Ptolemy, under Alexander’s orders, has arrived in Frederick’s camp in order to make an alliance if possible. Ptolemy watches as Frederick drills his soldiers. Ptolemy comments to his servant, “Stunning! Not even Alexander has that much control over his troops.”
Frederick drilled his troops all day until they could barely stand. At nightfall, Frederick summons Ptolemy to his tent to discuss Alexander’s intent.
Ptolemy enters the tent. He says, “You are truly a great general. I’m pleased to meet you.”
“Thank you. I’m glad you came.” Frederick replies.
Ptolemy questions him, “How do you obtain such iron discipline over your troops?”
“Prussians are brave and strong. They take well to drills, but if I stack a little they get out of hand.” Frederick answers and then he questions, “Doesn’t Alexander have a disciplined army?”
“Of course.” Ptolemy blushes as he answers. “Alexander is a great leader and his troops follow him with zeal, but he has a different style than yours. You remind me of Alexander’s father, King Phillip.”
“Yes, I see your point. All leaders and armies differ in character. Take for instance the Mongols under Genghis. They are fluid and very organized and vicious. They think, but my men only follow.” Frederick notes the differences of leaders and men.
Ptolemy perceives an opening and asks, “Do you think you will face Genghis first?”
“Yes.” Frederick says plainly.
“What do you make of Cyrus, Alexander, and Adolphus? They all border you too.” Ptolemy observes.
“Alexander sent you to make an alliance, correct?” Frederick asks.
“Yes. He expressed a desire to ally with you.” Ptolemy answers.
“Then he has it. If Genghis gets loose from his little corner of the world, then he will likely overrun all of us. I’m the only one who can stop him.” Frederick comments arrogantly.
“Are you confident of your relations with Adolphus?” Ptolemy asks.
“I haven’t made any arrangements with him yet. I am concerned though. If Cyrus and Alexander face off, Genghis and I battle, and Hannibal and Napoleon face off, then that leaves Caesar and Adolphus. If they battle each other, then there will be nothing for me to fear, but if they ally, then the overall situation can become volatile.” Frederick explains his ideas. He continues, “Adolphus and Caesar are wild cards in my opinion.”
“No matter what, as long as there are more than two opponents in this game, then Alexander will not attack you. You are a friend.” Ptolemy states, “If need be, you can fall back on Alexander as a reinforcement.”
Frederick extends his hand to complete the deal, “And Alexander can count on the same from me.” Frederick asks him to stay a few days.
“I wish I could, but I must meet Adolphus before I return to Alexander’s camp.” Ptolemy graciously declines.
“Then it is settled. You will remain.” Frederick says, “As Adolphus will arrive in my camp tomorrow.”