By July 19, at all events, Louvois, the War Minister of Louis XIV., was bidding Saint- Mars, at Pignerol in Piedmont, expect from Dunkirk a prisoner of the very highest importance a valet! This valet, now called "Eustache Dauger," can only have been Marsilly's valet, Martin, who, by one means or another, had been brought from England to Dunkirk.
The granitic mountains of Calabria, covered with very recent breccias, the calcareous chain of the Apennines, the country of Pignerol, the coasts of Portugal and Greece, those of Peru and Terra Firma, afford striking proofs of this fact.
Together with that of the grand equerry he ordered the immediate arrest of M. de Thou, his intimate friend; and the order went out to secure the Duke of Bouillon, then at the head of the army of Italy. He, caught, like Marshal Marillac, in the midst of his troops, had vainly attempted to conceal himself; but he was taken and conducted to the castle of Pignerol.
His wife and some officers of the chateau of Pignerol had permission to see him, and to tell him the news of the day.
When the hundred copies were got together, counted, carefully looked through and verified, the king himself threw them into the fire and burnt them, all but one, which he kept for his own purposes. Then he ordered the captain of the guards to take the author of the book to M. de Saint-Mars, who confined his prisoner first at Pignerol and then in the fortress of the Ile Sainte-Marguerite.
Between 1689 and 1693 six Protestant preachers were brought to the island, while Louvois, the Minister, died in 1691, and was succeeded by Barbezieux. On August 13, 1691, Barbezieux wrote to ask Saint-Mars about "the prisoner whom he had guarded for twenty years." The only such prisoner was Dauger, who entered Pignerol in August, 1669.
There was thus no mystery, at the time, about Mattioli; his crime and punishment were perfectly well known to students of politics. He has been regarded as the mysterious Man in the Iron Mask, but, for years after his arrest, he was the least mysterious of State prisoners. Brentano, op. cit., p. 117. Here, then, is Mattioli in Pignerol in May, 1679.
The rearguard of General Klenau forced to lay down its arms at Villanova; a thousand prisoners and three pieces of cannon fallen into our hands, and the Austrians driven back beyond Bormida; in all, counting the combats at la Stura and Pignerol, four thousand prisoners, sixteen cannon, Mondovi, and the occupation of the whole region between la Stura and Tanaro so much for Championnet's contingent and the situation in Italy.
The fine clothes and linen, the books, all those luxuries in fact that were lavished on the masked prisoner, were not withheld from Fouquet. It is also known that until the year 1680 Saint-Mars had only two important prisoners at Pignerol, Fouquet and Lauzun.
All the same he commanded the Marshal of his bands to have the trumpet sounded, and to start for Pignerol, where he would follow when he had eaten a mouthful. Meantime the French were marching forward in haste, and were about a mile and a half from Villafranca, when, coming out of a little wood, they met the scouts sent by the lord Prospero to find them.