935. Massachusetts Centinel, 17 September 17881

It is very strange to hear people talking about a “clamour” for amendments to the federal Constitution—no such clamour exists—It is true the antifederalists have made a pother about certain alterations, but in these they are greatly divided, and it would puzzle the most subtle of them, to ascertain the precise meaning of any two minorities of any of the State Conventions, respecting one particular alteration—Some talk about a bill of rights, others have given up that idea, honestly confessing that it would be a dangerous appendage to the system, in as much that volumes upon volumes, would be insufficient to enumerate those rights, and upon this plan whatever was not designated as a right, would be considered as relinquished—the truth is, the excellency of the federal Constitution consists in its brevity and perspicuity—it is now a complete system, but the proposed alterations would mar its beauty and render it a shapeless monster.

“THE MAJESTY OF THE PEOPLE”—yes, “the majesty of the people” is insulted by the proposition to introduce into the federal Legislature, certain sticklers for pretended amendments. The Constitution in its present form, is the Constitution of the people, but mutilated or distorted by the variations of these sticklers, it will no longer be the legitimate offspring of the people, but the creature of an antifederal junto.

1. Reprinted in the American Herald, 25 September, and in four other newspapers by 15 October: N.J. (1), Pa. (2), Va. (1).