The Secret of Kings: A Monograph


[p. 236]

Copy of letter from Prince Galitzin.

(Rec. April 1st, 1760.)

London, April 1st, 1760.

To M. de Kauderbach.

I have read not without surprise the envenomed shaft of abominable impiety contained in fragments of the book in question, which you were kind enough to send me, although indeed nothing ought to surprise us on the part of this impious author. This latest production of his perverse mind is worthy of his odious sentiments. I shall be greatly obliged to you, monsieur, if you will kindly send me some time the whole of this book. I am not astonished that on the complaint of the Count de Galofkin the sale of this wretched book has been prohibited, but I am very much so that . . . dares to announce publicly the printing of such blasphemy; and it seems to me that he may be made to repent of his boldness.

I am utterly ignorant of what foundation there is for speaking, with you, of a private negotiation between England and France. Here, we do not hear the slightest hint of such a thing, and if it were so, I should have been able to learn something of it. Those promenades spoken of in the Bois and at Reswyk do not appear of sufficient consequence to make one credit such rumours, telling at most only of presumption on one side and of imprudence on the other. Nevertheless, perfectly innocent as this conduct may be, it is, I venture to say, very much out of place under present circumstances. Still less can one approve of this eager and confident affectation of insinuating to the same persons that it is only owing to a certain court that a certain Reply, so much wished for, does not arrive. Insinuations of this kind, being all reported here, cannot remain unknown to the persons interested.

[p. 237]

As to the language of the Prussians, it is well to pay no attention to it, and so all that they say about the two Empresses and France regarding the peace, is unworthy of consideration. All the world is equally anxious to conclude a peace, but a peace stable and honourable. The behaviour of the Count d'Affry by order of his court towards the Count de St. Germain who has emancipated himself from wishing to meddle with the affairs of the peace without the concurrence and participation of all the allied courts, sufficiently proved the falsity of the rumours which are current with you of a private negotiation, of which I have just spoken above. M. de St. Germain has everywhere been treated on the footing of an illustrious adventurer. Here, owing to his imprudence and his unguarded behaviour, he had been taken for a spy and treated accordingly. As for me, I, like yourself, think him somewhat of a fool.

You, monsieur, have better means than I have of knowing the truth of the article in the Leyden Gazette that you have sent me concerning His Majesty the King of Prussia, who has just withdrawn their commissions from the ship-owners of Emden. All that I know about it is that the Baron de Kniphausen formerly gave these commissions from the King his master to all the English who wished to sail over the seas under the Prussian flag. Commissions of this kind were sold here by an Englishman, who was no longer of a mind to make use of them himself, to another. One may easily guess what disorder these kinds of venality would produce. I do not know whether it was owing to the representations of certain courts, which you will easily guess and of which the Swedish minister ought no longer to be ignorant, or that justice alone has had the principal share in it, that these great abuses and disorders have been mentioned to

[p. 238] [paragraph continues] M. de Kniphausen, who has withdrawn several of these commissions of the King his master, and if not all of them as yet, it is to be believed that, the above-mentioned Leyden Gazette showing the true mind of His Prussian Majesty on this matter, the remainder of these instruments of pillage will be withdrawn forthwith.

M. de Kniphausen yesterday received a courier from the King his master, but up to the present he seems disposed to keep the contents of the despatch to himself. The courier also brought a letter from the King through his minister. . . .

Copy of letter from the Count Laurwig to the Count de St. Germain, at Paris.

Copenhagen, April 3rd, 1760.

My inclination would certainly have led me to continue the honour of your acquaintance by letter, when no longer happy enough to be able to see you. But I have not had the pleasure of knowing your address, and I did not venture to trouble you until the Chamberlain, the Baron de Gleichen, gave me the assurance that you honoured me with your remembrance. Accept this token of my gratitude and of the joy that I feel in having once more found an opportunity of thanking you for all the kindness and friendship with which you honoured me in England. The sword which you presented to me and the letters which you wrote to me, I have kept as a possession too valuable for me ever to part with; but the honour of your remembrance of me is too deeply graven on my heart to allow me to lose this opportunity of assuring you of the profound esteem which is due to your dear self. Pray give me news of yourself and your commands if I can be of use to you in any way in this country; and believe

[p. 239]

me, I am so rejoiced to find my friend again (allow me to use this term) that I know not how to express all my gratitude to you. Pray receive this letter kindly, and believe that it is with true pleasure that I can repeat that I am and shall be throughout my life. . . .

P.S. The address which is on this letter was given me by the Baron de Gleichen; he told me that you wished to be written to in this way. Should you, my dear Count, honour me with a reply, my address is: Count de Danneskeold Laurwig, Knight Chamberlain and Admiral.

To the Comte de St. Germain, at the Hague.


Amsterdam, April 27th, 1760.

If a thunderbolt had struck me, I could not have been more confounded than I was at the Hague when I found that you had left. I will play my last stake and make all conceivable efforts in the hope of being able to pay my respects to you in person, for I am well aware, Monsieur, that you are the greatest lord on earth; I am only grieved that rascally people dare to give you trouble, and it is said that gold and intrigues are employed in opposition to your peaceful efforts. For the present I can breathe a little, for I am assured that M. d'Affry left suddenly on Thursday last for the Court and I hope from that that he will get what he deserves for having failed in what he owes to you, and I take him to be the cause of your long absence, and thus of my misfortune. If you find that I can be of use to you, count on my faithfulness; I have nothing but my arm and my blood, but this is gladly at your service. THE COUNT DE LA WATU.

[p. 240]

Copy of the letter of Mr. Cornet to the Count de Haslang.

The Hague, April 29th, 1760.

A foreigner who calls himself the Comte de St. Germain, whose origin and native country no one knows, but who is said to be extremely rich and very well received at different Courts in Europe, especially at that of France, after a residence of about three months which he has made here, has just disappeared when it was least expected. He has been intimately connected with the French Ambassador though he has been assiduous in seeing the Anglo-Prussian Ministers and partisans. Then, he has confided to some persons of distinction his correspondence with the Marshal Duc de Belleisle, who according to him was inclined to the re-establishment of peace between France and England, which he had in his pocket. The Count d'Affry made this known to the Duc de Choiseul who commanded him to see him no more and to threaten him with the Bastille if he continued to use such a language. The ambassador having given him this message in writing, the Count de St. Germain said publicly some days after that this minister had made enquiries about his health, that he had been extremely anxious about it and that he begged him to come and see him, the sooner the better; but that he had excused himself, on the pretext that having regard to orders received from his own court, he would not risk it. This contradictory conduct on the part of the ambassador is attributed to an order that had come to him from the Duc de Belleisle, and is regarded as a clear proof of the little unanimity reigning between the two French Secretaries of State. However that may be, the Count de St. Germain continued to say that what he had asserted was exact truth. On a second report that the

[p. 241] [paragraph continues] Count d'Affry made on this to his Court, he was commanded to have him arrested and to demand his extradition to the King his master; getting wind of which, M. de St. Germain departed first for Helvoet Sluys. As we know that the Count was in the good graces of the King and in regular correspondence with the Duc de Belleisle, people are generally persuaded that he was charged with some commission, and that his disgrace was caused either by his indiscretion, or by the want of union which is said to exist in the French ministry.

The Comte de St. Germain, by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, [1912], at

[p. 242] [p. 243]


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Methinks I am a conspiracy theorist. Art thou? Thou block, thou stone, thou worse than senseless thing, for whilst thou slept didst this become a badge of honor. Informed dissent shall always prevail, wherefore art thou worthy, or art thou this unwholesome fool in the group conformity experiment herein?

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