"Sadie, what is a gentleman?"
"Please, ma'am," she answered, "a gentleman's a man you don't know very well."
Two characters in Jeffery Farnol's "Amateur Gentleman" give these definitions of a gentleman:
"A gentleman is a fellow who goes to a university, but doesn't have to learn anything; who goes out into the world, but doesn't have to work at anything; and who has never been black-balled at any of the clubs."
"A gentleman is (I take it) one born with the God-like capacity to think and feel for others, irrespective of their rank or condition.... One who possesses an ideal so lofty, a mind so delicate, that it lifts him above all things ignoble and base, yet strengthens his hands to raise those who are fallen—no matter how low."
There has been much controversy for years as to the proper definition of the much abused word "gentleman." Finally, by a printer's error in prefixing unto an adverb, an old and rather mushy description of a gentleman has been given a novel twist and a pithy point. A contributor's letter to a metropolitan daily appeared as follows:
"Sir—I can recall no better description of a gentleman than this—
"'A gentleman is one who never gives offense unintentionally.'"