The Project Gutenberg EBook of Goops and How to Be Them, by Gelett Burgess

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Title: Goops and How to Be Them

Author: Gelett Burgess

Release Date: July 8, 2011 [EBook #36664]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by David Edwards, David Garcia and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
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(front cover)
  A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants






A Manual of Manners for Polite Infants
Inculcating many Juvenile Virtues
Both by Precept and Example
With Ninety Drawings



New York
Frederick A. Stokes Company


Copyright, 1900,
By Gelett Burgess


Printed in the United States of America


To Agnes who is Not (always) a Goop!



Introduction Page 1
Table Manners—I 3
Table Manners—II 5
Cleanliness 7
Neatness 9
Courtesy 11
Generosity 13
Consideration 15
Miss Manners 17
Borrowing 19
Memory 21
Books 23
Honesty 25
"Why?" 27
Bed-Time 29
Modesty 31
Disfiguration 33
Bravery 35
Tidiness 37
Patience 39
Fortitude 41
George Adolphus 43
Politeness 45
Gentleness 47
Hospitality 49
Pets 51
Remember 53
Curiosity 55
Willy 57
Clothes 59
Helpfulness 61
Quietness 63
Order 65
Teasing 67
Interruption 69
Cry-Baby 71
Caution 73
Tardiness 75
Obedience 77
Church Headaches 79
Perseverance 81
Doll-Time 83
Combing and Curling 85
Cheerfulness 87

Of these Rhymes, ten first appeared in "St. Nicholas," and are here reprinted by permission of the Century Company.



Let me introduce a Race

Void of Beauty and of Grace,

Extraordinary Creatures

With a Paucity of Features.

Though their Forms are fashioned ill,

They have Manners stranger still;

For in Rudeness they're Precocious,

They're Atrocious, they're Ferocious!

Yet you'll learn, if you are Bright,

Politeness from the Impolite.

When you've finished with the Book,

At your Conduct take a Look;

Ask yourself, upon the Spot,

Are you Goop, or are you Not?

For, although it's Fun to See them

It is Terrible to Be them!




The Goops they lick their fingers,

And the Goops they lick their knives;

They spill their broth on the tablecloth—

Oh, they lead disgusting lives!

The Goops they talk while eating,

And loud and fast they chew;

And that is why I'm glad that I

Am not a Goop—are you?




The Goops are gluttonous and rude,

They gug and gumble with their food;

They throw their crumbs upon the floor,

And at dessert they tease for more;

They will not eat their soup and bread

But like to gobble sweets, instead,

And this is why I oft decline,

When I am asked to stay and dine!



Cleanliness (top)


The Goops they are spotted on chin and on cheek,

You could dig the dirt off with a trowel!

But you wash your face twenty times every week,

And you don't do it all with the towel!

The Goops are all dirty, and what do they do?

They like to be dirty, and stay so.

But if you were dirty, you'd wash, wouldn't you?

If you needed a bath, you would say so!

Cleanliness (bottom)




Goops leave traces everywhere—

Gum stuck underneath the chair,

Muddy footprints in the hall,

Show that Goops have been to call;

Shoes and stockings on the floor

Show where Goops have been before!




I wonder why it is polite

In shaking hands, to give your right.

I wonder why it is refined

In passing one, to go behind.

I wonder why it is well-bred,

If you must sneeze, to turn your head.

Perhaps the reason is because

The Goops, they never have such laws!




When you have candy, do you go

And give your sister half?

When little brother stubs his toe,

Do you look on and laugh?

The greediest Goop would give away

The things he didn't need—

To share the toys with which you play,

That's generous, indeed!



Consideration (top)


When you're old, and get to be

Thirty-four or forty-three,

Don't you hope that you will see

Children all respect you?

Will they, without being told,

Wait on you, when you are old,

Or be heedless, selfish, cold?

I hope they'll not neglect you!

Consideration (bottom)




No matter how you wish

For the last one on the dish,

Miss Manners has a right
to it, not you;

And the largest one of all,

Or the nicest, big or small—

Well, I think you'd better
leave her that one too!




Whose doll is that on the table?

Whose book is that on the chair?

The knife and the pencils and other utensils,

Now how do they come to be there?

Didn't you say they were borrowed?

You'd better take back just a few!

If you lent your playthings, I think you would say things

If no one returned them to you!




My teacher taught me, yesterday,

A very pretty piece to say;

But when I try to think of it,

I can't remember it a bit!

My head's so full of toys and such,

I can't remember very much!

My teacher told me yesterday

"Work when you work; Play when you play!"

When I am playing with my toys

I am the busiest of boys;

But when I study or I work

I'm 'fraid I am inclined to shirk!




I have a notion

The Books on the shelves

Are just as much persons

As we are, ourselves.

When you are older,

You'll find this is true;

You'd better be careful

To make Books like you!



Honesty (top)


The boy who plays at marbles and doesn't try to cheat,

Who always keeps his temper, no matter if he's beat,

Is sure to be a favorite with all upon the street.

The girl who counts her hundreds very fairly, when she's "it"

Who doesn't peep or listen, nor turn around a bit,

I'm sure she's not a Goop, in fact, she's quite the opposite!

Honesty (bottom)




Josephus never yet was heard

To say but just one single word!

When father said to go to bed,

Then "Why?" was all Josephus said.

When mother bade him stop his play,

Then "Why?" Josephus used to say.

He always made the same reply.

'Twas never anything but "WHY?"



Bed-Time (top)


The night is different from the day—

It's darker in the night;

How can you ever hope to play

When it's no longer light?

When bed-time comes, it's time for you

To stop, for when you're yawning,

You should be dreaming what you'll do

When it's to-morrow morning.

Bed-Time (bottom)




The proper time for you to show

Whatever little tricks you know

Is when grown people ask you to;

Then you may show what you can do!

But sometimes mother's head will ache

With all the jolly noise you make,

And sometimes other people, too,

Can't spend the time to play with you!




Have you ever seen the scrawls

On the fences and the walls,

All the horrid little pictures and the horrid little names?

Don't you think it is a shame?

Are the Goops the ones to blame?

Did you ever catch them playing at their horrid little games?




It's terrible brave

To try to save

A girl on a runaway horse;

You could do that, of course!

But think of trying

To keep from crying,

When you're hungry and tired and cross—

You couldn't do that, of course!




Little scraps of paper,

Little crumbs of food,

Make a room untidy,

Everywhere they're strewed.

Do you sharpen pencils,

Ever, on the floor?

What becomes of orange-peels

And your apple-core?

Can you blame your mother

If she looks severe.

When she says, "It looks to me

As if the Goops were here"?




The clock will go slow

If you watch it, you know;

You must work right along and forget it.

So study your best

Till it's time for a rest,

The clock will go fast, if you let it!




When you have been a naughty child,

Or taken more than was your share,

When you've been sulky, cross or wild,

You must not say, "Oh, I don't care!"

But when you hate to see it rain,

And when it's time to comb your hair,

And when you have a little pain,

Then you can say, "Oh, I don't care!"




Oh, think what George Adolphus did!

The children point and stare.

He went where mother had forbid,

And said he "didn't care!"

Oh, think what George Adolphus did!

He made his mother cry!

The children whoop "You are a Goop!

Fie! George Adolphus, fie!"




I think it would be lots of fun

To be polite to every one;

A boy would doff his little hat,

A girl would curtsey, just like that!

And both would use such words as these:

"Excuse me, Sir," and "If you please;"

Not only just at home, you know,

But everywhere that they should go.




When you are playing with the girls,

You must not pull their pretty curls;

If you are gentle when you play,

You will be glad of it some day.



Hospitality (top)


When a person visits you, remember he's your guest,

Receive him very kindly, and be sure he has the best;

Make him very comfortable and show him all your toys,

And only play the games you're very sure that he enjoys.

When you pay a visit, never grumble or complain,

Try to be so affable they'll want you there again;

Don't forget the older ones, your hostess least of all,

When you're leaving tell her you have had a pleasant call!

Hospitality (bottom)




Almost every Goop forgets

When it's time to feed his pets,

'Cause his memory fails;

Listen to his wails!

He is often scratched or bitten

By the puppy or the kitten,

'Cause he pulls their tails!




Remember not to suck your thumb;

Remember not to slam the door;

Remember when the callers come

To take your toys from off the floor.




I think that it would help you much

If you'd remember not to touch.

The Goops do this, and they do more,

They peep and listen at the door!

They open bottles of cologne,

And feel of parcels not their own!

But there are many stupid folks

Who do not care for children's jokes.




Willy broke the window-pane.

Willy spilled the ink,

Willy left the water-pipe

Running in the sink!

Did his mother punish him?

No! I'll tell you why.

Willy, he owned up to it,

And didn't tell a lie!

Willy told his mother

Before she found it out

He said: "I am so sorry!"

She said "I have no doubt!"



Clothes (top)


When you are playing in the dirt,

You should wear clothes you cannot hurt;

It will not matter, when they're worn,

If they are just a little torn.

But when you're really nicely dressed,

Be careful of your Sunday Best!

You must not crawl upon your knees;

Be careful of your elbows, please!

Clothes (bottom)




I never knew a Goop to help his mother,

I never knew a Goop to help his dad,

And they never do a thing for one another;

They are actually, absolutely bad!

If you ask a Goop to go and post a letter,

Or to run upon an errand, how they act!

But somehow I imagine you are better,

And you try to go, and cry to go, in fact!




Quietness (top)

Hush! for your father is reading.

Hush! for your mother is ill.

Hush! for the baby

Is sleeping, and may be

He'll catch a nice dream if you're still.

Kiss me, and promise you will!

Quietness (bottom)




Make your soldiers march away,

When you're finished with your play.

Lead them to the barrack-box,

Make them carry all your blocks.

Teach your doll to go to bed,

Not to lie about instead;

Tell her she must clear away

Everything she's used to-day.

All your playthings and your toys

Must be trained like girls and boys!




Tease to linger longer when your mother bids you go;

Tease to have a penny when your father answers, "No!"

Tease to have a story when your uncle doesn't please;

That's the way to be a Goop—tease, tease, tease!

Hint about the carriage when there's only room for three;

Hint about the toys you like and every doll you see;

Hint about the candy, say you're fond of peppermint;

That's the way to be a Goop—hint, hint, hint!



Interruption (top)


Don't interrupt your father when he's telling funny jokes;

Don't interrupt your mother when she's entertaining folks;

Don't interrupt the visitors when they have come to call,—

In fact, it's generally wiser not to interrupt at all.

Interruption (bottom)




I'm sure that I would rather die

Than have my playmates see me cry;

It twists your face

And knots your forehead,

And makes you look all cross and horrid;

And every one who sees you cries

"What is the matter with your eyes?"




When you travel in the street,

Are you cautious and discreet?

Do you look about for horses

When your little brother crosses?

Do you go the shortest way,

Never stopping once to play?



Tardiness (top)


Goodness gracious sakes alive!

Mother said, "Come home at five!"

Now the clock is striking six,

I am in a norful fix!

She will think I can't be trusted,

And she'll say that she's disgusted!

Tardiness (bottom)




The Goops are very hard to kill,

So they hang out the Window-sill;

Down the Banisters they slide—

I could do it if I tried;

But when Mother tells me "don't,"

Then, of course I really won't!



Church Headaches (top)


When 'tis time to go to church

Do you ever have a chill?

When 'tis time to go to school,

Do you fancy you are ill?

Oh, be very cautious, please,

I can tell by signs like these

You have got the Goop Disease!

Church Headaches (bottom)



Perseverance (1)


Tony started bright and early, clearing up his room,

Soon he found he had to stop and make a little broom;

Perseverance (2)

So then he went into the yard to get a little stick,

But the garden needed weeding, so he set about it, quick!

Perseverance (3)

Then he found his wagon he intended to repair,

So he went into the cellar for the hammer that was there;

Perseverance (4)

He'd just begun to build a box, when it was time for dinner;

And that's why Tony's father called his son a "good beginner."




Spring's the time for marbles

And Fall's the time for tops,

But boys don't know, they only go

By seeing them in shops!

They like a sled in Winter,

In Summer 'tis a kite;

But dolls are found the whole year round

And every day and night!




When your mother combs your hair,

Here's a rhyme for you to say:

If you try it, I declare,

It will take the snarls away!

In the ocean of my hair,

Many little waves are there;

Make the comb, a little boat,

Over all the billows float;

Sail the rough and tangled tide

Till it's smooth on every side,

Till, like other little girls,

I've a sea of wavy curls!




Now the book, is finished

(It's too long by half,

Mere didactic chaff),

One more rule won't hurt you:

When you practise Virtue,

Do it with a laugh!


End of Project Gutenberg's Goops and How to Be Them, by Gelett Burgess


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