Thursday, May 23, 2013

Honor in the Seven Years War

There was within his cantonments a very splendidly furnished palace, called the Hubertsburg Schloss, belonging to the King of Poland.  On the 21st of January, 1761, Frederick summoned to his audience-room General Saldern.  This officer cherished a very high sense of honor.  The bravest of the brave on the field of battle, he recoiled from the idea of performing the exploits of a burglar.  The following conversation took place between the king and his scrupulous general.  In very slow, deliberate tones, the king said:

"General Saldern, to-morrow morning I wish you to go with a detachment of infantry and cavalry to Hubertsburg.  Take possession of the palace, and pack up all the furniture.  The money they bring I mean to bestow on our field hospitals.  I will not forget you in disposing of it."
"Forgive me, your majesty," General Saldern replied, "but this is contrary to my honor and my oath."

The king, in still very calm and measured words, rejoined, "You would be right if I did not intend this desperate method for a good object.  Listen to me.  Great lords don't feel it in their scalp when their subjects are torn by the hair.  One has to grip their own locks as the only way to give them pain."

"Order me, your majesty," said General Saldern, "to attack the enemy and his batteries, and I will cheerfully, on the instant, obey; but I can not, I dare not, act against honor, oath, and duty.  For this commission your majesty will easily find another person in my stead."

The king turned upon his heel, and, with angry voice and gesture, said, "Saldern, you refuse to become rich."

In a pet Frederick left the room.  The heroic general, who had flatly refused to obey a positive command, found it necessary to resign his commission.  The next day another officer plundered the castle.  Seventy-five thousand dollars of the proceeds of the sale were appropriated to the field hospitals.  The remainder, which proved to be a large sum, was the reward of the plundering general.

Quote from History of Frederick the Second by John Stevens Abbott.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


"The Byzantine Empire actually became a manifest monument to the beneficence of Christian culture.  Throughout the Middle East, across North Africa, and deep into the heart of Europe, imperial stability and steadfastness had spawned a remarkable flowering of culture.  The legal system was just and efficient; government was limited and decentralized; trade was free and prosperous; families were stable and secure; perversity and corruption were suppressed while personal rights and civil liberties were enhanced.  Advancement in the sciences was unprecedented; art, music, and ideas flourished as in no other time in human history up to that point, and the literary output was bedazzling.  That was Byzantium."--quote from The Rise of Byzantium and the Fall of Rome (CD #4 in Vision Forum's History of the World A.D.) by Dr. George Grant