S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.
[Pierre Louis de Maupertuis, a French mathematician; born at St.-Malo, 1698; elected to the Academy of Sciences, 1723; Fellow of the Royal Society; president of the Academy of Sciences of Berlin, 1740; died 1759.]
Maupertuis, having been taken prisoner during the Seven Years War, was presented at Vienna to Maria Theresa, who said to him, Do you know the Queen of Sweden, sister of the King of Prussia? On his replying in the affirmative, the empress added, I am told that she is the most beautiful princess in the world.I thought so yesterday, was the gallant reply; or, more literally, I thought so until to-day (Je lavais cru jusqu aujourdhui).