Of all vanities of fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Title, indeed, may be purchased, but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.
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.
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.
Natures 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.
We must have kings, we must have nobles; nature is always providing such in every society; only let us have the real instead of the titular. In every society some are born to rule, and some to advise. The chief is the chief all the world over, only not his cap and plume. It is only this dislike of the pretender which makes men sometimes unjust to the true and finished man.