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Her majesty, all in tears, complained of her situation. The king is nigh losing his senses on account of the differences with Hanover; goes from bed to bed in the night-time, and from chamber to chamber, like one whose brains are turned. Took a fit at two in the morning lately to be off to Wusterhausen. Since his return he gives himself up entirely to drink. The king will not suffer the prince royal to sit next his majesty at table, but obliges him to go to the lower end, where things are so ordered that the poor prince often rises without getting one bit, insomuch that the queen was obliged two days ago to send, by one of the servants who could be trusted, a box of cold fowls and other eatables for his royal highnesss subsistence. Frederick.122

In one of the letters of the Crown Prince, speaking of the mode of traveling with his father, he says: We have now been traveling near three weeks. The heat is as great as if we were riding astride upon a ray of the sun. The dust is like a dense cloud, which renders us invisible to the eyes of the by-standers. In addition to this, we travel like the angels, without sleep, and almost without food. Judge, then, what my condition must be. The school of patience I am at is hard, long-continued, cruel, nay, barbarous. I have not been able to escape my lot. All that human foresight could suggest has been employed, and528 nothing has succeeded. If Fortune continues to pursue me, doubtless I shall sink. It is only she that can extricate me from the situation I am in. I escape out of it by looking at the universe on the great scale, like an observer from some distant planet. All then seems to me so infinitely small; and I could almost pity my enemies for giving themselves such trouble about so very little.

The months rolled rapidly on, and Fritz, having entered his fourteenth year, was appointed by his father, in May, 1725, captain in the Potsdam Grenadier Guard. This giant regiment has attained world-wide renown, solely from the peculiarity of its organization. Such a body of men never existed before, never will again. It was one of the singular freaks of the Prussian king to form a grenadier guard of men of gigantic stature. In the prosecution of this senseless aim not only his own realms were ransacked, but Europe and even Asia was explored in search of giants. The army was with Frederick William the great object of life, and the giant guard was the soul of the army. This guard consisted of three battalions, 800 in each, 2400 in all. The shortest of the men were nearly seven feet high. The tallest were almost nine feet in height. They had been gathered, at an enormous expense, out of every country where they could be found. No greater favor could be conferred upon the king than to obtain for him a giant. Many amusing anecdotes are related of the stratagems to which the king resorted to obtain these mammoth soldiers. Portraits were painted of all of them. Frederick William paid very little regard to individual rights or to the law of nations if any chance presented itself by which he could seize upon one of these monster men. Reigning in absolutism, compared with which the despotism of Turkey is mild, if he found in his domains any young woman of remarkable stature, he would compel her to marry one of his giants. It does not, however, appear that he thus succeeded in perpetuating a gigantic race.

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The Austrian cavalry made an impetuous charge upon the weaker Prussian cavalry on the right of the Prussian line. Frederick commanded here in person. The Prussian right wing was speedily routed, and driven in wild retreat over the plain. The king lost his presence of mind and fled ingloriously with the fugitives. General Schulenberg endeavored, in vain, to rally the disordered masses. He received a sabre slash across his face. Drenched in blood, he still struggled, unavailingly, to arrest the torrent, when a bullet struck him dead. The battle was now raging fiercely all along the lines.

When the king, after the Seven Years War, now and then in carnival season dined with the queen in her apartments, he usually said not a word to her. He merely, on entering, on sitting down at table, and leaving it, made the customary bows, and sat opposite to her. Once the queen was ill of gout. The table was in her apartments, but she was not there. She sat in an easy-chair in the drawing-room. On this occasion the king stepped up to the queen and inquired about her health. The circumstance occasioned among the company present, and all over the town, as the news spread, great wonder and sympathy. This is probably the last time he ever spoke to her.193