"I learned some extraordinary things,"--things not from Friedrich at all: mere dinner-table rumors; about the 16,000 English landing here ("18,000" he calls them, and farther on, "20,000") with the other 16,000 PLUS 6,000 of Hanoverian-Hessian sort, expecting 20,000 Dutch to join them,--who perhaps will not? "M. de Neipperg [Governor of Luxemburg now] is come hither to Brussels; but brings no Dutch troops with him, as he had hoped,"--Dutch perhaps won't rise, after all this flogging and hoisting? "Perhaps we may soon get a useful and glorious Peace, in spite of my Lord Stair, and of M. van Haren, the Tyrtaeus of the States-General [famed Van Haren, eyes in a fine Dutch frenzy rolling, whose Cause-of-Liberty verses let no man inquire after]: Stair prints Memoirs, Van Haren makes Odes; and with so much prose and so much verse, perhaps their High and Slow Mightinesses [Excellency Fenelon sleeplessly busy persuading them, and native Gravitation SLEEPILY ditto] will sit quiet. God grant it!
"The English want to attack us on our own soil [actually Stair's plan]; and we cannot pay them in that kind. The match is too unfair! If we kill the whole 20,000 of them, we merely send 20,000 Heretics to-- What shall I say?--A L'ENFER, and gain nothing; if they kill us, they even feed at our expense in doing it. Better have no quarrels except on Locke and Newton! The quarrel I have on MAHOMET is happily only ridiculous." ... Adieu, M. le Marquis.
3. TO THE CARDINAL DE FLEURY. "Monseigneur, ... to give your Eminency, as I am bound, some account of my journey to Aix-la- Chapelle." Friedrich's guest there; let us hear, let us look.
"I could not get away from Brussels till the 2d of this month. On the road, I met a courier from the King of Prussia, coming to reiterate his Master's orders on me. The King had me lodged near his own Apartment; and he passed, for two consecutive days, four hours at a time in my room, with all that goodness and familiarity which forms, as you know, part of his character, and which does not lower the King's dignity, because one is duly careful not to abuse it [be careful!]. I had abundant time to speak, with a great deal of freedom, on what your Eminency had prescribed to me; and the King spoke to me with an equal frankness.
"First, he asked me, If it was true that the French Nation was so angered against him; if the King was, and if you were? I answered," --mildly reprobatory, yet conciliative, "Hm, no, nothing permanent, nothing to speak of." "He then deigned to speak to me, at large, of the reasons which had induced him to be so hasty with the Peace." "Extremely remarkable reasons;" "dare not trust them to this Paper" (Broglio-Belleisle discrepancies, we guess, distracted Broglio procedures);--they have no concern with that Pallandt-Letter Story, --"they do not turn on the pretended Secret Negotiations at the Court of Vienna [which are not pretended at all, as I among others well know], in regard to which your Eminency has condescended to clear yourself [by denying the truth, poor Eminency; there was no help otherwise]. All I dare state is, that it seems to me easy to lead back the mind of this Sovereign, whom the situation of his Territories, his interest, and his taste would appear to mark as the natural ally of France."
"He said farther [what may be relied on as true by his Eminency Fleury, and my readers here], That he passionately wished to see Bohemia in the Emperor's hands [small chance for it, as things now go!]; that he renounced, with the best faith in the world, all claim whatever on Berg and Julich; and that, in spite of the advantageous proposals which Lord Stair was making him, he thought only of keeping Silesia. That he knew well enough the House of Austria would, one day, wish to recover that fine Province, but that he trusted he could keep his conquest; that he had at this time 130,000 soldiers always ready; that he would make of Neisse, Glogau, Brieg, fortresses as strong as Wesel [which he is now diligently doing, and will soon have done]; that besides he was well informed the Queen of Hungary already owed 80,000,000 German crowns, which is about 300 millions of our money [about 12 millions sterling]; that her Provinces, exhausted, and lying wide apart, would not be able to make long efforts; and that the Austrians, for a good while to come, could not of themselves be formidable." Of themselves, no: but with Britannic soup-royal in quantity?--
"My Lord Hyndford had spoken to him" as if France were entirely discouraged and done for: How false, Monseigneur! "And Lord Stair in his letters represented France, a month ago, as ready to give in. Lord Stair has not ceased to press his Majesty during this Aix Excursion even:" and, in spite of what your Eminency hears from the Hague, "there was, on the 30th of August, an Englishman at Aix on the part of Milord Stair; and he had speech with the King of Prussia [CROYEZ MOI!] in a little Village called Boschet [Burtscheid, where are hot wells], a quarter of a league from Aix. I have been assured, moreover, that the Englishman returned in much discontent. On the other hand, General Schmettau, who was with the King [elder Schmettau, Graf SAMUEL, who does a great deal of envoying for his Majesty], sent, at that very time, to Brussels, for Maps of the Moselle and of the Three Bishoprics, and purchased five copies,"--means to examine Milord Stair's proposed Seat of War, at any rate. (Here is a pleasant friend to have on visit to you, in the next apartment, with such an eye and such a nose!) ...
"Monseigneur," finely insinuates Voltaire in conclusion, "is not there" a certain Frenchman, true to his Country, to his King, and to your Eminency, with perhaps peculiar facilities for being of use, in such delicate case?--"JE SUIS," much your Eminency's. [