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While in health and prosperity, quaffing the wines of Frederick, he was an avowed infidel, and eagerly joined the ribald companions of the king in denouncing all religion as the fanaticism of weak minds. But in these hours of pain, of loneliness, and of approaching death he could find no consolation in the teachings of philosophy. He sent for two Christian ministers to visit497 him daily, and daily had the Bible read to him. It was a death-bed repentance. Bitterly he deplored a wasted life. Sincerely he seemed to embrace the doctrines of Christianity.143 He died, after a lingering sickness, far from home and friends, on the 27th of July, 1759.

Lieutenant Chasot, another of his friends, was a French officer who had killed a brother officer in a duel at Philipsburg, and, in consequence, had fled to the Prussian lines. He had brightness of intellect and winning manners, which rendered him a universal favorite. Captain Knobelsdorf was a distinguished musician and architect. He rendered signal service in enlarging and decorating the chateau at Reinsberg. Baron De Suhm, with whom Frederick kept up a constant correspondence, was then in Saxony, translating for the Crown Prince the philosophy of Wolff. He sent the prince chapter by chapter, with copious notes. A transient smile flitted across the kings countenance. Then, looking cold again, he added, Follow your own will in that.

The kings intimate friend, Jordan, had accompanied him as far as Breslau. There he remained, anxiously awaiting the issue of the conflict. On the 11th, the day succeeding the battle, he wrote from Breslau to the king as follows: Rambonet presented the peremptory missive, and waited forty-eight hours for the answer. He then returned to Wesel without any satisfactory reply. Frederick immediately issued a manifesto, declaring the reasons for his action, and ordered two thousand men, horse and foot, who were all ready for the emergence, to advance immediately to Maaseyk, one of the principal towns of the bishop, take possession of it and of the surrounding region, quarter themselves upon the people, enforce liberal contributions, and remain there until the bishop should come to terms.34

A letter of the same date as the above, addressed to Count Algarotti,50 contains the following expressions:

Thus was commenced the Seven Years War. It proved one of the most bloody and cruel strifes which man has ever waged against his brother man. Through its terrible scenes of conflagration, blood, and despair, Frederick obtained the renown of being one of the ablest generals who ever marshaled armies upon fields of blood.