During a campaign in Silesia, Frederick the Great ordered that all fires and other sources of light were to be extinguished in his camp by a specified hour. To enforce his order, Frederick himself did the rounds. As he passed the tent of a certain captain, he spotted the glimmer of a candle and entered just as the officer was sealing a letter to his wife. When Frederick demanded to know why the man had disregarded his orders, the captain threw himself at his feet and begged for forgiveness. Frederick ordered him to sit down and add a postscript to the letter: "Tomorrow I shall perish on the scaffold." The captain obeyed and was executed on the following day.
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