03OCT2021 – Quote of the Day

I wanted to have a water jet in my garden: Euler calculated the force of the wheels necessary to raise the water to a reservoir, from where it should fall back through channels, finally spurting out in Sans Souci. My mill was carried out geometrically and could not raise a mouthful of water closer than fifty paces from the reservoir. Vanity of vanities! Vanity of geometry!

Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great)

(Every engineer recognizes this as the lament of a dissatisfied client! – photog)

29SEP2021 – Quote of the Day

Of all Prussia’s neighbours the Russian Empire is the most dangerous, both from its power and its geographical position, and those who rule Prussia after me should cultivate the friendship of those barbarians, because they are able to ruin Prussia altogether through the immense number of their mounted troops, whilst one cannot repay them for the damage which they may do because of the poverty of that part of Russia which is nearest to Prussia, and through which one has to pass in order to get into the Ukraine.

Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great)

28SEP2021 – Quote of the Day

It is thus the justice (one would have to say) which must be the main responsibility of a sovereign. Since it is the prime interest of the many people whom they control, they must give it priority over any other interest of their own. What then becomes of Machiavel’s recommendations of naked self-interest, self-aggrandizement, unleashed ambition and despotism? The sovereign, far from being the absolute Master of the people which are under his domination, is only the first servant.

Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great)

26SEP2021 – Quote of the Day

Just as people are born, live a time, and die by diseases or old age, in the same way republics are formed, flower a few centuries, and perish finally by the audacity of a citizen, or by the weapons of their enemies. All has their period; all empires, and largest monarchies even, have only so much time: the republics feel continually that this time will arrive, and they look at any too-powerful family as the carriers of a disease which will give them the blow of death.

Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great)

25SEP2021 – Quote of the Day

Do you think I take any pleasure in this dog’s life, in seeing and causing death in people unknown to me, in losing friends and acquaintances daily, in seeing my reputation ceaselessly exposed to the caprices of fortune, in spending the whole year with uneasiness and apprehension, in continually risking my life and my fortune? I certainly know the value of tranquility, the charms of society, the pleasures of life, and I like to be happy as much as anybody. Although I desire all these good things, I will not buy them with baseness and infamy. Philosophy teaches us to do our duty, to serve our country faithfully at the expense of our blood and of our repose, to commit our whole being to it.

Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great)