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The moment you're born you're done for.
- Arnold Bennett (Enoch Arnold Bennett)
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: And what profit shall this birthright do to me?
And Jacob, said, Swear this to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
- Bible, Genesis (ch. XXV, v. 31-34)
Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
- Bible, Psalms (ch. CX, v. 3)
And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air,
and fell upon the kindred earth;
my first sound was a cry, as is true of all.
- Bible, Wisdom of Solomon (Apocrypha)
(ch. VII, v. 3)
Born out of concern for all beings.
- Buddha (Gautama Buddha)
Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.
- Carol Burnett
He is born naked, and falls a whining at the first.
- Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
(pt. I, sec. II, mem. 3, subsect. 10)
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton, The Donkey
Prince I am not, yet I am nobly born.
- Thomas Dekker (Decker)
When real nobleness accompanies that imaginary one of birth, the imaginary seems to mix with real, and becomes real too.
- Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke
No distinction is 'tween man and man,
But as his virtues add to him a glory
Or vices cloud him.
- William Habington (Habbington)
I've learned to judge of men by their own deeds;
I do not make the accident of birth
The standard of their merit.
- Mrs. Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale
Sleep is good, death is better; but of course, the best thing would to have never been born at all.
- Heinrich Heine
Every time I see Tom DeLay, I can't help thinking: a hundred thousand sperm and YOU were the fastest?
- Jim Hightower
Birth is a shadow. Courage, self-sustained, outlords succession's phlegm, and needs no ancestors.
- Aaron Hill
High birth is a gift of fortune which should never challenge esteem towards those who receive it, since it costs them neither study nor labor.
- Jean de la Bruyere
The king was pregnant.
- Ursula K. Le Guin,
The Left Hand of Darkness
A noble birth and fortune, though they make not a bad man good, yet they are a real advantage to a worthy one and place his virtues in a fairer light.
- George Lillo
Being born, we die; our end is consequent on our beginning.
- Manilius (Manlius or Mallius) (Marcus or Caius)
The only bird that gives the poor a real tumble is the stork.
- Wilson Mizner
Called to the throne by the voice of the people, my maxim has always been, A career open to talent without distinction of birth. It is this system of equality for which the European oligarchy detests me.
- Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)
Lest, selling that noble inheritance for a poor mess of perishing pottage, you never enter into His eternal rest.
- William Penn, No Cross no Crown
(pt. II, ch. XX, sec. XXIII)
We forget the origin of a parvenu if he remembers it; we remember it if he forgets it.
- Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn
Man alone at the very moment of this birth, cast naked upon the earth, does she abandon to cries and lamentations.
- Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus),
Natural History (bk. VII, sec. II)
Verily, I swear, it is better to be lowly born, and range with humble livers in content, than to be perked up in a glistering grief, and wear a golden sorrow.
- William Shakespeare
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