Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Paragraph, Speech on “Who is a Gentleman?” Long, Short Essay for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Competitive Exams

Essay, Paragraph, Speech on “Who is a Gentleman?” Long, Short Essay for School, College Students, essay for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Competitive Exams

Who is a Gentleman?

A gentleman is a gentle man. In this connection, the word “gentle” means “noble”, as it does in the phrase “of gentle birth”. So, originally, a gentleman was one who, by birth and training, belonged to the upper classes. He was of noble blood. Then, because the social manners of the upper classes  were refined, as compared with those of the lower classes, anyone who knew how to behave in polite society came to be called a gentleman. So gentlemanliness came to refer to outward behavior. A man who behaved like a gentleman was gentle man.

In his description of a gentleman, Cardinal Newman goes much deeper than this. His definition of a gentleman is,“One who never inflicts pain”. This description”, he says, “is both refined and, so far as it goes, accurate.” “The true gentleman”, he goes on, “carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast – all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment ; his great concern is to make every one at ease and at home. He has eyes on all his company ; he is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd …. He makes light of favours while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring …. He is patient, for-bearing and resigned.”

Good manners, the manners of a gentleman, may be superficial, and sometimes they may be a little insincere ; but they are as necessary to the continuance of society as is oil to the smooth working of a machine. And with people who have naturally kindly hearts, politeness is neither insincere nor artificial. For the essence of good manners is consideration for the feelings of others ; and surely this is a virtue. Someone has called good manners “surface religion”, because the essence of true religion is unselfishness.

A true gentleman, then, is a fine character. His polite-ness and courtesy go far deeper than mere outward behaviour. They spring from goodness of heart. He instinctively thinks of the feelings, the comfort and happiness of others before his own. And so there are true gentlemen, nature’s gentlemen, to be found even among the poor and ignorant, who, though they have never had the chance of learning the rules of etiquette in polite society, have kind hearts. These are God’s own gentlemen.

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