An overweening sense of self-importance and the necessity of preserving an immaculate outward appearance prevented the young dandy from initially lending the old man a helping hand.
The elderly gent, ambling along the bumpy cobblestones sufficiently well till one of his ill-fitting shoes caught its toe in a mild depression in the otherwise smooth path worn lustrous by centuries of pedestrian and horse-drawn cart passage, took a forward tumble, landed in a bedraggled heap and let out a tiny yelp that bespoke an expected discomfort but an unanticipated assault on the pauper's innate dignity.
Not so much a heart inured against the suffering of the lower classes as principally a congenital awareness of propriety and decorum about a proper gentleman's look was young Gottlieb Furioso's unspoken but deeply felt concern. Surely, the younger male was schooled in the universal laws of beneficence, particularly that of noblesse oblige. However, the inopportune soiling of his pale doeskin gloves was sufficient reason for restraint and discretion in deciding what looming circumstance amongst the ever-present needy of the world was one of extreme need as opposed to a situation of far lesser gravity.
The Master had declared that the poor would ever be in our midst: one sole individual cannot feed nor clothe nor house the teeming mass of so-called human detritus. No matter; a helping hand the circumstance demanded, a helping, gloved hand would offer kindly assistance.
"Thank you, kind sir, for helping an old man. Blessings upon you and your household."
Young Gottlieb smiled as he gently raised the doddering man to his feet, not noticing that his gloves had been soiled.