The quality of gentleness is colloquially understood to be that of kindness, consideration and amiability.  Aristotle used it in a technical sense as the virtue that strikes the mean with regard to anger: being too quick to anger is a vice, but so is being detached in a situation where anger is appropriate; justified and properly focused anger is named mildness or gentleness.
A second important usage was common in medieval times, associated with higher social classes: hence the derivation of the terms gentleman, gentlewoman and gentry. The broadening of gentle behavior from a literal sense of the gentry to the metaphorical "like a gentleman" applicable to any person was a later development.
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