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GENTLEMEN
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[ Also see Ancestry Courtesy Foppery Gentility Ladies Man Manners Nobility Youth ]

Ay, and Ratolorum too; and a gentleman born, Master Parson, who writes himself Armigero, in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation--Armigero!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merry Wives of Windsor
         (Slender at I, i)

Her father is Baptista Minola,
  An affable and courteous gentleman.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Taming of the Shrew
         (Hortensio at I, ii)

Since every Jack became a gentleman,
  There's many a gentle person made a Jack.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at I, iii)

He is complete in feature and in mind
  With all good grace to grace a gentlemen.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Two Gentlemen of Verona
         (Valentine at II, iv)

'What is your parentage?'
  'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well.
    I am a gentleman.' I'll be sworn thou art.
      Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit
        Do give thee fivefold blazon.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Olivia at I, v)

We may daily discover crowds acquire sufficient wealth to buy gentility, but very few that possess the virtues which ennoble human nature, and (in the best sense of the word) constitute a gentleman.
      - William Shenstone

You are not like Cerberus, three gentlemen at once, are you?
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals
         (act IV, sc. 2)

His qualities depend, not upon fashion or manners, but upon moral worth; not on personal possessions, but on personal qualities. The Psalmist briefly describes him as one "that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart."
      - Samuel Smiles

The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne;
  For a man by nothing is so well bewrayed
    As by his manners.
      - Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
         (bk. VI, canto III, st. 1)

In a word, to be a fine gentleman is to be a generous and brave man.
      - Sir Richard Steele

Men of courage, men of sense, and men of letters are frequent; but a true gentleman is what one seldom sees.
      - Sir Richard Steele

Gentleman is a term which does not apply to any station, but to the mind and the feelings in every station.
      - Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (Talford)

The grand old name of gentleman
  Defam'd by every charlatan
    And soil'd with all ignoble use.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson

And thus he bore without abuse
  The grand old name of gentleman,
    Defamed by every charlatan
      And soiled with all ignoble use.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam
         (CX, st. 6)

A gentleman, is a rarer thing than some of us think for. Which of us can point out many such in his circle--men whose aims are generous, whose truth is constant and elevated; who can look the world honestly in the face, with an equal manly sympathy for the great and the small? We all know a hundred whose coats are well made, and a score who have excellent manners; but of gentlemen how many? Let us take a little scrap of paper, and each make out his list.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

There is no man that can teach us to be gentlemen better than Joseph Addison.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

What is it to be a gentleman? Is it to be honest, to be gentle, to be generous, to be brave, to be wise, and, possessing all these qualities, to exercise them in the most graceful outward manner? Ought a gentleman to be a loyal son, a true husband, an honest father? Ought his life to be decent, his bills to be paid, his taste to be high and elegant, his aims in life lofty and noble?
      - William Makepeace Thackeray


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