How can a rational being be ennobled by anything that is not obtained by its own exertions?
The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise isgone! it isgone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.Edmund Burke
Adversity, Citizen Deputies, discourages none but contemptible peoples; ours has been ennobled by great feats and we are far from being shorn of the immense obstacles, material and moral, which the country will oppose…benito juárez
When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled. ~ Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species, 6th ed. (1872), page 428. X Y
When mighty roast beef was the Englishman's food It ennobled our hearts and enriched our blood Our soldiers were brave and our courtiers were good. Oh! the roast beef of England, And Old England's roast beef.
Statesman, yet friend to truth; of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear; Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; ennobled by himself, by all approv'd, And prais'd, unenvy'd, by the Muse he lov'd.Alexander Pope
Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear; Who broke no promise, served no private end, Who gained no title, and who lost no friend, ennobled by himself, by all approved, And praised, unenvied, by the muse he loved.Alexander Pope