<576> several conversations I have had with His Prussian Majesty, since his return from Bohemia.1 He is perfectly sensible of the danger to which he is exposed from the power and multiplicity of his enemies, and the late declarations of France, unexpected as they were, rather vex than dispirit him.2 He trusts to the King's friendship, which he is thorougly well disposed to cultivate. He thinks the question now is whether there should be any System at all in Europe or if Germany and the other European powers will tamely submit to the despotism of the houses of Austria and Bourbon; but he is resolved to stand it to the last, and is Willing to concert measures, persuaded as he is that the humbling of the house of Brandenburg is not the only object of the présent combination.

When I asked what part of his troops could be spared to act in conjunction with His Majesty's army in defence of Germany,3 he answered immediately that, in his present situation, he thought it impossible to send any succours to His Majesty, that he should be obliged to abandon Cleves and his other dominions in Westphalia, being unable to defend them, that I should judge myself of his ability, when he stated to me the number of his enemies 162,000 men, which he had reason to expect would appear against him next year. But as His Prussian Majesty was pleased afterwards to send me a mémoire4 in his own handwriting, in which many particulars were mentioned, I send your Lordship a copy of it.

I shall only add that, besides what your Lordship knows is going on in Russia, His Prussian Majesty is likewise attempting something at the Porte,5 in which he reckons upon His Majesty's assistance, as a diversion from that quarter would of all others be the most effectuai.

His Prussian Majesty said he hoped whe should be able to make a better figure at sea next year,6 that a blow there was of the utmost importance and that we should not suffer ourselves to be amused with the alarms of invasions,7 perhaps never intended by France. He added that, in case the French marched into Germany, it might be worth while to alarm them in our turn as if there was a design to land at Ostende, and that is only by embarking a few troops from time to time, without landing them; for he does not advise to make the attempt.

The King of Prussia spoke with warmth of the Dutch and is very desirous that ail means should be made use of to gain them,8 the first point is to get them to agree to an augmentation of their land-forces, that once done, he thinks they may be drawn in by degrees to take a part. He will do everything to further this, and to support His

1 28. October. Vergl. S. 574.

2 Vergl. S. 581. 582. 583.

3 Vergl. S. 241. 243.

4 Vergl. Nr. 8262.

5 Vergl. S. 396. 397.

6 Vergl. S. 100.

7 Vergl. S. 333.

8 Vergl. S. 548.