vintage temptation

A little theft, a small deceit,
Too often leads to more;
‘Tis hard at first, but tempts the feet
As through an open door.

Just as the broadest rivers run
From small and distant springs,
The greatest crimes that men have done,
Have grown from little things.

The above poem is called temptation in the book where I found it. I looked it up online to try and identify an author, and saw it is called The Beginning of Vice elsehwere, and ‘Beware,’ in another book. My book has lost its title. It belonged to a great-great-grandfather and entertained, it seems generations of children until it fell apart and the remains were professionally rebound. But the only title is Children’s Story Book, and I am not sure if that was the original or just what the binder was left to title it, since no title page or cover remained. ┬áThe illustration is also from this book.


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  1. Posted February 8, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Children were actually taught absolute moral values in days gone by. Thanks for sharing that poem, it sounds like something my father would recite to us.

  2. Anita
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    One poem (as you said with differing titles) which was a “regular” to several volumes of children’s books.

    “Useful Annie and Other Verses For Children”, Philadelphia, Henry Longstketh, 1857, Sherman and Sons, printers (transcribed by UNC-Chapel Hill)
    Archived here:

    “Memory Gems: Graded Selections in Prose and Verse For The Use of Schools” W.H. Lambert Superintendent of Schools, Malden, Mass.
    Scanned, original copy (with turnable pages!!!) here:


  3. Anita
    Posted February 8, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Also, “Hymns For Infant Minds”

    And at least one other (lost the link, sorry).

    I love old books. And the content is so romantic and refined (comparatively).

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