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Being king in medieval times, under the feudal system, essentially meant persuading several hundred people (the great magnates of your realm who relied upon you for direction and stability and upon whom you relied for support) to follow you. In such situations, power politics were constantly at work and nobles maneuvered ceaselessly for position. Among the king's most perplexing and evidently tiresome tasks was separating those friends he could rely upon from simple flatterers.

Cnut (994-1035), the Danish king of England, was as violent a man as most in his time, yet was praised by his contemporaries for his justice and his piety. The king had grown weary with the flattery of his nobles, according to accounts written at the time, and determined to put an end to the constant praises of his power, greatness, and invincibility.

The king ordered that his chair be set down by the seashore, whereupon he commanded that the waves would not come in and wet him. The incoming tide soon demonstrated the futility of his human commands.

The accounts of this event add that, thereafter Cnut never again wore his crown, but hung it on a statue of Christ.

-----------------A Final thought ...

"What really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering."

- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish playwright, critic