It was on this date, January 24, 1712, that Frederick the Great was born in Berlin. The future Hohenzollern King of Prussia spent his youth under a harsh and pious father, for whom Frederick learned to hide his hatred, and trained for a military career until he saw a chance to escape to England. His father caught him, forced him to watch an accomplice executed, and in 1733 compelled him to marry. While distinguishing himself as a military leader, Frederick’s youthful training in the arts balanced his character. He not only played the flute and composed music still performed today, but ruled Prussia with enlightenment and concern for the people. While the institution flourished in France and Russia, he abolished serfdom within his domains…
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Boswell reported that whenever Hume “heard a man was religious, he concluded that he was a rascal.”