Middle class influence the definition: Social mobility facilitated by
Imitated behaviors and customs of the Gentleman of Birth, and soon
became “the real thing.”
Education: Wealth could send sons to Cambridge or Oxford, which prepared
younger sons for taking orders or going into civil service.
Wentworth? Oh, ay—Mr. Wentworth, the curate of Monford. You misled me
by the term gentleman. I thought you were speaking of some man of
property: Mr. Wentworth was nobody, I remember; quite unconnected […]
Slide towards gentility as behaviorally defined characteristic. (cf.
Samuel Smiles, Self-help (1859) Definition of “a true gentleman”:
"a keen sense of honor – scrupulously avoiding mean actions. His
standard of probity in word and action is high. He does not shuffle or
prevaricate, dodge or skulk; but is honest, upright and straightforward“
“If a man is obliged to take even the life of another, in the disharge
[sic] of his duty, he should do it with perfect kindness and
Thomas Low Nichols, How to Behave, 1873