from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Gentle birth; character or manners of a person of gentle birth; courtesy; complaisance; delicacy.
An, then, thou say that I have committed myself with a man of mean condition, thou sayst not sooth; but shouldst thou say with a poor man, it might peradventure be conceded thee, to thy shame who hast so ill known to put a servant of thine and a man of worth in good case; yet poverty bereaveth not any of gentilesse; nay, rather, wealth it is that doth this.
Thou hast drawn all the thread out of my shift with thy gentilesse; thou hast tickled my heart with thy rebeck.
There’s something nice about that old-fashioned gentilesse of a hostess seating her guests, whether with place cards or by simply directing everyone to their seats.
The word 'gentilesse' comes from an Old French word meaning 'noble'.