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with a small party of St. Mars's garrison. The interview was at first amicable, but after a short conversation the Abbé withdrew, and Matthioli was arrested. Although armed, he offered no resistance, and he was carried that night to Pignerol. Except Catinat himself, none of the captors knew what prisoner they had taken. The count's valet was also entrapped by D'Estrades's contrivance, and transmitted to his master's place of confinement.
It now became important to recover some documents which Matthioli had received from the French government for the pur. pose of concluding the treaty, and these being concealed at Padua, the prisoner was compelled to write for them to his father. Three letters were accordingly prepared and entrusted to Giuliani, with orders to deliver one or more in succession, as circumstances might require. The last two disclosed the writer's real condition. Matthioli himself was in the mean time rigorously examined by Catinat, on the circumstances and motives of his treason. culprit prevaricated; the inquisitor threatened, and on one occasion, Catinat terrified his prisoner by calling in soldiers to administer the torture. It is needless to follow the unhappy delinquent (to whom the titles of fourbe' and 'fripon' are now liberally applied in the French correspondence) through all his evasions. He ac knowledged that, in passing through Turin, on his return from Paris, he had, par indiscrétion et volubilité de langue,' betrayed the secret to his friend the president Turki, with whom he afterwards corresponded on the subject; that he had received two thousand livres at Turin, but only as a recompense for some former services; that he had held communication respecting the treaty both with the Spanish governor of Milan, and with individuals in the German service, but that these were already apprized of the transaction by the duke of Mantua's mother, who had drawn an avowal from her son. He declared that he himself always intended to fulfil his engagements with France, and had, with that view, obtained credentials under the hand of Ferdinand, which would have enabled him to secure Casal even after the duke's defection; but the papers themselves, when delivered to Giuliani, proved inadequate to such a purpose. Having now no further task to accomplish, Catinat returned into France, leaving Matthioli, whom, for the better concealment, he had named L'Estang, a close prisoner in the hands of St. Mars.*
We will here shortly conclude the history of the Duke of Mantua and his fortress, which M. Delort leaves imperfect. Louis renewed his negotiation, and Ferdinand, who, as Voltaire observes, would have sold all his territory to maintain his pleasures, again
We copy most of the statements in this paragraph from M. Delort, who has unaccountably withheld the Abbé d'Estrades' narrative of Matthioli's arrest.
concluded a treaty, or rather bargain, laying the blame of the former miscarriage on his faithless servant. In the autumn of 1681, Casal was delivered up to Boufflers and Catinat. Ferdi
nand vainly endeavoured to avert the indignation of the neighbouring powers at this unworthy transaction, and even swore upon the host that he had received no bribe. His oath obtained small credit, and at Venice, his favourite resort, he was excluded from society. In 1701, when the war of the Succession was breaking out, the duke, now wholly corrupted by France, admitted a garrison of that nation into Mantua. He afterwards visited Paris, and the king gratified his vanity by naming him Generalissimo of the French armies in Italy. With a constitution shattered by debauch, and a military reputation almost as frail, (for he had served with little credit in Hungary,) he espoused a daughter of the Duke of Elbeuf, and joined the army of Vendôme, as its nominal commander. The decisive campaign of 1706 placed his whole possessions at the Emperor's mercy; his wife returned to France; and he himself, an unpitied refugee, was sinking into the grave at Padua, in 1708, when the imperial sentence issued declaring him a felon, and his estates an escheat to his feudal superior. The French lost Casal three or four years after they had bought it.
We return to the Sieur L'Estang. At the time of his capture, D'Estrades had requested that his treatment might be gentle, at least until the king's pleasure should be known. Louvois soon determined this point. Vous aurez connu par mes précédentes,' says he, in one of his peremptory dispatches to St. Mars, que l'intention du roy n'est pas que le sieur de L'Estang soit bien traité, et que sa Majesté ne veut pas que, hors les choses nécessaires à la vie, vous luy donniez quoy que ce soit de ce qui la luy peut faire passer agréablement, Dureté' is again and again enjoined, and even medical attendance is prohibited, unless the governor shall know it to be absolutely necessary. Permission, however, is given to allow the prisoner pen and ink, for the purpose of writing to Louvois. What effect was produced by any such communication, we do not learn, but the prisoner's remonstrance to St. Mars, that he was not treated like a man of quality and the minister of a great prince, appears to have been very lightly regarded.
After a confinement of nearly ten months, the unfortunate Italian began to affect (perhaps actually to experience) those wanderings of mind with which the secret victims of state-policy or vengeance are not unfrequently afflicted. He talked of supernatural visitations, and, says St. Mars, (evidently perplexed with the task of repeating such blasphemy,)
$ pour vérifier sa folie, c'est qu'il dit qu'il a l'honneur d'être proche parent du roi, à qui il veut écrire et se plaindre du traitement que je lui fais. Je ne lui ai point voulu donner du papier ni de l'encre pour cela, ne le voyant pas dans son bon sens.'
This conduct afforded a reason or a pretext for aggravating his punishment by placing him in the same room with a Jacobin friar who was really insane. For several days the Italian believed
this person to be a spy.
Matthioli,' writes St. Mars, who is almost as mad as the Jacobin, walked up and down with large strides, holding his mantle to his face and saying that he was no dupe; that he knew more than he would speak of. The Jacobin sat on his couch as usual, resting his elbows on his knees, and looked at the other gravely, without attending to what he said. Signor Matthioli was at last convinced that his companion was no spy, when the Jacobin one day got out of his bed quite naked, and began to preach, with all his might, things that were neither rhyme nor reason. My lieutenant and I saw all their manoeuvres through a hole over the door.'
When the Sieur became intemperate in his language and scribbled libels on the wall with coals, an officer of St. Mars was directed to threaten him with the cudgel like an ordinary lunatic; a proceeding quite in the spirit of Louvois' commands, J'admire vôtre patience,' he writes to the governor, et que vous attendiez un ordre pour traiter un fripon comme il le mérite, quand il vous manque de respect.' L'Estang received castigation meekly: for in a few days he presented a valuable ring to the officer who had menaced him; it was delivered to the governor, and by him laid aside, to be restored with the rest of the prisoner's effects, if ever the king should set him at liberty. The same respect to property was usual at the Bastille.
In 1681, St. Mars was removed to the command of Exiles, a few leagues from Pignerol, but Matthioli and his companion were not suffered to pass into the hands of a new gaoler; St. Mars carried them with him. They travelled in a litter and under military escort. Their new lodging was prepared with the most anxious attention to secrecy; two soldiers of St. Mars's own company watched the tower in which they lay; passengers were not allowed to linger in its neighbourhood; and the governor could observe the sentinels from his own window. A lieutenant slept above the prisoners, and received from the servants whatever was brought for their use; their physician never spoke to them but in St. Mars's presence; a permanent screen was contrived, so that the priest who said mass to them did not see their persons, and their confessor was un homme de bien et fort vieux,' who was commanded never to ask their names or inquire into their former condition, to receive no message or writing
from them, and never to talk of them en nulle manière du monde.'
In December, 1685, we find the governor announcing that his prisoners continue sick,' du reste ils sont dans une grande quiétude.' In 1687, his report is of one prisoner only. The correspondence as disclosed by the present pamphlet affords no actual demonstration that this person was. Matthioli; the defect of proof is inconsiderable, but it still is a chasm, of which some hardy disputant may hereafter take notable advantage. The knights-errant of hypothesis have often marched horse and foot through as small a breach.
St. Mars was made governor, in 1687, of that island on the coast of Provence, in which Voltaire fixes the abode of his unknown. Matthioli, whose companion had died, according to M. Delort, in the unwholesome prison of Exiles, was removed from that place in a chair borne by men, and covered with oilcloth, sa that he was invisible even to the soldiers who closely surrounded him. The unfortunate captive fell sick on the way, for want of air; St. Mars hastened his journey, but still kept his prisoner from all men's view, of course exciting, by his precautions, a general eagerness to know who the concealed person was. His bed, furniture and table linen (which can hardly have been such as Anne of Austria loved) were left behind as not worth transportation and sold for thirteen crowns.
Matthioli passed eleven years of captivity in the Isle of Ste. Marguerite. His chamber is described in a topographical work as lighted by a single grated window on the north side, opening to seaward, in a wall nearly four feet thick. It is here that he is described by some writers as richly dressed, supplied with laces from Paris, served at table with silver plate, sometimes wearing a mask of iron, at others amusing himself in solitude by plucking out the hairs of his beard with steel pincers. Here too it is said that Louvois visited the captive and paid him so much respect as to remain standing in his presence. After the quotations we have made, it cannot be necessary to bestow much attention upon these tales; St. Mars said that on the journey from Exiles he satisfied the inquisitive with des contes jaunes;' and we may safely pronounce these to be of the same colour.
The romantic story of the writing picked up by a fisherman is plausibly accounted for by a communication of St. Mars. Two protestant ministers were consigned to his charge the year after his arrival in Provence; one of them endeavoured to publish his condition by singing psalms night and day; the other by writing sorry stuff (des pauvretés') on his linen, and pewter vessels, signifying that he was imprisoned for the purity of his faith. They
receivedune grosse discipline' for their contumacy, but the scribbled pewter was transformed by gossips into a silver plate; with the inscription, Louis de Vermandois, fils naturel de Louis XIV.
It is remarkable that during Matthioli's residence in the Isle Ste. Marguerite, there were persons who knew what prisoner was confined there, and made disclosures on the subject, inaccurate in many points, but yet coming so near the truth as to show that they were not thrown out at random. A political work entitled Histoire Abrégée de l'Europe, printed at Leyden three or four months after Matthioli's removal from Exiles, contained a letter to the publishers, in Italian, relating, as strange but authentic news, the negociation for Casal, and the treacherous arrest of the duke of Mantua's secretary near Turin, for having thwarted the designs of France; adding that the unfortunate man, after being conveyed to Pignerol, had at length been carried to the Isle Ste. Marguerite, where he then remained. M. Dutens, in his Correspondance Interceptée, and afterwards in his Mé moires d'un Voyageur, has quoted the statements of two persons employed by St. Mars while on the coast of Provence, who were evidently acquainted with the prisoner's quality, and knew something, though inaccurately, of the cause and manner of his arrest. We find, too, preserved in Muratori's annals, a tradition that Matthioli, being sent in a diplomatic character to Turin after the affair of Casal, permitted himself to be entrapped by the French, was carried by them to Pignerol, and there ended his days in prison. It was naturally to be supposed that the disappearance of this active and well-known politician would have given rise to investigations, and perhaps to a correspondence of state, some traces of which might still be extant. None, however, have been discovered. It is said, indeed, that in 1687, when the letter on Matthioli's imprisonment was published at Leyden, Ferdinand remonstrated with the French court, but was answered by a positive denial of the imputed treachery. If the account we have given of the duke's conduct and character be just, it appears scarcely probable that he should at any time have exerted himself seriously on this subject. Although he had possessed the requi site courage and perseverance, yet after the renewal of his engage ments with France, when he excused his former tergiversation at the expense of Matthioli, it is not likely that he would assume with Pomponne or Louvois the high tone of an independent prince in behalf of his unfortunate and disavowed agent; on the other hand, there were several considerations which would tempt him to acquiesce in Matthioli's removal as conducive to his own quiet and security.