Features May 2021
The ideal of a gentleman
On historical examples of character and honor.
There is much derisive talk by clever sociologists and deconstructionists about the obsolescence of the ideal of a gentleman. They mistake the stereotype they mock for the real thing. A gentleman need not be a fine figure of a man: high-born, rich, Eton-educated, Savile Row–dressed, King’s English–accented, possessing a commanding presence. Being a gentleman is not a matter of inheritance, wealth, or refinement. It needs to be earned by having a character with a sense of honor at its core. Character sets limits a gentleman will not cross and acknowledges responsibilities he will not shirk. It involves a commitment to a way of life that in some small or large way, by example or by action, contributes to making some lives better or protecting them from getting worse. Since this is not the best of all possible worlds, it is often difficult to be a gentleman and live honorably within self-imposed...
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