Empress of Russia, the contents of which do not appear to me favorable, Madam, to your hopes. She requires (EXIGE) that I should instruct my Minister in Poland to act entirely in concert with the Count Kayserling; and she adds these very words: 'I expect, from the friendship of your Majesty, that you will not allow a passage through your territory, nor the entry into Poland, to Saxon troops, who are to be regarded there absolutely as strangers.'
"Unless your Letters, Madam [Madam had said that she had written to the Empress, assuring her &c.] change the sentiments of the Empress, I do not see in what way the Elector could arrive at the throne of Poland; and consequently, whether I deferred to the wishes of the Empress in this point, or refused to do so, you would not the more become Queen; and I might commit myself against a Power which I ought to keep well with (MENAGER). I am persuaded, Madam, that your Electoral Highness enters into my embarrassment; and that, unless you find yourself successful in changing the Empress's own ideas on this matter, you will not require of me that I should embroil myself fruitlessly with a neighbor who deserves the greatest consideration from me.
"All this is one consequence of the course which Count Bruhl induced his late Polish Majesty to take with regard to the interests of Prince Karl in Courland; and your Electoral Highness will remember, that I often represented to you the injury which would arise to him from it.
"I will wish, Madam, that other opportunities may occur, where it may be in my power to prove to your Electoral Highness the profound esteem and consideration with which I am--"--F. [
"SIRE,--I am not yet disheartened. I love to flatter myself with your friendship, Sire, and I will not easily renounce the hope that you will give me a real mark of it in an affair which interests me so strongly. Nobody has greater ascendency over the mind of the Empress of Russia than your Majesty; use it, Sire, to incline it to our favor. Our obligation will be infinite. ... Why should she be absolutely against us? What has she to fear from us? The Courland business, if that sticks with her, could be terminated in a suitable manner."--Troops into Poland, Sire? "My Husband so little thinks of sending troops thither, that he has given orders for the return of those already there. He does not wish the Crown except from the free suffrages of the Nation: if the Empress absolutely refuse to help him with her good offices, let her, at least, not be against him. Do try, Sire." [Ib. xxiv. 53.]--Friedrich answers, after four days, or by return of post--But we will give the rest in the form of Dialogue.
FRIEDRICH (after four days). ... "If, Madam, I had Crowns to give away, I would place the first on your head, as most worthy to bear it. But I am far from such a position. I have just got out of a horrible War, which my enemies made upon me with a rage almost beyond example; I endeavor to cultivate friendship with all my neighbors, and to get embroiled with nobody. With regard to the affairs of Poland, an Empress whom I ought to be well with, and to whom I owe great obligations, requires me to enter into her measures; you, Madam, whom I would fain please if I could, you want me to change the sentiments of this Empress. Do but enter into my embarrassment! ... According to all I hear from Russia, it appears to me that every resolution is taken there; and that the Empress is resolved even to sustain the party of her partisans in Poland with the forces she has all in readiness at the borders. As for me, Madam, I wish, if possible, not to meddle at all with this business, which hitherto is not complicated, but which may, any day, become so by the neighbors of Poland taking a too lively part in it. Ready, otherwise, on all occasions, to give to your Electoral Highness proofs of my--" [
Electress (after ten days). ... "Why should the Empress be so much against us? We have not deserved her hatred. On the contrary, we seek her friendship. She declares, however, that she will uphold the freedom of the Poles in the election of their King. You, Sire" --[Ib. xxiv. 55: "Dresden, 26th November, 1763."] But we must cut short, though it lasts long months after this. Great is the Electress's persistence,--"My poor Husband being dead, cannot our poor Boy, cannot his uncle Prince Xavier try? O Sire!" Our last word shall be this of Friedrich's; actual Election-time now drawing nigh:--
FRIEDRICH. "I am doing like the dogs who have fought bitterly till they are worn down: I sit licking my wounds. I notice most European Powers doing the same; too happy if, whilst Kings are being manufactured to right and left, public tranquillity is not disturbed thereby, and if every one may continue to dwell in peace beside his hearth and his household gods." ["Sans-Souci, 26th June, 1764" (Ib. p. 69).] Adieu, bright Madam.
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