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Take care to inform us exactly of the arrival of the Count Matthioli, and of all that he shall communicate to you on the subject of his journey.

I am, &c.


No. 53.


Catinat sent to Pignerol.

St. Germain-en-Laye, December 29th, 1678. These few words are to let you know, that it is necessary for the King's service, that the person who will send you this note, should enter into the citadel of Pignerol, without any body's knowing it. To this effect, cause the Gate of Aid + to remain open till night-fall, and send him one of your servants; or even, if you are able, go yourself to meet him, at the place to which his valet will conduct you ; in order that he may enter in your suite into the aforesaid citadel, and into the aforesaid dungeon, without any one's perceiving it. I am truly yours,

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

+ “ Porte du Secours.”

DE Louvois. *

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No. 54.


D’Asfeld sent to Venice.

St. Germain, Dec. 30, 1678.

The King has despatched this day the Sieur d'Asfeld, Colonel of Dragoons, who is to go to Venice, under pretext of a journey of curiosity and plea

He will not come directly to your house, but will appear as a stranger, whom curiosity alone leads to the place where you are. He will afterwards come to see you, as if on account of the natural obligation which all Frenchmen have to visit those who are placed in a country for his Majesty's service. He will deliver to you, from me, , a short letter, as of introduction for him, in which I request you to contribute to the success of his particular interests at Venice. He will communicate to you the orders he has received; and you will take the necessary measures to make known his arrival to the Count Matthioli, and to arrange a meeting between them, if necessary.


* From the Archives of France.

I am, &c.


No. 55.


St. Germain, Dec. 30, 1678. SIR, You will receive this letter by the hands of M. d'Asfeld, who goes to Venice, for an affair which he will communicate to you himself, and of which

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


will have had, before his arrival, a more particular instruction by my letters. All that I will therefore add is, that you will put an entire reliance on what he tells you, and that you will contribute, in every way that depends on you, to the success of his particular interests at the place! where you are.

I am, &c.


No. 56.


Venice, Dec. 31, 1678. SIR, In order to deliver to Don Joseph Varano the letter, which I have received for him from the Count Matthioli, at the same time with that which you

did me the favour to write on the 9th of this month, I have made use of the same means which I had the honour to acquaint you with in my last letter, and which we had agreed upon together, for the time during which the Duke of Mantua should

remain at Venice. He told me, when he received it, that this prince had experienced great pleasure by learning from the first, that the affair was in a good state ; and that he was most impatient to hear of the conclusion of it; to which I answered him in two words, that that was a hope which his Highness might, with reason, flatter himself to see realized.


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As soon as the Count Matthioli shall arrive at Venice, I will immediately deliver into his hands the letter which the King has done the Duke of Mantua the honour of writing to him. That prince left this place the day before yesterday, to return

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

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