Page images

anxious to prevent such a consummation, consented with considerable difficulty to the project; resolving, at the same time, to obstruct the departure of Matthioli for France as long as possible; and writing to M. de Pomponne to delay him and his business, when at length he arrived there, by every means in his power. *

Subsequently the procrastinating intentions of Estrades were more easily put into execution than he expected; for Matthioli, of his own accord, deferred his journey from spring to autumn on various pleas, of which the principal one was, his unwillingness to leave his master, exposed to the insinuations, and perhaps menaces, of the Spanish partizans, by whom he was surrounded. +

Finally, after many delays, Matthioli, accompanied by Giuliani, set off for Paris in the beginning of November, 1678, and arrived there towards the end of the same month. I He found the Abbé d'Estrades, who had quitted his Venetian Em


Appendix, No. 18. 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40.

+ Appendix, Nos. 24, 28, 29,

Appendix, No. 47.

bassy, arrived there before him, and had several interviews with him and M. de Pomponne; during which a treaty was agreed on to the following effect :

1. That the Duke of Mantua should receive the French troops into Casale.

2. That if Lewis sent an army into Italy, the Duke of Mantua should have the command of it.

3. That immediately after the execution of the treaty, the sum of 100,000 crowns should be paid to the Duke of Mantua. *

The treaty contained also some other articles of minor importance.

Matthioli himself had the honour of being received in a secret audience by Lewis, † who made him a present of a valuable ring. † He also received a sum of money for himself,† and a promise

* Delort, quoting from an Italian manuscript, in the records of the office of the French Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, which appears to have been written by Giuliani.

+ Delort, quoting from the same authority.

of a much larger gratification* after the ratification of the treaty. He was also promised that his son should be made one of the King's Pages; and that his brother, who was in the Church, should receive a good benefice. f He was then sent back to Italy, with a detailed instruction from Louvois, I upon the manner of executing the articles of the treaty.

The French Government was thus far so en

* M. Delort says the sum actually given to Matthioli, was 400 Doubles, and the sum promised him 400,000 Doubles, which, from its largeness, he conceives must be a mistake; but he adds that it is so written in the Italian manuscripts before referred to.

+ Delort.

| Francis Michael Le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, son of the Chancellor Le Tellier, Secretary of State for the War department, from 1666, to the time of his death, in 1691, which occurring suddenly, and just as he was on the point of being disgraced, gave occasion to a report that he was poisoned: for which, however, it appears there was no foundation. He was of a haughty and cruel disposition, and was the minister who planned and ordered the inhuman ravages of the Palatinate, which have so indelibly disgraced the reign of his master.

tirely satisfied of the sincerity and good faith of Matthioli, and so convinced of the speedy admission of the French troops into Casale, that they immediately upon his departure took decided measures in furtherance of their plan. * Thus the Marquis de Boufflersgt Colonel-General of the Dragoons, was sent to take the command of the forces, which were assembling near the frontier of Italy, at Briançon, in Dauphiny. Catinat, I Brigadier of Infantry, afterwards the celebrated Marshal of that name, who was to serve under the command of Boufflers, had orders to conceal himself in the fortress of Pignerol, ş and to adopt a feigned name,

* Delort.

+ Lewis Francis, Marquis and afterwards Duke de Bouf. flers, Marshal of France in 1693. Died in 1711. One of the best of Lewis the Fourteenth's generals.

| Nicholas de Catinat, Marshal of France in 1698. “ He united,” says Voltaire, “philosophy to great military talents. The last day he commanded in Italy, he gave for the watch-word, ' Paris and St. Gratien,' the name of his country house. He died there in the retirement of a real sage, (having refused the blue ribbon) in 1712.”

$ Upon reference to the Mémoires de Catinat, published


[ocr errors]

that of Richemont ;* while the Baron d’Asfeld,+ Colonel of Dragoons, was despatched to Venice, upon a mission for exchanging the ratifications of the treaty; for which purpose he was to unite with M. de Pinchesne, the Chargé d'Affaires there during the absence of an ambassador. I

in 1819, this event is found to be thus adverted to:-" In 1679, Catinat was charged with some negociations with the Duke of Mantua; but the affair failed of success, in consequence of the treachery of the Secretary of that prince. Catinat, according to the King's orders, was anxious to punish the traitor. He remained at Pignerol some days, and having engaged him in a hunting party, had him arrested.” It also appears from these Memoirs, that both Catinat and Boufflers were again despatched to Italy on the same errand, in 1681, when Casale was really given up to Lewis; and on this occasion, Louvois, in his instruction to Boufflers, mentions Matthioli by name, as the person whose treachery had prevented the success of the former negociation.

Appendix, Nos. 52, 62, 64, 73, 76, 77, 78. + I am not sure whether I am correct in imagining that this was the Marshal d'Asfeld, who distinguished himself at the battle of Almanza, and died at great old age, in

† Appendix, Nos. 52, 54, 55.


« PreviousContinue »