Ruler of the Waves

Cnut the Great ruled England, Denmark and Norway for a brief period during the 11th century.  He was a pious man, and once wished to show his ever-flattering courtiers the limits of earthly power.  He had his throne placed on the beach and ordered the tide to stop and the waves not to wet his robes.  When, inevitably, the waves reached him, he stood up and declared, “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”  And thus he showed the weakness of kings and men against the natural world.

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