Frederick The Great Quotes
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Great things are achieved only when we take great risks.
All religions must be tolerated ... every man must go to heaven in his own way. [Die Religionen müssen alle toleriert werden ... denn hier muss ein jeder nach seiner Fasson selig werden.]
The more I see of men, the better I like my dog.
Diplomacy without military might is like music without instruments.
Great advantage is drawn from knowledge of your adversary, and when you know the measure of his intelligence and character, you can use it to play on his weakness.
Every man has a wild beast within him.
A man, who can, in cold blood, hunt and torture a poor, innocent animal, cannot feel much compassion for the distress of his own species.
The greatest and noblest pleasure which we have in this world is to discover new truths, and the next is to shake off old prejudices.
No government can exist without taxation. The money must necessarily be levied on the people; and the grand art consists of levying so as not to oppress.
Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer, and the King does not believe that coffee-drinking soldiers can be relied upon to endure hardships in case of another war.
A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.
Be more than you seem to be.
Artillery adds dignity, to what would otherwise be an ugly brawl.
An educated people can be easily governed.
Everybody is using coffee. If possible, this must be prevented. My people must drink beer.
Always presume that the enemy has dangerous designs and always be forehanded with the remedy. But do not let these calculations make your timid.
It is pardonable to be defeated, but never to be surprised.
A man with his heart in his profession imagines and finds resources where the worthless and lazy despair.
In trying to defend everything he defended nothing.
Man is made for error; it enters his mind naturally, and he discovers a few truths only with the greatest effort.
Our work is to present things that are as they are.
The people say what they like and then I do what I like
If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers.
God is always with the strongest battalions.
A German singer! I should as soon expect to get pleasure from the neighing of my horse.
It is the fashion these days to make war, and presumably it will last a while yet.
If soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army.
Diplomacy without arms is like a concert without a score
One should never despair too soon.
I think it better to keep a profound silence with regard to the Christian fables, which are canonized by their antiquity and the credulity of absurd and insipid people.
Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer.
A king is the first servant and first magistrate of the state.
Pleasure is the most real good in this life.
I love opposition that has convictions.
Every man must get to heaven his own way.
It is impossible to imitate Voltaire without being Voltaire.
It has been said by a certain general, that the first object in the establishment of an army ought to be making provision for the belly, that being the basis and foundation of all operations.
Do not neglect the principles of foresight and know that often, puffed up with success, armies have lost the fruit of their heroism through a feeling of false security.
Books make up no small part of human happiness.
Neither antiquity nor any other nation has imagined a more atrocious and blasphemous absurdity than that of eating God. This is how Christians treat the autocrat of the universe.
My people and I have come to an agreement which satisfies us both. They are to do what they please, and I am to do what I please.
Though I may not be a king in my future life, so much the better: I shall nevertheless live an active life and, on top of it, earn less ingratitude.
To your care and recommendation am I indebted for having replaced a half-blind mathematician with a mathematician with both eyes, which will especially please the anatomical members of my Academy.
What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?
Religion is the idol of the mob it adores everything it does not understand.
He who defends everything defends nothing.
I love an opposition that has convictions.
Nowadays it is seen as a shame, to marry a girl who is a mother, who has never been married. I want to get rid of that prejudice.
It is enough", this malicious man tells us, "to extinguish the line of the defeated prince." Can one read this without quivering in horror and indignation?