Berlin, 26. Juli 1756,

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 30. Juli: „The King of Prussia came to Berlin last Monday.121-5 In the audience I had, I have obeyed His Majesty's instructions signified to me in your Lordship's letter of the 13th instant.

As to the alarm that has been occasioned by the motion of some of the troops,121-6 the King of Prussia says thèse motions did not begin on his part, that, upon the news of the march of the Russian army towards the frontiers of Prussia, he had ordered eleven battalions of infantry121-7 and one regiment of hussars121-8 to march into Pomerania, that hitherto not one single man was sent into Silesia, notwithstanding the certain intelligence he had had of very formidable encampments to be made in Bohemia and in Moravia near his frontiers, that all the measures he had taken, were only precautionary and calculated for his own security, and that I could serve as a witness that all ostentation and parade had been avoided in the préparations he had made, that<122> he would on this occasion shew that deference and regard what was due to any advice offered on the part of His Majesty, as far as it was consistent with his own safety, which he was persuaded His Majesty had sincerely at heart.

I then acquainted the King of Prussia with His Majesty's views of bringing about a good understanding between the courts of Petersburg and Berlin,122-1 and pointed out to him the means His Majesty had proposed for that purpose.122-2

The King of Prussia said it was too late to attempt this, he feared His Majesty's interest in Russia was lost, that this measure appeared to him ill founded and could have no effect, that in the present circumstances (alluding to the treaty he supposes to be between the courts of Vienna and Russia)122-3 he did not think it proper that anything should be said to the court of Russia directly from him, but that he had that complaisance for His Majesty that he authorized me to acquaint Sir Charles Williams that he, King of Prussia, had given the strongest assurances to His Majesty that the late armaments had relation only to his own security and, so far from being meant offensively against the Czarina, that His Prussian Majesty was inclined to enter into the most friendly concert of measures with the court of Petersburg in conjunction with the King$#133;122-4

I have made use of all the materials your Lordship was pleased to furnish me with, in order to prepare the King of Prussia for the second proposai I was directed to make to him, viz. that of a camp somewhere in the neighbourhood of Wesel. He answered immediately it was impossible, that he had already given Orders for withdrawing some of his troops from Wesel, Guelderland etc.122-5 and believed that about this time they might be on their march towards the camp near Halberstadt, that there were but seven battalions at Cleves and not one single tent in the garrison, that he had even been obliged to order some of his peasants to be brought in, for the defence of his garrisontowns during the absence of the troops.

…I took the liberty to say that, if reports were spread as if an encampment was intended this autumn to be formed near Wesel, and if the peasants were ordered in the strong places with some eclat, it might be of use in Holland to facilitate the augmentation, and that, if he would at the same time be pleased to order his minister at the Hague to give assurances of his protection and support not only to the government, but privately to the towns to encourage them to make the augmentation, it could not fail of producing a good effect;122-6 to which<123> the King of Prussia agreed, and this is all I could obtain after a very long conférence …“

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 30. Juli (secret): „The Marquis de Valory had an audience of the King of Prussia last Monday,123-1 which lasted but a few minutes. He had before delivered to Count Podewils a letter of which your Lordship has a copy inclosed.123-2 Count Podewils said in my hearing to the King of Prussia that Marquis de Valory had said he would pawn his head that the Empress-Queen had no intention to attack him; to which Podewils replied: ·Will your court guarantee that?“ Here the King of Prussia interrupted him and said: « You are wrong, France will promise to give no assistance to the Empress-Queen against me, provided I will, on my part, promise to give no assistance to the King of England, but I am resolved to do no such things, I will fulfill my engagements with the King of England. » He then said to Count Podewils « I will tell you what answer to give Valory; » of which I send your Lordship a copy. I have reason to believe it is the King of Prussia's own writing.123-3

When I went into the closet after Marquis de Valory's audience, the King said with an air of good humour « Je ne veux pas que ces Messieurs me parlent comme on parle aux Hollandais, et qu ils me disent quel traité je dois remplir on non. »“

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 30. Juli (very secret): „When I was in the King's closet last Monday, he read over to me and afterwards gave the copy of Monsieur de Knyphausen's letter to be transmitted to His Majesty.123-4 It is to be observed that Monsieur de Knyphausen is absolutely uninformed of the intrigues of the court of Vienna at the court of Russia, and the King of Prussia thinks that the court of France are not thoroughly acquainted with them, he is likewise of opinion that the French (from the présent disposition they have made of their troops) will not march into Germany this year, but to render this more certain and at the same time to shew the friendship and regard he has for His Majesty, he has declared to me that he will delay beginning his opérations tili towards the end of August, though he says he is at this moment ready and could be in Silesia in six days.

…The King of Prussia's intention of communicating to the court of France123-5 the instruction he has given to Monsieur de Klinggräffen at Vienna, is meant to amuse them, and to prevent their making any altération in the disposition of the troops, so as to render their march<124> into Germany practicable this year; which he thinks he shall be able to do in the following manner.

He foresees what will be the answer of the court of Vienna, and intends to direct his minister at that court to ask a second audience of the Empress-Queen, in which he will lay open to Her Imperial Majesty the intelligence the King of Prussia has of a treaty entered into between Her Majesty and the court of Russia to attack him at the same time, and the discovery he has made that the execution of this scheme is only delayed tili next year, because the Russians were not ready,124-1 that, notwithstanding this, if Her Imperial Majesty will give him assurances that she will not attack him neither this nor the next year, he will be satisfied and will give reciprocal assurances to Her Imperial Majesty on his part.

After his minister has made this déclaration at the court of Vienna, he proposes about the 10th or 15th of next month to communicate this Step to the court of France, before they can hear of it from Vienna, and at the same time to lay open to them the whole intrigues of the court of Vienna with the court of Russia, many of which he believes have been concealed from the court of France; this will naturally occasion some messages between these courts, and he thinks that, towards the end of August, the French will find the season too far advanced for them to attempt a march into Germany to attack His Majesty's dominions by way of diversion, especially as they have not yet formed magazines for that purpose.

The inclosed memoir I received from the King of Prussia with directions to send it to His Majesty; to his serious consideration he submits it.

The King of Prussia expects that His Majesty will give Orders to the persons he employs in France or elsewhere, to get what intelligence they can concerning any designs that may be framing against the interests of His Prussian Majesty, and that your Lordship will be so good to communicate the same from time to time.“


Après tous les bons avis que nous avons reçus des desseins des Autrichiens et de leurs intrigues, tant en Russie qu'en France, il ne reste au Roi d'autre parti pour sa sûreté que de prévenir ses ennemis. Le Roi est informé des mouvements que les troupes russes ont faits;124-2 par ces nouvelles il se croit être en sûreté contre toute leur mauvaise volonté pendant le cours de l'hiver. Le Roi ne demande aucun secours au roi d'Angleterre. Si ce Prince veut lui fournir une escadre dans la Baltique124-3 l'année qui vient, ce sera un sujet nouveau de reconnaissance que la cour de Berlin aura à celle de Londres ; si le roi<125> d'Angleterre croit avoir besoin de sa flotte ailleurs, surtout pour la défense de son île, le Roi renonce à ce secours, il veut même par amitié pour le roi d'Angleterre différer le commencement de ses opérations jusqu'à la fin, à peu près le 24, d'août, pour que les Français n'aient cette année ni le prétexte ni le moyen de passer en Allemagne.125-1

On prie le roi d'Angleterre de se servir utilement de ce temps, en poussant les Hollandais à faire une augmentation de 30,000 hommes de leur troupes de terre, en tirant des troupes subsidiaires, 4,000 de Gotha, 6,000 de Darmstadt, 5,000 de Brunswick, 8,000 Hessois, en donnant des subsides aux Bavarois, en y joignant les 3,000 Anspachois, en augmentant ses troupes de l'électorat à 22,000 hommes; le tout, joint ensemble, formerait une armée d'au moins 74,000 hommes. Si cette armée, le printemps qui vient, se portait dans le duché de Bergues, et que, se tenant sur la défensive, elle trouvât le moyen d'arrêter tout court les Français, soit dans l'électorat de Cologne, soit dans le Palatinat, elle ferait évanouir tous les desseins de nos ennemis, elle couvrirait en même temps le pays de Darmstadt, la Hesse, la Franconie, la Westphalie et la Hollande, elle se trouverait à portée de secourir lequel de ces États qui serait menacé de l'invasion des Français, et mettrait en sûreté l'électorat d'Hanovre et toutes les possessions des princes de l'Empire. Si la France dégarnit ses côtes le long de la Manche pour former cette armée, la flotte anglaise pourra en profiter et faire des descentes sur les côtes dégarnies, donner des alarmes le long de la Bretagne et de la Normandie. Si toutes ces troupes restent le long de la mer, la France n'aura sur le Rhin d'armée guère plus torte que 50,000 hommes, les alliés auront la supériorité et, en la tenant inutile sur les bords du Rhin, la cause commune y gagne autant dans la crise présente que par le gain de batailles.

Ce projet mérite attention; si on veut l'exécuter, il n'y a pas un moment à perdre et il faut travailler dès à présent pour être prêt dès le commencement du printemps de l'année r757. C'est l'unique moyen de continuer la guerre et d'en espérer une bonne issue; si nous restons les bras croisés, nous serons écrasés successivement les uns après les autres, faute de nous être prévalus des avantages que le bénéfice du temps et notre vigilance pouvaient nous donner, mais il n'y a pas un moment à perdre. Le Roi, voyant qu'une puissante ligue s'est formée contre lui, est le premier de s'y opposer, sa sûreté ne lui permet pas de différer, et il espère de se trouver par là en état de servir plus utilement ses alliés dans le courant de cette guerre.

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 30. Juli (separate), nach Mittheilung einer Besprechung mit dem preussischen Gesandten von<126> Häseler über die mit dem kopenhagener Hofe einzuleitende Unterhandlung:126-1 … [The King of Prussia] approves of the plan laid down and will give directions to his minister to begin by insinuating to the court of Denmark the danger to religion and to the liberties of the Empire, from the association that is now forming of the Catholic princes, giving them to understand at the same time that this alliance126-2 is meant to preserve things in the situation they are and ought to be in by the constitution of the Empire, without any intention of making innovations of any sort.

…The King of Prussia desires me to write to Mr. Titley by his minister, in order to bring them together in a friendly way …

Mitchell berichtet an Holdernesse, Berlin 30. Juli (particular): „, …The King of Prussia tells me that the French intend to push the Dutch to accede to the maritime union with Sweden and Denmark,126-3 but it is hoped that the measure His Majesty has lately taken of releasing their ships,126-4 will effectually disappoint this attempt …“

Mitchell übersendet mit dem gleichen Bericht die Copie einer Relation Hellen's, Haag 18. Juli.126-5

Nach den Ausfertigungen im Public Record Office zu London. Das „Memoire“ nach der eigenhändigen Ausfertigung im British Museum zu London,


121-5 26. Juli.

121-6 Georg II. hatte durch den Erlass Holdernesse's an Mitchell, Whitehall 13. Juli, dem Könige von Preussen den Rath geben lassen, bei den Rüstungen mit möglichster Vorsicht vorzugehen, da Oesterreich alles aufbieten werde, um jeden Schritt des Königs in einem falschen Lichte erscheinen zu lassen. [British Museum.]

121-7 Vergl. Bd. XII, 463.

121-8 Husarenregiment Seydlitz in Stolpe. Vergl. S. 5.

122-1 Vergl. Bd. XII, 360.

122-2 Vergl. den Auszug aus dem Erlass des Grafen Holdernesse vom 13. Juli unter Nr. 7774.

122-3 Auf Grund des durch Hellen übersandten Berichts Swart's vom 19. Juni. Vergl. S. 114. 116; auch S. 95.

122-4 Vergl. den Entwurf zu dem hierauf erfolgten Schreiben Mitchell's an Williams unter Nr. 7774.

122-5 Vergl. S. 89; Bd. XII, 434.

122-6 Vergl. Nr. 7766.

123-1 26. Juli.

123-2 Vergl. Nr. 7763.

123-3 Vergl. Nr. 7764.

123-4 Gemeint ist der Bericht Knyphausen's, Compiègne 15. Juli. Vergl. Nr. 7760. 7761.

123-5 An Valory. Vergl. Nr. 7763.

124-1 Vergl. S. 114.

124-2 Vergl. S. 15. 41.

124-3 Vergl. S. 34. 98; Bd. XII, 506.

125-1 Vergl. s. 123. 124.

126-1 Die Vorschläge Häseler*s gingen, nach dem Bericht Mitchell's, dahin: „That the negociation at the court of Denmark should be begun by the King of Prussia, taken up afterwards and seconded by His Majesty … If the Danes can once be persuaded of the danger to religion and to the liberties of the Empire, he thinks they will come into a provisional treaty for the defence of both, that no more should be asked of them at first, for fear of exciting their jealousy; that, this once obtained, they might be brought afterwards to greater lengths … that no mention should be made [at first] of subsidy the persons to be applied to at the court of Denmark, are the grand-master Moltke (vergl. S. 103), who should take the lead, Monsieur de Bernstorff, Monsieur de Berckentin and Monsieur Dehn, all zealous in matters of religion as the King himself is likewise, without however being superstitious (vergl, Bd. XII, 409),

126-2 Zwischen Dänemark und England.

126-3 Vergl. Bd. XII, 502.

126-4 Vergl. S. 99.

126-5 Hellen giebt in seinem Bericht vom 18. Juli weitere Mittheilungen aus dem Berichte Swart's, Petersburg 19. Juni (vergl. S. 116). Hellen nennt die verschiedenen französischen Diplomaten, welche man nach der Meldung Swart's für den Gesandtschaftsposten in Petersburg in Betracht gezogen habe (vergl. S. 112), und fährt dann fort: [Le sieur Swart] allègue, comme un échantillon de la prétendue politique profonde [des Russes], qu'ils prévoient que, dans la guerre qu'ils se proposent de faire avec la cour de Vienne à Votre Majesté, la France, qui, selon eux, ne peut avoir sincèrement envie que la maison d'Autriche devienne plus puissante aux dépens de Votre Majesté, L'assistera, pour se L'attirer dans ses intérêts; que cette conduite la brouillera bientôt avec la cour de Vienne; que l'Angleterre, jalouse de cette assistance, se détachera de son côté de Votre Majesté; que, si cela lui convient, l'impératrice de Russsie aura un bon prétexte de rompre alors les liaisons qu'elle compte de faire aujourd'hui avec la France; qu'elle pourra faire bien ses conditions avec l'Angleterre et se stipuler de gros subsides, et que tout rentrera alor; dans l'ancien système. Voilà comme ils se proposent de duper tout le monde par leur politique raffinée; que, dans le moment présent, ils ont le dessein d'augmenter leurs troupes sur la frontière, croyant faire accroire par là à l'Angleterre que cette armée sera à sa disposition et qu'ils resteront fidèles à leurs engagements. J'ai découvert que c'est le sieur Peetöf ou Peeteew, commis du Vice-chancelier, qui a passé ici incognito, et non pas le sieur Wesselowski (vergl. S. 95); et comme celui-ci doit être un homme fort décrépit et d'ailleurs originairement juif, je soupçonne que c'est le premier qui est chargé d'une commission à la cour de France, d'autant qu'il est 1 homme de confiance du comte de Woronzow, dont il doit avoir remis une dépêche au comte de Golowkin, chez qui il a dîné en passant ici.