"You need not excuse yourselves," said Frederick kindly, "you have had a day of great fatigue, and are, of course, exhausted. Come into the house, the night air is dangerous; we will sleep here together."
"Where are the two grenadiers?" said Goltz.
"I have sent them off on duty."
"Then your majesty must allow us to remain on guard. I have slept well, and am entirely refreshed."
"I also," said the second lieutenant. "Will your majesty be pleased to sleep? we will keep guard."
"Not so," said the king, "the moon will watch over us all. Come in."
"But it is impossible that your majesty should sleep thus, entirely unguarded. The first Cossack that dashes by could take aim at your majesty through the window."
Frederick shook his head gravely. "The ball which will strike me will come from above, [Footnote: The king's own words.--See Nicolai, p. 118.] and that you cannot intercept. No, it is better to have no watch before the door; we will not draw the attention of troops passing by to this house. I think no one will suppose that this miserable and ruinous barrack, through which the wind howls, is the residence of a king. Come, then, messieurs." He stepped into the hut, followed by the two adjutants, who dared no longer oppose him. "Put out that light," said the king, "the moon will be our torch, and will glorify our bed of straw." He drew his sword, and grasping it firmly in his right hand, he stretched himself upon the straw. "There is room for both of you--lie down. Good-night, sirs."