quotations about nobility
I will bow myself before him who is influenced by a noble conviction, and who only desires that which is conducive to good, be he prince or man of the people.
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN, The Story of My Life
Noble people don't do things for the money, they simply have money, and that's what allows they to be noble.
MARGARET ATWOOD, Hag-Seed
It matters not from what stock we are descended so long as we have virtue; for that alone is true Nobility.
WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine
Be noble! and the nobleness that lies
In other men, sleeping but never dead,
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, Sonnet IV
Noble persons have the best capacities; for whether they give themselves to goodness or ungraciousness, they do in either excel, as none of the common sort of people can come anything nigh them.
CICERO, attributed, Day's Collacon
Nobility is kept alive and strong when it is attached to wealth, and without money it is like a dead thing, for those who are in need have often to turn their hands to vile things.
MARTIN DE VICIANA, attributed, The European Nobility in the Eighteenth Century
To men and women there falls the task of exploring truth with their reason, and in this their nobility consists.
POPE JOHN PAUL II, Encyclical, Fides et Ratio, September 14, 1998
Nobility without virtue is a fine setting without a gem.
JANE PORTER, attributed, Day's Collacon
There are epidemics of nobleness as well as epidemics of disease.
JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, Short Studies on Great Subjects
Your nobility looms up like a high mountain,
Too high for others to attain to;
But they may breathe the rare fragrance
That your soul imparts.
LI BAI, "To Meng Hao-Jan"
The noblest names in history are those, the records of whose lives are written in their own blood. To suffer is grander than to do: this has passed into a proverb. For illustrious lives we ransack, not palaces, but prisons.
LYMAN ABBOTT, Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths
Nobility is a river that sets with a constant and undeviating current, directly into the great Pacific Ocean of Time; but, unlike all other rivers, it is more grand at its source, than at its termination.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry.
FRANCIS BACON, Essays
Nobility is often no more than the inner aspect which our egotistical feelings assume when we have not yet named and classified them.
MARCEL PROUST, Within a Budding Grove
Nobility of birth does not always insure a corresponding nobility of mind; if it did, it would always act as a stimulus to noble actions; but it sometimes acts as a clog, rather than a spur.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
The nobly born must nobly meet his fate.
EURIPIDES, fragment, Alcmene
We will speak of nobility, first as a portion of an estate, then as a condition of particular persons. A monarchy, where there is no nobility at all, is ever a pure and absolute tyranny; as that of the Turks. For nobility attempers sovereignty, and draws the eyes of the people, somewhat aside from the line royal. But for democracies, they need it not; and they are commonly more quiet, and less subject to sedition, than where there are stirps of nobles. For men's eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree. We see the Switzers last well, notwithstanding their diversity of religion, and of cantons. For utility is their bond, and not respects. The united provinces of the Low Countries, in their government, excel; for where there is an equality, the consultations are more indifferent, and the payments and tributes, more cheerful. A great and potent nobility, addeth majesty to a monarch, but diminisheth power; and putteth life and spirit into the people, but presseth their fortune. It is well, when nobles are not too great for sovereignty nor for justice; and yet maintained in that height, as the insolency of inferiors may be broken upon them, before it come on too fast upon the majesty of kings. A numerous nobility causeth poverty, and inconvenience in a state; for it is a surcharge of expense; and besides, it being of necessity, that many of the nobility fall, in time, to be weak in fortune, it maketh a kind of disproportion, between honor and means.
SIR FRANCIS BACON, "Of Nobility", Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral
As for nobility in particular persons; it is a reverend thing, to see an ancient castle or building, not in decay; or to see a fair timber tree, sound and perfect. How much more, to behold an ancient noble family, which has stood against the waves and weathers of time! For new nobility is but the act of power, but ancient nobility is the act of time. Those that are first raised to nobility, are commonly more virtuous, but less innocent, than their descendants; for there is rarely any rising, but by a commixture of good and evil arts. But it is reason, the memory of their virtues remain to their posterity, and their faults die with themselves. Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry; and he that is not industrious, envieth him that is. Besides, noble persons cannot go much higher; and he that standeth at a stay, when others rise, can hardly avoid motions of envy. On the other side, nobility extinguisheth the passive envy from others, towards them; because they are in possession of honor. Certainly, kings that have able men of their nobility, shall find ease in employing them, and a better slide into their business; for people naturally bend to them, as born in some sort to command.
FRANCIS BACON, "Of Nobility", Essays, or Counsels Civil and Moral
Oddly enough, only when Nobility is removed do some people ever come to miss it. It is an acquired taste, after all.
TIM DANIEL, The Pursuit of Nobility: Living a Life That Matters
She had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed were private ones. Her feelings were her own, and could not be altered from outside.
GEORGE ORWELL, 1984