C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


He is gentle that doth gentle deeds.


The gentleman is a Christian product.

George H. Calvert.

An affable and courteous gentleman.


The prince of darkness is a gentleman.


His tribe were God Almighty’s gentlemen.


  • Since every Jack became a gentleman,
  • There’s many a gentle person made a Jack.
  • Shakespeare.

    To make a fine gentleman, several trades are required, but chiefly a barter.


  • When Adam dolve and Eva span
  • Who was then the gentleman?
  • Pegge.

    The look of a gentleman is little else than the reflection of the looks of the world.


    Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.


    He is the best gentleman who is the son of his own deserts.

    Victor Hugo.

    The gentleman is solid mahogany; the fashionable man is only veneer.

    J. G. Holland.

    He whom we call a gentleman is no longer the man of Nature.


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


  • He that bears himself like a gentleman, is
  • Worth to have been born a gentleman.
  • Chapman.

    Gentleman is a term which does not apply to any station, but to the mind and the feelings in every station.


    Repose and cheerfulness are the badge of the gentleman—repose in energy.


    In a word, to be a fine gentleman is to be a generous and brave man.


  • The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne;
  • For a man by nothing is so well bewrayed
  • As by his manners.
  • Spenser.

    It is difficult to believe that a true gentleman will ever become a gamester, a libertine, or a sot.


  • Tho’ modest, on his unembarrass’d brow
  • Nature had written—“Gentleman.”
  • Byron.

  • Oh! St. Patrick was a gentleman,
  • Who came of decent people.
  • Henry Bennett.

    The taste of beauty and the relish of what is decent, just, and amiable perfects the character of the gentleman and the philosopher.


    A gentleman is always a gentleman; but the butterflies of society differ as much in their moods as does that insect in its colors.

    Mme. Dufresnoy.

    My master hath been an honorable gentleman: tricks he hath had in him which gentleman have.


    Religion is the most gentlemanly thing in the world. It alone will gentilize, it unmixed with cant.


  • The grand old name of gentleman
  • Defam’d by every charlatan
  • And soil’d with all ignoble use.
  • Tennyson.

    We sometimes meet an original gentleman, who, if manners had not existed, would have invented them.


  • He had then the grace, too rare in every clime,
  • Of being, without alloy of fop or beau,
  • A finish’d gentleman from top to toe.
  • Byron.

  • We are gentlemen,
  • That neither in our hearts, nor outward eyes,
  • Envy the great, nor do the low despise.
  • Shakespeare.

    Propriety of manners and consideration for others are the two main characteristics of a gentleman.


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


    A gentleman is one who understands and shows every mark of deference to the claims of self-love in others, and exacts it in return from them.


    God knows that all sorts of gentlemen knock at the door; but whenever used in strictness and with any emphasis, the name will be found to point at original energy.


    Perhaps propriety is as near a word as any to denote the manners of the gentleman; elegance is necessary to the fine gentleman; dignity is proper to noblemen, and majesty to kings.


    The flowering of civilization is the finished man, the man of sense, of grace, of accomplishment, of social power—the gentleman.


    A gentleman has ease without familiarity, is respectful without meanness; genteel without affectation, insinuating without seeming art.


  • The best of men
  • That e’er wore earth about him was a sufferer;
  • A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit.
  • The first true gentleman that ever breathed.
  • T. Dekker.

  • Measure not thy carriage by any man’s eye,
  • Thy speech by no man’s ear; but be resolute
  • And confident in doing and saying;
  • And this is the grace of a right gentleman.
  • Chapman.

  • “I am a gentleman.” I’ll be sworn thou art;
  • Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit,
  • Do give thee five-fold blazon.
  • Shakespeare.

    Of the offspring of the gentilman Jafeth, came Habraham, Moyses, Aron and the profettys; and also the kyng of the right line of Mary, of whom that gentilman Jhesus was borne.

    Juliana Berners.

  • A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
  • Fram’d in the prodigality of nature,
  • Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt right royal;
  • The spacious world cannot again afford.
  • Shakespeare.

    That man will never be a perfect gentleman who lives only with gentlemen. To be a man of the world we must view that world in every grade and in every perspective.


    The expression of a gentleman’s face is not so much that of refinement, as of flexibility, not of sensibility and enthusiasm as of indifference; it argues presence of mind rather than enlargement of ideas.


    He that can enjoy the intimacy of the great, and on no occasion disgust them by familiarity, or disgrace himself by servility, proves that he is as perfect a gentleman by nature, as his companions are by rank.


    To be a gentleman does not depend upon the tailor or the toilet. Good clothes are not good habits. A gentleman is just a gentle-man—no more, no less: a diamond polished, that was first a diamond in the rough.

    Bishop Doane.

    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.


    A gentleman’s first characteristic is that fineness of structure in the body which renders it capable of the most delicate sensation; and of structure in the mind which renders it capable of the most delicate sympathies: one may say simply “fineness of nature.”


    Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners and civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles: I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion.


    Self-command is often thought a characteristic of high breeding.***A true gentleman has no need of self-command; he simply feels rightly in all directions on all occasions, and, desiring to express only so much of his feeling as it is right to express, does not need to command himself.


    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.

    He is like to be mistaken who makes choice of a covetous man for a friend, or relieth upon the reed of narrow and poltroon friendship. Pitiful things are only to be found in the cottages of such breasts; but bright thoughts, clear deeds, constancy, fidelity, bounty and generous honesty are the gems of noble minds, wherein (to derogate from none) the true, heroic English gentleman hath no peer.

    Sir Thomas Browne.

  • He is a noble gentleman; withal
  • Happy in ’s endeavours: the gen’ral voice
  • Sounds him for courtesy, behaviour, language,
  • And ev’ry fair demeanour, an example:
  • Titles of honour add not to his worth;
  • Who is himself an honour to his title.
  • John Ford.

    The true gentleman is extracted from ancient and worshipful parentage. When a pepin is planted on a pepin-stock, the fruit growing thence is called a renate, a most delicious apple, as both by sire and dame well descended. Thus his blood must needs be well purified who is genteelly born on both sides.


  • His years are younger, but his experience old;
  • His head unmellow’d, but his judgment ripe;
  • And in a word (for far behind his worth
  • Come all the praises that I now bestow)
  • He is complete in feature and in mind,
  • With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
  • Shakespeare.

    The taste of beauty, and the relish of what is decent, just and amiable, perfects the character of the gentleman and the philosopher. And the study of such a taste or relish will, as we suppose, be ever the great employment and concern of him who covets as well to be wise and good, as agreeable and polite.


  • There are some spirits nobly just, unwarp’d by pelf or pride,
  • Great in the calm, but greater still when dash’d by adverse tide;—
  • They hold the rank no king can give, no station can disgrace;
  • Nature puts forth her gentleman, and monarchs must give place.
  • Eliza Cook.

    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?


  • But nature, with a matchless hand, sends forth her nobly born,
  • And laughs the paltry attributes of wealth and rank to scorn;
  • She moulds with care a spirit rare, half human, half divine,
  • And cries, exulting, “Who can make a gentleman like mine?”
  • Eliza Cook.

    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.


    After all, there is such a thing as looking like a gentleman. There are men whose class no dirt or rags can hide, any more than they could Ulysses. I have seen such men in plenty among workmen, too; but, on the whole, the gentleman—by whom I do not mean just now the rich—have the superiority in that point. But not, please God, forever. Give us the same air, water, exercise, education, good society, and you will see whether this “haggardness,” this “coarseness” (etc., for the list is too long to specify), be an accident, or a property, of the man of the people.

    Charles Kingsley.

    A Christian is God Almighty’s gentleman; a gentleman, in the vulgar, superficial way of understanding the word, is the devil’s christian. But to throw aside these polished and too current counterfeits for something valuable and sterling, the real gentleman should be gentle in everything, at least in everything that depends on himself—in carriage, temper, constructions, aims, desires. He ought, therefore, to be mild, calm, quiet, even, temperate—not hasty in judgment, not exorbitant in ambition, not overbearing, not proud, not rapacious, not oppressive; for these things are contrary to gentleness. Many such gentlemen are to be found, I trust; and many more would be were the true meaning of the name borne in mind and duly inculcated.