Eccentricity is not, as some would believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.
Kelsier smiled. 'It means that you, Vin, are a very special person. You have a power that most high noblemen envy. It is a power that, had you been born an aristocrat, would have made you one of the most deadly and influential people in all of the final empire.' Kelsier leaned forward again. 'But, you weren't born an aristocrat. You're not noble, Vin. You don't have to play by their rules--and that makes you even more powerful.
Kelsier smiled. 'It means that you, Vin, are a very special person. You have a power that most high noblemen envy. It is a power that, had you been born an aristocrat, would have made you one of the most deadly and influential people in all of the final empire.' Kelsier leaned forward again. 'But, you weren't born an aristocrat. You're not noble, Vin. You don't have to play by their rules-and that makes you even more powerful.
To the feudal aristocracy and the aristocracy of the spirit, nobility derives from diametrically opposite sources. The glory of the feudal aristocrat is in being a link in the longest possible chain of ancestors. The glory of the aristocrat of the spirit is in having no ancestors - or having as few as possible. If an artist is his own ancestor, if he has only descendents, he enters history as a genius; if he has few ancestors, or is related to them distantly, he enters history as a talent.
It's hard to not get typed in Hollywood. They really want to type you. I'm trying to avoid that, because I want to do a lot of things. I know what I'm capable of. I forgive them because they don't know. They haven't seen me play Hamlet. They're not going to cast me as an English aristocrat. I'm going to have to prove that on my own. That's okay. That's what you have to fight for if you want to be an artist.
If the aristocrat is only valid in fashionable circles, and not with truckmen, he will never be a leader in fashion; and if the man of the people cannot speak on equal terms with the gentleman, so that the gentleman shall perceive that he is already really of his own order, he is not to be feared.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The aristocrat, when he wants to, has very good manners. The Scottish upper classes, in particular, have that shell-shocked look that probably comes from banging their heads on low beams leaping to their feet whenever a woman comes into the room. Aristocrats are also deeply male chauvinist, and ... on the whole they tend to be reactionary.
I have an intellectual inclination for democratic institutions, but I am instinctively an aristocrat, which means that I despise and fear the masses. I passionately love liberty, legality, the respect for rights, but not democracy....liberty is my foremost passion. That is the truth.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Interestingly, the actress who, in her own persona, may be gentle, shy, and socially awkward, someone whose hand trembles when pouring a cup of tea for a visiting friend, can convincingly portray an elegant, cruel aristocrat tossing off malicious epigrams in an eighteenth-century chocolate house.
The most impoverished peasant can be delighted by the opening of the first spring flower, and the most wealthy aristocrat can curse the day he was born because of some petty offense to his sensibilities. She is a very wise woman. To achieve serenity we have to view life not as it is measured by the world around us but as we ourselves measure it. We must accept that the scales are not at all equal.
If life is music, I sometimes feel as though I was born on the off-beat of the song, and I love it. As Christian numbers reportedly decrease in America, my love for Christ feels as though it increases. Yes, somewhat strange indeed, but in all honesty: I now want to be thought unfaithful about as much as a bougie aristocrat wants to be thought a hobo.
If life is music, I sometimes feel as though I was born on the off-beat of the song, and I love it. As Christian numbers reportedly decrease in America, my love for Christ feels as though it increases. I must be honest about such strange feelings: I now want to be thought unfaithful about as much as a bougie aristocrat wants to be thought a hobo.
Put any two people together and each will seek ways of feeling superior to the other. If a ship went down in the Pacific and a single sailor managed to swim to a desert island, would he be pleased to see, ten minutes later, another sailor emerging from the surf? Quite possibly - but only if the new arrival accepted that the first man was now a landed aristocrat while he himself was an illegal immigrant.
In the dynamics of the main family of the story, a rising socialist in England's postwar government expects his grandparents to be pleased that the local aristocrat's garden is commandeered to allow the people to get coal underneath. Instead, the grandparents grieve because the garden represents something more than a resource to be divided. It is a symbol of community and beauty.
He says that there can be no high civilization without enslavement of the masses, either nominal or real. There must, he says, be a lower class, given up to physical toil and confined to an animal nature; and a higher one thereby acquires leisure and wealth for a more expanded intelligence and improvement, and becomes the directing soul of the lower. So he reasons, because, as I said, he is born an aristocrat;-so I don't believe, because I was born a democrat.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Americans ... do not naturally apply the term "bourgeois" to themselves, or to anyone else for that matter. They do like to call themselves middle class, but that does not carry with it any determinate spiritual content. ... The term "middle class" does not have any of the many opposites that bourgeois has, such as aristocrat, saint, hero, or artist all good.
I saw myself as reviving a certain mode of life, a mode that had been almost lost: the contemplative life of the country gentleman, in harmony with his status and history. In Renaissance times they had called it sprezzatura. The idea was to do whatever one did with grace, to imbue one's every action with beauty, while at the same time making it look quite effortless. Thus, if one were to work at, say, law, one should raise it to the level of an art; if one were to laze, then one must laze beautifully. This, they said, was the true meaning of being an aristocrat.
Speaking of dust, 'out of which we came and to which we shall return,' do you know that after we are dead our corpses are devoured by different kinds of worms according as we are fat or thin? In fat corpses one species of maggot is found, the rhizophagus, while thin corpses are patronized only by the phora. The latter is evidently the aristocrat, the fastidious gourmet which turns up its nose at a heavy meal of copious breasts and juicy at bellies. Just think, there is no perfect equality, even in the manner in which we feed the worms.
I will tell you, too, that every fairy tale has a moral. The moral of my story may be that love is a constraint, as strong as any belt. And this is certainly true, which makes it a good moral. Or it may be that we are all constrained in some way, either in our bodies, or in our hearts or minds, an Empress as well as the woman who does her laundry... Perhaps it is that a shoemaker's daughter can bear restraint less easily than an aristocrat, that what he can bear for three years she can endure only for three days... Or perhaps my moral is that our desire for freedom is stronger than love or pity. That is a wicked moral, or so the Church has taught us. But I do not know which moral is the correct one. And that is also the way of a fairy tale.
Abyssinias "I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: A huge four-footed limestone form Sits in the desert, sinking in the sand. Its whiskered face, though marred by wind and storm, Still flaunts the dainty ears, the collar band And feline traits the sculptor well portrayed: The bearing of a born aristocrat, The stubborn will no mortal can dissuade. And on its base, in long-dead alphabets, These words are set: "Reward for missing cat! His name is Abyssinias, pet of pets; I, Ozymandias, will a fortune pay For his return. he heard me speak of vets - O foolish King! And so he ran away.
Henry N. Beard
During discussions in his office, Bradlee frequently picked up an undersize sponge-rubber basketball from the table and tossed it toward a hoop attached by suction cups to the picture window. The gesture was indicative both of the editor's short attention span and of a studied informality. There was an alluring combination of aristocrat and commoner about Bradlee: Boston Brahmin, Harvard, the World War II Navy, press attache at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, police-beat reporter, news-magazine political reporter and Washington bureau chief of Newsweek. - Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Alfred... stands, high and haughty, on that good old respectable ground, the right of the strongest; and he says, and I think quite sensibly, that the American planter is 'only doing, in another form, what the English aristocracy and capitalists are doing by the lower classes;' that is, I take it, appropriating them, body and bone, soul and spirit, to their use and convenience. He defends both, - and I think, at least, consistently. He says that there can be no high civilization without enslavement of the masses, either nominal or real. There must, he says, be a lower class, given up to physical toil and confined to an animal nature; and a higher one thereby acquires leisure and wealth for a more expanded intelligence and improvement, and becomes the directing soul of the lower. So he reasons, because, as I said, he is born an aristocrat; - so I don't believe, because I was born a democrat.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father. But it was an arresting face, pointed of chin, square of jaw. Her eyes were pale green without a touch of hazel, starred with bristly black lashes and slightly tilted at the ends. Above them, her thick black brows slanted upward, cutting a startling oblique line in her magnolia-white skin - that skin so prized by Southern women and so carefully guarded with bonnets, veils and mittens against hot Georgia suns.
I'm not saying that French books are talented, and intelligent, and noble. They don't satisfy me either. But they're less boring than the Russian ones, and not seldom one finds in them the main element of creative work-a sense of personal freedom, which Russian authors don't have. I can't remember a single new book in which the author doesn't do his best, from the very first page, to entangle himself in all possible conventions and private deals with his conscience. One is afraid to speak of the naked body, another is bound hand and foot by psychological analysis, a third must have "a warm attitude towards humanity, " a fourth purposely wallows for whole pages in descriptions of nature, lest he be suspected of tendentiousness... One insists on being a bourgeois in his work, another an aristocrat, etc. Contrivance, caution, keeping one's own counsel, but no freedom nor courage to write as one wishes, and therefore no creativity. - A Boring Story
The Aristocrat The Devil is a gentleman, and asks you down to stay At his little place at What'sitsname (it isn't far away). They say the sport is splendid; there is always something new, And fairy scenes, and fearful feats that none but he can do; He can shoot the feathered cherubs if they fly on the estate, Or fish for Father Neptune with the mermaids for a bait; He scaled amid the staggering stars that precipice, the sky, And blew his trumpet above heaven, and got by mastery The starry crown of God Himself, and shoved it on the shelf; But the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn't brag himself. O blind your eyes and break your heart and hack your hand away, And lose your love and shave your head; but do not go to stay At the little place in What'sitsname where folks are rich and clever; The golden and the goodly house, where things grow worse for ever; There are things you need not know of, though you live and die in vain, There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain; There is a game of April Fool that's played behind its door, Where the fool remains for ever and the April comes no more, Where the splendour of the daylight grows drearier than the dark, And life droops like a vulture that once was such a lark: And that is the Blue Devil that once was the Blue Bird; For the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn't keep his word.
In a cage of wire-ribs The size of a man's head, the macaw bristles in a staring Combustion, suffers the stoking devils of his eyes. In the old lady's parlour, where an aspidistra succumbs To the musk of faded velvet, he hangs in clear flames, Like a torturer's iron instrument preparing With dense slow shudderings of greens, yellows, blues, Crimsoning into the barbs: Or like the smouldering head that hung In Killdevil's brass kitchen, in irons, who had been Volcano swearing to vomit the world away in black ash, And would, one day; or a fugitive aristocrat From some thunderous mythological hierarchy, caught By a little boy with a crust and a bent pin, Or snare of horsehair set for a song-thrush, And put in a cage to sing. The old lady who feeds him seeds Has a grand-daughter. The girl calls him 'Poor Polly', pokes fun. 'Jolly Mop.' But lies under every full moon, The spun glass of her body bared and so gleam-still Her brimming eyes do not tremble or spill The dream where the warrior comes, lightning and iron, Smashing and burning and rending towards her loin: Deep into her pillow her silence pleads. All day he stares at his furnace With eyes red-raw, but when she comes they close. 'Polly. Pretty Poll', she cajoles, and rocks him gently. She caresses, whispers kisses. The blue lids stay shut. She strikes the cage in a tantrum and swirls out: Instantly beak, wings, talons crash The bars in conflagration and frenzy, And his shriek shakes the house.
There was just enough room for the tonga to get through among the bullock-carts, rickshaws, cycles and pedestrians who thronged both the road and the pavement-which they shared with barbers plying their trade out of doors, fortune-tellers, flimsy tea-stalls, vegetable-stands, monkey-trainers, ear-cleaners, pickpockets, stray cattle, the odd sleepy policeman sauntering along in faded khaki, sweat-soaked men carrying impossible loads of copper, steel rods, glass or scrap paper on their backs as they yelled 'Look out! Look out!' in voices that somehow pierced though the din, shops of brassware and cloth (the owners attempting with shouts and gestures to entice uncertain shoppers in), the small carved stone entrance of the Tinny Tots (English Medium) School which opened out onto the courtyard of the reconverted haveli of a bankrupt aristocrat, and beggars-young and old, aggressive and meek, leprous, maimed or blinded-who would quietly invade Nabiganj as evening fell, attempting to avoid the police as they worked the queues in front of the cinema-halls. Crows cawed, small boys in rags rushed around on errands (one balancing six small dirty glasses of tea on a cheap tin tray as he weaved through the crowd) monkeys chattered in and bounded about a great shivering-leafed pipal tree and tried to raid unwary customers as they left the well-guarded fruit-stand, women shuffled along in anonymous burqas or bright saris, with or without their menfolk, a few students from the university lounging around a chaat-stand shouted at each other from a foot away either out of habit or in order to be heard, mangy dogs snapped and were kicked, skeletal cats mewed and were stoned, and flies settled everywhere: on heaps of foetid, rotting rubbish, on the uncovered sweets at the sweetseller's in whose huge curved pans of ghee sizzled delicioius jalebis, on the faces of the sari-clad but not the burqa-clad women, and on the horse's nostrils as he shook his blinkered head and tried to forge his way through Old Brahmpur in the direction of the Barsaat Mahal.