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our science, I believe that if a few of the same tribe of Indians were allowed to grow up with their heads of a natural shape, so that they could be contrasted with the others, we should draw a strong argument in favor of phrenology. And if post mortem examinations could be made of their heads, not only phrenology, but physiology and anatomy, would have additional light thrown upon them, and doubtless we should derive strong proofs of the truths of the doctrines in which we believe. What, let me ask, are the mechanical effects of compression upon the brain, in these cases? Those who are acquainted with the anatomy of the infant, know that the bones of the head are not then perfectly formed; the skull is not, at this age, a solid bony case, there being considerable spaces between the several bones, occupied by an elastic membrane. The skull may at this time be considered a sack, for such it truly is, and subject to the same mechanical laws that a sack would be, composed of a material like Indiarubber. This is well exemplified in those cases where the head is enormously distended; where there is an effusion of water in the brain, constituting dropsy of the head. Some cases of this kind have occurred, where the head has been distended to twice its natural size. The heads of the Indians are flattened, as we know, by being compressed between two pieces of board. If an elastic, closed sack, filled with a fluid, is compressed, by force applied to opposite sides, there will be a yielding, corresponding to the force applied, in those parts where the compression is not made. So that the capacity of the sack is not diminished. If it would hold four quarts, before compression was made, it would hold the same quantity afterward, although its relative dimensions might be greatly altered; that is, the diameter from the forehead to the occiput would be diminished, but in all other directions it would be increased. It is possible that the pressure may prevent, or retard, the development of some of the organs ; it is probable that it does, and so far as it produces this effect, it proves phrenology to be true, by proving that the alteration of the brain alters the mental character. But, if it be admitted that the characters of the Flat-head Indians are not materially different from the character of other tribes, who do not distort the head, although in the one case the cranial developments are destroyed, our opponents gain nothing; for the facts in the case show conclusively that the organs still exist, and still perform their functions, although artificially removed from their local habitation. We shall notice other arguments brought against phrenology, in a resumption and conclusion of the subject, in another number.

L

I F

E.

Nought of this subtle principle

Is known, but its effects;
Who seeks it in its citadel,

Destroys, but not detects.
This lamp, which lightens all that lives,

Like some that guard the dead,
E'en by the intruder's entrance is
To utter darkness sped.

25

VOL. XIII.

MY MOTHER.

BY THE AUTHOR OF THE DELUGE, THE BROKEN HEART,' ETC.

Full twenty years have passed away, since thou, beloved one !
With darkening eye to heaven upraised, the last time blessed thy son;
And meekly closing thy thin hands, with mine between them pressed,
Fled, with my name upon thy lips, to thine eternal rest.

My first, my last, my only friend! - if aught the ransomed know
of the dark thoughts and sinful deeds that stain the world below,
How hath thy gentle spirit grieved, as but a mother's can,
To see thy precepts to the boy, neglected by the man!

But no ; thou art beatified !- on yonder radiant shore,
The sins and sorrows of thy child can trouble thee no more;
And if, in thy refulgent home, thou thinkest of me now,
'T is with my childhood's innocence yet beaming on my brow!

So would I have thee see thy son; the wrecked of passion's storm
With prematurely wrinkled brow, pale cheek, and stooping form,
To thy soul's gaze, immortal one! would ever present be,
The same fair child of guileless heart, that gambolled at thy knee.

When thou wert taken to thy rest, dear mother! there was none
To bid me 'neath God's chastening hand, exclaim 'Thy will be done!'
No sheltering arms to which to flee, when by temptation tried ;
A link was broke 'twixt me and heaven, when thou my mother died !

And he to whom thy parting soul bequeathed the solemn trust,
To fit me for that world of peace, the heirdom of the just,
Forgot, when thou wert lowly laid, his promise to fulfil,
And left, alas! thy wayward child to his own reckless will.

Through pleasure's halls of rosy light, I danced by night and day,
But guilt, disguised in angel plumes, beguiled me by the way;
Long, in' a wild and fevered dream, I walked beneath his wing,
Till conscience, on destruction's brink, awoke me with its sting.

Then, mother! did I think of thee; thy blessed dying words
Seemed warbling in my spirit's ear, like songs of murning birds ;
My first wild terror passed away; I felt there yet was balm,
And I took thy Biele on my knee, and read till I was calm.

And better thoughts are with me now; thy face more cheerful seems,
Than it was wont, in darker hours, to meet me in my dreams;
0! surely 't is an omen dear, that my repentant prayer
Hath reached thy heavenly dwelling-place, and found acceptance there!

Sometimes my vision pictures thee, as stooping from on high,
The light of love ineffable illumining thine eye;
Then soaring up, on snowy wings, that brighten as they rise,
I hear thy soft voice calling me to meet thee in the skies !

I know that this is but a dream; that I can never see
Thy spirit, until mine shall wear the garment of the free;
That’t is my own imaginings that visit me by night,
But surely heaven the image clothes with something of its light!

Yes, mother! in thy holy home, death's gloomy valley past,
A hope hath risen in my heart, that we shall meet at last;
There these faint glimmerings of day, from yonder spere untrod,
Shall be exchanged for perfect light – the effluence of God!

TABLEAUX VIVANTES DOWN EAST.'

BY NATHANIEL DEERING.

All Gaul, if we may credit Julius Cæsar, was divided into three parts. In the division of Tabbyville, there was one part less ; a small stream flowing directly through its centre. It was of sufficient depth, however, to have prevented many a social visit between the dwellers of each moiety, had they not thrown over it a wooden bridge. Upon this bridge, the traveller who might have loitered early one evening in December, Anno Domini, 1838, would at one time have had serious cause for alarm, and have moved with accelerated step in the direction of terra firma. The whole structure, though its piles were imbedded in the ice, was suddenly shaken to its centre; and then it undulated, as if the ground on which it rested were laboring with volcanic fires. This was caused by the passage of two double sleighs, with horses paired not matched, followed by five single ones, each of them crowned with the aristocracy of Tabbyville.

On the same evening, numerous lights were seen in a mansion situated on the border of the village, and on its highest elevation. This mansion, both in the style of its architecture and in color, being a gabled roof, one story, and of a dingy yellow, harmonized with the rest of the village ; and it farther demonstrated that there was but one master spirit in that section, to whom was conceded a large organ of constructiveness. In two particulars, this mansion towered above its fellows. It had certain indicia, which plainly told the traveller that the owner thereof was well to do’ in the world. These indicia were the green blinds and the brass knocker.

In this instance, they certainly told the truth, for the mansion was the residence of Squire Peebles, a retired grocer, of the late respectable firm of Peebles and Tarbox. Why he had selected this spot, in which to while away the last years of his pilgrimage, was a matter of wonder; for it was in opposition to the advice of all his friends, with the exception of Dr. Snaggs. True, it commanded a view of the forest north, of the forest east, of the forest west, and of the forest south, for Tabbyville was in the very heart of a forest. But it was in the bleakest spot of that bleak region; and Squire Peebles, being very asthmatic, seldom extended his walk around one of its corners, without an addition to his wheeze. For many years he had been a widower, and being childless, his sister, Miss Peebles, had done the honors of his table. The baptismal name of this lady was Mercy, but having been deeply imbued with the contents of five crculating libraries, she had altered it, when some years younger, and was usually addressed as Mercellina. Her brother, however, like the hair of Bob Acres when in curls, did not take it kindly. Owing either to the treachery of his memory, or to some derangement of the larynx, he invariably called her Marcy. Now this was very vexatious, and she had frequently threatened to leave him to his solitude, if he persisted in that barbarous appellation.

From the records of the town clerk, it appeared that the age of Miss Peebles exceeded thirty. There was a blot on the very figure that gave the year of her birth, so that it was impossible to decipher it; but in the memory of an old inhabitant, if that could be depended on, Miss Peebles was “in spelling,' soon after Jefferson became the chief servant of our free and enlightened citizens. When young, she had passed several winters in Portland, where she imbibed that taste for light reading, and for the frivolities of fashion, which had so much influence on her after life. Subsequently, the 'hope deferred,' together with the charge of her brother's residence, had confined her entirely to Tabbyville. But her anxiety to keep pace with what she called the 'first circles,' rather increased than diminished, during her retirement; and in order to gratify it, she had kept up a regular correspondence with an old acquaintance, one Mrs. Daly, whose husband dealt in a small way in alley. Mrs. Daly did not constitute one of that charmed circle, of whose movements her friend was so eager to be informed; but Mrs. Daly was solicitous to oblige, and was very inquisitive. Hence she was enabled to enter so minutely into all the required details, that Miss Peebles was convinced that her friend was of them. It was hy means of these letters, that Miss Peebles established herself as the arbitress elegantiarum in Tabbyville, and the region round about. She it was, who first appeared with the leg-of-mutton sleeve, with the boddice waist, and the bishop. She it was, who introduced at her evening parties the blanc-mange, the trifle, and the floating island, and who banished cheese. Hence, whenever she issued her cards of invitation, they were never declined. Something was anticipated out of the common course; a new dish, or a new pattern for a collar.

It was to one of these parties, that the merry occupants of the sleighs, mentioned at the opening of our story, were directing their course. Never was curiosity more excited. It was whispered, that Miss Peebles had got up for their amusement a new spectacle, never before seen or heard of in Tabbyville. Mr. Popkin, who had been a clerk in Portland, and of course led off in one of the double sleighs, had the candor to acknowledge, that he was quite in the dark about it. It was something,' he said, “like a theatre; for those who took a part, looked all tragedy like. But still that was n't the name; it sounded more like 'table;' perhaps they all mounted a table; at any rate, it was very intellectual, and all the rage in the city.'

Mr, Popkin, allow me,' said Miss Patch, " to set you right. I saw the name in the newspaper, and recollect it perfectly; it is star-blocks.''

• Well,' replied Mr. Popkin, “if that is the name, I should n't want my hand in it, without mittens.'

This produced a laugh, which was distinctly heard by those in the rear. As a necessary consequence, they gave their horses a few extra cuts, to be nearer the scene of action, and to glean, if possible, some fragments of the joke. Miss Patch, notwithstanding her 'perfect recollection,' was as much in error, however, as Mr. Popkin. Mrs. Daly, in describing certain representations, in her first letter upon the subject, called themtableaux ;' in her second, .tableaux vivantes, or living pictures. We shall not weary our readers with a history of the rise and progress of these fashionable amusements, but confine ourselves to those got up under the auspices of Miss Peebles, of which we purpose to give a veritable account.

The lady had resolved that on this evening her guests should be absolutely in raptures; and for this purpose she had labored for two weeks, with an assiduity richly deserving of success. But there were obstacles to encounter, of no ordinary nature, and which at one time almost induced her to give up in despair. In the first place, it was extremely difficult to select scenes in which those whom she had engaged to assist her, were willing to take a part. Miss Peebles was desirous that each tableaux should reveal some tale of love. But Mr. Snoodles, who was the only young man in any way qualified to represent the lover, refused to appear as Romeo to her Juliet, or as Conrad to her Gulnare. It may be well to mention, that he was the son of the lamented Samuel Snoodles, Esq., whose work on nuisances is so well known to the gentlemen of the bar. Young Snoodles had embraced his father's profession, and recently commenced practice in Tabbyville. His prospects were highly flattering ; for he had defended, with thrilling eloquence, one who had been sued for appearing without a knapsack, at the fall training; and Justice Beers had decided in his favor. He had received also a file of doubtful demands belonging to Peebles and Tarbox, having agreed with the latter to take his costs in store pay. But to return from this digression.

Even when the scenes were agreed upon, and the parts had been assigned, there was another difficulty in moulding the performers. They were as intractable as bears; they could not attitudinize. Beside this, Miss Peebles discovered that her favorite Snoodles was so very excitable, that there was danger of his doing more than was set down for him. There was equal danger that Dr. Snaggs would do less. Again, Mr. Dawkins was

-'curtailed of his fair proportions,
Sent into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that most lamely and unfashionable ;'

but on reflection, it occurred to her that he would answer admirably as my Uncle Toby. This would secure one love scene, and she would herself figure as the Widow Wadman. Captain Tarbox was reluctantly enrolled in her corps dramatique. For many years previous to his co-partnership with her brother, he had commanded a vessel in the West India trade, and southern suns had bronzed his cheek, and care had furrowed it. Miss Peebles, having been thwarted in her original design, was resolved on having one tableau that should be purely classic ; and the singular visage of Tarbox had settled the question in favor of the 'Laocoon.' But all the eloquence of Miss Peebles would have failed of success, had it not been supported by that of the captain's lady. The latter was frequently complimented on her husband's manly form, and wonderful expression. Upon this Mrs. Tarbox became anxious to exhibit him, and she ceased not her entreaties, till the good man yielded. But it was no easy task to operate on the captain's limbs ; they were stiffened with rheumatism, and it required frequent drills, before he could assume that fearful attitude, that death-struggle, so graphically described by the Mantuan bard, and so admirably chiselled by the immortal sculptor. Even when

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