Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The Gentleman Manifesto

A Revolution of Panache: Making the Chap Manifesto our own.

The Chap takes a wry look at the modern world through the steamed-up monocle of a more refined age, occasionally getting its sock suspenders into a twist at the unspeakable vulgarity of the twenty-first century.

Since 1999, the Chap has been championing the rights of that increasingly marginalised and discredited species of Englishman - the gentleman. The Chap believes that a society without courteous behaviour and proper headwear is a society on the brink of moral and sartorial collapse, and it seeks to reinstate such outmoded but indispensable gestures as hat doffing, giving up one's seat to a lady and regularly using a trouser press.

* * *

SOCIETY HAS BECOME SICK WITH SOME NAMELESS MALADY OF THE SOUL. We have become the playthings of corporations intent on converting our world into a gargantuan shopping precinct. Pleasantness and civility are being discarded as the worthless ephemera of a bygone age - an age when men doffed their hats to the ladies, and small children could be counted upon to mind one's Jack Russell while one took a mild and bitter in the local hostelry.

Instead, we live in a world where children are huge hooded creatures lurking in the shadows; the local hostelry has been taken over by a large chain that specialises in chilled lager, whose principal function is to aggravate the nervous system. Needless to say, the Jack Russell is no longer there upon one's return.

The Chap proposes to take a stand against this culture of vulgarity. We must show our children that the things worth fighting for are not the latest plastic plimsolls but a shiny pair of brogues. We must wean them off their alcopops and teach them how to mix martinis. Let the young not be ashamed of their flabby paunches, which they try to hide in their nylon tracksuits - we shall show them how a well-tailored suit can disguise the most ruined of bodies. Finally, let us capitalise on youth's love of peculiar argot Ð only replace their pidgin ghetto-speak with fruity bons mots and dry witticisms.

It is time for Chaps and Chapettes from all walks of life to stand up and be counted. But fear not, ye languid and ye plain idle: ours is a revolution based not on getting up early and exerting oneself - but a revolution that can be achieved by a single raised eyebrow over a monocle; the ordering of a glass of port in All Bar One; the wearing of a particularly fetching cardigan upon a visit to one's bookmaker. In other words: a revolution of panache. We shall bewilder the masses with seams in our trousers that could cut paper, trilbies angled so rakishly that traffic comes to a standstill; and by refusing the bland, watery substances that are foisted upon us by faceless corporations, we shall bring the establishment to its knees, begging for sartorial advice and a nip from our hip flasks.

All men are equal. All men, that is, who possess umbrellas.
- E.M. Forster


Beaverbrook said...

If Bolingbroke is up to the task, perhaps he can list for us in a separate post what are the specific virtues that make up a "gentleman". We have the manifesto, but what we need is a nice list that summarizes the qualities.

Bolingbroke said...

Would ordinarily jump at the task, but I will have to leave that to your abilities, Beaverbrook. At least in the short term.

adams said...

My thoughts on this subject are here.

adams said...

What the heck I'll put them on this comment section to.

The Question has arisen on the Monarchist, what qualities make a gentleman. I want to weigh in on this. While I enjoyed some of the Chaps postings by Bolingbrook, the problem is that it focuses on the least central part of being a gentleman, the part that is culturally contingent. That is to say that while a gentleman today should take pride in how he wears his tweeds or seersucker suit and how he mixes a Bronx Cocktail (much better than a dry martini), an Athenian gentleman would take pride in how he wore his toga and how he mixed wine and water in a krator during the symposium. Dressing well and in a manner appropriate for the occasion is part of being a gentleman, but it is not the major part.

In my view the essence of being a gentleman is striving to achieve what Aristotle called Eudemonia or human flourishing. A gentleman cultivates in himself the virtues, primary virtues such as rationality, secondary virtues such as justice and courage, and tertiary virtues such as liberality and charity.

Thus for me a gentleman is a thinking man who has a productive vocation (even if he doesn’t need the money and doesn’t earn any from his work). He conducts his business and his life on the principal of justice. He is morally ambitious striving to better himself when he falls short of his ideals. He has integrity and courage. He is generous within the structure of his means, but not beyond them. He has taken the trouble to learn how to defend both himself and his society. In short, he takes pride in himself, because he has made sure to be morally worthy of it.

Anonymous said...

Kids today... actually, are much as they have always been in mosts respects only the hair and clothes have changed. It would be good to see them show some respect, would be much better to earn it from them. Respect flows unbidden toward the true souls of the righteous.