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Around 400 years ago, Charles V stepped down as the Holy Roman Emperor. When he retired to his palace in Spain, he tried without success to get the six clocks in his palace to chime the hour together. But no matter how hard he tried, no matter what new methods he tried, nothing ever worked. He later wrote in his memoirs:

How is it possible for six different clocks to chime all at the same time? How is it even more possible for the six nations of the Holy Roman Empire to live in harmony? It can’t be done, it’s impossible, even if they call them Christians.”