- Jul 13, 2010
Well, Ladies and Gents, It is time for my serious answer:
"Do you think it wise...to submit to subjective speculation?"
"Oh, elementary, my dear Watson. As time and willingness allow, so shall perception shed light toward reality."
A gentleman, as defined by Mr. Noah Webster in his original 1828 Dictionary (look up the story, it's a great one!) is:
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GEN'TLEMAN, a. [gentle, that is, genteel, and man. See Genteel.]
1. In its most extensive sense, in Great Britain, every man above the rank of yeomen, comprehending noblemen. In a more limited sense, a man, who without a title,bears a coat of arms, or whose ancestors have been freemen. In this sense, gentlemen hold a middle rank between the nobility and yeomanry.
2. In the United States, where titles and distinctions of rank do not exist, the term is applied to men of education and of good breeding, of every occupation. Indeed this is also the popular practice in Great Britain. Hence,
3. A man of good breeding, politeness, and civil manners, as distinguished from the vulgar and clownish.A plowman on his legs is higher than a gentleman on his knees.
4. A term of complaisance. In the plural,the appellation by which men are addressed in popular assemblies,whatever may be their condition or character.
5. In Great Britain, the servant of a man of rank, who attends his person.[/TD]
Now that we've seen what Mr. Webster had to say, I'll try to shed a bit of light on the subject by my own means.
Apart from that previously discussed, I believe a 'gentleman' is the term used toward someone we Idolize, Idealize, or otherwise give significant station to. For example, I've heard those who enjoy a particular man's speech, behavior, and overall demeanor (be it tragically flawed or not) refer to them as a gentleman.
"Wow, Leopold is a true gentleman...!" *girlish reactions to the historically idealized Englishman*
Well, be that as it may, there are also those whom by definition are gentleman, but by appearance or action others would hold in contempt. This holds to the more socially status'd or Nobleman. However, 'Noble' is argued among peoples to be defined differently, and thus would be a gentleman.
In my estimation, biased as it may be, a gentleman holds to the three Cs:
However, these dictates would exclude other religions (which is inaccurate as gentleman transcend affiliation), and also exclude those holding Chivalry as chauvinism. I apologize for these discrepancies, but knowledgeably existing as they do , the Ideal individual (to me) embodies and exemplifies these three schools of belief, thought, behavior, and principle.
Thus, as a Methodist, I present to you...John Wesley.
*Perfect example achieved!! XD