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LEWIS THE FOURTEENTH TO THE DUKE OF
Promises his protection to the Duke. My Cousin, The Count Matthioli will instruct you so particularly, both of the manner in which he has acquitted himself of the orders with which you have charged him for me, and of the extreme satisfaction with which I have received the assurances he has given me of zeal for
my interests, that I can have nothing farther to add upon these subjects. I am only desirous of testifying to you myself, the entire confidence which I wish you to place in my friendship. You may promise yourself, that it will be useful and glorious to you upon all occasions; and you may always rely with certainty and security upon my alliance. I hope to be able to give you very evident marks of this in the sequel; and after having borne testimony to you of the satisfaction which the conduct of the Count Matthioli, through the whole of this affair, has given me, I will not lengthen the present letter any more, except to pray to God that he may have you, my Cousin, in his holy and worthy keeping
Written at Versailles, this 8th Dec. 1678.
(And lower down),
POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.
December 16th, 1678.
I send you a letter of the King to the Duke of Mantua, which you will deliver to the Count Matthioli, as soon as he shall arrive at Venice, taking care always to keep his journey very
+ From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at Paris.
PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.
Interview of Pinchesne with Don Joseph Varano.
Venice, December 24th, 1678. Sir, As soon as I had received, together with the letter that you did me the favour to write me on the second of this month, that which the Count Matthioli sent to the Duke of Mantua, under cover to Don Joseph Varano, who is here with that Prince, and who is one of the two persons to whom his Highness has confided the design he has to deliver Casale into the hands of the King, I made known to M. Varano, by the son of the Sieur Giuliani, that I was very desirous of being able to deliver to him a letter from a French gentleman, who was one of his friends, and who had begged me to give it into his own hands. He understood very well what that meant to say; and at the same time sent me word, that if I would find myself that evening in mask at the Opera, he would not fail to be there also; which was exe
cuted according to our resolution. He told me, when I gave it him, that the Duke of Mantua would be delighted to receive it; because, for some days, he had shown great impatience to hear of the arrival of the Count Matthioli at the court, and to know in what state the affair was, which he was gone there to negociate. He asked me, at the same time, if I could not give him some news upon
the subject; but as I know nothing about it, I contented myself with only telling him that I did not doubt but it was in a good train, and that I was persuaded his Highness would receive, on this occasion, the marks of that esteem and friendship whicho his Majesty has for him. I thought, Sir, I might be permitted to speak to him in these terms; because what I told him was from my own head, and not as if I had received any order to that effect. We afterwards agreed together, that, during the stay of the Duke of Mantua at Venice, we would make use of the same means to deliver to him the letters which might come to me from the Count Matthioli.
t From the Archives of the Office for Foreign Affairs, at Paris.
POMPONNE TO PINCHESNE.
A courier sent to Venice with a new cypher.
St. Germain, December 25th, 1678. This courier, whom I despatch to you, has orders not to come to your house as a courier, but to enter Venice as a tradesman, or a private French individual, who comes there on his own business : he brings for you a cypher, which you will only make use of in what regards the affairs of the Duke of Mantua, according to the occasions which you may deem necessary after the return of the Count Matthioli. We have been afraid that, for so important an affair, the cypher of the Abbé d'Estrades was too old, and had probably been discovered, in the many times it has passed through the territories of Milan. You will make use of it as usual in your ordinary despatches; but
you will only write on the affairs of Mantua in the new one, which this courier brings to you.