To Be A
Gentleman Is To Be One All The World Over, And In Every Relation
And Grade Of Society.
It is a high calling, to which a man must
first be born, and then devote himself for life.
the manners of a certain so-called upper grade have a kind of
currency, and meet with a certain external acceptation throughout
all the others, and this tends to keep us well satisfied with
slight acquirements and the amateurish accomplishments of a clique.
But manners, like art, should be human and central.
Some of my fellow-passengers, as I now moved among them in a
relation of equality, seemed to me excellent gentlemen. They were
not rough, nor hasty, nor disputatious; debated pleasantly,
differed kindly; were helpful, gentle, patient, and placid. The
type of manners was plain, and even heavy; there was little to
please the eye, but nothing to shock; and I thought gentleness lay
more nearly at the spring of behaviour than in many more ornate and
delicate societies. I say delicate, where I cannot say refined; a
thing may be fine, like ironwork, without being delicate, like
lace. There was here less delicacy; the skin supported more
callously the natural surface of events, the mind received more
bravely the crude facts of human existence; but I do not think that
there was less effective refinement, less consideration for others,
less polite suppression of self. I speak of the best among my
fellow-passengers; for in the steerage, as well as in the saloon,
there is a mixture.
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