Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013


The essence of chivalry is to look out for the little ones. ... Chivalry is that in me to which everyone whom I have power to injure can appeal in virtue of that fact with the unspoken plea, 'You must use your power to bless!' Wherever a child can be helped, wherever a stranger can be guided, or a friend who is shy be set at ease, wherever a weak brother can be saved from falling and its shame, wherever an old man's step can be made easy, wherever a servant's position can be dignified in his eyes, — is the chance for chivalry to show itself. I do not recognize a different feeling in the one case from that which moves me in the other. The white-haired man, the tired errand boy, the servant-girl with the heavy burden, make the same kind of demand upon me; and all of them make more demand than the lady whose very silk will make people enough look out for her. They all challenge my chivalry, that is, my sense, not of generosity, but of obligation to help, just because I can give the help and here is one who needs it. Noblesse oblige!

William C. Gannett (1840-1923)

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