Blessed John Henry Newman was a consummate Catholic gentleman. Reviled by many of his closest friends for converting to Catholicism, he bore insults and attacks on his character with patience and charity. Here is his description of a gentleman taken from his work The Idea of a University, published in 1854.
Keep in mind that Newman is here describing a secular gentleman of his day and not a Catholic saint. Nevertheless, while incomplete from a Catholic perspective, his definition is still an insightful portrait of past expressions of gentlemanliness and a helpful reference point in an age when even basic courtesy is sorely lacking.
Hence it is that it is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself.
His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal nature; like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner 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 being to make every one at his ease and at home. He has his eyes on all his company; he is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and

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