Essay on “No man is a Hero to his own Valet” for School, College Students, Long and Short English Essay, Speech for Class 8, 9, 10, 12 and Competitive Exams.

No man is a Hero to his own Valet

A valet is the personal servant of a gentleman. He is what in India is called a “bearer”. He keeps and brushes his master’s clothes, lays out his suits for him to wear, brings him his morning tea, prepares his bath, helps him to dress, and waits on him in any way his master wants. So the valet knows a good deal of his master’s private life.

Now the valet’s master may be a public character. He may be a great statesman, a famous soldier, a well-known artist, a noted musician, a popular actor. To the public outside he is a great and important personage. His guests at dinner see him as an accomplished gentleman and perfect host; the public knows him as a fine orator who can sway the multitude, or a general who has won famous victories, or a singer or violinist who can draw crowds to hear him, or a great actor who can move a theatre audience to tears or laughter. To them he is a hero ; a great man whom they respect and run to see and hear. They know little or nothing of his private life ; they see only the grand outside.

But to his valet the great man is simply a man. He sees his master in undress, so to speak, when no one else is looking, and when a man is likely to be his natural self. The valet sees him off his guard. Even the greatest heroes may be subject to indigestion, colds in the head, fits of bad temper; unpleasant habits, and petty human weaknesses. The public do not see their hero in these weak moments ; but the valet does. And, as the similar proverb says, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” The valet says in his heart, “If the public knew my master as he really is, they would no longer admire him and call him a hero.”

But, after all, both these proverbs are rather cynical. They both assume that no master can be great in private as well as in public, and that no personal servant is capable of appreciat-ing greatness. But this is not true. There are valets who can and do appreciate the greatness of their masters, because there are masters who are great through and through. Familiarity does not breed contempt except when the man with whom we are familiar really deserves contempt, or when, though he really deserves respect, we are incapable of appreciating his noble qualities.

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