Wit and Wisdom from Medieval Monarchs

Here are ten quotes from medieval Kings and Queens that we wanted to share :)

Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor (c.747 – 814)

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

Edward II, King of England (1284-1327)

“Evil to him who thinks evil.”

Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen consort of France and Queen consort of England (1122-1204)

“Grief is not very different from illness: in the impetus of its fire it does not recognize lords, it does fear colleagues, it does not respect or spare anyone, nor even itself. Pitiful and pitied by no one, why have I come to ignominy of this detestable old age, who was ruler of two kingdoms, mother of two kings?”


Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”

Alfred the Great, King of Wessex (849-99)

“I desired to live worthily as long as I lived and to leave after my life, to the men who should come after me, the memory of me in good works.”

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (1503-64)

“Let justice be done, though the world perish.”

Isabella I, Queen of Castile and Leon (1451-1504)

“The distance is great from the firm belief to the realization from concrete experience.”

Henry IV, King of England (1367-1413)

“Pride defeats its own end, by bringing the man who seeks esteem and reverence into contempt.”


Louis IX, King of France (1214-70)

Speaking to his son: “I would rather have a Scot come from Scotland to govern the people of this kingdom well and justly than that you should govern them ill in the sight of all the world.”

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1500-58)

“Fortune has something of the nature of a woman. If she is too intensely wooed, she commonly goes further away.”

You can read more of these quotes in Wit and Wisdom of Kings & Queens, by Maria Pritchard – click here to buy it on

See also: 20 Great Medieval Quotes

See also: Wise Sayings from Medieval Ireland – The Maxims of King Aldfrith of Northumbria


See also: Medieval Proverbs from The Well-Laden Ship