract from the article on the Iron Mask in the
      Work entitled “_Mélanges d’Histoire et de
      Littérature_;” by Mr. Quintin Craufurd             347

  No. 133.
    Letter from the Baron de Heiss to the Authors of the
      “_Journal Encyclopédique_” on the subject of the
      Iron Mask; published in that Journal in 1770       348

    Letter on the subject of the Man in the Iron Mask,
      announced in the preceding one                     349



HISTORY

OF

THE IRON MASK.


The curiosity of the public has been now, for above a century, so
much wrought upon by the mystery which has enveloped the name of the
Iron Mask, (or as the French more properly designate him, “_the Man
of the Iron Mask_,”[1]) that the eagerness for discovery has thus
been carried much farther than the real importance of the subject
deserved. Numerous have been the papers written, and the conjectures
hazarded in favour of different theories; almost all presenting,
at first view, some semblance of probability; but all, without
exception, crumbling to nothing when exposed to the researches
of accurate inquiry. Under these circumstances, it is certainly
satisfactory, that the question should be finally set at rest.

It is singular, that among all the inquiries hitherto made
respecting the Iron Mask, no one seems ever to have thought of
recurring to the only source from whence true information could be
derived--the archives of the French Government, during the reign of
Lewis the Fourteenth. It was reserved for M. Delort to make these
researches; which he did by the permission of the Count d’Hauterive,
Keeper of the Archives of the office of Secretary of State for the
Foreign department, and the result has been perfectly conclusive.
In those archives, he found the continued correspondence of the
French ministers, proving, beyond a doubt, that the Iron Mask was
an Italian of the name of Matthioli; a personage who was first put
on the list of candidates for that honour, in a pamphlet published
in 1801, by M. Roux (Fazillac);[2] who, however, was then unable to
support his opinion with sufficient authorities.

Hercules Anthony Matthioli[3] was a Bolognese of ancient family,
distinguished in the law. He was the son of Valerian Matthioli and
Girolama Maggi, and was born on the 1st of December 1640. On the
13th of January, 1661, he married Camilla, daughter of Bernard
Paleotti, and widow of Alexander Piatesi. By her he had two sons,
one of whom only had posterity, which has long since been extinct.
Early in life he was public reader in the University of Bologna, but
he soon quitted his native city to enter into the service of Charles
the Third, Duke of Mantua, by whom he was much favoured, and towards
the conclusion of whose reign he was made Secretary of State. His
successor, Ferdinand, Charles the Fourth, the last sovereign of
Mantua, of the house of Gonzaga, created Matthioli Supernumerary
Senator of Mantua, an honour which had formerly been enjoyed by his
great grandfather, and gave him the title of Count. When he ceased
to be Secretary of State at Mantua does not appear; but he was
clearly not in that office when he first, unhappily for himself,
was involved in diplomatic relations with the agents of the French
Government.

Towards the end of the year 1677, the Abbé d’Estrades,[4] ambassador
from France to the Republic of Venice, conceived the idea, which
he was well aware would be highly acceptable to the insatiable
ambition of his master, of inducing the Duke of Mantua[5] to allow
of the introduction of a French garrison into Casale,[6] a strongly
fortified town, the capital of the Montferrat, and in a great
measure the key of Italy. The cession of the fortress of Pignerol[7]
to the French, by Victor Amadeus,[8] Duke of Savoy, in 1632, had
opened to them the entry of Piedmont, and the possession of Casale
would enable them to invade the Milanese, whenever they were so
inclined.

At this time the council of the Duke of Mantua, headed by his
mother,[9] an Austrian Archduchess, was entirely in the interests of
the Court of Spain; while the young Duke, plunged in pleasures and
excesses of every kind, took little apparent interest in politicks.
The great difficulty, therefore, which Estrades had to encounter
in the prosecution of this intrigue, was the establishment of a
channel of communication with the Duke; who, as has been stated,
was surrounded by persons in the Spanish interest. If he could once
enter into secret relations with that Prince, he hoped to be able to
bribe him into a concurrence in his designs; for Ferdinand Charles
was both needy and unprincipled. He had, besides, discovered, as
he writes word to Lewis, in his first letter[10] to him, dated
Venice, Dec. 18th, 1677, that the Duke was not so abandoned to his
pleasures, but that he still had some ambition, and much chagrin at
the state of subjection in which he was kept by his mother; joined
to a great distrust of the Spaniards, who were supposed to foment
the divisions of the Court of Mantua, with the view of, eventually,
themselves obtaining possession of Casale and the rest of the
Montferrat.

The desired channel of communication Estrades thought he had found
in Matthioli, who was a complete master of Italian politicks,
as well as much in the Duke’s good graces. Before, however, he
proceeded to enlist him in his service, he deemed it necessary to
discover what was the bent of his inclinations. This he effected
ingeniously enough, by sending a certain Giuliani, in whom he
appears to have placed implicit confidence, to Verona, where
Matthioli then was, to act as a spy upon him. The report of
Giuliani, upon his return to Venice, was so favourable, both with
regard to the discontent of Matthioli against the Spaniards, “who
had always amused him with hopes, and afterwards abandoned him,”[11]
and his wish to enter into the service of the French Monarch, that
Estrades lost no time in sending him (Giuliani) back again for
the purpose of conferring with Matthioli upon the subject of the
proposed negociation.

Giuliani was instructed by the Ambassador to enlarge to Matthioli
upon the jeopardy which the sovereignty of the Duke of Mantua
was in, in consequence of the different pretensions of various
branches of his family to his territories, which were more or
less countenanced by the Spaniards for the purposes of their own
aggrandizement. These were, among others, those of the Empress
Eleanor[12] to the Montferrat; and those of the Marquis of
Laguna[13] to the Duchy of Guastalla, to the prejudice of the Duke
of Mantua, who was the rightful heir. Giuliani was also to lament
the dependant state of the Duke of Mantua, the revenues of whose
states, as well as all the powers of government, were entirely in
the hands of his mother, and the Monk Bulgarini;[14] and to explain
the necessity which, on these accounts, existed for that Prince
to seek, without delay, the alliance and protection of Lewis the
Fourteenth. He was to assure him, in conclusion, that Estrades had
no doubt of the readiness of Lewis to assist in freeing the Duke of
Mantua from his embarrassments; but that, in order to enable him to
do this effectually, it was absolutely necessary to garrison Casale
with French troops.

Matthioli concurred entirely in these views of Giuliani, and offered
to sound the Duke of Mantua upon the subject. A few days afterwards,
he sent word to Estrades, that he had managed to have an interview
with that Prince (having previously established himself secretly
in the neighbourhood of Mantua), and had found him generally
well-disposed to the plan. He also requested Estrades to send
Giuliani again to him, in order that they might act in concert; the
said Giuliani being also a person who might, without suspicion,
carry intelligence backwards and forwards,[15] which was not the
case with Matthioli himself.

Giuliani was accordingly sent, and had an audience of the Duke
of Mantua, who received him very favourably, and acquainted him
with his willingness to enter into an alliance with France, and
to deliver up Casale, upon the understanding that Estrades was to
try to obtain for him any reasonable requests he might make; the
principal of these, in addition to the grant of a sum of money, was
the being made generalissimo of any French army that might be sent
into Italy, “that being,” says Estrades, “what he wishes beyond all
things; or rather, that being the only thing he is very anxious for,
in order that he may have the same consideration in Italy the late
Duke of Modena[16] had, and the late Duke of Mantua,[17] who at his
age commanded in chief the Emperor’s army, with the title of Vicar
General of the Empire.”[18]

The Duke of Mantua also announced in this conference, that he put
himself, on this occasion, entirely into the hands of Matthioli,
whom he promised to reinstate in his place of Secretary of State,
and to appoint his first minister, as soon as he himself should have
regained his authority, and that the treaty, he was now projecting
with the King of France, had been duly executed.

To Matthioli were joined in the negociation the two counsellors of
the Duke of Mantua, in whom he had the most confidence; the Marquis
Cavriani and Joseph Varano; and these, together with Giuliani,
Estrades, Pinchesne the French Secretary of Embassy at Venice, and
the Duke himself, were the only persons in Italy acquainted with the
business; so that the Ambassador had certainly very fair grounds
for expressing his hopes “the secrecy, so necessary in this affair,
would remain impenetrable.”[19]

This conference was followed by another, in which the Duke showed
the greatest impatience to conclude the treaty; entreating that
Lewis might be instantly made acquainted with the state it was
at present in, and requesting, or rather imploring, for a French
army; on the arrival of which he hinted much might be done against
the Duchy of Milan. Finally, he promised to have a conference with
Estrades, “as he was soon going to Venice, where they might see one
another conveniently, and without being observed, on account of the
Carnival, during which all the world, even the Doge and the oldest
Senators were accustomed to go about in mask.”[20]

He also requested that the Cardinal d’Estrées[21] might not be
made a party to the negociation; because he was so well known
to be employed generally by Lewis to negociate with the Italian
Sovereigns, that his entering into it would naturally excite the
suspicions of the Spaniards that something secret was going on; and
that they would then ruin him, the Duke of Mantua, before he could
receive the assistance of the French Monarch; and that thus the
hopes of both the contracting parties, from the treaty at present
under discussion, would be frustrated. To this proposition Estrades
agreed, though unwillingly. We cannot but here remark how skilful
a negociator he seems to have been; beginning as he does by making
trial of his tools, and then of his arguments, and afterwards
bringing both of them to bear very judiciously on the negociation,
in the way the most likely to lead to a favourable result.

When the affair was advanced thus far, Estrades lost no time in
forwarding an account of it to Lewis, to whom, as he says himself,
he had not before ventured to write upon the subject, because at
first he despaired of being able to bring the intrigue to bear:
but he now thought it in so good a train, that upon receiving the
approval of his proceedings from Lewis, he could almost answer for
its success. The letter of Estrades was accompanied by a schedule,
containing the demands of the Duke of Mantua, and by a letter from
Matthioli, also addressed to Lewis, in which he offers to devote
himself to his service, to strive to detach his master, the Duke
of Mantua, from the Austrian interest, and insinuates very plainly
his wish and intention of selling him and his fortress of Casale
to the French Monarch; whom, he says, he “regards and reveres as
a _Demigod_.”[22] To these protestations Lewis returned, as was
natural, a very civil answer;[23] generally promising his protection
and favour to Matthioli.

On the 24th of December of the same year, Estrades[24] writes to M.
de Pomponne,[25] (then one of the Secretaries of State), to inform
him of a discovery he has made from the Duke of Mantua himself,
that the Austrian party have determined, in case any French troops
should arrive in Italy, and that the Duke of Mantua should manifest
any disposition of favouring them, to seize upon Casale and Mantua.
He therefore adds that the Duke, though thoroughly well-disposed
towards the French interests, cannot take any active part in their
favour, unless Lewis will send into Italy a sufficient force to
secure Casale and the rest of the Duke’s territories from the
attempts of the House of Austria. He subsequently seems to hint his
fear that the life of the Duke of Mantua may be made away with by
the Austrians, in order the more easily to possess themselves of
his territories. “We must besides, Sir, consider that the Duke of
Guastalla[26] being the nearest relation of the Duke of Mantua, as
well as his heir, there would be danger that, if the Duchess,[27]
his daughter, who is very ill and has no children, should die,
some _misfortune_ might happen to the Duke of Mantua, which would
assure his territories to the Spanish Nobleman, who has married the
second daughter[28] of the Duke of Guastalla, and whose marriage the
Spaniards, _doubtless with this view_, made up at Vienna by means of
Don Vincent.”[29]

To Estrades, Lewis returned a long and detailed statement of his
views; in which he approves generally of the design of putting
a French garrison into Casale; intimates upon what terms it may
be done; rejects a request of the Duke of Mantua to procure for
him the restoration of those parts of the Montferrat, which by
former treaties had been ceded to the Duke of Savoy; objects to the
largeness of his demand of 100,000 pistoles as the price of Casale;
promises to bear him harmless and remunerate him for any injury that
may be done to him by the Spaniards, in consequence of his siding
with the French; and finally instructs Estrades, to entertain the
notion that a French army is about to pass the Alps, and in the
meanwhile to protract the negociation, in order to allow him, Lewis,
time to make his various preparations. Indeed this last point,
the necessity for delay, was so strongly impressed upon Estrades,
upon more than one occasion, that, in a subsequent despatch, he
expresses his regret that the negociation goes on so smoothly and
prosperously, that he cannot find any difficulties[30] to enable him
to protract it till the troops of Lewis are in readiness to march
towards Italy.

The only point in dispute appears to have been, what the sum of
money should be which was to be given by the French Monarch to the
Duke of Mantua. The stipulation for 100,000 pistoles was decidedly
rejected by Lewis; and at length, after some difficulty, Estrades
reduced the demand of the other party to 100,000 crowns, and those
not to be paid till after the signature of the treaty between the
two sovereigns.[31]

The next event of importance in the negociation was the interview,
effected at Venice during the Carnival, between the Duke of Mantua
and Estrades. It took place at midnight, on the 18th of March, 1678,
in a small open space, equally distant from the residence of the
Duke and the Ambassador, and lasted a full hour. In it the Duke
dwelt[32] much upon his impatience for the conclusion of the treaty
with France; and for the speedy appearance of the troops of the
latter in Italy, alleging as his reason, the constant and lively
fear he was in of the Spaniards. He also announced his intention
of sending Matthioli, in whom, says Estrades, “He has a blind
confidence, and who governs him absolutely,” to the French court;
thinking that his presence there might bring matters to a speedier
issue.

Estrades, who had now ascertained that his master could not possibly
spare an army for Italy that year (1678), and who therefore was
more than ever anxious to prevent such a consummation, consented
with considerable difficulty to the project; resolving, at the same
time, to obstruct the departure of Matthioli for France as long
as possible; and writing to M. de Pomponne to delay him and his
business, when at length he arrived there, by every means in his
power.[33]

Subsequently the procrastinating intentions of Estrades were more
easily put into execution than he expected; for Matthioli, of his
own accord, deferred his journey from spring to autumn on various
pleas, of which the principal one was, his unwillingness to leave
his master, exposed to the insinuations, and perhaps menaces, of the
Spanish partizans, by whom he was surrounded.[34]

Finally, after many delays, Matthioli, accompanied by Giuliani, set
off for Paris in the beginning of November, 1678, and arrived there
towards the end of the same month.[35] He found the Abbé d’Estrades,
who had quitted his Venetian Embassy, arrived there before him, and
had several interviews with him and M. de Pomponne; during which a
treaty was agreed on to the following effect:--

1. That the Duke of Mantua should receive the French troops into
Casale.

2. That if Lewis sent an army into Italy, the Duke of Mantua should
have the command of it.

3. That immediately after the execution of the treaty, the sum of
100,000 crowns should be paid to the Duke of Mantua.[36]

The treaty contained also some other articles of minor importance.

Matthioli himself had the honour of being received in a secret
audience by Lewis,[37] who made him a present of a valuable
ring.[37] He also received a sum of money for himself,[37] and a
promise of a much larger gratification[38] after the ratification
of the treaty. He was also promised that his son should be made one
of the King’s Pages; and that his brother, who was in the Church,
should receive a good benefice.[39] He was then sent back to Italy,
with a detailed instruction from Louvois,[40] upon the manner of
executing the articles of the treaty.

The French Government was thus far so entirely satisfied of
the sincerity and good faith of Matthioli, and so convinced of
the speedy admission of the French troops into Casale, that
they immediately upon his departure took decided measures in
furtherance of their plan.[41] Thus the Marquis de Boufflers,[42]
Colonel-General of the Dragoons, was sent to take the command of
the forces, which were assembling near the frontier of Italy,
at Briançon, in Dauphiny. Catinat,[43] Brigadier of Infantry,
afterwards the celebrated Marshal of that name, who was to serve
under the command of Boufflers, had orders to conceal himself in
the fortress of Pignerol,[44] and to adopt a feigned name, that of
Richemont;[45] while the Baron d’Asfeld,[46] Colonel of Dragoons,
was despatched to Venice, upon a mission for exchanging the
ratifications of the treaty; for which purpose he was to unite with
M. de Pinchesne, the Chargé d’Affaires there, during the absence of
an ambassador.[47]

Though these measures were taken with the greatest secrecy, it was
impossible but that the report of the assembling of the French
forces so near the territories of the Duke of Savoy,[48] should
reach the ears of the Spaniards, and excite their suspicions; as
well as those of the Venetians, and of the other Italian states.
Accordingly, we find that remonstrances were several times made
by the ambassadors of the Emperor[49] and King of Spain[50] at
Venice, to the Duke of Mantua, upon the rumour of his intention of
delivering the capital of the Montferrat to Lewis. Ferdinand Charles
denied that this was the case;[51] but was not believed.

As, therefore, the ferment and discontent in the north of Italy
increased, the agents of the French Government were naturally
anxious that the treaty should be ratified and executed as soon as
possible; for which purpose, the Duke of Mantua had promised to meet
the Baron d’Asfeld at Casale, during the month of February, 1679.
In proportion, however, as the French became more impatient for the
conclusion of the affair, the Count Matthioli found fresh excuses
for delaying it. At one moment his own ill health detained him at
Padua, and prevented his coming to Venice to confer with Messrs. de
Pinchesne and d’Asfeld; at another, the Duke of Mantua could not
raise a sufficient sum of money to enable him to transport his court
to Casale; at another, it was necessary to have time to persuade
Don Vincent Gonzaga[52] to accompany the Duke to Casale, as it was
not considered safe to leave him at Mantua; and again, the Duke of
Mantua was obliged to stay at Venice, having promised to hold a
carrousel there.[53]

In spite of all these difficulties, it was, however, finally
arranged, that the Baron d’Asfeld and Matthioli should meet, on the
9th of March, at Incréa, a village ten miles from Casale, in order
to make the exchange of the ratifications; that the Duke of Mantua
himself, should go to Casale on the 15th of the same month; and
should put the troops of Lewis into possession of the place on the
18th; on which day, being the ninth after the ratification, it was
decided they could without fail be there.[54]

The various excuses made by Matthioli, for the non-execution of his
agreement, all more or less frivolous, appear first to have given
to the French Government a suspicion of his fidelity. Whether the
reception of Matthioli at the French court had not been such as
he expected, though it would appear to have been most gracious;
or whether, which is more probable, the sum of money there given
to him did not content him;--or whether, which is also probable,
the Spaniards having got some knowledge of the transaction, had
offered him a still larger bribe, it is impossible for us, at
this distance of time, exactly to decide; but it appears evident,
that, from the time of his return from Paris, his conduct with
regard to the negociation became entirely changed; and he was as
anxious to procrastinate, as he had formerly been to advance it. It
was, therefore, natural for the French diplomatists to conclude,
supported as this opinion also was by various circumstantial
evidence, that he had been bought by the other side--a circumstance
of no extraordinary occurrence in the career of a needy Italian
adventurer.

His weak and timid master followed implicitly his counsels; but
appears to have been himself in the intention of acting fairly and
faithfully by the French Government. The first intimation that
is given in the correspondence of the suspicions, with regard to
the conduct of Matthioli, occurs in a letter from Pomponne[55] to
Matthioli himself, dated February 21st, 1679, in which he says
that Lewis “is unwilling to doubt that the promise which has been
so solemnly made[56] him will not be kept;” an expression which
certainly seems to imply, that some doubt did exist in the mind of
Lewis and of his ministers upon the subject.

The next is an elaborate and skilful letter of Estrades to
Matthioli, written on the 24th of March, 1679,[57] from Turin,
where he was then awaiting the execution of the treaty, in which
he mingles promises and threats to encourage him to perform his
stipulations; and shows sufficiently his suspicions to the object
of them, to frighten him; at the same time leaving open the hope of
forgiveness in case of future good conduct.

By the subsequent letters[58] of Pomponne to Pinchesne, it appears,
that the treachery of Matthioli soon became more apparent. Indeed,
Estrades, during his stay at Turin, obtained the most indubitable
evidence of the fact; for the Duchess of Savoy[59] showed to him the
copies of all the documents relative to the negociation respecting
Casale, which Matthioli had given to the President Turki, one of
her ministers who was in the interests of Spain, when he passed
through Turin on his return from Paris.[60] From Turki, as it
subsequently appeared, Matthioli had received a sum of money for his
information.[61]

Meanwhile Asfeld was arrested by the orders of the Count de Melgar,
the Spanish Governor of the Milanese, as he was on his way to
the rendezvous at Incréa; and Matthioli was the first person who
acquainted the French agents with this misfortune,[62] as well as
with the fact that the Duke of Mantua had been obliged to conclude a
treaty with the Venetians, in a directly contrary sense to the one
he had first entered into with France;[63] “having probably been,”
as Pomponne remarks, in a letter to Pinchesne,[64] “himself the sole
author of the accidents and impediments he acquaints us with.”

Upon the arrival of the intelligence at Paris, of the arrest of
Asfeld, the French ministers, though their suspicions of Matthioli
were now changed into certainties, being still anxious, if possible,
to get possession of Casale, empowered Catinat to supply his place,
and to conclude the ratification of the treaty. Intelligence of this
change was conveyed to Matthioli in a letter[65] from Pomponne, of
the date of March 14th, 1679.

Catinat accordingly went, on the appointed day, from Pignerol to
Incréa, accompanied by St. Mara,[66] the Commandant of that part
of the fortress of Pignerol, which was appropriated for a state
prison, and by a person of confidence, belonging to the embassy
of Estrades. But the appointed day passed over, without bringing
Matthioli to Incréa; and the next morning Catinat was informed
that his arrival there was discovered; that the peasants of the
neighbourhood were in arms; and that a detachment of cavalry was on
its way, for the purpose of seizing upon him and his companions.
What became of the latter does not appear, except that they escaped
the threatened danger; but he himself got away secretly, and in
disguise, to Casale; where he gave himself out as an officer of the
garrison of Pignerol. The Governor there, who was well-disposed
to the French interest, received him with great civility; and, at
a dinner he gave to him, joined in drinking the King of France’s
health with enthusiasm.[67] The next day Catinat was too happy to
return undiscovered to Pignerol.

Matthioli, meanwhile, instead of keeping his engagement at Incréa,
had returned to Venice, and had had several interviews with
Pinchesne, the particulars of which we are unacquainted with, as the
letters containing the accounts of them, though alluded to by M. de
Pomponne[68] in his answers, have not been published.

Pinchesne was, at this time, convinced of the perfidy of Matthioli,
having, in addition to various other suspicious circumstances,
discovered that he had been secretly at Milan for some days. He,
however, did not think it advisable entirely to break with him; but
advised him to go and confer with Estrades, at Turin; representing
to him the danger to which he exposed himself if this affair failed
of success through his fault.[69] Matthioli followed the advice of
Pinchesne to his own ruin, and going to Turin, presented himself
forthwith to Estrades,[70] to whom he offered many insufficient
excuses for his delay.

The vindictive Lewis had, meanwhile, determined to satisfy his
wounded pride and frustrated ambition, by taking the most signal
vengeance of Matthioli; as we find by the following note from
Louvois to his creature, St. Mars, dated, St. Germain, April 27th,
1679.--“The King has sent orders to the Abbé d’Estrades, to try
and arrest a man, with whose conduct his Majesty has reason to be
dissatisfied; of which he has commanded me to acquaint you, in order
that you may not object to receiving him when he shall be sent to
you; and that you may guard him in a manner, that not only he may
not have communication with any one, but that also he may have cause
to repent of his bad conduct; and that it may not be discovered that
you have a new prisoner.”[71]

Nothing therefore could be more opportune to Estrades, than the
arrival of Matthioli at Turin, and accident soon enabled him to lay
a successful plan for executing the wishes of the French monarch.
The plan he is said to have communicated to the Duchess of Savoy,
who consented to the arrest taking place, but objected to its
happening on her territories.[72]

Matthioli complained much of want of money, occasioned by the
expenses of his journies, and the bribes he had been obliged to
offer to the Duke’s mistresses. Estrades took this opportunity of
forwarding his scheme, by telling him that Catinat, who, under the
name of Richemont, commanded the troops destined to take possession
of Casale, had considerable sums at his disposal, which he would
be happy to make so good a use of as in ministering to his wants;
provided he, Matthioli, would give him a meeting on the frontier
towards Pignerol, at which also Estrades would be present.[73] Of
course, the reason assigned for naming the frontier as the place of
rendezvous was, that Catinat could not leave the neighbourhood where
his troops were stationed.

To this proposition Matthioli readily consented; and having first
made a journey to Casale, he returned and met Estrades (who
was accompanied on this expedition by his relation the Abbé de
Montesquiou) by appointment, in a church half a mile from Turin,
from whence they proceeded together to the frontier. At three miles
from the place of rendezvous they were stopped by a river, of
which the banks were overflowed, and the bridge broken. Matthioli
himself assisted in repairing the bridge, which was to convey him
to his captivity;[74] and they then proceeded on foot to the place
where Catinat awaited them accompanied only by two officers, the
Chevaliers de St. Martin and de Villebois, and by four soldiers of
the garrison of Pignerol.[75]

Before, however, Matthioli was arrested, Estrades held some
conversation with him, and obliged him, in the presence of Catinat,
to confess that he had in his possession all the original papers
regarding the delivery of Casale, and that they were left in the
custody of his wife at Bologna; who was living in the convent
of the nuns of St. Thomas[76] in that city. This was necessary,
because Matthioli had lately refused to give them up to the Duke
his master,[77] alleging that he no longer knew where they were.
His confession, upon this occasion, afterwards turned out to be
false, and that the papers in question were concealed in a wall at
Padua.[78]

Immediately after this avowal had been extracted from him, he was
arrested; and offered no resistance, though he always carried a
sword and pistols about his person. He was conducted to Pignerol,
where he arrived late at night.

Catinat, in his letter to Louvois, giving an account of this
seizure, which took place on the 2d of May, 1679, dwells much upon
the secrecy with which it was effected, so that, says he, “no one
knows the name of the rascal, not even the officers who assisted in
arresting him.”[79] And he concludes by mentioning, that in order
to perpetuate the mystery in which his prisoner is enveloped, he
has given him the name of “Lestang,”--“not a soul here knowing who
he is.” In the subsequent correspondence of Louvois with Catinat
and St. Mars, he is very generally designated by that name. At
first, St. Mars carried his precaution so far as to serve Matthioli
himself, and not allow any of the garrison to approach him; soon
afterwards his valet, who had been arrested by the exertions of
Estrades,[80] was allowed to attend upon him; and subsequently
St. Mars appointed those of his officers, in whom he had the most
confidence, to assist in guarding him. It may be remembered that
Louvois, in his letter to St. Mars, which has been before quoted,
orders that the prisoner, who was to be brought to Pignerol, “should
have intercourse with no one;” and in the subsequent letters from
the same Minister, difficulties are even made to his being permitted
to see either a physician or a confessor.[81]

These extraordinary precautions against discovery, and the one which
appears to have been afterwards resorted to, of obliging him to
wear a mask, during his journeys, or when he saw any one, are not
wonderful, when we reflect upon the violent breach of the law of
nations, which had been committed by his imprisonment. Matthioli, at
the time of his arrest, was actually the plenipotentiary[82] of the
Duke of Mantua, for concluding a treaty with the King of France; and
for that very sovereign to kidnap him and confine him in a dungeon
was certainly one of the most flagrant acts of violence that could
be committed; one which, if known, would have had the most injurious
effects upon the negociations of Lewis with other sovereigns; nay,
would probably have indisposed other sovereigns from treating at all
with him. It is true the Duke of Mantua was a prince insignificant
both in power and character, but, if in this way might was allowed
to overcome right, who could possibly tell whose turn might be the
next. Besides, it was important for Lewis that the Duke of Mantua
should also be kept in good humour, the delivery of Casale not
having been effected; nor is it to be supposed that he would have
consented to give it up to the French monarch within two years of
this period, had he had a suspicion of the way his diplomatic agent
and intended prime minister had been treated. The same reasons for
concealment existed till the death of Matthioli, since that event
happened while both Lewis XIV. and the Duke of Mantua were still
alive, which accounts for his confinement continuing to be always
solitary and always secret.

The arrest of Matthioli, certainly appears to have been the effect
of a vindictive feeling against him in the breast of Lewis himself;
for it is impossible to imagine that any minister would have
ventured, of his own free-will, upon a step by which so much was
to be hazarded, and nothing, in fact, was to be gained. The act is
only to be explained in this manner; that the monarch insisted upon
his revenge, which the ministers were obliged to gratify; and, at
the same time, in order to prevent any ill consequences that might
result from it, determined upon burying the whole transaction under
the most impenetrable veil of mystery.

The confinement of Matthioli is decidedly one of the deadliest
stains that blot the character of Lewis the Fourteenth: for,
granting that Matthioli betrayed the trust reposed in him by
that monarch, one single act of diplomatic treachery was surely
not sufficient to warrant the infliction of the most horrible
of all punishments,--of solitary confinement, for four and
twenty years, in a dungeon!--It was, however, an act of cruel
injustice that was to be expected from the man, who, when the
unhappy Fouquet[83] was condemned by the tribunals of his country
to exile, himself changed his sentence to that of perpetual
imprisonment;--who, to please his mistress, confined his former
favourite, Lauzun,[84] for nine years in the fortress of Pignerol,
and only then released him in order, by that means, to swindle
Mademoiselle de Montpensier[85] out of her fortune, in favour
of his bastard, the Duke du Maine;--who shut up so many other
persons, guilty only of imaginary crimes, in various prisons, where
they died of misery and ill-treatment;--who revoked the Edict of
Nantes;--ordered the burning of the Palatinate;--persecuted the
saints of Port Royal;--and gloried in the Dragonades, and the war
of the Cevennes;--who, in short, whether we regard him as a man or
a sovereign, was one of the most hardened, cruel, and tyrannical
characters transmitted to us in history. Providence doubtless made
use of him as a scourge befitting the crimes of the age he lived in;
and, in this point of view, his existence was most useful. Nor is
his memory less so; which has been left to us and to all posterity,
as a mighty warning of the effects, even in this world, of
overweening ambition; and as a melancholy example of the perversion
of a proud heart, which “gave not God the glory,” and was therefore
abandoned by the Almighty to the effects of its own natural and
irretrievable wickedness.

After the arrest of Matthioli, he underwent several interrogatories,[86]
in which, in spite of his numerous prevarications, his treachery
was still more amply discovered. The examinations were all sent
to Louvois by Catinat, who, as soon as they were concluded, left
Pignerol, and returned to the court.[87]

At first, Matthioli was, by the direction of Estrades,[88]
well-treated in his prison; but this was not by any means the
intention of Lewis, and accordingly, we find Louvois writing
thus to St. Mars. “It is not the intention of the King that the
Sieur de Lestang should be _well-treated_; nor that, except the
absolute necessaries of life, you should give him any thing that
may make him pass his time agreeably.”[89] Again, in the same
strain: “I have nothing to add to what I have already commanded you
respecting the severity with which the individual named Lestang
must be treated.”[90] And again; “You must keep the individual
named Lestang, in the severe confinement I enjoined in my preceding
letters, without allowing him to see a physician, unless you know
he is in absolute want of one.”[91] These repeated injunctions to
the same effect are a proof, how much importance the rancorous Lewis
attached to his victim’s being compelled to drink the bitter cup of
captivity to the very dregs.

The harshness and hopelessness of his prison seem to have affected
the intellects of Matthioli,[92] for after he had been nearly a year
confined, St. Mars acquaints Louvois, that “The Sieur de Lestang
complains, he is not treated as a man of his quality, and the
minister of a great prince ought to be; notwithstanding which, I
continue to follow your commands most exactly upon this subject, as
well as on all others. I think he is deranged by the way he talks to
me, telling me he converses every day with God and his angels;--that
they have told him of the death of the Duke of Mantua, and of the
Duke of Lorrain;[93] and as an additional proof of his madness, he
says, that he has the honour of being the near relation of the King,
to whom he wishes to write, to complain of the way in which I treat
him. I have not thought it right to give him paper or ink for that
purpose, perceiving him not to be in his right senses.”[94]

The unhappy prisoner, in his phrensy and despair, sometimes used
very violent language to his keepers, and wrote abusive sentences
with charcoal on the walls of his prison; on which account St.
Mars ordered his lieutenant, Blainvilliers, to threaten him with
punishment, and even to show him a cudgel, with which he was to be
beaten, if he did not behave better.

These menaces so far intimidated Matthioli, that a few days
afterwards, while Blainvilliers was serving him at dinner, he, in
order to propitiate him, took a valuable ring from his finger and
offered it to him. Blainvilliers told him he could accept nothing
from a prisoner, but that he would deliver it to St. Mars; which he
accordingly did.[95] St. Mars estimates the ring at fifty or sixty
pistoles: and M. Delort conjectures it to have been the one given
to him by Lewis the Fourteenth, during his stay at Paris. St. Mars
inquires from Louvois[96] what he is to do in consequence; and the
latter returns for answer, that he “must keep the ring, which the
Sieur Matthioli has given to the Sieur de Blainvilliers, in order to
restore it to him, if it should ever happen that the King ordered
him to be set at liberty.”[97]

Matthioli apparently expressed a wish to confess to a priest;
and Louvois desires that he may be only allowed to do so once in
the year.[98] It appears that St. Mars had at this time in his
custody a Jacobin monk, with whose crime, as well as name, we are
unacquainted; but in the correspondence of St. Mars and Louvois,
he is designated as “the Jacobin in the lower part of the tower.”
This man was mad; very possibly had been made so, like Matthioli,
by solitary confinement and ill-usage. St. Mars advised the putting
Matthioli with him, in order to avoid the necessity of sending for
a priest for each prisoner.[99] To this proposal Louvois returned
the following answer: “I have been made acquainted, by your letter
of the 7th of this month (August 1680), with the proposal you make,
to put the Sieur de Lestang with the Jacobin, in order to avoid the
necessity of having two priests. The King approves of your project,
and you have only to execute it when you please.”[100]

St. Mars, in a letter of the 7th of September, 1680, thus details
the results of the execution of his plan:--

“Since you permitted me to put Matthioli with the Jacobin in the
lower part of the tower, the aforesaid Matthioli was, for four or
five days, in the belief that the Jacobin was a man that I had
placed with him to watch his actions. Matthioli, who is almost as
mad as the Jacobin, walked about with long strides, with his cloak
over his nose, crying out that he was not a dupe, but that he knew
more than he would say. The Jacobin, who was always seated on his
truckle bed, with his elbows resting upon his knees, looked at him
gravely, without listening to him. The Signior Matthioli remained
always persuaded that it was a spy that had been placed with him,
till he was one day disabused, by the Jacobin’s getting down from
his bed, stark naked, and setting himself to preach, without rhyme
or reason, till he was tired. I and my lieutenants saw all their
manoeuvres through a hole over the door.”[101]

It appears to have been very entertaining to St. Mars and his
lieutenants, to witness the ravings of these two unhappy maniacs;
and there are probably many gaolers who would experience the same
feelings upon a similar occasion: what cannot, however, but strike
us with horror, is the fact that there was found a minister, nay,
a king, and that king one who piqued himself upon professing the
Christian religion,[102] to sanction such a proceeding. It is indeed
most painful to think, that power should have been placed in the
hands of men, who could abuse it by such needless acts of cruelty.

We have no farther particulars of the state of Matthioli’s mind:
but, being more than half-mad at the time he was placed with the
Jacobin, who was quite so, it is probable the company of the latter
increased and perpetuated his phrensy. It is even not impossible
that such may have been the intention of St. Mars, as, while
Matthioli continued insane, it was of course more reasonable and
plausible to continue the extraordinary rigour of his confinement.

Nor were mental sufferings the only ones which the barbarity of
Lewis and his minister obliged Matthioli to undergo. We have before
seen, from the letters of Louvois to St. Mars, that the latter was
desired generally to treat Matthioli with great severity; afterwards
he writes to him upon the subject of his clothing, “You must make
the clothes of such sort of people as he is last three or four
years.”[103] Some idea may also be formed of the kind of furniture
of his dungeon, from the circumstance, mentioned by St. Mars, that,
upon the removal of his prisoner from the fort of Exiles to the
Island of St. Margaret in 1687, his bed had been sold, because it
was so old and broken as not to be worth the carriage; and that all
his furniture and linen being added to it, the sum produced by the
sale was only thirteen crowns.[104]

It may be worth remarking here that the letter of Louvois,
respecting Matthioli’s clothes, is a sufficient answer to the absurd
stories with regard to the richness of the lace, &c. worn by the
Iron Mask; and the relations from St. Mars himself of his threats
to his prisoner, of even corporal punishment, no less disprove the
erroneous accounts of the extraordinary respect shown to him.

In the year 1681, St. Mars was offered the government of the citadel
of Pignerol, which he declined accepting, for what reasons we
are not told: Lewis, who was anxious to recompense his services
as a gaoler of State prisoners, then gave him the government of
Exiles,[105] a strong fortress and pass near Susa, on the frontier
of Piedmont and the Briançonnois, which was vacant by the death of
the Duke de Lesdiguières; at the same time augmenting the salary
attached to that situation, so as to make it equal to that of the
towns in Flanders.[106] Louvois, in a letter dated May 12th, 1681,
acquaints St. Mars with his appointment; and informs him that “the
two prisoners in the lower part of the tower” are the only ones of
those under his care at Pignerol, whom the King wishes to accompany
him to Exiles.[107] “The two prisoners in the lower part of the
tower,” signify, as we have before seen, Matthioli and the monk.

An additional proof indeed, if any were wanted, that Matthioli
was one of the two prisoners conveyed to Exiles, is given in
the following extract from a letter of Louvois, dated June 9th,
1681:--“With regard to the effects belonging to the Sieur Matthioli
which are in your possession, you will have them taken to Exiles, in
order to be given back to him, if ever his Majesty should order him
to be set at liberty.”[108]

It is to be remarked, that this is the last time Matthioli is
mentioned by name in the correspondence between Louvois and St.
Mars--in consequence, it appears, of what is said by the former in
his letter before quoted of the 12th of May, where he desires a
list of the names of all the prisoners then under the guard of St.
Mars to be sent to him, and adds--“with regard to the two who are
in the lower part of the tower, you need only designate them in
that manner, without adding any thing else.”[109] This precaution
was evidently enjoined lest the list should fall into other hands,
while it also shows that the necessity for concealment was still
considered as strong as ever.

This is also proved by the precautions ordered to be taken during
the journey of the two prisoners, lest they should be seen or
spoken to by any one; and by the repeated orders for their strict
confinement.--“The intention of his Majesty is, that, as soon as
the room at Exiles, which you shall judge the most proper for the
secure keeping of the two prisoners in the lower part of the tower,
shall be in a state to receive them, you should send them out of
the citadel of Pignerol in a litter, and conduct them there under
the escort of your troop.”[110] “His Majesty expects that you will
guard the two before-mentioned prisoners, with the same exactitude
you have made use of hitherto.”[111] To these instructions St. Mars
returned an answer in the same strain, dated from Pignerol, as he
was on the point of setting off for Exiles.--“In order that the
prisoners may not be seen (at Exiles), they will not leave their
chamber when they hear mass; and in order that they may be kept
the more securely, one of my lieutenants will sleep above them,
and there will be two sentinels night and day, who will watch the
whole round of the tower, without its being possible for them and
the prisoners to see and to speak to one another, or even to hear
any thing of one another. They will be the soldiers of my company,
who will be always the sentinels over the prisoners. There is
only a confessor, about whom I have my doubts; but if you do not
disapprove, I will give them the curate of Exiles instead, who is
a good man, and very old; whom I will forbid, on the part of his
Majesty, to inquire who these prisoners are, or their names, or
what they have been, or to speak of them in any way, or to receive
from them by word of mouth, or by writing, either communications or
notes.”[112]

Before St. Mars removed finally to Exiles, he went there to inspect
the fortress, leaving his prisoners under the guard of one of his
lieutenants; which is here mentioned to show the falseness of the
idea that he never quitted his mysterious prisoner. Louvois enjoined
him before he left them, to arrange the guarding of his prisoners
in such a manner, that no accident might happen to them during his
short absence; and “that they might have no intercourse with any
one, any more than they had had during the time they had been under
his charge.”[113] Subsequently Louvois desired him not to be more
than one night at a time absent from Pignerol.[114]

St. Mars found certain repairs to be necessary to that part of the
fortress of Exiles, which he deemed the most proper residence for
“the two prisoners in the lower part of the tower.” He demanded
money for this purpose, and Louvois returned for answer that the
King accorded him a thousand crowns, on condition he kept the grant
a profound secret, and gave out that the repairs he was making, were
at his own expense.[115] This again was evidently for the purpose of
concealing from the neighbourhood, that any prisoners of importance
were to be removed from Pignerol to Exiles.

The repairs of the tower at Exiles first delayed the removal of
St. Mars, and afterwards he was ordered to stay some time longer
at Pignerol, in order to receive Catinat, who was again sent there
secretly, again under the assumed name of Richemont, and again for
the purpose of taking possession of Casale.[116] This time the King
of France was more fortunate than he had been in 1679, as Casale was
actually sold to him by the Duke of Mantua, in the autumn of this
year, 1681.

Finally, it appears that St. Mars and his prisoners did not move to
Exiles till late in the autumn of 1681. About this time, St. Mars
apparently requested permission to see and converse with Matthioli
occasionally, for Louvois writes, “this word is only to acknowledge
the receipt of your letter. The King does not disapprove of your
visiting from time to time the last prisoner who has been placed in
your charge, after he shall have been established in his new prison,
and shall have left that where he is at present confined.”[117] It
is rather curious to observe, from this document, that St. Mars
was permitted to visit his prisoner at Exiles, but not while he
continued at Pignerol.

The first communication of St. Mars to Louvois after his arrival
at Exiles, which has been published, is dated December the 4th,
1681,[118] and relates to the sickness of his prisoners: and the
next is a letter, dated March 11th, 1682, containing a similar
detail to those already alluded to, of the precautions he took
for the security and solitary confinement of his two prisoners.
He begins, by intimating that he has again received a charge from
Louvois to that effect, and that he continues to guard his two
prisoners as severely and exactly as he has ever done, and as he
did formerly “Messrs. Fouquet and Lauzun, who could not boast that
they had either sent or received any news, while they were in
confinement.” He adds, that the two prisoners can hear the people
who pass along the road at the foot of their prison, but that they
cannot be heard by any one; that, in the same way, they can see
the people who are on the hill opposite their windows, but cannot
themselves be seen, on account of the bars placed across their room;
that there are two sentinels always watching them, and who have also
orders to prevent the passengers stopping under their windows--and
that his own room, being joined to the tower, and commanding a view
of the sentinels, the latter are by this means always kept alert.
That, in the inside of the tower, he has made a partition, which
prevents the priest, who says mass, from seeing the prisoners, as
well as the servants who bring their food--which is afterwards
carried in to them by his lieutenant; who, together with himself,
the confessor, and a physician from Pragelas, a town six leagues
distant, are the only persons who speak to them; the physician only
being allowed to do so in the presence of St. Mars himself. He adds,
that equal precautions are taken with regard to their linen, and
other necessaries.[119]

From this period, we hear no more of St. Mars and his prisoners
in the published documents, for above three years; his next
communication to Louvois being dated Dec. 23d, 1685; in which he
informs him that his prisoners are still ill, and in a course of
medicine. By the expression _still_ being here used, it would seem
as if their malady had been of considerable duration. He continues,
“they are, however, perfectly tranquil.”[120] The mention of their
present tranquillity is certainly an indication that their insanity
had continued, at least at intervals.

Shortly after this, the Jacobin[121] died. Matthioli continued ill;
and St. Mars, also finding his own health failing him, he[122]
became convinced that the air of Exiles was unwholesome, and
petitioned in consequence for a change of government.[123] Lewis
upon this appointed him, in 1687, to that of the Islands of St.
Margaret and St. Honorat, on the coast of Provence, near Antibes,
and ordered him, as before, to take Matthioli with him.

As in the case of his removal to Exiles, so, upon the present
occasion, St. Mars went first to look at and prepare the prison
at St. Margaret, before he conveyed his prisoner there.[124]
Previously, however, to leaving him for that purpose, he writes
to Louvois, to assure him once more of the secrecy and security
with which he is confined--“I have given such good orders for the
guarding of my prisoner, that I can answer for his entire security;
as well as for his not now, nor ever, holding any intercourse with
my Lieutenant, whom I have forbidden to speak to him, which is
punctually obeyed.”[125]

He afterwards writes again to the same Minister, from the Island
of St. Margaret, “I promise to conduct my prisoner here in all
security, without any one’s seeing or speaking to him. He shall
not hear mass after he leaves Exiles, till he is lodged in the
prison which is preparing for him here, to which a chapel is
attached. I pledge my honour to you for the entire security of my
prisoner.”[126]

St. Mars accordingly returned for Matthioli, and conveyed him to his
new abode, in the manner he had proposed doing, in his letter to
Louvois, of January 20th, 1687--“In a chair, covered with oil-cloth,
into which there would enter a sufficiency of air, without its being
possible for any one to see or speak to him during the journey, not
even the soldiers, whom I shall select to be near the chair.”[127]

In spite of the expectations of St. Mars that, in this mode of
conveyance, his prisoner would have air enough, it appears that he
complained of the want of it, and soon fell ill in consequence. This
is mentioned in a letter of St. Mars, dated May 3d, 1687, giving an
account of their arrival at the Island of St. Margaret, and is the
last of the correspondence between Louvois and St. Mars respecting
Matthioli: “I arrived here the 30th of last month. I was only twelve
days on the journey, in consequence of the illness of my prisoner,
occasioned, as he said, by not having as much air as he wished. I
can assure you that no one has seen him, and that the manner in
which I have guarded and conducted him during all the journey, makes
every body try to conjecture who my prisoner is.”[128]

It was probably, during this journey, that St. Mars first made
use of a mask to hide the features of Matthioli.[129] Not as has
been erroneously supposed a mask made of iron, which it will be
evident, upon the slightest reflection, could not have been borne
upon the face for any long continuance of time, but one of black
velvet,[130] strengthened with whalebone, and fastened behind the
head with a padlock, which did not prevent the prisoner from eating
and drinking, or impede his respiration.[131]

The identity of Matthioli with the prisoner known by the name
of “the Iron Mask,” is here very satisfactorily confirmed by
circumstantial evidence. We have seen that Matthioli and the Jacobin
were placed together at Pignerol; we have seen that they were
designated as “the two prisoners in the lower part of the tower;” we
have seen that “the two prisoners in the lower part of the tower”
were the only ones who accompanied St. Mars when his government
was transferred to Exiles; we have seen the death of the Jacobin
at the latter place; and now we find St. Mars conveying a single
prisoner, designated as “_the prisoner_,” with him to St. Margaret,
with a repetition of the same precautions and of the same secrecy
as on former occasions, to which are added the celebrated Mask. Who
could this prisoner be but Matthioli? It is also observable, that
in all the various accounts of the Iron Mask, though the dates are
made to vary, he is always said to have been originally confined at
Pignerol, subsequently at the island of St. Margaret, and finally to
have accompanied St. Mars to the Bastille.

The prison of Matthioli, at the Island of St. Margaret, was a room
lighted by a single window to the north, pierced in a very thick
wall, guarded by bars of iron, and looking upon the sea.[132] During
his residence in this place, his valet, who, as may be remembered,
had been arrested by Estrades, and who had served his master ever
since his confinement, died, and was buried at midnight, and with
great secrecy. To supply his place, a woman of the neighbourhood was
asked if she would undertake to wait upon the prisoner. At first
she consented to accept of the place, imagining it might be a means
of benefiting her family; but afterwards declined it, upon learning
that she was to be cut off from all further intercourse with the
world, and never even to see her family again.[133] Whether any one
was eventually found to undertake the office, does not appear.

Among the erroneous anecdotes that have obtained credence with
regard to the Iron Mask, there are two, or rather apparently two
versions of one event, which is said to have taken place while
he was at the island of St. Margaret, but which is proved to be
incorrect, by a letter published by M. Roux (Fazillac).

One version of the story states, that the mysterious prisoner wrote
his name and qualities with the point of a knife upon a silver
plate, and threw it out of his window; that it was picked up by a
fisherman, who could not read, but brought it to St. Mars; and that
the latter, having ascertained that the man could not read, released
him.[134] The other version is, that the prisoner covered one of his
shirts with writing, and then threw it out of window; a Monk found
it, brought it to the Governor, and assured him he had not read
it; but was himself found dead in his bed two days afterwards, and
was supposed to have been assassinated.[135] The origin of these
stories, is evidently to be found in a letter from St. Mars to the
Minister,[136] dated June 4th, 1692; in which he informs him that he
has been obliged to inflict corporal punishment upon a Protestant
minister, named Salves, who was a prisoner under his care, because
_he would write things upon his pewter vessels, and on his linen,
in order to make known that he was imprisoned unjustly, on account
of the purity of his faith_.[137] Thus we see that this anecdote,
which has been twisted into the history of the Iron Mask, had, in
fact, no relation to him. And this circumstance should put us on
our guard with respect to the many other marvellous stories, which
have probably been pressed in the same way into the service. It is
also worthy of remark that the public having determined that the
Iron Mask was a great Prince, every thing was related in a manner to
favour this opinion--and thus the pewter of the obscure Salves was
turned, in the anecdote, into silver plate.

After eleven years’ tedious confinement at the Island of St.
Margaret, Matthioli accompanied St. Mars to the Bastille, to the
government of which the latter was appointed, upon the death of M.
de Bezemaux, which occurred in the last days of 1697.[138]

Before his departure from St. Margaret, St. Mars wrote to the
Minister to request that secure lodgings might be provided for
him and his prisoner during the journey; to which he received for
answer, “It will be sufficient that you should lodge as conveniently
and securely as you can, by means of payment.”[139]

St. Mars accordingly set forth on his journey to the Bastille, early
in the autumn of 1698, and in the course of it lodged at his own
estate of Palteau, which he probably considered a securer resting
place for his prisoner than any inn could have been. An account of
his visit to Palteau has been given by one of his descendants, of
whose accuracy no reasonable doubt can be entertained.

It is there stated, that the masked prisoner arrived at Palteau in a
litter, which preceded the one in which St. Mars himself travelled.
They were accompanied by many men on horseback, and by the peasants
who had gone to meet their landlord. St. Mars always ate with his
prisoner, and the latter sat with his back to the windows of the
dining-room, so that the peasants, who were in the court, could not
see whether he kept his mask on while at meals; but they observed
that St. Mars, who sat opposite to him, had two pistols placed by
the side of his plate. They were served by a single servant, who
brought all the dishes from the anti-room, where they were placed,
and always when he came in or went out shut the door very carefully
after him. When the prisoner crossed the court, he always had his
black mask over his face. The peasants also observed, that his teeth
and lips were seen, that he was tall of stature, and had grey hair.
St. Mars slept in a bed, which had been put up close to that of his
prisoner.[140]

St. Mars and Matthioli arrived at the Bastille on the 18th of
September, 1698, and the former immediately went to the Minister to
apprize him of their arrival.[141] This event is thus commemorated
in the journal of M. Dujonca,[142] who was for many years the
Lieutenant of the King, at the Bastille:--“Thursday, 18th September,
1698, at three o’clock in the afternoon, M. de St. Mars, Governor
of the Bastille, arrived to take possession of his office, coming
from the Islands of St. Margaret and St. Honorat, bringing with
him in his litter an old prisoner, whom he had under his care
at Pignerol, of whom the name is not mentioned; who is always
kept masked, and who was first placed, till night, in the tower
of the Basiniere,[143] and whom I conducted afterwards myself,
at nine o’clock at night, to the third chamber of the tower of
the Bertaudière;[143] which chamber I had taken care to furnish
with all things necessary before his arrival, having received
orders to that effect from M. de St. Mars. When I conducted him
to the before-mentioned chamber, I was accompanied by the Sieur
Rosarges,[144] whom M. de St. Mars also brought with him, and who is
charged to wait upon and take care of the aforesaid prisoner, who is
fed by the Governor.”[145]

Dujonca’s account is confirmed by the extracts of the Register
of the Bastille, published in the work entitled “La Bastille
dévoilée.”[146]

The placing of the prisoner, on his first arrival, temporarily in
one part of the Bastille, and afterwards removing him by night to
another, appears to have been done for the sake of greater secrecy;
and we see by this, as well as by the account of his visit to
Palteau, that the precautions against the possibility of discovery
of his name and character were in no way diminished.

He certainly continued, from all accounts, to wear his mask from
the time of his arrival at the Bastille till his death. We learn
from the persons who saw him at Palteau that he was tall of stature;
and an old physician, who had attended him at the Bastille when
he was ill, described him (if we may credit Voltaire) as well
made, of a brown complexion, and possessing an agreeable voice.
He attended mass occasionally, and was forbid in his way there to
speak to any one. The invalids were ordered to fire upon him if he
disobeyed.[147] He is also said to have occupied himself a good deal
during his confinement with playing on the guitar.[148]

These are all the particulars, worthy of credit, to be collected
respecting Matthioli during his confinement at the Bastille, which
lasted rather more than five years. He died there after a few hours’
illness, November 19th, 1703. Dujonca’s journal gives the following
account of his decease and interment.

“Monday, 19th November, 1708. The unknown prisoner, who was always
masked with a mask of black velvet, whom M. de St. Mars brought with
him, when he came from the Islands of St Margaret, and whom he had
had the care of for a long time, having found himself rather more
unwell when he came out from mass, died to-day, about ten o’clock
in the evening, without having had any considerable illness. M.
Girault, our chaplain, confessed him yesterday. Death having come
suddenly on, he was not able to receive his sacraments, and our
chaplain only had time to exhort him for a moment before he died. He
was interred on Tuesday the 20th November, at four in the afternoon,
in the church-yard of St. Paul, which is our parish. His interment
cost forty livres.”

This extract is confirmed in its facts by the register of the
Bastille,[149] as well as by the register of burials of the church
of St. Paul, at Paris. The former document also informs us that
he was wrapped in “a winding-sheet of new linen,”[150]--and the
latter, that he was buried in the presence of Rosarges, Major of the
Bastille, and of Reilh, Surgeon-Major of the same prison.

In the register of the church he is designated by the name of
Marchialy, and his age is entered as forty-five; assertions which
are both of them evidently incorrect, and probably only made in
order to mislead the curious. At the time of his death, Matthioli
was sixty-three years of age, as appears from the date of his birth
before given. Shortly before he died, he told the Apothecary of the
Bastille that he believed he was sixty years[151] old--a degree
of inaccuracy as to his own age, which is easily to be conceived
in a man who had been so long and so rigorously imprisoned. His
confinement had lasted above twenty-four years.

After the decease of Matthioli, every thing was done to endeavour
to destroy all trace even of his former existence. His clothes were
burnt, as was all the furniture of his room; the silver plate, the
copper, and the pewter, which had been used by him, were melted
down; the walls of his chamber were first scraped, and then fresh
white-washed; the floor was new paved; the old ceiling was taken
away and renewed; the doors and windows were burnt; and every corner
was searched in which it was thought any paper, linen, or other
memorial of him might be concealed.[152]

Thus were continued, to the very last, the same extraordinary
precautions against discovery, which marked the whole imprisonment
of the mysterious prisoner: a circumstance, which of itself
certainly affords a strong confirmation of the fact, that the _Iron
Mask of the Bastille_, was one and the same person with the _Count
Matthioli_, who had been so secretly introduced into Pignerol, and
so mysteriously conveyed from place to place by St. Mars. But the
actual proof of this is only to be found in the documents which form
the groundwork of the preceding narrative; and which, undoubtedly,
do present a most convincing and satisfactory chain of evidence upon
the subject.

An important corroboration of this evidence is also derived from the
well-attested fact, that Lewis the Fifteenth, who is allowed, on all
hands, to have known the history of the Iron Mask, affirmed, more
than once, that _he was the minister of an Italian sovereign_. He
told the Duke de Choiseul,[153] on one occasion, that he knew who
the Iron Mask was; and, upon the Duke’s questioning him further,
would only add, _that all the conjectures hitherto made upon the
subject were erroneous_.[154] The Duke then begged Madame de
Pompadour[156] to ask the King who it was; she did so, and his
reply was, “_The minister of an Italian prince_!”[157] The Duke
de Choiseul, unsatisfied by this reply, which he considered to be
only an evasion, took another opportunity of again applying to the
King upon the subject, who again answered, “_He believed that the
prisoner was a minister of one of the courts of Italy_!”[158]

Thus has the ill-fated Matthioli been identified with the Iron Mask,
and traced through his long and dreary prison to his grave. It is
probable that much of the illusion and interest, which accompanied
the mysterious appellation of _the Iron Mask_, will be destroyed by
the certainty of who he really was; as well as by the comparative
insignificance of the personage who has successfully laid claim to
the title. Still it is surely satisfactory that truth, after being
so long overwhelmed by error, should be at length triumphant.

The lovers of romance, who still wish to know more of the
magnificent conjectures of former days; or who desire to be made
acquainted with the reasons that induced a belief, that the Iron
Mask was either the Duke de Beaufort; or the Count de Vermandois;
or the Duke of Monmouth; or an elder or a twin-brother of Lewis the
Fourteenth; or a son of Oliver Cromwell; or Arwediks, the Armenian
Patriarch; are referred to Voltaire, Dutens, St. Foix, La Grange
Chancel, Gibbon, the Père Papon, the Père Griffet, the Chevalier
de Taulés, and Mr. Quintin Craufurd. Of these accounts, perhaps
Voltaire’s is the least curious, find Mr. Craufurd’s the most so;
because the first did not seek for truth, but only wished to invent
a moving tale; while the latter was most anxious to arrive at the
truth, and had all the advantage in his researches of the former
writers upon the same subject.

FOOTNOTES:

  [1] “L’homme au masque de fer.”

  [2] M. Roux (Fazillac) published several of the documents,
  since republished by M. Delort, but he does not appear to have
  seen the whole series; and therefore his reasoning upon the
  subject is inconclusive. M. Delort has, however, copied a great
  deal from him in his narrative--whole sentences sometimes, word
  for word, without any acknowledgment of the plagiarism.

  [3] Delort.

  [4] The Abbé d’Estrades, Ambassador for a considerable time
  from Lewis the Fourteenth, to the Republic of Venice, was son
  of Godfrey, Count d’Estrades, so long employed in negociations
  and embassies in Holland, and who was one of the eight Marshals
  of France made upon the death of Turenne. Madame Cornuel called
  them, “La Monnoie de M. de Turenne.”

  [5] Ferdinand Charles IV., Duke of Mantua, a weak and
  unfortunate Prince. Died July the 5th, 1708, as it is said of
  poison, administered by a lady he was in love with.

  [6] Casale did not come into the possession of the French till
  1681. In 1695, it was taken by the Allies, and its
  fortifications demolished. It was, however, retaken by the
  French, and fortified again. The King of Sardinia, (Victor
  Amadeus,) made himself master of it in 1706. His successor,
  Charles Emmanuel, lost it again to the French in 1745, but
  regained it the following year.

  [7] The strong fort of Pignerol, acquired to the Crown of
  France by the negociations of Richelieu, continued in their
  possession for 68 years. In 1696, it was restored by treaty to
  Victor Amadeus II., Duke of Savoy; its fortifications having
  been previously dismantled.

  [8] Victor Amadeus I., Duke of Savoy, a prince of great bravery
  and considerable talent. He married Christina, daughter of
  Henry IV., King of France, by whom he had two sons, Francis
  Hyacinth and Charles Emmanuel II., successively Dukes of Savoy.
  Died October 7th, 1637. He was the first Duke of Savoy, who
  appropriated to himself the title of _Royal Highness_.

  [9] Isabella Clara, of Austria, daughter of the Archduke
  Leopold, who was grandson of the Emperor Ferdinand III. Married
  June 13th, 1649, to Charles III., Duke of Mantua.

  [10] Appendix, No. 1.

  [11] Appendix, No. 1.

  [12] The Empress Eleanor was daughter of Charles, Duke of
  Rhetelois, who died in the life-time of his father, Charles I.
  Duke of Mantua, in spite of which he is generally denominated
  by historians, Charles II., Duke of Mantua. She became, on the
  30th of April, 1651, the third wife of Ferdinand III., Emperor
  of Germany, whom she survived many years, and died December
  5th, 1686. She was the aunt of Ferdinand Charles IV., Duke of
  Mantua.

  [13] Thomas de la Cerda, Marquis of Laguna, in Spain, married
  April 22, 1672, to Maria Louisa, only daughter of Vespasian
  Gonzaga, only brother of Ferdinand III., the reigning Duke of
  Guastalla.

  [14] The Monk Bulgarini appears to have been the confessor and
  favourite of the Duchess-mother of Mantua; and to have been
  entirely devoted to the Spanish interests.

  [15] The profession of Giuliani was, that of an editor of
  newspapers, in which capacity he was in the habit of travelling
  from town to town, to collect and convey news. See Appendix,
  No. 98.

  [16] Alphonso IV., Duke of Modena, succeeded his father Francis
  I. in his territories, and in the command in chief of the
  French army in Italy, in 1658. Died in the 29th year of his
  age, July 16, 1662, having married, May 27, 1655, Laura
  Martinozzi, niece of Cardinal Mazarin.

  [17] Charles III., Duke of Mantua, father of Ferdinand Charles
  IV., the reigning Duke, had the command of the Imperial Army
  in Italy, and took upon himself the office of Vicar General
  of the Empire in Italy, during the interregnum which followed
  the death of the Emperor Ferdinand III. in 1657, in virtue of
  a diploma, lately granted to him by that Prince. His right was
  contested by the Duke of Savoy, who, upon the ground of old
  usage, claimed the office for himself. The Electors of the
  Empire annulled the appointment of the Duke of Mantua.

  [18] Appendix, No. 1.

  [19] Appendix, No. 1.

  [20] Appendix, No. 1.

  [21] Cæsar Bishop of Laon and Cardinal d’Estrées, son of
  the first Marshal of France of that name, was employed in
  various negociations with the Princes of Italy; but is now
  more remembered for his courtier-like reply to Lewis XIV. That
  Monarch one day at dinner complained of having lost all his
  teeth. “And who is there, Sire, that has any teeth?” said the
  Cardinal (Sire, et qui est-ce qui a des dents?) What made the
  flattery the more ludicrously gross was, that the Cardinal,
  though an old man, had remarkably fine teeth, and showed them
  very much whenever he opened his mouth.

  [22] Appendix, No. 2.

  [23] Appendix, No. 8.

  [24] 1677.

  [25] Simon Arnaud de Pomponne, Secretary of State for Foreign
  Affairs from 1671 to 1679, when he was dismissed from his
  office, but retained the title of Minister of State, with
  permission to attend the Council. A man, like so many of his
  race, who united considerable talents to great excellence of
  character. Madame de Sévigné says, in speaking of the eminent
  station he had filled, that “Fortune had wished to make use of
  his virtues for the happiness of others.”

  [26] Ferdinand III., Duke of Guastalla, descended from a
  younger branch of the House of Gonzaga; and the heir to the
  Duchy of Mantua, if he survived Ferdinand Charles; which
  however was not the case. He died of dropsy, January 11th,
  1678.

  [27] Anne Isabella, eldest daughter of Ferdinand III., Duke of
  Guastalla, married August 13th, 1671, to Ferdinand Charles IV.,
  Duke of Mantua, by whom she had no offspring.

  [28] This is evidently a mistake, and should be read _niece_
  instead of _second daughter_. It alludes to Maria Louisa,
  only daughter of Vespasian Gonzaga, only brother of Ferdinand
  III., Duke of Guastalla, married to a Spanish nobleman, Thomas
  de la Cerda, Marquis of Laguna. At this time neither of the
  daughters of Ferdinand had children, and _she_, consequently,
  after them, was the heiress of their claims upon the Duchies of
  Guastalla and Mantua. The second daughter of Ferdinand III.,
  Maria Victoria, married June 30th, 1769, Vincent Gonzaga Count
  of St. Paul--the person who is here erroneously described as
  having been the means of marrying her to another person.

  [29] Vincent Gonzaga, Count of St. Paul, afterwards Duke of
  Guastalla, was descended from a younger son of Ferrant II.,
  first Duke of Guastalla. After contesting for many years his
  right to that Duchy with Ferdinand Charles IV., Duke of Mantua;
  during which they were both merely made use of, by turns, as
  the instruments of the French and Austrian domination; he
  was finally successful in establishing himself at Guastalla
  in 1706, where he died April 28th, 1714. By his wife, Maria
  Victoria, second daughter of Ferdinand III., Duke of Guastalla,
  he left two sons, who successively succeeded him in the
  sovereignty of that Duchy.

  [30] Appendix, No. 9.

  [31] Appendix, No. 10.

  [32] Appendix, No. 17.

  [33] Appendix, No. 18.

  [34] Appendix, Nos. 24, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40.

  [35] Appendix, No. 47.

  [36] Delort, quoting from an Italian manuscript, in the records
  of the office of the French Secretary of State for Foreign
  Affairs, which appears to have been written by Giuliani.

  [37] Delort, quoting from the same authority.

  [38] M. Delort says the sum actually given to Matthioli, was
  400 Doubles, and the sum promised him 400,000 Doubles, which,
  from its largeness, he conceives must be a mistake; but he adds
  that it is so written in the Italian manuscripts before
  referred to.

  [39] Delort.

  [40] Francis Michael Le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, son of
  the Chancellor Le Tellier, Secretary of State for the War
  department, from 1666, to the time of his death, in 1691, which
  occurring suddenly, and just as he was on the point of being
  disgraced, gave occasion to a report that he was poisoned: for
  which, however, it appears there was no foundation. He was of a
  haughty and cruel disposition, and was the minister who planned
  and ordered the inhuman ravages of the Palatinate, which have
  so indelibly disgraced the reign of his master.

  [41] Delort.

  [42] Lewis Francis, Marquis and afterwards Duc de Boufflers,
  Marshal of France in 1693. Died in 1711. One of the best of
  Lewis the Fourteenth’s generals.

  [43] Nicholas de Catinat, Marshal of France in 1698. “He
  united,” says Voltaire, “philosophy to great military talents.
  The last day he commanded in Italy, he gave for the watch-word,
  ‘Paris and St. Gratien,’ the name of his country house. He died
  there in the retirement of a real sage, (having refused the
  blue ribbon) in 1712.”

  [44] Upon reference to the Mémoires de Catinat, published in
  1819, this event is found to be thus adverted to:--“In 1679,
  Catinat was charged with some negociations with the Duke of
  Mantua; but the affair failed of success, in consequence of the
  treachery of the Secretary of that prince. Catinat, according
  to the King’s orders, was anxious to punish the traitor. He
  remained at Pignerol some days, and having engaged him in a
  hunting party, had him arrested.” It also appears from these
  Memoirs, that both Catinat and Boufflers were again despatched
  to Italy on the same errand, in 1681, when Casale was really
  given up to Lewis; and on this occasion, Louvois, in his
  instruction to Boufflers, mentions Matthioli by name, as the
  person whose treachery had prevented the success of the former
  negociation.

  [45] Appendix, Nos. 52, 62, 64, 73, 76, 77, 78.

  [46] I am not sure whether I am correct in imagining that this
  was the Marshal d’Asfeld, who distinguished himself at the
  battle of Almanza, and died at great old age, in 1743.

  [47] Appendix, Nos. 52, 54, 55.

  [48] Victor Amadeus II., at this time a minor, and under the
  Regency of his mother, Mary Jane de Nemours. In 1713, he became
  King of Sicily, which kingdom he was compelled to exchange for
  that of Sardinia, in 1720; abdicated the throne in favour of
  his son, in 1730; and died in 1732. This prince possessed in an
  eminent degree, the attributes of his race--valour and skill in
  military matters, and faithlessness in his treaties and
  engagements with his brother sovereigns.

  [49] Leopold I. succeeded Ferdinand III. in 1657, died in 1705.

  [50] Charles II. the last King of Spain of the House of
  Austria.--Died in 1700.

  [51] Appendix, Nos. 68, 69, 89.

  [52] See ante, note, page 18.

  [53] Appendix, No. 66.

  [54] Appendix, No. 68.

  [55] Appendix, No. 67.

  [56] Namely, of the delivery of Casale.

  [57] Appendix, No. 72.

  [58] Appendix, Nos. 75, 79, 81, 83, 88.

  [59] Mary Jane Baptista of Savoy, daughter of Charles Amadeus,
  Duke of Nemours and Aumale, (who was killed in a duel by his
  brother-in-law, the Duke of Beaufort). Married May 11th, 1665,
  to Charles Emmanuel II., Duke of Savoy; Regent of the
  territories of her son during his minority. Died March 15th,
  1724.

  [60] Delort. Appendix, Nos. 87, 92, 95.

  [61] Appendix, No. 92.

  [62] Appendix, No. 70.

  [63] Delort.

  [64] Appendix, No. 75.

  [65] Appendix, No. 71.

  [66] Benigne d’Auvergne de Saint-Mars, Seigneur of Dimon and
  Palteau; Bailli and Governor of Sens; successively Governor of
  Exiles, the Island of St. Marguerite, and the Bastille. At
  Pignerol he had only the command of the state prisoners, the
  Marquis d’Herleville being governor of the fortress. St. Mars
  came to Pignerol a short time before the arrival there of
  Fouquet, who was the first prisoner confided to his care.

  [67] Roux (Fazillac.)

  [68] Appendix, Nos. 79, 81.

  [69] Delort.

  [70] Appendix, No. 88.

  [71] Appendix, No. 82.

  [72] Delort.

  [73] M. Roux (Fazillac) gives these particulars, upon the
  authority of a letter from Estrades to Pomponne, of May 7th,
  1679; and of one from Catinat to Louvois of the same date;
  neither of which are published.

  [74] Roux (Fazillac.)

  [75] Appendix, No. 84.

  [76] Ibid.

  [77] Delort.

  [78] Appendix, No. 85.

  [79] Appendix, No. 84.

  [80] Ibid. No. 85.

  [81] Appendix, Nos. 96, 103, 104.

  [82] Ibid. No. 48.

  [83] Nicholas Fouquet, “Surintendant des Finances,” in 1653.
  The most lavish, but the most amiable of financiers.--Disgraced
  in 1664, when he was condemned, by the commissioners appointed
  to inquire into his conduct, to banishment. The sentence was
  commuted by the King himself to perpetual imprisonment; and
  Fouquet died in the citadel of Pignerol, in 1680. On his trial
  he defended himself with great spirit and talent. See Madame de
  Sévigné’s interesting Letters to M. de Pomponne upon the
  subject.

  [84] Anthony Nompar de Caumont, Marquis of Peguilhem, and
  afterwards Duke of Lauzun: whose adventures and eccentricities
  are too well known to require relation here. It is in speaking
  of him that La Bruyère says, “Il n’est pas permis aux autres
  hommes de rêver, comme il a vécu.”

  [85] Anne Mary Louisa, of Orleans, Mademoiselle de Montpensier,
  commonly called the “Grande Mademoiselle.”--A woman of an
  unpleasant character, according to her own showing in her
  Memoirs; but who certainly did not deserve to be the victim, as
  she was, in different ways, of two such men as Lewis and
  Lauzun.

  [86] Appendix, Nos. 85, 87, 91, 92, 94, 95, 97.

  [87] Ibid. No. 97.

  [88] Ibid. Nos. 84, 85.

  [89] Appendix, No. 90.

  [90] Ibid. No. 93.

  [91] Ibid. No. 96.

  [92] Ibid. No. 101.

  [93] Charles IV. or V., for he is sometimes called one and
  sometimes the other, was the son of Nicholas Francis, Cardinal,
  and afterwards Duke of Lorrain. On the death of his uncle,
  Charles IV., he took the barren titles of Duke of Lorrain and
  Bar, but never obtained possession of his territories, (which
  were usurped by France,) “though his military, political, and
  Christian virtues and talents, made him worthy to occupy the
  first throne in the universe.” He commanded the armies of the
  Emperor for some years with the greatest distinction, married
  the Archduchess Eleanor, widow of Michael Wiecnowiecki, King of
  Poland, and died in 1690. Lewis the Fourteenth, on hearing of
  his death, said of him, “that he was the greatest, wisest, and
  most generous of his enemies.”

  [94] Appendix, No. 102.

  [95] Appendix, No. 107.

  [96] Appendix, No. 106.

  [97] Appendix, No. 108.

  [98] Appendix, No. 103.

  [99] Appendix, No. 104.

  [100] Ibid.

  [101] Appendix, No. 105.

  [102] If we were to judge of the Christian religion by the
  manner in which it was professed by Lewis the Fourteenth, we
  should indeed have a most perverted idea of its precepts. It
  seems as if the pseudo-christianity of that monarch, only
  incited him to acts of narrow-minded bigotry and cruelty,
  allowing, at the same time, full latitude to every kind of
  licentious excess; while it debarred him from the exercise of
  humanity and toleration. A good measure of the nature and
  extent of his religious knowledge and feelings is acquired, by
  the anecdote respecting Fontpertuis and the Duke of Orleans.
  When the latter was going into Spain, Lewis objected to his
  taking the former with him, because he was a Jansenist; but
  withdrew the objection when assured by the duke that he was
  only an atheist!

  [103] M. Roux (Fazillac), quoting from an unpublished letter of
  Louvois to St. Mars, dated December 14th, 1681.

  [104] About 1_l._ 12_s._ 0_d._ Appendix, No. 126.

  [105] Exiles was taken from the French in 1708, by the Duke of
  Savoy, but restored to them by the treaty of Utrecht.

  [106] Appendix, No. 111.

  [107] Appendix, No. 111.

  [108] Appendix, No. 112.

  [109] Appendix, No. 111.

  [110] Appendix, No. 112.

  [111] Ibid.

  [112] Appendix, No. 115.

  [113] Appendix, No. 111.

  [114] Appendix, No. 117.

  [115] Appendix, No. 113.

  [116] Appendix, Nos. 114, 115.

  [117] Appendix, No. 120.

  [118] Appendix, No. 121.

  [119] Appendix, No. 121.

  [120] Appendix, No. 123.

  [121] Roux (Fazillac).

  [122] Ibid.

  [123] Ibid.

  [124] Appendix, Nos. 124, 125.

  [125] Appendix, No. 124.

  [126] Appendix, No. 125.

  [127] Appendix, No. 124.

  [128] Appendix, No. 126.

  [129] Delort.

  [130] Extract of Dujonca’s journal, in Mr. Craufurd’s article
  upon “L’Homme au Masque de fer.”

  [131] Delort.

  [132] Papon in his “Histoire générale de Provence” informs us
  that he went to see the room.

  [133] “Histoire générale de Provence, du Père Papon.”

  [134] See “Mélanges d’Histoire et de Littérature,” by Mr.
  Quintin Craufurd.

  [135] See the same work of Mr. Quintin Craufurd.

  [136] This must have been Lewis Francis Le Tellier, Marquis de
  Barbezieux, who, in the preceding year, had succeeded his
  father, Louvois, in the post of Secretary of State for the War
  Department. He was an indolent but intelligent Minister.--Died
  in 1701, aged 33.

  [137] Appendix, No. 127.

  [138] Delort.

  [139] Delort, quoting from an unpublished letter (probably from
  Barbezieux), dated August 4th, 1698.--It may be as well to
  mention here that M. Delort frequently quotes portions of
  letters from the French Archives, but does not publish them in
  his appendix. When in the course of this narrative the name of
  M. Delort is given as an authority, it is, for the most part,
  under these circumstances.

  [140] Such is the account given by M. de Palteau, the direct
  descendant of St. Mars, in a letter to Freron, dated Palteau,
  June 19th, 1768. It was published in the “Année Littéraire” for
  that year, and has since been republished by Mr. Craufurd, in
  his paper on the Iron Mask.

  [141] Delort.

  [142] The place of “Lieutenant de Roi,” at the Bastille, was
  created by Lewis the Fourteenth, for M. Dujonca, who had been
  “Exempt” of one of the regiments of the King’s Body-guards. He
  acquired great credit by his endeavours to procure the release
  of the prisoners under his care, whom, upon inquiry, he found
  to be unjustly detained. Some one represented to him that he
  would deprive himself of a great portion of his profits by thus
  diminishing the number of prisoners--to which he replied, “_I
  can only lose my money, but these unhappy people are deprived
  of what is more valuable to them than even life itself._”

  [143] These towers are supposed to have been so called from the
  names of the architects who built them.

  [144] Rosarges was made Major of the Bastille by St. Mars.

  [145] Extract from the Journal of Dujonca, first published by
  Griffet, then by St. Foix, and subsequently by Mr. Craufurd.

  [146] Appendix, No. 128.

  [147] Mr. Craufurd, on the authority of Linguet.

  [148] Delort and Craufurd.

  [149] Appendix, No. 129.

  [150] Appendix, No. 129.

  [151] Delort.

  [152] Mr. Craufurd, on the authority of M. Delaunay, Governor
  of the Bastille. Also Register of the Bastille; for which see
  Appendix, No. 129.

  [153] Stephen Francis, Duke de Choiseul, Prime Minister under
  Lewis the Fifteenth, for above twelve years. A man of some
  talent, but an unskilful and extravagant minister; in spite of
  which, on his disgrace, (through the means of Madame du Barri,
  in 1770) he was turned into a martyr, by the influence of the
  ladies of the court, who were angry with the King for choosing
  his mistresses from the lower orders, instead of among them. To
  do him honour snuff-boxes were made, bearing the head of Sully
  on one side, and that of the Duke de Choiseul on the other. One
  of them being shown to _Sophie Arnoud_, the actress, celebrated
  for her repartees, she looked at the two sides, and said,
  “_C’est la recette--et la dépense_.”

  [154] This first answer of the king ought not to be entirely
  overlooked; as, it will be remembered, that at the time it was
  made, the minister of the Duke of Mantua had not been mentioned
  by any one as the Iron Mask. He was first suggested to have
  been that prisoner, by the Baron de Heiss, in a letter to the
  authors of the “Journal Encyclopédique,” dated Phalsbourg, June
  28th, 1770; in which he grounded his opinion upon a letter,
  published in a work entitled “L’Histoire Abregée de l’Europe;”
  published at Leyden in 1687; giving a detailed account of
  the arrest, by French agents, of a secretary of the Duke of
  Mantua.[155] M. Dutens, in his “Correspondance Interceptée,”
  published in 1789, held the same opinion, grounded upon the
  same authority. He afterwards repeated the same opinion in his
  “Mémoires d’un Voyageur, qui se repose.” Finally, M. Roux,
  (Fazillac) in 1801, published his work upon the Iron Mask;
  in which he supported the same opinion; and attached to the
  Secretary the name of Matthioli.

  [155] See Appendix, No. 133.

  [156] Jane Antoinette Poisson, married to a financier named Le
  Normand d’Etioles; created Marquise de Pompadour by Lewis the
  Fifteenth, of whom she was first the mistress, and afterwards
  the minister of his disgraceful debauches. At her death, in
  1765, the King showed no signs of grief; and on seeing her
  funeral go by his windows on a rainy day, his only remark was,
  “La Marquise aura aujourd’hui un mauvais temps pour son
  voyage!”

  [157] Appendix, No. 131.

  [158] Appendix, Nos. 131, 132. Madame Campan mentions having
  heard Lewis the Sixteenth tell his wife, that the Count de
  Maurepas (who, both from his age and situation, was very likely
  to know the truth,) had informed him that the _Iron Mask_ was
  “a prisoner dangerous from his intriguing disposition, and a
  subject of the Duke of Mantua.”



                   APPENDIX.



APPENDIX.


No. 1.

ESTRADES TO LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH.

     Commencement of the Negociation.--State of the Court of
     Mantua.--Influence of the Spaniards there.

                        Venice, Dec 18th, 1677.

    SIRE,

As the grief I felt at having displeased your Majesty was extreme,
so my joy is not less to learn from M. de Pomponne, that your
Majesty has had the goodness to pardon me my too great facility;
and that you have been graciously pleased to listen to the reasons,
which I took the liberty to offer to you, in justification of
the innocence of my intentions; however, Sire, this misfortune
will oblige me, in future, to act in all things with so great a
circumspection, that your Majesty will, I hope, never have cause to
be dissatisfied with my conduct.

I have thus far deferred informing your Majesty of a project, which
my anxiety for your service has suggested to me, because the success
of it appeared so difficult that I did not venture to propose it,
till I saw some chance of being able to accomplish it; but, as the
affair is at present in a favourable state, I can almost assure
your Majesty, that the conclusion of it will depend upon yourself.
I shall now give you an exact account of it, in order that I may
receive the orders it shall please you to send me; which I will take
care to execute punctually. About four months ago, having become
more particularly acquainted with the divisions at the Court at
Mantua than before was the case, and having heard that the Duke of
Mantua was not so abandoned to his pleasures, but that he still had
some ambition, and much chagrin at the state to which he was reduced
by his mother, and his suspicions of the Spaniards; I hoped that
it would not be impossible, to detach him entirely from them, to
induce him to enter into the views of your Majesty, and to persuade
him really to treat respecting Casale. I have thought that I could
not employ any one in this affair more proper to conduct it, than a
certain Count Matthioli, who is entirely devoted to that prince; I
had already known him for some time, and he had testified a great
desire of rendering himself agreeable to your Majesty by some
service. I knew that he had been Secretary of State to the late Duke
of Mantua, that the present one had preserved much affection for
him, and that he was well-informed of the different interests of
the Princes of Italy; but as he had been much in the Milanese, and
had had a good deal of access to the Spanish ministers, I would not
put any confidence in him, till I had first tried him. I therefore
charged the individual, named Giuliani, to whom your Majesty had
the goodness to make six months ago a gratification, and who has
a zeal for your service which prevents my having any doubt of his
fidelity, to observe Matthioli attentively and secretly; and after
I had been sufficiently informed that he was much discontented with
the Spaniards, who had always amused him with hopes, and afterwards
abandoned him, I sent Giuliani, in the month of last October, to
Verona, where he went under pretext of his private affairs; but in
fact, to put Matthioli, who was there, upon the subject of the Duke
of Mantua, according to the instruction I had given him, and to
represent to him that those who had an attachment for their prince,
could not but be much afflicted to see him, at his age, still under
the guidance of his mother; without money, without authority, always
in a state of suspicion against those who are habitually about him;
and what is worse, in so insensible a state, that he only thought
of passing his life with actresses and women of the town; which
had made him lose the esteem of every body, and the consideration
which his rank ought to have given him: that so strange a way of
life, as well as the opinion that was prevalent that he would never
have children by his wife, though she was as young as himself,
induced the Spaniards to foment the divisions that existed in this
Court, in order to profit by them, and to try and obtain possession
of Casale and of all the Montferrat; that the said Giuliani had
heard me say, that I was well-informed that the Empress Eleanor
had already declared her pretensions to put herself in possession
of that part of the territories of Mantua; that the king of Spain
supported strongly those of a Spanish nobleman, who, in virtue of
his marriage with the niece of the Duke of Guastalla, by whom he
has children, maintains that he is the sole heir of that duke, to
the prejudice of the Duke of Mantua, who has married his daughter,
and who is besides his nearest relation; that, on the other hand,
the absolute control over all the territories of this prince, and
all the revenues, were in the hands of his mother and of the monk
Bulgarini; that, of all those who serve him as ministers, some are
gained by the Spaniards, others by the Empress Eleanor, and the
rest by the Duke of Guastalla; that his mother has also a part of
them on her side, but that these are the smallest number, and in
short, that it is a sort of miracle that he has not been already
deprived of his territories, but that he runs the risk of it every
day, and that the misfortune may happen to him when he is the least
prepared for it; that he has no choice of the means to be made use
of to guarantee himself against it, but that it is the protection
of your Majesty which is alone able to give him complete security.
Matthioli replied to him, that all he had been saying to him was
quite true, and that he had long, with grief, seen the truth of it;
but that there was still a remedy for so great an evil; that he
was sufficiently acquainted with the Duke of Mantua to know that
he had more talent and ambition than he was thought to have; that,
if I approved of it, he would discover his real sentiments, and
that he would charge himself with whatever negociation I wished.
That, meanwhile, he would go to----[159], in order to be nearer to
Mantua, where he could not go without making himself suspected by
the different parties who governed there, and that there he would
wait till I made known to him my intentions. Some days afterwards,
he sent me word that he had found means to have a secret interview
with the Duke of Mantua; and that he wished me, in order that we
might act in concert, to send him Giuliani, whom I have always made
use of in the different journeys that were to be made, because his
employment of sending the news through the different parts of Italy,
gave him occasion to go from one town to another, and prevented any
suspicion of him, as there would have infallibly been, if I had sent
any one of my household. I despatched him, therefore, with a new
instruction, and not only had he an audience of the Duke of Mantua,
to whom he spoke as I had desired him, but this prince even approved
very much of the proposition that was made him, to deliver him from
the continual inquietudes caused him by the Spaniards, and that,
for this purpose, Casale should be put into your Majesty’s hands,
with the understanding that I should try to obtain from you in his
favour all that he could reasonably ask for. Finally, he declared
that his resolution was taken upon this subject, but, that things
might be better adjusted, he wished to communicate it to two of his
counsellors, in whom he had the most confidence, and that he gave
the selection of them to Matthioli, in order that he might be quite
secure of them. Matthioli named the Marquis Cavriani and Joseph
Varano, in whom he has confidence. Meanwhile the Duke of Mantua sent
Giuliani to me, to acquaint me with what had passed, and recommended
him to return as soon as possible, in order to receive the draft of
the plan, which would then be prepared--and to convey it to me. I
was much pleased, Sire, to see the affair in so good a train. I sent
Giuliani back quickly, and ordered him to tell the Duke of Mantua
that I entreated him to allow me to have a conference with him; that
your Majesty had not as yet any knowledge of the proposed treaty,
because I could not venture to go so far as that, without being
certain first that he would not disavow me in what I should have
the honour of writing to your Majesty, and also that he would have
sufficient power to execute what had been arranged.

Giuliani returned here yesterday, bringing me as favourable answers
as I could possibly desire. He told me that the two counsellors of
the Duke of Mantua had, with every sort of precaution, commenced
their negociation with Matthioli; that they had approved of the
resolution of their master, and that they had put down in the
schedule, with which they had charged him, and which I join to
this letter, what the Duke requests your Majesty to grant to him;
that afterwards the Duke of Mantua called him to him; that he
ordered him to beg me to assure your Majesty of his respect and of
his attachment to your interests, and to acquaint me that he had
entirely put himself into the hands of the Count Matthioli; that he
would soon go to Venice, where we might see one another conveniently
and without being observed, on account of the Carnival, during
which, all the world, even the Doge, and the oldest senators, go
about in mask; that he wished me not to lose any time in acquainting
your Majesty with this affair, because he feared some surprise from
the Spaniards; but that if I wished him to keep his word with me, I
must not, on any account, communicate the project to the Cardinal
d’Estrées, because there was so strong a report in Italy, that he
had your Majesty’s orders to negociate with the Princes there, of
which the Spaniards had so great a jealousy, that, upon the least
suspicion they should have of him (the Duke,) they would ruin him
before he could receive assistance from your Majesty, who would,
at the same time, lose all hope of getting possession of Casale;
that he would take measures to tranquillize them, and to prevent
their having any suspicions of his conduct; and that if the Cardinal
d’Estrées made him any propositions, he would only receive them
in full council, and give general answers, which would not render
him suspected by any body. I thus find myself precluded from the
confidence which I intended to make of this business to the Cardinal
d’Estrées, who I believe will soon be here, and am obliged to
keep the secret scrupulously, till I have received the orders of
your Majesty. The Duke of Mantua also offers to raise a regiment,
provided it be at your Majesty’s expense, and he represents, that
by recruiting at Mantua and Casale he shall do much injury to the
Spaniards, who are raising troops there daily; that Joseph Varano,
who is one of the two before-mentioned counsellors, promises to
get a good many soldiers from the Ferrarese, where he possesses
interest, being Lord of Camerigo. He also implores your Majesty to
make an effort to send a sufficiently strong army into Italy, to be
able to undertake something considerable; and he assures me, that,
in this case, he will not content himself with having delivered
Casale into the hands of your Majesty, but will obtain for your
Majesty other great advantages, through the means of his intimate
connexions with the other states of Italy; that the Duchy of Milan
was never so feeble, nor so devoid of all means of defence, as at
present; but that, in order to obtain more particular intelligence
upon this head, he has given orders to Matthioli to go to Milan,
to observe every thing there with attention, and especially to
discover the intention of the Genoese, with regard to the report
which has now been for some time afloat in Italy, that your Majesty
intends sending an army there next Spring, at the latest. As some
accident might happen to the packets, I have not ventured to put
into mine the letter that the Count Matthioli, who has certainly
served your Majesty well upon this occasion, does himself the honour
to write to you, but have had it turned into cypher, as well as
the memoir of the demands of the Duke of Mantua; and I keep the
originals, together with the plan of Casale, which I do not send
to your Majesty for the same reason. I can assure your Majesty,
that I have never told either Giuliani or Matthioli that you intend
to march troops towards the Milanese; but the latter speaks of it
in his letter, because he has taken for granted the report which
was purposely spread abroad in order to lead the Duke of Mantua to
the determination I wished him to take; knowing that he desired to
be generalissimo above all things, or rather that it was the only
thing he was very anxious for, in order to be considered in Italy
like the late Duke of Modena, and like the late Duke of Mantua, who
at his age commanded in chief the Emperor’s army, with the title
of Vicar-general of the Empire. When this Prince is here, there
will only be at the conference we are to hold together, himself,
Matthioli, (whom he has promised to re-establish in his post of
Secretary of State, and to appoint his first minister, as soon as
he shall see himself restored to his authority, and that the treaty
he intends making with your Majesty shall have been executed,) the
Sieur Giuliani, the Sieur de Pinchesne, (who is secretary of the
embassy, and of whom M. de Pomponne, who placed him with me, can
answer to your Majesty for the fidelity and secrecy,) and myself.
So the secrecy, so necessary in this affair, will certainly remain
impenetrable.

              I have the honour to be, &c.

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[160]

  [159] The name of the place is not stated in the letter.

  [160] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 2.

MATTHIOLI TO LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH.

     Protestations of devotion to Lewis.--Belief in the good
     intentions of the Duke of Mantua.

                        December 14th, 1677.

    SIRE,

I take the liberty of bearing testimony to your Majesty, that among
the great Ministers, whom, in your supreme wisdom, you have sent
at different times into Italy, your ambassador at Venice, the Abbé
d’Estrades, ought to be distinguished for his skill and his zeal to
seize every occasion, which may seem to offer him the improvement or
the aggrandizement of your territories.

This Ambassador having confided to me, that, in order to succeed in
the enterprize that you meditate against the territories of Milan,
it would be necessary to detach the Duke of Mantua from the Austrian
party, and to draw him into that of your Majesty, I am anxious to
contribute every thing in my feeble power for the success of this
object. Your Majesty will be made acquainted with all that has
passed by the despatches of the Ambassador. For myself, I bless the
destiny, which procures me the honour of serving so great a monarch,
whom I regard and revere as a demi-god.

I will transmit to your Majesty all that I shall learn respecting
Casale, which has been fortified by one of the most skilful
engineers of the Milanese. This engineer has promised us a plan of
all the fortresses of that State, and even, if your Majesty commands
him, he will separate himself from the service of Spain, who does
not know how to recompense properly the services and the talents
of those who serve her with fidelity. I am convinced it would be
useless in me to enlarge upon the importance of the fortress of
Casale. Your Majesty must remember, that at different times it
has arrested the progress of many armies, and that it is the only
bulwark, upon which depends the loss or the preservation to the
Spaniards of the territories of Milan; territories, which for more
reasons than one, ought to belong to your Majesty’s crown.

It is known that the Austrians are at this moment arming, in order
to obtain possession by surprize of Casale, to the prejudice of the
Duke Ferdinand, my master, the lawful possessor of it.

This Prince, nephew of Charles[161] the first, (which latter Prince
was rather French than Italian, and by whose intervention the
fortress of Pignerol has remained in the possession of your royal
house); this Prince, I say, Ferdinand, will make known, in fit
time and place, that he has not degenerated from his ancestors;
he has promised to serve you with the greatest fidelity, and
to fight for you in a manner worthy of his birth; and as he is
extremely anxious to acquire glory, I trust your Majesty will have
reason to applaud his conduct in your armies. By the confession
of even the most skilful political observers, he is free from the
suspicions, which may fall upon the other Italian Sovereigns.
The Abbé d’Estrades knows that his Highness has communications
with other great personages, who complain with reason of the
insupportable yoke of the Spaniards, and who will take arms with him
to combat, and to drive as quickly as possible from Italy, a power
which is only established there to oppress it. If destiny willed it
so, I have no doubt that the other Princes of this country would be
happy to enjoy a stable peace under the auspices of your Majesty. I
offer up vows for the progress of your victorious arms, and I pray
God to prolong your days for the consolation of the world, &c.

                  HERCULES A. MATTHIOLI.[162]

  [161] Charles the first, Duke de Nevers in France, succeeded to
  the sovereignty of Mantua on the death of his cousin Duke
  Vincent II. His two sons, Charles Duke de Rhetelois, and
  Ferdinand Duke de Mayenne, died during his life-time, and he
  was consequently succeeded, at his death in 1637, by his
  grandson Charles III.

  [162] This letter exists in cypher, and also written in Italian
  and French, in the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs
  at Paris.



No. 3.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Continuation of the negociation.--Intrigues of the Austrian
     Party.

                        Venice, Dec. 24, 1677.

    SIR,

I have only some few particulars to add to the letter, which I did
myself the honour to write to the King last week; but as the Duke of
Mantua has made known to me, that they may serve to make you still
more aware how important it is to that Prince to take his measures
secretly, and to use all possible diligence for the conclusion of
the affair, which I have given an account of to his Majesty, I have
thought it necessary, Sir, that you should be informed of them.
Three days ago, the Duke of Mantua informed me that he had found
means to procure a copy of the written orders that the Empress
Eleanor and the Emperor, conjointly with the Spaniards, had given
to the Count Viltaliano Borromei, a Milanese, and the Imperial
Commissary. They are to this effect, that if the French should come
into Italy, and that it should appear to him that the Duke of Mantua
had any intention to be on their side, he should make use of this
pretext to render himself master of Casale without delay, by means
of their partizans, who are there in considerable numbers, and among
others, the Governor of the town, and the Governor of the citadel;
in order to preserve this fortress and all the Montferrat for the
Empress Eleanor. The Marquis Carrossa has received a similar order
with regard to Mantua. He is also an Imperial Commissary, and it
will be easy for him to execute what is ordered him, because the
Governor of the citadel is his brother-in-law, and the Major of the
town his intimate friend. On these accounts, the Duke of Mantua has
sent me word that in his present situation, in which he is besides
watched by his mother, by the Monk Bulgarini, who governs her, and
by the greater part of his Ministers, who are devoted to the House
of Austria, he is obliged to show no ambition, to appear to have no
knowledge of his own affairs, and to excite no suspicions by his
conduct; and also that he cannot declare himself openly in favour of
the King’s interests, as he would wish to do, nor deliver up Casale
to his Majesty, unless he will send a sufficient army into Italy to
secure that fortress, and to defend him (the Duke) from the evils
that menace him, and from the designs which the House of Austria
has against him; and that this obliges him to supplicate and exhort
his Majesty to make an effort to that effect, even if he has not
actually resolved to carry the war into the Milanese, since Casale
is an acquisition sufficiently important to determine him to it.
But Matthioli, to whom the Duke of Mantua has given up the entire
conduct of this affair, goes still farther, and is confident, that
even in this case means could be easily found to place a Governor
in the citadel of Mantua, and a Major in the town, who should be as
much attached to the service of the King, as those who at present
occupy these two posts are to the House of Austria.

We must, besides, Sir, consider that the Duke of Guastalla, being
the nearest relation of the Duke of Mantua, as well as his heir,
there would be danger that, if the Duchess his daughter, who is
very ill, and has no children, should die, some misfortune might
happen to the Duke of Mantua, which would assure his territories
to the Spanish nobleman, who has married the second daughter of
the Duke of Guastalla, and whose marriage the Spaniards, doubtless
with this view, made up at Vienna, by means of Don Vincent, who
returned from thence some time back. You know much better than I do,
Sir, of what consequence it would be to the king, not only to take
away the Mantuan and the Montferrat from the House of Austria, who
will never lose an opportunity of making use of them when they have
once obtained them, but besides to have in his own hands these two
states, by means of which his Majesty can easily bridle the Princes
of Italy. Therefore, I do not take the liberty of entering farther
upon this matter, or of mingling my reflections with those you may
choose to make upon it.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

              I am, &c.

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[163]

  [163] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 4.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Intrigues of the Spaniards to form a league in Italy against
     France.

                        Venice, January 1st, 1678.

    SIR,

I have so little news to send you from hence to-day, that I shall
very soon have told you all I know, and may hope not to fatigue you
with the length of this letter.

I know that a Senator, who is one of the Pregadi, has said, that
the Emperor and the Spaniards are ardently soliciting the Nuncios
and the Ambassadors from Venice, residing at Madrid and Vienna,
to persuade their masters to unite with them against France, and
to represent to them that they have a common interest to preserve
Italy, and to keep out of it the armies of the King, with which
it is menaced. I do not believe that the Pope[164] will be much
disposed to do them this pleasure; and, Sir, I could almost venture
to assure you, that, if the republic should renounce the advantages
of that neutrality, which she has thus far so exactly observed,
it will not be for the purpose of partaking in the disgraces of
the house of Austria; and indeed it is in this sense that the
before-mentioned Senator talked upon the subject. * * *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[165]

  [164] Benedict Odescalchi, son of a Milanese banker, elected
  Pope, September 21st, 1676, and took the name of Innocent XI.
  He was a good Pope, and a virtuous man, and a decided enemy to
  _Nepotism_, against which he published a bull. He died August
  12th, 1689, and his memory was venerated as that of a saint by
  his subjects.

  [165] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 5.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

                        Saint Germain, January 5th, 1678.

    SIR,

Not having yet had time to render an account to the King of
your despatch of the 18th of last month, I cannot inform you of
the sentiments of his Majesty as to what you acquaint him with
respecting the dispositions of the Duke of Mantua. I will, however,
do so by the next post.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[166]

  [166] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 6.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

     The King’s approval of the negociation.

                        Saint Germain, January 12th, 1678.

    SIR,

You will see by the letter of the King which goes herewith, how much
his Majesty approves of the negociation, which you have entered into
with the Duke of Mantua, for an affair undoubtedly very important
at all times, but especially so at this conjuncture: you could not
also have conducted yourself in it with greater prudence, or greater
secrecy than you have done.

I am very happy to see that you have taken advantage of this
occasion, to testify your zeal for the service of his Majesty; and I
hope that the success of the affair may assist you in procuring the
sooner from his Majesty, the favour that you have asked of him.

We have not, at present, any news to send you from these parts; the
King’s heavy baggage set off Monday morning, for St. Quentin, as I
sent you word; but his Majesty has not, as yet, made any preparation
to follow it.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[167]

  [167] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 7.

LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH TO ESTRADES.

     Approval of the negociation.--Answer to the demands of the
     Duke of Mantua.

                        St. Germain, January 12th, 1678.

    ABBÉ D’ESTRADES,

I have seen with pleasure, by your letter of the 18th of last month,
the pains you have taken, as well to draw the Duke of Mantua from
the lethargy of debauchery in which he is sunk, as to excite him to
throw off the yoke of the Archduchess, his mother, and of the Monk
Bulgarini; who, without leaving him any part in the government of
his territories, add every day to the shackles and the dependance,
by means of which they have subjected him to the House of Austria.
I take so much a greater interest in the more noble resolutions he
seems disposed to take, on account of his belonging to a family,
which was so long settled in France, and to which the King, my
father, gave such great proofs of his friendship and protection. I
should, therefore, wish you to let him know, by the same channels
as those you made use of to commence this negociation, that I have
learned with much satisfaction, the favourable dispositions he
has manifested for my interests, and for taking himself a part
more worthy of his fame and his birth; that on these accounts, I
receive with pleasure the propositions he has made you of attaching
himself to me by a union of measures, and by admitting my troops
into Casale, upon the same terms as those by which they formerly,
for so long a time, held possession of the place. Experience ought
to have taught him, that the authority of his father was never more
firmly established in the Montferrat, than when that fortress and
those territories were supported by my protection; and the affection
for the French name, which has still remained among the people, is
a sufficient testimony of the advantage and kindness they received
from them.

In rendering an answer to the articles that he has communicated to
you, I shall commence by replying to the first; that, with regard
to the offer of delivering up to me the citadel and fortress of
Casale, I shall willingly content myself with holding them in the
same manner in which I held them formerly; that is to say, under
the condition of preserving them for the Duke of Mantua, and of
paying the garrisons I shall keep there. I would also, in order to
favour the warlike inclinations of this Prince, take measures with
him respecting the command of the armies I shall send across the
Alps. But he must be aware, that I cannot at all enter into any
consideration of the article, in which he demands, that I should get
restored to him the parts of the Montferrat, which have been ceded
to the Duke of Savoy. These cessions have been recognized by so many
treaties, in which I have been a principal party, that I cannot do
any thing that would invalidate them; all that I could possibly
do, would be to employ myself, as I have several times done, to
accommodate the differences which still exist between them, with
regard to the valuation of those same portions of territory, and the
sums that ought to be paid for them by the Duke of Savoy.

It is a different case with regard to the losses which the Duke
of Mantua might sustain in the war he may possibly be engaged in
together with me. I would willingly bind myself not to make peace,
unless compensation was made to him; and I would equally enter, with
pleasure, into an agreement to share with him any conquests my arms
might make in the Milanese.

As for his demand, that I should now make him a present of a hundred
thousand Pistoles, simply as a gift, you must make him understand
that this sum is too large, but that I should be ready to agree to
a more moderate one, according to the engagements he is willing to
enter into with me; and without explaining yourself as to what the
sum should be, you will make him first state what he expects, and
oblige him to keep within reasonable bounds.

You will still continue to entertain the opinion that I intend
sending a considerable army this year into Italy, and you will keep
principally in view in your negociation, the having it in such
a state as to be able to prolong it without the danger of being
obliged to break it off; since it is for the good of my service
to continue it always in such a manner, that I may be the master
to conduct it as I please, either by enlarging or narrowing the
conditions. It is on this account, that as the Count Matthioli has
thus far been the principal confidant of this affair, and that he
must be the most powerful instrument of it, it is necessary that
you should keep him always in good humour, by the assurance of the
especial good-will I bear him for his conduct, and by the hope of
the marks of it I shall be inclined to give him. This is what I wish
you to say in addition to the letter which I send you for him, in
answer to the one he wrote to me.

              I am, &c.

                  LEWIS.[168]

  [168] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 8.

LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH TO MATTHIOLI.

                        January 12th, 1678.

    COUNT MATTHIOLI,

I have seen by the letter you wrote me, as well as by what my
Ambassador, the Abbé d’Estrades, communicated to me, the affection
that you show for my interests. You cannot doubt but that I am much
obliged to you for it, and that I shall have much pleasure in giving
you proofs of my satisfaction upon every occasion. Referring you,
therefore, for further particulars, to what will be said to you from
me by the Abbé d’Estrades, I shall not lengthen this letter more
than to add, that I pray God to have you, Count Matthioli, in his
holy keeping.

                  LEWIS.[169]

  [169] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 9.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, January 29th, 1678.

    SIR,

I have nothing to add to what I did myself the honour to write
to the King, upon the present state of the affair, which I am
treating of with the Duke of Mantua. It goes on so rapidly, that
I am reduced to be sorry that I cannot find any difficulties,
which, without rendering the eventual success of it doubtful, might
prolong the negociations as long as the King seems to wish; but I
have the greatest difficulty to encourage the Duke of Mantua, under
the fear he is in of the Spaniards, which, to say the truth, is
pretty well founded; nor can he think himself in security, unless
he sees himself supported by all the protection the King can give.
Nevertheless, I will take care that this Prince does not escape
us, even if the affair should not be as quickly concluded as he
desires. I return you a thousand most humble thanks, Sir, for all
the kindness you show me on this occasion; and I can assure you,
that I shall be much more anxious for the success of this affair,
from my pleasure at having made known to the King by it the zeal
I have for his service, and having rendered myself worthy of the
favour you have done me, in procuring for me the situation I at
present hold, than from any hope of thereby bettering my fortune.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[170]

  [170] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 10.

ESTRADES TO LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH.

     Conference with Matthioli.--Discussion of the demands of the
     Duke of Mantua.

                        Venice, January 29th, 1678.

    SIRE,

At the time that I received the letter which your Majesty did me the
honour to write to me on the 12th of this month, having learned that
the Count Matthioli was arrived at Venice, I sent to him to say that
I desired to have a conference with him, in consequence of which he
came to my house with the usual precautions. I first delivered into
his hands the letter with which your Majesty had charged me for him,
which he received with all possible marks of respect and gratitude;
and I told him, as your Majesty had commanded me, that you would not
content yourself with testifying with your own hand the satisfaction
you feel at the zeal he has shown for your interests, but that you
also ordered me expressly to assure him, that you were anxious to
give him other marks of it. I added to this, that he ought to think
himself happy to have found an occasion of meriting the kindness and
favours of your Majesty, which he could easily do through the means
of the implicit confidence placed in him by the Duke of Mantua,
to whom he would also have the satisfaction, at the same time, of
rendering the greatest service in his power. He answered me in a
manner that does not permit me to doubt his being as grateful as
it is possible to be for your Majesty’s goodness, and his having a
very strong wish to serve you. Afterwards I read to him the obliging
expressions your Majesty makes use of to mark your affection for the
Duke of Mantua, and those other parts of your Majesty’s despatch,
which I thought myself authorized to communicate, that he might know
that you had learned with pleasure the proposals of that Prince, and
that he might be aware of the considerable advantages, which would
be derived from the strict alliance he (the Duke) would enter into
with your Majesty by means of Casale, which you were willing to hold
possession of on the same terms as formerly; that is to say, paying
the garrison you should keep up in the place, and preserving it for
the Duke of Mantua. We afterwards came to talk upon his differences
with the Duke of Savoy, for the restitution claimed by him of the
parts of the Montferrat, which have been ceded to the latter; and
it was not till after some slight disputing, that I made the Count
Matthioli agree, by means of the same reasons you did me the honour
to detail to me, that _you_ could not enter into this affair in any
other way, than by employing yourself to accommodate it; but that
the intercession of your Majesty was sufficiently powerful to obtain
a satisfactory result for the Duke of Mantua.

The Count Matthioli at length contented himself upon this point, but
he had more difficulty to give way upon the demand of the present
of one hundred thousand pistoles. He was the more obstinate in not
taking off any thing from this sum, because he said that it was to
be made use of for the interests of your Majesty; and that the Duke
of Mantua having taken possession of Guastalla,[171] without giving
notice to the Spaniards, he had judged it necessary to be upon his
guard against the umbrage they might take at this measure; that for
this purpose he had placed in Guastalla and in Casale the troops
he had raised, and whom he was obliged to pay; that he had sent
into the latter town great stores of corn and forage, and that he
could not support this expense in the state to which he was reduced
by his mother, who disposed entirely of his revenues. I answered
him, that the sum of money, which the Duke of Mantua requested your
Majesty to give him at present, was not necessary to him for the
expenses which he alleged; that the augmentation of the garrison
of Casale, and the provisions sent into it, were regarded by the
Spaniards themselves as precautions that he wisely took against
the enterprises of France, at a time when it was no longer doubted
that the latter power intended to carry the war into Italy; and
that therefore neither the partizans of the Spanish faction who are
about him, nor his mother, could refuse him the money he wanted
for that purpose; that I knew that his subjects would contribute
with pleasure, and that they had shown the greatest joy at their
Sovereign’s applying himself to his own affairs; that till the
conclusion of the treaty, which was to unite him so firmly with
your Majesty, he would have no occasion for any new expenses, and
that he would then receive all the assistance and succour which
he could expect from your Majesty; that your Majesty, by engaging
yourself to pay and keep up the garrisons in Casale, ceded to the
Duke the entire enjoyment of the property and revenues without any
deduction, and that your Majesty would have no farther advantage
in this affair, than that of delivering him from the yoke which
the House of Austria had imposed upon him; and of facilitating the
conquests in the Milanese, of which you were to give him a share; so
that the present which he asked for, being to be considered purely
in the light of a gratification, a hundred thousand pistoles was a
demand so excessive, that your Majesty had not judged it right to
make any offer in consequence, and that you had only ordered me to
tell him, that you would have no objection to make a present to the
Duke of a more moderate sum; that therefore it was necessary for him
to explain himself clearly upon the subject.

The Count Matthioli for some time refused to say any thing, taking
a line which was in appearance very civil, which was, that he threw
himself upon the generosity of your Majesty. But seeing that I
continued to desire him to speak, he reduced the sum by little
and little to five hundred thousand livres. I told him, that I
guessed pretty well what the Duke of Mantua might hope for from your
Majesty, and that I could not charge myself to lay _this proposal_
before you, and that I also could not help telling him, that for a
man who professed to be so well-intentioned, he appeared to me very
unyielding upon a point of small moment, in a negociation from which
he would allow, without doubt, that the Duke of Mantua would derive
great and solid advantages. Finally, Sire, I brought him to content
himself with one hundred thousand crowns, and that on condition
that your Majesty was not to pay them till after the signature of
the treaty, and the exchange of the ratifications; and then, if you
chose not to give the whole sum at once, that the Duke of Mantua
should receive fifty thousand crowns first, and then the other fifty
thousand three months afterwards. Besides this, I declared to the
Count Matthioli that I could not answer for your Majesty’s approving
of my having fixed upon so large a sum, but that I promised him to
do all that depended on me, to prevent my being disavowed.

Not only have the other articles of your Majesty’s despatch been
agreed to without difficulty, but they have even served powerfully
to confirm the Count Matthioli in his opinion, that the Duke of
Mantua cannot take a better course than that of abandoning himself
entirely to the protection of your Majesty. He has so firm a belief
in the resolution he is convinced you have taken of sending a
considerable army this year into Italy, that I should have no
difficulty in persuading him still more strongly of it; but I am
a little embarrassed with the anxiety of the Duke of Mantua to
conclude this affair, which is caused to him by his continual
terror of the design, which he understands the Spaniards continue
to have, of seizing upon his fortresses on the least pretext, and
on the first favourable occasion. Nevertheless, I will endeavour to
lengthen the negociation as much as your Majesty shall find useful
to your interests, as you have commanded me, and at the same time I
will take care not to put it in any danger of being broken off. I
implore your Majesty to be persuaded that I shall never be forgetful
of any thing which may be for the good of your service, or which may
testify the zeal and the profound respect, with which I am, Sire,

                    Your Majesty’s
              most humble, most obedient, and
                most faithful subject and servant,

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[172]

  [171] On the occasion of the death of Ferdinand III. Duke of
  Guastalla, which occurred January 11th, 1678. The Duke of
  Mantua had married his eldest daughter.

  [172] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 11.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     The Duke of Mantua watched by the Spaniards.

                        Venice, February 12th, 1678.

    SIR,

Though the Duke of Mantua has been for the last fortnight at
Venice, I have not yet been able to see him; but he has sent me
word several times, by the Count Matthioli, that he had still more
impatience than even I have, that we should confer together; that
he only deferred giving himself that satisfaction, in order that he
might first get rid of those of his people whom he has the least
confidence in, and particularly four men, whom his mother has sent
with him here to observe all his actions, which they do with the
greatest care; and that two days before he sets off to return to
his own territories (where he is not afraid of any surprise, when
he shall be once there himself), he will acquaint me with the time
and place at which we may see one another. It is true, that the
step he has taken, of at once seizing upon the territories of the
late Duke of Guastalla, has very much disquieted the Spaniards;
and one sees that they are endeavouring, by all sorts of means, to
ascertain whether the Duke of Mantua has taken any measures to gain
the support of the King. His resident at Venice, who is devoted to
the Duchess his mother, came two days ago to the Sieur de Pinchesne
to ask, on the part of his master, whether I was about to despatch
an extraordinary courier to Paris, because his highness would be
glad to make use of him to convey there a packet of consequence: he
answered him, that affairs were so little of a pressing nature here,
that I always wrote by the usual conveyance, and that I had not at
present any reason for sending a courier; but that, if the Duke
of Mantua wished it, I would send one on his account. I made this
known to the Prince himself, who was surprized that his resident,
in his name, and without his order, should have made a request of
that nature; and as he was of opinion, as well as myself, that the
intention of his resident was by this means to discover whether a
packet, which, it was said, the Duke of Mantua had received from the
Grand Duchess,[173] was of importance, he agreed to the expedient
which I proposed to him, of sending publicly to make him the same
offers as those which had been made to his resident, in order that
he might be able to express before his ministers his disapprobation
of their entering, without his knowledge, into communications with
the French ambassador, being aware of the measures which it was
necessary for him to keep. He charged Matthioli to tell me that he
had had a letter from the Grand Duchess, to which he had sent an
answer, for the purpose of begging her to support his claims to the
King; having heard that the Duke of Modena[174] had complained to
his Majesty of his having taken possession of the succession of the
Duke of Guastalla, to which the Duke of Modena had pretensions. The
Sieur de Pinchesne went to him from me, and the thing was executed
as it had been previously determined upon; but his adventure, as
well as many other things which the Duke of Mantua discovers daily,
convince him that the Spaniards are suspicious of him, on which
account he is so uneasy, that he is more than ever anxious for your
Majesty to secure him quickly against their enterprises.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[175]

  [173] Margaret Louisa, daughter of Gaston, Duke of Orleans;
  married in 1661, to Cosmo III., Grand Duke of Tuscany, whom she
  quarrelled with, and finally left, and returned to France,
  where she established herself in the Abbey of Montmartre. She
  died at an advanced age in 1721.

  [174] Francis of Este, Duke of Modena, succeeded his father,
  Alphonso IV. in 1662. During his minority, his territories were
  wisely and ably governed by his mother, Laura Martinozzi, niece
  of Cardinal Mazarin. His only sister, Mary Beatrix, was the
  second wife of James II. of England. He died in 1694.

  [175] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 12.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Impatience of the Duke of Mantua to conclude the
     Negociation.

                  Venice, February 19th, 1678.

    SIR,

YOU will have seen by the last letters I did myself the honour to
write to you, that I take care to keep up the negociation I have
entered into with the Duke of Mantua, and to hold it always in that
state that it may be terminated in whatever way the King shall judge
most according to his interests. Thus, Sir, I have only to assure
you, that I shall apply myself, as you command me in your last
letter of the 2d of this month, to gain time, and to confirm the
Duke of Mantua in the resolution he has taken of abandoning himself
to the King’s protection. He is as thoroughly persuaded as one could
wish, that he cannot take a better course, although the Spaniards
have lately been making him large offers of money and of employment,
in order to oblige him to declare himself openly in their favour,
and to allow of the introduction of a garrison of Germans into
Casale; but as he is always apprehensive, lest his want of affection
for the House of Austria should be discovered, he can never think
himself in security till he shall be supported by a treaty; and it
is this which gives him so much impatience to conclude the one he
intends making with the King.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[176]

  [176] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 13.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Plans of the Spaniards.--Dispositions of the Venetian
     Government.

                  Venice, February 26th, 1678.

    SIR,

I HAVE not had the honour of receiving any letters from you this
week. Indeed, I expected that the hurry of the King’s departure
would prevent your writing. I have learned from good authority, that
the government here have received intelligence, that the Spaniards
have renewed their proposals to form a league of the Princes of
Italy against France, and that it was at Rome that they concerted
the means to succeed in it: this is, without doubt, what has given
occasion to the report which has been current for some days, that
the Cardinal Porto Carrero[177], in his way to Spain, where he is
going to take possession of the Archbishopric of Toledo, is to visit
the different Courts of Italy, to try to engage them in the party
which they call _the common cause_. It is said, that the Grand
Duke[178] has already made known his opinion, that if they intend
to unite, it ought to be for the maintenance of their liberty, and
that they ought not to engage themselves in an extensive war, or
to assist in enabling one of the two belligerent powers to oppress
them eventually with greater ease. This intelligence has obliged
me to give all my attention to penetrate the sentiments of the
Venetian government upon this subject; and I have been informed,
upon good authority, that thus far the determination is to deliver
themselves from the importunities of the Spaniards, if they should
be too pressing, by a similar reply to that which is said to have
been given at Florence; but it now appears to me, that the fear and
jealousy of the power of the King, which existed here formerly,
is very much reviving, and they are becoming apprehensive that
the designs of his Majesty are not confined to the preservation
of the conquests he has already made, nor even to those he may
make in Flanders. The senate is confirmed in this opinion, by the
letters of M. Contarini,[179] who sends them word that they must
not look for peace, because the King is against it. This way of
talking persuades me, that M. Contarini is either ill-intentioned
or ignorant--and his intelligence is very capable of augmenting the
disquietudes of the senate. I have shewn, as well as I was able, to
those I have spoken to upon the subject, that it is impossible to
act with more sincerity in favour of peace, or to facilitate more
the means of procuring it, than his Majesty has done. There is,
however, no probability that, in the present state of the affairs
of the Republic of Venice, and under the perpetual fear she is
in of the Grand Vizier,[180] she will dare to declare herself in
favour of the enemies of the King; but, Sir, I can assure you, from
the knowledge I have upon the subject, that at the present time,
we must only reckon upon the weakness of the Venetians, and upon
the poverty of their finances, and not upon their good intentions
towards us. If I might be permitted to give my opinion upon the
present conjuncture, I should say that there is not a more ready,
or more certain way of ruining all the measures of the Spaniards in
Italy, and of terminating in the King’s favour the irresolutions
of the Senate, than by binding the Duke of Mantua by the treaty
which he is willing to make with his Majesty: not only is he always
in the same resolution of concluding this affair, on account of
the Emperor’s having sent word to him that he does not wish to
deprive him of the succession of the Duke[181] his father-in-law,
but that he only desires him to withdraw the garrison he has placed
in Guastalla: but besides, because his Imperial Majesty presses him
to execute a treaty made by the late Duke, his father; which was
an engagement that he should never have any but a German garrison
in Casale. The Duke of Mantua shows me the greatest confidence,
sends me word, by the Count Matthioli, what is deliberating on the
state of affairs, in order to know my opinions before he decides
any thing. You may be sure, Sir, that I omit nothing on my part
to encourage his good dispositions, and to keep the negociation
always in that state, that the King may be the complete master of
it. The Duke of Mantua requested me, ten days ago, to come and see
him ride at the academy. I went accordingly, and found that he was
really very firm on horseback, though he has not a graceful seat, on
account of his leg having been formerly broke, and that it is the
custom here to wear the stirrups very short. As he piques himself
upon being a good horseman, he was much pleased at my praises, which
were repeated to him by the Count Matthioli; and at my promising to
repeat them in the first letter I should have occasion to write to
you.

Two of the most considerable gentlemen of this republic, whose
names are, Cornaro the elder, called “of the great House,” and a
Foscarini, are already intriguing to succeed M. Contarini, in the
embassy to France, although the choice cannot be made till the month
of September; upon whichever of the two it shall fall, he will fill
the situation worthily, above all in the article of expense, as they
are both very rich and very generous.

Although I took the liberty, Sir, to request, in my last letter,
your protection with M. Colbert,[182] for the payment of my
appointment, and, above all, for the payment of those of the first
six months of the year 1676, for which I have long had the orders,
I have not yet been able to obtain them. I am, however, forced by
my pressing necessities to renew my request, and to supplicate you
most humbly to procure me this favour from M. Colbert. I trust, Sir,
you will be kind enough to afford me this mark of your affection,
which is the greatest I can possibly receive, in the embarrassment
in which I at present find myself; and that you will be always
persuaded that I am, with profound respect, and unalterable
attachment,

              Sir, &c.

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[183]

  [177] Lewis Emmanuel Ferdinand Portocarrero, second son of the
  Marquis of Almenara: created a Cardinal in 1669, by Clement
  IX.; Archbishop of Toledo and Primate of Spain, 1677; commander
  of the order of the St. Esprit, and Bishop of Palestrina. Was
  also, at different periods of his life, Viceroy of Sicily,
  Ambassador at Rome, Lieutenant-General at sea, and twice
  Governor of Spain. Died at Madrid, September 14th, 1709.

  [178] Cosmo III., Grand Duke of Tuscany, son of Ferdinand II.
  and Victoria Della Rovere, heiress of the Dukes of Urbino.
  Succeeded his father in 1670, and died in 1723, aged 81 years.
  He was a weak, narrow-minded, and bigoted Prince; and was the
  Duke of Tuscany, whose travels in England, in the reign of
  Charles II. have been published.

  [179] At that time Ambassador to France, from the Republic of
  Venice.

  [180] The Grand Vizier, at this moment, was Achmet Coprogli,
  the most illustrious, perhaps, of all the ministers who have
  ever governed the Ottoman Empire. He inherited the eminent
  talents of his father, Mahomet Coprogli, whom he succeeded as
  Grand Vizier, in 1661; and was superior to him in humanity and
  generosity. His military exploits were also more considerable.
  In 1669, he successfully concluded the siege of Candia, which
  had lasted twenty-two years. He died in 1678; having for
  seventeen years sustained the throne, and rendered illustrious
  the reign of his feeble and indolent master, Mahomet IV.

  [181] Of Guastalla.

  [182] John Baptist Colbert, one of the most eminent men of
  the many who adorned and illustrated the reign of Lewis XIV.
  He was an able and honest financier, a great statesman, and
  an enlightened patron of letters and arts. The blots in his
  character were, his persecution of Fouquet, and his enmity to
  the virtuous Arnaud de Pomponne, to the disgrace of whom he
  largely contributed. He was made Comptroller-general of the
  Finances, in 1664; Secretary of State for the Marine, in 1669;
  and died in 1683.

  [183] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 14.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

     Recommendations of Delay in the Negociation.

                        Cambray, March 1st, 1678.

    SIR,

I have rendered an account to the King, during his journey, of
your despatches of the 29th of January and 5th of February. I
shall not now have time enough to send you a long answer to them.
I shall therefore only tell you, that his Majesty saw in them the
continuation of the negociation which you have entered into with the
Count Matthioli; that you had been discussing the points which he
proposed to you, and those which his Majesty wishes neither to grant
nor to refuse; that you had even descended to the detail of the sum
which had been demanded, and that you had reduced it to one hundred
thousand crowns. On these subjects I have to inform you, Sir, that
his Majesty approves entirely of your continuing a negociation,
which may eventually be of very considerable importance; but for
this it is necessary that the opportunities should be favourable,
and the more so, as the basis of whatever treaty is concluded, must
necessarily be the King’s sending a powerful army across the Alps.
You, I am sure, are sufficiently aware, that thus far events do not
seem to favour such a project; it is, however, always advisable to
continue to encourage the belief of it, and this is what his Majesty
thinks it will be best for you to do; but he does not see the
necessity for your entering into any engagement upon a point, which
must fail of success, and which would render useless any expense his
Majesty may go to. Therefore, Sir, your best course to pursue is,
to cultivate always the good intentions of the Count Matthioli, and
through him those of his master; not to put an end to the hope they
have to see the arms of France in Italy; but to defer the answer
they expect from you, partly upon the ground of the journey and the
campaign in which his Majesty is at present engaged, which prevents
his writing to you, and partly upon other reasons; but still to
keep the negociation, as much as you are able, in such a state as
his Majesty may be able to take advantage of, according to the
conjuncture of affairs. * * *

                  POMPONNE.[184]

  [184] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 15.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Information respecting the Dispositions of the Venetians.

                  Venice, March 12, 1678.

    SIR,

The hurry which I know always prevails on a march, left me but
little hope of hearing from you till you arrived at Metz, and I am
therefore the more obliged to you for your kindness, in writing to
me on the 15th of last month from Vitry.

I have nothing certain to send you to-day; but next week I shall
have the honour of sending to the King an account of the conference,
which I am decidedly to have to-morrow evening with the Duke of
Mantua. All the measures are taken for this purpose; and that
Prince has sent me word that he will explain to me the reasons
which oblige him to send the Count Matthioli, without delay, to
your Majesty; he will not, however, set off for ten or twelve days,
and I explained to him that it was necessary first that I should
be made acquainted with the subject of his mission. I thought it
necessary to obtain a knowledge of it, in order that his Majesty
may be fully informed before the Count Matthioli waits upon him.
I can only assure you at present, that things could not be better
disposed for the formation of a powerful league in Italy, to drive
the Spaniards entirely out of it, in case the King chooses to turn
his arms to this side. This is what you shall be informed of more in
detail, and more particularly, in my next despatch; because I shall
be able to speak to you upon the subject with certainty, after I
have learned from the Count Matthioli, the success of a negociation
which he has entered into lately with the Republic, in the name of
the Duke of Mantua, to which I am privy. We agreed that the pretext
he should make use of, was the desire of that Prince to regulate
himself by the counsels of the Senate, after having communicated
to them his legitimate rights to Guastalla, and the well-grounded
fears he entertains from the sentiments displayed by the House of
Austria towards him in this affair. M. Matthioli has already had
two conferences with a sage of the _terra firma_, named Lando, a
deputy of the College, and he is to have three more with him this
week; which will discover to us the real dispositions of the Senate
towards his Majesty. It is easy to see by the manner in which this
senator has already spoken, that if a French army was to arrive in
Italy, the Republic would prefer profiting by the misfortunes and
weakness of the House of Austria, by joining her arms to those of
the King, to remaining in a neutrality, which would appear to her
dangerous, while the army of so powerful a prince was carrying on
war at her gates. These political views of the Venetians justify
what I have already had the honour of remarking to you, that we must
expect nothing from them, except what fear or interest may oblige
them to. * * *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[185]

  [185] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 16.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Fears of the Duke of Mantua.

                        Venice, March 19th, 1678.

    SIR,

I have not had the honour of receiving any letter from you this
week. You will see by the account I send to the King, what passed
at the conference I had with the Duke of Mantua. I will only add to
it, Sir, that, if his Majesty deems it to his advantage, that this
Prince should be united with him, according to the conditions which
have been proposed, it appears to me that it will be necessary,
before the Count Matthioli sets off for Paris, to put this affair
in a situation in which it is no longer liable to be broken off;
because I have seen the Duke of Mantua so alarmed at the menaces of
the Spaniards, and at the protection they afford openly to the Count
de Prades,[186] who pretends that the Duchy of Guastalla belongs
to him, that I have been unable to tranquillize his fears, except
by giving him the hope that the return of the Count Matthioli will
deliver him from all his embarrassments; and if he was to see him
return without bringing the King’s consent for the conclusion of the
affair, and without a certain assurance of speedy assistance, I do
not know whether the fear of being stripped of his territories would
not make him change his resolution. I have thought, Sir, that I
ought to inform you faithfully of the situation in which I find the
mind of the Duke of Mantua, in order that you may regulate yourself
accordingly.

The Senate has discovered that the Pope[187] has let drop, of his
own accord, the affair of the adjustment between the Republic and
Spain, on the occasion of what has passed at Trieste, because His
Holiness wishes to be the only Mediator of the Catholic Princes at
the Assembly of Nimeguen, and that the Ambassador of Venice should
not divide this honour with his Nuncio. * * *

              I am, &c.

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[188]

  [186] This is one of those mistakes into which the French are
  so liable to fall from their slovenly way of writing the names
  of foreigners. The _Count de Prades_ means Emmanuel _Count
  d’Eparêdés_. Viceroy of Valentia, a Spanish nobleman, whose
  daughter married Vespasian Gonzaga, only brother of Ferdinand
  III., Duke of Guastalla. The sole offspring of this marriage
  was Maria Louisa, who, as has before been mentioned, (see note,
  page 18,) married Thomas de la Cerda, Marquis of Laguna.

  [187] Innocent the Eleventh (Odescalchi;) see note, page 109.
  At this time, the conferences for the peace of Nimeguen had
  commenced. That peace was concluded and signed on the 10th of
  August of this same year.

  [188] From the archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 17.

ESTRADES TO LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH.

     Account of his Interview with the Duke of Mantua.--The
     latter insists upon sending Matthioli to Paris.

                        Venice, March 19th, 1678.

    SIRE,

A week ago I communicated to M. de Pomponne that I was to have a
conference the next day with the Duke of Mantua. We met, as had been
concerted, at midnight, in a small open place, which is at an equal
distance from his house and mine. I was an entire hour with him,
and not only did I tell him all that your Majesty had desired me
to apprize him of, and which he had already learned from the Count
Matthioli, but besides, I re-assured him, as much as I was able,
upon the subject of the constant, and indeed well-grounded, alarms
he is in with regard to the Spaniards. I did not explain myself to
him with regard to the present your Majesty intends making to him
in money, as soon as the treaty shall be concluded; but contented
myself with promising that he should have reason to be content with
it. He appeared to be much satisfied with our conversation; and,
on my side, I have no less reason to be so; since he has confirmed
to me all that the Count Matthioli told me from him. I have given
so exact an account of these things to your Majesty in the letters
I have had the honour to write to yourself and to M. de Pomponne,
that it is useless for me to enlarge more upon this subject. When we
were upon the point of separating, the Duke of Mantua represented
to me the risk he is in of being overwhelmed by the Spaniards,
whose bad intentions he cannot doubt of, after their late earnest
persuasions to him, to admit the Germans into Casale, to withdraw
his garrison from Guastalla, and to declare himself openly and
without delay in their favour. He added, that I must be aware, that
under the resolution he had taken of serving your Majesty, both with
his person and his territories, he would do nothing prejudicial
to your interests; but that, if the Spaniards did not give him
more money than what they were accustomed to furnish him with,
for the support of the garrison of Casale, as they had declared
to him was their intention, he should not be able to support the
expense of it himself, or to preserve that fortress; that the danger
was so pressing, that no time was to be lost in placing him in
a state of safety, and that affairs went on so slowly by means
of despatches, that he found himself obliged to send the Count
Matthioli to your Majesty, to expose to you the state to which he
finds himself reduced, and to implore you to deliver him from it as
quickly as may be possible.

I have not dared, Sire, to oppose myself to this journey, because
I perceived that the Duke of Mantua had taken some offence, or at
least that he had some uneasiness at the length of this negociation,
which I have protracted upon different pretexts as much as I was
able, without endangering it, as your Majesty had ordered me; and
because besides I have thought that you would be the more assured
of the firmness of the Duke of Mantua, when the Count Matthioli,
in whom he has a blind confidence, and who governs him absolutely,
should be with you. He will make known to your Majesty, better than
can be done by letters, the facilities you would find in conquering
the Milanese, the intelligences that may be established there, and
the detail of the whole negociation he has had with the Republic of
Venice in the name of the Duke of Mantua, who demanded the advice
of the Senate upon the affair of Guastalla, and its assistance, in
case it was attempted to disturb him by force in the possession of
that Duchy. The Senate has sent word to Matthioli, by a Sage of
_terra firma_, who was deputed for this purpose, that the Duke of
Mantua ought to retain possession of Guastalla; that the Republic
would render him all the good offices she could, and that even if
her intercession should be of no avail, she would still assist
him secretly with advice and money, and not abandon him. This
Senator gave him to understand, that if your Majesty was to send
an army into Italy, and that the Duke of Mantua should be in your
interests, the Republic would not be disinclined to enter into the
same party; and the Procurator Nani,[189] with whom he has also had
two conversations, explained himself upon this subject still more
clearly.

As the Count Matthioli is not to receive his instructions till the
day after to-morrow, he will not, certainly, set off from hence till
towards the end of the week. I shall have the honour of acquainting
your Majesty with what they contain of most importance, as well as
with the time by which the Count Matthioli can be with you.

                          I am,
    with every kind of respect and submission,
                          Sire,
                     Your Majesty’s
              most humble, most obedient, and
                most faithful Servant and Subject,

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[190]

  [189] John Baptist Felix Gaspar Nani was descended from an
  illustrious family at Venice, and was born on the 30th of
  August, 1616. He distinguished himself early in diplomacy, and
  was for twenty-five years ambassador from the Republic to
  France. He was subsequently chosen Procurator of St. Mark, the
  next dignity in the Republic to that of Doge. He is best known
  to posterity by his “Istoria della Republica Veneta,”--which is
  a valuable and useful work, though it has been reprobated as
  being partial, and written in a vicious and incorrect Italian.
  He died on the 25th of November, 1678.

  [190] From the archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 18.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Reasons for consenting to the mission of Matthioli to Paris.

                        Venice, March 26th, 1678.

    SIR,

My last letters will have shown you that I had forestalled in
some measure, the orders which I received in the one of the 4th
of this month, which you did me the honour to write me. I had
judged that, in the present conjuncture, it would not be easy
for the King to send a powerful army into Italy, so speedily as
was wished. It appeared to me, nevertheless, that His Majesty
considered the negociation which I had commenced with the Duke of
Mantua, through the means of the Count Matthioli, as an affair
which might eventually be of use to him, and which he would wish
to be in a situation to profit by. Therefore, Sir, I have used all
my endeavours to encourage the opinion already entertained, that
the arms of France will appear in the Milanese, and to confirm the
Duke of Mantua in his good dispositions towards His Majesty, and
in his suspicions of the Spaniards. I had even made use of the
same reasons, which you prescribe to me to urge in your letter,
to moderate his impatience to conclude the treaty, which he is
desirous of making with the King. Before His Majesty left St.
Germain, I represented to the Count Matthioli that the negociations
with England occupied him too much, to permit him, in such very
critical times, to apply himself as much as was necessary to a new
enterprize of the importance of the one that was meditated in Italy;
and since that, I have alleged to him the difficulty of getting
answers during the hurry of the journey, and the occupations of the
campaign, which oblige the King to go frequently from one place to
another. I have added, that I was by no means surprized at this, and
that, in preceding years, I had rarely received any letters from
you at those times. He has contented himself, thus far, with the
excuses I have given him; but the Duke of Mantua is so violently
alarmed at the peril in which he believes himself to be, and at the
length of the negociation, that he has absolutely determined upon
sending the Count Matthioli to the King--and I have not dared to
oppose myself to this, from the fear of giving him suspicions, or
of disgusting him with the negociation altogether. It is true, Sir,
that after having well considered the manner in which this journey
could be accomplished, I have thought that it would turn out to be
the most easy and the most infallible method to confirm still more
the dispositions of the Duke of Mantua, and to prolong this affair
as long as the King shall judge for the good of his service. I have
for this purpose persuaded the Count Matthioli that it was important
he should not go immediately to his Majesty, but that he should
first pay a visit to some of the towns in Italy, under the pretext
of his master’s interests, and his disputes with the Duke of Modena
respecting the Duchy of Guastalla, in order that there may be no
suspicion of his going into France. He is agreed upon this point
with me; and by the reckoning we have made together of his course,
and the halts he will make, I can assure you, Sir, that you will
not see him for these two months. It will be still easier for you,
when he does arrive, to detain him at least as long; and thus the
campaign will be nearly finished without the Duke of Mantua’s being
able to complain of the delay, or to take measures contrary to the
King’s intentions. Since this Prince left Venice, he is travelling
about his territories, without ever stopping more than three or
four days in a place, in order to avoid giving audience to the
Spanish envoys, who are waiting for him at Mantua, and to whom he
has sent word that they may address themselves to his Council; that
for himself, he has no answer to give them to their propositions,
because he is waiting for intelligence from Vienna, by which he
intends to regulate his conduct. The Count Matthioli went to him the
beginning of this week, in order to receive his instructions for
his journey to Paris, and to give him an account of his negociation
with the Republic. He will afterwards return here to explain to the
Senate his Master’s sentiments; and so, Sir, I shall perhaps have a
further opportunity of deferring his departure for a still longer
time. * * *

              I am, &c.
                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[191]

  [191] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 19.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, April 2d, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I have nothing to add to what I have already had the honour of
writing to you, upon the affair which regards the Duke of Mantua. I
have received this morning a note from the Count Matthioli, in which
he gives me intelligence that he shall be here to-morrow; and that
he will come the same day to me, an hour after sunset. I will not
fail to give you an account, in my next letter, of the conversation
I shall have with him. I am glad that he did not return to Venice so
soon as he originally intended; because his journey to Paris will
be, in consequence, deferred some days longer. I will try to obtain
intelligence why the Resident from Mantua has had such frequent
audiences of the College for the last few days.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[192]

  [192] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 20.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

     Approval of Matthioli’s Mission to France.--Permission to
     Estrades to leave Venice.

                        April 5th, 1678.

    SIR,

We are now at the end of our journey, and consequently at the end
of my want of punctuality in writing to you. The being stationary
at St. Germain, will make me more regular. I took an opportunity,
yesterday, to give an account to his Majesty of your letters of
the 5th, 12th, and 19th of last month. He appeared satisfied with
the manner in which you have conducted the business with the
Duke of Mantua; and was made acquainted, by your letter, written
after your interview with that prince, with the resolution he had
taken of sending the Count Matthioli to France. You will have
already seen by my despatches, that there is little probability of
his Majesty’s being able to send a considerable army into Italy
this year. Now it appears, that the expectation of his sending
one, forms the foundation of all the designs which the Duke of
Mantua has communicated to you. You must be aware, that it would
answer no good purpose to undeceive him; because this would be to
break off a negociation, which may otherwise have considerable
results. Therefore one of the advantages of the journey of the
Count Matthioli is, that it gains time; besides, perhaps it may
be possible to remove difficulties, and take measures with him in
person, which might be difficult to be arranged at a distance.
Therefore, Sir, you will see that, as the King cannot grant the
principal conditions which have been required, because they all turn
upon an action in Italy, we cannot flatter ourselves with concluding
any thing with this prince, at present. This is what makes me think,
that if it is so particularly necessary for your interests, as you
say, to return to France, there is nothing that need prevent your
executing your wish. His Majesty appears to me so much satisfied
with your services, that, though he has doubtless the intention of
making use of them in a sphere which will give them a wider scope
than Venice does, he will willingly grant you leave of absence. I
have even already made him acquainted with your wish; and it appears
to me, that you are at liberty to do what you choose; either to stay
at Venice, or to come to Paris. * * *

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[193]

  [193] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 21.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Conversation with Matthioli.

                        Venice, April 9th, 1678.

    SIR,

The Count Matthioli arrived here six days ago; I had a conversation
with him the same evening, and the day after he set off for
Bologna, where he was to meet the Duke of Mantua, who will send
him from thence to Paris, after having given him his last orders.
He assured me that he was charged to confirm to his Majesty all
that I have had the honour of acquainting him with, and that his
master had only recommended him not to consent to the putting a
French garrison into Casale, as long as he could fight it off. But,
Sir, he told me at the same time, that he saw too well that this
condition was the actual foundation of the proposed treaty, to wish
to raise a negociation respecting it; and that he had made the
Duke of Mantua understand that it was necessary to act with good
faith towards the King, and not to balance about giving him this
security and satisfaction, if he wished to attach himself to the
interests of his Majesty, as he had determined to do. I perceived
notwithstanding, though he did not speak openly of it, that the
example of Messina[194] had made him reflect upon the consequences
of the engagement his master was about to make with the King, which
obliged me to represent to him how much this fear was ill-founded,
and what a difference there was between a solemn treaty of two
Sovereign Princes, as the one we were now concerting would be, and
the assistance which his Majesty had only given to the Messinese
from pure generosity.

The Count Matthioli professed to be of my opinion, and to have great
joy at seeing affairs as well-disposed as he could possibly have
wished.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[195]

  [194] In 1674 the people of Messina in Sicily, unable any
  longer to bear the harshness of the Spanish Government,
  revolted. The French assisted them with a body of troops under
  the command of the Chevalier de Valbelle. In 1676 the Marshal
  de Vivonne was sent there with a powerful fleet, and gained a
  complete victory over those of Spain and Holland. But in the
  beginning of 1678, the French, alarmed at the prospect of a
  union of England with their enemies, abandoned Sicily to its
  fate. It is to this latter event that Estrades alludes.

  [195] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 22.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

                        St. Germain, April 13th, 1678.

    SIR,

I have already sent you word that the King approves very much of
the manner in which you have carried on the negociation with the
Duke of Mantua, without either breaking it off or advancing it too
much. It is even advantageous, as a very natural means of gaining
time, that that Prince should have taken the part of sending the
Count Matthioli to the King. We may treat with him according to
the propositions he is charged with; but it would be a pity if the
foundation of them was to be the condition of sending a powerful
army into Italy this year, because I can tell you in confidence,
that the King has not yet taken any measures for the purpose.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[196]

  [196] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 23.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Means of protracting the Negociation.--Views of Matthioli.

                        Venice, April 30th, 1678.

    SIR,

I consider myself very happy, that the King has so much approved of
the manner in which I have conducted myself, in the affair of the
Duke of Mantua, as you have informed me in the letter which you did
me the honour to write to me on the 13th of this month, and that
his Majesty has had the goodness to regard more the zeal I have for
his service than my capacity. I shall have nothing more in future
to tell you on this subject, but the Count Matthioli will give you
ample information, when he arrives at Court, of the sentiments of
his master; of the state of his affairs; and of what may be expected
from them. The disposition in which I have seen him, makes me hope
that it will not be impossible to protract this negociation, without
running the risk of breaking it off, until the season for action is
past, and that, when he shall see the necessity that there is of
waiting till the King can take measures for sending an army into
Italy, he will willingly employ the influence he possesses over the
mind of the Duke of Mantua, to take from him all kind of suspicion,
and to prevent his being impatient at this delay; perhaps even he
might be able to persuade his master, if he should really endeavour
it, to put himself under the declared protection of the King, as he
has thus far been under that of the House of Austria; and to content
himself with his Majesty’s paying the garrison he intends to place
in Casale. Finally, Sir, this affair will be in such good hands,
since it is yourself that will manage it, that even what appears the
most difficult in it may very well succeed. I will only add, that I
know that the Count Matthioli has a great desire, and need of making
his fortune, and that there are few things to which his master would
not consent for a considerable sum of money, and from the hope of a
great employment; of which, in fact, the title alone need be given
to him; as was the case with the Duke of Modena in the service of
France, and with the late Duke of Mantua in that of the Emperor,
whose Vicar-general he was in Italy, with the command of an army
there.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[197]

  [197] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 24.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Delay in Matthioli’s Journey to Paris.

                        Venice, May 21, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Count Matthioli has been here for the last four days with his
master. He came to me yesterday, to tell me that the Spaniards
had been, for the last two months, making such great advances to
the Duke of Mantua, that they would, perhaps, have obliged him to
consent to all they desired, which was the removing his garrison
from Guastalla, introducing the Germans into Casale, and declaring
himself openly against France, if he had separated himself for a
single moment from him; the Duchess-mother, and all the council of
this Prince, being devoted to the House of Austria. That it was
necessary he should wait for the return of the Marquis Galerati from
Milan, and that he should remain, besides, three weeks or a month
with the Duke of Mantua, who was to go, during that time, to Casale,
where he had persuaded him to wait for his return from France. That,
therefore, he could not set off till towards the end of June, but
that he would not delay beyond that time. I answered him, that he
had been in the right to remain with his master, at a time when
his presence was so necessary to him; that he ought not to set off
on his journey to Paris, till he was well assured that his absence
would cause no change, either in the sentiments or the affairs of
that Prince, but that I could assure him the King would see him with
pleasure, and that he would receive every kind of satisfaction from
his journey. * * *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[198]

  [198] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 25.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Interview with Matthioli.

                        Venice, June 11, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Count Matthioli, who does not lose sight of the Duke of Mantua,
for the reasons that I have already informed you of, is come here to
make a stay of three or four days with that Prince; he has assured
me that he is still in the resolution of setting off, the end of
this month, to go to Paris; and that he will first accompany his
master to Casale, where he has lately discovered the intrigues of
the Spaniards, for the purpose of obtaining possession of that
place. I have taken occasion, Sir, to represent to him, that, even
if the report, which has been spread of a general peace, should be
true, the Duke of Mantua would have still more need of the King’s
protection; that the House of Austria will not be in a condition
to do injury to any Prince, as long as she shall have to contend
with the power of his Majesty; but that if she had no longer this
obstacle, it would be easy for her to execute the designs, which
his master could not doubt her having against him; that it was
greatly his interest to put himself in such a state, that he need
not fear being deprived of Casale and the Montferrat, of which the
Court of Vienna had declared its wish to put the Empress Eleanor
in possession, who had no other view than that of leaving it some
day to the Prince of Lorrain,[199] in favour of his marriage with
the widow of the King of Poland; that the Duke of Mantua could not
avoid this misfortune, except by procuring for himself the support
of the King, by means of an intimate connection of interests; as
would be that he would have with him, if his Majesty had a garrison
in Casale, which would be paid at his expense, and kept on the same
conditions as we had already agreed upon; that this would make
him the more secure, from the circumstance of his Majesty’s never
having had any claims upon his territories, and from his being
the only sovereign who was capable of defending them successfully
against those, who thought they had well-grounded claims upon them.
I added to this, that if he reflected upon what I told him, he
would, without doubt, perceive, that the Duke of Mantua could not
take a better line, than the one that I proposed to him. The Count
Matthioli answered me, that he was so persuaded of this, and that
he was so assured of the aversion which that Prince had for the
Spaniards, and of his inclination towards France, that even if
at his arrival at Court he should find the peace concluded and
published, and that there should be in consequence no more hope of
seeing the war in the Milanese, which his master so much wished
for there, he would still not hesitate to conclude in his name the
affair which we have commenced here, provided the King wished for
it. Should this agree with his Majesty’s designs, you, Sir, will
know better than any body how to make use of the good intentions of
the Count Matthioli, when he shall be with you.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[200]

  [199] Charles V. Duke of Lorrain, married, in the commencement
  of this year, Eleanor, daughter of the Emperor Leopold, and
  widow of Michael Wiecnowiecki, King of Poland. For an account
  of him, see note, page 48.

  [200] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 26.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

                        St. Germain, June 15, 1678.

    SIR,

I answer your letters of the 21st and 28th of May, and of the 4th
of this month together; the first has made known to the King the
reasons which have delayed the Count Matthioli: if they are really
such as he told you, and that he has thought his presence necessary,
in order to prevent the injurious resolutions to which the Spaniards
might have persuaded his master, it is quite right in him not to
have left him; it would also be advantageous if he could soon
withdraw him from Mantua, and lead him to Casale. It will then be
more easy for him to make his journey into France, and to insure the
success of the measures which he has concerted with you.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[201]

  [201] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 27.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

                        June 22, 1678.

    SIR,

The King has seen the letter which you were pleased to write to me,
and his Majesty has learnt from it with pleasure, that the Count
Matthioli is always in the same sentiments of affection and zeal,
which he has already shown for his Majesty. Continue to strengthen
him in them, by the hope of the same advantages which you have
already shown him that the Duke his master will find in the alliance
and protection of the King. The Duke not being in a condition to
preserve Casale, without the assistance of some one more powerful
than himself, he cannot certainly receive it more usefully and more
surely than from the hands of his Majesty. I trust you will labour,
as you have already done, to inspire him with the desire of it,
from the pleasure that you will have in rendering a very agreeable
service to his Majesty.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[202]

  [202] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 28.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Differences between the Duke of Mantua and the Spaniards.

                        Venice, July 2, 1678.

    SIR,

I see by the letter, which you did me the honour to write to me on
the 15th of last month, that you have approved of the assiduity of
the Count Matthioli about the Duke of Mantua, from the reasons which
I sent you. It will appear to you still more useful, when you are
told that he has obliged that Prince to break off the marriage of
the great-nephew of Don Vincent of Gonzaga, Viceroy of Sicily, with
the second daughter of the late Duke of Guastalla, and sister of the
Duchess of Mantua, which was already concluded, and which had been
contrived by the Spaniards, in the view of putting him more easily
in possession of the Duchy of Guastalla; so that the Duke of Mantua
is at present so much at variance with the Spaniards, that it is not
difficult to make him comprehend that there is no other safe part
for him to take, than that of putting himself under the protection
of the King, and of fulfilling those engagements with his Majesty,
which he has already agreed upon. This is what I represented to the
Count Matthioli at his last visit to this place, and he was the
more easily brought to be of this opinion, because he has a great
interest that this affair should succeed, since the Spaniards, who
are all-powerful in the councils of his master, and who have the
Duchess-mother on their side, have easily discovered that it is
he alone who injures them in the mind of the Duke, and would not
fail to take vengeance on him, if he ever fell into their hands. He
departed yesterday to go and join the Duke of Mantua, whom he does
not quit, and whom he is to accompany to Mantua, and afterwards to
Casale, from whence he will proceed to Paris: but, by the reckoning
that we have made together, he cannot be there before the end of the
next month.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

Sir, I am obliged to tell you that the Nuncio is so devoted to the
Spaniards, and that he sees with so much chagrin the power of the
King, and the weakness of the House of Austria, that he would be
capable of inventing to me a story of this nature, even should it
not be true.[203] * * *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[204]

  [203] As the letter breaks off here abruptly, it is impossible
  for us to discover to what transaction Estrades alludes.

  [204] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 29.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

     Excuses for the delay of Matthioli.

                        Venice, July 9, 1678.

    SIR,

After what I had the honour of acquainting you with in my last
letter, on the subject of the Count Matthioli, I should not have
any thing further to add to-day, if he had not begged me to let you
know that he has only remained at Venice some days longer than he
originally intended, in order to execute some little commissions
which the Duke of Mantua gave him when he left the place; but that
he will go and meet that Prince this week at Mantua, that he will
follow him to Casale, and that from thence he will set off to go to
Paris, where he expects to arrive during the month of September. We
have together calculated the time, and he cannot and ought not to
leave his master sooner. He has, however, been apprehensive that
these delays might give a bad opinion of him, and he has wished, in
order to set his mind at rest, that I would send you the letters he
has written to the King and to you, Sir; although I assured him he
need not take this trouble, and that it would be sufficient if I
bore testimony to his zeal and to his good intentions. * * *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[205]

  [205] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 30.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

                        July 13, 1678.

    SIR,

The letter which you were pleased to write to me on the second of
this month, has shown the King that the Count Matthioli continues
in the same good intentions for his service, and in the design of
coming to France. His Majesty sees with pleasure that he is making
preparation, in order to be able to finish there the negociation
which you have commenced with him; and he has also been well
contented that, in order to prevent his master from entering into
more intimate engagements with the Spaniards, he has caused to be
broken off the marriage, which was on the point of taking place,
between the great-nephew of Don Vincent of Gonzaga, Viceroy of
Sicily, and the second daughter of the Duke of Guastalla.

                  POMPONNE.[206]

  [206] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 31.

ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, July 30, 1678.

    SIR,

I have nothing new to send you, in return for what you tell me, in
the letter which you did me the honour to write to me on the 13th of
this month: but as soon as the Duke of Mantua shall be arrived at
Casale, I shall be able to inform you precisely of the day on which
the Count Matthioli will set off for Paris.

I have heard that the Duke has brought his mother back to Mantua,
and that she is ill there of a fever. If God was to call her to
himself, without doubt the affair of Casale would be more easy to
conclude, and the execution of the treaty would be less difficult;
though thus far there is no reason to doubt that in any case it
will fail, if his Majesty continues always in the wish of obtaining
possession of that place.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[207]

  [207] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 32.

POMPONNE TO ESTRADES.

                        St. Germain, August 10, 1678.

    SIR,

As the King continues always in the intention of profiting by the
good dispositions of the Duke of Mantua, His Majesty desires that
you will continue to encourage them, as you have already had so much
part in originating them. His arrival at Casale, and the journey
of the Count Matthioli into France, will show more clearly his
inclinations with regard to delivering up that place to His Majesty. * * *

                  POMPONNE.[208]

  [208] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 33.

ESTRADES TO LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH.

     Good dispositions of the Duke of Mantua, and of the Garrison
     of Casale.

                        Venice, August 20, 1678.

    SIRE,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Count Matthioli arrived here the day before yesterday, and he
goes away this evening to Mantua. He only came here to assure me,
that he would set off infallibly in the first week of next month, to
go to your Majesty, as he has done himself the honour of sending you
word himself; that the Duke of Mantua is always firm in his design
of putting himself under the protection of your Majesty; that all
those who have any command in Casale, are devoted to the will of
that Prince, and inclined to the French; and that there is so exact
a guard kept in that place, that nothing can enter or go out of it,
except by the order of the Commandants. I exhorted him not to defer
his departure beyond the time he had stated, and I told him that
he would be as well received by your Majesty, as he could possibly
wish. * * *

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[209]

  [209] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 34.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, September 3, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Count Matthioli has sent word to the Ambassador by the Sieur
Giuliani, (whom he had despatched to Padua, to learn news respecting
his health) that his illness begins to diminish, and that he hopes
it will soon permit him to commence his journey to the Court, about
the time he agreed on with him. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[210]

  [210] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 35.

MATTHIOLI TO LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH.

     Excuses his own delay.

                        Padua, September 12th, 1678.

    SIRE,

The illness, which came upon me while I was getting ready for my
departure, has, (as your Majesty has deigned to be informed by the
Abbé d’Estrades, your Ambassador at Venice,) occasioned, to my
extreme grief, the necessity for me to delay my journey to you. The
eagerness I have is extraordinary, to be able with all possible
celerity to throw myself at your Majesty’s feet. As soon as I
shall have recovered in some degree my strength, I will not fail
to set off. The present emergency of the Genoese seems to me very
opportune for the designs we have in view. I hope to be able, with
all respect, to suggest upon this subject also to your Majesty some
points of importance. I bow myself before you most humbly.

              Of your Majesty, &c.

                  HERCULES A. MATTHIOLI.[211]

  [211] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 36.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, September 17th, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Sieur Giuliani, having gone one day this week to gain
information of the state of health of the Count Matthioli, brought
back to the Ambassador the letter which the Count had done
himself the honour of writing to you,[212] and which I take the
liberty, Sir, of sending you. He sent word at the same time to his
Excellency, that now, as he has no more fever, he will return to
Mantua, in order to satisfy the impatience of the Duke of Mantua
to see him; and that as soon as he shall have regained a little
strength, he will not fail to set off, in order that he may arrive
at the Court as soon as possible. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[213]

  [212] This letter is not published.

  [213] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 37.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        Fontainebleau, October 6, 1678.

I have received, Sir, this week, your letter of the 17th, together
with the two others from M. Matthioli, which were joined to it; but
I cannot reply to them till the next post, not having as yet had an
opportunity of rendering an account of them to the King. We shall
wait for the arrival of the aforesaid Sieur Matthioli, to know what
propositions he intends to make.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[214]

  [214] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 38.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        Paris, October 14, 1678.

Since the last post, I have found an opportunity to read to the
King your letter of the 17th of September, and he appears to me
to approve of the account, you give in it, of what regards his
interests, in the place where you at present are.

His Majesty has learnt with pleasure, that the Count Matthioli will
soon be in a state to come here, when he will listen to him with
favour.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[215]

  [215] Ibid.



No. 39.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Intention of Estrades to leave Venice.

                        Venice, October 15, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I sent you word, some time back, that the Abbé d’Estrades was gone
into the country, from whence he intended to continue his journey
into France. The uneasiness he felt at the delay of the Count
Matthioli in his departure, (although it only proceeded from his
illness, and from the necessity he had to be near his master,) and
his desire to see him set off before him, or at least at the same
time, are the causes why he has always deferred his own departure;
but having had four days ago a conference with the Count Matthioli,
in which he assured him that he would without doubt set off for
France to-day, and that he had even received the order of the Duke
of Mantua to that effect * * *[216]

                  DE PINCHESNE.[217]

  [216] The sentence is left thus unfinished in the letter, as
  published by M. Delort.

  [217] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 40.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Continued delay of Matthioli.

                        Venice, October 22d, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

WHILE I was in the belief that the Count Matthioli had set out
for the Court, according to the promise he had made to the Abbé
d’Estrades in the last conference, which, as I sent you word, Sir,
they had together, I have been surprised by learning at this moment,
by a letter which he has written to the Sieur Giuliani, who has
just brought it me, that some affairs, which he has had to transact
with the Duke of Mantua, have obliged him to delay his departure
till to-day. He has written to the aforesaid Sieur Giuliani to be
to-morrow evening at Verona, in order to continue his journey to
the Court from thence. He has judged it proper, in order to keep
the whole affair as secret as possible, to take him with him rather
than any other, as he is already informed of all the circumstances
of the case, the Abbé d’Estrades having made use of him in all the
journeys that were necessary during the course of this affair. He
is a very good sort of man, who is already entirely French in his
dispositions, and full of affection for the service and interests of
the King. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[218]

  [218] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 41.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, October 29th, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I have received this instant a letter from the Count Matthioli,
written from Berheta, on the 26th of this month; in which he
acquaints me that he will immediately continue his journey to the
Court with the Sieur Giuliani; where, perhaps, they will be arrived
before you receive this letter. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[219]

  [219] Ibid.



No. 42.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        Versailles, November 4th, 1678.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

According to appearances the Abbé d’Estrades will soon arrive here,
and with him the Count Matthioli, through whom we shall be able to
know more distinctly the sentiments of the Duke of Mantua. * * *

                  POMPONNE.[220]

  [220] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 43.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        November 11th, 1678.

I have received your letter of the 22d, the principal point of which
is, the making the King acquainted with the reason, for which the
Count Matthioli did not set off so soon as he had promised the Abbé
d’Estrades. We must wait for his arrival to know what he has to
propose to the King.

                  POMPONNE.[221]

  [221] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 44.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        Versailles, November 18th, 1678.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

Neither the Count Matthioli, nor the Sieur Giuliani are yet arrived
here.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  POMPONNE.[222]

  [222] Ibid.



No. 45.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, November 19th, 1678.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I have just received a letter from the Count Matthioli, written
from Zurich on the 5th of this month, in which he informs me, that
the bad roads have been the cause, which has prevented him from
travelling as quick as he could wish in his journey to the Court,
but that he hopes to be there in a few days, and perhaps may be
arrived before you receive this. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[223]

  [223] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 46.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, November 26th, 1678.

    SIR,

I have received this week the two letters which you did me the
honour to write to me, on the 4th and on the 7th of this month.
I see by both of them, how much the King is disposed to receive
the Count Matthioli favourably, and to listen willingly to his
propositions, as soon as he shall be arrived at the Court. I think
he must be there at present, as I have again received to-day a
letter from him, from Soleure, dated the 9th of this month, in which
he informs me that he has made as much expedition as possible, in
order to arrive there quickly. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[224]

  [224] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 47.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        December 2d, 1678.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I send you only a packet belonging to the Count Matthioli, who
arrived here some days ago, and who acquaints the Duke of Mantua
with the circumstance. You must take great care to send the letters
that are in this packet to their destination.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[225]

  [225] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 48.

     Powers granted to Pomponne, to treat with Matthioli.

The Duke of Mantua having testified to his Majesty, through the
medium of the Count Matthioli, the extreme desire he has to make
known his zeal for his interests; and to acquire for himself, by
the most intimate alliances into which he can enter with him, the
same friendship and the same protection, which his predecessors
have received from France on great and important occasions. His
Majesty, therefore, who has always preserved a sincere affection for
the family of the aforesaid Duke and for his person, has received
with pleasure the sentiments that he has manifested to him; and in
order to take the necessary measures with him for an alliance, which
shall be both most intimate and most advantageous to the aforesaid
Duke, he has given full power to the Sieur de Pomponne, counsellor
in ordinary in all his councils, secretary of state and of his
commandments and finances, in order to, with the aforesaid Count
Matthioli, agree, treat, and sign such articles as to him shall
seem good, for this particular alliance with the aforesaid Duke of
Mantua; promising, on the honour and word of a king, to consent to,
and to confirm and establish now and always, all that the aforesaid
Sieur de Pomponne shall, for this effect, conclude and settle,
without contravening, or suffering the contravention of any part of
it, in any manner whatsoever, and to furnish his ratification of
it in proper form, within the time that shall be stipulated by the
treaty. In witness whereof his Majesty has signed the present with
his hand, and has caused to be affixed to it his privy seal.

Done at Versailles, the 5th day of December, 1678.

                  LEWIS.[226]

  [226] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 49.

LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH TO THE DUKE OF MANTUA.

     Promises his protection to the Duke.

    MY COUSIN,

The Count Matthioli, will instruct you so particularly, both of the
manner in which he has acquitted himself of the orders with which
you have charged him for me, and of the extreme satisfaction with
which I have received the assurances he has given me of your zeal
for my interests, that I can have nothing further to add upon these
subjects. I am only desirous of testifying to you myself, the entire
confidence which I wish you to place in my friendship. You may
promise yourself, that it will be useful and glorious to you upon
all occasions; and you may always rely with certainty and security
upon my alliance. I hope to be able to give you very evident marks
of this in the sequel; and after having borne testimony to you of
the satisfaction which the conduct of the Count Matthioli, through
the whole of this affair, has given me, I will not lengthen the
present letter any more, except to pray to God that he may have you,
my Cousin, in his holy and worthy keeping.

Written at Versailles, this 8th Dec. 1678.

                  LEWIS.

              (And lower down),

                  ARNAUD.[227]

  [227] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 50.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        December 16th, 1678.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I SEND you a letter of the King to the Duke of Mantua, which you
will deliver to the Count Matthioli, as soon as he shall arrive at
Venice, taking care always to keep his journey very secret.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[228]

  [228] Ibid.



No. 51.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Interview of Pinchesne with Don Joseph Varano.

                        Venice, December 24th, 1678.

    SIR,

As soon as I had received, together with the letter that you did
me the favour to write me on the second of this month, that which
the Count Matthioli sent to the Duke of Mantua, under cover to Don
Joseph Varano, who is here with that Prince, and who is one of the
two persons to whom his Highness has confided the design he has
to deliver Casale into the hands of the King, I made known to M.
Varano, by the son of the Sieur Giuliani, that I was very desirous
of being able to deliver to him a letter from a French gentleman,
who was one of his friends, and who had begged me to give it into
his own hands. He understood very well what that meant to say; and
at the same time sent me word, that if I would find myself that
evening in mask at the Opera, he would not fail to be there also;
which was executed according to our resolution. He told me, when I
gave it him, that the Duke of Mantua would be delighted to receive
it; because, for some days, he had shown great impatience to hear
of the arrival of the Count Matthioli at the court, and to know in
what state the affair was, which he was gone there to negociate. He
asked me, at the same time, if I could not give him some news upon
the subject; but as I know nothing about it, I contented myself
with only telling him that I did not doubt but it was in a good
train, and that I was persuaded his Highness would receive, on this
occasion, the marks of that esteem and friendship which His Majesty
has for him. I thought, Sir, I might be permitted to speak to him in
these terms; because what I told him was from my own head, and not
as if I had received any order to that effect. We afterwards agreed
together, that, during the stay of the Duke of Mantua at Venice, we
would make use of the same means to deliver to him the letters which
might come to me from the Count Matthioli. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[229]

  [229] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 52.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

     A courier sent to Venice with a new cypher.

                        St. Germain, December 25th, 1678.

THIS courier, whom I despatch to you, has orders not to come to your
house as a courier, but to enter Venice as a tradesman, or a private
French individual, who comes there on his own business: he brings
for you a cypher, which you will only make use of in what regards
the affairs of the Duke of Mantua, according to the occasions which
you may deem necessary after the return of the Count Matthioli. We
have been afraid that, for so important an affair, the cypher of
the Abbé d’Estrades was too old, and had probably been discovered,
in the many times it has passed through the territories of Milan.
You will make use of it as usual in your ordinary despatches; but
you will only write on the affairs of Mantua in the new one, which
this courier brings to you. Take care to inform us exactly, of the
arrival of the Count Matthioli, and of all that he shall communicate
to you on the subject of his journey.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[230]

  [230] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 53.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Catinat sent to Pignerol.

                        St. Germain-en-Laye, December 29, 1678.

THESE few words are to let you know, that it is necessary for the
King’s service, that the person who will send you this note, should
enter into the citadel of Pignerol, without any body’s knowing it.
To this effect, cause the Gate of Aid[231] to remain open till
night-fall, and send him one of your servants; or even, if you are
able, go yourself to meet him, at the place to which his valet will
conduct you; in order that he may enter in your suite into the
aforesaid citadel, and into the aforesaid dungeon, without any one’s
perceiving it.

              I am truly yours,

                  DE LOUVOIS.[232]

  [231] “Porte du Secours.”

  [232] From the Archives of France.



No. 54.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

     D’Asfeld sent to Venice.

                        St. Germain, Dec. 30, 1678.

The King has despatched this day the Sieur d’Asfeld, Colonel of
Dragoons, who is to go to Venice, under pretext of a journey of
curiosity and pleasure. He will not come directly to your house,
but will appear as a stranger, whom curiosity alone leads to the
place where you are. He will afterwards come to see you, as if on
account of the natural obligation which all Frenchmen have to visit
those who are placed in a country for His Majesty’s service. He
will deliver to you, from me, a short letter, as of introduction
for him, in which I request you to contribute to the success of
his particular interests at Venice. He will communicate to you the
orders he has received; and you will take the necessary measures
to make known his arrival to the Count Matthioli, and to arrange a
meeting between them, if necessary.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[233]

  [233] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 55.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        St. Germain, Dec. 30, 1678.

    SIR,

You will receive this letter by the hands of M. d’Asfeld, who
goes to Venice, for an affair which he will communicate to you
himself, and of which you will have had, before his arrival, a more
particular instruction by my letters. All that I will therefore add
is, that you will put an entire reliance on what he tells you, and
that you will contribute, in every way that depends on you, to the
success of his particular interests at the place where you are.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[234]

  [234] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 56.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, Dec. 31, 1678.

    SIR,

In order to deliver to Don Joseph Varano the letter, which I have
received for him from the Count Matthioli, at the same time with
that which you did me the favour to write on the 9th of this month,
I have made use of the same means which I had the honour to acquaint
you with in my last letter, and which we had agreed upon together,
for the time during which the Duke of Mantua should remain at
Venice. He told me, when he received it, that this prince had
experienced great pleasure by learning from the first, that the
affair was in a good state; and that he was most impatient to hear
of the conclusion of it; to which I answered him in two words, that
that was a hope which his Highness might, with reason, flatter
himself to see realized. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[235]

  [235] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 57.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, Jan. 7, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

As soon as the Count Matthioli shall arrive at Venice, I will
immediately deliver into his hands the letter which the King has
done the Duke of Mantua the honour of writing to him. That prince
left this place the day before yesterday, to return to his own
States; but he is to come back to Venice towards the end of this
month, to pass the rest of the Carnival there. I will keep the
journey of the Count Matthioli secret, as you order me; but I beg
you to believe, Sir, that it was not necessary you should take the
trouble to recommend this to me, since I know very well of what
importance it is to preserve an inviolable secrecy in this affair.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[236]

  [236] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 58.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

                        Venice, Jan. 15th, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I shall execute with all the punctuality possible, every order which
it shall please you to give me on this affair; and as soon as the
Count Matthioli shall be returned to this place, I will not fail to
acquaint you with it, and to give you an exact account of all he
shall tell me respecting the business which he has been negociating
at the Court.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[237]

  [237] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 59.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Arrival of d’Asfeld at Venice.

                        Venice, Jan. 21st, 1679.

    SIR,

Before I received the letter, which you did me the honour to write
to me on the 30th of last month, and by which you informed me that
the King intended to send here the Count d’Asfeld, Colonel of a
regiment of Dragoons, he was already arrived, and had been to
see me, to communicate to me the orders he had received from his
Majesty; but as he was not charged with any letter from you, for
me, I should have had some difficulty in opening my plans to him,
in an affair of this consequence, if M. Giuliani, who happened to
be with me just then, and who was come to see me for the first time
since his return, had not told me, a few moments before, that there
would shortly arrive here a gentleman from the King; and if I had
not found him himself so well-informed of the whole of this affair,
that I could have no doubt of the truth of what he told me; since
it appeared to me impossible that he could know so much upon the
subject without having learnt it from you, or from those who are
alone acquainted with it. He told me that M. de Louvois had obliged
him, before his departure, to burn the letter which you had given
him to deliver to me, from fear lest, if he was stopped in the
Milanese, it might give some ground of suspicion to the Spaniards.
He even detailed to me so precisely all that it contained, that I
could have no farther cause for fear, after I had seen that what he
told me, tallied so well with all that you have done me the favour
to write to me upon his subject. We have not been able to agree
upon any thing together since he has been here, because the Count
Matthioli is not yet arrived; but as he has written to me and to
M. Giuliani, from whom he separated himself near Turin, in order
to excite less observation, that he will be here in a few days, I
hope to be able, by the next post, to give you an account of all
we shall have settled with him. I will not fail, Sir, to represent
strongly to him, according to the order which M. d’Asfeld has given
me, on the part of the King, to that effect, that it is absolutely
necessary for the Duke of Mantua to be at Casale by the 20th of next
month, to make the exchange of the treaties; and I will make him so
clearly understand that diligence is most necessary in an affair of
this importance, lest, from delay, it should be discovered, that I
am almost bold enough to promise, that he will persuade his master
to go there at that time. However, Sir, if this prince, who is
accustomed to pass the last days of the Carnival here every year,
wished also to do so this year, in order not to make his conduct
appear extraordinary; and that he should think that from the 15th
of February, which is the first day of Lent, to the 20th, there
will be too little time for his journey to Casale, without showing
an anxiety which might occasion suspicions; and that, therefore, he
might wish to defer for some days the exchange of the treaties, I
think you will approve of my sending you an extraordinary courier to
inform you of it; it being impossible for me to do so sufficiently
quickly by the post.

                  DE PINCHESNE.[238]

  [238] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 60.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Delays of Matthioli, and of the Duke of Mantua.

                        Venice, Jan. 28th, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

According to the letters which M. Giuliani and I received last week
from the Count Matthioli, we thought he would, without doubt, be
this week at Venice, with the Duke of Mantua. However, neither one
nor the other are yet arrived, on account of a slight illness which
the Duchess dowager of Mantua has had, which has obliged that prince
to remain with her; but the Sieur Giuliani has received to-day a
letter from Don Joseph Varano, in which he informs him, that the
Count Matthioli is at present at Padua, where he is waiting for
the Duke of Mantua, in order that they may come here together, on
Monday, or Tuesday at the latest. This has obliged M. d’Asfeld
and myself to send Giuliani this evening to Padua, to the Count
Matthioli, to give him intelligence of the arrival of M. d’Asfeld at
Venice, and to represent to him that it is of the last importance,
on account of the shortness of the time, for us to have, as soon as
possible, a conference together, in order to take all the measures
that shall be necessary to induce the Duke of Mantua to be at Casale
the 20th or 25th of next month, according to the wish of the King.

I think I can say to-day more securely than I did last week, that I
shall inform you by the next post of all we shall have arranged with
the Count Matthioli, since certainly the next week will not pass
away without our meeting.

                  DE PINCHESNE.[239]

  [239] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 61.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Further Delays of Matthioli.

                        Venice, February 4th, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The Duke of Mantua has been here since Tuesday. The Count Matthioli
was to have come with him, but the fever he has been suffering from
for the last ten or twelve days prevented him, and obliged him
to remain at Padua, where he still is, for the purpose of going
through a course of remedies. Nevertheless, Sir, as time presses,
M. d’Asfeld and I have sent M. Giuliani to him twice this week, to
represent to him the necessity we have of seeing him, to arrange
together the day when the Duke of Mantua is to be at Casale. He
has sent us word for answer, that to-morrow he will certainly be
at Venice, whatever his state of health may be, and that on Monday
or Tuesday, at the latest, we may see one another, to conclude
all things; after which, M. d’Asfeld can set off for Pignerol:
that, besides, he could assure us, that in all the conversations
he had had with the Duke of Mantua, since his return from France,
he had found that Prince in the best possible dispositions for
the success of the affair, within the time that had been fixed
upon with you, and that he had even done himself the honour of
acquainting you with this in a letter which he had written you. I
have also seen, within the last two days, Don Joseph Varano, who
has also given me assurances to the same effect on the part of his
master. So, Sir, there is every reason to hope, that the King will
soon receive the satisfaction that he expects from this business.
When M. d’Asfeld and myself shall see the Count Matthioli, we will
represent to him the diligence that is necessary to be made use
of in this affair; which is the more so, because the march of the
troops towards Pignerol begins to give suspicion to the Spaniards
in the Milanese, although thus far they are persuaded that they are
only sent to that place to work at the fortifications. M. d’Asfeld,
who, as well as myself, is rendered uneasy by the delay of the Count
Matthioli, had made a resolution, on Friday evening, to go and pay
him a visit at Padua, and to take as a pretext his wish to go and
see some of the towns of the Terra Ferma; but we reflected, that two
days, more or less, was not of great consequence; and that, besides
the uselessness of this journey, since it is necessary that the
Count Matthioli should speak to the Duke of Mantua before he can
settle any thing with us, it might also cause some suspicion in his
inn, where there are many strangers, if he was seen to leave Venice
during the time when the diversions there are at their height, to
go and make a tour in towns where there are none. Therefore we
have thought, that it was better to wait the arrival of the Count
Matthioli in this city, in order not to risk any thing by too much
precipitation, in an affair in which secrecy is so necessary, and
respecting which one can never take too many precautions.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[240]

  [240] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 62.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, Feb. 7th, 1679.

I SEND you a letter for the same person[241] to whom you were to
deliver the two packages, which the individual named Barrere ought
to have brought you by this time. I beg that you will give it to
him, and send me by the return of the same courier, who will deliver
to you this letter, whatever answer he shall make to it. The person
who despatches this courier from Lyons, has orders to tell him, that
he is the bearer of the letters of Madame Fouquet. It will be right
for you to tell him the same thing when you send him back. You will
observe, if you please, to put an envelope over your letter to me,
addressed to the Sieur Du Bois, Clerk of the Foreign Post at Lyons.

If the person to whom you have to deliver this letter is not
arrived, you will send me word of it by the return of the courier,
and will keep the letter till his arrival.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[242]

  [241] This person was Catinat, who was now on his way to
  Pignerol, under the assumed name of Richemont.

  [242] From the Archives of France.



No. 63.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Interviews with Matthioli.--Further Delays in the
     Ratification of the Treaty.

                        Feb. 7th, 1679.

WE had hoped, M. d’Asfeld and I, according to the promises which
had been given us to this effect by the Count Matthioli, through M.
Giuliani, as often as we sent him to Padua, that we might be able to
dispose the Duke of Mantua to go to Casale the 25th of this month,
according to the King’s intentions; but notwithstanding all that we
have been able to allege to the Count in the two conferences we have
had with him, last Thursday and this morning, we have not been able
to succeed, and we have therefore been obliged to defer the day of
the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty till the 10th of
next March; on which day the Duke of Mantua promises to be, most
assuredly, and without any further delay, at Casale.

We have despatched you this extraordinary courier, Sir, to give you
intelligence of this; and we have so strongly recommended diligence
to him, that we hope our letters will still arrive soon enough at
court, to afford the King sufficient time to give whatever orders
his Majesty shall judge necessary, for the delaying of the march of
the troops towards Pignerol.

M. d’Asfeld writes in this intention, to M. de Louvois; but I will
take the liberty to request you, Sir, in case the King has any new
orders to give us on this affair, to order them to be sent directly
to me; because, as it is possible that M. d’Asfeld may be obliged
to depart before they arrive, I could not be made acquainted with
them if they were sent to him, the cypher he has received from M. de
Louvois being different to that which you have sent me. We think,
nevertheless, we can assure you, Sir, that we do not see, from this
delay of time, any reason to doubt the sincerity of the sentiments
of the Duke of Mantua; who has again assured us, through the Count
Matthioli, that he is more than ever in the intention of executing
the treaty he has just made with his Majesty, and of keeping the
promise he has given to him.

The Count Matthioli had written to you; but as his letter was not in
cypher, and did not contain any thing but what I have sent you word
of in this, I have not thought it necessary to send it to you.

                  DE PINCHESNE.[243]

  [243] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 64.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, February 15th, 1679.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

WHEN the affairs for which the Sieur de Richemont is with you shall
be concluded, you may, &c.[244] * * *


                  DE LOUVOIS.[245]

  [244] The sentence is left thus imperfect in M. Delort’s
  publication. The whole letter, however, is published in the
  work entitled, “Les philosophes et les gens de lettres des
  XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles à la Bastille.” The rest of the letter
  does not refer to Matthioli’s affair.

  [245] From the Archives of France.



No. 65.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        February 17th, 1679.

I HAVE given an account to the King of what you tell me, in your
last letter of the 28th of January, you have done concerning the
affair which is entrusted to you, and of your expecting the Count
Matthioli soon, from the assurance that the Sieur Giuliani had given
you to that effect. His Majesty was very glad to see that you still
have hopes both of the success of the affair, and of prevailing
upon the Duke of Mantua to leave Venice on the 20th or 25th of this
month.

I have nothing particular to acquaint you with, beyond what you
already know. You will continue, if you please, to inform me exactly
of all that shall pass on this subject; even despatching me an
extraordinary courier if you shall deem it necessary.

                  POMPONNE.[246]

  [246] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 66.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Reasons for the Duke of Mantua’s delay in going to Casale.

                        Venice, February 18th, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

THE necessity, which M. d’Asfeld and myself were under a week ago,
of sending off in all haste the courier whom we despatched to the
Court, prevented me, Sir, from being able to acquaint you in the
letter, which I then did myself the honour to write to you, with the
reasons, which the Count Matthioli has alleged to us, to make us
understand that the Duke of Mantua cannot be at Casale the 25th of
this month, according to the wishes of the King expressed to him by
us. He told us three: the first was, that this Prince, wishing to
send to Casale, as soon as he should be arrived there, his guards
and the greater part of his court, (intending to make some stay
there after the conclusion of the affair,) it became necessary for
him for this purpose to have some money, which could not be got in
so short a time. The second, that it was absolutely necessary first
to persuade Don Vincent Gonzaga,[247] who is at present at Mantua,
to make this journey with his Highness, since, being the presumptive
heir of the Duke of Mantua, it would be very dangerous to leave him
at Mantua, at the time when the affair of Casale would be known;
because the Mantuans regarding him as likely to be their future
sovereign, there would be danger that they might allow themselves
to be persuaded by him to rebel against the Duke of Mantua, which,
without doubt, he would not fail to try to make them do, when he
should see that his Highness was attaching himself to the party of
France, and abandoning that of the House of Austria, to which Don
Vincent is absolutely devoted. And the third, the obligation under
which the Duke of Mantua found himself of holding here a sort of
carousel with several Venetian gentlemen, to whom he had given his
promise to that effect, which he could not now retract, without
occasioning some suspicion here. This last reason, Sir, although the
least considerable of the three, appears to me notwithstanding to be
a truer one than the others; because this Prince is so much attached
to all pleasures, of whatever kind they may be, that when he finds
an occasion of indulging in them, the most important affairs cannot
turn him away from them. This little carousel is certainly to take
place some day next week; after which the Count Matthioli has
assured us that the Duke of Mantua will, without doubt, leave this
place, in order to be at Casale the 10th of next month, as he has
promised us; his people are even to set off to-day to return to
Mantua. To-morrow we are to have another conference with the Count
Matthioli, to regulate in what manner M. d’Asfeld is to open the
business at Casale with the Duke of Mantua, for the purpose of
making the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty. Meanwhile,
Sir, I think it right to inform you, that the march of the troops
to Pignerol, and the munitions and money which are carried there,
cause great fear through the whole of Italy; and that it is said
publicly here, that the King has some great plan, without its being
possible to penetrate what it is, suspicions falling upon Casale,
upon Geneva, upon Savoy, and more particularly upon the Republic
of Genoa, on account of what has lately passed there: I even know
that M. Contarini[248] has written in these terms to Venice. There
are also two couriers, arrived during the last eight or ten days
from Turin, at Milan; the one despatched by _Madame Royale_[249]
to her envoy, and the other by the Duke of Gioninazze[250] to the
government of Milan, to give them intelligence of these movements.
The Count Matthioli has told us, that the Duke of Mantua intended
to make an excuse for his journey to Casale, by saying, that the
fear he is in of the designs of France, obliges him to go to that
place, to give the necessary orders for its security. I have just
now learnt, that a courier is arrived to the Spanish Ambassador from
Milan. I am persuaded he is sent for the same reasons I have before
stated.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[251]

  [247] See note, page 18.

  [248] Contarini was at this time Ambassador from the Republic
  of Venice to the Court of Lewis the Fourteenth.

  [249] The Duchess of Savoy. For an account of her, see note,
  page 32.

  [250] The Spanish Envoy at the Court of Turin.

  [251] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 67.

POMPONNE TO MATTHIOLI.

                        February 21st, 1679.

    SIR,

I have received the letters, that you have taken the trouble to
write to me, and I think I cannot do better than address my answer
to them to the care of the Abbé d’Estrades, as you intend making
a journey to Turin. I have not failed to give an account to the
King of your sorrow at the long delay of an affair, which was
commenced and is to be concluded through your means. His Majesty
is still willing to promise himself a good success in it, and will
not entertain any doubt of the promise which has been so solemnly
given to him being kept. You know how much you may promise yourself
from his goodness when you shall have accomplished the success of
the project, of which you yourself laid the foundation. Upon this
subject the Abbé d’Estrades will speak to you still more in detail,
and therefore I will not lengthen this letter any more than to
assure you, that I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[252]

  [252] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 68.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Arrangements for the Exchange of the Ratifications of the
     Treaty.

                        Venice, February 25th, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I SENT you word in my last letter of the reports, which the march of
the troops to Pignerol caused through the whole of Italy: these have
much increased this week from the news which has been received that
M. de Vauban[253] is gone there by the King’s order; which makes it
be believed more than ever, that his Majesty certainly meditates
some great design on that side, although the strongest suspicion
falls always on Genoa, and, next to that, on Casale. The Spanish
Ambassador, and the Abbé Frederic, the resident of the Emperor, went
together on Wednesday to the Duke of Mantua, to tell him they had
heard from Turin that he wished to give Casale and the Montferrat to
the King, and to represent to him the disadvantages that would arise
to all Italy from this measure, and particularly to the House of
Austria, on account of the Duchy of Milan. That Prince answered them
that he was astonished they could believe in reports of this nature,
which had no solid foundation. This answer was all they could draw
from him on the subject. Nevertheless, Sir, as he is always in the
intention of executing the treaty he has made with the King, which
he has again assured us through the Count Matthioli, M. d’Asfeld and
I have had two more conferences this week with the aforesaid Count,
the last of which was yesterday evening; in which we arranged that
M. d’Asfeld and he should find themselves on the 9th of next month
at Notre-Dame d’Incréa, which is a village ten miles from Casale, in
order to make there the exchange of the ratifications; and that the
Duke of Mantua should arrive without fail at Casale on the evening
of the 15th, to wait there for the troops of his Majesty, and to
put them in possession of the place when they should arrive there
on the 18th, which is the day that M. d’Asfeld has said they would
be there, having, according to the order of M. de Louvois, demanded
nine days between that of the exchange of the ratifications and that
of their arrival at Casale. M. d’Asfeld left this place yesterday
after this conference to go to Pignerol, and the Count Matthioli is
to set off this evening for Incréa: but as the Duke of Mantua wishes
to remain only a single day at Mantua, and intends to travel post
to Casale, he will remain here till the 11th or 12th of next month:
it is even better he should do so, because as long as they shall
see him amusing himself here with a carousel and similar trifles,
there will be less suspicion of him than if they saw him take his
departure. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[254]

  [253] Sebastian Le Prêtre, Marquis of Vauban, the celebrated
  Engineer; Marshal of France in 1703; Died in 1707.

  [254] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 69.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Suspicions of the House of Austria respecting the
     Negociations.

                        Venice, March 4th, 1679.

    SIR,

       *       *       *       *       *       *

All the advices that come from France and from Turin declare so
positively that the Duke of Mantua has made a treaty with the King
for the cession of Casale and of the Montferrat, that they are
beginning here to change into certainties those suspicions which I
mentioned to you, Sir, in my two last letters, they had had, ever
since the first news arrived at Milan by the couriers which Madame
Royale and the Duke of Gioninazze despatched there. The Governor
of Milan immediately sent two others to Madrid and Vienna to give
intelligence to the Emperor and the King of Spain. The courier, who
was sent to Vienna, returned here on Wednesday evening, with express
orders to the Marquis Canozza, the Imperial Vicar, in Italy, to
speak strongly to the Duke of Mantua, and to try and deter him from
doing a thing so contrary to the interests of the whole House of
Austria; and to go afterwards to Turin and Milan, to concert there
the means of preventing it, in case the news proved true. This same
Marquis Canozza having been, for the last five or six months, in
the prisons of Venice, accused of having had a gentleman of Verona
assassinated, the Emperor has also written by the same Courier to
the Republic, to beg that he may be enlarged, which was done on
Thursday evening. He has not been able as yet to see the Duke of
Mantua, who defers, as much as he can, giving him audience, in order
to gain time. The fear I have been in, Sir, lest what he has to say
to this Prince, from the Emperor, might be capable of producing some
change in him, has obliged me to charge M. Giuliani to go, as from
me, to Don Joseph Varano, who is at present, since the departure
of Count Matthioli, the only confidant of the Duke of Mantua, to
try to know from him what are the sentiments of his master upon
the subject of this mission. He has answered me, that his master
would assuredly execute the treaty he has made with His Majesty,
notwithstanding the obstacles which the House of Austria puts in
the way of it, and that he would leave this place on Wednesday or
Thursday, in order to arrive at Casale within the time at which he
has promised to be there. All that we have to fear is, that the
Spaniards, who are extremely suspicious, may watch him, and oppose
his passage,[255] and that of the Count Matthioli, of whom they have
an equal distrust. * * *

                  DE PINCHESNE.[256]

  [255] Through the Duchy of Milan.

  [256] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 70.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Arrest of d’Asfeld.--Departure of the Duke of Mantua from
     Venice.

                        Venice, March 11th, 1679.

    SIR,

The Courier, whom we sent you a month ago, not having complied with
the order I had given him to write to me as soon as he should be
arrived at Lyons, in order to acquaint me whether he had passed
through the Milanese without being arrested, I was under great
uneasiness until I received the letter, in which you do me the
favour to inform me that you have received the despatch which I sent
you by him. You may believe, Sir, that when M. d’Asfeld and I were
obliged to defer the day of the exchange of the ratifications till
the 10th of this month, we did not do so, till we saw that it was
impossible to persuade the Duke of Mantua to perform his part within
the period desired by the King.

All the world says here, that he is to go away this evening, or
to-morrow, without his suite; and he has always told us, through
the Count Matthioli, that when he left this place, he would only
pass through Mantua, and travel post from thence to Casale. He has
still more time than is necessary for him to be there before the
18th of this month, which is the day when the troops of the King are
to enter the place, according to what we agreed upon with the Count
Matthioli.

M. Giuliani has received a letter from him[257] this week, in
which he writes him word that M. d’Asfeld has been arrested at
La Canonica, which is a village beyond Bergamo, but that he was
released shortly after.

I do not know, Sir, if this news is really true, it having been
impossible for me to verify it, and the Count Matthioli only writing
word of it because a _Voiturier_, whom he met on the road, told
him that a gentleman whom he had conducted three or four days ago
from Verona to La Canonica, had been arrested at the latter place,
and released afterwards. In any case, I cannot doubt but that you
are already informed of it, since the Count mentions, in the same
letter, that it has been written to the Abbé d’Estrades, who will
not certainly have failed to make you acquainted with it.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I have just this moment heard, Sir, that the Duke of Mantua set
off yesterday evening at four o’clock at night,[258] and that the
Marquis Canozza is also gone to Verona, which is his country, from
whence it is believed he will be very likely to go to Milan.

                  DE PINCHESNE.[259]

  [257] Matthioli.

  [258] According to the Italian mode of reckoning the hours.

  [259] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 71.

POMPONNE TO MATTHIOLI.

     Letter of Credence to be presented to Matthioli by Catinat.

                        St. Germain, March 14, 1679.

    SIR,

The King has been informed by the Sieur de Pinchesne, of all the
measures which you have taken with him and with M. d’Asfeld, for the
execution of the affair, which has been conducted by your labours,
and of the time which the Duke of Mantua has arranged for being at
Casale. He is, besides, aware that M. d’Asfeld was to leave Venice
some days earlier, according to the agreement that you had made
together; but as he learns by his letters from Piedmont, that it
is very possible he may have been arrested in his passage through
the Milanese, and placed in the Castle of Milan, he has judged it
right to supply his place with the person who will deliver you this
letter; it is the same whom he has honoured principally with his
confidence for the execution and the conduct of all that shall be to
be done with you and the Duke of Mantua, after the arrival of that
Prince at Casale. Therefore you will, if you please, place entire
confidence in him, and particularly in the assurances which he will
give you of the good-will of his Majesty for you, and of his sense
of the service you are rendering to him.

For myself, Sir, I intreat you to believe me with the most perfect
truth, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[260]

  [260] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 72.

ESTRADES TO MATTHIOLI.

     Complaints of the Delays in the Conclusion of the
     Negociation.

                        Turin, March 24th, 1679.

I have thought it my duty, Sir, to give you advice of my arrival at
this court, in order that you may be able to let me know whatever
you shall judge necessary; and that whatsoever remains to be done,
for the termination of what has been already resolved, may be the
more easy of execution, from the proximity of the places at which we
respectively are. You cannot doubt its being with this view, that
the wish has been expressed for my coming here; and I have been
the more glad to come, because I hoped that I should not be long
without seeing the effect of the engagements which you have entered
into with the king. If I was not aware of your probity and of your
zeal for the interests of His Majesty, and for the advantage of
the Prince to whom you are attached, I should have been dreadfully
uneasy at the delay of our affair, which ought without fail, and
at the latest, to have been concluded at the commencement of this
month. But though we are already at the 24th, and that all you can
desire on our part is entirely ready, I cannot persuade myself that
the intentions of his Highness and your own are other than they
always were. You have been so well aware, how much this affair
would be useful to him at present, and glorious for the future, and
you have made him so well comprehend this, that I cannot have any
suspicions on this head; neither can I, when I represent to myself
the very considerable interest you have in completing an affair
of this importance, of which the conclusion will be considered so
great a merit on your part in the eyes of the most generous and
the greatest King in the world, who has testified to you himself
the good-will he bears you for it; who has praised the address
with which you have conducted the negociation; who has begun by
giving you several marks of his esteem and liberality; and who has
promised you besides such great advantages as would be sufficient
to establish all your family, and to make you happy for the rest
of your days. As his word has always been inviolable, you no doubt
rely upon it implicitly: you must be aware, also, how dangerous
it would be to deceive him, and that, after all the steps he has
taken, and the measures he has agreed upon, you would expose his
Highness, and yourself, to very great misfortunes, if his Majesty
had reason to think that bad faith had been made use of towards him,
after a treaty concluded in all the proper forms with himself, and
founded upon a full power; the inexecution of which would only serve
to ruin a Prince, who abandons himself to your councils, and who
would be infallibly stripped by the Spaniards, who would be willing
once for all to deliver themselves from the alarms which they have
received from the reports spread about on all sides respecting
this affair. I have already told you, Sir, that I believe you as
well-intentioned as ever, and that it is not for the purpose of
exciting you to return to these good sentiments, or to strengthen
them, that I speak to you in this manner; but only lest a longer
delay should diminish the good opinion entertained of you, and lest
umbrage should be taken that an affair in which secrecy was so
important, has been made public, although the King, and those who
have the honour to serve him, have kept the secret so well that it
cannot have been got at through them. I hope, nevertheless, that we
shall soon be satisfied; and that I shall have the pleasure to see
you worthily recompensed for your zeal: I assure you, Sir, that your
interest, more than my own, though I have much in this affair, makes
me desirous of it.

                  THE ABBÉ D’ESTRADES.[261]

  [261] From the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 73.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, March 26th, 1679.

I have received your letter of the 21st of this month. You will
have seen by my former ones, that the King approves of the officers
of the citadel of Pignerol visiting your prisoners, and passing
the mornings and afternoons with them when they desire it, in the
presence of one of your own officers.[262] I can only now repeat the
same thing to you, and tell you, that with regard to the governor,
the officers, and the inhabitants of the town, you may act in the
same manner by them, when you shall judge fit: not, however, until
after the affair, for which the Sieur de Richemont is at Pignerol,
shall have succeeded or failed.

I address to you a packet for the Abbé d’Estrades, which you will
send him, if you please, by one of your officers, with a direction
in your hand-writing; and when he shall have despatched to you his
answer, you will send it to me by the return of the same courier,
whom, in the meanwhile, you will keep concealed in the prison.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[263]

  [262] Saint-Mars only commanded in that part of the citadel of
  Pignerol which was appropriated to the use of a State-prison.

  [263] From the Archives of France.



No. 74.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        St. Germain, March 26th, 1679.

The King is extremely anxious for the success of the affair of
the Duke of Mantua. We have heard nothing from M. d’Asfeld, and,
therefore, can have no doubt of his being prisoner in the Milanese.
The news which you received of his being arrested at La Canonica,
was doubtless as true as that of his being released again was the
reverse. We shall now see if the firmness of the Duke of Mantua,
which has thus far resisted the efforts of the Count Carrossa, and
of the Republic of Venice, will continue to the end: we cannot
be long without having this point cleared up, if, as you mention
in your letter of the 11th, he had set off the night before to
go to Casale. Your next letters will, of course, bring us fresh
intelligence upon the subject.

                  POMPONNE.[264]

  [264] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 75.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

     Suspicions of the Fidelity of Matthioli.

                        St. Germain, April 5th, 1679.

I have received your letter of the 18th of March, which shows the
bad state in which, according to the Count Matthioli’s own accounts,
the affair of Mantua is: he is very possibly, as you say, the sole
author of all the accidents and impediments in it, which he writes
word, in his letter to Giuliani, have happened. Your next letters
will give us still clearer intelligence on this subject; but we have
many reasons for apprehending that this negociation, which appeared
so much advanced, may fail at last, when we were in the immediate
expectation of seeing it happily concluded. * * *

                  POMPONNE.[265]

  [265] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 76.

CHANOIS TO LOUVOIS.

     Reports of Catinat being at Pignerol.--Different Rumours
     respecting the Negociation.

                        Pignerol, April 5th, 1679.

As I have discovered, Sir, since the last post, that the Marquis
d’Herleville (governor of Pignerol) is aware that M. de Richemont
is incognito in the citadel of this town, and that, in fact, he
knows his real name; I do myself the honour of acquainting you with
the circumstance. M. de Saint-André even sends word, that he has
been told at Turin that M. de Catinat is to take him with him to
Casale. I do not know how they can have discovered so much, unless
it is, that the absence of M. de Catinat has given occasion to some
of the Guards[266] to write from Paris, that he is in these parts.
These reports also mention the days on which he has gone out of the
citadel, and the spot where the Abbé d’Estrades came to speak to him
the last time from Turin. I have answered nothing when I have heard
these things said, except that I knew of no one in the citadel, and
nothing upon the subject.

The Marquis of Saint-Maurice told several people that the French
Ambassador wished to be very cunning; but that _he_ knew very well
that there had been a treaty made between the King and the Duke
of Mantua, on the subject of Casale; and that he also knew that
during the last ten days it had been absolutely broken off. The
retrograde movements of the troops cantoned in the Briançonnois
and the valley of Chaumont, on the side of Dauphiny and Provence,
seem to confirm the report of the Marquis of Saint-Maurice; but the
arrival of the battalion of the regiment of Piedmont in this town
two days ago, makes the people of the country, who love to reason
upon every thing, suspend their judgments; their reasonings will be
of no importance, if the Duke’s sentiments are always well-disposed,
for between this place and Casale there is no fortress, nor any
obstacle which can delay the march of the King’s troops.

I am always with profound respect, &c.

                  DE CHANOIS.[267]

  [266] The Officers of the French Guards, of whom Catinat, at
  this time, was one.

  [267] Chanois was a French Commissary at Pignerol. This letter
  is extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 77.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

                        Pignerol, April 8th, 1679.

    SIR,

The roads being good, and the days as long as they are at present,
a body of cavalry can go in less than thirty hours from Pignerol
to Casale. There is no fortified place through which we should be
obliged to pass, and I am not aware of any difficulty that we could
find on the passage, provided we took the country by surprise in our
march. I have thought it right to state this to you, Sir, because
the possibility of using this degree of diligence may materially
assist the measures you may wish to take. The Duke of Mantua has
never been at Casale, which seems to me an obstacle to the finding
good excuses for his going there, at a time when his conduct is so
much watched and suspected. But we could do very well without him,
if he is always well-intentioned, and if he is the master of a good
part of his garrison. The Governor is of Mantua, and therefore his
actual subject; which is perhaps a favourable circumstance.

              I am, &c.

                  CATINAT.[268]

  [268] From the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 78.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     Rumours of Catinat’s being at Pignerol.--Civilities of
     Saint-Mars to him.

                        April 15th, 1679.

    SIR,

M. d’Herleville must have received some letters from Paris by the
last post, which have given him the suspicion that I might be here;
at least, he has put some leading questions on the subject to M.
de Chanois: he is not a man without curiosity, and he thought by
these means to gain certain intelligence. As I have been now a long
while absent, and there has been no doubt at Paris of some design
in agitation in these parts, on account of the troops which have
been sent here, it is probable that some reasoner of the regiment of
Guards, or some other person, may have given him this idea.

I did myself the honour to send you word, Sir, of all that passed
in my journey to Incréa. I have received letters from the Abbé
d’Estrades, in which he informs me that the troops have retired a
little, in order to get into quarters where they can subsist more
conveniently; and also of the accounts he has received respecting
the delay in the execution of the affair you are acquainted with.
I am treated here with so much attention and civility, that a long
residence, while waiting for intelligence, ought not to give me
any impatience, nor can I complain of any, except that which is
caused by my anxiety and zeal to see the conclusion of an affair
which His Majesty is anxious about, and for the conduct of which
you, Sir, have thought proper to honour me with your confidence. I
should have some uneasiness at being for so long a time a burden
and an inconvenience to M. de Saint-Mars; but he executes with so
much pleasure the orders which he receives from you, that all the
care he takes of me does not distress me. I receive it all as a very
evident mark of the kindness with which you, Sir, write to him on
my subject, for which I am infinitely obliged to you; as well as
for the honour you do me in permitting me to remain, with all the
respect that is due to you,

Your very humble and very obedient Servant,

                  DE RICHEMONT.[269]

  [269] In his correspondence with Louvois, Catinat sometimes
  signs with his real name, and sometimes with his assumed one of
  Richemont. This letter is extracted from the work of M. Roux
  (Fazillac).



No. 79.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

     Continued Suspicions of Matthioli.

                        St. Germain, April 18th, 1679.

THE account you gave me in your letter of the 25th of last month of
the conversation you had had with the Count Matthioli, could not be
more exact. It is still very difficult to discover what is the real
case with this affair, and whether the good faith that was to be
desired in it has been kept to. Try to discover this adroitly, but
without showing any suspicions; and be careful to inform me of every
thing that shall come to your knowledge upon the subject.

This is all I have to reply to your letter. The rest does not
require any particular answer.


                  POMPONNE.[270]

  [270] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 80.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, April 18th, 1679.

I HAVE received your letter of the 8th of this month. The period of
time during which M. de Richemont will have to remain in the place
where he is at present being uncertain, I advise you to let him walk
with your prisoners, even if it should only be in the dungeon. You
may even permit him to pay them visits, and to converse with them,
which will assist in enabling him to pass the time of his stay,
which, whether it will be long or short, I cannot at present tell
you.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  DE LOUVOIS.[271]

  [271] From the Archives of France.



No. 81.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

     Confirmation of the Suspicions respecting Matthioli’s want
     of Fidelity.

                        St. Germain, April 19th, 1679.

THE account you have given in your letter of the first of this
month, of your interview with the Count Matthioli, of the assurances
he gave you of his good intentions, and of the journey he was
preparing to make to the Abbé d’Estrades, does not prevent his being
suspected with great reason of want of fidelity. Do not, however,
let him discover, in case you see him again, the knowledge we have
upon this subject, but tell him always that we cannot doubt but that
the Duke of Mantua will execute the promises he has so solemnly
given through him. In truth, this Prince ought not to be allowed
to believe, that it is permitted to him to fail in a treaty he has
made with His Majesty; and if the occasion presents itself, make it
appear to him that you can have no doubt of the promises which have
been made to the King being kept, and of the engagements which have
been once entered into with him being executed. Take care to inform
us exactly, as you have already done, of all that shall take place
in this affair, and of the manner in which it shall continue to be
regarded at Venice.

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[272]

  [272] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 82.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Order to receive Matthioli as a Prisoner.

                        Saint Germain, April 27th, 1679.

THE King has sent orders to the Abbé d’Estrades, to try and arrest a
man, with whose conduct His Majesty has reason to be dissatisfied;
of which he has commanded me to acquaint you, in order that you
may not object to receiving him, when he shall be sent to you, and
that you may guard him in a manner, that not only he may not have
communication with any one, but that also he may have cause to
repent of his bad conduct; and that it may not be discovered that
you have a new prisoner.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[273]

  [273] From the Archives of France.



No. 83.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

     Further confirmation of the Treachery of Matthioli.

                        St. Germain, May 3d, 1679.

THE letter you wrote me on the 15th of last month, has confirmed to
the King the treachery of the Count Matthioli, which already was but
too much suspected. There never was so signal a piece of perfidy.
We must hope that the sentiments of his master will not be of the
same kind, and that he will not wish to break the promises he has
given to his Majesty. Meanwhile we hear that this Count has arrived
at Turin, where he thinks, without doubt, to impose again upon the
Abbé d’Estrades. It is important always not to show that you are
acquainted with his conduct.

                  POMPONNE.[274]

  [274] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 84.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     Arrest of Matthioli.

                        Pignerol, May 3d, 1679.

I ARRESTED Matthioli yesterday, three miles from hence, upon the
King’s territories, during an interview which the Abbé d’Estrades
had ingeniously contrived between him, Matthioli, and myself, to
facilitate the scheme. For the purpose of arresting him, I only made
use of the Chevalier de Saint-Martin and de Villebois, two officers
of M. de Saint-Mars, and of four men of his company: it was effected
without any violence, and no one knows the name of the rascal, not
even the officers who assisted in his arrest: he is in the chamber
which the individual named Dubreuil occupied, where he will be
treated civilly, according to the request of the Abbé d’Estrades,
until the wishes of the King, with regard to him, are known. I do
not write any thing to you, Sir, respecting the certain conviction
we have acquired of the villanies of this man, the Abbé d’Estrades
having already given his Majesty all the information possible upon
this subject. In the interview we had together before his arrest,
we talked of various things, and among others of the place in which
he had placed the essential and original papers respecting the
affair in question, which consist in a letter of the Duke of Mantua
to the King, the full powers he himself had for negociating, the
treaty of his Majesty, executed by M. de Pomponne, the ratification
of the aforesaid treaty signed by the Duke of Mantua, and a letter
of the Duke of Mantua to the Governor of Casale, ordering him to
receive the troops of the King in conformity with the treaty. All
these papers are in a box at Bologna, in the hands of his wife, who
is retired into the convent of the Nuns of Saint Lewis. The Abbé
d’Estrades is of opinion that no time should be lost in obtaining
these papers. As I only brought this man here yesterday very late,
and that the post goes early this morning, I have not as yet had
any conversation with him, for the purpose of obtaining his papers;
but two hours hence I will go to his room, and I do not doubt the
menaces I shall make to him, which his criminal conduct will render
more terrific to him, will oblige him to do all that I wish. I
have chosen M. de Blainvilliers, a choice approved of also by M.
de Saint-Mars, to go to Bologna, considering him as very capable
to conduct himself well in such a business. I will try to give him
a route by which he will avoid passing over the territories of the
King of Spain. I will give an account to you, Sir, the next post, of
all that I shall have done on this subject with Matthioli, to whom
I have given here the name of Lestang, no one here knowing who he
really is.

              I am, &c.

                  RICHEMONT.[275]

  [275] From the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 85.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     Intelligence respecting Matthioli’s Papers.

                        Pignerol, May 6th, 1679.

    SIR,

Since I did myself the honour of writing to you, I have taken down
shortly in writing all the information I have been able to draw
from the Sieur de Lestang. By making him perceive, and roughly
too, the misery to which his bad conduct exposed him, I induced
him to seek for the means of avoiding it, by doing readily and
frankly all that was desired of him. I have not said any thing to
him which could make him discover the means by which we have been
so certainly informed of his treachery; but I have spoken to him in
such a manner on that subject, that he cannot doubt that we know
it, and are convinced of it. He is a rascal; but I believe him to
be honest in his desire of delivering up the papers, either from
the fear which his present condition causes him, or with the view
of rendering a service to the King, which may be agreeable to him,
and may make him forget what is past. The original papers are at
Padua, concealed in a hole in the wall of a room, which is in his
father’s lodging, and which he says is known to him alone. These
papers are the treaty made by M. de Pomponne, signed by him and by
Matthioli, signed below by the Duke of Mantua, a blank being left
for the insertion of the ratification, when the exchange should
be made for that of the King; a blank paper signed by the Duke of
Mantua, intended for a letter to the Governor of Casale, to order
him to receive the troops of the King; the full power given to M.
de Pomponne to treat with him respecting Casale; and a list of
the troops destined to the execution of this affair. If we once
have possession of these papers, the affair is concluded as far
as regards negociation; but this is a fact that we need only make
known when we think proper. As I am aware of what importance it is
to have possession of these original papers, I have acquainted the
Abbé d’Estrades with the expedients I thought might be made use of
for this purpose, in order that I may be assisted by his advice. I
do not detail them at present to you, Sir, because I expect to-day
the Sieur Giuliani, whom the Abbé d’Estrades is to send to me,
together with the Abbé de Montesquiou, his relation, for the purpose
of the former’s being confronted with the Sieur de Lestang. As this
interview will probably suggest to me more certain means of getting
possession of these papers, I will not, as yet, acquaint you, Sir,
with those that I had proposed to myself. There are, besides, other
papers at Bologna, which are only letters and papers we have, as it
seems to me, little need of; knowing, as we do, by the list of those
which are at Padua, that it is these alone which particularly regard
the affair in question. I will do myself the honour to send you
word, Sir, by the next post, what shall have been the issue of the
interview between the Sieur de Lestang and Giuliani.

The Abbé d’Estrades, by his care and address, has found means to
send to Pignerol the servant of the Sieur de Lestang, with his goods
and all his papers. I have made an inventory of the latter; they
consist in tables of cyphers, and letters, which I have docketted,
and extracted the substance of; they are of no importance. I will
send to you, Sir, by the next post, a copy of what I have extracted,
and a short summary of what I have been able to learn from the
Sieur de Lestang in the conversations that I have had with him;
respecting which he tells me he has already sent information to the
King, or to the Abbé d’Estrades, which has diminished the impatience
I should otherwise have had of acquainting you, Sir, with them. M.
de Saint-Mars treats the Sieur de Lestang very kindly in all that
regards cleanliness and food; but very rigorously in preventing him
from holding intercourse with any one

              I am, with all respect, &c.

                  C.[276]

  [276] Catinat. This letter is extracted from the work of M.
  Roux (Fazillac)



No. 86.

     Inventory sent by Catinat to Louvois, of the Papers which
     Matthioli had about his person.

1. A Memorandum of what he had to do at Turin, at the place where he
expected to receive letters from Carbonini.

2. A little note of the papers of consequence he has at Padua, among
which are those which the King is desirous of having, and which the
Sieur Giuliani is gone to take possession of.

3. A note of the road he was to take in his way to Casale.

4. Another note, which states that he has sent four blank papers,
signed by the Duke of Mantua, to the governor of Casale; also the
dates of the departure from Venice of M. d’Asfeld, and of the day,
on which he, the Sieur de Lestang, and the Sieur d’Asfeld were to
meet at Incréa.

5. A memorandum, to make him recollect the name of a man living at
Placentia, to whom he owes five hundred livres.

6. A little memorandum, of the places where he had bought some
small barrels of good wine, which he intended to make a present of
to M. de Varengeville,[277] the new ambassador at Venice; and of
his intention to write to the Governor of Navarre the news of what
should happen in the affairs regarding Casale.

7. A note, stating that the Marquis de Rebouf can give intelligence
to the King of what passes at Genoa; and his reasons to the Marquis
de Cavetto for the pretensions to Savona.

8. Another, stating that the Duke of Mantua had taken poison on the
22d of February, at Venice, which was suspected to have been given
him by an individual, named George Hacquet, a man about his person,
and the minister of his pleasures.

9. Another memorandum, by which it appears that the Duke of Mantua
received, on the 14th of January, 2,500 pistoles from his mother;
and on the 10th of February, 3,000 pistoles from the Abbé Frederic,
the resident of the Emperor at Venice; also containing an account
of the communication which he, the Sieur de Lestang, has with the
Governor of Casale.

10. Memorandum, by which it appears that he had an interview, on the
26th of April, near Moncalvo, with the Governor of Casale; that he
told him he must return once again to Mantua, or to Venice, because
he had written him word that he would come to him on Ascension-day;
that the aforesaid Governor was content with the expedients that
he had proposed to him for the purpose of delivering the place to
the King, by means of which his honour appeared to him to be saved;
that for this purpose, at the return of the Sieur de Lestang, it
was necessary there should be an interview between him, the Sieur
de Lestang, the Governor, and some man on the part of the King, to
execute this affair, and to agree upon means that should make it
infallible; that he would deliver up the gate of the Citadel which
goes into the country, to which Panissa, who is the Governor of it,
would offer no opposition; that the Count Vialardo, Governor of the
Castle, is entirely devoted to the Spaniards; that the Governor of
Casale requests that this affair may be quickly concluded, fearing
always lest he should be removed; that he (Lestang) will make known
to the aforesaid Governor what he shall have done, when he is with
the Duke of Mantua, through the Father Viveti, a Jacobin living at
Padua; that he will continue to write to all the Courts that the
affair of Casale has failed, and that it will not be completed.

11. A small piece of paper, about as large as a card, upon which he
has written four or five reasons, to be inserted in the manifesto,
when the troops of the King shall be introduced into Casale. Also
a statement that all that has been done has been in virtue of the
Duke’s orders, grounded upon a treaty, signed and ratified by
him; but that he (the Duke) now wished to make another with the
Spaniards, contrary to the promise he had given, and that he has
even received money to that effect.[278]

  [277] He had succeeded the Abbé d’Estrades as French Ambassador
  at Venice.

  [278] From the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 87.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     First Examination of Matthioli.

                        Pignerol, May 10th, 1679.

I HAVE delivered to the Abbé d’Estrades, by the hands of his
relation, the Abbé de Montesquiou, all the letters and papers of
the Sieur de Lestang, which consisted in many letters, of which I
have kept a list, containing shortly the subject of each letter.
These letters only show his journeys backwards and forwards; there
are some of them in which he is advised to take care of himself;
one, among others, is from the Ministers of Mantua, informing him
of the joy of the Duke at his prosperous return from France, and of
his having sent a boat to Placentia for him, in order that he may
come to him more securely and more conveniently. He had many other
papers, among which I have seen nothing of consequence, except a
Spanish cypher, which he confesses to have come from the Count de
Melgar.[279]

I made him relate before me to the Abbé de Montesquiou, all that he
had done since his return from France, without interrupting him;
having, nevertheless, let him know, before I permitted him to speak,
that we were perfectly well-informed of his villainy, in order to
see what colour he would give to his bad conduct. He says, that on
his return from France, he went to Turin, where, from gratitude to
that court, which had done him the honour of making use of him in
many affairs, he thought himself obliged, on account of civility, to
see the President Turki;[280] that it was true, in talking of news
and of the state of affairs at present, he allowed him to discover
that something new was about to take place in Italy; and that the
aforesaid President, in the course of the conversation he had with
him, gave him to understand that he had no doubt there had been a
treaty made respecting Casale. It is thus that the Sieur de Lestang
relates what he did at Turin, in order to excuse his treachery
there, of which you, Sir, are already perfectly well-informed,
as well as of the money he received for it. This was the first
discovery that had been made of this affair, which hitherto had been
conducted so secretly.

From Turin he went, by Placentia, to Mantua, to join his master,
whom he found still well-intentioned for the completion of the
affair. Even two days after his return, having fallen ill, the
Duke of Mantua came to see him; and he took this occasion to make
him sign the ratification, and to write a letter to the Governor
of Casale, in which he recommended him to do all that should be
told him by the Sieur de Lestang. Another letter, in form of a
command, was written to the aforesaid Governor, to receive the
troops of the King; in a word, he was provided at this moment with
all things necessary for the entire conclusion of this affair. A
few days afterwards, he was informed that his master had changed
his resolution; and that it was even his intention to take out of
his hands all that he had done and signed, which could render the
treaty valid. That the Duke of Mantua began by saying that nothing
had been done in this business with his participation; and that he
disavowed entirely all that he, the Sieur de Lestang, had done. This
prince could not then do otherwise, the Spaniards and his mother
being so particularly informed of this transaction, that they showed
him exact copies of the whole treaty. (These they had acquired,
either by a second piece of treachery of the Sieur de Lestang, or
through the court of Savoy.) The Sieur de Lestang says, that, under
divers pretexts, he always eluded giving up the originals to the
Duke of Mantua, in order that he might himself remain master of the
affair; and that he had not despaired of being able to complete it,
by contriving expedients to enable him to surmount the obstacles
that had occurred; as well as through the intelligence that existed
between him and the Governor of Casale.

He says, that the Spaniards, knowing he was master of these papers,
had made him considerable offers in order to obtain them. That the
Spaniards being so well-informed, he thought it necessary to make
a false confidence to them on the subject, in order to amuse them,
by telling them that the affair had entirely failed; hoping by
this confidence, to diminish their suspicions, and the precautions
they might have taken to prevent his profiting by the advantages
which his intelligence with the Governor of Casale gave him for
the conclusion of the business. That he even took this cypher, of
which I have before spoken, from M. de Melgar, in order to make this
false confidence the more credible to him. Thus it is that this
rascal pretends to escape the accusation that has been made against
him on account of the Spanish cypher, which has been found in his
possession.

He has told us positively, that the Duke of Mantua was poisoned at
the house of an individual named Le Romain, at Venice, where he
went to drink iced water; that the deed was done by the Spaniards,
and the poison administered by one of his own domestics; that this
prince could not live more than three or four months. He says
that he learnt this from the Spaniards, with whom he kept up a
communication, for the purpose of amusing them.

In the midst of these events, he says that he agreed upon the
rendezvous of Incréa, where he was to meet d’Asfeld, on the 7th
March, for the exchange of the ratifications; after which he did
not doubt but he should be able to conclude the affair, having all
the orders necessary, besides his intelligence with the Governor,
so that he could not have found any obstacle, nor any difficulty;
that in going to the before-mentioned Incréa, he had been searched
and robbed, on the frontiers of the Brescian and the Milanese; that,
notwithstanding, having remained master of his papers, which were
concealed in a saddle, he had afterwards continued his journey as
far as Buffacore, where the arrest of d’Asfeld was confirmed to him
in a manner he could no longer doubt; that M. de Villars, who was
still Ambassador at Turin, having no knowledge of this affair, and
being doubtful himself, whether, if he came to Pignerol, I[281]
should place confidence in him, he took the resolution of going back
to Venice, to inform M. de Pinchesne of all that had happened, and
to concert new measures with him; that upon a simple letter of the
Abbé d’Estrades, who sent him word it was necessary they should have
an interview, he had not lost a moment of time in going to Turin;
that with the consent of the aforesaid Abbé d’Estrades, he had been
at Asti, for the purpose of managing a secret interview with the
Governor of Casale, at a mile from Moncalvo, in order, by promising
him great recompenses, to engage him to receive the troops, when,
for the saving of his honour, he should have received an order from
his master, and been shown that he had made a treaty with the King.
He says that he left him in a very good disposition. That afterwards
he returned to Turin, where the Abbé d’Estrades proposed to him an
interview with me, in which I arrested him.

This, Sir, is the simple and true recital of what the Sieur de
Lestang has told me, which confirms me in the belief that he is a
thorough rascal; not having been able to give me any good reason
why he discovered this affair to the President Turki, when he
passed through Turin; or why he concealed from M. de Pinchesne his
communication with the Spaniards, his acceptation of their cypher,
and his interviews with an Inquisitor of State at Venice; if, as he
says, he only did these things in order the better to advance the
affair in question.

I have made him write three letters for the purpose of getting
possession of the original papers which are at Padua, which have
been put into the hands of the Sieur Giuliani, by the advice of
the Abbé d’Estrades, who places an entire confidence in him:
he will make use of these three letters as he shall judge most
fit, according to the disposition in which he shall find the
father of the Sieur de Lestang. The first is only a letter of the
Sieur de Lestang to his father, in which he acquaints him, that
there are reasons which oblige him to remain at Turin, or in the
neighbourhood, but that he may place an entire confidence in the
Sieur Giuliani, and deliver to him such and such papers, of which
I have made him give the inventory to the Sieur Giuliani. The
second acquaints his father with the real state in which he is,
and that it is important, as well for his life as his honour, that
his papers should be immediately delivered into the hands of the
Sieur Giuliani. In the third, which is the last to be made use of,
in case the two first have no effect, he desires him to come to
Turin; and tells him that at the house of the Abbé d’Estrades he
will be instructed where he is, and the means to be employed to
speak with him. The Sieur de Lestang has no doubt of being able,
in this interview between him and his father, to persuade him to
all he may wish. I have inspired him with so great a fear of the
punishments due to his bad conduct, that I find no repugnance in
him to do all that I require of him, and he appears sincere in the
wish of obtaining the delivery of the papers, which will be sent
to M. de Pinchesne at Venice, in order to avoid any accidents that
might happen to them in so long a journey as that from Padua to this
place, or to Turin.

I place no confidence in what this rascal tells me; nevertheless I
think it right to inform you, Sir, that he declares positively that
the Governor of Casale is his friend, and that, by promising him a
considerable recompense, and by furnishing him with a pretext to
save his honour, which may be done by giving him the order of his
master, (which the Sieur de Lestang says is at Padua,) to receive
the King’s troops, we can make him do whatever we wish. That he
can deliver up the town, and that the Governor of the citadel is
his intimate friend, whom he can persuade to do whatever he shall
order him. As for the castle, which I saw when I was passing through
Casale, it is rather a sort of little citadel than a simple castle.
The Sieur de Lestang says, that assuredly the governor of it will
not submit himself to the orders of the Governor of Casale, although
the latter has the command over him, because the aforesaid governor,
whose name is Vialardo, is entirely devoted to the Spaniards; that
this is a thing which he has heard from the Spaniards themselves,
and that on the least change at Casale, or the march of troops
towards it, the Governors of Valenza, Novara, and Pavia, have orders
to send detachments of their garrisons to the aforesaid Casale, and
that they will be infallibly let into the place through the castle.
This Vialardo is brother of a secretary of the Duke of Mantua,
who bears the same name, and who is also entirely in the Spanish
faction.

However, when we shall have obtained possession of the papers, it
is not impossible but we may be able to contrive something with the
Governor of Casale, if he is in those sentiments that the Sieur de
Lestang ascribes to him, and if he is the master to receive troops
in the town and citadel. This affair, if conducted very secretly,
and with the rapid march of a regiment or two of dragoons, might
take the Spaniards so much by surprise, that they might not have
any sufficient means in their power to be able to counteract it.
If we were masters of the town and citadel, and had as large a
number of troops as that which was destined to the execution of
this affair, I am certain that the castle could not prevent any
resolutions that we might wish to take. We might receive upon this
subject important intelligence from an interview with the Governor
of Casale. The difficulty is how to contrive it so as to discover
his intentions, without the negociations passing through the hands
of our rascal, in whom we cannot place any reliance. But, when we
have the papers, if this affair was despaired of as far as regards
the Duke of Mantua, and that the King thought that the plan I send
to you, Sir, was worth trying, I would concert what was to be done
with the Abbé d’Estrades, according to the orders I should receive
upon the subject. I beg pardon, Sir, for troubling you with so long
a letter; but I could not acquaint you in fewer words with the
conduct of the Sieur de Lestang, and with what has passed between
him and me.

                      I am,
              With all the respect which is due to you, &c.

                  C.[282]

  [279] The Governor of Milan.

  [280] One of the ministers of Mary Jane Baptista of Nemours,
  Duchess of Savoy; he was in the interests of the House of
  Austria.

  [281] Catinat.

  [282] Catinat. From the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 88.

POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.

                        St. Germain, May 10, 1679.

YOUR letter, Sir, of the 22d of last month serves still more to
confirm the treachery of the Count Matthioli, of which we had even
before had too many proofs. He was, in fact, arrived in Piedmont,
and had seen the Abbé d’Estrades. It is impossible to conceive the
insolence of his daring to show himself, at a moment when all Italy
rings with his perfidy. However, it is to be wished that he should
deliver up the ratification of the Duke of Mantua, if it is true, as
that Prince states, that he has still got it in his hands; If the
Sieur Tarani[283] has more fidelity than him, it would be desirable
he should have the confidence of his master, and should dispose him
to satisfy His Majesty, by showing him that it is dangerous to break
promises which have been so solemnly made to him. * * *

              I am, &c.

                  POMPONNE.[284]

  [283] This probably is a mistake for Varano, whose name has
  been frequently mentioned in the former part of this
  correspondence.

  [284] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 89.

PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.

     Interviews between the Duke of Mantua and the Senator
     Foscarini.

                        Venice, May 13th, 1679.

    SIR,

I BESEECH you very humbly to be persuaded that I will not fail to
execute, with all the exactitude and zeal possible, the orders which
it has pleased you to give me, (in the letter which you have done
me the honour to write to me on the 26th of last month,) to inform
you of all that shall come to my knowledge respecting the affair of
Casale, and on the subject of the Count Matthioli. The annoyance I
had, at not being able to discover what brought the Duke of Mantua
to Venice, the last time when, as I sent you word, he came there,
obliged me to redouble my endeavours to try and learn something
upon the subject; and at last they have not been in vain, since
I know at present, so certainly that I cannot doubt of it, that
this prince had, during that time, two long conversations, in the
Convent of the Capuchins, with M. Foscarini, a sage and a grandee,
who is the person named by the Republic, to continue the history
which the Procurator Nani was about, and who is one of the most able
men of this state: in which this senator represented to him very
strongly how dangerous it would be for him and for all Italy if he
gave up Casale to the King, as it was said he had the intention to
do, and had even made a treaty for that purpose with His Majesty,
and that the Republic hoped he would not take a step so prejudicial
to all the princes of Italy; to which I know that the Duke of Mantua
answered, that he knew his own interests, and that assuredly he
would never voluntarily give up Casale to the King; but that His
Majesty was the most powerful Prince in Europe, and in a condition
to attempt every thing, without its being easy to prevent him; that
it would be therefore necessary to seek for the most proper means
to do this, which, however, could not be hoped for, without having
considerable troops to oppose to his, in case he wished to attempt
some enterprise; that of himself he was not sufficiently powerful to
resist His Majesty; that it was for those, who had as much interest
as himself in the preservation of that place, to find the means of
preserving it, without which he would not answer for what might
happen; and that the fault even could not be attributed to him, but
to his bad fortune and to his want of aid.

I know, besides, that the ministers of the Republic consider it
certain that Casale is to be attacked by the King, and that they
say they have this intelligence from such good authority, that they
cannot doubt of it.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I cannot, Sir, refrain from testifying to you the joy I felt in
learning this week, by a letter of the Abbé d’Estrades, that the
Count Matthioli has been carried prisoner to Pignerol, and that thus
this rogue will no more be in a condition to execute, every day,
fresh perfidies.

I am, with the most respectful submission, and all the attachment
possible,

                      Sir,
              Your very humble and very obedient Servant,

                  DE PINCHESNE.[285]

  [285] From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 90.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Orders to treat Matthioli with severity.

                        St. Germain, May 15th, 1679.

I have received your letter of the 6th of this month, which requires
no answer, except to say that you will have sufficiently seen by
my former letters, that it is not the intention of the King that
the Sieur de Lestang should be well-treated, nor that, except the
absolute necessaries of life, you should give him any thing that may
make him pass his time agreeably.

I address to you a packet of importance for M. de Richemont, which
I beg of you to give into his own hands, and to tell the Commissary
du Channoy, not to send away the courier who carries him this, until
you shall have given him the answers he is to bring back.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[286]

  [286] From the Archives of France.



No. 91.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     Plans of Catinat for obtaining possession of Casale.

                        Pignerol, May 16th, 1679.

I send you, Sir, the second examination of M. Matthioli, according
to the order which I received to that effect, by the extraordinary
courier you sent to this place. You will find it little different
from the first. I put him into the greatest possible fear of the
torture, if he did not tell the truth. One sees very well by his
answers that his conduct has been infamous. I see no good reason
which can excuse him for having had such intimate communication
with the Court of Savoy, with the Abbé Frederic (the resident of
the Emperor at Venice), and with Don Francis Visconti, one of the
partizans of Spain, without any participation or correspondence
upon the subject with M. de Pomponne, the Abbé d’Estrades, or M.
de Pinchesne; this fact prevents my having any confidence in him.
Nevertheless he persists, with the utmost obstinacy, in declaring,
that the Governor of Casale is well-intentioned; that this Governor
sees very well that the Duke of Mantua is a lost man; that he
sees also that there cannot happen any change in the Court of
Mantua, without his being removed from Casale; and that he is a
man who would be accessible to any offers that might be made him;
this is what he, Matthioli, is willing to stake his life upon;
that if he is furnished with a specious excuse for receiving the
troops of the King, he will assuredly do it, which will be easy,
when we have the original papers which his father is to deliver
into the hands of Giuliani; that provided the Governor is not
absent from Casale, he, Matthioli, will find means to contrive an
interview between this Governor, me, and himself; and that I shall
both see and understand the means of rendering the King master of
Casale. As I know beforehand that I am conversing with a rascal, and
that it is almost of necessity, if his propositions are adopted,
that he should himself be again employed in this affair, I cannot
bring myself to answer for him in any thing; nevertheless I have
thought it right to communicate all this, Sir, to you. When the
King once has possession of the papers, my having an interview
with this Governor is a step that would not hazard any thing; I do
not see any inconvenience in it, except the chance of the Sieur
Matthioli’s escaping, on account of the degree of liberty which must
in that case be permitted to him, however vigilant I might be in
watching him. I should be obliged to go with him to Asti, where he
is acquainted with a Dominican monk, who would carry to Moncalvo a
note to a physician whose name is Viveti; this Viveti would go to
Casale to inform the Governor of the place of rendezvous, which had
been settled for our interview with him. But it is almost impossible
in all these proceedings to answer for the person of Matthioli:
as there is, therefore, this inconvenience in the plan, the Abbé
d’Estrades could, if it is the King’s wish that any proposition
should be made to this Governor, according to the orders he should
receive, have him spoken to, and his intentions sounded by some one.
I beseech you, Sir, to be persuaded that in this affair I place my
own interest beneath my feet, and that I only venture to make you
proposals upon the subject, from the desire I have that the affair
should succeed to the satisfaction of the King.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

As the papers which are at Padua are to be sent, at least I believe
so, to M. de Pinchesne, in order to avoid any accidents that might
happen to them by bringing them straight to this place or to Turin,
I will take measures to set off from hence as soon as I shall know
they are delivered to M. de Pinchesne. As you, Sir, may perhaps wish
to send me word of any new determinations that may have been come
to with regard to this affair, in consequence of which I might be
of some utility here, I take the liberty of informing you, that I
shall remain at Pignerol till the 9th or 10th of June. If you do
not honour me with any order between this time and then, I shall
execute that you have already given me of returning to France. I
should be obliged to you to let me know where I am to go, whether
straight to the Court, or to Dunkirk, where my company is, or to
any other place where it shall please you to order me. I shall take
great precautions to conceal myself, and not to appear before the
relations of Messrs. Fouquet and Lauzun.[287] I cannot, however,
answer for it, Sir, that they will not write word of my being here.
I did not take any measures for the Ambassador being present at this
last examination, because I had been before particularly informed by
him of all the proofs there were against Matthioli.

              I am with all the respect, &c.
                  C.[288]

  [287] Fouquet and Lauzun were at this time still prisoners at
  Pignerol. The former died in 1680, and the latter was released
  from his confinement the same year.

  [288] Catinat. This letter is extracted from the work of M.
  Roux (Fazillac).



No. 92.

     Second Examination of Matthioli.

The Count Matthioli being asked what happened to him when he passed
through Turin, replied, that he had been to visit the Marquis
of Saint-Thomas; that as he was ill, he could not see him; that
afterwards he went to the President Turki, whom he found full of
suspicions respecting his journey into France; and that as he is an
insinuating and adroit man, he engaged him insensibly to talk of
the affairs of the Duke of Mantua and of Casale; that it is true,
that being taken by surprise by the ingenuity and cunning of the
aforesaid President, and by the affection which he pretended to show
for the interests of France, he confided so much in the aforesaid
President, that it was impossible for him to doubt but that there
was some treaty made respecting Casale; that it is true, that he
received two thousand livres from that Court,[289] but that it was
rather as a mark of gratitude for some services he had formerly had
the honour of performing for it, than as a recompense for any thing
he then confided.

He says that the President Turki begged him, when he left Turin, to
write to him carefully all the progress of this affair; that he, the
President, had written to him several times after this to Venice,
asking for intelligence upon the subject; to which he had always
answered that the affair would not take place, in order to diminish
the opinion he might have had, from his former answers to him, of
there being a treaty respecting that place.

Being asked where he went from Turin, he replied, that he took
the road to Placentia, where he found letters from Don Nevani
and Cabriani,[290] which were only to testify their joy at his
return, and to tell him that the Duke of Mantua waited for him with
impatience, and that they had sent a boat to meet him, in order that
he might be able to embark upon the Po.

From Placentia he went straight to Mantua, where he found the Duke
of Mantua; who, the very day of his arrival, took the trouble of
coming to see him at his own house, where he was lying down, being
very ill; this interview was passed in civilities respecting his
malady. Two days afterwards he came again to see him, and asked him
for a copy of all that he had done in France, which he gave him very
exactly, but with great pain to himself, on account of his illness.
That same day he made the Duke sign all the papers necessary for
the entire completion of the treaty, as far as regarded the form.
Three or four days afterwards, having received intelligence from the
Sieur Carbonini, that there was a plan to poison him, and having
even perceived that they had put poison into a medicine, which he
had pretended to take, but had found the means of throwing away,
he had taken the resolution, under the pretext of recovering his
health, of going to Padua, whither he had taken all the original
papers with him.

On the 24th or 25th of January, the Duke of Mantua, in his way
to Venice, passed through Padua; where he went to see the Sieur
Matthioli, who was ill, and where he told the Sieur Matthioli,
that he had not been able to avoid talking of this affair to his
Mother, and that it was an affair which means must be found to break
off, because it was not for his advantage. To which, the aforesaid
Matthioli answered several things, and among others, that he had
again written quite lately to the court to say that all was signed;
and that these were the sort of engagements that it was not easy to
get released from. The Duke of Mantua afterwards asked him for the
original papers, to which he replied that they were locked up, and
that it would be a great inconvenience to him, being as ill as he
was, to go and look for them; but that he would come as soon as he
was able to Venice, where he would deliver the whole into his hands.

He says that the Sieur Giuliani came to see him at Padua from the
Duke of Mantua, to give him intelligence that the Inquisitors of
State at Venice were making search for him, and that he must take
his measures accordingly, in order not to be seized with the papers;
which obliged him to mix them with many others, and to place them in
a separate house from the one he lived in.

After having been three weeks at Padua, he set off for Venice,
leaving the original papers, and not taking them with him. He
arrived ill at Venice; went to bed as soon as he arrived there,
where he remained three days; afterwards he went to see the Duke of
Mantua, who told him that the Abbé Frederic, the Resident of the
Emperor at Venice, was acquainted with all the affair respecting
Casale; to which the aforesaid Matthioli answered that he was not
surprised at it, and that assuredly his Mother, to whom he had
told all himself, had had no reserve upon the subject with the
aforesaid Abbé Frederic. He asked him afterwards for the original
papers, which he told him he could not give him, having left them
at Padua, upon the advice which Giuliani had given him from him, to
take care that the Venetians, who were looking out for him, should
not find them in his possession. The Duke of Mantua told him that
it was absolutely necessary to break off this affair; to which he
answered that he ought to take care how he behaved with regard
to the King; that he had entered into engagements from which he
could not extricate himself without breaking his word, which would
be very dangerous to do with so powerful a Prince. The Duke of
Mantua obliged him afterwards to have an interview with him and the
Abbé Frederic, which took place in the chamber of a Monk of Saint
George; they were masked there, in order not to be known. The Duke
of Mantua said to the Sieur Matthioli, “I leave you with the Abbé
Frederic, with whom you will hold a conversation; you must do all
that he shall bid you.” The aforesaid Abbé Frederic showed him a
copy of the treaty; and appeared so particularly instructed upon
the subject, that there was no possibility of his denying it. The
aforesaid Abbé told him that it was an affair which must be broken
off; that it would be the ruin of Italy and of his master also, and
that it was absolutely necessary to think of some means which would
make it certain not to happen; and that he might expect a great deal
of gratitude from the House of Austria, if he conducted himself
well. He confesses that he appeared to enter into his sentiments,
not being able to do otherwise; but that remaining master of the
original papers, he thought he should be always able to complete the
affair, which he intended to do in this manner.

The Governor of Casale being his friend, he did not doubt but that
he should be able to make him do all that he wished. To this end,
he made a packet of the four blank papers signed by the Duke of
Mantua, which he had made him sign at Mantua when he first arrived
there, and while this Prince was still well-intentioned. That in
order to inspire more confidence to the Governor of Casale, that he,
the Sieur Matthioli, would do nothing, except with the order of his
master, he had had this packet addressed to him by another Secretary
of the Duke of Mantua, named Magnus, who has for his department
the management of the affairs of the Montferrat, to whom he said,
“Here is a packet which his Highness has told me to send to Casale:
as you administer the affairs of that country, write a letter to
the Governor, ordering him to execute all that is to be enjoined
by this packet.” That this proceeding procured for him the entire
confidence of the Governor, by making him see that he would not ask
any thing of him which he could not execute with honour; that he
had made d’Asfeld set off from Venice two or three days afterwards,
in order to arrive about the same time with him at Incréa, where he
intended to have taken all the necessary measures with the aforesaid
Governor, for the completion of the affair.

Being asked why he had acted in this indirect manner, (since it
had been agreed in the interview which he, M. de Pinchesne, and M.
d’Asfeld had had together on the 24th of February, that the Duke
of Mantua should go to Casale on the 15th of March, which was a
decided mark of the good intentions of his Master), he replied,
that his Master was truly well-intentioned, from the fear he had
inspired him with of the King’s resentment; but that knowing the
natural uncertainty of his disposition, he had thought it right to
take measures to enable him to complete the affair, even in case
he (the Duke) had not kept to his engagement of coming to Casale.
Being asked why he did not confide this to the Sieurs de Pinchesne
and d’Asfeld, he said that he did not wish to discover to them the
intelligence that existed between him and the Governor, or to give
them any idea of uncertainty in this affair, which might perhaps
have made them suspend the execution of it; that as he himself
regarded it as the means of making his fortune, if he could bring
it to a conclusion, and as he did not doubt that such would be the
event, from the measures he had taken, he wished to avoid all that
might retard the execution of it. That the Sieur de Pinchesne can
say whether he, the Sieur Matthioli, did not always answer to him
for the success of the affair, without, however, being ever willing
to communicate to him the means to be employed in it.

Being asked whether he did not speak of the affair of Casale with
certain Venetians, he answered that they were so well-informed
upon the subject, that it is very likely he may have conversed
with some of them upon it, but in the way of telling them that it
was an affair which was broken off, and had failed; that he had
seen the Chevalier Cornaro, Inquisitor of State, only once, for
the purpose of asking his permission to carry arms, as the Duke
of Mantua wished to have him assassinated, in order the better to
authorize his disavowal of all that he, the Sieur Matthioli, had
done in France, which was certainly a very unjust reason on the part
of his Master for wishing to have him killed; that as he was of a
fickle disposition, his sentiments would change upon this subject
as upon every thing else; and that by making use of precautions for
some time, he should escape this misfortune: this permission was
promised, but was never given to him.

Being asked whether he had not conversed at Venice with some one of
the partisans of Spain, he answered, no; that he left that place on
the 28th of February, two days after M. d’Asfeld, to go to Incréa.

Being asked whether he had not known beforehand, that the Sieur
d’Asfeld was to be arrested, he answered that he had had no
knowledge of it, and that he had even only known with certainty his
detention at Buffacore, as far as which place he had gone on his
road to the rendezvous at Incréa, having with him all the papers
necessary for the conclusion of the affair of Casale, which he had
concealed so well in a saddle, that they were not found, though he
was very minutely searched upon the frontiers of the Brescian and
the Milanese; that from Buffacore he returned straight to Venice,
not having any doubt of the arrest of d’Asfeld, from the news he had
received respecting it; that he only remained there two days, in
order to inform M. de Pinchesne of the accidents that had happened.

Being asked whether he conversed with other persons at Venice, he
answered, no.

When he left Venice he returned to Padua, where he remained always,
except some short visits to Venice, of a day at the longest, to
confer with M. de Pinchesne.

Being asked if, at Padua, he had not held intercourse with some one
of the partisans of Spain; he answered, yes; with the individual
named Don Francis Visconti, natural son of the Count Visconti,
Commissary-General of the Milanese, who had spoken to him on the
part of his father and of the Count de Melgar, and who having in
his possession a copy of the treaty, and being perfectly instructed
of the whole transaction, it was not possible for him to deny it;
but he spoke of it as an affair that had failed, and gained the
confidence of the aforesaid Francis, who offered him a thousand
pistoles, and a fief in the Milanese, if he would deliver to M. de
Melgar the original papers which were in his possession. He answered
him that this affair having appeared to him to have failed, he had
given them to M. de Pinchesne, and was no longer master of them. The
aforesaid Francis persuaded him to enter into communication with M.
de Melgar, in order, for the future, to prevent the execution of
this affair, and took measures with him, about the 10th or 12th of
March, for acquainting M. de Melgar with every thing; and to this
end agreed with him upon the Spanish cypher found among his papers.
He says that he did all this only to deceive them, and to prevent
their taking other means, than through him, of being informed of the
resolutions of the King in this affair.

Being asked whether he did not know, through the means of Francis,
of the arrest of d’Asfeld, he answered, yes, and that the aforesaid
Francis told him he had been arrested at Canonica, twenty-five miles
from Milan, on the side of Bergamo, and that they had been waiting
for him there more than a fortnight.

Being asked if he knew who were the people that arrested him, he
answered, that he did not know precisely, but that Don Francis had
told him they were people employed by M. de Melgar, and that they
had been placed upon various routes in order not to miss him. Don
Francis told him besides that he was a prisoner in the castle of
Milan; that he was very civilly treated there; and that he had not
been interrogated, nor found charged with any papers.

Being asked whether he had not given any body a copy of the treaty;
he swore distinctly that he had given it to no one, and that those
copies which have got about could only have come from the mother of
the Duke of Mantua, to whom her son had confided the whole affair.

He came from Padua to Turin, upon receiving the letter of the Abbé
d’Estrades, in order to contrive an interview with the Governor of
Casale; which he had done, and had found the Governor well inclined
to contribute to the completion of the business. From thence he
returned to Turin, where the Abbé d’Estrades persuaded him to have
an interview with me, during which I arrested him. I send this
last fact to you, Sir, shortly, because I have already given you a
sufficiently exact detail respecting it.[291]

  [289] Of Turin.

  [290] Two of the Ministers of the Duke of Mantua.

  [291] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 93.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, May 20th, 1679.

Your letter of the 10th of this month has been delivered to me; I
have nothing to add to what I have already commanded you respecting
the severity with which the individual named Lestang must be
treated.

With regard to the man who conducted M. de Richemont into Piedmont,
you may let him go, after having recompensed him sufficiently,
taking care to let me know what you have given him.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[292]

  [292] From the Archives of France.



No. 94.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     Further particulars respecting Matthioli.

                        Pignerol, May 21st, 1679.

I only send you, Sir, the answers which the Sieur Lestang has made
to me upon the points, on which you have ordered me to interrogate
him; the preceding examinations, which I took the liberty of
sending you, having already informed you upon other subjects, and
generally upon every thing which I have been able to learn from the
aforesaid Sieur de Lestang. He is a man whose conduct has been so
infamous, that one cannot answer for the truth of any thing he says;
nevertheless, I believe him to be sincere in the desire he shows
that the original papers should be in the King’s possession. He sees
very well, that he has only this way of getting out of the affair. I
have already, Sir, made you acquainted with the means we are making
use of to obtain them. I am also persuaded that he has had intimate
communications with the Governor of Casale; perhaps, though, the
detention of the Sieur de Lestang may have changed the dispositions
of the latter. The Sieur de Lestang has told me, that at their
last interview near Moncalvo, the aforesaid Governor pressed him
to conclude this affair, saying, that any delay in the execution
of it was dangerous; that the four black papers signed, which he
had sent him, were sufficient, if they were filled up with what
was necessary, so that he might appear to act according to orders;
that it was also necessary to let him have an interview with some
confidential man on the part of the King, with whom he might agree
upon every thing; he told him even that the civilities he had shown
me when I was at Casale, were only because he thought I was a man
employed in this affair, although I called myself an officer going
to Vercelli, and that for the chance of this, he was determined
to treat me with great distinction. Lestang has told me that he
related all this to the Abbé d’Estrades. I have asked him why, as
the Governor was so well-intentioned, he, Lestang, had eluded a
prompt execution, when it was proposed to him? He answers to this,
that he had engaged himself by letter to the Duke of Mantua to be
at Venice on Ascension-day, where he still hoped to have sufficient
influence over him to extract from him a last consent. That he
should immediately after this have brought back the original papers,
and that having already taken his measures with the Governors of the
town and of the citadel, the execution of the affair would not have
had to encounter any further difficulty; that Vialardo, Governor of
the castle, being of the Spanish faction, might have been a small
obstacle, but not to signify, when the town and the citadel should
have been in our possession. I send you, Sir, all that this man has
told me, without being answerable for the truth of it. I shall set
off the 2d of next month, as I have already done myself the honour
of acquainting you, Sir, if between this time and then, I hear that
the papers have been delivered to M. de Pinchesne.

              I am, with all the respect, &c.
                  (Signed)    C.[293]

  [293] Catinat. This letter is extracted from the work of M.
  Roux (Fazillac).



No. 95.

     Third Examination of Matthioli.

                        May 21st, 1679.

Being asked whether at his return from France he had not seen the
president Turki; he answered, that it is true he had told him there
was a treaty respecting Casale, and that he had even told him the
conditions of it, but that he could not have given him an exact
copy of it, because he had not his papers with him, having sent
them from Lyons to Placentia, addressed to one of his friends named
M. Rigueti-Cannevavi, Chancellor-general of the posts, in order to
avoid having them with him in his journey through Italy.

Being asked why he made this confidence to the President Turki; he
answered, that he had known the President for four or five years;
and that in the course of conversation, from indiscretion and quick
talking, he had allowed himself to tell too much.

Being asked what the aforesaid President said to him, when he had
told him that there was a treaty respecting Casale; he answered,
that M. Turki explained to him that it would disturb the whole of
Italy, and that it would cause a war there; that the aforesaid
President gave him several good reasons for this.

Being asked why he, who had the honour of being the head of so great
and important a negociation, had commenced it with the intention
of preventing the execution of it, as he had said at Turin; he
answered, that this was never his design; that it was very true that
he had said to the President Turki, that there was no appearance of
this treaty being executed, because it depended upon the peace, and
that if the war was at an end, he was persuaded they should never
manage to arrive at the execution of it. The aforesaid President
upon this told him, that peace would certainly be made; but that,
if under any circumstances a change was to take place at Casale, he
would rather prefer that the French should be the masters of it than
the Spaniards.

Being asked why he wrote so regularly from Venice and from Padua,
upon the subject of this affair, to the aforesaid President; he
answered, that the aforesaid President begged him, when he left
Turin, to do so, and to acquaint him exactly with all that should be
done in relation to this affair; that in pursuance of the promise
he had made him to that effect, he had always sent him accounts of
it, but written in the sense as if it would not take place, the
peace being at present concluded, and the affair of Guastalla being
settled, which was one of the most powerful motives that had urged
the Duke of Mantua to put himself under the protection of the King.
That he persuaded the aforesaid President that this affair would
not take place, in order that the intelligence he gave him might
agree with what he told the Duke of Mantua himself, and the Abbé
Frederic, resident of the Emperor at Venice; and that he encouraged
this opinion in the mind of every body, the better to arrive at his
ends, and to succeed in the plan he had of introducing the troops of
the King into Casale, through the means of his intelligence with the
Governor. That this intention never quitted him for a moment, and
that what now was considered as his crime, would appear a most able
contrivance, if the whole of this affair was ever thoroughly known.
That his obstinacy in keeping possession of the original papers,
and his understanding with the Governor of Casale, are proofs of
the truth of this; that if he had not had a well-grounded intention
of serving the King, he should not have taken such care of these
papers, the retaining of which brought upon him the indignation of
his master, and even put his life into great jeopardy; and that his
secret intelligence with the Governor was perfectly useless to him,
unless his intentions were true and faithful.

Being asked what were the contents of the letters he received from
the President; he answered, that he had received one among others,
in which the aforesaid President wrote him word that he was sure
he was deceiving him, by always telling him that the affair of
Casale would not take place; because of the arrival of troops in
the quarters behind Pignerol, which could only be for the affair of
Casale.

Being asked whether the President Turki had not shown to him a
desire that this affair should fail; he answered, no; that he had
always conversed upon it without delivering an opinion, at the same
time showing a great deal of curiosity to be informed exactly of all
that might happen relating to this affair.

Being asked whether he had seen the Marquis of Saint-Maurice: he
answered, no.

Being asked, through whom the Court of Savoy could have received
such particular information; he answered, that it must have been
through the Count of Juvenasque, the Resident from Spain at that
Court, who has a great deal of intercourse with the Monk Bulgarini;
and that the aforesaid Bulgarini had known every thing from the
mother of the Duke of Mantua.

Being asked why he had acquainted the Count Hercules Visconti of
the departure from Venice of the Sieur d’Asfeld; he answered,
that he had had no intercourse with him, till his return from
Buffacore to Padua, after the arrest of the Sieur d’Asfeld, when
Don Francis, the natural son of the Count Hercules Visconti, saw
him, and held intercourse with him; which he had confessed to in his
first examinations.

Being asked whether the original papers were at Padua, he answered
affirmatively, yes; and that it is his real intention they should
be delivered up to the King, as he sees this is the only means of
atoning for his conduct.

Being asked whether on his arrival at Turin, he had not asked the
President Turki to be allowed to speak to _Madame Royale_,[295]
as he had affairs of great consequence to communicate to her; he
answered, no; and that he had neither desired, nor asked to speak to
any one, except the aforesaid President.

Being asked whether he had not written to _Madame Royale_ from
Padua, to request that she would send him a man to whom he could
confide the real state of things, he answered readily, no; but that
he would tell it as freely, if it had been the case, as he had
avowed that he had always held communication upon the subject of
this affair with the President Turki, from his wish to deceive him,
by sending him word that it would not succeed.

His answers elude, but do not deny all that has been said of him. In
order to account for the communications he has held, he makes use of
the continual pretext, that he was obliged to hold them, in order to
deceive, and to obtain the success of the affair by taking the other
side by surprise; making use, as the means of this surprise, of his
intelligences with the Governor.[294]

  [294] The Duchess Regent of Savoy.--See Note, Page 32.

  [295] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 96.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, May 22d, 1679.

I have received your last letter without a date. You must keep the
individual named Lestang in the severe confinement I enjoined in my
preceding letters, without allowing him to see a physician, unless
you know he is in absolute want of one.

One cannot but approve of your plan for preventing the Sieur de
Pressigny from being aware of the residence at Pignerol of M. de
Richemont, to whom I beg you to deliver the letter I send with this.

                  DE LOUVOIS[296]

  [296] From the Archives of France.



No. 97.

CATINAT TO LOUVOIS.

     Concluding examination of Matthioli.

                        Pignerol, June 3d, 1679.

    SIR,

The original papers have been delivered to Giuliani, who has taken
them to Venice to M. de Pinchesne: they consist of the treaty which
the aforesaid Lestang had made with the Court, which is signed by
him and by M. de Pomponne: an instruction which was given to the
aforesaid Lestang, when he left the Court: the full power given
to M. de Pomponne to treat with him, which is signed by you: and
a letter from his Majesty to the Duke of Mantua. All these papers
were in a box which had been placed in the Convent of Capuchins.
Giuliani performed his duty very well, and so completely persuaded
the father of the aforesaid Lestang, that the papers were delivered
into his hands with all confidence. The ratification of the Duke
of Mantua is not to be found, although the Sieur de Lestang said
it was amongst them: whereupon I interrogated him; having first
obtained all the advantage over him I could, by abusing him, and
bringing soldiers into his room, as if preparatory to administering
the question to him, which made him so much afraid, that he promised
really to tell the truth. Being asked whether the Duke of Mantua
had ratified the treaty; he answered that he had never subscribed
to all the articles, but that he had got from him four blank papers
signed, one of which was a blank paper of two sheets, at the top of
which he had written: _Ratification of the treaty made with his most
Christian Majesty_. That there were three other blank papers signed,
of one sheet each, of which he intended to make use to write in the
name of his master to the three Governors, of the town, citadel,
and castle, to order them to receive the King’s troops. Being asked
where these blank papers signed are at present, he answered, that
they are in the hands of the Governor of Casale, to whom he sent
them at the time that d’Asfeld left Venice. Being asked why he had
sent them, without their being filled up, to the Governor of Casale;
he answered, he had sent them to him in a letter of Magnus, the
Secretary of the Duke of Mantua, in which the Governor was ordered
to do without hesitation, all that should be told him, regarding the
execution of the orders contained in that packet,--that they were
left blank, because he wished to make the ratification according
to that of the King, not knowing, as he says, exactly the form
in which it ought to have been made out. Being asked why in his
first examination he had said that this ratification was at Padua;
he answered, that he had not wished to tell where it was before
Giuliani, in order not to make him acquainted in any way with his
intelligence with the Governor: he added that he had never had any
other ratification except that one; and that whatever tortures
should be inflicted on him, he could never tell any thing more.
He has not told me any thing new relating to the imprisonment of
d’Asfeld, and he says that he has no further knowledge of it than
what I have already, Sir, sent word of to you.

I have taken leave of the Abbé d’Estrades, as we were both agreed
of my inutility here at present. I shall, therefore, set off the
6th, to come to the Court, as you, Sir, have ordered me; where I
shall have the honour of testifying to you my lively gratitude for
the favours, which your protection has gained for me; and for the
kindness with which you acquainted me with the last you had procured
for me.

                         I am,
      With all the respect that is due to you,
          Sir,
              Your very humble, &c.

                  C.[297]

  [297] Catinat. This letter is extracted from the work of M.
  Roux (Fazillac).



No. 98.

VARENGEVILLE TO POMPONNE.

     Proposed recompense to Giuliani.

                        Venice, July 1, 1679.

    SIR,

In answer to the letter which you were pleased to write to me on
the 14th of last month, I shall do myself the honour to tell you
that, although I am aware that Giuliani has performed services
which have been useful to the King, and that I am persuaded of
his fidelity, and of his good inclinations towards France, which
may render him still very useful for the future, I cannot forbear
representing to you, that the recompense which the Abbé d’Estrades
wished to procure for him, is not a fitting one; and I feel myself
the more obliged to say this, because you do me the honour to inform
me that his Majesty wishes to receive further information on this
subject. I shall therefore, Sir, take the liberty to tell you, that
he is a little editor of newspapers, in whose shop the letters of
news are written, as it is not the custom here to print them: he
works at this himself, as well as copying for the public; and his
situation in this town answers to that of the Secretaries of St.
Innocent, at Paris. Therefore, it would be a very improper thing
to give a Secretaryship of Embassy to a man of this profession,
who, besides, in other respects, does not appear to me fit to fill
properly such an employment. He would even cease to be able to
give intelligence, as soon as he should be publicly recognized
to be attached to France, because the persons whom he now holds
communication with, would no longer wish, nor dare, to continue it
with him. But as he is a sort of _ferret_, who works out, and gets
at all that is passing, I think it is necessary to encourage his
zeal by some such gratification as forty or fifty pistoles a year,
or whatever shall be approved of by his Majesty. I think even that
this sort of recompense would have a greater effect upon him than
the other, and would make him act with the same zeal he has already
shown in the affairs he has been employed in.

                  VARENGEVILLE.[298]

       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [298] Varengeville was now Ambassador at Venice. This letter
  exists in the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
  Paris.



No. 99.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, July 25, 1679.

I HAVE received your letter of the 2d of this month. I wrote by
yesterday’s post to M. de Rissan,[299] that it is the King’s
intention that he should have the gate of the citadel of Pignerol
opened, whenever you shall have occasion for it.

You may give paper and ink to the Sieur de Lestang, with the
understanding that he is to put into writing whatever he wishes to
say; which you will send to me, and I will let you know whether it
deserves any consideration.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[300]

  [299] M. de la Motte de Rissan held the post of “Lieutenant de
  Roi,” in the citadel of Pignerol.

  [300] From the Archives of France.



No. 100.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, August 21, 1679.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

With regard to the Sieur de Lestang, you may give him paper whenever
he wishes to write; and afterwards send it to me.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[301]

  [301] From the Archives of France.



No. 101.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

                        Pignerol, Jan. 6, 1680.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I am obliged, Sir, to inform you that the Sieur de Lestang is become
like the Monk I have the care of; that is to say, subject to fits of
raving madness; from which the Sieur Dubreuil also is not exempt.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[302]

  [302] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 102.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Matthioli complains of his Treatment, and gives Proofs of
     Insanity.

                        Pignerol, Feb. 24, 1680.

THE Sieur de Lestang, who has been nearly a year in my custody,
complains that he is not treated as a man of his quality, and the
minister of a great prince ought to be. Notwithstanding this, I
continue to follow your commands, Sir, most exactly upon this
subject, as well as upon all others: I think he is deranged, by the
way he talks to me; telling me he converses every day with God and
his angels; that they have told him of the death of the Duke of
Mantua, and of the Duke of Lorrain;[303] and, as an additional proof
of his madness, he says that he has the honour of being the near
relation of the King, to whom he wishes to write, to complain of the
way in which I treat him. I have not thought it right to give him
paper or ink for that purpose, perceiving him not to be in his right
senses.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[304]

  [303] See Note, page 48.

  [304] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 103.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, July 10th, 1680.

I HAVE received, together with your letter of the 4th of this month,
that which was joined with it, of which I shall make the proper use.
It will be sufficient to make the prisoners in the lower part of the
tower confess once a year.

With regard to the Sieur de Lestang, I wonder at your patience,
and that you should wait for an order to treat such a rascal as he
deserves, when he is wanting in respect to you. Send me word how it
has happened that the individual named Eustache has been able to do
what you have sent me word of, and where he got the drugs necessary
for the purpose, as I cannot think you would have furnished them to
him.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[305]

  [305] From the Archives of France.



No. 104.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Philippeville, August 16th, 1680.

I HAVE been made acquainted, by your letter of the 7th of this
month, with the proposal you make of placing the Sieur de Lestang
with the Jacobin Monk, in order to avoid the necessity of having two
priests. The King approves of your project, and you have only to
execute it when you please.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[306]

  [306] Ibid.



No. 105.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Matthioli and the Jacobin placed together.

                        September 7th, 1680.

SINCE you, Sir, permitted me to put Matthioli with the Jacobin in
the lower part of the tower, the aforesaid Matthioli was for four
or five days in the belief that the Jacobin was a man that I had
placed with him to watch his actions. Matthioli, who is almost as
mad as the Jacobin, walked about with long strides, with his cloak
over his nose, crying out that he was not a dupe, but that he knew
more than he would say. The Jacobin, who was always seated on his
truckle bed, with his elbows resting upon his knees, looked at him
gravely, without listening to him. The Signor Matthioli remained
always persuaded that it was a spy that had been placed with him,
till he was one day disabused, by the Jacobin’s getting down from
his bed, stark naked, and setting himself to preach, without rhyme
or reason, till he was tired. I and my lieutenants saw all their
manoeuvres through a hole over the door.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[307]

  [307] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 106.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

                        October 9th, 1680.

I HAVE only further, Sir, to acquaint you with the circumstance of
the Sieur Matthioli’s having given a ring to Blainvilliers, who
immediately delivered it to me. I will keep it, till it shall please
you, Sir, to give me orders what to do with it.

              I am, &c.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[308]

  [308] Ibid.



No. 107.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Particulars respecting the Ring given by Matthioli to
     Blainvilliers.

                        October 26th, 1680.

IN order to explain to you, Sir, more amply than I have hitherto
done, the story of the diamond ring which the Sieur Matthioli gave
to Blainvilliers, I shall begin by taking the liberty to tell you
that I believe he made him this present as much from fear as from
any other cause: this prisoner having previously used very violent
language to him, and written abusive sentences with charcoal on
the wall of his room, which had obliged that officer to menace him
with severe punishment, if he was not more decorous and moderate
in his language for the future. When he was put in the tower with
the Jacobin, I charged Blainvilliers to tell him, at the same time
showing him a cudgel, that it was with that the unruly were rendered
manageable, and that if he did not speedily become the latter, he
could easily be compelled to it. This message was conveyed to him,
and some days afterwards, as Blainvilliers was waiting on him at
dinner, he said to him; _Sir, here is a little ring which I wish
to give you, and I beg you to accept of it_. Blainvilliers replied
to him that _he only took it to deliver it to me, as he could not
receive any thing himself from the prisoners_. I think it is well
worth fifty or sixty pistoles.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[309]

  [309] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 108.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Versailles, Nov. 2d, 1680.

I HAVE received your letter of the 26th of last month. I am writing
to the Sieur du Channoy to make the necessary repairs to the
barracks of the citadel of Pignerol: with regard to the brambles
which are in the walls, I think it will be better to wait till the
spring to have them rooted up, because that will make them die more
certainly, and then at the same time mortar might be inserted into
the fissures.

You must keep the ring, which the Sieur Matthioli has given to the
Sieur de Blainvilliers, in order to restore it to him, if it should
ever happen that the King ordered him to be set at liberty.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[310]

  [310] From the Archives of France.



No. 109.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Versailles, Nov. 11th, 1680.

THE King has been informed that the Governor of Milan has received
the plan of the town and citadel of Pignerol, from an individual
named Quadro, who was some time in the prison, to explain the
fortifications to one of your nephews; and as it is important for
the service of His Majesty, that the Italians should never have any
communication with the citadel of Pignerol, nor with the prison
there, His Majesty has commanded me to let you know, that he wishes
you not to allow any one to enter there, without his express order;
and his intention is, if you have any soldiers or servants who are
Piedmontese, Savoyards, or Italians, that you should get rid of them
as quietly as possible, under pretext of their not serving you well.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[311]

  [311] From the Archives of France



No. 110.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        St. Germain, December 5th, 1680.

YOUR letter of the 27th of last month has reached me. The King
does not wish you to have any soldiers in your company who are
Piedmontese, Savoyards, Italians, or natives of the Government of
Pignerol. With regard to the three servants of this nation, who have
been with you for six or seven years, you may keep them, since you
are certain of their fidelity.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[312]

  [312] From the Archives of France.



No. 111.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Appointment of Saint-Mars to the Government of
     Exiles--Measures to be taken by him thereupon.

                        Versailles, May 12th, 1681.

I READ to the King your letter of the 3d of this month, by which
his Majesty having discovered the extreme repugnance you have to
accept the command of the citadel of Pignerol, he has thought proper
to accord to you that of Exiles, vacant by the death of the Duke
of Lesdiguières; whither he wishes you to transport those of the
prisoners who are under your care, whom he shall think it important
not to entrust to any other hands but yours. I shall take care to
solicit at the office of M. de Croissy[313] for the grants of the
aforesaid government, of which, as the salary does not exceed four
thousand livres, His Majesty will continue to you the five hundred
livres a month he gave you at Pignerol, by means of which your
emoluments will be as considerable as those of the Governors of the
great places in Flanders.

I have requested the Sieur du Channoy to go with you to visit
the buildings at Exiles, and to make there a list of the repairs
absolutely necessary for the lodging of the two prisoners in the
lower part of the tower, who are, I think, the only ones His Majesty
will have transferred to Exiles.

Send me a list of all the prisoners under your care, and write
opposite to each name all that you know of the reasons why they were
arrested.

With regard to the two in the lower part of the tower, you need only
designate them by this name, without adding any thing else.

The King expects that, during the little time you will be absent
from the citadel of Pignerol, when you go with the Sieur du Channoy
to Exiles, you will arrange the guarding of your prisoners in such a
manner, that no accident may happen to them, and that they may have
no intercourse with any one, any more than they have hitherto had
during the time they have been under your charge.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[314]

  [313] Charles Colbert, Marquis de Croissi, brother of the great
  Colbert, was employed in many embassies, which he conducted
  with ability and success. In 1679 he succeeded Arnaud de
  Pomponne as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He died in
  1696.

  [314] From the Archives of France.



No. 112.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Precautions for the Journey of the Prisoners from Pignerol
     to Exiles.

                        Versailles, June 9th, 1681.

I SEND you the necessary grants, as Governor of Exiles, which the
King has thought good to have sent to you. The intention of His
Majesty is, that as soon as the room at Exiles, which you shall
judge the most proper for the secure keeping of the two prisoners in
the lower part of the tower, shall be in a state to receive them,
you will send them out of the citadel of Pignerol in a litter, and
conduct them there under the escort of your troop, for the march
of whom the orders are hereunto joined: and immediately after the
departure of the aforesaid prisoners, it is His Majesty’s intention
that you should go to Exiles, to take possession of the government,
and to make it, for the future, your residence.

And because His Majesty does not wish that the remainder of the
prisoners at present under your charge, who are to remain in the
citadel of Pignerol should be left to the care of a Captain of a
Battalion, who may be changed from day to day, I address to you an
order from the King to have the Sieur de Villebois recognized as
Commandant of the aforesaid citadel of Pignerol, until the return
of M. de Rissan, or the arrival of the person whom His Majesty
shall entrust with the command of the aforesaid citadel. In case
the health of the aforesaid Sieur de Rissan does not permit him to
return there, you will, if you please, acquaint the aforesaid Sieur
de Villebois with it, to whom the Sieur du Channoy has orders to pay
two crowns a day, for the support of those three prisoners.

You will see by the orders of the King hereunto joined, that your
company is to be reduced to forty-five men, to commence from the
15th of this month; and by the statement which accompanies them,
the footing upon which it is to be paid, as well as what the
King has ordered you for the subsistence of the two before-named
prisoners, whom His Majesty expects that you will guard with the
same exactitude you have made use of hitherto. Therefore, it only
remains for me to recommend you to give me, from time to time,
intelligence respecting them.

With regard to the effects belonging to the Sieur Matthioli, which
are in your possession, you will have them taken to Exiles, in order
to be given back to him, if ever His Majesty should order him to be
set at liberty.

You will receive the orders I have mentioned by the first occasion.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[315]

  [315] From the Archives of France.



No. 113.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Versailles, June 11th, 1681.

I HAVE acquainted the King with the contents of your letter of the
13th of last month, and with the list of the repairs necessary to
be made to the tower at Exiles, which you deem the most proper
residence for the prisoners whom His Majesty leaves under your care.
The King has thought fit to grant you a thousand crowns, as well for
the aforesaid repairs, as for those which you shall judge necessary
to make in your own lodging; which, as soon as you receive this,
you will take care to have done immediately, as if the expense was
to come out of your own pocket: and as soon as the prison shall be
in a fit state, it is the intention of His Majesty that you should
transfer the aforesaid two prisoners to it, according to what I have
already commanded you in my last letter; and in conformity with that
and the order which was joined to it, you will then deliver to the
Sieur de Villebois the command of the citadel of Pignerol.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[316]

  [316] From the Archives of France.



No. 114.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Versailles, July 9th, 1681.

I HAVE received your letter of the 29th of last month. You may have
the doors you have need of, for the security of your prisoners, made
at Exiles, without taking the trouble of having them carried from
Pignerol.

I have written to the _Père Lachaise_ for the benefice, which you
ask of the King for one of your children, to whom I trust His
Majesty will grant it.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[317]

  [317] Ibid.



No. 115.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Precautions for the Security and Concealment of the
     Prisoners at Exiles.

                        Pignerol, July 12th, 1681.
                       Just setting off for Exiles.

IN order that the prisoners may not be seen (at Exiles,) they will
not leave their chamber when they hear mass; and in order that they
may be kept the more securely, one of my lieutenants will sleep
above them, and there will be two sentinels night and day, who will
watch the whole round of the tower, without its being possible for
them and the prisoners to see and to speak to one another, or even
to hear any thing of one another. They will be the soldiers of my
company, who will be always the sentinels over the prisoners. There
is only a confessor, about whom I have my doubts; but if you do not
disapprove, I will give them the curate of Exiles instead, who is
a good man, and very old, whom I will forbid, on the part of His
Majesty, to enquire who these prisoners are, or their names, or
what they have been, or to speak of them in any way, or to receive
from them by word of mouth, or by writing, either communications or
notes.

              I am, &c.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[318]

  [318] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 116.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Departure of Saint-Mars from Pignerol ordered to be
     deferred, in order that he might receive Catinat there.

                        Versailles, July 22d, 1681.

I HAVE received your letter of the 12th of this month, by which I
see that the repairs which you have ordered to be made at Exiles
will not permit you to leave Pignerol before the end of next
month. As the service of the King will perhaps require that you
should remain there all the following month, it would be well that
you should advance the aforesaid repairs of Exiles as little as
possible, in order that you may have a pretext for not leaving
Pignerol till the first days of the month of October; taking care to
act in such a manner, that your continuing to remain there may not
appear to be the result of voluntary delay.

I am about to send the necessary order for the repayment of the
money you have expended for your prisoners, and you will receive it
by the next post.

You will find joined with this letter a packet for M. de
Pianesse,[319] which I request you to deliver to him without fail.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[320]

  [319] The Marquis de Pianesse was one of the Ministers of the
  Court of Turin.

  [320] From the Archives of France.



No. 117.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Fontainebleau, August 3d, 1681.

YOUR letter of the 23rd of last month has been delivered to me. The
King approves of your going to see the Marquis de Pianesse at his
country house, and of your making a journey to Turin, if you desire
it, provided you do not sleep out of the citadel of Pignerol more
than one night at a time. With regard to the journey to Exiles, and
the leave of absence you ask for the Sieur Tourtebat, whom you wish
to take with you, you will have seen by my former letters, that the
intention of the King is that you should not go there.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[321]

  [321] From the Archives of France.



No. 118.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

     Orders for the Reception of Catinat at Pignerol.

                        Fontainebleau, August 13th, 1681.

THE King having ordered M. de Catinat to go as soon as possible to
Pignerol, for the same affair which before took him there at the
commencement of the year 1679, I send you these few lines by order
of His Majesty, to give you intelligence thereof, in order that you
may prepare an apartment for him, in which he can remain concealed
for three weeks or a month; and also to tell you that when he shall
send to let you know that he is arrived at the place where you went
to meet him in the aforesaid year 1679, it is the intention of His
Majesty that you should go there again to meet him, and that you
should conduct him into the prison of the citadel of the aforesaid
Pignerol, with every kind of precaution, in order that no one may
know he is with you. I do not say any thing to you about assisting
him with your servants, your horses, and whatever carriages he may
have occasion for, because I have no doubt but you will do with
pleasure on these heads, whatever he shall ask you.

If between this time and his arrival any packet for him should be
addressed to you either from Piedmont or from Italy, you will keep
it, if you please, to deliver to him.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[322]

  [322] From the Archives of France.



No. 119.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Fontainebleau, August 23d, 1681.

I HAVE received your letter of the 13th of this month, which
requires no answer, except to say that I have given orders for a
French clerk to be sent, to have the direction of the Post-office
at Pignerol; by means of whom we shall be assured that no further
abuses can be committed with regard to the letters.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[323]

  [323] From the Archives of France.



No. 120.

LOUVOIS TO SAINT-MARS.

                        Fontainebleau, Sept. 20th, 1681.

THIS word is only for the purpose of acknowledging the receipt of
your letter of the 16th of last month. The King will not disapprove
of your visiting, from time to time, the last prisoner who has
been placed in your charge, after he shall have been established
in his new prison, and shall have left that where he is at present
confined. His Majesty desires that you will execute the order he has
sent you for your establishment at Exiles. I beg you to deliver the
packet hereunto joined into M. de Richemont’s own hands.

                  DE LOUVOIS.[324]

  [324] From the Archives of France. To the name of Richemont
  is appended in the original the following note, in the
  hand-writing of Saint-Mars; “This name means M. de Catinat,
  whom I had then shut up with me at Pignerol.”



No. 121.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

                        Exiles, Dec 4th, 1681.

As there is always one of my two prisoners ill, they give me as much
occupation as I have ever had with any of those I have hitherto
guarded.

Although, Sir, you have the kindness to give me permission to go,
from time to time, to Casale, I dare not do it, lest during my
absence, you should address any packets to me for M. de Pianesse.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[325]

  [325] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 122.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Description of the Apartment and manner of Confinement of
     the Prisoners at Exiles.

                        Exiles, March 11th, 1682.

    SIR,

I have received the letter which you were pleased to do me the
honour to write to me on the 27th of last month, in which you
acquaint me, Sir, that it is important my two prisoners should have
no communication with any one. Since the first time that you, Sir,
gave me this order, I have guarded these two prisoners, who are
under my care, as severely and exactly as I formerly did Messieurs
Fouquet and Lauzun, who could not boast that they had either sent or
received any news, while they were in confinement. These prisoners
can hear the people speak as they pass along the road which is at
the bottom of the tower; but they, if they wished it, could not make
themselves heard; they can see the persons on the hill which is
before their windows, but cannot themselves be seen on account of
the bars which are placed across their room. There are two sentinels
of my company always night and day, on each side of the tower, at
a reasonable distance, who can see the window of the prisoners
obliquely. They are ordered to take care that no one speaks to them,
and that they do not cry out from their windows; and to make the
passengers walk on if they wish to stop in the path, or on the side
of the hill. My own room being joined to the tower, and having no
other look-out except towards this path, I hear and see every thing,
even my two sentinels, who are by this means always kept alert.

As for the inside of the tower, I have divided it in such a manner,
that the priest who says mass to them cannot see them, on account
of a curtain I have made, which covers their double doors. The
servants, who bring their food, put whatever is necessary for the
prisoners upon a table on the outside, and my lieutenant takes it
and carries it in to them. No one speaks to them except myself, my
officer, M. Vigneron (the confessor), and physician from Pragelas,
which is six leagues from hence, who only sees them in my presence.
With regard to their linen and other necessaries, I take the same
precautions which I did with my former prisoners.

              I am, &c.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[326]

  [326] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 123.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

                        Exiles, Dec. 23d, 1685.

MY prisoners are still ill and in a course of medicine; they are,
however, perfectly tranquil.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[327]

  [327] Ibid.



No. 124.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Saint-Mars is made Governor of the Islands of Saint
     Margaret.

                        Exiles, January 20th, 1687.

    SIR,

I am most grateful for the new favour, which I have just received
from his Majesty, (the government of the Islands of Saint Margaret).
If you order me to go there without delay, I would request to be
permitted to take the road through Piedmont, on account of the great
quantity of snow that there is between this place and Embrun; and,
on my return, which shall be as quick as I can possibly make it, I
hope you will approve of my going by the way, to take leave of the
Duke of Savoy, from whom I have always received so much kindness.
I will give such good orders for the guarding of my prisoner, that
I can answer to you, Sir, for his entire security, as well as for
his not now, nor ever, holding intercourse with my Lieutenant, whom
I have forbid to speak to him, which is punctually obeyed. If I
take him with me to the Islands, I think the most secure conveyance
will be a chair covered with oil-cloth, in which there would enter
a sufficiency of air, without its being possible for any one to
see or speak to him during the journey, not even the soldiers whom
I shall select to be near the chair. This conveyance will be less
embarrassing than a litter, which is liable often to break.

              I am, &c.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[328]

  [328] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 125.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

                        From the Islands of Saint Margaret,
                            March 23d, 1687.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I have been here for the last thirty days, of which I have passed
twenty-six in bed, with a continual fever. I have taken so much
powder of bark, that, for the last three days, I have been free from
fever. I have sent to Toulon for my litter, in order to go from
hence the 26th of this month, and I hope to be at Exiles in eight
days, by the Embrun and Briançon road. As soon as I shall have had
the honour of receiving your commands, Sir, I shall set forth again
with my prisoner, whom I promise to conduct here in all security,
without any one seeing or speaking to him. He shall not hear mass
after he leaves Exiles, till he is lodged in the prison which is
preparing for him here, to which a chapel is attached.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

I pledge my honour to you for the entire security of my prisoner.

              I am, &c.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[329]

  [329] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 126.

SAINT-MARS TO LOUVOIS.

     Arrival of Matthioli at the Islands of Saint Margaret.

                        From the Islands of Saint Margaret,
                            May 3d, 1687.

    SIR,

I arrived here the 30th of last month: I was only twelve days on the
journey, in consequence of the illness of my prisoner, occasioned,
as he said, by not having as much air as he wished. I can assure
you, Sir, that no one has seen him, and that the manner in which I
have guarded and conducted him during all the journey, makes every
body try to conjecture who he is.

My prisoner’s bed was so old and worn out, as well as every thing he
made use of, both table linen and furniture, that it was not worth
while to bring them here; they only sold for thirteen crowns. * * *

I have given to the eight porters, who brought the chair from Turin,
and my prisoner to this place, (including the hire of the aforesaid
chair) two hundred and three livres, which I have paid out of my own
pocket.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[330]

  [330] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 127.

SAINT-MARS TO THE MINISTER.[331]

     Relation of the conduct of two Protestant Ministers.

                        From the Islands of Saint Margaret,
                            June 4th, 1692.

       *       *       *       *       *       *

The first of the ministers, who have been sent here, sings psalms
night and day with a loud voice, expressly to make it be known who
he is. I desired him, in vain, several times to discontinue this, on
pain of severe punishment; which I have at length been obliged to
inflict upon him, as well as on his comrade, named Salves, who write
things upon his pewter vessels, and upon his linen, in order to make
known that he is imprisoned unjustly, on account of the purity of
his faith.

                  DE SAINT-MARS.[332]

  [331] Probably Barbezieux.

  [332] Extracted from the work of M. Roux (Fazillac).



No. 128.

     Extract from the Register of the Bastille, published in the
     Work entitled, “La Bastille Dévoilée.”

        Names and qualities of the Prisoners.

An old prisoner from Pignerol, obliged always to wear a mask of
black velvet, whose name and quality have never been known.

        Dates of their Entries.

September 18th, 1698. At three o’clock in the afternoon.

        Reference to the Journal.

Dujonca, Volume 87.

        Reasons for their detention.

It was never known.

        OBSERVATIONS.

This is the famous Man in the Mask, whom no one has ever seen or
known.

This prisoner was brought to the Bastille by M. de Saint-Mars in his
litter, when he took possession of the Government of the Bastille,
coming from his Government of the Islands of Saint Margaret and
Saint Honorat, and whom he had before had with him at Pignerol.

This prisoner was treated with great distinction by the Governor,
and was only seen by him and M. de Rosarges, Major of the Fortress,
who alone had the care of him.



No. 129.

     Second Extract from the Register of the Bastille, published
     in the Work entitled, “La Bastille Dévoilée.”

        Dates of the Deaths.

November 19th, 1703.

        Reference to the Journal.

Dujonca, Volume 8th.

        OBSERVATIONS.

Died November 19th, 1703, aged 45, or thereabouts; buried at St.
Paul’s the next day at four in the afternoon, under the name of
Marchiali, in the presence of M. de Rosarges, Major of the Fortress,
and of M. Reilh, Surgeon-Major of the Bastille, who signed their
names to the extract of the Burial Register of St. Paul’s. His
burial cost forty livres.

This prisoner remained at the Bastille five years and sixty-two
days, the day of his burial not included.

He was only ill for some hours, and died almost suddenly; he was
buried in a winding-sheet of new linen; and for the most part every
thing that was found in his chamber was burnt, such as every part
of his bed, including the mattresses, his tables, chairs, and other
utensils, which were all reduced to powder and to cinders, and
thrown into the drains. The rest of the things, such as the silver,
copper, and pewter, were melted. This prisoner was lodged in the
third chamber of the tower _Bertaudière_, which room was scraped and
filed quite to the stone, and fresh white-washed from the top to the
bottom. The doors and windows were burnt like the rest.

It is remarkable that, in the name of Marchiali, which was given
him in the Burial Register of St. Paul’s, are to be found the exact
letters of these two words, the one Latin, the other French, _Hic
Amiral_, here is the Admiral.[333]

  [333] The discovery of this ridiculous and strained anagram was
  one of the causes which led to the false supposition, that the
  Iron Mask was either the Duke de Beaufort, or the Count de
  Vermandois, both of whom were great Admirals of France.



No. 130.

     Extract from the Register of Burials of the Church of Saint
     Paul, at Paris.

The year one thousand seven hundred and three, on the nineteenth of
November, died at the Bastille, Marchiali, aged forty-five years or
thereabouts; whose body was interred in the burial-ground of this
parish, the twentieth of the aforesaid month, in the presence of M.
Rosarges, Major of the Bastille, and of M. Reilh, Surgeon-Major of
the Bastille, who have affixed their signatures.

Collated exactly with the original, and delivered by us the
undersigned, Bachelor in Theology, and Vicar of Saint Paul, at
Paris, this Tuesday the ninth of February, 1790.

                  Signed, POITEVIN.



No. 131.

     Extract from the Work entitled “_La Correspondance
     Interceptée_,” by M. Lewis Dutens, published in 1789.

In order to treat this subject (that of the Iron Mask) methodically,
I will begin with what the Duke de Choiseul has often related to me.
Lewis the Fifteenth one day told him, that he was acquainted with
the history of the prisoner with the Mask. The Duke begged the King
to tell him who he was, but he could get no other answer from him,
except, that all the conjectures which had been hitherto made with
regard to the prisoner, were false. Some time afterwards, Madame de
Pompadour, at the request of the Duke, pressed the King to explain
himself upon this subject. Lewis the Fifteenth upon this told her,
that he believed he was the Minister of an Italian Prince.



No. 132.

     Extract from the article on the Iron Mask in the Work
     entitled “_Mélanges d’Histoire et de Littérature_;” by Mr.
     Quintin Craufurd.

BEFORE the publication of the “_Correspondance Interceptée_,” I had
heard it said, that M. de Choiseul had spoken to Lewis the Fifteenth
on the subject of the masked prisoner; but that he had not been able
to obtain any satisfactory answer. I addressed myself to the Abbé
Barthelemi and to the Abbé Beliardi, who had both lived in intimacy
with M. de Choiseul: they acquainted me that it was at their request
the Duke de Choiseul had spoken upon this subject to Lewis the
Fifteenth; that the King had answered him, that he believed the
prisoner was a minister of one of the courts of Italy; but that the
Duke observed that this conversation appeared to embarrass him. The
Abbé Beliardi told me in proper terms, that the King wished to evade
the subject. They then begged M. de Choiseul to engage Madame de
Pompadour to speak to the King. She did so; but the answer of Lewis
the Fifteenth to his mistress was not more instructive, than that
which he had given to his Minister.



No. 133

     Letter from the Baron de Heiss to the Authors of the
     “_Journal Encyclopédique_,” on the subject of the Iron Mask;
     published in that Journal, in 1770.

    GENTLEMEN,

Since the publication of the anecdote respecting the Man in the Iron
Mask, which M. de Voltaire has given us in his “_Siècle de Louis_
XIV.,” I have been always very curious to discover who this prisoner
could be; but all my researches had hitherto failed in giving me
any information which could content me; chance has placed in my
hands a detached number of a work, of which the title is “_Histoire
abrégée de l’Europe_,” for the month of August 1687, printed that
same year at Leyden, by “_Claude Jordan_.” At the article Mantua,
I found the letter, which I have the honour to send you a copy of,
translated from the Italian. It appears that this Secretary of the
Duke of Mantua, who is there mentioned, might very well be the
Man in the Iron Mask, transferred from Pignerol to the Islands of
Saint Margaret, and from thence to the Bastille, in 1690, when M.
de Saint-Mars was made governor of it. I am the more inclined to
believe this, because, as M. de Voltaire, and all those who have
made researches on this subject, have remarked, there did not at
that time disappear any prince, or person of consequence in any part
of Europe.

If you, Gentlemen, find any appearance of probability in my remark,
and if you think it can interest the public, you are welcome to
insert it in your Journal, &c.

                  THE BARON DE HEISS.

    Formerly Captain of the Regiment of Alsace.
   Phalsbourg,
  June 28, 1770.


     Letter on the subject of the Man in the Iron Mask, announced
     in the preceding one.

    GENTLEMEN,

One of my friends tells me, that he has read in the “_Histoire
abrégée de l’Europe_,” (Vol. ii. p. 33.), that it was said, that the
Duke of Mantua had had the intention of selling his capital town;
but that the author of this History did not believe it.

You are ill-informed; it is certain that this affair was negociated,
and that it was much advanced towards a conclusion. The secretary of
the Duke, who had much influence with his master, dissuaded him from
this design; but the doing so cost him very dear, as you shall soon
learn.

This faithful Minister made the Duke understand, that it was
necessary for his interest and his honour to preserve his Duchy, and
thus made him change his intention; he did still more, he obliged
him to unite himself with the other Princes of Italy, in order to
oppose the designs of France. It was he who negociated the interview
of the different princes, which took place at Venice last winter,
during the Carnival: this time was chosen in order the better to
conceal the plans which were in agitation. You are without doubt
aware, that it is not an extraordinary circumstance to see many
princes and persons of condition at Venice during that period. This
Secretary went afterwards to Rome, where he remained some time; he
then visited almost all the Courts of Italy; he went to Venice and
Genoa, and he succeeded every where so well, that he had almost
entirely detached all those powers from the interests of France.
Finally he went to Turin with the same intention. As he believed his
negociations to be very secret he often visited the Marquis D’Arcy,
the French Ambassador at the Court of Savoy; but what can escape
the penetrating eyes of France? The minister of that crown had been
informed of all the designs of the Secretary, before his arrival at
Turin. He, however, paid him many civilities, asked him very often
to dinner, and finally invited him to come and hunt with him, at
some distance from Turin. The Secretary, who had no time to lose,
and who thought the moment of the absence of the French ambassador
very proper for his negociations, excused himself at first upon
the plea of his having no horses; the Ambassador offered to lend
them to him, and the Secretary dared no longer refuse, from fear
lest some portion of the truth should be suspected. The day for the
hunting being arrived, they set off together; but they were hardly
at the distance of a league from the town, when the Secretary was
surrounded by ten or twelve horsemen, who seized him, disguised
him, masked him, and conducted him to Pignerol. Without doubt he
was well aware who had played him this trick, but he had no means
of resistance. At Pignerol he was thought to be too near Italy,
and, though he was guarded very carefully, it was feared that the
walls might tell tales; he was therefore removed from thence, and
conducted to the Islands of Saint Margaret, where he at present is,
under the care of M. de Saint-Mars, who is the Governor. This is a
piece of news doubtless very surprising, but not on that account the
less true.

                  I am, &c.

To this letter are joined these reflections:--There are reports
respecting a journey made by the Duke of Mantua to Vienna. Some
politicians think that it is the affair which happened to his
Secretary which is the cause of his journey, and that he has a
design of making an alliance with the Emperor and the King of
Spain.[334]

  [334] To this letter M. Delort adds the following note, “In
  1782 or 1783, there died at Turin a Marquis de Pancalier de
  Prie, among whose manuscripts was also found the anecdote of
  this Secretary of the Duke of Mantua. All the Italian
  newspapers published it; but although it was considered as a
  new idea, it did not make a great sensation.”



                    THE END.

                     LONDON:
  PRINTED BY S. AND R. BENTLEY, DORSET STREET.



Transcriber’s Notes:


  Footnotes in the first part “History Of The Iron Mask” have been
  moved to the end of that part; footnotes in appendix have been
  moved to the end of the respective appendix.

  Page 18, footnote 28, Maria Victoria (Maria Vittoria), second
  daughter of Ferdinand III. (Ferrante III Gonzaga), Duke of
  Guastalla, married her cousin Vincent Gonzaga (Vincenzo I
  Gonzaga) June 30th, 1679 and died September 5th, 1707 in Venice.
  Although the year 1769 for the marriage date is believed to be an
  unambiguous mis-print in the original, the author’s version has
  been retained.

  Page 149, footnote 189, John Baptist Felix Gaspar Nani’s (Giovan
  Battista Nani) work was published under the title “Historia
  della Republica Veneta,” starting with part I in 1662; the
  author’s spelling of “Istoria” has been maintained.

  The following corrections have been made to the printed original:

  Page iv, “Cassale” corrected to “Casale” (going to Casale).
  Page viii, “Dévoillée” amended to “Dévoilée” (“La Bastille
    Dévoilée”).
  Page viii, “Melanges” amended to “Mélanges” (Mélanges d’Histoire).
  Page 14, “Soreigns” corrected to “Sovereigns” (the Italian
    Sovereigns).
  Page 31, footnote 58, “No.” corrected to “Nos.” (Appendix, Nos. 75,
    79, 81, 83, 88.)
  Page 44, footnote 83, “Sevigné’s” corrected to “Sévigné’s” (Madame
    de Sévigné).
  Page 44, footnote 84, “vecu” corrected to “vécu” (comme il a vécu).
  Page 46, footnote 88, “No.” amended to “Nos.” (Ibid. Nos. 84, 85.)
  Page 51, footnote 99, “Appendix, 104.” amended to “Appendix, No.
    104.”
  Page 52, footnote 101, “Appendix, 105.” amended to “Appendix, No.
    105.”
  Page 76, “Bertaudiere” amended to “Bertaudière” (tower of the
    Bertaudière).
  Page 83, “Correspondence” amended to “Correspondance”
    (Correspondance Interceptée).
  Page 83 “aujourdhui” amended to “aujourd’hui” (La Marquise aura
    aujourd’hui).
  Page 83, footnote 155, (footnote to footnote 154,) “138” corrected
    to “133” (Appendix, No. 133.)
  Page 144, “necesary” amended to “necessary” (will be  necessary,
    before the Count).
  Page 173, “Estradés” amended to “Estrades” (transaction Estrades
    alludes).
  Page 184, “to day” corrected to “to-day” (departure till to-day).
  Page 197, “December,” amended to “December” (December 29, 1678.)
  Page 202, “Jan 15th,” amended to “Jan. 15th,” (Venice, Jan. 15th,
    1679.)
  Page 210, “were” corrected to “where” (where there are none).
  Page 215, footnote 244, “siécles” corrected to “siècles” (XVIIIe
    siècles).
  Page 230, “No” amended to “No.” (No. 71.)
  Page 236, “mean while” corrected to “meanwhile” (whom, in the
    meanwhile).
  Page 252, the missing locator for footnote 275 has been supplied.
  Page 280, “Ambassador’s” amended to “Ambassador” (the Ambassador
    being present).
  Page 348, “Encyclopèdique” corrected to “Encyclopédique” (Journal
    Encyclopédique).
  Page 349, “Vol. ii. p. 33.)” amended to “(Vol. ii. p. 33.)”





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