wake up [as] noblemen

'Veterans' (La Bruyère's note). Certain magistrates acquired titles after twenty years' service. If a `veteran' was forced, in order to pay his debts, to sell his office before the allotted time was up, he forfeited his right to nobility.

Note from Of Certain Customs, the fourteenth chapter of 'Characters' by Jean De La Bruyère (1688)

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