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cipled. He had, besides, discovered, as he writes word to Lewis, in his first letter* to him, dated Venice, Dec. 18th, 1677, that the Duke was not so abandoned to his pleasures, but that he still had some ambition, and much chagrin at the state of subjection in which he was kept by his mother; joined to a great distrust of the Spaniards, who were supposed to foment the divisions of the Court of Mantua, with the view of, eventually, themi selves obtaining possession of Casale and the rest of the Montferrat.

The desired channel of communication Estrades thought he had found in Matthioli, who was a complete master of Italian politicks, as well as much in the Duke's good graces. Before, however, he proceeded to enlist him in his service, he deemed it necessary to discover what was the bent of his inclinations. This he effected ingeniously enough, by sending a certain Giuliani, in whom he appears to have placed implicit confidence, to Verona, where Matthioli then was, to act as a spy

Appendix, No. 1.

*

upon him. The report of Giuliani, upon his return to Venice, was so favourable, both with regard to the discontent of Matthioli against the Spaniards, " who had always amused him with hopes, and afterwards abandoned him," * and his wish to enter into the service of the French Monarch, that Estrades lost no time in sending him (Giuliani) back again for the purpose of conferring with Matthioli upon the subject of the proposed negociation.

Giuliani was instructed by the Ambassador to enlarge to Matthioli upon the jeopardy which the sovereignty of the Duke of Mantua was in, in consequence of the different pretensions of various branches of his family to his territories, which were more or less countenanced by the Spaniards for the purposes of their own aggrandizement. These were, among others, those of the Empress Eleanor p to the Montferrat; and those of the Marquis of Laguna* to the Duchy of Guastalla, to the prejudice of the Duke of Mantua, who was the rightful heir. Giuliani was also to lament the dependant state of the Duke of Mantua, the revenues of whose states, as well as all the powers of

* Appendix, No. 1.

+ The Empress Eleanor was daughter of Charles, Duke of Rhetelois, who died in the life-time of his father, Charles I., Duke of Mantua, in spite of which he is generally deno

government, were entirely in the hands of his mother, and the Monk Bulgarini ;ť and to explain the necessity which, on these accounts, existed for that Prince to seek, without delay, the alliance and protection of Lewis the Fourteenth. He was to assure him, in conclusion, that Estrades had no doubt of the readiness of Lewis to assist in freeing the Duke of Mantua from his embarrassments; but that, in order to enable him to do this effectually, it was absolutely necessary to garrison Casale with French troops.

mìnated by historians, Charles II., Duke of Mantua. She became, on the 30th of April, 1651, the third wife of Ferdinand III., Emperor of Germany, whom she survived many years, and died December 5th, 1686. She was the aunt of Ferdinand Charles IV., Duke of Mantua.

* Thomas de la Cerda, Marquis of Laguna, in Spain, married April 22, 1672, to Maria Louisa, only daughter of Vespasian Gonzaga, only brother of Ferdinand III., the reigning Duke of Guastalla.

+ The Monk Bulgarini appears to have been the confessor and favourite of the Duchess-mother of Mantua; and to have been entirely devoted to the Spanish interests.

*

Matthioli concurred entirely in these views of Giuliani, and offered to sound the Duke of Mantua upon the subject. A few days afterwards, he sent word to Estrades, that he had managed to have an interview with that Prince (having previously established himself secretly in the neighbourhood of Mantua), and had found him generally welldisposed to the plan. He also requested Estrades to send Giuliani again to him, in order that they might act in concert; the said Giuliani being also a person who might, without suspicion, carry intelligence backwards and forwards,* which was not the case with Matthioli himself.

Giuliani was accordingly sent, and had an audi

*

* The profession of Giuliani was that of an editor of newspapers, in which capacity he was in the habit of travelling from town to town, to collect and convey news.

See Appendix, No. 98.

ence of the Duke of Mantua, who received him very favourably, and acquainted him with his willingness to enter into an alliance with France, and to deliver up Casale, upon the understanding that Estrades was to try to obtain for him any reasonable requests he might make; the principal of these, in addition to the grant of a sum of money, was the being made generalissimo of any French army that might be sent into Italy, “ that being,” says Estrades, “ what he wishes beyond all things; or rather, that being the only thing he is very anxious for, in order that he may have the same consideration in Italy the late Duke of Modena* had, and the late Duke of Mantua,t who at his age commanded in

* Alphonso IV., Duke of Modena, succeeded his father Francis I. in his territories, and in the command in chief of the French army in Italy, in 1658. Died in the 29th year of his age, July 16, 1662, having married, May 27, 1655, Laura Martinozzi, niece of Cardinal Mazarin.

+ Charles III., Duke of Mantua, father of Ferdinand Charles IV., the reigning Duke, had the command of the Imperial Army in Italy, and took upon himself the office of

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