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PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.
Arrangements for the Exchange of the Ratifications of the
I sent you word in my last letter of the reports, which the march of the troops to Pignerol caused through the whole of Italy : these have much increased this week from the news which has been received that M. de Vaubant is by the King's order; which makes it be believed more than ever, that his Majesty certainly meditates some great design on that side, although the strongest suspicion falls always on Genoa, and, next to that, on Casale. The Spanish Ambassador, and the Abbé Frederic, the resident of the Emperor, went together on Wednesday to the Duke of Mantua, to tell him they had heard from
+ Sebastian Le Prêtre, Marquis of Vauban, the celebrated Engineer; Marshal of France in 1703; Died in
Turin that he wished to give Casale and the Montferrat to the King, and to represent to him the disadvantages that would arise to all Italy from this measure, and particularly to the House of Austria, on account of the Duchy of Milan. That Prince answered them, that he was astonished they could believe in reports of this nature, which had no solid foundation. This answer was all they could draw from him on the subject. Nevertheless, Sir, as he is always in the intention of executing the treaty he has made with the King, which he has again assured us through the Count Matthioli, M. d'Asfeld and I have had two more conferences this week with the aforesaid Count, the last of which was yesterday evening; in which we arranged that M. d'Asfeld and he should find themselves on the 9th of next month at Notre-Dame d'Incréa, which is a village ten miles from Casale, in order to make there the exchange of the ratifications; and that the Duke of Mantua should arrive without fail at Casale on the evening of the 15th, to wait there for the troops of his Majesty, and to put them in possession of the place when they should arrive there on the 18th, which is the day that M. d'Asfeld has said they would be there, having, according to the order of M. de Louvois, demanded nine days between that of the exchange of the ratifications and that of their arrival at Casale. M. d'Asfeld left this place yesterday after this conference to go to Pignerol, and the Count Matthioli is to set off this evening for Incréa: but as the Duke of Mantua wishes to remain only a single day at Mantua, and intends to travel post to Casale, he will remain here till the 11th or 12th of next month : it is even better he should do so, because as long as they shall see him amusing himself here with a carousel and similar trifles, there will be less suspicion of him than if they saw him take his departure.
PINCHESNE TO POMPONNE.
Suspicions of the House of Austria respecting the Negocia
All the advices that come from France and from Turin declare so positively that the Duke of Mantua has made a treaty with the King for the cession of Casale and of the Montferrat, that they are beginning here to change into certainties those suspicions which I mentioned to you, Sir, in my two last letters, they had had, ever since the first news arrived at Milan by the couriers which Madame Royale and the Duke of Gioninazze despatched there. The Governor of Milan immediately sent two others to Madrid and Vienna to give intelligence to the Emperor and the King of Spain. The courier, who was sent to Vienna, returned here on Wednesday evening, with express orders to the Marquis Canozza, the Imperial Vicar, in Italy, to
speak strongly to the Duke of Mantua, and to try and deter him from doing a thing so contrary to the interests of the whole House of Austria ; and to go afterwards to Turin and Milan, to concert there the means of preventing it, in case the news proved true. This same Marquis Canozza having been, for the last five or six months, in the prisons of Venice, accused of having had a gentleman of Verona assassinated, the Emperor has also written by the same courier to the Republic, to beg that he
may be enlarged, which was done on Thursday evening. He has not been able as yet to see the Duke of Mantua, who defers, as much as he can, giving him audience, in order to gain time. The fear I have been in, Sir, lest what he has to say to this Prince, from the Emperor, might be capable of producing some change in him, has obliged me to charge M. Giuliani to go, as from me, to Don Joseph Varano, who is at present, since the departure of Count Matthioli, the only confidant of the Duke of Mantua, to try to know from him what are the sentiments of his master upon the subject of this mission. He has answered me, that his master would assuredly execute the treaty he has made with his Majesty, notwithstanding the ob