The Girl’s Cabinet of Instructive and Moral Stories by Uncle Philip

Actual images of the pages of the original book are available through the Florida Board of Education, Division of Colleges and Universities, PALMM Project, 2001 (Preservation and Access for American and British Children’s Literature, 1850-1869). See or THE GIRL’S CABINET OF INSTRUCTIVE AND MORAL STORIES BY UNCLE PHILIP. NEW YORK: PHILIP J. COZANS,
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Actual images of the pages of the original book are available through the Florida Board of Education, Division of Colleges and Universities, PALMM Project, 2001 (Preservation and Access for American and British Children’s Literature, 1850-1869). See or




[Illustration: Front Cover]

[Illustration: A Doll’s Party.]


Here is a Doll’s party. All the little girls of the vicinity who have Dolls, have assembled in order to give their little favorites a nice party. You see they all have Dolls. They are good girls. They are very obedient. They attend school regularly, and as they are well-behaved girls, Santa Claus left each of them a Doll at Christmas time. They have learned their lessons for to-morrow, as their mothers have told them, that duty before pleasure is the good girl’s motto. They will play sometimes with their Dolls. Will settle on some new Doll dresses, and then bidding each other a kind good night they will return home to sleep. As God is the protector of all good girls, each will say a little prayer to Him before she goes to bed.

[Illustration: The Vain Girl.]


Many years ago there lived in one of the New England States, a fine family, composed of father, mother, and six children. The children were all good, and kind, and industrious, except one. Kate never would do as she was bid. She was in every sense, a disobedient child. She gave her parents much pain and trouble. She was what is called a vain girl. You all know what a vain girl is. A vain girl, is one who attends more to her dress and toilet, than to her books. Kate’s father was going to New York some time before Christmas–he told the girls, that if they were good, kind and obedient while he was gone, he would bring them each a pretty Album. They all promised to do just as their mother should wish. The father went to New York and returned. The day after his return they reminded him of his promise. He went to his desk and said, “Here they are, but you want me to paint some flowers in them, well Ellen what do you wish?” Ellen said, “a lily Pa, if you please.” Julia chose a tulip, and Lizzie a rose. Kate was silent, and her father asked her–“Well Kate what shall I paint for you?” She hesitated, but finally said, “I would prefer a portrait of myself.” “Very well Kate,” said her father, but at the same time a sneer might have been seen on his curled lip. A few evenings after, when there was a large party in the parlor–the father gave each of the girls their Albums. Every one was pleased except Kate, who burst into tears, and tossing the book on the floor, left the room. The Album was picked up and there was a portrait of Kate just as she had desired, but beneath it was written, “The flower most admired by Kate.”

It was a severe lesson–but let all vain girls profit by it.

[Illustration: Lizzie and Fashion.]


Lizzie is taking a ride on her pet Fashion. She is not afraid of falling, for she can ride very well. Fashion seems proud to feel such a nice little burden on his back. See how he capers and prances. He knows Lizzie will not fall, and so he amuses himself and her, by jumping about. Lizzie rides every morning and evening. She is delicate, and so her Pa bought her a fine horse. She rides out alone. She is not pretty–but she is happy and good natured. When the other girls see her riding they sneer at her and say, “There goes ugly Liz on the pretty horse.” The girls are silly and thoughtless. They should reflect that a happy face looks much more agreeable than a handsome one.

As soon as Lizzie has said her prayers in the morning, she goes out on her horse. She rides some miles and then returns to breakfast. As she is delicate, she does not go to school, but studies under her mother. She studies hard, and is very obedient. After dinner she goes out again and rides for two or three hours. It is pleasant to see how Fashion loves her. As soon as she appears at the door–he is impatient of restraint, and wishes to rush to her. When she has been riding, and returned, and he is going to the stable, he will turn frequently to see her as she goes along the piazza. She has learned him many tricks. He stands up on his hind legs. He will dance: in fact, he will do almost anything she will command him. She has accomplished it all by kindness and a smiling face.

[Illustration: Eva’s Pet.]


You know what a pleasure it is to have a pretty pet Dog. I do not mean those little lap dogs. They are of no use, and when I see a little girl with a lap dog, I always say, “Well, well, that little girl is, and always will be foolish.” And why do I say so? Because I know she will neglect her books and her other duties just to play with Flora. If you want a good pet dog–get a large one. The best dogs are the St. Bernard or Newfoundland. They are very large. They are jet black. They are very intelligent, and after you have had them for some time, you can make them perform many tricks for the amusement of your little friends. The St. Bernard Dog is a native of the Alps. He is named after a convent on Mount St. Bernard in Switzerland. The convent is 8,038 feet above the foot of the mountain. It is a Benedictine monastery and hospital, and is the highest inhabited spot in Europe. Travellers passing the Alps into Italy have to pass over the mountains. They are covered with snow and very dangerous. The good monks go out with their dogs and if they find any traveller benighted or frozen in the snow, they lend him succour and take him to the monastery. The dogs are very strong and can carry a man. They are all good water dogs, and if you were to fall in the water, one of them could hold you up until rescued by your friends. Growler is waiting for his breakfast. He is Eva’s pet. After she has eaten her breakfast, she will give him his. See how quiet and submissive he looks. He is a good dog.

[Illustration: Rescue of Eva.]


Eva’s parents live in the South. Her father was a Planter. Their house was but a short distance from the river. Eva and her pet dog Growler used to romp up and down on the sandy shore of the river. One day Eva and Growler went to the water as usual. Eva saw a boat there and thought she would get in, but not untie the rope. She had not been in the boat very long, when she felt it moving off–she was frightened and did not know what to do. Growler rushed into the water, and continued to bark very loud. As Eva saw the boat getting away out into the river, she jumped out and with an oar commenced to swim for the shore. Growler took hold of her dress, and was taking her ashore, when an old slave named Sam, rushed into the water and taking her from the faithful dog, bore her in safety to the land. She lay sick for some time and she had a horrid fever for many days. Growler was always by her bed side, and would only leave it to get something to eat. Eva’s father gave Sam his freedom and a purse of gold. Sam would not leave his master–“No–no, Sambo no leave Massa and Eva–Sambo lub Massa,” said the good old man.

Growler still continues in the family, and he is beloved by all–for had it not been for him Eva would have been drowned. You see him in the water; poor fellow he was tired–but he struggled on and was successful.

[Illustration: The Girl’s Party.]


This is a girls party. All the young ladies and gentlemen are assembled to celebrate the birth day of Kate. They are playing one of the games of Forfeits. Kate is on her knees. I will explain the game to you. It is a nice game; so when you get a party of boys and girls together, you can play it. There are various kinds of games of Forfeits; they are almost as various as the forfeits themselves. The manner of conducting them is the same for all. Some play is settled on, such as the “Arbor of love;” “Spinning the plate,” or any other. When all the ladies and gentlemen have had to give various forfeits, the work of redeeming them commences.

A lady sits down and a gentleman blindfolded kneels at her feet. She takes up each article separately, and asks for judgment. The gentleman then tells what the owner of the forfeit must do, in order to redeem it. The sentence once passed is never revoked, and so the sooner the punishment is performed the better. The game waits until the culprit performs his sentence.

In the party you see, they have been playing a game of forfeits and sentence is being passed upon all those, who have been unfortunate enough to have had them to pay. Kate, without not knowing it, has just sentenced herself to kiss all the gentlemen in the room, but as there are only two, it will be an easy task.

[Illustration: The Dispensary.]


The Dispensary. What is a dispensary? The Dispensary is a room or house in which medicines and drugs are compounded and dispensed. In all large cities there are dispensaries where the poor people go and have their ailments attended to for nothing. When any poor man or woman meets with an accident he or she, is taken to the hospital where they receive the best of care. In all boarding schools there is a room near the Infirmary, where they keep the medicines. In the picture is a little girl who has just entered the boarding school, and she is looking around the buildings. She has come down to the Infirmary to see all the sick girls, and to amuse them. She has stopped at the Dispensary, and as she never was in one before, the good lady is explaining all the medicines. She answers all her questions, and translates the name of the drugs for her. She is a kind old lady, and Mary has promised to go down and see her often, as she wishes to learn all she can about drugs.

Mary pointed to a large black bottle and asked if there was wine in it. “Oh no, but vitriol, it burns awful and is very dangerous,” said the old lady. Mary did not wish to hear more, but rushed out of the room, fearing the bottle would explode. She told the old lady that she never would touch anything unless she knew what it was–and then she would not “burn her fingers.”

[Illustration: The May Queen.]


It is May morning. May is the most beautiful of all months. Then it is, that all nature seems to awaken from its winter slumbers. The grass springs up, the little birds sing and chirp, and display their beautiful plumage. The trees shoot forth their buds, the fruitful covering of future foliage. We no longer greet each other in the warmed room, but, “Good morning,” is sweetly spoken from the open window, or among the bushes of the garden. We hunt flowers and climb hills, and thus exercise both the body and the mind. In many parts of Europe, on the first of May, all the juveniles of both sexes, walk to a neighboring wood, and breaking limbs off trees, adorn them with ribbons and crowns of flowers. They are accompanied by a band of music and the blowing of horns. They then return to their homes and make their houses triumphant in the flowery spoils. In the afternoon, a May pole is erected in the centre of the village. The pole is consecrated to the goddess of flowers, and is profusely adorned with them. It remains standing all the year.

The young girls then select by lot, one of their number to be crowned as May Queen. She is crowned with a beautiful wreath of flowers and presides for the rest of the day over the amusements of her subjects. In the picture you see the May pole–the Queen, the crowner, and her two maids of honor.

[Illustration: Strawberries.]


Who does not like Strawberries? They are the most delicious of all berries. They are to be found growing in a wild state in almost all temperate climates. During the past few years, the consumption of the strawberry has become so enormous, as to make it a profitable berry to cultivate. Jane Smith has been cultivating some berries, not for the market, but for her own use. She has her two sisters in the garden, and is showing them her nice beds. You see the kind of place she has chosen for her beds. Shaded and dark situations under the drip of trees, are unfavorable for the fruit. You should always choose an open, airy and warm exposure. The seeds should be sown in the spring, in a bed of light rich mould. You must be careful and not allow the weeds to grow up with your plants, as they will be sure to kill them. The plants do not bear the first season, but produce well the second. The plant never bears fruit but once, and is then turned down to make room for a new crop. You must plant your seeds in rows, and do not plant any thing else between the rows. The rows should be from nine to twelve inches apart. You must not think this a great trouble, for you know how delicious they are; one or two saucers of good berries and cream, will amply repay all trouble.

[Illustration: Going Alone.]


Here is a lady showing her husband, how she has taught little Lizzie to go alone. Lizzie is only fourteen months old, and can walk across the room alone. She does not walk but runs. It is amusing to see her. She will crawl to the side of the room, then stand up, and after balancing herself for a moment, she will run towards her mother. See how delighted they all seem. The father is pleased, to see his little girl walk, for then, he can soon take her out with him in his walks. You know that it is said we must all “creep before we walk,” well, I will illustrate this for you by a nice story. “Many centuries ago, there reigned over Thebes, Laius and Iocasta. Laius was one day killed on the road as he was airing himself in his chariot. Shortly after, a terrible plague broke out in Thebes, and the Sphinx ravaged all the neighborhood. The Sphinx gave out that the plague would cease and his ravages be ended, when this riddle was solved:–‘What animal walks on four feet in the morning, two at noon day, and three in the evening.’ None of the wise men could solve it, and so their misfortune continued. At length, Iocasta the Queen, said that whoever could solve the riddle, should be king and have her hand in marriage. One Oedipsus hearing of the offer, and having been insulted in Corinth, went to Thebes, and thus rendered the solution of the riddle. ‘The animal,’ he said, ‘was man. In his infancy, the morning of life, he walks on hands and feet: at manhood, the noon-day of life, he walks on his feet alone: in old age, the evening of life, he walks with a stick.’ Oedipsus was married to Iocasta and reigned as King.”

[Illustration: The Ill Natured Girl.]


Here is a representation of an ill natured little girl. See what an angry and unpleasant expression her countenance has assumed. She is angry at her sister and is tearing up a note, sent to her sister by her grandmother. I will tell you the story. The grandmother of those three children, was on a visit to the house. She had observed how violent and overbearing Susan was, and how properly her sister Annie behaved. Annie was of a gentle, mild, and willing disposition. If Susan’s brother should happen to take up her book, she would immediately scream out in a sharp tone, “let my book alone.” If her brother should attempt to reply, she would snappishly retort, “I don’t care, you shall not meddle with it.” Her conduct towards Annie was just the same, in fact, she more than once answered her grandmother in such a tart and abrupt manner, that her mother whipped her for it.

A few days after the grandmother had left, there was a package came for–“Miss Annie.” It proved to be a most beautiful writing desk, made of rosewood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. It was filled with fine paper, pens, wafers, sealing wax, and a nice seal. It contained a note in these words:–“This present is for a little girl who knows how to keep her temper. From her affectionate grandmother.” Susan was so angry that she snatched the paper and tore it into pieces. The lesson will do her good.

[Illustration: Lizzie’s Pet.]


Lizzie is showing her grandfather her pet bird. Her grandfather has the gout, and cannot walk. He has to keep his foot resting on a stool, and all the amusement he has, is derived from Lizzie and her pet bird. It is a Canary. She has a nice blue ribbon fastened to its foot so that it cannot fly away. It is eating a cherry from the hands of the old gentleman. The Canary bird is the most charming of all singing birds. They can be tamed and when so, are very playful and full of capers. I will tell you some of their tricks. Some years ago, there was an Italian gentleman exhibiting some funny birds in New York. I went to see him and his birds. One Canary jumped on the back of a crow and rode him around the room. Another Canary bird stood on the barrel of a pistol, when his master discharged it, without stirring at the report. The master then suspended a ring from the ceiling to within a few feet of the floor. The ring was surrounded with pitch and on fire. At his bidding, four or five of the birds would fly through the ring, without burning their feathers. He harnessed one to a little wagon and made him draw it around the table. I was highly amused, and determined to buy a nice Canary and learn it some tricks.

I am saving my pennies, and will soon have a pet like Lizzie’s.

[Illustration: Back Cover]


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