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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 Venice, 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 bim 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 farther opportunity of deferring his departure for a still longer time.
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 enice 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.
+ From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at
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