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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,* 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

* Charles V. Duke of Lorrain, married, in the commencement of this year, Eleanor, daughter of the Empero Leopold, and widow of Michael Wiecnowiecki, King of Poland. For an account of him, see note, page 49.

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.

I 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.

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+ From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at 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.

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

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.

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

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 greatnephew 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

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