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[ Also see Ancestry Aristocracy Baseness Character Courtiers Dignity Distinction Gentlemen Greatness Position Rank Responsibility Royalty Station Sublimity Titles Worth ]

Noble souls, through dust and heat,
  Rise from disaster and defeat
    The stronger;
      And conscious still of the divine
        Within them, lie on earth supine
          No longer.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Whene'er a noble deed is wrought,
  Whene'er is spoken a noble thought,
    Our hearts, in glad surprise,
      To higher levels rise.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Be noble in every thought
  And in every deed!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Christus--The Golden Legend (pt. II)

Noble by birth, yet nobler by great deeds.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Tales of a Wayside Inn
         (pt. III, The Student's Tale, Emma and Eginhard, l. 82)

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

Let wealth and commerce, laws and learning die,
  But leave us still our old nobility.
      - Lord John James Robert Manners, 7th Duke of Rutland,
        England's Trust (pt. III, l. 227)

If a man be endued with a generous mind, this is the best kind of nobility.
      - Plato (originally Aristocles}

Nobility, without virtue, is a fine setting without a gem.
      - Jane Porter

What is highest and noblest in man conceals itself.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

Talent and worth are the only eternal grounds of distinction. To these the Almighty has affixed His everlasting patent of nobility. Knowledge and goodness,--these make degrees in heaven, and they must be the graduating scale of a true democracy.
      - Catharine Maria Sedgwick

His nature is too noble for the world.
  He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
    Or Jove for's power to thunder.
      - William Shakespeare, Coriolanus
         (Menenius at III, i)

This was the noblest Roman of them all.
  All the conspirators save only he
    Did that they did in envy of great Caesar;
      He, only in a general honest thought
        And common good to all, made one of them.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Antony at V, v)

Nature makes all the noblemen; wealth, education, or pedigree never made one yet.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Vain-glorious man, when fluttering wind does blow
  In his light wing's, is lifted up to sky;
    The scorn of-knighthood and true chivalry.
      To think, without desert of gentle deed
        And noble worth, to be advanced high,
          Such praise is shame, but honour, virtue's meed,
            Doth bear the fairest flower in honourable seed.
      - Edmund Spenser

Better not to be at all
  Than not to be noble.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Princess
         (pt. II, l. 79)

Whoe'er amidst the sons
  Of reason, valor, liberty and virtue,
    Displays distinguished merit, is a noble
      Of Nature's own creating.
      - James Thomson (1), Coriolanus
         (act III, sc. 3)

Nature's noblemen are everywhere,--in town and out of town, gloved and rough-handed, rich and poor. Prejudice against a lord, because he is a lord, is losing the chance of finding a good fellow, as much as prejudice against a ploughman because he is a ploughman.
      - Nathaniel Parker Willis

Titles are marks of honest men, and wise:
  The fool or knave that wears a title lies.
      - Edward Young, Love of Fame
         (satire I, l. 145)

Nobility should be elective, not hereditary.
      - Johann Georg von Zimmermann

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