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Cautionary Tales for Children

Hilaire Belloc

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Parents, they
Were more Concerned than I can say:—
His Mother, as She dried her eyes,
Said, “Well—it gives me no surprise,
He would not do as he was told!”
His Father, who was self-controlled,
Bade all the children round attend
[Pg 16] To James’ miserable end,
And always keep a-hold of Nurse
For fear of finding something worse.

[Pg 17]

Henry King,

Who chewed bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies.

 

The Chief Defect of Henry King
Was

chewing little bits of String.
At last he swallowed some which tied
[Pg 18] Itself in ugly Knots inside.

Physicians of the Utmost Fame
Were called at once; but when they came
They answered,

[Pg 19]

as they took their Fees,
“There is no Cure. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Belloc's Tales were originally published in 1907. They're amusing. They are a perfect text for Gorey: a little Old Possum's, a little Gashlycrumb. They are so perfect a text for Gorey's art that I couldn't believe the edition was first published in 2002. I spent longer looking up Belloc and the v...more

Rhyme, rhythm, repetition.
Snuggled in a cuddly, loving lap.
Rhyme, rhythm, repetition.
Pictures for full multi-sensory immersion.
Rhyme, rhythm, repetition.
Two voices: sometimes taking turns, sometimes in unison.
Rhyme, rhythm, repetition.
This is the stuff of formative childhood memories.

My father regularly read these poems to me with melodramatic intonation when I...more

I know many of these well enough to recite them. Some of my favourite quotes:

[Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion:]
"Now just imagine how it feels
when first your toes and then your heels
and then by gradual degrees
your insteps, ankles, calves...more

I read this before breakfast and laughed my head off.

If only more parents read this to their little hooligans they might learn to be bad in more original ways.

This hilarious albeit dark book is both imaginative and witty, and an excellent one for parents as well as children that they can both enjoy.

CAUTIONARY TALES FOR CHILDREN, written by Hialaire Belloc, and illustrated by Edward Gorey. (Naturally, it was the Edward Gorey part that had me purchasing this in the first place.)

The stories/punishments for children were amusing--the deadly ones, better ;), but the illustrations by...more

One wonders who, with options wide
would name their screaming, new born baby Clyde?
Or
Even Hilaire -- a name so florid, French, and rude,
Seems pre-destined to start a feud.
Or
Inspire a Belle Edward of francs and also quids,
to scribble moral poems to reckless, dirty kids.
But
Scribble poems Hilaire he did, and books and also letters,
This funny man Belloc would often best his...more

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