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No. 7.


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 the 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


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

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.


No. 8.


January 12th, 1678.


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

* From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at


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