Post by Lewis Post by phil Post by Lewis Post by phil Post by Peter Moylan Post by Kerr-Mudd,John
On Sun, 26 Jan 2020 19:56:38 GMT, Katy Jennison
I came across it, but I don't remember it very well and we didn't
possess a copy. We did have a few Victorian volumes (handed down
from my grandparents' childhoods) in which salutary things happened
to naughty children. Some of them were quite funny, although I
couldn't give you any details now.
"Speak harshly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes" etc.
We had something called Coles Funny Picture Book, first published in
1879. I didn't find it very funny, but I remember that it contained a
lot of casual cruelty. The one picture that still sticks in my mind is
Cole's Patent Whipping Machine for Flogging Naughty Boys.
I remember being fascinated by 'Matilda, Who Told Lies And Was Burned To
Death'. As I recall, it contained a detailed description of the child's
combustion, but that seems to have been omitted from all the current
I think that might be a false memory. I see no evidence of an "original"
version. The book is in the public domain and is available on Project
“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!”
They only answered “Little Liar!”
And therefore when her Aunt returned,
Matilda, and the House, were Burned.”
Excerpt From: Hilaire Belloc. “Cautionary Tales for Children.”
Yes, I'm puzzled now. I don't think it's a false memory, but I must be
mixing up two rhymes.
That's the sneaky bits of false memories, you never think they are
I have several memories that I definitely remember as well as anything
else in my memory, but I know for a fact they are false. Doesn't change
my memory of them at all.
The only "famous" one is the one about Johnny Carson and Zsa Zsa Gabor
and her cat, which I absolutely clearly remember despite the fact it
Post by phil
Something that I was in the habit of reading with ghoulish fascination
had in it lines that described the progression of the fire to the girl's
clothes and to "her, eyes, her hair". It was a poem, but not, it seems,
by Belloc. Further research needed.
The fire in my eyes ... the bend of my hair? Because that poem isn’t
about a real fire!
Ah, there it is! It's Struwwelpeter, "The Dreadful Story of Harriet and
the Matches". It wasn't widely known in UK in the 1950's, but one of my
friends was the son of German parents and I'd read it at his house.
Phew! I knew it was real. (But you're right. Even if it had been a false
memory, I'd still have known it was real.)
"And see! oh, what dreadful thing!
The fire has caught her apron-string;
Her apron burns, her arms, her hair—
She burns all over everywhere.
Then how the pussy-cats did mew—
What else, poor pussies, could they do?
They screamed for help, 'twas all in vain!
So then they said: "We'll scream again;
Make haste, make haste, me-ow, me-o,
She'll burn to death; we told her so."
So she was burnt, with all her clothes,
And arms, and hands, and eyes, and nose;
Till she had nothing more to lose
Except her little scarlet shoes;
And nothing else but these was found
Among her ashes on the ground."