九、The Definition of a Gentleman
It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him. His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or convenience in arrangements of a personal nature: like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast; - all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his great concern being to made every one at their ease and at home. He has his eyes on all his company: he is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome.
He makes light of favors while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, defends himself by a mere retort, he has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and interprets every thing for the best. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments, or insulates evil which he dare not say out. From a long-sighted prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend. He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults, he is too well employed to remember injuries, and too indolent to bear malice. He is patient, forbearing, and resigned, on philosophical principles; he submits to pain, because it is inevitable, to bereavement, because it is irreparable, and to death, because it is his destiny. If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blunder.
It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cese to love.
inflict vt. （on，upon）把……强加给，使遭受，使承担
detain vt. 1.拘留，扣留 2.留住，耽搁
jolt n. 1.震动，摇动，颠簸 2.震惊
collision n. 1.碰撞 2.冲突，抵触
collide vi.1.碰撞 2.冲突
coincide vi. 1.同是雪生2.相等，相一致 3.位置重合，重叠
coincidence n. 1.巧合，巧事 2.一致，符合
suspicious a. 1.猜疑的，疑心的 2.可疑的 3.表示怀疑的
gloom n. 1.昏暗，阴暗 2.忧郁，沮丧
gloomy a. 1.忧郁的，沮丧的 2.令人失望的 3.昏暗的
bashful a. 局促的不安的，羞怯的
absurd a. 荒谬的，荒唐的
insane a. 1.蠢极的，荒唐的 2.精神失常的，疯狂的
confer （conferred；conferring） vi.商谈，商议 vt.授予，赋予
retort v.反驳 n.反驳
gossip n. 1.流言蜚语 2.爱说长道短的人
scrupulous a. 1.有顾忌的 2.细致的
insulate vt. 隔离，使隔绝
prudence n. 1.审慎，小心 2.精明，深谋远虑 3.节俭
indolent a. 1.懒惰的，怠惰的 2.令人困倦的
blunder n. （因无知粗心等造成的）错误 vi.1.跌跌撞撞地走 2.犯错误
stagger vi.摇晃，蹒跚 vt. 1.使吃惊 2.使错开
stumble vi. 1.绊脚，绊倒 2.跌跌撞撞地走 3.结结巴巴
tumble vi. 1.跌倒，摔下 2.翻滚 3.不由自主的卷入 4.（价格等）暴跌