Talk:Frederick II of Prussia

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  • A hat that let the rain in.
    • About his crown.
  • Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl.
  • Before I endorse this sentence, I am curious to hear of the measures you want to employ for making a simple soldier pay 2000 Taler.
    • Bevor ich das gegenwärtige Urteil bestätige, bin Ich doch neugierig, die Mittel zu wissen, deren man sich bedienen will, einen Soldaten 2000 Taler bezahlen zu lassen.
    • Note on a verdict against a soldier who was sentenced to a fine of 2000 thaler for smuggling.
  • Diplomacy without power is like an orchestra without instruments.
  • I am the first servant of my state.
    • Ich bin der erste Diener meines Staates.
  • Religions must all be tolerated and the state has to keep an eye that none of them shall derogate the other, because here everyone must find his salvation in his own way.
    • Die Religionen müssen alle toleriert werden und der Fiscal muß nur das Auge darauf haben, dass Keine der Andern abruch tue, denn hier muß ein jeder nach seiner Fasson selig werden.
    • Reply on the question of his secretaries whether Catholic schools should be abolished in Protestant Prussia.
  • That the arrested man has committed blasphemy is a proof that he does not know God. That he has slandered me, I pardon him. But for his insulting of an honorable member of the council, he shall be punished as an example and be sent to Spandau prison for half an hour.
    • Dass der Arrestat Gott gelästert hat, ist ein Beweis, dass er ihn nicht kennt. Daß er mich gelästert hat, vergebe ich ihm; daß er aber einen edlen Rat gelästert hat, dafür soll er exemplarisch bestraft werden und auf eine halbe Stunde nach Spandau kommen.
    • Answering a question by a mayor how to punish a man that had committed blasphemy and insulted the king and the City Council.
  • The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudices.
  • The monarch is a perpetual sentinel, who must watch... enemies of the state... it is not that he should remain the shadow of authority, but that he should fulfill [his] duties.
  • The priest will stay. If he does not want to get up with the others on Judgement Day, he may well keep resting on his back.
    • Der Pfarrer bleibt. Wenn er am Jüngsten Tag nicht mit aufstehen will, kann er ruhig liegen bleiben.
    • Answer to the request of a parish in Pomerania to send a new priest, as the present one had ventured to deny the resurrection on Judgement Day.
  • Alle Religionen sind gleich und gut, wenn nur die Leute, die sie praktizeren, ehrliche Leute sind; und wenn Türken und Heiden kämen und wollten das Lande pöpulieren, so wollen wir ihnen Moscheen und Kirchen bauen.
    • All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches.
    • 1740 note on a question whether a Catholic was allowed the citizenship of a Prussian city.
  • Kerls, wollt ihr ewig leben?
    • Dogs, would you live forever?
    • Variation: Rogues, would you live forever? (Ihr Racke, wollen sie ewig leben?)
    • Variation: Rascals, Do you want to life forever? (Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?)
    • Addressing retreating Prussians at the Battle of Kolin (1757-06-18)
  • They are to say what they please, and I am to do what I please.
  • "I was young, had a big army, a full treasury, and I wanted to see my name in the newspapers"