There is an ill-breeding to which, whatever our rank and nature, we are almost equally sensitive, the ill-breeding that comes from want of consideration for others.
Envy is a week that grows in all soils and climates, and is no less luxuriant in the country than in the court; is not confined to any rank of men or extent of fortune, but rages in the breasts of all degrees.
The best ground untilled, soonest runs out into rank weeds. A man of knowledge that is negligent or uncorrected, cannot but grow wild and godless.
"Every fault of the mind becomes more conspicuous and more guilty in proportion to the rank of the offender" - Persons in high station are not only answerable for their own conduct, but for the example they may hold out to others. This, joined to their advantages of education, aggravates their vices and loads them with a greater share of responsibility.
Every error of the mind is the more conspicuous and culpable in proportion to the rank of the person who commits it.
The crown and glory of life is character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and estate in the general good will; dignifying every station, and exacting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth and secures all the honor without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tells; for it is the result of proved honor, rectitude and consistency - qualities which, perhaps more than any others, command the general confidence and respect of mankind.
To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years and to take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser.
He who thinks no man above him but for his virtue, and none below him but for his vice, can never be obsequious or assuming in a wrong place, but will frequently emulate men in rank below him, and pity those above him.
A time will come when the science of destruction shall bend before the arts of peace; when the genius which multiplies our powers, which creates new products, which diffuses comfort and happiness among the great mass of the people, shall occupy in the general estimation of mankind that rank which reason and common sense now assign to it.
There is no man in any rank who is always at liberty to act as he would incline. In some quarter or other he is limited by circumstances.
A rank soil, nay, a dunghill, will produce beautiful flowers.
A man unattached and without wife, if he have any genius at all, may raise himself above his original position, may mingle with the world of fashion, and hold himself on a level with the highest; this is less easy for him who is engaged; it seems as if marriage put the whole world in their proper rank.
No matter what his rank or position may be, the lover of books is the richest and the happiest of children of men.
What to one man is food to another is rank poison.
That man is to be accounted poor, of whatever rank he be, and suffers the pains of poverty, whose expenses exceed his resources; and no man is, properly speaking, poor, but he.
Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.
There are no persons more solicitous about the preservation of rank, than those who have no rank at all.
The noblest quality and highest in rank of all human activities is philosophy… The philosopher’s aim is his theoretical studies is to ascertain the truth; in his practical knowledge, to conduct himself in accordance with that truth.
Hatred… requires respect for one’s opponent; acknowledgment of equal rank is a part of it. One despises beings of lower rank.
[Plato's ideal society] guarantees to all people the right to an education that diagnoses and perfects their unique talents, plus a work role that conveys a sense of self-esteem, saving them from the neuroses of megalomania and the lust for power. It forbids privilege and sexism and all other criteria irrelevant to merit. It eliminates conflict of interest from those who hold office and gives the masses a potent checklist they can use to hold their rulers to account. Best of all, it eliminates all traces of "might makes right" and serves as a pattern laid up in heaven to rank actual societies in terms of what corrupts them. Society becomes more corrupt as the struggle for power becomes more brutal.