Statement attributed to Henry IV, King of France, or Henry of Navarre.
He became the legal heir to the throne when the brother of Henry III died.
The Catholic League refused to allow a Huguenot to become heir (Henry was a Protestant).
After Henry III died, Henry IV defeated League forces. He then converted to Catholicism
and assumed the position of King. He was one of the first to practice realpolitik, using it
before the word was even used. He regarded his own beliefs as inconsequential when compared with
the greater good. He wanted what was best for France, regardless of his own desires.
He felt that his need to stay a Protestant was overshadowed by the need for him to become king.
Henry IV also demonstrated realpolitik when he issued the Edict of Nantes, which gave the
Huguenots certain religious rights. "Paris is worth a mass" is a great quotation for showing the fundamentals of this new type of enlightened rule.