The captive Crown Prince was conveyed from Wesel to the castle of Mittenwalde, where he was imprisoned in a room without furniture or bed. An old chest which chanced to be there was his only seat. One of the kings favorite ministers, Grumkow, with other officials, was sent to interrogate him. The prince, probably aware that nothing which he could now do could make matters worse than they actually were, displayed much spirit in the interview. Frankly avowing his intention to escape, he refused to make any disclosures which should implicate his friends. Grumkow insolently informed him that the101 use of the rack was not yet abolished in his majestys dominions, and that, if he were not more pliant, the energies of that instrument might be called into requisition. Frederick admitted afterward that his blood ran cold at that suggestion. Still he had the nerve to reply, according to the testimony of Wilhelmina,

Friedrich Wilhelm feels this sad contrast very much; the127 more, as the soldier is his own chattel withal, and of superlative inches. Friedrich Wilhelm flames up into wrath; sends off swift messengers to bring these judges, one and all, instantly into his presence. The judges are still in their dressing-gowns, shaving, breakfasting. They make what haste they can. So soon as the first three or four are reported to be in the anteroom, Friedrich Wilhelm, in extreme impatience, has them called in; starts discoursing with them upon the two weights and two measures. Apologies, subterfuges, do but provoke him farther. It is not long till he starts up growling terribly, Ye scoundrels, how could you? and smites down upon the crown of them with the royal cudgel itself. Fancy the hurry-scurry, the unforensic attitudes and pleadings! Royal cudgel rains blows right and left. Blood is drawn, crowns cracked, crowns nearly broken; and several judges lost a few teeth and had their noses battered before they could get out. The second relay, meeting them in this dilapidated state on the staircases, dashed home again without the honor of a royal interview. This is an actual scene, of date, Berlin, 1731, of which no constitutional country can hope to see the fellow. Schlubhut he hanged, Schlubhut being only Schlubhuts chattel. This musketeer, his majestys own chattel, he did not hang, but set him shouldering arms again after some preliminary dusting.

Frederick declares, in his history, that never were tidings more welcome to him than these. He had embarked in the enterprise for the conquest of Moravia with the allies. He could not, without humiliation, withdraw. But, now that the ally, in whose behalf he assumed to be fighting, had abandoned him, he could, without dishonor, relinquish the field. Leaving the Saxons to themselves, with many bitter words of reproach, he countermanded his order for Silesian re-enforcements, assembled his troops at Wischau, and then, by a rapid march through Olmütz, returned to his strong fortresses in the north. What would become of us without philosophy, without this reasonable contempt of things frivolous, transient, and fugitive, about which the greedy and ambitious make such a pother, fancying them to be solid! This is to become wise by stripes, you will tell me. Well, if one do become wise, what matters it how? I read a great deal. I devour my books, and that brings me useful alleviation. But for my books, I think hypochondria would have had me in Bedlam before now. In fine, dear marquis, we live in troublous times and in desperate situations. I have all the properties of a stage heroalways in danger, always on the point of perishing. One must hope that the conclusion will come, and if the end of the piece be lucky, we will forget the rest.169

A smile flitted across Kattes pallid features as he replied, Death is sweet for a prince I love so well. With fortitude he ascended the scaffold. The executioner attempted to bandage his eyes, but he resisted, and, looking to heaven, said, Father, into thy hands I surrender my soul! Four grenadiers held Fritz with his face toward the window. Fainting, he fell senseless upon the floor. At the same moment, by a single blow, Kattes head rolled upon the scaffold. As the prince recovered consciousness, he found himself still at the window, in full view of the headless and gory corpse of his friend. Another swoon consigned him to momentary unconsciousness.16