Charles Augustus Fortescue

Charles Augustus Fortescue

Who Always Did what was Right, and so Accumulated an Immense Fortune


The nicest child I ever knew
Was Charles Augustus Fortescue.
He never lost his cap, or tore
His stockings or his pinafore:
In eating Bread he made no Crumbs,
He was extremely fond of sums,

To which, however, he preferred
The Parsing of a Latin Word—
He sought, when it was within his power,
For information twice an hour,

And as for finding Mutton-Fat
Unappatising, far from that!
He often, at his Father’s Board,
Would beg them, of his own accord,

To give him, if they did not mind,
The Greasiest Morsels they could find—
His Later Years did not belie
The Promise of his Infancy.
In Public Life he always tried
To take a judgement Broad and Wide;

In Private, none was more than he
Renowned for quiet courtesy.
He rose at once in his Career,
And long before his Fortieth Year

Had wedded Fifi, Only Child
Of Bunyan, First Lord Aberfylde.
He thus became immensely Rich,
And built the Splendid Mansion which

Is called The Cedars, Muswell Hill,
Where he resides in affluence still,
To show what everybody might
Become by SIMPLY DOING RIGHT.


Cover drawing by Basil T. Blackwood, Public domain


1 Comment

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  1. Devoted Mother says:

    This poem has always reminded me so much of my own dear little boy, Augustus Frobishire-St. Pierre. He is by far the most admirable boy in the world, and I am sure that Mr. Belloc would have said, if he had had the good fortune to be acquainted with him, that his poem is, if anything, an understatement if it were applied to my Augustus. And also, I cannot understand why his, that is, Augustus’s, peers–no, they aren’t really peers, for there is simply no comparison between them and him–at any rate, his fellow students at the excellent Malvern Castle Academy, which he attends, don’t seem to appreciate him more. Indeed it saddens me, although he himself seems to be above noticing such petty, insignificant trifles. Perhaps if they had read more of Mr. Belloc’s excellent and instructive verse, they would be better able to feel a proper appreciation for such a noble being, of whom they ought to feel overwhelmingly privileged to have even caught a glimpse.

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