Ebooks, Fiction, Non-Fiction 1000s of Free books and stories online to read now ~ Main Page




Gentilhomme and Gentleman by G. C olmache

"Le dernier gentilhomme de France vient de mourir!" exclaimed the Figaro a short time ago when recording the death of the Count de Cambis. But the announcement has been made so often during the last century that we are led to hope that the race may not be extinct yet. Every generation of Frenchmen has boasted the possession of its "first" and lamented the loss of its "last" "gentilhomme de France," and on each occasion have hasty English journalists of the day joined both in the glorification and the lamentation over the individuals thus commemorated by their own countrymen. The term "gentilhomme" is so liable to be confounded with "gentleman" that it needs explaining, for, despite the similarity of derivation, no two words can be more distinct. The French gentilhomme must be of noble blood: he must be of ancient and distinguished race, for no nouveau parvenu can ever aspire to be cited as a vrai gentilhomme, while the qualifications necessary for sustaining the character seem to be wholly confined to the one virtue of generosity. Whenever you hear it said of a man, "Il s'est conduit en vrai gentilhomme," be sure that it means no more than that he performed a simple act of justice in a courteous and graceful manner. The sacred and self-imposed qualities which make up the significance of the English word "gentleman" no Frenchman, nor indeed any foreigner, can understand, and the word itself is never translated, but always left in its original English. Bulwer defines the appellation more clearly than any other author when he says, "The word gentleman has become a title peculiar to us—not, as in other countries, resting on pedigree and coats-of-arms, but embracing all who unite gentleness with manhood."

Now the gentilhomme of France is an entirely different type. He must rely on pedigree and coats-of-arms; he must be sudden and quick in quarrel; he must fling away his money freely amongst the roture; he must be what is called a beau joueur—that is to say, he may lose at the gaming-table the dowry of his mother, the marriage-portion of his sister, everything, in short, save his temper; he may defraud a creditor, and be the first to laugh at the fraud. "One God, one love, one king!" is the cry of the good old English gentleman. But in religion the gentilhomme Français may declare with Henri Quatre that "Paris vaut bien une messe;" in love he may pledge his faith to as many mistresses as that same valiant sovereign; and in politics he may cry, "Vive le Roi! vive la Ligue!" and yet remain a parfait gentilhomme in spite of all.

Every generation seems to have furnished its parfait gentilhomme par excellence. The court of Louis Quatorze boasted of its Chevalier de Grammont, from whose own confession we learn that he gloried in the skill with which he cheated the poor Count de Camma at Lyons and the cunning with which he eluded payment of his bill at the inn.

Then came M. de Montrond, and he again was premier gentilhomme de France while he lived and le dernier des gentilhommes Français when he died. M. de Montrond belonged to two generations, two strongly-contrasted epochs. At his first ball at court he wore a powdered cadogan and danced in talons rouges: at his last he lolled with bald head against a doorway, in varnished boots and starched cravat. His existence has remained an enigma to this hour. Although solicited to accept office by every party that rose to power during his life, he steadfastly refused, and yet, by virtue of his quality of premier gentilhomme de France, possessed unbounded influence with them all. The explanation he gave of his system was cynical enough: "A man must march straight to the cash-box and secure the money, without waiting in the ante-room or the bureau: the power is sure to follow." He chatted politics sometimes, but never "talked" them, and seldom failed to introduce the names of one or more of the forty-three duchesses, countesses and marquises whose peace of mind he boasted of having wrecked for ever. Is it not strange that such frothy frivolity could have obtained dominion for more than fifty years over the most critical people in the world? But Montrond always declared that no man in France would ever take the trouble to read a book if once he had taken the trouble to read the preface. Even by the capricious and pedantic yet ignorant society of fashionable London his fantastical dominion was acknowledged; and the reason of this will be understood at once in the fearlessness with which he uttered his rule of conduct: "Every man of distinction should settle his income at ten thousand pounds a year, and never trouble himself whether or not he possesses as much for the capital." This premier gentilhomme de France was proud of his want of reading, and used often to declare that the only two books he had ever skimmed were the wearisome Henriade of Voltaire and the frivolous Liaisons Dangereuses of Laclos. No research, no analysis of character, can be found to explain the strange inconsistency by which M. de Montrond was, notwithstanding, entrusted by every government under which he lived with the most important secrets, the most serious negotiations—sent abroad to stay revolutions, summoned home to remodel constitutions, and consulted on every point as though he had spent his whole life in the study of Montesquieu or Colbert. Such was the moral life of the man pronounced the premier gentilhomme de France by the fathers and grandfathers of the present generation.

Let us glance at the physical side of his existence—the outward and visible sign of the distinctive title with which he was honored. M. de Montrond began his career by the study of arms, wine, women and dice—which constituted the accomplishments necessary for a gentleman of the period—in the regiment of Royal Flanders. Theodore Lamette was his first colonel, Douai his first garrison-town. Soon after his arrival there every man in the place became his devoted friend, every woman his willing slave, and every tradesman his ready creditor. It so happened that a detachment of Royal Cravattes had sought temporary quarters in the same town; and among the officers was a certain Comte de Champagne, a great duelist and gamester. From this man, by some good fortune, over which a veil has always been thrown by Montrond's friends, he won a considerable sum, and on finding, after suffering a considerable time to elapse, that no sign of payment was made, he proclaimed his intention of taking steps—not according, but in opposition, to the law—in order to obtain his due. Montrond knew himself to be a wretched swordsman, and therefore resolved at once to replace his want of skill by audacity. He sent his servant to the stable where four-and-twenty goodly steeds belonging to the Count de Champagne were champing their oats in all security, with orders to carry them off and leave in lieu of the magnificent animals a message to the effect that M. de Montrond would sell the stud to pay himself, and hand over the balance to the Count de Champagne. In a few hours, as he had expected, he was called to the field, and presented himself before the great duelist with a phlegmatic humor which completely upset the count's own self-possession. Montrond was hit hard at the first lunge. He had intended to be; and the result has become historical in the annals of dueling. He had been pierced in the breast by his adversary's sword, and was evidently thought by the latter to have received his death-wound. In token of this belief the Count de Champagne lowered his weapon, and then M. de Montrond, making one desperate thrust, drove his sword right through his adversary's heart. The Count de Champagne fell dead without a cry, without a struggle. Then M. de Montrond rose covered with glory and with honor, for in such adventures lay the fame of the gentilhommes of that time.

It would be impossible to recount the long catalogue of M. de Montrond's triumphs after this. He became the idol of fashion—as much with the Directoire as he had been with the old court—and under the patronage of Madame Tallien he was permitted to carry amongst the stern republicans the habits and morals of the Régence. It was at this moment of his life that the one act of expiation of the past took place. He worked with right good-will for the benefit of the exiled nobles, many of whom were recalled through his influence, which was so great that he found means to persuade the unkempt rulers of the Republic to invite to their banquets the pardoned émigrés, and to show that they felt no rancor and experienced no dread.

We were about to follow the example of Montrond himself, and forget that he was married—"just as little as possible," as he was wont to say, but legally, notwithstanding. He married during the Revolutionary movement a grande dame, a divorced lady, a certain Duchesse de Fleury, who had sought in this union nothing more than the protection of her property against the name of her first husband, through which it would have been infallibly condemned to confiscation. Many of the great ladies of that time had done likewise, thus defrauding the Republic. But the Duchesse de Fleury neglected the most important precaution of all—that of securing protection against the protector she had chosen, who at once seized the property—more gayly perhaps, but quite as effectually as the Republic would have done. The terms of the marriage-contract may be quoted as a specimen of the motives by which the premier gentilhomme de France was governed in the transaction. After the declaration that the Duchesse de Fleury had brought to the communauté certain houses and lands, besides an income of forty thousand livres, we find added by way of set-off to this fortune that the count engaged himself to bring yearly the sum of a hundred thousand francs—the produce of his wits. After a little while, the premier gentilhomme having exercised the said wits in spending the produce of the houses and lands of Madame de Fleury, and Madame de Fleury not being able to return the compliment by selling the wits of the Count de Montrond, the two went on their respective ways, leaving to Providence the task of redeeming the lands which the wits had sold and the income which the wits had scattered to the four winds of heaven.

Space is wanting to recount the struggles of the different parties which succeeded each other with such frightful rapidity in France to obtain possession of the Count de Montrond's influence. But he remained true to one principle, the one with which he started—"to make straight for the cash-box." Yet with all this prosaic prudence, amid the poetry of his position, the moral of this man's life was fulfilled to the very letter. The Count de Montrond managed to outlive every pecuniary resource save the one afforded by the remembrance of "auld lang syne" and the unforgotten days of bygone love. He died in the house of Madame Hamelin, after having been soothed and sheltered by this friend and protectress through the revolutionary storm of 1848. He died dependent, subject to the same changes and caprice he had so long inflicted upon others.

Montrond's successor, the Count de Cambis, the man who has represented the premier gentilhomme de France in our day, died lately at as good an old age as the Count de Montrond. Autres tems, autres moeurs: no more cheating at cards, no more beating the watch, as in the case of the Chevalier de Grammont; no more dueling and killing the adversary by surprise, as in that of the Count de Montrond. When the bourgeois king, Louis Philippe, succeeded to the elder branch, the gentilhomme Français entirely lost his prestige, and the necessity of his existence was ignored. Everything bourgeois had become the fashion at court: the court itself was denominated a basse-cour (farm-yard) by the Faubourg St. Germain, and all who frequented it "les oies de Frère Philippe" or "les canards d'Orléans." The Count de Cambis appeared at that moment at the Tuileries in search of office. His name stood high in the annals of the French noblesse: society had, however, ceased to confound the gentilhomme with the roué. The conditions necessary to fulfill the character were changed, and it was now the bourgeois gentilhomme and not the gentilhomme roué whose claim to the vacant place was more likely to be accepted. The Count de Cambis had held the place of honorary equerry to the Duc d'Angoulême, having obtained it less on account of his patent of nobility than by reason of his unblemished character. He was now in search of some place about the court, and soon found favor in the eyes of the citizen-king, to whom the quiet virtues of the Tiers-État were of more value than the flash and tinsel of the Régence. The count was of fine, commanding person and handsome countenance: moreover, he was "the man with a story," and a painful one it was, creative of the greatest interest in the tender bosoms of the Orleans princesses. Although poor, belonging to a ruined family, his prospects had been good at the court of Charles Dix, and one of the greatest ladies of the court had cast her eyes upon him as a suitable parti for her daughter. The young lady, nothing loath, had accepted with alacrity the proposition of marriage, seconded as it was by the Duchesse d'Angoulême, and backed by the promise of high office on its realization. A marriage is easy to arrange in France; not so the execution of the marriage-contract, which is rendered as wearisome by delays as the still more dilatory proceedings of the law; and therefore it was deemed advisable, in order to pass this dismal period, to despatch the Count de Cambis to Holland for the purchase of horses for the royal stable. Arrived at The Hague, he was seized with an attack of smallpox, which laid him prostrate on the low flock bed of the miserable little inn to which he had been conveyed on landing from the boat. Here he lay for some time incognito, his identity unknown to any save the faithful valet who attended him, until he had perfectly recovered from the disease, which, however, was found to have left the most frightful traces of its passage in scar and seam and furrow from forehead to chin. The handsome young cavalier who landed so full of hope and spirits on the quay at The Hague rose from his bed with a face bloated and discolored, seamed and scarred and pockmarked, his once luxuriant locks grown thin and dank, his eyelashes gone, his whole appearance so changed that as he gazed at himself for the first time in the looking-glass he was overwhelmed with such despair that, as he owned afterward to his friends, he would have thrown himself from the window at which he stood into the canal below had he not been prevented by the strong arm of his servant, Dulac. A terrible period of anguish and depression followed on this first excitement, but he awoke from it and returned to life once more, a sadder and a wiser man. When the first impression of horror and dismay had passed away his resolution was taken at once. He resolved to disengage the lady from her vow, and sat down to write the words which were to rend his heart in twain. At that moment Dulac entered the room with a packet of letters just arrived from Paris by estafette. Amongst them was one from the young lady's mother, full of sweet pleasantry and graceful mirth, describing the gay doings at the Tuileries, and the delight her daughter had experienced at the idea of being allowed to attend the Duchesse d'Angoulême to the ball about to be given in honor of the visit to Paris of some one or other of the Spanish princes. She described with the greatest vivacity all the details of the toilet to be worn by her chère petite Adèle and the kindness of the royal princess, and ended with the most affectionate expressions of regret at the absence from the fête of her daughter's affianced lover, writing in playful terms of the danger in which Adèle's heart would have been placed at the accession of so many new and handsome cavaliers in attendance on the Spanish prince had it not been for the precaution of wearing, as the safest shield against all attacks, the locket which contained the portrait of her brave and beautiful lover—the miniature he had given her on his departure. He turned from the perusal of the letter with a deadly chill at his heart: he crushed it in his hand, and threw it on the blazing logs upon the hearth, holding it down with the tongs until every fiery spark had disappeared, then watched the blackened flakes as they flew one by one up the chimney; and when the last had disappeared he dashed the tears from his eyes, and, to the great surprise and consternation of Dulac, ordered him to pack up and prepare for their immediate return to France.

That very evening he set out by the passage-boat, and arrived in Paris on the very night of the ball at the Tuileries. With the strange self-immolation which is generated in some characters by despair he caused himself to be driven by the quay round to the Place Louis Quinze, and made the driver stop so that he might torture himself with the sight of the lights and the shadows of the dancers. He then alighted at his own door beneath the gateway in the Rue de Rivoli, which at that hour was silent and deserted, for the line of carriages were all setting down in the courtyard of the Place du Carrousel. The gaping valets merely nodded acquiescence to the password he muttered as, muffled up to the chin, he glided noiselessly over the polished floor of the vestibule and hurried up the stairs. Dulac was well pleased to be home again, anticipating with delight the enjoyment of that repose which after such a long arid rapid journey he had well earned. What, therefore, was his consternation when Monsieur le Comte announced his intention of attending the ball, ordering him to prepare in all haste his court-costume for the purpose! Dulac was accustomed to obey without opposition, and, although wondering at this sudden vagary on the part of his master, usually so reasonable in all things, hastened to do his bidding. The toilet was completed in silence. A few tears were shed by Dulac over the thin lank locks he was called upon to friz, and when all was completed and he held aloft the girandole to light him down the back stairs used by members of the royal household to gain admission to the state apartments of the royal palace without passing through the crowd in the ante-room, the faithful fellow turned heartbroken to his master's chamber.

The Count de Cambis entered the ballroom at the moment when a quadrille was being made up, and the very instinct of his love—for it could not be mere chance—led him at once to the room and the place where Mademoiselle de B—— was seated beside her mother. The count has often told his friends that he trembled so violently that for a few minutes he could neither speak nor move, but stood gazing upon the young lady silent, motionless, as if rooted to the spot. The whole seemed as if passing before him in a magic-lantern, and when at length, recalled to himself by the amazement expressed upon the countenances of both ladies, he ventured to ask his beautiful fiancée for her hand in the dance, it was no wonder that she did not recognize his voice, so choked and husky was it with emotion. But the young lady turned abruptly away with an impatient gesture, and looked imploringly at her mother for help against the intrusion of the repulsive gallant she had secured. At a signal from the matron, which did not escape the count, she bent her head, and the count, stooping also, caught the whisper, "Nay, mon enfant, ugly as he is, he must not be refused, or you cannot dance with any other partners all night." With pouting lips and tearful eyes the young lady extended her hand, but by the time she had raised her eyes again the suppliant had vanished through the doorway, his disappearance as mysterious as his first apparition, and, strange to say, was seen no more. He had caught sight of the locket, the miniature of himself, with the bright eyes and flowing hair, the long black eyelashes and glossy moustache. It seemed to reproach him with the fraud he was premeditating against the lovely girl to whom, if he listened to the dictates of honor, he must henceforth be as one dead—as one, indeed, who had died many years before.

His anguish was intense. The test of love had been deceptive, the ordeal had failed, the verdict had been given against him. He went back to his chamber, where Dulac was still busily engaged in unpacking his valise, bade the astounded valet replace everything he had already taken out, and hurry at once to the Poste aux Chevaux to command horses for the return journey to The Hague. As soon as he arrived at that place he wrote a long letter to the young lady's mother releasing her daughter from all obligation toward himself, and announcing his determination never to intrude himself upon her notice again. The Duchesse d'Angoulême, whose experience of life was of its bitterness alone, is said to have interfered to prevent the affair from becoming public, and to have assisted in finding another parti for the deserted fair one.

Meanwhile, the Restoration with its disappointments and broken vows was replaced by the government of Louis Philippe with its hopes and promises. The Count de Cambis, whose official position was annihilated by the storm which swept over the kingdom, found himself immediately, with the whole army of officials, compelled to choose between poverty and obscurity or treachery to his former benefactors. When this combat is allowed to take place between the heart and the stomach, the latter generally carries the day; and so it did in this case. The Count de Cambis did but follow the majority in binding himself at once to the interests of the Orleans family. Louis Philippe, who, like all French sovereigns, displayed undue eagerness to make use of the old servants of the preceding dynasty, was not slow to avail himself of the offer of service made by the Count de Cambis. A place was found for him as superintendent of the royal stud, and here he really displayed that disinterestedness in his dealings which entitled him to the highest consideration. The Duke of Orleans, whose aristocratic tastes always inclined him to favor distinction of birth, treated the Count de Cambis with especial preference; and on his side the count was careful to flatter the instincts of His Royal Highness by assuming the manners and gait of the ancient raffinés of the Garde Royale. One of the duke's chief delights consisted in fashioning his household regulations after the model set by the Due d'Angoulême, and the count became his chief counsel and adviser in every matter concerning the etiquette to be observed in a well-ordered court. The tradition preserved to the latest hour of the existence of the royal stables tells of the fatality which rendered the Count de Cambis the avenger of the Restoration he had denied through his share in the catastrophe which deprived the throne of July of its heir.

It was the 13th of July, 1842. The day was fine. The duke appeared at a window which looked into the courtyard where the Count de Cambis was giving orders concerning the day's service. "The victoria to-day," called out His Royal Highness from the balcony.—"And Tom?" was the question sent upward to the duke.—"No, let me have Kent: he goes best with Ridge," returned the duke.—"But Kent has been much worked lately, monseigneur, and—."—"Well, well, Cambis, as you like: you know best," was the final reply as the duke turned away from the window and retreated into the chamber. Just then one of the grooms, who had been standing at a respectful distance and had overheard the words, came forward and in a voice full of mystery begged to inform M. le Comte that something was wrong with Tom, who had been observed to be restless and irritable the whole morning, and inquired whether it would not be well to have him doctored. "Pooh! pooh!" exclaimed the count. "You are all chicken-hearted in your stable—always complaining of Tom, whose only fault lies in his spirit. He only shows his thorough breeding, and the duke wishes to make a gallant display on starting. There is a crowd already gathered round the gate to see him drive off." So Tom was harnessed, and the postilion who rode Piedefer declares that from the very first he argued ill of Tom's temper, for he observed a vicious expression in his eye, and a distension of the nostrils which never boded good.

The Duke of Orleans was driven from the palace-gate full of health and spirits. He was to proceed to Neuilly to bid farewell to his mother, Queen Amélie, at the little summer château there. Detractors of the duke's character will tell you that on the way he stopped and prolonged to undue length a visit he should not have made at all, and that consequently he was compelled to urge the postilion to greater speed. Whatever the cause, just at the entrance of the Route de la Révolte the dreaded outburst of temper on the part of the irascible Tom took place. At first merely fidgety, and managed with the greatest delicacy by the English postilion, then ill-tempered and capricious, swerving from side to side, necessitating in self-defence the use of the whip—"But only gently and lighthanded, as one's obliged to do sometimes, just to show 'em who's master," was the poor fellow's explanation amid the bitter tears he shed when recounting the catastrophe—when suddenly Tom reared and plunged, and set off at a mad gallop which no human hand could have had the power to arrest. The postilion kept a cool head and steady seat: not so the Duke of Orleans, who rose to his feet in alarm just as the wheels of the carriage struck against a stone. The shock caused him to lose his balance: he was dashed violently to the ground, and in a few hours the hope of France lay dead in the small back shop of a petty tradesman in the avenue.

The blow was a dreadful one—far heavier than that of a mere domestic bereavement. It was felt that the royal family had lost its hold, not of authority, but of sentiment, upon the nation—that the dynasty for which such sacrifices had been made was wrecked for ever. But no blame was attached to any individual save by the Count de Cambis himself, who acknowledged the grievous responsibility he had incurred by instantly sending in his resignation and withdrawing from court. In vain did Louis Philippe endeavor to persuade him to return; in vain did the queen herself, even amid the desolation of the first storm of grief, disclaim any imputation of blame to the count; in vain did the Duc de Némours write with his own hand the urgent request that he would resume office, were it only for a time, in order to display to the world the conviction felt by every member of the royal family of the utter absence of any neglect or carelessness on his part. It was of no avail: the Count de Cambis remained steady to his purpose of retirement, and disappeared entirely from court.

It was not until the summer of 1847 that a renewal of intercourse took place. The day was a festival, and the approaches to the palace were thronged till a late hour. A garden below the windows, surrounded by a low iron grating, and called the garden of the Count de Paris, had just been closed for the night; the sound of the drums beating the retraite was already dying in the distance; the crowd had all withdrawn, and yet one solitary figure still remained, leaning disconsolately against the railing, gazing wistfully into the garden, and every now and then casting furtive glances up at the balcony into which opened the window of the apartment occupied by the Duchess of Orleans. Presently a child came down the steps and walked straight to the gate against which the stranger was leaning, his forehead pressed against the grating, his hand grasping the iron bars. In a moment the key was turned in the lock, a little hand was placed within that of the Count de Cambis, and a gentle voice whispered in his ear, "Come in! come in! We are all there to-night—grandpère and all. We want to see you so much. It is mamma's fête." There was no resisting this appeal. Le premier gentilhomme de France would have been compelled to forego his title had he refused the invitation, and clasping the child's hand he traversed the garden in silence, and soon found himself in the midst of the royal family assembled to celebrate the fête of St. Hélène in the privacy of domestic affection. The sight of the well-remembered faces, the smiles and greetings of the royal family, the cordial kindness of the king, the silent sympathy of the queen, the gentle welcome of the duchess, at length brought consolation to the wounded spirit of the count, and without further ado he consented at once to resume his old position; and the next day, when he was seen galloping beside the royal carriage up the Champs Élysées, he was greeted with hearty shouts of recognition by the promenaders on either side. Everything now went on in the old train. He was readmitted to the intimacy of the Orleans family, and retained his place and the confidence of his master until the revolution of February drove the Orleans family into exile. He retired into obscurity with a grace and dignity befitting the premier gentilhomme de France—without reproach, without a stain upon his escutcheon. He refused the most tempting offers of employment at the imperial court, and was seen no more, save when now and then, passing down the boulevard with hurried steps, he was recognized by his long white hair and braided jacket, with the persistent cipher of the royal house to which he had been for so many years attached. Then, as he hastened along with riding-whip in hand and jingling spurs upon his heels, some old bourgeois sipping his demi-tasse at the door of a café would exclaim, "There goes the Count de Cambis, le dernier gentilhomme de France!"

A desperate attempt was made by the imperialists to set up a premier gentilhomme of their own in the person of Count Morny, who sought to revive the traditions of De Grammont and of De Montrond. He was brave, he was witty, his physique might be said to realize the ideal of the role, but his morale was founded on the theories of the Bonaparte school. De Grammont tells us how he cheated the greasy cattle-dealer; De Montrond makes us laugh when he relates how in his tour of mediation with Prince Talleyrand he was wont to take bribes from two rival princes, each willing to pay a heavy sum that the other might be baffled; but neither De Grammont nor De Montrond would ever have consented to soil his hands with such vile commercial speculations as the Houillères d'Anzin or the Vieille Montagne, or condescend to such disgraceful financial mystification as the "Affaire Jecker" of Mexico.

It would be impossible to explain the difference which exists between the "gentilhomme" and the "gentleman." It is felt and understood, but cannot be described. The term "gentleman" itself is conventional. Neither birth nor accomplishments, nor even gentle manners, are necessary for undisputed assumption of the title. The man who acts as a lawyer's clerk cannot be called a gentleman, according to Judge Keating's decision, because, the title having no place in the language of the law, if he chanced to be indicted for a criminal offence he would be denominated a "laborer." Serjeant Talfourd's sweeping theory, of the term "gentleman" being legally applicable to every man who has nothing to do and is out of the workhouse, cannot be accepted, as it would of necessity include thieves, mendicants and out-door paupers. The American police have been compelled, to defend the border-line of gentility against the encroachments of their vagabond gold-seekers, card-sharpers and ruffians, and confine the term to those of respectable calling. In California the term may be applied to every individual of the male gender and the Caucasian race, the line being drawn at Chinamen. An American writer contests the acceptance of the term, in England as being too vague and uncertain for comprehension by foreigners, and suggests that some less conventional designation than those now in use should be found to indicate the idea. To the moral sense it would be natural to suppose that character rather than calling would be the most important point in the consideration of the question; but it is not so. In the four-oared race of gentlemen amateurs held last year at Agecroft in Lancashire the prize of silver plate was won by a crew taken from a club composed entirely of colliers, who had been allowed to row under protest, they not being acknowledged as "gentlemen amateurs." The race over and the prize won by the colliers, an investigation took place by the committee. The result was unanimity of the vote against acceptance of the qualification of the winners. Here, then, occurred the best illustration of the comprehension of the term by the moderns, for the "gentlemen," deeming that money must be a salvo to pride in the bosom of all whose quality of gentleman remains unacknowledged, subscribed a handsome sum to be distributed amongst the disappointed crew. But here, again, the proof was given of the vague uncertainty of the term, for the crew of colliers were gentlemen enough to refuse the proffered gift with scorn.