Title: An oration on the extent and power of political delusion. Delivered in New-Haven, on the evening preceding the public commencement, September, 1800. / By Abraham Bishop.
Author: Bishop, Abraham, 1763-1844.
Collection: Evans Early American Imprint Collection
an immense multitude. Contractors through all the mechanical arts pronounce a blessing on war.— The grazier adores the administration. The legions at∣tached to admiralty courts, insurers, dealers in stock, bankrupts, and to all men to whom change of times must be for the better, bless the government. The capitalist who has long kept his money for the public, blesses the occa∣sion, and over them all the chaplain pronounces an hearty amen. In the midst of all, the straggling patriots, unwil∣ling to be outdone by their brethren, bring their offer∣ings of rags to the treasury, and from the midst of ex∣pence and national dissipation forth comes the govern∣ment immensely rich in all the magnificence of paper.Though delusion has played this farce a thousand times over and has always successfully compassed the means, it has never concealed the end. That end is uni∣formly the degrading of morals and religion—derange∣ment of business—increase of national debt, leading to a long train of public burdens—decrease of private and so∣cial happiness, and a certain sinking of the people beneath the civil, military and naval functionaries of this mighty farce.The tribes of Africa fight, because Europeans will buy their prisoners. Cabinets wage wars, because by them they are sure of their object, which is to exalt themselves and to humble those who are beneath them. This has al∣ways been the case and always will be, so long as the peo∣ple give the reins out of their own hands, so long as they bestow more power on government than is absolutely ne∣cessary, so long as they suffer themselves and their opin∣ions to be despised. Wars have been the means by which these cabinets have effected their purposes. The great, wise and rich men well understand the art of inflaming the public mind and generally present at the outset the delusive bubble of national glory, a thing in which nine tenths of so∣ciety have no kind of interest; but which well managed turns into crowns and diamonds in the hands of the blow∣ers. Courtiers tell slaves that liberty is in danger, or that infidels abound and the church is in hazard, or of plots at home or invasions and insults abroad. Courtier's waiters echo the alarm. Court-telegraphs spread the sound.—