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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Alfonso X.

  • [King of Leon and Castile, surnamed “The Wise;” born 1226; succeeded to the throne, 1252; bore a high reputation for learning and eloquence, and was distinguished for his patronage of science and literature; gave Europe the Alphonsine astronomical tables; died 1284.]
  • Had I been present at the creation, I could have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.

  • Directed against the conceit of the court astronomers. Without that explanation, the remark has subjected Alfonso to the same charge.
  • Carlyle refers the saying to the Ptolemaic system, likewise in sarcasm, “It was a pity the Creator had not taken advice!”—Frederick the Great, II. 7. He finds no other utterance of the Castilian on record, but the following has been attributed to him: “To make a good marriage, the husband should be deaf, and the wife blind.”