Every man is going to be something. Be a Southern gentleman.

Defining The Southern Gentleman, Part 2

Here is what I found in the book, 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About The South:

Daniel Hindley was a Harvard-trained lawyer from Alabama who wrote on the subject in 1860. He described the Southern gentleman as having “a natural dignity of manner” and “the utmost self-possession – that much coveted savoir faire, which causes a man to appear perfectly at home, whether it be in a hut or a palace.” He is “remarkably easy and natural, never haughty in appearance, or loud of voice – even when angry rarely raising his voice above the ordinary tone of gentlemanly conversation.”

John Walter Wayland of Virginia wrote this in 1899. These are words to live by every bit as much as Robert E. Lee’s classic Definition of a Gentleman.

The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.

Robert E. Lee’s Definition of a Gentleman –

The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true Gentleman. The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly — the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the Gentleman in a plain light. The Gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.

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