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the courier whom we despatched to the Court, prevented me, Sir, from being able to acquaint you in the letter, which I then did myself the honour to write to you, with the reasons, which the Count Matthioli has alleged to us, to make us understand that the Duke of Mantua cannot be at Casale the 25th of this month, according to the wishes of the King expressed to him by us.

He told us three : the first was, that this Prince, wishing to send to Casale, as soon as he should be arrived there, his guards and the greater part of his court, (intending to make some stay there after the conclusion of the affair,) it became necessary for him for this purpose to have some money, which could not be got in so short a time. The second, that it was absolutely necessary first to persuade Don Vincent Gonzaga,* who is at present at Mantua, to make this journey with his Highness, since, being the presumptive heir of the Duke of Mantua, it would be very dangerous to leave him at Mantua, at the time when the affair of Casale would be known; because the Mantuans regarding him as likely to be their future sovereign, there would be danger that they

* See note, page 18.

might allow themselves to be persuaded by him to rebel against the Duke of Mantua, which, without doubt, he would not fail to try to make them do, when he should see that his Highness was attaching himself to the party of France, and abandoning that of the House of Austria, to which Don Vincent is absolutely devoted. And the third, the obligation under which the Duke of Mantua found himself of holding here a sort of carousel with several Venetian gentlemen, to whom he had given his promise to that effect, which he could not now retract, without occasioning some suspicion here. This last reason, Sir, although the least considerable of the three, appears to me notwithstanding to be a truer one than the others; because this Prince is so much attached to all pleasures, of whatever kind they may be, that when he finds an occasion of indulging in them, the most important affairs cannot turn him away from them. This little carousel is certainly to take place some day next week; after which the Count Matthioli has assured us that the Duke of Mantua will, without doubt, leave this place, in order to be at Casale the 10th of next month, as he has promised us; his people are even to set off to-day to return to Mantua. To-morrow we are to have another conference with the Count Matthioli, to regulate in what manner M. d'Asfeld is to open the business at Casale with the Duke of Mantua, for the purpose of making the exchange of the ratifications of the treaty. Meanwhile, Sir, I think it right to inform you, that the march of the troops to Pignerol, and the munitions and money which are carried there, cause great fear through the whole of Italy; and that it is said publicly here, that the King has some great plan, without its being possible to penetrate what it is, suspicions falling upon Casale, upon Geneva, upon Savoy, and more particularly upon the Republic of Genoa, on account of what has lately passed there : I even know that M. Contarini * has written in these terms to Venice. There are also two couriers, arrived during the last eight or ten days from Turin, at Milan; the one despatched by Madame Royalet to her envoy, and the other by the Duke of Gioninazze to the government of

* Contarini was at this time Ambassador from the Re. public of Venice to the Court of Lewis the Fourteenth.

+ The Duchess of Savoy. For an account of her, see note, page 32.

| The Spanish Envoy at the Court of Turin.

ments.

Milan, to give them intelligence of these move

The Count Matthioli has told us, that the Duke of Mantua intended to make an excuse for his journey to Casale, by saying, that the fear he is in of the designs of France, obliges him to go to that place, to give the necessary orders for its security. I have just now learnt, that a courier is arrived to the Spanish Ambassador from Milan. I am persuaded he is sent for the same reasons I have before stated.

a

*

DE PINCHESNE.

No. 67.

POMPONNE TO MATTHIOLI.

February 21st, 1679. SIR, I have received the letters, that you have taken the trouble to write to me, and I think I cannot do better than address my answer to them to the

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

care of the Abbé d'Estrades, as you intend making a journey to Turin. I have not failed to give an account to the King of your sorrow at the long delay of an affair, which was commenced and is to be concluded through your means.

His Majesty is still willing to promise himself a good success in it, and will not entertain any doubt of the promise, which has been so solemnly given to him, being kept. You know how much you may promise yourself from his goodness when

you

shall have accomplished the success of the project, of which you yourself laid the foundation. Upon this subject the Abbé d'Estrades will speak to you still more in detail, and therefore I will not lengthen this letter any more than to assure you, that I am, &c.

POMPONNE.*

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

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