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

Philip II.

  • [King of Spain; son of Charles V.; born at Valladolid, May 21, 1527; married Mary Tudor of England, 1554; received the Netherlands from his father, 1555, and Spain and the Indies in the same year; endeavored, for several years from 1566, to subdue the religious and political insurrection of the Netherlands; sent against England the “Invincible Armada,” 1588; died Sept. 13, 1598.]
  • The sun never sets upon my empire.

  • Used by Schiller:—
  • “Die Sonne geht in meinem Staat nicht unter.”
  • Don Carlos, I. 6.
  • Napoleon said during the Spanish campaign, “The sun never sets on the immense empire of Charles V.” The expression is, however, first found in the “Pastor Fido” of Guarini, brought out in Turin in 1585, on the marriage of the Duke of Savoy with Catherine of Austria, who is addressed as the proud daughter of the monarch upon whose dominions the sun never sets:—
  • “Altera figlia
  • Di quel Monarca, a cui
  • Nè anco, quando annotta, il Sol tramonta.”
  • Büchmann quotes the remark of Balthasar Schupp, “Abgenötigte Ehrenrettung,” 1660: “The king of Spain is a great potentate, who stands with one foot in the east and the other in the west; and the sun never sets that it does not shine on some of his dominions.” Tibullus says of Rome,—
  • “Et qua fluitantibus undis
  • Solis anhelantes abluit amnis equos.”
  • Elegies.
  • Camoens also repeats it of Portugal in the “Lusiad.”
  • It gave to Daniel Webster one of his finest figures, in a speech in the Senate, on the President’s Protest, May 7, 1834: that the American Colonies raised their flag against a power “which has dotted over the surface of the whole globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat, following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth with one continuous and unbroken strain of the martial airs of England.”
  • I sent my ships against men, not against the seas.

  • His only remark when told of the loss of the “Invincible Armada.”
  • When Carlos de Sessa, on his way to the stake at Valladolid, asked the king how he could permit him to be burned, Philip replied, “I would carry the wood to burn my own son with, were he as wicked as you.”