17 October 2007

Not A Gentleman

"I myself am not a gentleman. If I were, I would almost certainly not be writing this book, for one of the marks of a gentleman is that he seldom mentions the question of gentility, whether in application to others or to himself. There are a number of reasons why I am not a gentleman, some of which will become abundantly plain in the pages of this book; but chief among them is that I have no sense of obligation. I am happy to enjoy privilege: I am also prone to evade or even totally to ignore its implicit commitments. This defect would not necessarily disqualify me from being "upper class", but it does mean that I can never be a gentleman, which is a very different thing."

Simon Raven, The English Gentleman (1961)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyable quote...