Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul...when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued withthe same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.
I wish to preach not the doctrine of ignoble ease but the doctrine of the strenuous life; the life of toil and effort; of labour and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes not to the man who desires mere easy peace but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph. A life of ignoble ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual.
There is nothing truly beautiful but that which can never be of any use whatsoever; everything useful is ugly, for it is the expression of some need, and man's needs are ignoble and disgusting like his own poor and infirm nature. The most useful place in a house is the water-closet.
Men were created for something better than merely to make money. A close application to business, until a competence is gained, is one of the chief virtues; but to continue in trade long after this result is obtained, is one of the signs, not to be mistaken, of a sordid and ignoble nature.
Christian Nestell Bovee
Compromise is not such ignoble and deplorable a thing as we generally think. It is rather an indispensable factor in the political strategy. Any nation that rises against the oppressors is bound to fail in the beginning and to gain partial reforms during the medieval period of its struggle through compromises.
We Americans have many grave problems to solve, many threatening evils to fight, and many deeds to do, if, as we hope and believe, we have the wisdom, the strength, and the courage and the virtue to do them. But we must face facts as they are. We must neither surrender ourselves to a foolish optimism, nor succumb to a timid and ignoble pessimism.
In landing operations, retreat is impossible, to surrender is as ignoble as it is foolish. above all else remember that we as attackers have the initiative, we know exactly what we are going to do, while the enemy is ignorant of our intentions and can only parry our blows. We must retain this tremendous advantage by always attacking rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, and without rest.
George S. Patton
I can't stand lies. Probably no one can. Probably everyone is, to varying degrees, allergic to them, both spiritually and physically. Lies make me feel low and ignoble, and also itchy, like there's sand under my skin. The only thing that feels worse than hearing a lie is telling one.
Marisa de los Santos
The devil will never rest, nor sleep, nor turn his head from you. He will find every fault, every weakness, every discrepancy he can magnify, expand and contort every sin to cause you to abort your mission here; to cause you to feel like a worthless, ignoble, useless, piece of garbage to get you to fail in your task that God has for you. So what are you going to do about it?
As the tragic writer rids us of what is petty and ignoble in our nature, so also the humorist rids us of what is cautious, calculating, and priggish--about half of our social conscience, indeed. Both of them permit us, in blessed moments of revelation, to soar above the common level of our lives.
I consider that a most ignoble endeavor. The only way I would like to 'help' the great majority of people is the same way Carl Panzram 'reformed' people who tried to reform him. It would be most merciful to help them by relieving them of the life they seem to hate so much. People should be happy I'm not a humanitarian-or I'd probably be the most diabolical mass murderer the world has ever known.
Anton Szandor LaVey
If we seek merely swollen, slothful ease and ignoble peace, if we shrink from the hard contests where men must win at the hazard of their lives and at the risk of all they hold dear, then bolder and stronger peoples will pass us by, and will win for themselves the domination of the world.
My friend, you had horses, and deed of arms, and the free fields; but she, being born in the body of a maid, had a spirit and courage at least the match of yours. Yet she was doomed to wait upon an old man, whom she loved as a father, and watch him falling into a mean dishonoured dotage; and her part seemed to her more ignoble than that of the staff he leaned on. -Gandalf to Eomer, of Eowyn
Meaning lies in the confrontation of contradiction - the coincidencia apositorum. That's what we really feel, not these rational schemes that are constantly beating us over the head with the 'thou shalts' and 'thou should', but rather a recovery of the real ambiguity of being and an ability to see ourselves as at once powerful and weak, noble and ignoble, future-oriented, past-facing.
Meaning lies in the confrontation of contradiction - the coincidencia apositorum. That's what we really feel, not these rational schemes that are constantly beating us over the head with the "thou shalts" and "thou should", but rather a recovery of the real ambiguity of being and an ability to see ourselves as at once powerful and weak, noble and ignoble, future-oriented, past-facing.
The laws of Pluto's kingdom know small difference between king and cobbler, manager and call-boy; and, if haply your dates of life were conterminant, you are quietly taking your passage, cheek by cheek (O ignoble levelling of Death) with the shade of some recently departed candle-snuffer.
Already he knew something of the history of the intervening years. He had heard now of the moral decay that had followed the collapse of supernatural religion in the minds of ignoble man, the decline of public honour, the ascendency of wealth. For men who had lost their belief in God had still kept their faith in property, and wealth ruled a venial world.
Through books you will meet poets and novelists whose creations will fire your imagination. You will meet the great thinkers who will share with you their philosophies, their concepts of the world, of humanity and of creation. You will learn about events that have shaped our history, of deeds both noble and ignoble. All of this knowledge is yours for the taking... Your library is a storehouse for mind and spirit. Use it well.
To higher or lower ends, they [the majority of mankind] move too often with something of a sad countenance, with hurried and ignoble gait, becoming, unconsciously, something like thorns, in their anxiety to bear grapes; it being possible for people, in the pursuit of even great ends, to become themselves thin and impoverished in spirit and temper, thus diminishing the sum of perfection in the world, at its very sources.
Whence this lifeless dejection, Arjuna, in this hour, the hour of trial? Strong men know not despair, Arjuna, for this wins neither heaven nor earth. Fall not into degrading weakness, for this becomes not a man who is a man. Throw off this ignoble discouragement, and arise like a fire that burns all before it.
Man is but mortal: and there is a point beyond which human courage cannot extend. Mr. Pickwick gazed through his spectacles for an instant on the advancing mass, and then fairly turned his back and-we will not say fled; firstly, because it is an ignoble term, and, secondly, because Mr. Pickwick's figure was by no means adapted for that mode of retreat-he trotted away, at as quick a rate as his legs would convey him;.
One of the possible reasons why we might be good is that we're frightened, frightened of God. We want the reward in Heaven, we don't want to go to Hell. That would be an ignoble, ignominious reason for being good, and I think that if anybody was good to you just because they hoped for a heavenly reward, you wouldn't respect them, you'd probably give them a wide berth.
It is not ignoble to feel that the fuller life which a sad experience has brought us is worth our personal share of pain. The growth of higher feeling within us is like the growth of faculty, bringing with it a sense of added strength. We can no more wish to return to a narrower sympathy than painters or musicians can wish to return to their cruder manner, or philosophers to their less complete formulas.
Democracy turns upon and devours itself. Universal suffrage, in theory the palladium of our liberties, becomes the assurance of our slavery. And that slavery will grow more and more abject and ignoble as the differential birth rate, the deliberate encouragement of mendicancy and the failure of popular education produce a larger and larger mass of prehensile half-wits, and so make the demagogues more and more secure.
H. L. Mencken
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee Save Me, save only Me? All which I took from thee I did but take, Not for thy harms. But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms. All which thy child's mistake Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home; Rise, clasp My hand, and come!
Francis G. Thompson
Not the children of the rich or of the powerful only, but of allalike,boys and girls, both noble and ignoble, rich and poor, in all citiesandtowns, villages and hamlets, should be sent to school.Education is indeed necessary for all, and this is evident if weconsiderthe different degrees of ability. No one doubts that those who arestupidneed instruction, that they may shake off their natural dullness. Butinreality those who are clever need it far more, since an active mind, ifnot occupied with useful things, will busy itself with what is useless,curious, and pernicious.
John Amos Comenius
It is common to assume that human progress affects everyone - that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous. . . . The great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge.
H. L. Mencken
The present is a battleground... where rival what-ifs compete to become the future 'what-is.' How does one what-if prevail over its adversaries? The answer... 'Military and political power, of course!' is a postponement, for what is it that directs the minds of the powerful? The answer is 'belief.' Beliefs that are ignoble or idealistic; democratic or Confucian; Occidental or Oriental; timid or bold; clearsighted or delusional. Power is informed by belief that this path, and not another, must be followed.
You pass by a little child, you pass by, spiteful, with ugly words, with wrathful heart; you may not have noticed the child, but he has seen you, and your image, unseemly and ignoble, may remain in his defenseless heart. You don't know it, but you may have sown an evil seed in him and it may grow, and all because you were not careful before the child, because you did not foster in yourself a careful, actively benevolent love.
Ways of loving from a distance, mating without even touching-Amor platonicus! The ladder of love one is expected to climb higher and higher, elating the Self and the Other. Plato clearly regards any actual physical contact as corrupt and ignoble because he thinks the true goal of Eros is beauty. Is there no beauty in sex? Not according to Plato. He is after 'more sublime pursuits.' But if you ask me, I think Plato's problem, like those of many others, was that he never got splendidly laid.
Did chemistry theorems exist? No: therefore you had to go further, not be satisfied with the quia, go back to the origins, to mathematics and physics. The origins of chemistry were ignoble, or at least equivocal: the dens of the alchemists, their abominable hodgepodge of ideas and language, their confessed interest in gold, their Levantine swindles typical of charlatans and magicians; instead, at the origin of physics lay the strenuous clarity of the West-Archimedes and Euclid.
My philosophy of life is that the meek shall inherit nothing but debasement, frustration and ignoble deaths; that there is security in personal strength; that you CAN fight City Hall and WIN; that any action is better than no action, even if it's the wrong action; that you never reach glory or self-fulfillment unless you're willing to risk everything, dare anything, put yourself dead on the line every time; and that once one becomes strong or rich or potent or powerful it is the responsibility of the strong to help the weak BECOME strong.
Man isn't a noble savage, he's an ignoble savage. He is irrational, brutal, weak, silly, unable to be objective about anything where his own interests are involved-that about sums it up. I'm interested in the brutal and violent nature of man because it's a true picture of him. And any attempt to create social institutions on a false view of the nature of man is probably doomed to failure.
Wherever snow falls, or water flows, or birds fly, wherever day and night meet in twilight, wherever the blue heaven is hung by clouds, or sown with stars, wherever are forms with transparent boundaries, wherever are outlets into celestial space, wherever is danger, and awe, and love, there is Beauty, plenteous as rain, shed for thee, and though thou shouldest walk the world over, thou shalt not be able to find a condition inopportune or ignoble.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The principle tragedy of my life is, like all tragedies, an irony of Destiny. I reject real life as if it were a condemnation; I reject dreams as if they were an ignoble liberation. [...]After the end of the stars uselessly whitened in the morning sky and the breeze became less cold in the barely orange tinged in the yellow of the light on the scattered low clouds, I, who hadn't slept, could finally, slowly raise my body, exhausted from nothing from the bed from which I had thought the universe.
He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that""in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we're starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That's not an entirely despicable role for us to play.
If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that-in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we're starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That's not an entirely despicable role for us to play.
No matter what the cause, even though it be to conquer with tanks and planes and modern artillery some defenseless black population, there will be no lack of poets and preachers and essayists and philosophers to invent the necessary reasons and gild the infamy with righteousness. To this righteousness there is, of course, never an adequate reply. Thus a war to end poverty becomes an unanswerable enterprise. For who can decently be for poverty? To even debate whether the war will end poverty becomes an exhibition of ugly pragmatism and the sign of an ignoble mind.
John T. Flynn
Up and away for life! be fleet!- The frost-king ties my fumbling feet, Sings in my ears, my hands are stones, Curdles the blood to the marble bones, Tugs at the heart-strings, numbs the sense, And hems in life with narrowing fence. Well, in this broad bed lie and sleep,- The punctual stars will vigil keep,- Embalmed by purifying cold; The winds shall sing their dead-march old, The snow is no ignoble shroud, The moon thy mourner, and the cloud.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
King Henry: But what a point, my lord, your falcon made, And what a pitch she flew above the rest! To see how God in all his creatures works! Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high. Suffolk: No marvel, an it like your majesty, My lord protectors hawks do tower so well; They know their masters loves to be aloft, And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch. Gloucester: My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
The cure-alls of the present day are infinitely various and infinitely obliging. Applied psychology, autosuggestion, and royal roads to learning or to wealth are urged upon us by kindly, if not altogether disinterested, reformers. Simple and easy systems for the dissolution of discord and strife; simple and easy systems for the development of personality and power. Booklets of counsel on 'How to Get What We Want,' which is impossible; booklets on 'Visualization,' warranted to make us want what we get, which is ignoble.
I want to do what little I can to make my country truly free, to broaden the intellectual horizon of our people, to destroy the prejudices born of ignorance and fear, to do away with the blind worship of the ignoble past, with the idea that all the great and good are dead, that the living are totally depraved, that all pleasures are sins, that sighs and groans are alone pleasing to God, that thought is dangerous, that intellectual courage is a crime, that cowardice is a virtue, that a certain belief is necessary to secure salvation, that to carry a cross in this world will give us a palm in the next, and that we must allow some priest to be the pilot of our souls.
Robert G. Ingersoll
War, not peace, produces virtue. War, not peace, purges vice. War, and preparation for war, call forth all that is noble and honorable in a man. It unites him with his brothers and binds them in selfless love, eradicating in the crucible of necessity all which is base and ignoble. There in the holy mill of murder the meanest of men may seek and find that part of himself, concealed beneath the corrupt, which shines forth brilliant and virtuous, worthy of honor before the gods. Do not despise war, my young friend, nor delude yourself that mercy and compassion are virtues superior to andreia, to manly valor.
We leave to monsieur Le Corbusier his style that suits factories as well as it does hospitals. And the prisons of the future: is he not already building churches? I do not know what this individual - ugly of countenance and hideous in his conceptions of the world - is repressing to make him want thus to crush humanity under ignoble heaps of reinforced concrete, a noble material that ought to permit an aerial articulation of space superior to Flamboyant Gothic. His power of cretinization is vast. A model by Corbusier is the only image that brings to my mind the idea of immediate suicide. With him moreover any remaining job will fade. And love - passion - liberty. Gilles Ivain (aka Ivan Chtcheglov)
I have brought peace to this land, and security, " he began. "And what of your soul, when you use the cleverness of argument to cloak such acts? Do you think that the peace of a thousand cancels out the unjust death of one single person? It may be desirable, it may win you praise from those who have happily survived you and prospered from your deeds, but you have committed ignoble acts, and have been too proud to own them. I have waited patiently here, hoping that you would come to me, for if you understood, then some of your acts would be mitigated. But instead you send me this manuscript, proud, magisterial, and demonstrating only that you have understood nothing at all." "I returned to public life on your advice, madam, " he said stiffly. "Yes; I advised it. I said if learning must die it should do so with a friend by its bedside. Not an assassin.
the presence of others has become even more intolerable to me, their conversation most of all. Oh, how it all annoys and exasperates me: their attitudes, their manners, their whole way of being! The people of my world, all my unhappy peers, have come to irritate, oppress and sadden me with their noisy and empty chatter, their monstrous and boundless vanity, their even more monstrous egotism, their club gossip... the endless repetition of opinions already formed and judgments already made; the automatic vomiting forth of articles read in those morning papers which are the recognised outlet of the hopeless wilderness of their ideas; the eternal daily meal of overfamiliar cliches concerning racing stables and the stalls of fillies of the human variety... the hutches of the 'petites femmes' - another worn out phrase in the dirty usury of shapeless expression! Oh my contemporaries, my dear contemporaries... Their idiotic self-satisfaction; their fat and full-blown self-sufficiency: the stupid display of their good fortune; the clink of fifty- and a hundred-franc coins forever sounding out their financial prowess, according their own reckoning; their hen-like clucking and their pig-like grunting, as they pronounce the names of certain women; the obesity of their minds, the obscenity of their eyes, and the toneless-ness of their laughter! They are, in truth, handsome puppets of amour, with all the exhausted despondency of their gestures and the slackness of their chic... Chic! A hideous word, which fits their manner like a new glove: as dejected as undertakers' mutes, as full-blown as Falstaff... Oh my contemporaries: the ceusses of my circle, to put it in their own ignoble argot. They have all welcomed the moneylenders into their homes, and have been recruited as their clients, and they have likewise played host to the fat journalists who milk their conversations for the society columns. How I hate them; how I execrate them; how I would love to devour them liver and lights - and how well I understand the Anarchists and their bombs!