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CHAPTER XXXVII. - Gouverneur Morris, The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, vol. 2 
The Diary and Letters of Gouverneur Morris, Minister of the United States to France; Member of the Constitutional Convention, ed. Anne Cary Morris (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1888). 2 vols. Vol. 2.
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Morris returns to Dresden. Rhyming letter written en route. Letter to Lady Sutherland. Sir Gilbert Elliot. Keeps Lord Grenville informed of his conversations with public men. The Duchess of Cumberland’s drawing-room. Takes leave of the Electoral family. Goes to Leipsic. Berlin. Madame César. Presented at Court. Countess Lichtenau. Madame Crayen. Ball at the Prince Royal’s. Baron Münchausen. Dines with the Queen. Conversation at Baron de Haugwitz’s. Presented to Bischofswerder. Confidential conversation with Count Schmittau. Leaves Berlin for Brunswick. Presented at Court. Dines with the Duchess of Brunswick. Plays whist with the sister of the great Frederick.
The long-looked for frfost which was needed to make bearable a journey of several hundred miles in January came on the 10th, and, immediately taking advantage of it, Morris returned to Dresden. The journey was too uneventful to record here, but, to judge from a letter, chiefly in verse, English, French, and German, which he sent to Mr. Scott at Vienna while en route, the bracing air of the high mountains, or the memory of the strains of Viennese music, inspired his muse to tune her “harp in divers tones.” Following are the opening lines:
“And now,” he concludes in prose, “as I am at the bottom of page and paper, I bid you adieu, praying my remembrances to the circle of our friends. Thank Prince Reusse for his directions, which have been of singular service to me. Try to tell Mrs. Scott how much I love her, and believe that I have a just sense of your worth, and therefore feel for you a singular attachment.”
Morris arrived at Dresden on the 22d of January, and found a pleasant welcome awaiting him from the friends he had made during a previous visit. “Mr. Hugh Elliot, the brother of Gilbert Elliot, Lord Minto, calls on me to-day,” he says, “and is more free in his opinion of the ministers than I should have imagined. He tells me that the French army on the other side of the Rhine will next spring be in great force and fine condition, and also that the King’s ministers are very desirous of peace, and would, he is convinced, give in to any terms that should be plausible, hoping that France would then do her own business. Mounier comes in to see me, and gives me some information respecting the early part of the French Revolution and the part which he acted; also traits of M. Necker’s ineptie. Mr. Elliot speaks a little on the same subject. He tells me that the only man he met with of real ability among the French was Mirabeau. He says they were brought up together; he knew him intimately. He was incorruptible. To this I reply that the price of his assistance was perfectly known for every measure. He says that in such case the measure must have met the previous approbation of his own judgment. This is a nice distinction indeed. He allows, however, that he was corruptible enough on the side of his passions, which were violent, and which always could dispose of him. At the club to-day a gentleman whom I saw last summer comes up and tells me that he has often thought of me, inasmuch as events during the campaign have answered exactly to the predictions I then made. I tell him there is no ground of vanity in that circumstance, because the situation of things rendered the course of events inevitable. From the gazettes which within these two days I have had occasion to peruse, it would seem that the expedition fitted out by the French against Ireland has completely failed.”
“A courier from Sir Morton Eden arrives here this morning [January 27th]. He carries to England, I believe, the disagreeable intelligence that the Austrians have been severely beaten and that Mantua has surrendered. This gives all Italy to the French, and they will use it and abuse it. I fancy, notwithstanding M. de Thugut’s assurances, they will be able to stir up the Turks. Certainly the moment is favorable.”
Taking advantage of this courier, “who stays a quarter of an hour longer than he intended,” Morris had the opportunity of acknowledging a letter from Lady Sutherland which had been following him for some weeks.
“I will not touch on politics in this letter,” he says, “because I have not time to say anything of that sort; and as to news, those from Italy are bad. Could not you come to Berlin and persuade the King of Prussia (who is in his heart a royalist) to support the cause of good government against the revolution-mongers who would fain turn all the world topsy-turvy? I think you would do more than half a dozen ambassadors, because His Majesty’s ears are more easily touched by the sound of a female voice than by any other music, and because with that sound you would insinuate to him more sense than God has given. I do not propose that you should sacrifice yourself pour la patrie, but merely propitiate him a little towards the propositions which your lord might be charged to make. Ah çà! Laissons là les cours, le rois et toutes les bagatelles de cette espèce. Venons aux choses importantes. À cet effet, je vous envoie la copie d’une fable, or, if you please, a tale written in my carriage in coming from Vienna; perhaps it may amuse you. You tell me you were frequently tempted to write. If you would take my advice, you would not resist the temptation. As a good Christian I pray not to be led into it, but being there (with the consciousness of having done my duty), I make it a rule to fall as decently as may be. How the Comtesse de Thun was tempted and how she fell is at least one-half of a mystery. The latter part was doubtless a consequence of the former; but as to that, I think it would puzzle your ladyship, with all your genius, and you have a full share of it, to divine which of his lordship’s graces had inspired the tender passion. Certainly, from the constancy of her correspondence, one may presume that she was très éprise, unless the consciousness of writing well was an inducement. But, indeed, that sly dog vanity frequently lurks in the corner of the heart when love imagines himself in full possession of it. The countess has the remains of a fine woman who has employed her time well.”
“This morning [January 30th] I call on Mr. Elliot, with whom I have a long conversation. He tells me that during the time Pitt bullied Spain he got frightened at the idea that France would adhere to the family compact, and, sent him, Elliot, over to negotiate with the Diplomatic Committee; that everything was submitted to them, and the terms having been made agreeable to their taste, two couriers were despatched to Madrid, informing the Court that unless it acceded to them it must not count on the aid of France. This produced the treaty made by Lord St. Helen’s, and opened the door to a confidential communication between the British ministers and the leaders in France; viz., Mirabeau, Barnave, etc. On this occasion Mirabeau proposed to him that, in case a war should break out on the Continent, Flanders should, as in the Seven Years’ War, be declared neuter. Whether it was in the power of the King’s ministers to have carried into effect any such stipulation at a subsequent period I know not; but certainly, if it had been, they were very wrong to engage in the war. On the subject of Hanover he says the King is quite intractable. He has heard him say that a sovereign has no right to transfer the allegiance of subjects which God has given him. This was in answer to a proposition made by the Prussian Cabinet to exchange their territory in the vicinage of Holland for that part of Hanover which lies between Prussia and Hamburg. Mr. Elliot is convinced that this city is much coveted by Prussia, but thinks the possession of it would be injurious to Great Britain, and in that respect he is, I think, much mistaken. He tells me that the Ministers, separately considered, are indeed able men, but that the Ministry is incompetent to the situation in which they are placed, and that Pitt would, he is persuaded, submit now to almost any terms of peace in order to get out of the scrape. To this effect (as being characteristic of the man) he cites not only his squabble with Russia, but also the Spanish armament, and, in addition to his previous information on that subject, says that the King was exceedingly vexed at the step taken in that business, which frightened Pitt and led him to speak ill of the French Convention, and at length from step to step into a war with them. He says they will not either adopt or adhere to any great manly system of continental politics. As to the Hanoverian Regency, he considers them all as pensioners of Prussia. In short, he looks darkly at the dark side of things, with more truth perhaps than might be wished. He tells me that Count Eltz was hurt at the doubtful manner in which I spoke yesterday to the Elector respecting Mantua, but if the count knew what I do he ought to thank me for expressing only doubt and apprehension.”
In accordance with his promise to Lord Grenville, Morris continued to jot down all his thoughts and suggestions on the state of Europe, with the hope that some safe means might be found of sending the letters to London. In these notes waiting for transmission to his lordship under date of the 31st of January, Morris speaks of the Austrian minister as not being equal to the task he had imposed upon himself, and recorded that he had been early informed of the danger which threatened Italy, “but the needful succors were not sent, and we know the consequence. I have made inquiries about Thugut from persons who knew him intimately before he was Minister, and am sorry to say that none of them consider him as a statesman but rather as a man who joins profound dissimulation to the spirit of intrigue. There is one circumstance in his conduct which is extraordinary. Your lordship knows that from a dissipated man of pleasure he became all at once a sequestered man of business. He accepts not invitations and goes nowhere, but dines always at home (generally tête-à-tête with a M. Pellin—once the secretary, faiseur, and confidant of Mirabeau—a sly, sensible, profligate fellow. Sir Morton Eden, to whom I remarked on this strange connection and its dangerous consequences, told me Thugut was so discreet that Pellin could learn nothing from him.
“The French Directory have, it is said, perfect information of what passes in the Austrian councils, but that may be mere assertion. So far as my inquiries could extend, there is at Vienna no able man to assist or (in case of need) to replace the Baron, who, by the by, is much disliked, and who cannot or will not employ some of the few able officers in the Imperial service, because they have declared themselves against him. How far it may be in your lordship’s power to remedy this defect in the Austrian councils is a question I am incompetent to consider.
“It seems demonstrated that Italy must, for some time, be left to its fate, and that the Emperor must henceforward, in his own defence, keep a body of troops on the northeastern side of the Adriatic, and another in the gorges of Tyrol, Carinthia, and Carniola. Under these circumstances it would, I think, be wise to hold out the idea of an Italian campaign for the next spring, and to have transports collected at Trieste and Fiume for carrying troops across the Adriatic, under convoy of your fleet. These appearances would keep the fleet in check; and, in fact, an invasion of that sort seems now the only practicable mode of recovering Italy. The climate renders it imprudent to commence a campaign there before the month of September, but early preparations for it would oblige the French to keep a considerable force in the unhealthy part of that country, which in its consequences would be equivalent to a victory. A large body of troops might be assembled at Lintz, declaredly for Italy, but really for the Rhine, where the great efforts ought to be made. In what way and towards what objects I shall not permit myself to discuss, for many reasons, and particularly because the plan of a campaign should be squared to circumstances by the genius of him who conducts it. I will merely observe that it will cost you less to carry on the war in the enemy’s country than on this side of the Rhine. . . .
“I must entreat your lordship to consider a little the actual and probable state of Germany. The constitution of this Empire is a bubble, and in reality there exist here two Emperors; one of the North, who commands under the name of treating, and one of the South, who treats under the name of commanding. The Northern Emperor possesses almost all Westphalia and the two Saxonies, Hesse, with Lusatia, Silesia, Prussia, and a part of Poland. The Southern Emperor possesses Bohemia, the two Austrias, a part of Poland, with Hungary, Carinthia, Carniola, Styria, and Croatia. On their jealousy of each other depends the sickly existence of the various German principalities not included in the districts just mentioned. But these must sooner or later be divided between them. . . . Two great powers are indeed interested to prevent it—Russia and France—but principally the latter. And one great power is interested in promoting it, Britain. The thing is not now practicable in its extent, but if it were, I should contend, my lord, that it would be for your advantage to bring both Austria and Prussia into direct contact with France, possessing yourselves at the same time of the Austrian Low Countries, and extending yourselves to the Rhine, from the mouth of the Moselle down to Gelderland; for in this way you would acquire, in the first instance, a mass of force sufficient to resist France without an ally, and, secondly, in the supposable case that Prussia should join France to wrest Holland out of your hands and divide between them the Low Countries, not only would your fleets do them much mischief at sea while they were besieging your fortresses, but your allies, Austria and Russia, would soon give you a decided superiority at land. Moreover, Austria and Prussia joined together would form a solid barrier against the further extension of the Russian Empire, a thing worthy of attention. But Germany, in its present situation, divided under little princes, presents nothing to France which can give her a moment’s uneasiness or procure for you any valuable assistance. Force her now to surrender Flanders, she will again return to the charge, and possess herself of it sooner or later by conquest or by a political transaction with Austria, in consequence either of the jealousies which exist between that power and Prussia or by some arrangement between the three. You will then be under the necessity of fortifying and garrisoning your eastern coast, at a most ruinous expense and with most precarious effect.
“I can conceive only two reasons why you should not pursue the measures above alluded to, so far, at least, as they are now practicable. One of them is that they involve the surrender of Hanover to Prussia. Now I will admit that Hanover may for a time continue to be (as at present) subject to His Majesty in name; but, even then, every essential of power must continue to be at the disposition of the Prussian Cabinet. Moreover, it is to be remembered that this Electorate might, in the case above hinted at, be the price paid to Prussia for consenting to Austria taking Bavaria in lieu of the Low Countries ceded to France; and it is self-evident that you cannot hold Hanover against Prussia, even in name, except as a boon, and during the good pleasure of France. Her interest will induce her to support the German constitution, unless she can get Flanders by sacrificing it; but still, whether she act in conjunction with or in opposition to Austria, her views and her operations must ever be hostile to Britain. I come now to the second reason which may be urged why you should not give Hanover in exchange for the Low Countries, viz., the expense of defending them. You will observe, by the by, my lord, that I do not accurately distinguish between the King of Great Britain and the Elector of Hanover. In effect, and according to the view I take of this business, the distinction is useless, because I contemplate giving to the same person one country for the other, the more valuable for the less valuable; and whether in the conduct of it the Elector would make a sacrifice to the King is a question which His Majesty would in his wisdom decide, and which I shall not meddle with. But to return to the objection last mentioned. I answer, first, that you must (in all supposable cases) be at the expense of defending the Low Countries against France, or of defending yourself against them, and your history since Queen Elizabeth proves this assertion. Secondly, I aver that with proper management they would be able to defend themselves in a very considerable degree. Cover them by good fortresses, arm and discipline the inhabitants, connect them with you by the ties of interest, language, manners, and, above all, by a mild and just government, and their neighbors would have more to fear from them than they from their neighbors. That country, intersected by many canals, to which others may be added, possesses the military advantage of bringing all its powers with facility and celerity to any one point of its frontiers. Its vicinage to England and numerous little ports enables you to pour in the force of your islands for its protection. The situation of Holland would obtain for you her cordial assistance in every war of defence, and you would thereby possess almost exclusively all pecuniary resources—an object of no small import in modern wars.
“So much on the head of defence from military force; but there remain two other considerations. First, I observe that those countries, in possession of France, would soon rival your woollen and iron manufactures, diminishing thereby your national wealth, and that a military port on the Scheldt would frequently, during war, put your capital itself in jeopardy, and always distress your coal and coasting trade, not to mention the supplies of naval stores drawn from the North, and which would also be exposed to capture. A second consideration, and turning upon a different pivot, is the advantage to be derived from the possession of that country. Flanders, my lord, is the military highway into France, and (so long as she keeps Alsace) the only way by which it can be prudent to attack her; even in that way she is not easily vulnerable, except by the aid of the maritime powers. But if her assailant be vulnerable at sea, and move with a large army along the coast, she will find resistance very difficult and very expensive. The attack, comparatively speaking, will be easy and cheap. It may be objected to the exchange proposed, that in losing Hanover you would weaken your influence and connection in the North. In some respects this is true, but in most respects your influence would be increased by the consideration that you could do injury or confer benefit. This consideration would go far towards rendering you the arbitrator of the North. I ought perhaps to beg your lordship’s pardon for taking pains to prove a self-evident proposition, but I have reason to believe that if the truth of it be generally felt it is not so generally acknowledged. Russia would see the proposed arrangements with concern. The jealousy of Austria might at first be alarmed, and Prussia may be induced to prefer receiving Hanover at the hand of France, should the Czar be quiet or the Turk be roused. Finally, in the various workings of this war, France may bring Austria and Prussia together at your expense. If she continue to offer territory and give money her scale may finally preponderate. In proposing the plan you allude to you could (under present circumstances) have considerable advantage. The Prussian Cabinet cannot but see that it is better to deal with His Majesty for Hanover than to take it from him, and must prefer the preservation of existing governments to their destruction. Should your lordship think of gaining Prussia, I have reason to believe that some attentions to their minister with you would be useful. I think also that pains should be taken at Vienna to soften down their feelings, to which effect some address would be necessary, because they have hitherto, I believe (to speak medically) been treated rather by stimulants than emollients. The conduct of the Czar offers a sufficient reason and fair occasion for changing your system, but care must be taken to prevent him from suspecting your intentions, because he would certainly try to counteract you. I have already hinted at the Austrian part of a campaign. The Prussian part becomes evident from the geography of the country; but I am persuaded that, a good understanding once established between the three courts, your objects might be obtained without striking a blow. The Elector Palatine might be compensated from the three electorates for Bavaria, given to the Emperor in lieu of the Low Countries. These, with Liège, might be given to the King in exchange for his German dominions, and, should His Majesty desire it, they might be annexed as an Electorate to the Empire. But I should suppose it best in every point of view to erect them into a separate kingdom. Prussia might receive the King’s German dominions, surrendering to the Stadtholder Cleves and Prussian Gelderland for something in the West Indies. The three ecclesiastical electors and the Bishop of Liège might receive from Britain a pension for life equivalent to the net produce of their respective dominions, which pensions might be considered as the price of those possessions which Britain should retain of her conquests in the East and West Indies. Thus could this war terminate with advantage, and the continuance of peace be better provided for than ever.
“Now let us take up the counter-supposition that Prussia should understand with France and Russia; for, in order to simplify, I will put the Turk out of the question: Russia takes Finland, Prussia takes Hanover, France keeps what she pleases in the Low Countries. If Austria does not submit, she has a Prussian army in Bohemia, a Russian army in Galicia, a French army in Hungary. Humanly speaking, my lord, they could not but succeed. Austria would be deprived both of Milan and Flanders, and you might see yourself obliged to purchase peace by the surrender of your conquests and the cession of Gibraltar to Spain, or else you might see Portugal overrun and reannexed to the Spanish throne. I will not pursue this subject. It is too painful to dwell upon, but the mention of it may not be improper, in order to show the importance of coming forward to Prussia (and that speedily) with such propositions as shall command her attention. I will trespass no further on your lordship’s patience than to entreat your pardon for the length and freedom of this letter, and so assure you of my sincere esteem and respect.”
“I go this evening [February 1st] to Madame Pöhlen’s, whom M. Schomberg thinks a prude; but Inglis thinks that any woman in Dresden will succumb to any Englishman. A little national, this! I find the fair one is a little gone in pedantry, and am pretty certain that, with proper attentions, she might soon be brought into the right way; but as I do not mean to stay, I am rather brusque. She pardons the first kiss, taken rather forcibly; but as she obstinately refuses the second, and tells me that my insisting on it may oblige her to avoid a repetition of my visits, I rather imprudently reply that I shall consider her refusal as tantamount to a declaration that she will not see me again. This passes, though she is a little hurt at it, but I believe I shall quit, for the game is scarce worth the chase. Go from hence to the Duchess of Cumberland’s where I spend the evening. Her Royal Highness tells me she has information she can rely on that a corps of eighteen thousand Austrians, under Provera, has been totally cut off. There were but four thousand left to surrender with their general after a most obstinate resistance. Bonaparte has been beaten, but General — came to his assistance, recovered and changed the fortune of the day, so that Alvinzi was beaten back, and thereupon all the French army fell on Provera, who had crossed the Adige, and was pushing for Mantua. This is the second time that the Austrians have been beaten in detail, or, rather, the third. At the club I see the accounts of what has been suffered by the Austrians in Italy. They appear to have lost from twenty to five and twenty thousand men, and if to this be added the garrison of Mantua, which must now surrender, it will stand at a minimum of about forty thousand. On the whole, I estimate at not less than one hundred thousand men, what this campaign has consumed for them in Italy, exclusive of disease. No nation can long sustain such heavy drafts from its population. It appears, by the late French papers, that the far greater part of their armament is got back to their own ports, a circumstance not honorable to the genius of Lord Bridport.”
“Go to the ball of the English minister [February 3d]. Present to Count Eltz my compliments of condolence on the ill-success in Italy, and tell him I had intelligence of it last week, but could not with propriety communicate it to him. Mr. Elliot, who dined with me, spoke very freely of the British administration, declaring he is not hurt at the passe droit which he has endured, but yet there are, in the sharpness of his manner, no small indications of it. He insists that, in the Russian business, if Pitt had not been frightened he would have gone through. He says that in the beginning, viz., inciting the Turk to war, Pitt was the tool of Hertzberg, and afterwards was prevailed on by Lord Auckland to commit the treachery of abandoning the Turk. This, I have formerly heard, was the prime cause of coldness on the part of Prussia, who has ever since thought herself justifiable in retaliating upon England. He gives me a curious anecdote to show how little the British Cabinet attends to the business which it undertakes. Sir Sydney Smith had served in the King of Sweden’s galley-fleet, and had very gallantly contributed his share to the rashness by which it was ruined. Afterwards, when Britain was in high courtship to the Empress, Sir Sydney soliciting at St. James’s, the ministers, not knowing well what to do with him, thought it a lucky hit to send him to Constantinople to discipline the Turkish fleet. The Turks laughed at him, but with the gravity of Turks, and the Empress found in this trait a mark of the sincerity which the British minister was then professing. Mr. Elliot tells me that their ministry is individually so preoccupied as to have no moment in the four and twenty hours for considering plans, so that it is useless to talk or to write reason to them. The only chance is that at present they may fear for their heads; but this would rather lead them to patch up an ignominious peace than pursue wise and vigorous measures. He talks of a private and undue influence over the mind of the King; but here he is unintelligible, as, indeed, are all those that ever mentioned that subject to me, for none of them could ever say who were the persons exercising that influence. At one time, indeed, I had heard Lord Hawkesbury named, but he was a member of the administration, and could not therefore fall under that description. Lately the Queen was supposed to guide, but Mr. Elliot tells me that since the quarrel between the Prince and Princess of Wales, in which Her Majesty took part with her son, her influence is gone. Yet he speaks of this secret direction as of a thing certain, although its material parts do not seem to be defined or discovered. Now, as far as I can understand the matter, I take this to be nothing more than a species of obstinacy in the King’s character. He was bred a courtier and can mask his sentiments at pleasure; whenever, therefore, he has taken up an opinion, he can adhere to it without being either moved or convinced by the arguments of his ministers. They, believing their reasons uncontrovertible, and finding him of a different way of thinking, conclude it to be the effect of secret influence. His temper also jars with the situation in which he finds himself, as chief of a very limited constitution, where he is, in fact, only the elector of the real king. Sensible that he is under the control of those whom he has chosen, and must ever be so, he must feel a pleasure in being able to reciprocate the thwarts and checks which he receives. This temper is more particularly evident in what relates to Hanover, about which he is utterly unapproachable by his British ministers. And perhaps it is this little circumstance which, above all others, attaches him to that electorate.”
“This morning [February 5th] I go to Court, and take leave of the Electoral family. Dine with Count Eltz, and go after dinner to the Duchess of Cumberland’s. Brockhausen, who is here, talks with his usual pedantry, and mauvaise foi. Among other things, he says it was wise in Washington to resign while yet in place, inferring from thence that he would not have been re-elected. I see here a Gallican insinuation, and tell him gravely that no man in the least acquainted with American affairs can have the shadow of a doubt that he would have been reelected had he chosen it. I add my conviction that the manœuvres of the French Directory, so far from serving their friends, will have contributed more than anything to confer the Presidency on Adams. Elliot, who laughs along through the whole, expresses the hope that America will join England in the war, and take the French and Spanish possessions. Brockhausen expresses his doubts whether a scanty population of four millions, scattered over an immense territory like ours, can have an army sufficient to do anything. I tell him that, by withholding supplies of provisions from the islands, we should force them to surrender, and as to the Spanish continent, our settlers would take possession of it if the Government would permit them. By way of expressing his contempt for our force, he says he hopes we will let them alone. I tell him we shall gladly leave them in possession of their good turnips, but that the time will come when Prussia will find the friendship of America a thing of some consequence. If ever this man gets into power at home, his ignorance will go far to undo the work of Frederick.”
“Mr. Elliot calls on me this morning [February 6th], and groans over the state of public affairs, training misfortune up to misconduct. He tells me that while he was in the North he saved the King of Sweden, acting in the name of his Court without orders. The Russian minister complained to Mr. Pitt, who said he could account for it only by supposing that Elliot was drunk; to which Elliot replied by a sharp letter, telling the Minister he had not been drunk since he had the honor of being so in his company. He tells me the history of Jackson’s mission to Constantinople. Jackson’s father, who is a dean, is patronized by the Duke of Leeds, who uses his house as a place of rendez-vous for his girls. His grace wished to bring forward this worthy prelate to the Bench of Bishops, and the Minister was willing to oblige his grace, but, finding the character too bad, he settled the matter by giving the son, a very stupid fellow, the embassy. This is the story told by Steele to Mr. Elliot, who asked him how they came to make so strange an appointment. I dine with the Baron de Brockhausen, and take him after dinner to ride. Go for a little while to the club, and then to Madame Angerstrom’s ball, where there are a number of handsome women. Elliot presses upon me again, for the dozenth time, his wish to establish himself in America so soon as he shall have fixed his legitimate daughter in life, having half a dozen illegitimate children and their mother to take care of. He is a manly fellow, and I wish he may come over; there is room for all his little ones, and I reassure him of it. Promise to correspond with him on the subject.”
“This morning [February 7th], I leave the Ange d’Or inn at Dresden, which is by far the best I have met with in Germany. Our way lies along the Elbe. This noble river, navigable from Bohemia to the sea, is almost useless to the inhabitants in consequence of the heavy duties and the restrictions imposed by Frederick and kept up by his successor. At Hubertsburg, which is a poststation in our road, is a large château, and round it an abundant forest, chiefly beech and oak. In this château was signed the treaty which terminated the Seven Years’ War. It is very magnificent, but, I think, oddly placed. When I reach Leipsic I find a letter from Mr. Elliot, enclosing one for Madame Crayen, the wife of the Prussian consul here. Send it to her, with a note, to know if she is at home, etc., and am told that she is much indisposed, and will go to bed at five o’clock. At five or, rather, a little before it, her servant comes to let me know that her valet-de-place had made a mistake—that she meant to let me know she would receive me at five. When I come in she apologizes for receiving me en déshabillé, but a fluxion in her cheek, etc. There is a petit bonnet of dress over a muffled face, and then a thick wrapper, and, finally, a gentleman with her. Is this indisposition? Is it the ami de la maison? I know not, but she is a Prussian, and has been well looking, with beaucoup d’esprit, so one may conclude anything. I make my visit short, and pretext writing, car il faut être discret. Besides, I respect the golden rule, and do not admire on some occasions the society of a third person. As I come down-stairs, however, I meet Monsieur le mari, I believe. She gave me a little of Elliot’s history with his wife. He married her privately before she was sixteen, out of pure love, went to England, and when he came back found she had run off with a Pole. He came on to this place in pursuit of this modern Paris, and was presented to him at her own house by Madame Crayen, who knew nothing of the matter. But the wrong-doer slipped off during the evening and quitted Leipsic, after which Elliot told her that he came thither to blow his brains out, and why. He was, however, reconciled to his cara sposa. She played him still other facetious tricks. Among them was one very pleasant. Very late one night she lamented pathetically that she was unworthy of his tenderness; that she had the misfortune to love the Chargé d’Affaires of Holland, who wished her to be divorced, and proposed to marry her. The angry husband rushes out of the house, orders his carriage, goes to the rival, calls him up, and, on his testifying surprise at seeing Mr. Elliot at so strange an hour, is still more surprised at being told his errand, viz., to kill him honorably. On hearing the reason he assures him there is no shadow of foundation for it, and at the request of the husband goes with him, and reasserts the same thing in the presence of the wife, who says if that be the case she must have been mistaken. Madame Crayen is a charming woman.”
“To-day [February 12th] I push on to Berlin, although the morning threatens a thaw, and the first part of our distance lies over a stiff soil.”
“At the gate of Belitz [February 14th] we are detained five minutes by a conversation between my valet-de-chambre and the gate-keeper which I suppose to relate to us, and that some formality is wanting; but, as I grow impatient and begin to growl, am told we may go in. It seems the old man took my baggage-wagon, which preceded me, for a puppet-show, and the servant, with whom he entered into conversation, for a strolling-player; which last I do not wonder at, for he generally gives himself an air of importance which strikes the most superficial observers as being assumed.”
“At Berlin [February 15th] I am stopped, and my baggage, in consequence of a new ordinance, is sent to the Custom House, notwithstanding the usual douceur at the gate.”
“Go this morning [February 16th] to see Madame César, to whom Madame Crayen had given me a letter, and on coming in I find Madame Crayen herself. Cela s’entend. I appear to be much surprised, and she tells me how the receipt of a letter announcing that her sister was worse had determined her to set off. The health of her sister was known when I was at Leipsic, and I had urged her to make it a pretext for coming hither with me, etc. As it is late I make my visit short, and, after calling on the Russian minister, go to Lord Elgin’s and wait his return, when we go together and dine at the Casino, after which I visit again Madame de Crayen. She contrives to tell me her real errand here, which I had already guessed, but she is determined to gain my good opinion. This must, I think, depend on the opportunity we have of being together. Come home and dress, and go to Court, where I am presented to their Majesties. The King is a well-looking man. He inquires about the health of General Washington, who (as Moustier tells him) is in very ill health. I tell His Majesty that I cannot believe it; that when I left him he was a hale, robust man, as much as the King now is, and, of course, no reason to suppose that he is now seriously indisposed. This is calculated for the poor monarch, who has an air très épuisé. See several acquaintances here, and come away soon, to avoid an invitation to supper. The Queen points out to me a young Mademoiselle Reidesall, who was born in America and christened “America.” She is a fine girl, and, when she comes down the dance, I tell her, in the presence of Her Majesty, that I reclaim my countrywoman. After some time the King speaks to me again, and when on the subject of America I tell him that if the French persist in the present conduct, and drive us to extremities, Spain will not retain an inch of ground in the New World; that His Majesty has a direct interest in such events, and a considerable one, but a ball-room is not the fitting place to discuss such subjects. On the finances of Great Britain I repeat (as having already mentioned it to his ministers) that the resources of the country are immense; upon which he observes they were so much more to blame for having attempted to tax us, and this it was which led to what I have already noted. After some trifling things, I tell him that I have just seen his best friend. He asks who, and to his surprise I tell him the Emperor. He speaks of him well personally, and I observe that he is a very honest young man; to which his Majesty replies by asking, ‘Mais que pensez-vous de Thugut?’ ‘Quant à cela, c’est une autre affaire, sire.’ I had stated the interest which makes him and the Emperor good friends to be their mutual apprehensions from Russia. ‘But suppose we all three unite?’ ‘Ce sera un diable de fricassée, sire, si vous vous mettez, tous les trois, à casser les œufs.’ On the subject of Austria, I tell him they would do very well if he would lend them a few of his generals. ‘Mais nous en avons besoin pour nous-mêmes.’ ‘Pas à present, sire, vous êtes en paix.’ He finds that if this conversation continues he may commit himself, and so pauses. I retire a little, and His Majesty conducts the Princesse Henri out of the ball-room. During the course of the evening Countess Lichtenau∗ makes acquaintance with me. She is bien pourvue d’esprit, and lets me see that I am welcome to make my approaches, but one must not have too many irons in the fire at once. More court is paid to her than to the Queen. The King retired before supper. I am told he is on a severe diet.”
“Dine with General Count Schmittau [February 19th]; an excellent dinner and very good wines. After dinner I converse with him on public affairs. He sees the situation of his country in a true light, and laments, as a man of honor, that the weakness of the Cabinet deprives them of the advantage to result from it. He speaks of the King respectfully and with feeling, of his favorite with indignation and contempt. He tells me that this man, conscious of his own mediocrity, will do everything and submit to everything rather than put matters in a situation which may require men of abilities to conduct them. He tells me that on a late occasion he called on this favorite, and, after complaining of an injury, told him that he or the King must do him justice; that he might amuse silly and ignorant people by saying that certain things were of the King’s doing, but well-informed men knew that the King had given all authority into his hands, and therefore if he did not render him justice he would blow his brains out. This produced the effect. I ask him why Möllendorf does not take it on him to speak to His Majesty. He tells me that he is content to purchase honors by the sacrifice of honor. Why some lover is not provided for the Countess de Lichtenau? She had one, a certain Mr. Paget, for whom she would have done anything, but he was recalled, when in the height of his favor, to England. On the Duke of Brunswick, he says that the King in the beginning took pains to bring him forward to his assistance, but in vain; that he is too much a courtier and has too little character to be useful. He tells me that there is very little money in the treasury, and fears that the fluctuation of their councils would prevent anyone from treating with them now. I inquire the character of the heir apparent. He tells me it is difficult to know, but at length I perceive that he considers him as a médiocre sujet; and, in short, as of a harsh, imperious temper, attached to minutiæ, and constitutionally avaricious. Stay at the ball only long enough to pay my respects to the principal personages, and go to Madame Wolf’s, where I pass some time. Madame Crayen, who is here, seems desirous of showing her attachment, and when I caution her, she exclaims: ‘I have but one idea, I care for nothing else; why conceal my passion? I glory in it, I could wish to proclaim it to the whole world!’ She tells me also that I have been stated here as a grand democrat. I treat the subject with the merited ridicule. She tells me that M. Alvensleben has said that I am full of projets, and therefore less amiable than formerly. It is strange, and the fullest possible evidence of a most feeble administration, that the presence of a solitary individual throws them all into a fright. Madame Crayen obliges me to pass so much time en tête-à-tête with her that the master of the house observes to us upon it.
“The English mail brings advice that the French have offered to cede Flanders as the price of peace, they keeping Luxembourg and Maestricht, and Britain lending them eight millions sterling, to be hypothecated on the Cape of Good Hope and other conquests in India. Count Schmittau told me that the King is sensible of the dishonorable situation to which he is reduced, but is of too feeble temper to break his chains.”
“I go to the ball of the Prince Royal at six [February 20th], and do not get away till half-past eleven—all the time on my legs, except a few minutes that the Grande Maréchale made me sit before her, to tell me that France was overturned because the Queen laid aside etiquette; and, having obtained my civil assent to this proposition, the more readily from the circumstance that, indeed, the levity of Her Majesty’s conduct had contributed to the mischief which there happened, she desires me to preach this to her Princess Royal. I take occasion to tell her that it little becomes a stranger to meddle in the affairs of a country where he happens to be, and particularly in those of so delicate a nature. The old lady finds her young mistress too affable, and does not consider that the dry, harsh temper of her husband may render it necessary for his consort to take off the ill impressions. This young man carries in his countenance the marks of a mind which will make many men miserable when he is called to the throne. His brother seems of a quite different cast, mild and benign. The eldest son of the Princess Ferdinand has, I think, the appearance of a mauvais sujet, but yet of one who may figure well in history if he take a right turn. Madame de Nadaillac, to whom I mention the information I had received that he was très anti-français, tells me that it may be so within these three days, but that the King was obliged lately to speak to him very seriously on the subject, because of the extraordinary things he had said in the society of M. Caillard’s secretaries, with whom he is closely connected.”
“This morning [February 21st] I go to the Baron de Münchausen’s∗ to hear him play on the harmonica, which he assured me last evening that he excelled in, and convinces me this morning that he was mistaken. Go from here to see Madame Crayen, who tells me an anecdote which Madame Retz, now Countess de Lichtenau, told some time ago to her husband. The King had accompanied Mademoiselle Levaux home on foot from a public place and afterwards went to see his chère amie Retz, whom he found at supper. She, who knew where he had been, saluted him by throwing a bottle of wine at his head, which wounded him severely. Madame Crayen, who had seen this Mademoiselle Levaux, and was present at the recital, asked Madame Retz how she could be guilty of such a criminal extravagance, to which the firm courtesan replied: ‘At a later date I would have done the same thing par ménage, but then I acted from the wrath of the moment.’ It seems she had early inspired His Majesty with apprehension, and to such a degree that he used to caution the women with whom he was intimate to conceal it from her, because she was capable of putting them to death.”
“At the Princess Ferdinand’s ball to-night [February 22d] there is a sort of petit opéra for the King. The Comtesse de Lichtenau tells me she hears I am very intimate with Madame Crayen, at which I express my astonishment, and then say some things on the subject of delicacy towards the female sex which she feels as highly commendable; in short, promise to visit her. Madame Crayen this morning tells me that if opportunity had served she thinks the King would have made her his mistress, and is the only man of whom her husband was ever jealous. His Majesty, then Prince Royal, waited on her in a servant’s dress at the tavern on the day of her marriage. It is the custom, it seems, to have a great dinner at a public-house on that day. He stood behind her chair, and she expresses to me, as well as she can, the horror of seeing on her side a man she detested, and to whom she was condemned for life, and feel every moment behind her a man she loved, and from whom she was to be eternally separated. At the bottom of her heart lies the regret that she is not now the Comtesse de Lichtenau.”
“Take Madame de Nadaillac [February 24th] to dine with the Queen, where is the best salmon, I think, that I ever tasted, and good small beer; for at this royal repast it so happens that, pour me rafraîchir, I do remember me of that pitiful creature small beer, and drink of it copiously, in preference to costly and, I suppose, delicious wines.”
“Walk out this morning [February 27th], and call on Lord Elgin. He tells me that measures had been taken to indispose the King against me. They have made him believe that in the service of England I pushed forward the French Revolution. This stuff comes from the apprehension that His Majesty might risk, in conversing with me, to have his eyes opened. Go to a ball given by M. and Madame —. Madame de Crayen is in extreme distress at quitting Berlin, and, as she observes some little attentions from me to the Comtesse Solmes, quits the room much agitated. I follow her out and find her in strong nervous affection. Her sister tells me afterwards that she goes to bed every night bathed in tears and wakes weeping at the idea of going away. Oh, woman, thou art a strange creature!”
“Sit awhile with Madame de Nadaillac to-night [February 28th]. She is going to the masquerade. All the world will be there, for it is given by the King and open to every mask, and the last frolic of the season—for tomorrow we must all be in mourning.”
“Sit awhile to-day [March 1st] with the Russian minister, who is not at all pleased with the situation of affairs. Dine at the Vicomte d’Anadia’s, where is Madame Vignano the dancer, with her husband and child. Madame César’s brother mentions the having given formerly pieces of eight-gros to the present Comtesse de Lichtenau for fetching oysters when the young men supped with her sister, then a singer at the opera. This is curious enough. I find, from several things which have happened here, that the nation is extremely indisposed to the King, which, indeed, I do not wonder at. I call on M. de Haugwitz, the Minister, where I meet Mr. Hoffman. He is quite à la française. In the course of a conversation which I am led into, I tell them that if the Emperor paid the supposed attention to his own private interests he would yield to the proffers of France, and, secularizing the ecclesiastical Electorates, accept of Bavaria in lieu of the Low Countries, giving the Electorates to the Elector of Bavaria, and then, resigning the Empire to its fate, leave England to rise or fall, as fate might order; an object of no consequence to him, though perhaps important to some other powers. At going away, however, I take care to tell Mr. Hoffman that I was unwarily led into this political discussion, a thing I avoid, from the conviction that when the administration of a country is able, it needs no hints from a stranger, and when feeble it is useless to give them; so that, in all cases, a prudent observer should be silent.”
“Dine to-day [March 4th] with Marshal Möllendorf; presented to Bischofswerder. Converse a little with the hereditary Duke of Mecklenburg, who is, I think, a fine young man. He repeats to me, what he had mentioned once before, that the Prince Royal of Prussia is of a temper extraordinarily just. Pass the evening at the Princess Henri’s, where, notwithstanding the load of my three hours’ dinner, I at length succeed with myself so far as to be amiable. The young Duke of Mecklenburg, who has pressed me to visit his father’s Court, tells me to-day that he has announced me.”
“Stay at home all the morning [March 7th]. Count Schmittau calls on me, and sits a good while. An interesting conversation, and on his part very confidential. He mentions the intimacy he had with the King before his accession to the throne, and how His Majesty was estranged by Bischofswerder & Co.; how, at the breaking out of the war, he offered his services by letter to the King, who civilly declined, and to the Duke of Brunswick, who made no answer—a mark of his ungrateful temper, seeing that in the time of the late King he had, on an important occasion, been greatly indebted to the good offices of Count Schmittau; how he let Bischofswerder know that, after the war was over, he would blow his brains out, and the steps he had taken to avoid that catastrophe, which had terminated in a letter to the King by which he was placed in the rank to which he was entitled and an apology made. This letter is published. How the Duke of Brunswick, from his truckling temper, had not only lost the opportunity which presented of governing the King and kingdom, but in the campaign of 1792 had sacrificed his reputation to please the King and gratify a host of paltry minions. He tells me that the embassy to Russia was offered to him, but he refused to hold any place in the gift of Bischofswerder, who solicited in vain that he would live upon friendly terms with him. On the embassy, after assigning that general reason for refusing every place, he added that in his opinion a man could never render himself master of more than one science, nor always that one. He had been bred to arms, had studied his profession for above thirty years, and if he knew any business it was that of a soldier. I take occasion to mention to him my conviction that the Prussian troops must, if well commanded, be greatly superior to those of France. He goes into some useful explanations to confirm my opinion, and as a conclusion from his premises adds that, if placed at the head of forty thousand of them, he would answer with his life for the success; but he would not suffer himself to be attacked. I mention to him the opinion which is entertained by some in France, viz., that the Prussian troops would not serve against them. He treats it with contempt, and assures me that the whole machine is in the hands of the King completely. On Prince Henry’s subject he (Schmittau) states it as a rare circumstance that this man, the most despotic on earth, both in his temper and conduct, should be an enthusiastic admirer of the French system of equality. This proves that my friend Schmittau has not studied human nature. So far as my observation goes, the case he considers rare is the most common; and, in effect, pride, and the impatience of control which prompt a subject to rebel, lead a sovereign to tyrannize. The more such a bad subject shall be elevated and the nearer he shall approach to the throne, the more will this temper display itself by hatred of those above and oppression of those below him. Burke has somewhere justly observed, in speaking of those free governments in which domestic slavery prevails, ‘That the habit of domination comes in aid of the spirit of liberty, fortifies it, and renders it invincible.’
“I dine at home. Go after dinner to see Madame de Nadaillac, and from thence to the Sardinian minister’s, where I pass the evening. Lord Elgin, in the course of conversation, mentions that no man in Berlin keeps his servants in such abject submission as M. Caillard, except the King, who keeps a large stick with which he belabors them on the slightest occasion. And yet the man is governed despotically, and in the daily habit of submitting to things which his mind abhors.”
“This morning [March 13th] I prepare for my departure from Berlin. M. Haugwitz comes, and brings me a letter of introduction for Brunswick. Dine at Lord Elgin’s.”
“This morning [March 14th] I start early for Potsdam. The weather has been as fine as fancy can figure, and the singing of the larks has somewhat softened the tediousness of the journey.
“At Magdeburg the inhabitants are looking out for the Prince and Princess of Hesse, who are to arrive this evening, which has the good effect of letting us into the town without difficulty. They are apprehensive that by examining us they should delay His Highness, whose marriage has given me already some amusement at Berlin. I did not think, some years ago, that I should derive any benefit from the Landgraf of Hessen-Kassel.”
“At Brunswick I meet a friend, a M. Dubois, who shows many attentions. On Sunday [March 19th] I go to Court, where I dine and pass the evening. The Duke and his family très prévenants. He desires a little conversation, which begins after dinner, but is interrupted by his mother, to whom he presents me—the sister of old Fritz, and very like him. She has some eighty odd years, but is still lively, with a deal of fun about her. The Duchess, who resembles the King her brother, is very affable and pleasant. The Duke is, I think, a candidate for the character of the omnis homo. He speaks to me preferably in English, but not being master of the language, or entangled by the matter, he hesitates very much. He makes professions which he considers as very dubious, and says, ‘You won’t believe me, but it is very true.’ I tell him that the Prussian Cabinet is afraid of him, and it is on that occasion that he declares his unwillingness to manage the affairs of Prussia. To help him in his delivery, I tell him that I conceive easily why he, a sovereign, should not wish to set the example of an imperious control over a sovereign. This he assents to, but his objection is stronger from the circumstance that a German prince could not do many things which would be suitable to an individual. I understand him to mean any dismemberment of the Empire, and so explain myself to him, or, rather, himself to me. He assents, and comes forward with another but; but the Duchess Dowager arrives and terminates our conversation, which is to be resumed this evening. This evening, however, we have two parties to it—M. de Limon and M. de Puisegur, the ancien Ministre de la Guerre when I arrived in France. The former is full of projets, and thinks he can ‘the Gordian knot of policy unloose familiar as his garter.’ People are apt to mistake on these occasions. He asserts pretty frequently and roundly that the Prussian Cabinet was bought—a thing possible enough; and, at any rate, the assertion pleases the Duke. Without assenting to or denying it, I observe that on every ground it will be difficult to take them out of the hands of France. But, according to him, nothing can be easier. Only give greater bribes. He will not admit that the corrupter has the advantage of threatening the corrupted with a discovery of the transaction. How easy to deny the fact, and appeal to the general profligacy of the French Government for proof of the little weight to be given to their assertions. I break off the matter here, because he is got far enough, and if he be not now struck with the almost insurmountable difficulties (resulting from his own hypothesis) in the way of his plan, nothing I can say will have any effect. The Duke grows weary of the bavardage, and so do I.”
“To-day [March 20th] I dine with the Duchess of Brunswick;∗ conversation on public affairs. Elle est très anglaise. Tell the Duke that I see no mode of bringing forward Prussia but by changing totally the administration; that this can be done, I think, only by means of Madame de Lichtenau, and that a new administration, considering the feebleness of the King’s character, must have behind it the Duke of Brunswick or Prince Henry. Her Royal Highness told me she did not like the emigrants, spoke to me about the misconduct of the Prince of Wales, etc.”
“I dine to-day [March 21st] with the Duchess Dowager, who tells me she is very sorry her brother had not seen me. This, I am afterwards told, is a strong proof that she is pleased with the person to whom it is addressed. Her daughter gives me some late publications to read. I spend the evening there, and the Duchess tells me the emigrants are much alarmed at my arrival here. I reply that this is to me utterly unaccountable, unless they imagine that, recollecting their private character in France, I should say something too much for them on that subject; but they may make themselves easy, for it is possible I may never have heard anything, but certainly have forgotten all which may affect the moral character of individuals belonging to a country which was so generally corrupted.”
“Dine with the hereditary prince [March 22d], and go to a comédie de société, which is amusing. The Duchess, who is English from top to toe, in conversing on the state of manners, tells me that they are very corrupt in this country (meaning Germany), and particularly at Berlin. She mentions the depths to which their depravity goes, and I express my astonishment at a vice she mentions, which, though I have often heard of, I am not well able to comprehend. Her Royal Highness does not, of course, go into the explanation, but assures me of the fact. I observe that the Duke rather avoids conversation, having before sought it. Is he apprehensive of disclosing his secret?”
“Pass the evening [March 24th] with the Dowager Duchess, and play whist. It is a thing curious to have played whist with the sister of the Great Frederick for a gros (about three halfpence) a fish, so that a rubber of five was worth just eightpence sterling money of Great Britain—threepence each for card money. This arises from the miserable situation of the emigrants, of whom many of the first quality now here are in the greatest distress.”
“The Duchess of Brunswick at dinner to-day [March 25th] tells me she is sure I don’t like her. She thinks I hate the King her brother, and extend that dislike to the whole family. I assure her that she is mistaken, and that nothing is easier than for me, as an American, to be attached to the royal family of England, but nothing more difficult than for a person of that family to like one of my country. ‘Well, then, I have the more merit, for I like you.’ This conversation, which lasts during the dinner and before a numerous society, would be very embarrassing to most men, and I am afterwards complimented for getting through it so well. She said, among other things, that she had persuaded herself to forget that there was such a country as America. On the whole, I am well pleased with her franchise, and tell her truly that I am well pleased with her. Converse a little with the Duke confidentially, and give him some traits of Berlin which he was unacquainted with. Mention the only means which seem to me fit for bringing the Prussian Cabinet into his views. He tells me it is now too late, in which sentiment I agree with him.”
“I am to-day [March 26th] told the private history of Lord Malmesbury’s subsidiary treaty with Prussia. His lordship employed the Prince of Nassau to intrigue at Berlin, and after some time he obtained a kind of offer that the King would send a hundred thousand men into Flanders and besiege Lille if Great Britain would pay them. The British minister declined the great number, and proposed that sixty thousand should serve in Flanders, which the King refused, and thereupon his lordship, under the pretext that it would save time, transferred the negotiation to the Hague. After several pros and cons, he came at last to the sixty thousand and the campaign in Flanders. Count Haugwitz agreed to the former, but, in pursuance of his instructions, refused peremptorily the latter. It ended by an agreement that the troops should act according to the decision of a council of war. England delayed for a long time (considering the season) her ratification, and then proposed to Möllendorf. In the course of the evening M. de Reden, with whom I converse, observes that the Prussian ministry could go on very well with the war, so long as the treasury held out, but, the war being unpopular, they could not risk taxes. The Maréchal de Castries calls, according to appointment, and after some discussion we determine that when he shall have taken the needful informations he will write to me at Hamburg. Dine at Court, and pass the evening there. At taking leave I am treated with a show of regard which, whether real or affected, is highly pleasing. The Duke is too much engaged in his cabinet to pay the social attentions; au reste, he is so much a courtier that I cannot help considering him as insincere and cold, even to the extremes of falsehood and insensibility. Brave in the field and happy in seizing the moment he is, I am told, a very able officer, but all well-informed persons agree in considering him as deficient in political courage. I think he wants other important qualities of a statesman. Man can judge of man by no other standard than his heart and mind. He who is alive to every sentiment and passion can judge well of others by adding to or diminishing the result of his own emotions, for he differs from his fellows only in the degree; but he who is born insensible can never know mankind: he is blind to some things, deaf to others; in short, he wants some of the moral senses. The Duchess, who contrasts strongly with her husband on the score of sincerity, spoke to me feelingly and freely of her daughter∗ and the Queen of England.† She considers the latter as a very bad woman—a cold, cruel hypocrite. She sheds tears of affection when speaking of her brother, and tells me that but for the Queen she would never have left England. Of the nation she speaks in terms of rapture, and I saw before, from a conversation at table on national character, that she is too much an Englishwoman for the Duke. She tells me that, notwithstanding her rank as a sovereign, she never writes to her brother without subscribing herself his subject.”
[∗]The Countess von Lichtenau was born at Potsdam, and was the daughter of a poor musician. She became the mistress of the Crown Prince of Prussia, Frederick William, and, after his accession to the throne, was a powerful and influential person until the king’s death in 1820.
[∗]Hieronymus Karl Baron Münchausen, a German officer, whose name has become proverbial as a synonyme of extravagant boasting. He published stories of adventure, under the title of Baron Münchausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia.
[∗]Sister of George III.
[∗]Caroline of Brunswick Wolfenbüttel, wife of the Prince of Wales, afterward George IV.
[†]Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz, Queen of George III.