Somehow, over the past decade, the duty to protect open government has been nudged aside by another, more ignoble purpose: the desire to bestow political favors.
The vicarious emotions that the accounts of the trial provoked range from the honourable, through the ignoble to the thoroughly perverse.
Travellers from Marco Polo onwards had created a rich and often fanciful literature depicting the lives of noble and ignoble savages in varying states of nature.
Underworld's greatest hits collection struggled painfully to number 46 in the album charts and dropped out a week later: an ignoble fate for a record containing some of the most headily innovative music of the past 10 years.
Of course it is ignoble to invoke the nanny state in order to correct your own personal weakness, but at least my friends' motives were somehow honest, and based on intimate knowledge of the people they knew best - themselves.
All it requires is following the example of some of their more ignoble predecessors - the Dixiecrats.
A combination of Julius Caesar, Bertold Brecht, Benito Mussolini and Huey Long biopic it is a masterful novel, an in depth portrait of the struggles even ignoble politicians face and a meditation on the price of politics.
Circumstances might occasion modification of the principles, but there was nothing ignoble in the tradition of beginning with strong prima facie respect for inherited wisdom and being cautious in departing from it.
First in an ignoble line was the East India Company, set up by British merchant adventurers and granted the Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I in 1600.
They were an ignoble race not unlike the despicable Gorlocs, and they needed to be defeated for their dishonor.