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stacles which the House of Austria puts in the way of it, and that he would leave this place on Wednesday or Thursday, in order to arrive at Casale within the time at which he has promised to be there. All that we have to fear is, that the Spaniards, who are extremely suspicious, may watch him, and oppose his passage, t and that of the Count Matthioli, of whom they have an equal distrust.



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No. 70.


Arrest of d’Asfeld.-Departure of the Duke of Mantua

from Venice.

Venice, March 11th, 1679. SIR, The courier, whom we sent you a month ago, not having complied with the order I had given

+ Through the Duchy of Milan.

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

him to write to me as soon as he should be arrived at Lyons, in order to acquaint me whether he had passed through the Milanese without being arrested, I was under great uneasiness until I received the letter, in which you do me the favour to inform me that you have received the despatch which I sent you by him. You may believe, Sir, that when M. d'Asfeld and I were obliged to defer the day of the exchange of the ratifications till the 10th of this month, we did not do so, till we saw that it was impossible to persuade the Duke of Mantua to perform his part within the period desired by the King.

All the world says here, that he is to go away this evening, or to-morrow, without his suite; and he has always told us, through the Count Matthioli, that when he left this place, he would only pass through Mantua, and travel post from thence to Casale.

He has still more time than is necessary for him to be there before the 18th of this month, which is the day when the troops of the King are to enter the place, according to what we agreed upon with the Count Matthioli.

M. Giuliani has received a letter from him * this


* Matthioli.

week, in which he writes him word that M. d'Asfeld has been arrested at La Canonica, which is a village beyond Bergamo, but that he was released shortly after.

I do not know, Sir, if this news is really true, it having been impossible for me to verify it, and the Count Matthioli only writing word of it because a coiturier, whom he met on the road, told him that a gentleman whom he had conducted three or four days ago from Verona to La Canonica, had been arrested at the latter place, and released afterwards. In any case, I cannot doubt but that you are already informed of it, since the Count mentions, in the same letter, that it has been written to the Abbé d'Estrades, who will not certainly have failed to make you acquainted with it.

I have just this moment heard, Sir, that the Duke of Mantua set off yesterday evening at four o'clock at night,t and that the Marquis Canozza is also gone to Verona, which is his country, from


+ According to the Italian mode of reckoning the hours.

whence it is believed he will be very likely to

go to Milan.

No. 71.



Letter of Credence to be presented to Matthioli by Catinat.

St. Germain, March 14, 1679.


The King has been informed by the Sieur de Pinchesne, of all the measures which you have taken with him and with M. d'Asfeld, for the execution of the affair, which has been conducted by your labours, and of the time which the Duke of Mantua has arranged for being at Casale. He is, besides, aware that M. d'Asfeld was to leave Venice some days earlier, according to the agreement that you had made together; but as he

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

learns by his letters from Piedmont, that it is very possible he may have been arrested in his passage through the Milanese, and placed in the Castle of Milan, he has judged it right to supply his place with the person who will deliver you this letter ; it is the same whom he has honoured principally with his confidence for the execution and the conduct of all that shall be to be done with you and the Duke of Mantua, after the arrival of that Prince at Casale. Therefore you will, if you please, place entire confidence in him, and particularly in the assurances which he will give you of the good-will of his Majesty for you, and of his sense of the service you are rendering to him.

For myself, Sir, I entreat you to believe me with the most perfect truth, &c.


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

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