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The Political Testament of Frederick William I ("the Soldier King") (February 17, 1722)

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Therefore, we true Christians must destroy the temple of Satan. It is the duty of a God-fearing ruler – rather, your duty – to repress and not to tolerate the temple of Satan, that is, mistresses, operas, comedies, redoutes, ballets, and masques, and yourself to lead no such ungodly life, which has never been tolerated in our House, and from the day of John Sigismund no such sins have flourished in the House of Brandenburg. Read the history of our House; you will find there that this is true, and for that reason, God has continually blessed our House. Be assured that the blessing that still rests most constantly on our House comes from our godly conduct. So I beseech my dear successor, keep no mistresses nor follow any other such scandalous pleasures, and do not allow such abominable sins to flourish in your Lands and Provinces, but punish them, and I enjoin you to follow my example, and beseech you, in considering the constitution of my land and army, to remember that I have always begun with God.

Do likewise. Do so, and God will certainly bless you and will not forsake you.

Beware of flatterers and toadies; those are your enemies who always agree with you, and they are capable of leading you astray into all sorts of mischief. You must not listen to them, but reject them flatly, for by their imperceptible flatteries they seduce you into many evil sins which can damage the well-being of your lands and army, for flatterers are your greatest enemies, but those who tell you the truth are your friends, and it is they who love you, be assured of that. [ . . . ]

[The writer now enters into certain budgetary details, recommending economy in the payment of all servants of the State, beginning with the ministers. Then:]

You must manage your finances personally and alone and order the command of the army personally and alone and dispose of the two main points alone; then you will have authority in the army through the command and the love of all your officers and civil employees, because you alone hold the purse strings, and you will be respected and admired by the whole world for a sage and good ruler – may Almighty God help you to it!

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