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Cautionary Tales for Children by  Hilaire Belloc

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GODOLPHIN HORNE

Who was cursed with the Sin of Pride, and, Became a Boot-black.

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Godolphin Horne was Nobly Born;

He held the Human Race in Scorn,

And lived with all his Sisters where

His father lived, in Berkeley Square.


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And oh! The Lad was Deathly Proud!

He never shook your Hand or Bowed,

But merely smirked and nodded thus:

How perfectly ridiculous!

Alas! That such Affected Tricks

Should flourish in a Child of Six!

(For such was Young Godolphin's age).


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Just then, the Court required a Page,

Whereat the Lord High Chamberlain

(The Kindest and the Best of Men),


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He went good-naturedly and took

A perfectly enormous Book

Called People Qualified to Be

Attendant on His Majesty,

And murmured, as he scanned the list

(To see that no one should be missed),


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"There's William Coutts has got the Flu,


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And Billy Higgs would never do,


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And Guy de Vere is far too young,


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And . . . wasn't D'Alton's father hung?

And as for Alexander Byng!— . . .

I think I know the kind of thing,

A Churchman, cleanly, nobly born,

Come, let us say Godolphin Horne?"


But hardly had he said the word

When Murmurs of Dissent were heard.

The King of Iceland's Eldest Son

Said, "Thank you! I am taking none!"

The Aged Duchess of Athlone

Remarked, in her sub-acid tone,

"I doubt if He is what we need!"

With which the Bishops all agreed;

And even Lady Mary Flood

(So kind, and oh! So really good)

Said, "No! He wouldn't do at all,

He'd make us feel a lot too small."


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The Chamberlain said, "Well, well, well!

No doubt you're right. One cannot tell!"

He took his Gold and Diamond Pen

And scratched Godolphin out again.


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So now Godolphin is the Boy

Who Blacks the Boots at the Savoy


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