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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 Duchessmother 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.

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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. +


No. 29.


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 farther 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

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

| From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at Paris.

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.



No. 30.


July 13, 1678. Sir, The letter which you were pleased to write to me on the second of this month, has shown the King

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

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.


No. 31.


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

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


of this month: but as 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.




No. 32.


St. Germain, August 10, 1678. Sir, As the King continues always in the intention of profiting by the good dispositions of the Duke

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

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