A gentleman’s protocol is a man’s regulation of his own conduct – the strictest standard of propriety, never violating decency, and respecting even the prejudices of honesty.
In whatever society, in whatever part of the world, a gentleman always complies with the spirit of self-respect – not indeed touching upon self-esteem, and far removed from self-conceit.
His protocols are the self-regulation of his own conduct, the strictest standard of propriety. He is cautious in accepting quarrel, more cautious in giving cause for it. He lends to virtue the forms of courtesy, and borrowing from her the substance of sincerity
He forms his opinions boldly but expresses them gracefully – in action, brave; in conference, gentle. He values his own esteem too highly to be guilty of dishonor, and the esteem of others too considerately to be guilty of incivility. He never violates decency and respecting even the prejudices of honesty.
He is too wise to despise trivialities, but too noble ever to be degraded by them. He is dignified but not haughty, firm but not impracticable, learned but not pedantic. He, to his superiors respectful, to his equals courteous, and to his inferiors kind.
His life is the embodiment of the Knight’s Oath:
“Be loyal of hands and mouth and serve every man as best you may. Seek the fellowship of good men; hearken to their words and remember them. Be humble and courteous wherever thou go, boasting not nor talking overmuch, neither be dumb altogether. Look to it that no lady or damsel be in reproach through your default, nor any woman of whatsoever quality. And if you fall into company where men speak with disrespect of any woman, show by gracious words that it pleases you not, and depart.”
These are where true man rests because his true value is beyond the strength of his hands. It is on the convictions of his heart. For when judgement comes and sins hunt him, his conscience can guaranty of his flawless morality.