Berlin, 19. August 1756.

Mitchell berichtet, Berlin 20. August, an Holdernesse: „The King of Prussia came to Berlin yesterday, and I had a very long audience of him, in which I made use of every argument which your Lordship had suggested upon both the important points,240-1 and such was his goodness to me that he not only heard with patience and attention everything I had to say, that was new, but also suffered me to touch upon some of my former arguments which I thought had made the most impression upon him.

It is not necessary to trouble your Lordship with a detail of this conférence, as the King of Prussia was pleased to send me last night a paper240-2 … which contains his resolutions and the reasons for them.

As to the first point of his not attacking the Empress-Queen and thereby giving her a right to claim the succour from France and from Russia,240-3 he said that was merely a dispute about words, for he that gave the first blow, was not to be considered as the first a ggressor, but he that made that blow necessary and unavoidable, that en temps et lieu he would tell me more of the conduct of the court of Vienna with regard to him than I yet knew. He then told me that he had not yet reeeived an answer to his last demand at the court of Vienna, which was occasioned by a mistake of his minister at that court,240-4 who, when count Kaunitz asked him for a copy of what he was directed to say to the Empress, not thinking himself empowered to give it, had sent a Courier to know his master's pleasure, that he, King of Prussia, had directed him to give the copy required and wondered how his minister could doubt of it, that this accident would occasion a delay of a week or ten days, that he thought the court of Vienna would not reculer, and therefore he expected nothing from their answer, that he was informed there were near 100,000 men in Bohemia and Moravia, that they had also been at a very great expence and had remitted no less than one million of florins to Petersburg. He concluded with saying that he wished for nothing so much as for peace, he knew he could get nothing by war, and yet he was forced to it.

When I urged the fatal consequence that any precipitate measure on his part would have on the King's240-5 affairs at the court of Petersburg, which now seemed to be in a more favourable situation, he answered things were gone too far, it now depended solely on the Empress-Queen.


I took occasion in the course of this conversation to acquaint the King of Prussia with the contents of your Lordship's letter to Sir Charles Williams, and, at the same time, I told him what the court of Russia had done in favour of the King of Sweden, and the declaration their minister was directed to make,241-1 he seemed highly pleased with this and added « C'est la première fois que ces gens-là mont rendu un service. » I said that the Great-Chancellor thought that this incident of the affairs of Sweden would afford an opportunity to him to open the eyes of his mistress with regard to her true interests, which he was resolved to improve; I therefore humbly hoped that the King of Prussia would consider well of the answer from the court of Vienna, as any hostility, begun by him, might throw everything back into the bad Channel.

As to the second point I was directed to speak upon, viz. the succour the King of Prussia would give to His Majesty, in case his German dominions were attacked,241-2 the King of Prussia is still of opinion that the French will not march towards Germany this year, they have yet taken no Steps for that purpose, no magazins of any sort are formed, that he has had emissaries at Lille, Liege and Metz, and they ail agrée in the same report that no preparations are being made there for the reception of troops, that, if the troops were to march, they cannot come from the coasts of the océan into Germany in less than two months or six weeks at soonest.

He then was pleased to say that, as the King thought there was immédiate danger of an attack from France, the troops he had in Pomerania,241-3 which amounted to upwards of 10,000 men, should be at His Majesty's service, but that he could spare them no longer than to the end of the month of February next, and he hoped that by this time the King would be provided for his own defence; as he did not know what enemies he might have to do with next spring.

I confess I was equally surprised and pleased with what the King of Prussia said after the very positive declaration he had formerly made of the impossibility of giving any succour whatever to His Majesty,241-4 and I took courage upon this to represent to him, that, as there was no danger of Russia's taking any part this year, I hoped he would increase the number and spare some regiments out of Prussia or from the camp of Halberstadt. He replied that the distance between Königs<242>berg and Hanover being upwards of 80 German miles, made it impracticable to send soldiers from thence, especially as they must return again early in the spring, that, as to the taking of troops from the cantonment near Halberstadt, that could not be, they were necessary there; if they had not been so, he would not have withdrawn them from Cleves242-1 etc. and thereby left a part of his own dominions exposed and naked.

I next acquainted him with the news from Constantinople,242-2 which gave great pleasure. He approved of acting with caution at that court, for fear of losing Russia, but he hoped that the King's ambassador, who, he said, faisait la pluie et le bon temps là, would not fail to encourage such favourable Symptoms that appeared in the ministers of the Porte, and to improve that jealousy they had so justly conceived upon the bare report of a treaty between France and Vienna.242-3

The King of Prussia told me that, by the latest account he had from France, they seemed rather to attempt an attack upon Guernsey and Jersey than an invasion of Great-Britain or Ireland,242-4 for which he thinks they are not now prepared …“

Nach der Ausfertigung im Public Record Office zu London.

240-1 Erlass des Grafen Holdernesse an Mitchell, Whitehall 6. Augnst. Vergl. Nr. 7S74.

240-2 Nr. 7874.

240-3 Vergl. den Bericht Michell's, London 6. August. Nr. 7880.

240-4 Vergl. S. 209.

240-5 Georg II.

241-1 Nach einem Bericht von Williams an Holdernesse, Petersburg 13. Juli, sollte der russische Gesandte in Stockholm, Panin, beauftragt werden, die Erklärung abzugeben: „That Her Imperial Majesty cannot look with a quiet eye upon all that is now doing in Sweden&'133; and that Her Imperial Majesty insists that His Swedish Majesty be immediately restored to the full exercice of that power which the laws of Sweden allow him.“ [Public Record Office zu London; Russia.]

241-2 Vergl. S. 243.

241-3 Vergl. S. 5; Bd. XII, 463.

241-4 Vergl. S. 101.

242-1 Vergl. S. 89. 222.

242-2 Holdernesse übersendet, Whitehall 6. August (separate), an Mitchell ein Schreiben Porters, des englischen Gesandten in Constantinopel, an Fox, den englischen Staatssecretär für die südlichen Angelegenheiten, d. d. Constantinopel 2. Juli, in welchem Schreiben über die durch den versailler Vertrag veranlasste Beunruhigung der türkischen Machthaber Bericht erstattet wird. [British Museum, London.]

242-3 Vergl. S. 180.

242-4 Vergl. S. 212.