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if I have the honour to be admitted to your conversation at my return.

Since my arrival at Dresden, I have been confirmed in what I had before reason to believe relative to a meeting proposed between the Emperor and the King of Prussia, during the journey of his Imperial Majesty in Saxony. The one was desirous of a personal interview to gratify his curiosity; the other to penetrate into the real character of a young monarch who, if what is reported of his talents, his application, and his ambition, be true, will soon become a principal object of the attention of Europe. The Empress prevented the meeting. (') Distant and transient as

(1) The following account of what really took place, with regard to the intended meeting of the two monarchs, is taken from Sir Andrew Mitchell's letters to Mr. Conway :

"Berlin, June 14.- I have learnt from good authority, that the King of Prussia, upon hearing that the Emperor intended to come into Saxony, under pretence of visiting some of the fields of battle during the late war, particularly that of Torgau, has proposed to have an interview with the Emperor. Whether this proposal may be agreeable to his Imperial Majesty I very much doubt, as I believe nothing of this sort was expected when he left Vienna; and the insinuation has been made to the Emperor's minister here, as I am informed, only three days ago, who has given notice to his court, but, in the present strict connection that court stands in with that of Versailles, a step of this kind cannot fail to give jealousy and suspicion to France; and perhaps this may be the chief reason why an interview has been proposed by the King of Prussia at this time, and it may likewise serve to impose upon the court of Russia (with whom there has been some coldness), as if his Prussian Majesty was making advance to the court of Vienna; in which, if he suc

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must be the view I can expect to take of this prince, I cannot resist the desire I have to see him. I have the honour to be, with the most profound respect, attachment, and sense of obligation,

Your Lordship's most obedient

and most humble servant,


ceeded, his alliance with the Empress of Russia would be of less importance."

"July 8. As the intended interview between the young Emperor and the King of Prussia did not take place, his Prussian Majesty sent Count Kameke, on the 26th of June, from Potsdam to Torgau, with compliments to the Emperor, who, I hear, behaved with great affability in all the places he passed through, and affected much simplicity of dress and manners, avoiding all sorts of pomp and ceremony as much as possible. One circumstance I cannot help mentioning, which is, that his Imperial Majesty, in order to view the fields of battle and remarkable encampments during the last war in Saxony and Lusatia, with as little inconvenience and parade as possible, had a number of dragoon horses led by the escort that attended him; upon which he and his retinue were mounted, as occasion required. What would the Emperor Leopold, or even Charles the Sixth, say, if they could be informed of the novelty, hitherto unprecedented in their family?"

"July 12. In the conversation I had with the King of Prussia at Sans Souci, he threw out, as if it had been accidentally, that he had once thought of meeting the Emperor in the neighbourhood, but the diffidence of princes to one another prevented such interviews; and he mentioned the visit paid by the Emperor Charles the Fifth to Francis the First. As I saw his Prussian Majesty had no mind to tell what had passed on the late occasion, I thought it best to appear quite ignorant and uninformed; but I could easily perceive he was hurt with the disappointment, though he endeavoured to conceal it from me."




Berlin, August 21, 1766.

I HAD the honour of your Lordship's secret letter of the 8th, by Lambe the messenger, acquainting me with his Majesty's royal purpose to establish a firm and solid system, for the maintenance of the public tranquillity. In my letter to Mr. Secretary Conway of this date, I have explained at length the reasons that induce me neither to write to, nor to follow his Prussian Majesty into Silesia. (') It

(1) In the letter here referred to, Sir Andrew, after stating the embarrassment into which he had been thrown by the absence of the King of Prussia, proceeds to relate what had passed in his mind on this occasion. "After reading," he says, "your dispatch with the greatest attention, the first thought that occurred to me was to write directly to the King of Prussia, but, upon trial, I found it so extremely difficult, that I despaired of being able to execute it to my own satisfaction; for I believe it next to impossible to make such insinuations by letter, as may be naturally and easily thrown out in conversation. The next thought that started was immediately to follow the King of Prussia into Silesia, and there to communicate by word of mouth to him the contents of your letter; but to this two objections arose in my mind, which I take leave humbly to submit to your judgment. The first is, the little time that would thereby be saved, as there is hardly any possibility of being able to meet with his Prussian Majesty (who travels with the greatest velocity) in less than fifteen days, being informed that he intends to visit the county of Glatz, Neisse, and other strong places in Silesia, before the reviews and encampments of the troops in that province begin. The second objection which, I confess, weighs more with me than the first, is, that from the knowledge I have of that monarch's temper, I would

is needless, therefore, to repeat them, though I flatter myself they will be approved of by your Lordship.

The nomination of Mr. Stanley as his Majesty's ambassador to the court of Russia, and his journey by the way of Berlin, in order to open the whole plan to that monarch, before any overture has been made to the court of Petersburg, is a mark of such confidence on the part of his Majesty, as I hope will make suitable impressions on the mind of his Prussian Majesty; and I am firmly of opinion, that if that monarch will but reflect coolly and deliberately on his own situation, unallied, surrounded with jealous enemies, dreaded, but not beloved in the empire, he will plainly see, that nothing can tend so much to his security, nor towards the establishing and perpetuating of that weight and influence he has acquired in Europe, as a hearty and sincere concurrence in this noble plan, proposed by his Majesty for a triple alliance, which will secure

not choose to open a matter of such moment in an abrupt manner; nor when his mind is employed in military occupations, which so totally possess him during their continuance, as to draw off all his attention to every thing else. Besides, a journey undertaken by me into Silesia so suddenly, and in the present situation of affairs, could not fail to alarm the foreign ministers at this court, and perhaps to discover what I conclude, from your despatch, is still a secret. For these considerations, I have resolved to wait with patience the return of his Prussian Majesty to Potsdam, when I shall ask an audience, in which I shall endeavour to obey, with the greatest punctuality, the instructions contained in your letter, or any commands I may receive from his Majesty before that time."

peace upon a solid basis to the present age, and afford a prospect of tranquillity to the next.

How far the impressions the King of Prussia has received of the fickleness and unsteadiness of our government, may influence him to be shy with regard to entering into any engagements with Great Britain, I cannot venture to conjecture, as he has never opened himself to me upon that head; but if, from these motives, any such aversion should appear, I shall do the best in my power to endeavour to remove them; and where I fail, I hope Mr. Stanley's superior abilities will succeed. I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect and the most sincere affection, my Lord, Your Lordship's most obliged,

and most humble servant,



(Private: for your

Lordship only.)


Berlin, August 21, 1766.

UPON my arrival here, I took the earliest opportunity of making your Lordship's compliments to the King of Prussia, which were extremely well received; and he desired me to take the first proper occasion of assuring you of his esteem and friend

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