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Birthright   /bˈərθrˌaɪt/   Listen
Birthright

noun
1.
A right or privilege that you are entitled to at birth.
2.
An inheritance coming by right of birth (especially by primogeniture).  Synonym: patrimony.
3.
Personal characteristics that are inherited at birth.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Birthright" Quotes from Famous Books



... pleasant side of society, which is so persistent and so deluding where money is concerned, to have been in the run of big affairs not because one has created them, but because one is a part of them and because they are one's birthright, like the air one breathes, could not help but create one of those illusions of solidarity which is apt to befog the clearest brain. It is so hard for us to know what we have not seen. It is so difficult for us to feel what we have ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... of Siam (his birthright wrested from him, and his life imperilled) took refuge in a Buddhist monastery and assumed the yellow garb of a priest. His father, commonly known as Phen-den-Klang, first or supreme king of Siam, had just died, leaving this prince, Chowfa Mongkut, at the age ...
— The English Governess At The Siamese Court • Anna Harriette Leonowens

... of the savage mother that had suckled him in infancy rose to an insistent demand—he craved the hot blood of a fresh kill and his muscles yearned to pit themselves against the savage jungle in the battle for existence that had been his sole birthright for the first twenty years of ...
— Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... all except the most reflecting people in the United States have, within the last five years, become really and seriously impressed with the notion that the whole continent of the New World is a part of their birthright, and that it is about to pass under their dominion, as a matter of course, as well as that all the powers of the Old World cannot hinder this consummation one day, or even exist themselves much longer, as a political millennium ...
— Canada and the Canadians, Vol. 2 • Richard Henry Bonnycastle

... it would fall, if he allowed himself to be carried away by his love for Pepita, without great discredit. Although the price, indeed, was in this case incomparably higher, yet Don Luis felt that, should he yield to his passion, he would be following the example of Esau, selling his birthright and bringing opprobrium on ...
— Pepita Ximenez • Juan Valera

... rich Norwegians, and still fewer who are able to live as independent gentlemen on their estates; no man can claim the right to be called noble, for the nobility of the country was abolished by law nearly a century ago, and since then equality has been the birthright of every Norseman. But no one can prevent money made in trade gradually finding its way into the pockets of a few capable men of business, and thus class distinctions must be created. The majority of the Norwegians, however, are content to work and earn sufficient to ...
— Peeps at Many Lands: Norway • A.F. Mockler-Ferryman

... the prisoners it was otherwise. The courage of the Irish is more conspicuous in the advance than in the retreat; and even of that recklessness in fight, that joy in the conflict, which is their birthright and their fame, Flavia had taken more than her woman's share. In James McMurrough's mean and narrow nature there was small room for the generous passions. Unlike his sister, he would have struck ...
— The Wild Geese • Stanley John Weyman

... between the time he left home and the period when he won his first mount on the track, his natural birthright, Billy Garrison often told himself he would never care to look back upon. He was young, and he did not know that years of privation, of hardship, of semi-starvation—but with an insistent ambition goading ...
— Garrison's Finish - A Romance of the Race-Course • W. B. M. Ferguson

... hurricane, I pray, Strip my soul naked—dress it then thy way. Change for me all my rags to cloth of gold. Who would not poverty for riches yield? A hovel sell to buy a treasure-field? Who would a mess of porridge careful hold Against the universe's birthright old? ...
— A Book of Strife in the Form of The Diary of an Old Soul • George MacDonald

... following resolution: "Resolved, That our Liberty and Independence are based upon the right of the people to form for themselves such a government as they may choose; that this great principle, the birthright of freemen, the gift of Heaven, secured to us by the blood of our ancestors, ought to be secured to future generations, and no limitation ought to be applied to this power in the organization of any ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... Giacinto should become Prince Saracinesca, and should have possession of all the immense wealth that belonged to the family. San Giacinto was the heir in the direct line, and although his great-grand-father had relinquished his birthright in the firm expectation of having no children, the existence of his descendants might greatly modify the provisions of ...
— Sant' Ilario • F. Marion Crawford

... be prepared for the loss of parents and their tender affection; of brothers and sisters, relatives and friends; of wife and children, if he has any; of his birthright, social position, means of livelihood, reputation, and all the power which hides behind the magic word "caste"; of all that he is taught from his childhood ...
— Things as They Are - Mission Work in Southern India • Amy Wilson-Carmichael

... unadorned, as lively as if he had lived amongst Bushmen and savages all his life. Then he crossed over the Atlantic, and brought before you the American Indian, with his noble nature, struggling into the dawn of civilization, when Friend Penn cheated him out of his birthright, and the Anglo-Saxon drove him back into darkness. He showed both analogy and contrast between this specimen of our kind and others equally apart from the extremes of the savage state and the cultured,—the Arab in his tent, the Teuton in his forests, the Greenlander in his boat, the Finn ...
— The Caxtons, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... himself in our midst, so to speak,—as a mushroom,—and expect to thrive on limited favours. I can be of assistance to you. My position, as you doubtless know, is rather a superior one in the capital. An unfortunate marriage has not lessened the power that I possess as a birthright nor the esteem in which I am held throughout Europe. The disgraceful methods employed by my former wife in securing a divorce are well known to you, I take it, and I am gratified to observe that you frown upon them. I suppose you know the ...
— A Fool and His Money • George Barr McCutcheon

... representatives in their most conspicuous moral feature, it would be more true to say, that the bribe and the almost magical seduction for them, capable of charming away their sternest resolutions, and of relaxing the hand of the patriot when grasping his noblest birthright, has ever lain in great military success, in the power of bringing victory to the national standards, and in continued offerings on the altar of public vanity. In their estimate for above a thousand years, ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v2 • Thomas de Quincey

... beneath. And there also the code is most obviously a code of status and shows most plainly its incompatibility with all vulgarly productive work. A divine assurance and an imperious complaisance, as of one habituated to require subservience and to take no thought for the morrow, is the birthright and the criterion of the gentleman at his best; and it is in popular apprehension even more than that, for this demeanour is accepted as an intrinsic attribute of superior worth, before which the base-born commoner ...
— The Theory of the Leisure Class • Thorstein Veblen

... "Tannhauser" and "Lohengrin," it is absolutely necessary to make a breach in the old routine of criticism, the long ears and short sight of "Philistia," as well as the stupid arrogance of that self-sufficient fraction of the public which believes itself the destined judge of works of art by dint of birthright. ...
— Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt, Volume 1 • Francis Hueffer (translator)

... Have they lost nothing?" This was Clayton's attorney, an Irishman named Denis Nolan. There had been two n's in the Denis, originally, but although he had disposed of a part of his birthright, he was still belligerently Irish. "What about Rumania? What about the Russians at ...
— Dangerous Days • Mary Roberts Rinehart

... society? Shall we abridge or mutilate the image of God, stamped upon the soul at its creation, by which we are capable of knowing and obeying his law, in order to secure the aid and protection of man? Shall we barter away any portion of this our glorious birthright for any poor boon of man's devising? Yes, we are told—and why? Because, says Blackstone, "Legal obedience and conformity is infinitely more valuable than the wild and savage liberty which is sacrificed to ...
— Cotton is King and The Pro-Slavery Arguments • Various

... was placed in possession of all the facts as learned by his chum, and as of old they discussed the situation, for while the boy from the lumber regions lacked the education and polish that were Cuthbert's birthright, he did possess a shrewd mind and had homely ideas of what was good and true—this had been the very thing that attracted the Virginian to him in the start, and the more he saw of Eli the stronger grew his ...
— Canoe Mates in Canada - Three Boys Afloat on the Saskatchewan • St. George Rathborne

... the pragmatists have accustomed us, to breathe again the crisp air of scholastic common sense. It is good for us to be held down, as the Platonic Socrates would have held us, to saying what we really believe, and sticking to what we say. We seem to regain our intellectual birthright when we are allowed to declare our genuine intent, even in philosophy, instead of begging some kind psychologist to investigate our "meaning" for us, or even waiting for the flux of events to endow us with what "meaning" it will. It is also instructive ...
— Winds Of Doctrine - Studies in Contemporary Opinion • George Santayana

... litter'd under a roof Neither wind nor water proof— That's the prose of Love in a Cottage— A puny, naked, shivering wretch, The whole of whose birthright would not fetch, Though Robins himself drew up the sketch, The bid of "a mess ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... respect." This was certainly a distortion of his exact words and meaning; yet the exaggeration was more than half excusable, in view of the literal and unbending rigor with which he proclaimed the constitutional disability of the entire African race in the United States, and denied their birthright in the Declaration of Independence. His unmerciful logic made the black before the law less than a slave; it reduced him to the status of a horse or dog, a bale of dry-goods or a block of stone. Against such a debasement of any living image of the Divine Maker the resentment of ...
— Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2 • John George Nicolay and John Hay

... The fat philanthropist is a debtor, but he behaves like a creditor; he distributes obligations with his gold, yet he has no right to the gold he gives. He makes his brother beg upon his knees for the life and the health and the dear opportunity that should have been that brother's birthright." ...
— Living Alone • Stella Benson

... manly for his years, took hold of business as if it had been his birthright. Perhaps it had come to him with the resemblance to his uncle. And when Philemon Nevitt decided to take back his father's name, Polly and Primrose ...
— A Little Girl in Old Philadelphia • Amanda Minnie Douglas

... modestly frank on the subject as on every other. It was a moral and social point of the deepest importance; and it would be wrong of them to rush into it without due consideration. She had duly considered it. She would give her children, should any come, the unique and glorious birthright of being the only human beings ever born into this world as the deliberate result of a free union, contracted on philosophical and ethical principles. Alan hinted certain doubts as to their up-bringing and education. There, too, Herminia was perfectly frank. They would be ...
— The Woman Who Did • Grant Allen

... strangers? Will ye arm for your Tribune? You are silent!—be it so. Will you arm for your own liberties—your own Rome? Silent still! By the saints that reign on the thrones of the heathen gods! are ye thus fallen from your birthright? Have you no arms for your own defence? Romans, hear me! Have I wronged you?—if so, by your hands let me die: and then, with knives yet reeking with my blood, go forward against the robber who is but the herald of your slavery; and I die ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... angels above, and as innocent, and she loves you with a mad abandon that is worse than idolatry—as only women ever love. And you? You are grand and noble, a milor Inglese, and you take her love—her crazy worship—as a demi-god might, with uplifted grace, as your birthright; and she is your pretty toy of an hour. And then careless and happy, you are gone. Sunny Spain, with its olives and its vineyards, its pomegranates and its Zenith the Gitana, is left far behind, and you are roaming, happy and free, through La Belle France. And lo! Zenith the forsaken ...
— The Baronet's Bride • May Agnes Fleming

... a bargain at all? You have the strength, the courage, the brains—why chaffer when you have but to strike once to win all? You stand between Boris and Ulick; crush them both in a single embrace and take their birthright of power." ...
— The Doomsman • Van Tassel Sutphen

... one shall see the Lord; (15)looking diligently, lest any one come short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and the many be thereby defiled; (16)lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright. (17)For ye know that he also afterward, when he wished to inherit the blessing, was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, though he sought after ...
— The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. • Various

... so much that a garden should have an old sun-dial, as that it should have a sun-dial. For the matter of that, they are all old. Venerableness is their birthright. Whoever thinks of youth in a sun-dial? Were you unboxing one just from the maker would you not expect ...
— Virginia: The Old Dominion • Frank W. Hutchins and Cortelle Hutchins

... Maiden of Norway, (as her father was king of that country,) became the heiress of this kingdom of Scotland, as well as of her father's crown. An unhappy death was this for Alexander, who had no nearer heirs left of his own body than this grandchild. She indeed might claim his kingdom by birthright; but the difficulty of establishing such a claim of inheritance must have been anticipated by all who bestowed a thought upon the subject. The Scottish king, therefore, endeavoured to make up for his loss by replacing his late Queen, who was an English ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... position and high personal qualities. It was hinted by one that the ancient barony of the Talbots would be revived by the king; and the gratitude of a free and grateful country, with the consciousness of having materially aided in acquiring that independence which should be the birthright of every Englishman, was eloquently portrayed by the other. When to the last plea was added the personal preference of Katharine Wilton, the balance was overcome, and the hopes of the mother were ...
— For Love of Country - A Story of Land and Sea in the Days of the Revolution • Cyrus Townsend Brady

... many of the better houses of that period. The grounds were ample, extending to the pond and covered with a variety of fine fruit and shade trees. Now crowded by modern buildings into the background, deprived of its garden gray with weather stains, this old house shows few signs of its birthright. About the middle of this century the small cottage still standing on the lot adjoining the Parker house was the quiet home of two much esteemed old ladies, Mrs. Shepard and her daughter Abby. Miss Abigail ...
— Annals and Reminiscences of Jamaica Plain • Harriet Manning Whitcomb

... not fancy you busy," he said, "any more than I could fancy the goddess Juno in a hurry. To some fair women there belongs by birthright a calm that is ...
— A Mad Love • Bertha M. Clay

... impelled wicked Cain. If, however, there were in any one those ample powers, or that free will, by which a man might defend himself against the assaults of Satan, these gifts would most assuredly have existed in Cain, to whom belonged the birthright and the promise of the blessed seed. But in that very same condition are all men! Unless nature be helped by the Spirit of God, it cannot maintain itself. Why, then, do we absurdly boast of free-will? Now follows another ...
— Commentary on Genesis, Vol. II - Luther on Sin and the Flood • Martin Luther

... descend, and what we here ordain, Report to yon mad tyrant of the main. Bid him from fight to his own deeps repair, Or breathe from slaughter in the fields of air. If he refuse, then let him timely weigh Our elder birthright, and superior sway. How shall his rashness stand the dire alarms, If heaven's omnipotence descend in arms? Strives he with me, by whom his power was given, And is there equal ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer

... fight for his own. David, by persistent but most tactful questioning, has brought out two salient facts in his biography. Knudsen is first the son of an immigrant, talks Swedish in his home, has none of the American background which to David is a man's birthright. And second he is a college man, from Hobart. Over these two facts the boy is sadly perplexed. Legally, Knudsen is as American as the rest of us—but can he be? Socially he is also all right, since he is a ...
— At Plattsburg • Allen French

... delicate adjustment; for this, intelligence and conscience have been developed. Morality is the way of life that intelligence and conscience oppose to instinct and impulse. Not to be guided by their wisdom is to forfeit our birthright, like Esau, for a mere mess of pottage. Some of the main types of difficulty that necessitate their overruling ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... dignity was dead in these descendants of the great people who had made the Empire; they had long ago sold their birthright of valour and of honour for the pottage of luxury and the favours of a tyrannical madman. What cared they if after they had feasted and shouted themselves hoarse in praise of a deified brute, the ruins of Rome came crashing down over their graves? What cared they if in far-off barbaric lands ...
— "Unto Caesar" • Baroness Emmuska Orczy

... of the average man, comes into the world still-born. It has nothing to say; its hearers know it all, and the exact value of it all, already. And in their heart of hearts, many even of those who have stooped to a lower ideal, and sold their birthright of hopes beyond the passing hour, for a mess of pottage in the form of material success and easy enjoyment, have a lurking contempt for the preachers of what they practise; as many a slaveholder in America probably had for the clerical defenders of ...
— A Short History of Greek Philosophy • John Marshall

... which required to be entwined around the throne by the silken cords of kindness and interest, instead of being bandaged to England by 29 Acts of Parliament, every one of which indicated the loss of some sacred birthright or privilege of Englishmen and their posterity as soon as they emigrated from the eastern to the western shores of the Atlantic. Those who emigrated to or were born in America were no less Englishmen than those who remained or were born in England, and were entitled ...
— The Loyalists of America and Their Times, Vol. 1 of 2 - From 1620-1816 • Egerton Ryerson

... days the sash was shoved down and air given. High winds and frosty nights prompted to careful covering and tucking away. The Cliffords were not of those who believe that pork, cabbage, and potatoes are a farmer's birthright, when by a small outlay of time and skill every delicacy can be enjoyed, even in advance of the season. On a warm slope from which the frost ever took its earliest departure, peas, potatoes, and other hardy products of the ...
— Nature's Serial Story • E. P. Roe

... receive the crown, that he would preserve it. Yet, for more than twenty years, there has been a most cruel, fraudulent, and outrageous endeavour instituted, and carried on, to deprive us of that freedom and birthright. We were asking no new thing from Government, we were taking no step to disturb Government, we were in peace with all men, when Government, with the principles of a robber and the cruelty of a tyrant, demanded of us to surrender those immunities of conscience which our fathers had earned and ...
— Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters • John Galt

... that we must save will be a beacon light on the shores of time for mankind. It will be worth all the blood and all the tears we shall give for it. The grandeur of our sacrifice will be the birthright of our children's children. It will be the end of sectionalism. We can never again curse and revile one another, as we have in the past. We've written our character in blood for all time. We've met in ...
— The Southerner - A Romance of the Real Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... man of birth, an aristocratic nature, who wants to get back into the highroad to honors and recover his social birthright, his blighted position.—You, at this moment, are playing both parts. You are suffering from the pangs of having lost your position, and think yourself justified in throwing over a hapless lover whose misfortune it has been that he fancied ...
— Parisians in the Country - The Illustrious Gaudissart, and The Muse of the Department • Honore de Balzac

... Certainly if he had not possessed a feeling for art, he would have been a monster. To have been born in the earlier part of the sixteenth century, to have been a king, to have had Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands as a birthright, and not to have been inspired with a spark of that fire which glowed so intensely in those favored lands and in that golden age, ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... himself a little; by which I mean that his honour feared his nature. The circumstances of his education, and the goal that for some years now he had kept in view, had robbed him of much of that spirited brutality that is the birthright of the male. He had grown timid and gentle as a woman. Aware of it, he feared that once the heat of his passion was spent he might betray a dishonouring weakness, in ...
— Scaramouche - A Romance of the French Revolution • Rafael Sabatini

... from Cleveland on the train Nyoda had watched men who had scarcely taken their eyes from Hinpoha. The guardian sighed as she reflected on the problem, for she knew how difficult it would be for Hinpoha to live out the happy normal girl life which was her birthright. ...
— The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods - Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping • Hildegard G. Frey

... a true nomad, a wandering child of Nature, whose birthright was a craving for the warpath, with courage and endurance probably exceeded by no other people, and with cunning beyond reckoning. Although his character is a strong mixture of courage and ferocity, the Apache is gentle and affectionate toward those of his own flesh and ...
— The North American Indian • Edward S. Curtis

... power with him. Her heart was swollen with joy at the thought that she was to be allowed to share danger and death with him. It is not easy for a daring, ambitious man to enter into such thoughts. They are the property, and the copyright, and the birthright of woman. ...
— The Dictator • Justin McCarthy

... flowers of Old England. The people everywhere speak the language with remarkable purity. The aspirate is rarely misplaced, unless by a recent immigrant. The misuse of the aspirate is, indeed, a peculiar part of the birthright of an Englishman. No one ever yet heard it from the poorest or most illiterate class in the United States. In Australia, says Mr. Froude, 'no provincialism has yet developed itself. The tone is soft, the language good.' The young people looked fresh and healthy, 'not lean ...
— The Quarterly Review, Volume 162, No. 324, April, 1886 • Various

... the shops in a famine of desire for some of the new styles. Her pretty body cried out for appropriate adornment as its birthright. She was ashamed to go to the studio a third time in the same old suit. She ordered one little slip of a dress sent home "collect." She had hoarded the remnant of her Silsby dollars. When she reached home the delivery-wagon ...
— We Can't Have Everything • Rupert Hughes

... position. Only you could have been given the heritage that is yours! My Boy, yours is a mission, a responsibility, from the Creator of Life Himself. Everybody can follow—but only God's chosen few can lead! And you—oh, Boy! yours is a birthright above that of all other princes—if ...
— One Day - A sequel to 'Three Weeks' • Anonymous

... was sinless. But we must quickly remember what this means, or else there may seem to be no following for us, only a wistful gazing where we cannot go. It does not mean simply this, that through His peculiar birthright there was freedom from ...
— Quiet Talks on Following the Christ • S. D. Gordon

... was a son of God? Luke calls him so. But he, like Esau after him, sold his birthright, lost the divine image in which God had created him, and fell from his sonship. But now we read: "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not, with him also, freely ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... my son; your father's son! And have you no reproach for your mother, who so weakly, so criminally, concealed your birthright, till, alas! discovery may be too late? Oh! reproach me, reproach me! it will be kindness. No! do not kiss me! I cannot bear it. Boy! boy! if as my heart tells me, we fail in proof, do you understand what, in the world's eye, I am; what ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 1 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... bars To claim its birthright with the hosts of heaven! A seed of sunshine that doth leaven Our earthly dullness with the beams of stars, And glorify our clay With light from fountains ...
— Preaching and Paganism • Albert Parker Fitch

... appear of secondary importance. Equity of birth and wealth were the chief considerations. The choice of the Athenian citizen was limited to Athenian maidens; only in that case were the children entitled to full birthright, the issue of a marriage of an Athenian man or maiden with a stranger being considered illegitimate by the law. Such a marriage was, indeed, nothing but a form of concubinage. The laws referring to this point were, however, frequently evaded. At the solemn ...
— Museum of Antiquity - A Description of Ancient Life • L. W. Yaggy

... la Guerre" and "De la Conduite de La Guerre," which give a high idea of their author's character and talent. There is nothing in them that ought to scare away the average reader. Their style has the geometrical lucidity which is the polytechnician's birthright, but in spite of the deliberate impersonality generally attached to that style of writing, there emanates from it a curious quality which gradually shows us the ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 2, May, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... I expected was all true. We do think alike about so many things," said the Queen's Twin with affectionate certainty. "You see, there is something between us, being born just at the some time; 't is what they call a birthright. She 's had great tasks put upon her, being the Queen, an' mine has been the humble lot; but she's done the best she could, nobody can say to the contrary, and there 's something between us; she's been the great lesson I 've had to live by. She's been everything to me. An' when she had her Jubilee, ...
— The Queen's Twin and Other Stories • Sarah Orne Jewett

... showed an anxiety to burst through his skin. The tired ache, after a little exertion, was no longer with him. His chest broadened by inches and his body took on the buoyancy and elasticity that were his real birthright, but of which the close confinement of Ukalla had almost robbed him ...
— The Spoilers of the Valley • Robert Watson

... concern for German morals. This mood eventuated in Lord Haldane's "week end" trip to Berlin. The voice was the voice of Jacob, in spite of the hand of Esau. Mr. Churchill at Glasgow, showed the real hand and the mess of pottage so amiably offered at Berlin bought no German birthright. The Kreuz Zeitung rightly summed up the situation by pointing out that "Mr. Churchill's testimony can now be advanced as showing that the will of England alone comes in question as the exponent of peace, and that ...
— The Crime Against Europe - A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914 • Roger Casement

... is a very great Satisfaction to consider the best and wisest of Mankind in all Nations and Ages, asserting, as with one Voice, this their Birthright, and to find it ratify'd by an express Revelation. At the same time if we turn our Thoughts inward upon our selves, we may meet with a kind of secret Sense concurring with the Proofs of ...
— The Spectator, Volume 2. • Addison and Steele

... Coming in from the hunt one day, weary with his exertions, he detects the savory smell of the mess of pottage, and his crafty brother says, "I will give you this for your birthright," which was his right to be a priest in his household; a moment more and the birthright is gone; and in the New Testament we are told he sought it with tears and could find no place of repentance. But many a man has sold his right ...
— And Judas Iscariot - Together with other evangelistic addresses • J. Wilbur Chapman

... of a sudden, she saw it. Moving with the stealthy caution which is its birthright, it appeared fleetingly a score of feet lower on the steep slope, the body and its shadow, a twin for stealthy silence, gone in a flash, reappearing once more still lower on the slope and just beyond the pine sapling. It was ...
— The Everlasting Whisper • Jackson Gregory

... and the roses of June, into the warm breath of July afternoons and the languid pulse of August, perhaps even into the mild haze of September and the "flying gold" of brown October? In narrating to you the fruition of my hopes, I shall endeavor to preserve that calm equanimity which is the birthright of royal minds. I shall endeavor not to be unduly elated by success nor unduly depressed by failure, but to state in simple language the result of my experiments, both for an encouragement and a warning. I shall give the history of ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 9, No. 55, May, 1862 • Various

... every where, contributed, at a still later day, to weaken that party in Kentucky; but the vital change in the political faith of Kentucky, was wrought by Henry Clay. All previous interruptions to the opinions which she had acquired as her birthright from Virginia, were but partial, and would have been ephemeral, but the spell which the great magician cast over his people was like the glamour of mediaeval enchantment. It bound them in helpless but delighted acquiescence in the will of the master. ...
— History of Morgan's Cavalry • Basil W. Duke

... consciousness which must have come to her when once she realized the nature and character of the man to whom she had given herself in marriage. Here in this stately mirror had she seen herself arrayed in the splendid clothes which were the poor price for which she had sold her birthright. He stood and looked at himself in the mirror, with an uncanny feeling that behind his own image there was that of the beautiful Bettina, whom once he had thought to protect forever by his love and strength and tenderness, and who now, with only a hired servant, was alone in the great shipful ...
— A Manifest Destiny • Julia Magruder

... belligerent Catholicism and Protestantism, or of sympathizing with the deeply-religious feelings of one who, after calculating all chances and surveying all dogmatic differences, thought that he could serve God as well and his country better in that communion which was his by birthright. To an illuminated intellect there was not in the seventeenth century much reason to prefer one of the Reformed Churches to Catholicism, except for the sake of political freedom. It being impossible to change ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... considerable estate—truly man—and woman—play many parts in this brief span called life! But in making her sole heir the marquis specifies a condition which will bring regrets to many of the admirers of the actress. He robs her of her birthright from her mother. The will stipulates that the recipient give up her profession, not because it is other than a noble one, but 'that she may the better devote herself to the duties of her new position ...
— The Strollers • Frederic S. Isham

... in fact, various kinds of monotheism, and it becomes our duty to examine more carefully what they mean and how they arise. There is one kind of monotheism, though it would more properly be called theism, or henotheism, which forms the birthright of every human being. What distinguishes man from all other creatures, and not only raises him above the animal world, but removes him altogether from the confines of a merely natural existence, is the feeling of sonship inherent in and inseparable from human ...
— Chips From A German Workshop - Volume I - Essays on the Science of Religion • Friedrich Max Mueller

... followed it, the justness of her claim of him who now lay in the dignity of death clothed her—who in life had been crushed and blotted out—with a dignity not to be gainsaid. In this moment of final self-assertion she became the dominating person in the room, knew for once the birthright of human worth. They watched her in silence as she turned and gave one last, lingering look at the features of the dead; stretched out her hand towards them, but did not touch them . . . and then went slowly towards the door. Beside ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... feet of the bank. The broad Slave, then, by its size wins in majesty but must lose most all its charm; the Buffalo, being fifty feet wide, has some waste water; but the Nyarling, half the size, has its birthright compounded and intensified in manifold degree. The water is clear, two or three feet deep at the edge of the grassy banks, seven to ten feet in mid-channel, without bars or obstructions except the two log-jambs ...
— The Arctic Prairies • Ernest Thompson Seton

... before the suffrage for settlement are, in view of the whole complex and historic body of the State, comparatively few; for society and its institutions, as the fathers handed them down, are accepted at birth and by custom and with real veneration, as our birthright,—the birthright of a race, a nation, and a hearth. The suffrage does not undertake to rebuild from the foundations; the people are slow to remove old landmarks; but it does mean to modify and strengthen this inheritance ...
— Heart of Man • George Edward Woodberry

... private affairs. To this general statement of the case we agree; but we may point out that in terming our aristocracy a privileged class one material distinction has been passed over. For whereas the French noblesse constituted a caste partly exempted by birthright from the general taxation, and vested with certain vexatious rights to which no duties corresponded, the English aristocracy possessed legally no privileges at all. It was not an exclusive order, but an upper class ...
— Studies in Literature and History • Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall

... years she has seemed so indifferent; she has neglected her duty in part—I confess it freely—it is not your fault alone, gentlemen, that we are not with you to-day. If we had been as conscious of our duty and privilege years ago as we are to-day, if we had known our birthright, we should have stood by your side, welcome coadjutors, long since. So we will take the blame of the past alike—we have all been walking very slowly this path of Christian civilization. But in the greatest conflict of modern times, you announced great principles and ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... week, week, and year, year. It was a weary monotony of manual labor, poverty, restless travel, on foot, and hopeless attempts to recover my birthright—the privileges of excess—which had gone from me forever. Cities and their bright lights laughed ...
— The Blue Wall - A Story of Strangeness and Struggle • Richard Washburn Child

... assume quite an air of authority when he chose; it seemed to be a portion of his birthright; and these lazy blacks are quick to recognize this vein in the voice of anyone with whom they come ...
— The House Boat Boys • St. George Rathborne

... pages about the exploits of the gallant men who composed the American Navy, beginning with the Revolution and ending with the story of their wonderful deeds in our late war with Spain. You can never read a more interesting story, nor one that will make you feel prouder of your birthright. While our patriot armies have done nobly, it is none the less true that we never could have become one of the greatest nations in the world without the help of our heroic navy. Our warships penetrated into all waters of the globe, and made people, whether barbarous or civilized, respect and fear ...
— Dewey and Other Naval Commanders • Edward S. Ellis

... aristocratic shepherdesses ever beheld—one of them would have lost her graceful equanimity, reddened with affront, and tingled to the finger-tips with angry unbelief if she had been warned beforehand that she would be amongst the last of the high-born, high-bred brides who would forfeit her birthright and her presence at a Queen's Court by agreeing to be married at the hands of a blacksmith instead of a bishop, before the rude hymeneal altar ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, (Victoria) Vol II • Sarah Tytler

... one of the sailors, who sat on the breach of a gun near the forecastle, "I've bin flogged twice for merely growlin', which is an Englishman's birthright, an' I won't stand it no longer. A pretty pass things has come to when a man mayn't growl without tastin' the cat; but if Captain Bligh won't let me growl, I'll treat him to a roar that'll make him cock his ears an' wink six times ...
— The Lonely Island - The Refuge of the Mutineers • R.M. Ballantyne

... all around—to Hannibal, down the Mississippi on a raft, and even across the Desert of Sahara in a balloon—and he has endured it all with the patience and friendliness and loyalty which were his birthright. It was on the farm that I got my strong liking for his race and my appreciation of certain of its fine qualities. This feeling and this estimate have stood the test of sixty years and more and have suffered ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... put aside the personal he could now do), "She has the New England alertness of mind inherited from her mother without the New England reticence, and from her Kentucky father, eccentric as he is, she gets the vivacity and charm which is the Kentucky girl's birthright." ...
— The Boy from Hollow Hut - A Story of the Kentucky Mountains • Isla May Mullins

... and brushed up to a crest upon the middle of his head, a complexion of red and white that all the air of the downs and the sea failed to embrown, and that peculiar openness and candour of expression which seems so much an English birthright, that the only trace of his French origin was, that he betrayed no unbecoming awkwardness in the somewhat embarrassing position in which he was placed, literally standing, according to the respectful discipline of the time, as the subject of discussion, before the circle of his ...
— The Chaplet of Pearls • Charlotte M. Yonge

... all that you know is entirely comparative. Birthright and habit must settle the business. Bertram is certainly well off for a cadet of even a baronet's family. By the time he is four or five and twenty he will have seven hundred a year, and nothing to ...
— Persuasion • Jane Austen

... face had grown thin and haggard; her limbs trailed heavily; the wondrous lustre of her golden hair had faded. She was ill!—ill, and I could not assist her! I believe at that moment I would have gladly forfeited all claims to my human birthright, if I could only have been dwarfed to the size of an animalcule, and permitted to console her from whom fate ...
— Masterpieces of Mystery In Four Volumes - Mystic-Humorous Stories • Various

... introduced into it the usual hash of sentiment which is the distinctive feature of a degenerate cosmopolitanism. Those sons who blushed for their fathers set themselves to abnegate their racial conscience: and they succeeded only too well. Having plucked out the soul that was their birthright, all that was left them was a mixture of the moral and intellectual values of other races: they made a macedoine of them, an olla podrida: it was their way of taking possession of them. The men who who were at that time in control of the theaters in Paris were extraordinarily skilful ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... address, and hear in it those expressions of devotion to Her Majesty the Queen, which indicate the feelings which rise so truly in the hearts of every man, woman, and child in Canada, and which not only prove the natural impulses of all who enjoy the birthright of British citizens, but demonstrate the convictions of a people who, by the knowledge they have acquired of the political institutions of the world, cling with a tenacity and firmness never to be shaken, to the constitution which their fathers moulded, and under which they ...
— Memories of Canada and Scotland - Speeches and Verses • John Douglas Sutherland Campbell

... no power to strike from the meanest Indian trapper, the basest trader or camp-follower, as the senator from New York styled these people, their equal privileges, this sovereignty of right, which is the birthright of every American citizen. This sovereignty may—nay, it must—remain in abeyance until society becomes sufficiently strong and stable to be entitled to its full exercise, as sovereignty does not belong to the general government, and its ...
— Robert Toombs - Statesman, Speaker, Soldier, Sage • Pleasant A. Stovall

... always, a two-fold division, the Jew and the Gentiles, or outside nations. Now three, the Jew, the outsiders, and the church. The church is an eclectic society, a chosen out body. Its principle of organization is radically different from that of the Hebrew nation. There membership was by birthright. Here it is ...
— Quiet Talks about Jesus • S. D. Gordon

... tact that seems the birthright of the gifted few, Mrs. Lee adjusted herself to the ways of the Marsh household. Some commotion had been caused by the arrival of four more trunks, of different shapes and sizes, but after they had been unpacked and stored, ...
— Master of the Vineyard • Myrtle Reed

... few old names still left in Massachusetts,— Jingleberry Hill and Chillyshally** Brook sound as if they once meant something; Spot Pond, named by Governor Winthrop, has not lost its birthright; Powder-Horn Hill records its purchase from the Indians for a hornful of powder—probably damp; Drinkwater River is a good name,—Strong Water Brook by many is considered better. It is well to record these names ...
— Two Thousand Miles On An Automobile • Arthur Jerome Eddy

... Roger Littlepage was born in 1786—the second son of my grandfather, Mordaunt Littlepage, and of Ursula Malbone, his wife. My own father, Malbone Littlepage, was the eldest child of that connexion; and he would have inherited the property of Ravensnest, in virtue of his birthright, had he survived his own parents; but, dying young, I stepped into what would otherwise have been his succession, in my eighteenth year. My uncle Ro, however, had got both Satanstoe and Lilacsbush; two country-houses and farms, which, while they did not aspire to the dignity ...
— The Redskins; or, Indian and Injin, Volume 1. - Being the Conclusion of the Littlepage Manuscripts • James Fenimore Cooper

... atonement fall to bring. Count, ye did a craven business and I call ye COWARD here! Behold, if I await you, think not I come with fear, For Diego Laynez wrought me well set in his own mould, And while I prove my birthright I your baseness shall unfold. Your valor as a crafty blade will not avail ye more, For to my needs I bring a sword and charger trained to war." Thus spake to Count Lozano Spain's champion, the Cid, (Ere long he won the title by achievements which he did) That ...
— Song and Legend From the Middle Ages • William D. McClintock and Porter Lander McClintock

... human being should dare to apply to another the epithet "pauper" is, to me, the greatest, the vilest, the most unpardonable crime that could be committed. Each human being, by mere birth, has a birthright in this earth and all its productions; and if they do not receive it, then it is they who are injured, and it is not the "pauper"—oh, inexpressibly wicked word!—it is the well-to-do, who are the criminal classes. It matters not in the least if the ...
— The Story of My Heart • Richard Jefferies

... who designed the government intended the House of Representatives to be a republic. Through its own groveling abjections, however, it long ago sunk to an autocracy with the Speaker in the role of autocrat. It sold its birthright for no one knows what mess of pottage to pass its slavish days beneath a tyranny of the gavel. The Speaker settles all things. No measure is proposed, no bill passes, no member speaks except by the Speaker's will. He constructs ...
— The President - A novel • Alfred Henry Lewis

... in a fine gown for the first time in her life. The gown was not her own, but she would have one like it. She did not realize that this gown was not hers. She was fairly radiant with the possession of her woman's birthright, this poor farmer's daughter, in whom the instincts of her kind were strong. She glided across the room many times. She surveyed herself in the glass. Every time she looked she seemed to herself more beautiful, and there was ...
— The Shoulders of Atlas - A Novel • Mary E. Wilkins Freeman

... out. That is to say, appealed to the REICHSHOFRATH (Imperial Aulic Council at Vienna; chief Court of the Empire in such cases); openly protesting there, That their Papa had no power to make such a bargain, selling their birthright for immediate pottage; and that, in brief, they would not stand by it at all;—and summoned Friedrich Wilhelm to show cause why ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. VI. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... bright-tilted towns and the steep roads; the red Rother that is fed by streams from the ironstone. This Rother also all good men know and love, both those that come in for pleasure, strangers of Kent, and those that have a distant birthright in East Sussex, being born beyond Ouse in the Rape ...
— Hills and the Sea • H. Belloc

... "The birthright" of citoyen Egalite to "a cursed propriety settled on a few," was not, even among the French Jacobins, urged with more amazing force. Had things proceeded according to our "Moderate's" plan, ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... swore he was repentant, that he saw the error of his ways, that he wanted to sit once more before he died on the throne of his ancestors, and that he felt it was due to his son that he should make an effort to get him back his birthright. It was the son won them. 'Exhibit A' I call him. None of them would hear of it until I spoke of the Prince. So when I saw that, I told them he was a fine little chap, healthy and manly and brave, and devoted to his priest, and all that rot, and they began to listen. At first they ...
— The King's Jackal • Richard Harding Davis

... first begun, When the Worlds Monarch dug, and his Queen spun, His Fig-leaves his first Coronation-Robe, His Spade his Scepter, and her Wheel his Globe; And Royal Birthright, as their Schools assert, Not Kings themselves with Conscience can divert; How came the World possest by Adams Sons, Such various Principalities, Powres, Thrones? When each went out and chose what Lands he pleas'd, Whilst a new Family new Kingdoms rais'd? His Sons assuming what he ...
— Anti-Achitophel (1682) - Three Verse Replies to Absalom and Achitophel by John Dryden • Elkanah Settle et al.

... the right of primogeniture has obviously affected national morals, though it has not otherwise altered national character. For a peculiar mental attitude is evolved by the constant domination of an elder brother, whose birthright gives him precedence and authority second only to that of the father. In countries where the right of unrestricted testamentary bequests is still maintained, family morals are very different from those which obtain where the child is considered ...
— The Cult of Incompetence • Emile Faguet

... and avowedly a woman, but a woman different from those about her, giving up none of the leadership that was in her blood or the self-pride that was her birthright. ...
— A Pagan of the Hills • Charles Neville Buck

... the liberation of Chile. But even the infinitesimal degree of discipline to which his fellow-soldiers had been reduced was too much for his wild spirit; already he feels that command, and not obedience, is his birthright; there is soon a ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Number 9, July, 1858 • Various

... always desired a brilliant match for Anna, and had sought an alliance with some of the foremost English families. If he abandoned these ambitions, a shrewd belief in the impossibility lay at the root of his determination. Anna would never marry as he wished. Her birthright and her Eastern blood forbade it. She would be the child of whim and of passion always, and it lay upon him to avert the greater evil by the lesser. Alban in a vague way understood this, but of his own case he could make little. What a world of ease and luxury ...
— Aladdin of London - or Lodestar • Sir Max Pemberton

... said, "from morn till night With bleeding hands and blinded sight For gold, more gold! They have betrayed The trust that in their souls was laid; Their fairy birthright they have sold For little disks of mortal gold; And now they cannot even see The gold upon the greenwood tree, The wealth of coloured lights that pass In soft gradations through the grass, The riches of the love untold ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... his friend was subjected to that indignity, and of thus encouraging the storm of popular indignation, that, without any such encouragement, would probably have led to consequences which the Government, already hated by all Englishmen who loved their birthright, dared not brook. But the unworthy vengeance of his persecutors was amply satisfied in other ways. He had already suffered more than most men. "Neglect," he said, "I was accustomed to. But when an alleged offence was laid to my charge, in which, on the honour of a man ...
— The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc. • Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

... And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. ...
— The Gospel of the Pentateuch • Charles Kingsley

... was bestowed by the Creator, not on any privileged class or classes, but on all mankind and on all successive generations of men, so that no one generation can have more than a life interest in the soil, or be entitled to alienate the birthright of succeeding generations.'[6] No one more fully recognises that property in land exists only on sufferance and by concession, and that society, which made the concession, may at any moment take it back on giving full compensation to ...
— Old-Fashioned Ethics and Common-Sense Metaphysics - With Some of Their Applications • William Thomas Thornton

... it, may gain a fresh assurance of its own birthright, and purify itself, as in a river of Lethe, for an ideal transition to its proper home. The novel, itself the reflex of "the fretful stir unprofitable," can exercise no such power. It can but make us more at home ...
— An Estimate of the Value and Influence of Works of Fiction in Modern Times • Thomas Hill Green

... of his own body, of which he is so mightily careful, the slave of his own fears, the slave of his own love of bodily comfort. Such a man does not dare serve God. He dare not obey God, when obeying God is dangerous and unpleasant. He dare not claim his heavenly birthright, his share in God's Spirit, his share in Christ's kingdom, because that would bring discomfort on him, because he will have to give up the sins he loves, because he will have to endure the insults and ill-will of wicked men. Thus cowards can never be free, for it ...
— True Words for Brave Men • Charles Kingsley

... for England's conscience! Champion keen Of man's one holy birthright! dear grey head, Laurell'd with blessings!—Hath my country bred Lips, to her shame, in unregenerate spleen Profaning heaven's own air with words unclean Against thy sacred name?—Th' august pure Dead In calm of glory sleep:—like them serene, In virtue firmlier mail'd than they with dust, Wait, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 349, November, 1844 • Various

... ruin, and out of the yawning graves of slaughtered possibilities, rose and rang the challenge: If she had never come South, if she could have been allowed the chance of happiness that seemed every woman's birthright, if she had met and known Mr. Dunbar, before he was pledged to another; what then? If she were once more the Beryl of old, and he were free? If? What necromancy so wonderful, as the potentiality of if? ...
— At the Mercy of Tiberius • August Evans Wilson

... the character and principles of Mr. Adams. He knew nothing of the jealousy and bitterness which are gendered, in little minds and hearts, by disparities of sentiment. Freedom of opinion he considered the birthright of every American citizen, and he would in no instance be the instrument of inflicting punishment upon the head of any man on account of its exercise. High and pure in all his aims, he sought to reach them by means of a corresponding ...
— Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams - Sixth President of the Unied States • William H. Seward



Words linked to "Birthright" :   inheritance, heritage



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