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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 Guas. talla 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. swered 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 enterprizes 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 résolution 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 embarràssed 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,
most humble, most obedient, and
ESTRADES TO POMPONNE.
The Duke of Mantua watched by the Spaniards.
Venice, February 12th, 1678.
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
* From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at