Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Nobility

"A man who lacks nobility cannot have kindliness, he can only have good nature." -

"Virtue alone is true nobility." - O. P. Gifford

"The one and only nobility is virtue." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

""Every man has a price." This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others." -

"We need above all to learn again to believe in the possibility of nobility of spirit in ourselves." - Eugene O'Neill, fully Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

"Nobility and honor always go together." -

"What is madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance." - Theodore Refke

"The Bible is our patent of nobility." - Solomon Schecter

"The soul alone raises us to nobility." -

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

"What is threatened today is moral liberty, conscience, respect for the soul, the very nobility of man. To defend the soul, its interests, its rights, its dignity, is the most pressing duty for whoever sees the danger." - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"Every day we shall see about us evidence of human pettiness, greed, self-centeredness. But if we observe carefully we also see human nobility, generosity, self-surrender and genuine religious conviction and action. The cynic remembers only man’s faults – that is why he remains a cynic. The wise man remembers his brother’s virtues. Which shall we choose to remember?" - Sidney Greenberg

"Every one of us is endowed at birth with all sorts of magnificent possibilities and potentialities. There is a capacity for idealism, a yearning for truth and beauty and nobility, a sensitivity to the hurt of others and to the dreams and needs of our fellow man. In the hopeful dawn of youth we feel these stirrings within us and we promise to bring them to life. And yet so often as the years pass by we permit these promises to be swept under the rug of expediency. We chalk them up to immaturity and we go on to live “more realistically.”" - Sidney Greenberg

"There is only the nobility of the compassion of the enlightened on their road to the “liberation” of extinction." - Os Guiness

"The human world represents a purgatorial-like range of opportunities and choices, from the most grim to the exalted, from criminality to nobility, from fear to courage, from despair to hope, and from greed to charity. This if the purpose of the human experience is to evolve, then this world is perfect just as it is." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"Death is the radical refutation of man’s power and a stark reminder of the necessity to relate to a meaning which lies beyond the dimension of human time. Humanity without death would be arrogance without end. Nobility has its root in humanity, and humanity derived much of its power from the thought of death." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Nobility is the redeemed quality which rises within the soul when it exchanges the transient for the permanent, the useful for the valuable." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The world’s inability to achieve a unity of thought and to end spiritual divisions is the real reason society is so deeply unhappy, so poor in ideas and enthusiasm, and so lacking in shared spiritual concepts which are its own inner joy, nobility and strength." - Barrett McGurn

"The measure of a man is not his strength; it is the depth of his nobility. The measure of any person is how he or she treats those who are less gifted, less intelligent, and less able. The measure of a Christian is how willing he or she is to reach down and help those who are less fortunate -- to take the strength and advantage they have to help those who have not." - Frank Edward Peretti

"There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility is in being superior to your previous self." - Hindustani Proverbs

"What's madness but nobility of soul at odds with circumstance? The day's on fire! I know the purity of pure despair, my shadow pinned against a sweating wall, that place among the rocks--is it a cave, or winding path? The edge is what I have. " - Theodore Roethke

"We human beings are capable of greater nobility than other species, but we are also potentially much more vicious. No other animal can be persuaded to fear and to hate multitudes of its own kind whom he has never seen." -

"To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobility." - Benjamin Franklin

"The seduction of war is insidious because so much of what we are told about it is true; It does create a sense of comradeship, which obliterates our alienation and makes us, for perhaps the only time of our life, feel we belong. War allows us to rise above our small stations in life. We find nobility in a cause and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion. War, for those who enter into combat, has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it the "lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War gives us a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning." - Chris Hedges

"Any fool can try to defend his mistakes - and most fools do - but it gives one a feeling of nobility to admit one's mistakes. By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected." - Lawrence G. Lovasik

"The nobility of our calling will always be rooted in two commitments difficult to observe: refusal to lie about what we know, and resistance to oppression." - Albert Camus

"The nobility of our calling will always be rooted in two commitments difficult to observe: refusal to lie about what we know, and resistance to oppression." -

"You should remember that though another may have more money, beauty, and brains than you, when it comes to the rarer spiritual values such as charity, self-sacrifice, honor and nobility of heart, you have an equal chance with everyone to be the most beloved and honored of all people." - Archibald Rutledge

"Religious worship is only as it were a postern by the side of the great portals of beauty and nobility and truth. One whose heart is filled with a yearning mystery at the sight of the starry heavens, who can adore the splendor of noble actions, courageous deeds, patient affections, who can see and love the beauty so abundantly shed abroad in the world… he can at all these moments draw near to God, and open his soul to the influx of the Divine Spirit." -

"Religious worship is only as it were a postern by the side of the great portals of beauty and nobility and truth. One whose heart is filled with a yearning mystery at the sight of the starry heavens, who can adore the splendor of noble actions, courageous deeds, patient affections, who can see and love the beauty so abundantly shed abroad in the world… he can at all these moments draw near to God, and open his soul to the influx of the Divine Spirit." - A.C. Benson, fully Arthur Christopher “A.C.” Benson

"As the years accumulate do you find yourself more sympathetic and tolerant, with a higher reverence for the nobility of your fellow men? That is the essential test of growth." - Bruce Barton

"Virtue does not of necessity go hand in hand with primitive plumbing, and nobility can be found in a skyscraper no less than in a log cabin." - David Sarnoff

"Nobility of soul is more honorable than nobility of birth." - Dutch Proverbs

"Of all vanities of fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Titles, indeed, may be purchased, but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid." - Edmund Burke

"They that deny a God destroy man’s nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature." - Francis Bacon

"That they deny a God, destroy a man’s nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by; his body; an if he is not kin to God by his spirit he is a base and ignoble creature." - Francis Bacon

"Nobility of birth commonly abateth industry." - Francis Bacon

"Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through a long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness." - George Santayana

"There is nothing noble about being superior to some other person. True nobility is in being superior to your previous self." - Hindu Proverbs

"The essence of true nobility is neglect of self. Let the thought of self pass in, and the beauty of a great action is gone, like the bloom from a soiled flower." - James Froude, fully James Anthony Froude

"Many a time I have made a comparison between nobility of sacrifice and happiness of rebellion to find out which one is nobler and more beautiful; but until now I have distilled only one truth out of the whole matter, and this truth is sincerity, which makes all our deeds beautiful and honorable." - Kahlil Gibran

"Real, constructive mental power lies in the creative thought that shapes your destiny, and your hour-by-hour mental conduct produces power for change in your life. Develop a train of thought on which to ride. The nobility of your life as well as your happiness depends upon the direction in which that train of thought is going." - Laurence J. Peter, fully Laurence Johnston Peter

"Love is the high nobility of heaven, the peaceful home of man. To lack love, when nothing hinders us, is to lack wisdom." - Mencius, born Meng Ke or Ko NULL

"Sentiment and nobility and love are immortal... Tenderness and loyalty, and patience, and self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty - these are life’s natural aspirations." - Norman Vincent Peale

"If a man be endued with a generous mind, this is the best kind of nobility." - Plato NULL

"Friendship is an order of nobility; from its revelations we come more worthily into nature." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All nobility in its beginnings was somebody’s natural superiority." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"And I say let a man be of good cheer about his soul. When the soul has been arrayed in her own proper jewels - temperance and justice, and courage, and nobility and truth - she is ready to go on her journey when the hour comes." - Socrates NULL

"Creating the unity to run an effective business or a family or a marriage requires great personal strength and courage. No amount of technical administrative skill in laboring for the masses can make up for lack of nobility of personal character in developing relationships. It is a t a very essential, one-on-one level, that we live the primary laws of love and life." - Stephen Covey, fully Stephen Richards Covey

"Virtue is the only true nobility." - Thomas Fuller