I said on this occasion every thing I could to sooth and calm his mind. He replied « I wish we would make peace, and if the King dees, I hope I shall not be sacrificed. » I assured him that he might rely on His Majesty's honour and good faith.

The King of Prussia then said « I will now speak to you as a private man, you know my aversion to all subsidies, that I have ever refused them;1 I thought and I think still it is too mean a footing for me to put myself upon; that, since the late misfortune and attacked as I am on all sides, if Prussia should be occupied by the Russians and the French and Austrians be able to make a farther progress into my dominions, my revenue will greatly fail. I should be glad to know what succour I might expect from the King and from your nation; at the same time I do assure you that my aversion to subsidies is now as strong as ever, and that I shall never accept of any but in the case of absolute necessity, it would however be a satisfaction to me to know the sentiments of the English ministers, if you could sound them. »

I answered that I was persuaded the English ministers would be unanimous upon this point, and that the King had given too many marks of his sincere friendship to leave the least room to doubt of his intentions, but that, by the constitution, no money could be given but by Parliament, which however I believed was as favourably disposed to him as could be wished, and the whole nation were highly pleased with the alliance between His Majesty and him.

The King of Prussia said « I have still good hopes to be able to do without pecuniary assistance, and I give you my word that nothing but absolute and irresistible necessity shall make me be any burden to my allies, and the kinder their dispositions are, I will be the more cautious of not abusing them. » I said if he would give me leave, I would write about it as from myself and in such a manner as not to commit him. To this he agreed as it imports him to know what he may reasonably expect, if the worst should happen. . .

I must observe that it is the first time I ever saw His Prussian Majesty abashed, and this was the only conversation I have had with him, which seemed to give him pain . . “

Nach der Ausfertigung im Public Record Office zu London.


Leitmeritz, 28 [juin 1757].

Ma très chère Sœur. Le dérangement que le malheureux jour du 18 a porté à nos affaires, m'a obligé à lever le siège de Prague et à mettre une de mes armées à Nimburg, dont je reviens, et l'autre ici. Votre courrier ne m'est parvenu qu'à présent.

1 Vergl. Bd. XIII, 98. 101. 102.