In his novel The Three Musketeers, Dumas describes Richelieu giving the following paper to Milady de Winter:
C'est par mon ordre et pour le bien de l'Etat que le porteur du present a fait ce qu'il a fait.
3 decembre 1627.
Translated into English:
Dec. 3, 1627
It is by my order and for the good of the state that the bearer of this has done what he has done.
So my two questions:
Is it just a literature, or were these kinds of papers given in the real life of 17th century France?
Does the author refer to a particular kind of official paper which could have been given by a cardinal or a first minister to a known set of people according to a law or a custom, or is this just a note?