Heyman being my several-times-great grandfather. He wasn't born a gentleman, but after his father Simeon left him £500, he started to describe himself as such. Mind you, that happened 300 years ago and no doubt £500 was a serious sum of cash in the early years of the 18th century. I'm not at all sure that being possessed of a substantial balance at the bank - or under the mattress - is a necessary qualification for one to be described as a gentleman. I can think of quite a few people whom I would describe as gentlemen but who probably don't have all that many ha'pennies to rub together. A big bank balance failed to make it to the list of gentlemanly golden rules promulgated recently by Country Life, a magazine for folks from the top drawer - or (more likely) folks who would like to think that they have clambered into the upper echelons of society. The magazine published what it called Gentlemanly Commandments, a list of Dos and Don'ts, six Dos and nine Don'ts. Would 10 out of 15 make me a gentleman? I think not. But anyway, here are the rules:
- is at ease in any situation and puts others at their ease;
- is always on time;
- dresses to suit the occasion;
- makes love on his elbows;
- occasionally gets drunk but never disorderly;
- is mindful of others' financial circumstances.
A gentleman does not...
- wear a pre-tied bow tie;
- drink Malibu;
- buy fuchsia trousers;
- put products in his hair;
- wear Lycra;
- write with a ballpoint;
- plant gladioli;
- own a cat.
I shall leave you to guess what my ten successes were!
By the way, the use of Facebook is permitted in order to keep in touch with one's "many" god-children.
It's raining today, but this was the South Downs yesterday afternoon, just before six o'clock, seen across the houses of Patcham.