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´╗┐Title: Cautionary Tales for Children
Author: Belloc, Hilaire, 1870-1953
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Cautionary Tales for Children" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



 CAUTIONARY TALES FOR CHILDREN



 CAUTIONARY TALES FOR
 CHILDREN

 _Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages
 of eight and fourteen years_


 Verses by
 H. BELLOC

 Pictures by
 B. T. B.

 [Illustration]


 DUCKWORTH
 3 HENRIETTA STREET, LONDON, W.C.



 First published by Eveleigh Nash, 1907
 First published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1918
 Thirteenth Impression, 1957

 _All rights reserved_


 _Made and Printed in Great Britain by_
 _Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd_
 _London and Edinburgh_



 DEDICATED
 TO
 BOBBY, JOHNNY, AND EDDIE
 SOMERSET



INTRODUCTION


Upon being asked by a Reader whether the verses contained in this book
were true.


[Illustration]

    And is it True? It is not True.
    And if it were it wouldn't do,
    For people such as me and you
    Who pretty nearly all day long
    Are doing something rather wrong.
    Because if things were really so,
    You would have perished long ago,
    And I would not have lived to write
    The noble lines that meet your sight,
    Nor B. T. B. survived to draw
    The nicest things you ever saw.
                                 H. B.

       *       *       *       *       *



JIM,

_Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion._


[Illustration]

    There was a Boy whose name was Jim;
    His Friends were very good to him.
    They gave him Tea, and Cakes, and Jam,
    And slices of delicious Ham,
    And Chocolate with pink inside,
    And little Tricycles to ride,
    And

[Illustration]

        read him Stories through and through,
    And even took him to the Zoo--
    But there it was the dreadful Fate
    Befell him, which I now relate.

    You know--at least you _ought_ to know.
    For I have often told you so--
    That Children never are allowed
    To leave their Nurses in a Crowd;

    Now this was Jim's especial Foible,
    He ran away when he was able,
    And on this inauspicious day
    He slipped his hand and ran away!
    He hadn't gone a yard when--

[Illustration]

                                Bang!
    With open Jaws, a Lion sprang,
    And hungrily began to eat
    The Boy: beginning at his feet.

    Now just imagine how it feels
    When first your toes and then your heels,
    And then by gradual degrees,
    Your shins and ankles, calves and knees,
    Are slowly eaten, bit by bit.

[Illustration]

    No wonder Jim detested it!
    No wonder that he shouted "Hi!"
    The Honest Keeper heard his cry,
    Though very fat

[Illustration]

                    he almost ran
    To help the little gentleman.
    "Ponto!" he ordered as he came
    (For Ponto was the Lion's name),
    "Ponto!" he cried,

[Illustration]

                       with angry Frown.
    "Let go, Sir! Down, Sir! Put it down!"

    The Lion made a sudden Stop,
    He let the Dainty Morsel drop,
    And slunk reluctant to his Cage,
    Snarling with Disappointed Rage
    But when he bent him over Jim,
    The Honest Keeper's

[Illustration]

                          Eyes were dim.
    The Lion having reached his Head,
    The Miserable Boy was dead!

[Illustration]

    When Nurse informed his 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
    To James' miserable end,
    And always keep a-hold of Nurse
    For fear of finding something worse.



HENRY KING,

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


    The Chief Defect of Henry King
    Was

[Illustration]

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

[Illustration]

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

[Illustration]

                    as they took their Fees,
    "There is no Cure for this Disease.
    Henry will very soon be dead."
    His Parents stood about his Bed
    Lamenting his Untimely Death,
    When Henry, with his Latest Breath,
    Cried--
    "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,

[Illustration]

    That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch and Tea
    Are all the Human Frame requires ..."
    With that the Wretched Child expires.



MATILDA,

_Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death._


    Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,

[Illustration]

    It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
    Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
    Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,

[Illustration]

    Attempted to Believe Matilda:
    The effort very nearly killed her,
    And would have done so, had not She
    Discovered this Infirmity.
    For once, towards the Close of Day,
    Matilda, growing tired of play,
    And finding she was left alone,
    Went tiptoe

[Illustration]

                to
                   the Telephone
    And summoned the Immediate Aid
    Of London's Noble Fire-Brigade.
    Within an hour the Gallant Band
    Were pouring in on every hand,
    From Putney, Hackney Downs and Bow,
    With Courage high and Hearts a-glow
    They galloped, roaring through the Town,

[Illustration]

    "Matilda's House is Burning Down!"
    Inspired by British Cheers and Loud
    Proceeding from the Frenzied Crowd,
    They ran their ladders through a score
    Of windows on the Ball Room Floor;
    And took Peculiar Pains to Souse
    The Pictures up and down the House,

[Illustration]

    Until Matilda's Aunt succeeded
    In showing them they were not needed
    And even then she had to pay
    To get the Men to go away!

       *       *       *

    It happened that a few Weeks later
    Her Aunt was off to the Theatre
    To see that Interesting Play
    _The Second Mrs. Tanqueray._

[Illustration]

    She had refused to take her Niece
    To hear this Entertaining Piece:
    A Deprivation Just and Wise
    To Punish her for Telling Lies.
    That Night a Fire _did_ break out--
    You should have heard Matilda Shout!
    You should have heard her Scream and Bawl,
    And throw the window up and call
    To People passing in the Street--
    (The rapidly increasing Heat
    Encouraging her to obtain
    Their confidence)--but all in vain!
    For every time She shouted "Fire!"

[Illustration]

    They only answered "Little Liar!"
    And therefore when her Aunt returned,
    Matilda, and the House, were Burned.

[Illustration]



FRANKLIN HYDE,

_Who caroused in the Dirt and was corrected by His Uncle._


[Illustration]

    His Uncle came on Franklin Hyde
    Carousing in the Dirt.
    He Shook him hard from Side to Side
    And

[Illustration]

    Hit him till it Hurt,

    Exclaiming, with a Final Thud,
    "Take

[Illustration]

           that! Abandoned Boy!
    For Playing with Disgusting Mud
    As though it were a Toy!"


MORAL

    From Franklin Hyde's adventure, learn
    To pass your Leisure Time
    In Cleanly Merriment, and turn
    From Mud and Ooze and Slime
    And every form of Nastiness--
    But, on the other Hand,
    Children in ordinary Dress
    May always play with Sand.

[Illustration]



GODOLPHIN HORNE,

_Who was cursed with the Sin of Pride, and Became a Boot-Black._


[Illustration]

    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.
    And oh! the Lad was Deathly Proud!
    He never shook your Hand or Bowed,
    But merely smirked and nodded

[Illustration]

                                    thus:
    How perfectly ridiculous!
    Alas! That such Affected Tricks
    Should flourish in a Child of Six!
    (For such was Young Godolphin's age).

    Just then, the Court required a Page,
    Whereat

[Illustration]

            the Lord High Chamberlain
    (The Kindest and the Best of Men),
    He went good-naturedly and

[Illustration]

                         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),
    "There's

[Illustration]

    William Coutts has got the Flue,

[Illustration]

    And Billy Higgs would never do,

[Illustration]

    And Guy de Vere is far too young,

[Illustration]

    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,"
    The Chamberlain said,
                      " ... Well, well, well!
    No doubt you're right.... One cannot tell!"
    He took his Gold and Diamond Pen
    And

[Illustration]

            Scratched Godolphin out again.
    So now Godolphin is the Boy
    Who blacks the Boots at the Savoy.

[Illustration]



ALGERNON,

_Who played with a Loaded Gun, and, on missing his Sister was
reprimanded by his Father._


    Young Algernon, the Doctor's Son,
    Was

[Illustration]

        playing with a Loaded Gun.
    He pointed it towards his sister,
    Aimed very carefully, but

[Illustration]

                             Missed her!

    His Father, who was standing near,

[Illustration]

    The Loud Explosion chanced to Hear,

[Illustration]

    And reprimanded Algernon
    For playing with a Loaded Gun.



HILDEBRAND,

_Who was frightened by a Passing Motor, and was brought to Reason._


[Illustration]

    "Oh, Murder! What was that, Papa!"
    "My child,
                It was a Motor-Car,
    A Most Ingenious Toy!

[Illustration]

    Designed to Captivate and Charm
    Much rather than to rouse Alarm
    In any English Boy.

    "What would your Great Grandfather who

[Illustration]

    Was Aide-de-Camp to General Brue,
    And lost a leg at

[Illustration]

                      Waterloo,
    And

[Illustration]

    Quatre-Bras and

[Illustration]

                      Ligny too!
    And died at Trafalgar!--

[Illustration]

    What would he have remarked to hear
    His Young Descendant shriek with fear,
    Because he happened to be near
            A Harmless Motor-Car!
    But do not fret about it! Come!
    We'll off to Town

[Illustration]

    And purchase some!"



LORD LUNDY,

_Who was too Freely Moved to Tears, and thereby ruined his Political
Career._


[Illustration]

    Lord Lundy from his earliest years
    Was far too freely moved to Tears.
    For instance if his Mother said,
    "Lundy! It's time to go to Bed!"
    He bellowed like a Little Turk.
    Or if

[Illustration]

           his father Lord Dunquerque
    Said "Hi!" in a Commanding Tone,
    "Hi, Lundy! Leave the Cat alone!"
    Lord Lundy, letting go its tail,
    Would raise so terrible a wail
    As moved
    His
      Grandpapa
                the

[Illustration]

                     Duke
    To utter the severe rebuke:
    "When I, Sir! was a little Boy,
    An Animal was not a Toy!"

    His father's Elder Sister, who
    Was married to a Parvenoo,

[Illustration]

    Confided to Her Husband, "Drat!
    The Miserable, Peevish Brat!
    Why don't they drown the Little Beast?"
    Suggestions which, to say the least,
    Are not what we expect to hear
    From Daughters of an English Peer.
    His grandmamma, His Mother's Mother,
    Who had some dignity or other,
    The Garter, or no matter what,
    I can't remember all the Lot!
    Said "Oh! that I were Brisk and Spry
    To give him that for which to cry!"
    (An empty wish, alas! for she

[Illustration]

    Was Blind and nearly ninety-three).

    The

[Illustration]

    Dear Old Butler
                     thought--but there!
    I really neither know nor care
    For what the Dear Old Butler thought!
    In my opinion, Butlers ought
    To know their place, and not to play
    The Old Retainer night and day
    I'm getting tired and so are you,
    Let's cut the Poem into two!

       *       *       *



LORD LUNDY

(_SECOND CANTO_)


    It happened to Lord Lundy then,
    As happens to so many men:
    Towards the age of twenty-six,
    They shoved him into politics;
    In which profession he commanded
    The income that his rank demanded
    In turn as Secretary for
    India, the Colonies, and War.
    But very soon his friends began
    To doubt if he were quite the man:
    Thus, if a member rose to say
    (As members do from day to day),

[Illustration]

    "Arising out of that reply ...!"

[Illustration]

    Lord Lundy would begin to cry.
    A Hint at harmless little jobs
    Would shake him with convulsive sobs.

    While as for Revelations, these
    Would simply bring him to his knees,
    And leave him whimpering like a child.
    It drove his Colleagues raving wild!
    They let him sink from Post to Post,
    From fifteen hundred at the most
    To eight, and barely six--and then
    To be Curator of Big Ben!...
    And finally there came a Threat
    To oust him from the Cabinet!

    The Duke--his aged grand-sire--bore
    The shame till he could bear no more.
    He rallied his declining powers,
    Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers,
    And bitterly addressed him thus--
    "Sir! you have disappointed us!
    We had intended you to be
    The next Prime Minister but three:
    The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
    The Middle Class was quite prepared.
    But as it is!... My language fails!

[Illustration]

    Go out and govern New South Wales!"

       *       *       *

    The Aged Patriot groaned and died:
    And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!

[Illustration]



REBECCA,

_Who slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably._


    A Trick that everyone abhors
    In Little Girls is slamming Doors.
    A

[Illustration]

    Wealthy Banker's
                     Little Daughter

[Illustration]

    Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
    (By name Rebecca Offendort),
    Was given to this Furious Sport.

    She would deliberately go

[Illustration]

    And Slam the door like
                 Billy-Ho!
    To make
            her

[Illustration]

                 Uncle Jacob start.
    She was not really bad at heart,
    But only rather rude and wild:
    She was an aggravating child....

    It happened that a Marble Bust
    Of Abraham was standing just
    Above the Door this little Lamb
    Had carefully prepared to Slam,
    And Down it came! It knocked her flat!
    It laid her out! She looked like that.

[Illustration]

       *       *       *

    Her funeral Sermon (which was long
    And followed by a Sacred Song)
    Mentioned her Virtues, it is true,
    But dwelt upon her Vices too,
    And showed the Dreadful End of One
    Who goes and slams the door for Fun.

       *       *       *

    The children who were brought to hear
    The awful Tale from far and near
    Were much impressed,
                         and inly swore
    They never more would slam the Door.
    --As often they had done before.

[Illustration]



GEORGE,

_Who played with a Dangerous Toy, and suffered a Catastrophe of
considerable Dimensions._


    When George's Grandmamma was told

[Illustration]

    That George had been as good as Gold,
    She Promised in the Afternoon
    To buy him an _Immense BALLOON_.
            And

[Illustration]

                 so she did; but when it came,
    It got into the candle flame,
    And being of a dangerous sort
    Exploded

[Illustration]

                with a loud report!

    The Lights went out! The Windows broke!
    The Room was filled with reeking smoke.
    And in the darkness shrieks and yells
    Were mingled with Electric Bells,
    And falling masonry and groans,
    And crunching, as of broken bones,
    And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
    The House itself began to fall!
    It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
    Then crashed into the street below--
    Which happened to be Savile Row.

       *       *       *

    When Help arrived, among the Dead

[Illustration]

    Were

         Cousin Mary,

[Illustration]

    Little Fred,

[Illustration]

    The Footmen

[Illustration]

    (both of them),

[Illustration]

    The Groom,

[Illustration]

    The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,

[Illustration]

    The Chaplain, and

[Illustration]

                      The Still-Room Maid.
    And I am dreadfully afraid
    That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
    Will now be

[Illustration]

                 permanently deaf--
    And both his
    Aides

[Illustration]

           are much the same;
    While George, who was in part to blame,
    Received, you will regret to hear,
    A nasty lump

[Illustration]

    behind the ear.


MORAL

    The moral is that little Boys
    Should not be given dangerous Toys.



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,

[Illustration]

    To which, however, he preferred
    The Parsing of a Latin Word--
    He sought, when it was in his power,
    For information twice an hour,
    And as for finding Mutton-Fat
    Unappetising, far from that!
    He often, at his Father's Board,
    Would beg them, of his own accord,

[Illustration]

    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 judgment Broad and Wide;

[Illustration]

    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,

[Illustration]

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

[Illustration]

    _"The Cedars,
             Muswell Hill,"_
    Where he resides in Affluence still
    To show what Everybody might
    Become by

              SIMPLY DOING RIGHT.





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