Fully conscious that the respect which would be paid to him as a European sovereign greatly depended upon the number of men he could bring into the field of battle, Frederick William devoted untiring energies to the creation of an army. By the most severe economy, watching with an eagle eye every expenditure, and bringing his cudgel down mercilessly upon the shoulders26 of every loiterer, he succeeded in raising and maintaining an army of one hundred thousand men; seventy-two thousand being field troops, and thirty thousand in garrison.2 He drilled these troops as troops were never drilled before.

The ability which Frederick displayed in striking his enemies where they would most keenly feel the infliction, and in warding off the blows they attempted in return, excited then the surprise of Europe, and has continued to elicit the astonishment of posterity. It would but weary the reader to attempt a description of these conflicts at the outposts, terrible as they often were.

You may well suppose that, in the present posture of affairs, I am not without cares, inquietudes, and anxieties. It is the most frightful crisis I have had in my life. This is the moment for dying, unless one conquer. Daun and my brother Henry are marching side by side. It is possible enough all these armies may assemble hereabouts, and that a general battle may decide our fortune and the peace. Take care of your health, dear brother. 44 Prussian recruiters were sent in all directions to search with eagle eyes for candidates for the Potsdam Guard. Their pay was higher than that of any other troops, and they enjoyed unusual privileges. Their drill and discipline were as perfect as could by any possibility be achieved. The following stories are apparently well-authenticated, describing the means to which the king often resorted to obtain these men. Very well, said he; but where will you find kings of that sort? And thereupon went into such a sally as could not in the least lead me to suppose that he was one. In the end, he expressed pity for them, that they could not know the sweets of friendship, and cited on the occasion these verseshis own, I suppose:

This train filled the road for a distance of twenty miles. To traverse the route of ninety miles required six days. The road453 led through forests and mountain defiles. A bold and vigorous foe, well equipped and well mounted, watched the movement. To protect such a train from assault is one of the most difficult achievements of war. The enemy, suddenly emerging from mountain fastnesses or gloomy forests, can select his point of attack, and then sweep in either direction along the line, burning and destroying. The unhappy princess, distracted by these griefs, had grown thin and pale. It was soon rumored throughout the court that the king had written to Weissenfels, and that the duke was on his way to seize his reluctant bride. In this emergence, the queens friend, Baron Borck, suggested to her that, in order to get rid of the obnoxious Weissenfels, she should so far yield to the wishes of the king as to give up the English alliance, and propose a third party, who might be more acceptable to Wilhelmina. But who shall this substitute be?

It was there that I saw one of the most amiable men in the world, who forms the charm of society, who would be every where sought after if he were not a king; a philosopher without austerity, full of sweetness, complaisance, and obliging waysnot remembering that he is king when he meets his friends; indeed, so completely forgetting it that he made me too almost forget it, and I needed an effort of memory to recollect that I here saw, sitting at the foot of my bed, a sovereign who had an army of a hundred thousand men.

General Schulenburg, trembling in memory of the fact that he had once, in court-martial, given his vote in favor of beheading the Crown Prince, hastened from his post at Landsberg to congratulate the prince upon his accession to the throne. To his extreme chagrin and indignation, he was repelled by the words, An officer should not quit his post without order. Return immediately to Landsberg.