<297> pass the mountains into Bohemia and march as far as Melnik, where the Elbe ceases to be navigable; here, having the navigation of the Elbe free behind him, he is sure of being supplied with provisions and other necessary stores, and, as he does not think that the Austrians will be soon ready to attack him, he imagines they will throw in a strong garrison into Prague, that, as the winter approaches, he can have good quarters in Bohemia, which will disorder the finances at Vienna and perhaps render that court more reasonable, that, if the Austrians should attempt to pass into Silesia, he can easily recall them by sending a detachment after them, and they must return to save the magazines they have1 in Bohemia, besides the marshal Schwerin is in Silesia at the head of almost 30,000 men.

The reasons the King of Prussia gives for his marching into Bohemia, are that, by being there, he can prevent the Austrians from getting between him and his own country, which they might have done, had he gone into Silesia; that, in the position he had chosen, he should be able to succour and to protect his own country, and, if things went on successfully, to be of use to Hannover if attacked, which he does not think can happen this year. He said he had drawn together his troops round Berlin to be ready to move all at once, that he had ordered several camps to be marked out, particularly that at Hornburg,2 which he never intended to occupy, that his design in this was pour donner le change à ses ennemis, who, he believed, had not yet penetrated his real intentions, that, for fear of discovering them, he had not only not asked for a passage trough Saxony but forbid his minister to say anything tili the 29th, that count Brühl would make a great clamour, but he knew how to quiet this gentleman, being possessed of many of his letters and negociations.

The King of Prussia computes the three divisions of his army, when joined, at 65,000 men, and he reckons that the Empress-Queen can bring into Bohemia upwards of 55,000. The King of Prussia's troops are perfectly complete, and he has lately added a hundred supernumeraries to every regiment. …Late in the evening on Friday he sent me the inclosed line of battle for His Majesty's use. —

Notwithstanding the favourable appearance at the court of Petersburg, there is intelligence that they have lately sent into Lithuania and Poland several persons3 to survey the roads, from which and other circumstances it is imagined that they intend either to attack Prussia or to march through Poland and make a diversion in Silesia, in case the Empress-Queen should been attacked in Bohemia; whichsoever of of these events may happen, the King of Prussia is prepared, having

1 In dem Mitchell'schen Letter-Book (British Museum) „leave“ .

2 Vergl. S. 25.

3 Vergl. S. 212. 213.