928. Steady
Massachusetts Centinel, 3 September 1788

Mr. RUSSELL, Among the candidates for appointments in the federal Legislature, we may expect many who will make a stalking horse of the deceiving term “amendments”—I shall notice at this time, four different classes of these seekers, viz. One description of them will by this device attempt to ingratiate themselves in the favour of many of the good people, whose fears of lurking mischiefs in the Constitution have been excited by the artful misrepresentation of these demagogues—these are totally inadequate in point of abilities to originating or sustaining any amendments, and therefore have no thoughts of exerting themselves to obtain them—their object is to effect their OWN ELECTION.

Another class may be denominated self-opinionated system-mongers—who can see no beauty or perfection in any thing, but in their own fabrications.

A third class are those whose volatility of disposition leads them to fly from one thing, to another, doubting, condemning and approving by turns as occasion prompts.

But a fourth, and the most dangerous class, are those who are inveterate enemies to the system itself; it would not do for them openly to avow their sentiments—it being the general idea, that the Constitution is now fixed beyond the power of malice or false patriotism to affect its stability—but under the idea of being friendly to what are termed amendments, they mean to get into power, and when once elected, they will leave nothing unattempted that may tend to subvert the Constitution.

It is clearly evident that none of the foregoing characters, can consistently receive the suffrages of the real, decided friends to the Constitution, or of their country.

If the Constitution is a bad one, let it be proved so by experience—if it is a good one, let us not choose men to deface and injure it, by pretended amendments.

If an ingenious artist had constructed a machine, upon the best principles, after severe investigation and labour—should we not consider him as a MAD MAN for making alterations, before he had made a trial to ascertain the goodness of his invention? We certainly should.