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RHETORICAL RESEMBLANCES. -- A friend has placed in our hands a pamphlet copy of an oration delivered on the 19th of November, 1839, before the Historical Society of New York, by our able friend, William B. Reed, Esq. The opening sentence is as follows:
"When ancient Corinth fell before the arms of victorious Rome, the legend tells us, that one of the various metals which were melted together in the conflagration of the city, there was created ONE, more precious than any of its elements; more enduring in its strength; more beautiful in its brightness. This classical tradition illustrates, as well the process as the result, when a Revolution blended together the varied communities of colonial North America."
The hon. Mr. Belser of Alabama, according to the report of the National Intelligencer, thus concludes his recent speech in favor of Annexation:
"There was a beautiful historical legend which afforded an instructive exemplification of what he thought ought to be our national condition and character. When the city of Corinth was taken, sacked, and burnt by the Roman Consul Mummies, in the fusion of metals produced by the intensity of the heat, a mixed and compounded metal was produced of far greater brilliancy and beauty than any one of the materials of which it was composed. It was called Corinthian brass, and was held more precious than gold. Just such a universal amalgamation Mr. B. hoped to see in the various materials which went to form the American population. Let our country resemble just such a metal as was formed at Corinth -- when all the Representatives assembled in that Hall should think, and feel, and speak, and act, in the tone and spirit of brotherhood; so that the votaries of liberty from every clime and every land might flock hither and enter the American Republic as the chosen area where freedom would ever find a home."
Our dramatic readers may recollect the scene in "The Critic."
"Enter a Beef-eater.
Beef-eater. -- 'Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee!'
Sneer. -- Haven't I heard that line before?
Dangel. -- Yes, I think there is something like it in Othello.
Puff. -- Gad! now you put me in mind of it, I believe there is -- but that's of no consequence -- all that can be said is that two people happened to hit on the same thought -- and Shakespeare made use of it first, that's all."
[This item was attributed to Poe by T. O. Mabbott. Mabbott's notes at the University of Iowa say, "subject matter suggests Poe." Mabbott tends to assign all the notices about plagiarism to Poe, who has a special interest in the problem.]
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[S:0 - EM, 1845]