The Gentleman is Always Welcome


(Taken from The Analysis of Love contained in The Greatest Thing in the World by Henry Drummond)

The fifth ingredient is a somewhat strange one to find in this summum
bonum: Courtesy. This is Love in society, Love in relation to etiquette. “Love doth
not behave itself unseemly.” Politeness has been defined as love in trifles. Courtesy
is said to be love in little things. And the one secret of politeness is to love. Love cannot behave itself unseemly. You can put the most untutored person into the
highest society, and if they have a reservoir of love in their heart, they will not
behave themselves unseemly. They simply cannot do it. Carlyle said of Robert
Burns that there was no truer gentleman in Europe than the ploughman-poet. It
was because he loved everything—the mouse, and the daisy, and all the things,
great and small, that God had made. So with this simple passport he could mingle
with any society, and enter courts and palaces from his little cottage on the banks
of the Ayr. You know the meaning of the word “gentleman.” It means a gentle
man—a man who does things gently, with love. And that is the whole art and mystery
of it. The gentleman cannot in the nature of things do an ungentle, an ungentlemanly
thing. The un-gentle soul, the inconsiderate, unsympathetic nature
cannot do anything else. “Love doth not behave itself unseemly.”

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