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opportunity should be lost. The King of Prussia, by his conduct in the affairs of Poland, Courland, Holstein, &c. seems to have given stability to the alliance formed between him and the late Emperor, although some differences and coolnesses have, from time to time, arisen. He appears hitherto to have desired, even with jealousy, to reserve that connection exclusively to himself, and to have remained almost continually indisposed towards Great Britain. In September last, his minister Count Solmes told Sir George Macartney, with whom he has been at constant variance, that, "if Russia had any intention of concluding a treaty with us, and admitting an exception for Turkey, he had orders from his master to oppose it in the strongest manner."
I agree with you therefore totally, my Lord, in concluding, that the only practicable road towards a happy issue in this negotiation must be opened and smoothed by the court of Berlin; and as a triple alliance is in his Majesty's intentions, I am of opinion, that every essential article of the proposed treaty having been previously well considered here, must, in the next place, be digested and concerted with his Prussian Majesty, and must also have his support, by proper instructions to his minister at Petersburg.
If the answer from Sir Andrew Mitchell be such as we have reason to hope, I humbly submit, that no time should be lost in preparing the outlines of that treaty; which will, I think, be most likely to succeed, if it be formed upon the plan of those
engagements which now actually subsist between Russia and Prussia, with such alterations and exceptions as our situation requires.
It cannot however be expected, that the latter will use her offices in our behalf, if she is thereby to depart from advantages already conceded, nor that she will contribute to our admission upon terms of too great inequality: therefore the reciprocal subsidy of 600,000 rubles per annum, contained in the thirteenth article, and left by both the contracting powers as an option to the party attacked in lieu of the forces stipulated, is an eventual condition which will claim your attention, since I am persuaded that an alternative of this kind will be positively insisted upon by both courts. I mention this, because I recollect that in the conversation with which your Lordship honoured me, quotas of troops only came in question.
These ideas, though very crudely thrown out, will I dare say appear to your Lordship the result of the intelligence contained in the papers sent me by the secretary of state, when you have the leisure to examine the purport of them. I have the honour to be, with the highest sentiments of esteem and respect, my dear Lord,
Your most obedient
and most humble servant,
GENERAL BURGOYNE TO THE EARL OF CHATHAM.
Dresden, August 21, 1766.
THE letter I had the honour to receive from your Lordship at the time I left England, together with one inclosed for Prince Ferdinand ('), required a warmer return of acknowledgement than I could find terms to make; and that debt has been increased by the reception so distinguishing a mark of your Lordship's countenance procured me at the court of Brunswick but however flattering or advantageous have been the effects, my Lord, of your friendship, it is in the possession of it that I exult; and not to wrong my feelings, I must still trust to the conceptions of a great and benevolent mind, and not to my own feeble expression, to represent that respect, that gratitude, and that zeal, with which I solicited, with which I embrace, and with which I study to cultivate those sentiments your Lordship professes towards me.
I entreat you, my Lord, to accept my congratulations upon your peerage and upon your engaging in the administration, as those of a man who takes the truest interest in every thing that concerns your glory and satisfaction, and who looks up to your lights and counsels for the salvation of his country. I move not a step upon the continent without seeing the impression your
(1) See Vol. II. p. 432, note.
Lordship's name makes. (') It is a touchstone that no German hypocrisy can resist; and the con
(1) In a letter, written at the Hague on the 29th of August, Sir Joseph Yorke thus addresses Sir Andrew Mitchell: -"I hope, whatever other effects it may produce, the late political turn in England will make your old residence, newly revived, more agreeable than when you undertook it; at least we are told that the late Great Commoner is uniform in his Prussian system. I know very little of home, except that party runs very high as usual, and that the present plan is still too narrow for our present political faculty. However, if Mr. Pitt has a mind, and keeps his temper, I think he may keep his power, and nobody is so able to do us good; because nobody has so much courage to carry any thing through. The great struggle which will determine future power in the issue, will be probably at the next general election; and all that is doing just now seems calculated for that period, all sides striving to destroy the other's popularity before the dissolution of this parliament. Luckily France and Spain are unable to commence a war, and their fear of Mr. Pitt's entry into the ministry is quite ridiculous. I really believe his very name will settle the Manilla affair; and France presses it strongly." To the speculations of his correspondent, Sir Andrew thus replies: "I cannot yet guess what effect the late changes in our administration will have upon the King of Prussia, not having had an opportunity of seeing him since that happened. Considering the instability of our men and measures at home, I shall not be surprised if his Prussian majesty should be shy of entering into strict connections with us; at least till he sees some probability of a fixed and settled administration, which I am afraid the universal clamour against the late Great Commoner will make him think is not near at hand. Though I have a very high opinion of Mr. Pitt's courage and abilities, I cannot figure to myself any solid reason that could induce him to accept of the peerage at this time, which, joined to the malice of his enemies, has afforded an opportunity of diminishing his popularity at home, and thereby of weakening his credit and influence abroad. If Spain will agree to pay the Manilla ransom, it may, in some degree, serve to revive his popularity; but I fear it will not regain that implicit confidence they formerly had in him. Be
versation of every court, upon the present arrangement in England, betrays their disposition towards
Together with those who partake in the satisfaction of the friends of Great Britain and of your Lordship, there are not wanting those who are industrious to propagate the malevolence of our party writers for the prejudices and the follies of our country are dispersed through the world, with every wind that blows; and what is made use of at home, to embroil and disunite every class of the people, is retailed at second-hand abroad, and serves, as far as our enemies can make it do so, to depreciate and disfigure his Majesty's measures. But these are only the vapours of an hour, and they will fly like those which have often attended, but never obscured, the lustre of your Lordship's conduct.
Able and vigilant as is his Majesty's minister at Berlin, it would be very impertinent in me to mention my observations upon the present policy or occupations of that court. The circumstances which have particularly engaged my reflections as a soldier, I shall communicate to your Lordship,
sides, I am really concerned to see so many of the principal leaders of the Whig party retiring from business, which obliges our late Commoner to build upon a very narrow and uncertain bottom; but this may, and I hope will, be remedied before the election of a new parliament. Had he delayed taking the title till that event, I think every thing might have gone on smoothly." -Mitchell MSS.