The Honest Prisoner

Frederick II, King of Prussia, once visited a fortress prison.  Every prisoner, upon seeing the king, dropped to their knees and begged for mercy, pleading their innocence, in the hopes of being set free.  Then the king passed by one cell with a quiet prisoner, who neither took notice of Frederick nor spoke to him.

“You there!” spake the king.  “Aren’t you going to tell me you’re innocent and don’t deserve to be here?”

“No, sire.  I committed my crime and I deserve my fate.”

Impressed by the man’s honesty Frederick called to the wardens.  “Wardens!  Take this man out of here!  I won’t have this guilty man corrupting all these innocent people.”


2 thoughts on “The Honest Prisoner

  1. At least the prisoner wasn’t trying to con Frederick II. What is amazing is that Frederick decided to free the prisoner because of his honest response. Sometimes honesty does pay off.

    • Frederick’s an interesting guy. Another time he had a soldier hanged for having a lantern on after lights out, and made him write the letter to his wife saying why he was hanged. His whole family had a vein of fickleness running through them.

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