[Meissen, April 1761.]

Mitchell berichtet an Bute, Meissen 13. April 1761 (most secret): „Immediately upon my arrival here, I had the honour of communicating to the King of Prussia the copy of the Duke of Choiseul's letter to Mr. Secretary Pitt of the 26th of March 1761, together with the mémoire inclosed in the same, transmitted to me in Your Lordship's most secret letter of the 1st of April. His Prussian Majesty seemed extremely sensible of this mark of the King's friendship and confidence, and, as I have since had several conversations with him, I propose to give Your Lordship an account of everything that has passed upon this important affair.

The King of Prussia took notice that the declaration delivered by Prince Galizin at London, proposing a congress to be held at Augsburg, was very different from that made by the court of France to the court of Sweden, in which a general armistice was mentioned for all the belligerant powers, whereas in that delivered by Prince Galizin an armistice was proposed only between England and France, and he observed that France, to avoid the inconveniency of a congress, had, in her declaration to the court of Stockholm, offered to charge herself with the interests of her allies, as England would do with regard to hers. From those remarks His Prussian Majesty concluded, first, that France had not been able to persuade her allies to trust their affairs in her hands; secondly, that the Queen of Hungary yielded unwillngly to the pacific views of France, unless perhaps she flattered herself that, by the means of this negotiation, England might be detached and separated from Prussia; and, thirdly, that the Empress Queen, having complied with the views of France for à separate negotiation with England, would hearken to no proposals for a general peace but by the means of a congress, trusting to the slowness of negotiations of that soft, and resolving to hazard another campaign in hopes of a favourable event which may give her the ascendant in the negotiations begun.

Upon the King of Prussia's asking me what I thought of his conjectures, I replied they deserved another name, and might more properly be called demonstrations. I then insinuated that in all his reasonings he had supposed France sincere, as well in the proposal for a general peace as in that for a separate one with England, but that I<638> could not help doubting of the sincerity of France, especially since their late advantages in Hesse, which must have been known at Paris at the time the Duke of Choiseul's letter was written, which was five days later than the defeat of the Hereditary Prince.

His Prussian Majesty answered with some warmth: « You are certainly mistaken, for France is sincere in the offers she has made. By all the intelligence I can have from that country, the nation is tired of the war and dissatisfied with the alliance. The late affair that happened at Langensalza to the troops under the command of Monsieur de Stainville has raised flame at Paris, and they openly complain of the Austrian general Hadik as the cause of that disgrace; but there is still a stronger reason which is the ruin of her commerce and credit, by which France is deprived of the necessary resources to carry on the war. »

I afterwards took the liberty to ask what could induce the Empress Queen to agree to the proposal for a congress, since it was sufficient for her purpose to have obliged France by consenting to their treating separately with England. To this the King of Prussia said that, though this proposal for a congress was an imposition upon the public, the hopes of a general peace might encourage her subjects to pay the heavy taxes with more alacrity, might have an effect upon the Spaniards with regard to their pretensions upon Italy, and upon the Turks, in case they had any intention to attack the Empress Queen by holding out to them a negotiation begun and, as they would pretend, ready to be concluded.

When I asked the King of Prussia what he thought was the readiest and most probable way of obtaining a general pacification so much wished for, and so much wanted by all the parties concerned, except the Empress Queen, his answer was that the separate peace between France and England must serve as the basis of the whole, that, so soon as their differences were entirely settled, those two powers concerting together might agree upon preliminary articles for a general peace, which the other belligerant powers must accept of, and thereby put an end to a war destructive of mankind, and which has already lasted too long.

In the course of conversation, the King of Prussia dropped that he had written to his ministers in England to desire that a general armistice might be proposed by the King; but, as he did not insist upon it nor say anything to support the hint he had thrown put, I thought proper to say nothing upon the subject, fearing that this demand of a general armistice might afford a pretence to the French for retarding the separate treaty with England, which, in the present situation of affairs in Gerrnany, might be detrimental to the King's interest.

The King of Prussia does not seem much to rely upon the assurances given in the Duke of Choiseul's letter that the allies of France<639> will act, in what concerns the King of Prussia, with the same simplicity and frankness as France does towards His Majesty ...“

Nach der Ausfertigung im Public Record Office zu London.