Great things are achieved only when we take great risks.

— Frederick the Great

The most inspiring Frederick the Great quotes to discover and learn by heart

The more I see of men, the better I like my dog.


Little minds try to defend everything at once, but sensible people look at the main point only; they parry the worst blows and stand a little hurt if thereby they avoid a greater one. If you try to hold everything, you hold nothing.


A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.


Diplomacy without military might is like music without instruments.


Every man has a wild beast within him.


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.


I am up and about when I am ill, and in the most appalling weather.

I am on horseback when other men would be flat out on their beds, complaining. We are made for action, and activity is the sovereign remedy for all physical ills.


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.


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.


An educated people can be easily governed.


Artillery adds dignity, to what would otherwise be an ugly brawl.


You will certainly grant me that neither antiquity nor whatever nation has devised a more repulsive and blasphemous absurdity than that of eating your God. This is the most disgusting dogma of Christian religion, the greatest insult to the Highest Being, the climax of madness and insanity.


About Frederick the Great

Quotes 63 sayings
Profession Royalty
Birthday October 16

Being goal directed is not enough to conquer your enemy.

To achieve your goal you need to know and be able to utilize all the resources available to you. This includes the knowledge of all those available to you as well as using the physical resources and those who control them.


In trying to defend everything he defended nothing.


Every man must get to Heaven his own way.


It is disgusting to note the increase in the quantity of coffee used by my subjects and the amount of money that goes out of the country in consequence. Everybody is using coffee. If possible, this must be prevented. My people must drink beer.


A German singer! I should as soon expect to get pleasure from the neighing of my horse.


What is the good of experience if you do not reflect.


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.


As to your Newton, I confess I do not understand his void and his gravity;

I admit he has demonstrated the movement of the heavenly bodies with more exactitude than his forerunners; but you will admit it is an absurdity to to maintain the existence of Nothing.


I have no fault to find with those who teach geometry.

That science is the only one which has not produced sects; it is founded on analysis and on synthesis and on the calculus; it does not occupy itself with the probable truth; moreover it has the same method in every country.


They say that kings are made in the image of God. If that is what he looks like, I feel sorry for God.


Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer.


Christianity - An old metaphysical romance, filled with marvels, contradictions, and absurdity, born in the ardent imagination of Orientals, has spread into our Europe. Enthusiasts have purveyed it, careerists have pretended to accept it, imbeciles have believed it.


Religion is the idol of the mob; it adores everything it does not understand.


Talents go by nature not by birth.


It is impossible to imitate Voltaire without being Voltaire.


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.


Books make up no small part of human happiness.


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.


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.


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.


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.


If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers.


Rogues, would you live forever?


Our work is to present things that are as they are.


I love opposition that has convictions.


Euler calculated the force of the wheels necessary to raise the water in a reservoir ... My mill was carried out geometrically and could not raise a drop of water fifty yards from the reservoir. Vanity of vanities! Vanity of geometry!


I must in the face of a storm, think, live and die as a king.


Don't forget your great guns, which are the most respectable arguments of the rights of kings.


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.


It seems to me that man is made to act rather than to know: the principles of things escape our most persevering researches.


Be more than you seem to be.


A man with his heart in his profession imagines and finds resources where the worthless and lazy despair.


If soldiers were to begin to think, not one of them would remain in the army.


Theologians are all alike, of whatever religion or country they may be;

their aim is always to wield despotic authority over men's consciences; they therefore persecute all of us who have the temerity to tell the truth.


Diplomacy without arms is like a concert without a score


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.]


Man is made for error; it enters his mind naturally, and he discovers a few truths only with the greatest effort.