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836
n
IRON MASK


writing the name “Marthioly” in his letters; but further consideration leaves this argument decidedly weak. In any case the age stated in the burial register, “about 45, ” was fictitious, whether for Mattioli (63) or Dauger (at least 53); and, as Lair points out, Saint-Mars is known to have given false names at the burial of other prisoners. Monsignor Barnes, in The Man of the Mask (1908), takes the entry “ Marchioly ” as making it certain that the prisoner was not Mattioli, on the ground (1) that the lawl explicitly ordered a false name to be given, and (2) that after hiding his identity so carefully the authorities were not likely to give away the secret by means of a burial register.

In spite of Funck-Brentano it appears practically certain that Mattioli must be ruled out. If he was the individual who died in 1703 at the Bastille, the obscurity which gathered round the nameless masked prisoner is almost incomprehensible, for there was no real secret about Mattioli's incarceration. The existence of a “legend ” as to Dauger can, however, be traced, as will be seen below, from the first. Any one who accepts the Mattioli theory must be driven, as Lang suggests, to suppose that the mystery which grew up about the unknown prisoner was somehow transferred to Mattioli from Dauger. The Dauger Theory.-What then was Dauger's history? Unfortunately it is only in his capacity as a prisoner that we can trace it. On the 19th of July 1669 Louvois, Louis XIV.'s minister, writes to Saint-Mars at Pignerol that he is sending him “le nommé Eustache Dauger ” (Dauger, D'Angers-the spelling is doubtful), ' whom it is of the last importance to keep with special closeness; Saint»Mars is to threaten him with death if he speaks about anything except his actual needs. On the same day Louvois orders Vauroy, major of the citadel of Dunkirk, to seize Dauger and conduct him to Pignerol. Saint-Mars writes to Louvois (Aug. 21) that Vauroy had brought Dauger, and that people “ believe him to be a marshal of F rance.” Louvois (March 26, 1670) refers to a report that one of Fouquet's valets-there was constant trouble about them-had spoken to Dauger, who asked to be left in peace, and he emphasizes the importance of there being no communication. Saint-Mars (April 12, 1670) reports Dauger as “resigné a la volonté de Dieu et du Roy, ” and (again the legend grows) says that “ there are persons who are inquisitive about my prisoner, and I am obliged to tell routes jaunes pour me maquer d'cux.” In 1672 Saint-Mars proposes-the significance of this action is discussed later-to allow Dauger to act as “ valet ” to Lauzun; Louvois firmly refuses, but in 167 5 allows him to be employed as valet to Fouquet, and he impresses upon Saint-Mars the importance of nobody learning about Dauger's “ past.” After Fouquet's death (1680) Dauger and Fouquet's other (old-standing) valet La Riviére are put together, by Louvois's special orders, in one lower dungeon; Louvois evidently fears their knowledge of things heard from Fouquet, and he orders Lauzun (who had recently been allowed to converse freely with Fouquet) to be told that they are released. When Saint-Mars is transferred to Exiles, he is ordered to take these two with him, as too important to be in other hands; Mattioli is left behind. At Exiles they are separated and guarded with special precautions; and in January 1687 one of them (all the evidence admittedly pointing to La Riviere) dies. When Saint-Mars is again transferred, in May 1687, to Ste Marguerite, he takes his “ prisoner ” (apparently he now has only one—Dauger) with great show of caution; and next year (jan. S, 1688) he writes to Louvois that “ mon prisonnier” is believed “ in all this province " to be a son of Oliver Cromwell, or else the duke of Beaufort (a point which at once rules out Beaufort). In 1691 Louvois's successor, Barhezieux, writes to him about his “prisonnier de vingt ans ” (Dauger was first imprisoned in 1669, Mattioli in 1679), and Saint-Mars replies that “nobody has seen him but myself.” Subsequently Barbezieux and the governor continue to write to one another about their “ ancien prisonnier ” 1 He cites Bingham's Bastille, i. 27.

It was the common practice to give pseudonyms to prisoners, and this is clearly such a case. Matuolrs prison name was Lcstang. MASK

(Jan. 6, 1696; Nov. 17, 1697). When, therefore, we come to Saint-Mars's appointment to the Bastille in 1698, Dauger appears almost certainly to be the “ ancien prisonnier ” he took with him.” There is at least good ground for supposing Mattioli's death to have been indicated in 1694, but nothing is known that would imply Dauger's, unless it was he who died in 1703. Theories as lo Dauger's Identity.-Here we find not only sufficient indication of the growth of a legend as to Dauger, but also the existence in fact of a real mystery as to who he was and what he had done, two things both absent in Mattioli's case. The only “missing link” is the want of any precise allusion to a mask in the references to Dauger. But in spite of du ]unca's emphasis on the mask, it is in reality very questionable whether the wearing of a mask was an unusual practice. It was one obvious way of enabling a prisoner to appear in public (for exercise or in travelling) without betrayal of identity. Indeed three years before the arrival of Saint-Mars we hear (Gazette d'Amsterdam, March 14, 1695) of another masked man being brought to the Bastille, who eventually was known to be the son of a Lyons banker.

Who then was Dauger, and what was his “ past ”? We will take first a theory propounded by Andrew Lang in The Valefs Tragedy (1903). As the result of research in the diplomatic correspondence at the Record Office in London 4 Mr Lang finds a clue in the affairs of the French Huguenot, Roux de Marsilly, the secret agent for a Protestant league against France between Sweden, Holland, England and the Protestant cantons of Switzerland, who in February 1669 left London, where he had been negotiating with Arlington (apparently with Charles II.'s knowledge), for Switzerland, his confidential valet Martin remaining behind. On the 14th of April 1669 Marsilly was kidnapped for Louis XIV. in Switzerland, in defiance of international right, taken to! Paris and on the 22nd of June tortured to death on a trumped-up charge of rape. The duke of York; is said to have betrayed him to Colbert, the French ambassador in London. The English intrigue was undoubtedly a serious: matter, because the shifty Charles II. was at the same time: negotiating with Louis XIV. a secret alliance against Holland, in support of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England.. It would therefore be desirable for both parties to removef anybody who was cognizant of the double dealing. Now Louvois's original letter to Saint-Mars concerning Dauger (July 19, 1669), after dealing with the importance of his being: guarded with special closeness, and of Saint-Mars personally taking him food and threatening him with death if he speaks, proceeds as follows (in a second paragraph, as printed in Delort, 1.155,156):— I

“ Ie mande au Sieur Poupart de faire incessamment travailler £1 ce que vous désirerez, et vous ferez préparer les meubles qui sont nécessaires pour la yie de celui que l'on vous aménera, observant que comme ce n est qu'un valet, il ne lui en faut pas de bien considérables, ct']e vous feral rembourser tant de la dispenses des meubles, que de ce que vous désirerez pour sa nourriture.”

Assuming the words here, “as he is only a valet, ” to refer to Dauger, and taking into account the employment of Dauger from 1675 to 168O as Fouquet's valet, Mr' Lang now obtains a. solution of the problem of why a mere valet should be a political 3 l7unck»Brentano argues that “ un ancien prisonnier qu'il avait 5. Ptgnerol " (du ]unca's words) cannot apply to Dauger, because then du Junca would have added "et a Exiles.” But this is decidedly far-fetched; du junca would naturally refer specially to Pignerol, the fortress with which Saint-Mars had been originally and particularly associated. Funck-Brentano also insists that the references to the “ ancien prisonnier " in 1696 and 1697 must be to Mattioli, giving ancien the meaning of “ late ” or “ former ” (as in the phrase “ancien min1stre ), and regarding it as an expression pertinent to Mattioh, who had been at Pignerol with Saint-Mars but not at Exiles, and not to Dauger, who had always been with Saint-Mars. But when he attempts to force du ]unca's phrase “un ancien prisonnier qu'il avait a Pignerol " into this sense, he is straining language. The natural interpretation of the word ancien is simply “ o old standing, " and Barbezieux's use of it, coming after Louvois's phrase in 1691, clearly points to Dauger being meant. 4 This identification had been previously suggested by H. Mont-ZllI(lOI1 in Revue de la société des études historiquex for 1888, p. 452, and

by A. le Grain in L'I1z£cr/nédiaire dex chcrchcufs for 1891, col. 227-228.