For Frederick Douglass Paper
FROM OUR NEW YORK CORRESPONDENT
Dec. 1.--George Bancroft. (as well as Phylbel and I.) "drop in" at Bailliere's,occasionally. I wonder how he found the place: is there an instinct, which leads anglers for ideas to snake out, or snoop out the pools richest in thought material, where golden ideas flash thick and fast? So thought I, in poring over Mr. Bancroft's Historical Oration. Before I had finished the fourth paragraph, I clapped my hands, and shouted, as Byron did, when he detected in Ivanhoe, fourteen gems culled from Shakesphere, within a few pages: Banroft has been at Bailliere's and bought "of the plurality of Worlds!"--a book by an unknown writer, supposed to be Prof. Whowoll. It is this book which has furnished the golden warp which binds together the argument and nestles the gems which blaze through that oration.
And yet, I don't thank Mr. Bancroft for his oration, great though it be : he has not only "stolen thunder," slowly maturing for your columns, Mr. Editor, but he has led me to look at the Book, very much as we will look on a great poem travestied: and on his oration as we regard the Elgin marbles: some ideas from "the Plurality of Worlds" fit so oddly in the oration, and others remind one of tThe infinitely grander argument of which they are the pilfered fragments. In early summer time I read "More Worlds than One," by Sir David Brewster; and felt satisfied that he had not answered all the arguments of the writer on "the Plurality of Worlds," of which his book is a review: when mid-summer came, and its bereavements, I procured the latter book, as relating to that future state which my darlings, not lost, but gone before, has reached. And in that time shoreless woe, this book afforded much of the needed light to remove the eclipse of faith under which I stumbled.
Dec. 8.--Phylbel and I have both been "spilled." He in Providence on Tuesday, and I and my waggon boy in Gotham on Wednesday. "How did you feel FYL," said I, as he limped through Church Street, this morning. "By Jupiter," said he, "I was knocked senseless, and saw more stars than Herachell ever did!" For my part I saw no stars, but only Charley 's heels as they seemed each moment coming, but did not come quite close enough to rend the veil which is growing thinner and thinner: weary me, I have not been able to stir this icy heart to thanksgiving that those steel shod hoofs did not come nearer!
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