Some preparations made in silence by the Marquis of Lucchesini, his affected absence from some of our late Court circles, and the number of spies who now are watching his hotel and his steps, seem to indicate that Prussia is tired of its impolitic neutrality, and inclined to join the confederacy against France. At the last assembly at our Prince Cambaceres’s, a rumour circulated that preliminary articles for an offensive alliance with your country had already been signed by the Prussian Minister, Baron Von Hardenberg, on one side, and by your Minister to the Court of Berlin on the other; according to which you were to take sixty thousand Prussians and twelve thousand Hessians into your pay, for five years certain. A courier from Duroc was said to have brought this news, which at first made some impression, but it wore away by degrees; and our Government, to judge from the expressions of persons in its confidence, seems more to court than to fear a rupture with Prussia. Indeed, besides all other reasons to carry on a war in the North of Europe, Bonaparte’s numerous and young generals are impatient to enrich themselves, as Italy, Switzerland, Holland, and the South of Germany are almost exhausted.
Paris, October, 1805.
My lord:—The provocations of our Government must have been extraordinary indeed, when they were able to awaken the Cabinet of Berlin from its long and incomprehensible infatuation of trusting to the friendly intentions of honest Talleyrand, and to the disinterested policy of our generous Bonaparte. To judge its intents from its acts, the favour of the Cabinet of St. Cloud was not only its wish but its want. You must remember that, last year, besides his ordinary Ambassador, Da Lucchesini, His Prussian Majesty was so ill advised as to despatch General Knobelsdorff as his extra representative, to assist at Napoleon’s coronation, a degradation of lawful sovereignty to which even the Court of Naples, though surrounded with our troops, refused to subscribe; and, so late as last June, the same Knobelsdorff did, in the name of his Prince, the honours at the reviews