Ask me what’s honour? I’ll the truth impart:
Know, honour then, is Honesty of Heart.
Dignities and high sounding names have different effects on different beholders. The lustre of the Star and the title of My Lord, over-awe the superstitious vulgar, and forbid them to inquire into the character of the possessor: Nay more, they are, as it were, bewitched to admire in the great, the vices they would honestly condemn in themselves. This sacrifice of common sense is the certain badge which distinguishes slavery from freedom; for when men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
Thomas Paine, 1775 [full text, citation below]
Now, prefix this to the every introduction. I’m talking to you; I’m talking to myself. What portion of ours is shackled to ignorance by notions of title, or bound to the betterness of fame, or even incarcerated by the slander of string-pullers?