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to his own States; but he is to come back to Venice towards the end of this month, to pass the rest of the Carnival there. I will keep the journey of the Count Matthioli secret, as you order me; but I beg you to believe, Sir, that it was not necessary you should take the trouble to recommend this to me, since I know very well of what importance it is to preserve an inviolable secrecy in this affair.


No. 58.


Venice, Jan 15th, 1679.


I shall execute with all the punctuality possible, every order which it shall please you to give me on this affair; and as soon as the Count Matthioli shall be returned to this place, I will not fail to

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

acquaint you with it, and to give you an exact account of all he shall tell me respecting the business which he has been negociating at the Court.

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Venice, Jan. 21st, 1679. Sir, Before I received the letter, which you did me the honour to write to me on the 30th of last month, and by which you informed me that the King intended to send here the Count d'Asfeld, Colonel of a regiment of Dragoons, he was already arrived, and had been to see me, to communicate to me the orders he had received from his Majesty ; but

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

as he was not charged with any letter from you, for me, I should have had some difficulty in opening my plans to him, in an affair of this consequence, if M. Giuliani, who happened to be with me just then, and who was come to see me for the first time since his return, had not told me, a few moments before, that there would shortly arrive here a gentleman from the King; and if I had not found him himself so well informed of the whole of this affair, that I could have no doubt of the truth of what he told me; since it appeared to me impossible that he could know so much upon the subject without having learnt it from you, or from those who are alone acquainted with it. He told me that M. de Louvois had obliged him, before his departure, to burn the letter which you had given him to deliver to me, from fear lest, if he was stopped in the Milanese, it might give some ground of suspicion to the Spaniards. He even detailed to me so precisely all that it contained, that I could have no farther cause for fear, after I had seen that what he told me, tallied so well with all that you have done me the favour to write to me upon

his subject. We have not been able to ağree upon any thing together since he has been here, because the

Count Matthioli is not yet arrived; but as he has written to me and to M. Giuliani, from whom he separated himself near Turin, in order to excite less observation, that he will be here in a few days, I hope to be able, by the next post, to give you an account of all we shall have settled with him. I will not fail, Sir, to represent strongly to him, according to the order which M. d'Asfeld has given me, on the part of the King, to that effect, that it is absolutely necessary for the Duke of Mantua to be at Casale by the 20th of next month, to make the exchange of the treaties; and I will make him so clearly understand that diligence is most necessary in an affair of this importance, lest, from delay, it should be discovered, that I am almost bold enough to promise, that he will persuade his master to go there at that time. However, Sir, if this prince, who is accustomed to pass the last days of the Carnival here every year, wished also to do so this year, in order not to make his conduct appear extraordinary; and that he should think that from the 15th of February, which is the first day of Lent, to the 20th, there will be too little time for his journey to Casale, without showing an anxiety which might occasion suspicions; and that, therefore, he might

wish to defer for some days the exchange of the treaties, I think you will approve of my sending you an extraordinary courier to inform you of it; it being impossible for me to do so sufficiently quickly by the post.


No. 60.


Delays of Matthioli, and of the Duke of Mantua.

Venice, Jan. 28th, 1679.



According to the letters which M. Giuliani and I received last week from the Count Matthioli, we thought he would, without doubt, be this week at Venice, with the Duke of Mantua. However, neither one nor the other are yet arrived, on account of a slight illness which the Duchess dowager

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

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