The life of a gentleman is (or was) the life for me…


To live any other way would be… insupportable…

Kay Packett, who has been known to comment here in the past, confessed on Facebook that “I want to live in an English novel, where, when anything goes wrong, someone immediately makes tea. I don’t even like tea.”

I responded immediately:

I’ll drink anything you like, as long as I’m a country gentleman with a competent man of business to deal with the running of the estate. I’ll be happy to serve as an MP as long I don’t have to think too hard, just vote the High Tory line. Will I have a membership at White’s, for when I’m in Town? If so, I’m in… Yeah, I’ve thought this out…

And I have thought it out; that’s the pathetic part. All that stuff was right there at my fingertips when the question arose.

And just so you don’t think I want to be a leech on society, I would also be happy to serve as a post captain in the Royal Navy during the same period (Regency era), commanding a frigate, with plenty of independent cruises and therefore opportunities for prize money…


11 thoughts on “The life of a gentleman is (or was) the life for me…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Not talking about most people. Talking about the landed gentry. There are roles in life to which we are suited from birth, and that one suits me…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Isn’t it interesting how many people from across the political spectrum — even Richard and Claus — buy into the absurd “progressive” notion that life in the present must be better than life in the past?

        People in the past lived full lives — in many ways, fuller lives than any of us, with all our distractions.

        They had the same capacities for good and evil, the same desires and impulses. Their lives had the same value as our own do.

        I don’t believe God would leave a person to live and die in a time when he or she could not be a fully developed soul, with the same moral and spiritual opportunities as we have today.

        Yep, some things used to be harder. Other things are harder now. But I don’t dismiss life lived in other times. I try to appreciate it, and the people who lived those lives…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          I suppose some are also tempted to be dismissive of people in other times as “the other,” as too strange to empathize with, rather as some people do with foreigners and people of other races…

        2. Claus2

          Did I say it was better? No, but I suspect it is. Medical development is better, which is why people don’t live their lives with a belly full of intestinal worms these days and also live longer and don’t die from a scratch from a rusty nail. Nutrition is better, which is why you see kids in Jr. HS who are 6’3″ tall when just two generations ago it was rare to see grown men who were over 6 feet tall.

          Here’s an example of lifespan throughout man’s history. It wasn’t that long ago, less than 200 years, when the average age of death was less than 40 years old. Visit an old graveyard and start looking at dates, I did at my family church where 1/3 of the graves are of people under 10 years old. I’m sure there was talk years ago about how old man Johnson lived a full life and died at the old age of 42.

          Why bring religion into it? Did God also develop souls in people who believed in another god? Do people today need longer to develop that same soul their forefathers developed in half the time?

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            “Why bring religion into it?” Because we’re speaking of cosmic things.

            A lot of people died young, and that pulled down the average, but a 42-year-old man was not considered “old” 200 years ago in the Western world. “Old” was pretty much what it is now. But there were fewer people who lived to BE old…

            You’d have to go WAY back, probably to hunter-gatherer times, to get to where 42 was old…

  1. Mr. Smith

    In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral
    He is the very model of the total egocentrical.

    — from: “H.M.S. Heretofore”


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