A degenerate nobleman is like a turnip. There is nothing good of him but that which is underground.
A fully equipped duke costs as much to keep up as two Dreadnoughts, and dukes are just as great a terror — and they last longer.
Actual aristocracy cannot be abolished by any law: all the law can do is decree how it is to be imparted and who is to acquire it.
All that is noble is in itself of a quiet nature, and appears to sleep until it is aroused and summoned forth by contrast.
An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off: it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead.
Aristocracy has three successive ages. First superiority s, then privileges and finally vanities. Having passed from the first, it degenerates in the second and dies in the third.
Aristocracy is always cruel.
I hate the noise and hurry inseparable from great Estates and Titles, and look upon both as blessings that ought only to be given to fools, for 'Tis only to them that they are blessings.
I have known a German Prince with more titles than subjects, and a Spanish nobleman with more names than shirts.
If, in looking at the lives of princes, courtiers, men of rank and fashion, we must perforce depict them as idle, profligate, and criminal, we must make allowances for the rich men's failings, and recollect that we, too, were very likely indolent and voluptuous, had we no motive for work, a mortal's natural taste for pleasure, and the daily temptation of a large income. What could a great peer, with a great castle and park, and a great fortune, do but be splendid and idle?
It is nobler to be good, and it is nobler to teach others to be good — and less trouble!
Lords are lordliest in their wine.
Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.
Nothing is quite so wretchedly corrupt as an aristocracy which has lost its power but kept its wealth and which still has endless leisure to devote to nothing but banal enjoyments. All its great thoughts and passionate energy are things of the past, and nothing but a host of petty, gnawing vices now cling to it like worms to a corpse.
Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.
Real nobility is based on scorn, courage, and profound indifference.
There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents.
Those comfortably padded lunatic asylums which are known, euphemistically, as the stately homes of England.
What is the use of your pedigrees?
You should study the Peerage, Gerald. It is the one book a young man about town should know thoroughly, and it is the best thing in fiction the English have ever done.