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Art. XI.

An Oration on the apparent and
the real political situation of the
United States; pronounced before
the Connecticut Society of Cincin-
nati, assembled at New-Haven for
the celebration of American Inde-
pendence, July
4, 1799. By Ze-
chariah Lewis, a tutor of Yale
College. 8vo. pp.
27. New-Haven.
Green and Son. 1799.

FOR several years past the orators
on the anniversary of Ameri-
can independence have ben freed
from the tramels which formerly
beset them, in undertaking their
holy-day task. The awful convul-
sions of Europe, and the conflicts
of party animosity in our own
country, have furnished ample sub-

stitutes for the old and thread-bare
topics of British oppression, the
value of independence, the blessings
of civil liberty, and the rising glory
of our new world. Of this oppor-
tunity to depart from the beaten
path, Mr. L. has availed himself.
Instead of dwelling on themes for-
merly considered appropriate to the
occasion, he prefers the more popu-
lar subjects of domestic broils, the
French revolution, and the horrors
produced by political licentiousness
and false philosophy, in every coun-
try in which French power and
principles have gained the ascend-
ancy.

The title of this oration suffi-
ciently indicates the outline of its
contents. “The apparent situation
of our country,” Mr. L. believes
to be rather more favourable than
it was a short time since. He thinks
there is an increasing union of sen-
timent among our citizens; that
new approbation and support have
been given to the administration of
our government; that wise and
spirited measures of national de-
fence have been adopted; that the
intrigues and deceitful arts of France
are becoming better understood and
more generally acknowledged; and
that some individual States, lately
warm and violent in the opposition,
are apparently growing more friend-
ly to the measures of the general
government.

But these favourable appearances,
Mr. L. apprehends, will prove fal-
lacious and imaginary. He thinks
that, however flattering the apparent
situation of our country may be, its
real situation is still imminently cri-
tical and dangerous. This danger
arises, in his estimation, from foreign
attachments and foreign influence;
from the introduction and spread of
demoralizing principles; from the
prejudices and passions of many of
our own citizens; from the opposi-
tion of open and professed enemies
of our government; and from the

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bünd zeal of men who are sincere
friends of their country, but who
disapprove of the measures adopted
for its security. Mr. L. then con-
cludes by taking up and examining
some of the prejudices and false
opinions into which many of the
latter class have fallen; and deliver-
ing a solemn exhortation to guard
against the evils which he has point-
ed out.

We do not discover much origin-
ality of thought or expression in
this oration. Mr. L. delivers com-
mon and popular sentiments, in a
common and popular dress. His
style is simple, manly, and per-
spicuous; and, if he should be
thought sometimes to dispense his
censure and his praise in terms
rather too decided and imposing for
a youthful orator, it will be at the
same time recollected, that a display
of ardent and benevolent zeal for
human happiness is, at all times, a
pleasing and promising character of
juvenile compositions.