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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

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

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 and knees
are slowly eaten, bit by bit!

Beware of the spacing that jarringly breaks up some limericks! But I'm glad I've read Hilaire Belloc.

One wonders who, with options wide
would name their screaming, new born baby Clyde?
Even Hilaire -- a name so florid, French, and rude,
Seems pre-destined to start a feud.
Inspire a Belle Edward of francs and also quids,
to scribble moral poems to reckless, dirty kids.
Scribble poems Hilaire he di

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