Aristocracy has three successive ages: the age of superiority, the age of privilege, and the age of vanity; on departing the first, it degenerates in the second, and expires in the last.
— François-René de Chateaubriand, Mémoires d’Outre-tombe (1848) bk I, ch 1: Vallée-aux-Loups, vol. 1, p. 7 (Pléiade ed.) (S.H. transl.)