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
obedience through life, and to entail a condition of une∣qualified non-resistance to a ruined posterity.To this delusive war-system are we indebted at the pre∣sent time for the redundance of national gasconade. When the pompous statesman safe in the cabinet, insults the brave men of all nations and cries arms! when boasting words comes from great generals, who never saw service but on a parade-day, and whose whole courage lies in the seal which graces their fair-weaher commissions, depend upon it that some poor deluded men are to bleed. When by accident or force one of our infant navy succeeds in capturing the adverse vessel, straight we are told that the sun-shines not on a people, who bids as fair as we do to be a great maritime nation. Just like the boy, who, because he has caught a tame rabbit, imagines that he is to be a mighty sportsman. Why are not the people told that several of the maritime powers of Europe have in every year disco∣vered inflances of prowess superior to ours:The British navy contains now and then as brave a man as Truxton, and it is hopeful that all our revolutionary courage is not pent up in any single man. that their ships are larger, stronger and better manned, and that at least a century must elapse, and 100,000 lives of Ameri∣cans be lost, beside the after-bills of wounding and dismem∣berment, before we can expect to be on a footing with the most powerful nation—and that this footing must always be sustained by an enormous expense of blood and trea∣sure —that naval glory is at best uncertain—that privates must bleed by thousands for the glory of admirals, commo∣dores and post-captains, and that the only glory to which the sailor or marine can arrive, is to have his name pub∣lished in the papers, and against it, "thigh badly fractured, since amputated and likely to recover," and in a few months after published again, "bravely fighting in the main-top, cut in two by a chain shot,"Hail, Columbia, happy land! and just under it, "we are happy to announce that though not quite succesful this time: yet the admiral and officers are in high spirits, and having put into Jamaica to resit,Putting into St. Kitts to resit decayed appetites, has exposed many of our vessels to capture and payment of salvage; for the entertainments of that modern Capua have often closed seasonably to enable our armed vessels to atchieve a re-capture to the great emolument of the protectors of our commerce, and the glory of our ma∣rine service.intend to look at them again." Delusion, these are thy trophies!