Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

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It's better to be an authentic loser than a false success, and to die alive than to live dead.
William Markiewicz
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Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (Spanish: Carlos I, Dutch: Karel V, German: Karl V.) (24 February 1500–21 September 1558) was effectively (the first) King of Spain from 1516 to 1556 (in principle, he was from 1516 king of Aragon and from 1516 guardian of his insane mother, queen of Castile who died 1555, and the co-king of Castile 1516-55, full king 1555-56), and Holy Roman Emperor from 1519 to 1556.


  • Fortune hath somewhat the nature of a woman; if she be too much wooed, she is the farther off.
    • From Francis Bacon's The Advancement of Learning (1605), Book II


  • A man who knows four languages is worth four men.
  • Exterminate heresy, lest it take root and overturn the state and social order.
    • to his son, Phillip II
  • In my realm, the sun never sets. (Nunca se ponía el sol)
  • I make war on the living, not on the dead.
    • Said when advised to hang Luther's corpse on the gallows. (1546)
  • I was managed and governed by M. de Chièvres, and I was not old enough to know these Kingdoms or experienced enough to govern them. And as I left immediately for Flanders, having spent very little time there, and what is more, being still unmarried and without an heir, it is not surprising that there was scandal and disturbance.
  • I could fit Paris in my Ghent.
  • I see that luck resembles women: it prefers a young king than an old emperor.
    • After his unsuccesful attempt at taking Metz from Henry the Second, king of France.
  • Iron hand in a velvet glove.
  • My life has been one long journey.
  • There are those who say that I wish to rule the world, but both my thoughts and my deeds demonstrate the contrary.
  • I speak Spanish to God, Italian to Women, French to Men, and German to my Horse.
  • To settle this matter (heresy), I am determined to use my kingdoms and dominions, my friends, my body, my blood, my life and my soul.

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