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Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J.; Leffler, Richard; Schoenleber, Charles H. (ed.) / Commentaries on the Constitution, public and private. Volume 6: 10 May to 13 September 1788
18 (1995)

Commentaries on the Constitution: public and private,   pp. [1]-367


Page 7

740. A Patriotic Citizen
Pennsylvania Mercury, 10 May'
To the WELL-MEANING FEW who are opposed to
the new plan of federal government.
Gentlemen, As a friend, a fellow-citizen, and a patriot, I now address
you.-That six-sevenths of the people of the United States are firm
friends to the proposed system, is a well-known fact. But, though this
ensures the ratification of the constitution, by a very respectable ma-
jority, and there is no doubt but that a few revolving months will set
this master-piece of political wisdom in motion, yet something still is
wanting to complete the great work-I wish for the concurrence of
every real whig, of every honest citizen amongst us; as for individuals who
are anti-federal from interested motives, and designing incendiaries
who are enemies to the peace and rising greatness of America, we
have very small reason to hope that the former will sacrifice their paltry
pelf, or the latter their infamous principles, for the general good: we
ought, however, to guard against their weak but desperate efforts, by
warning our fellow-citizens of the base motives which actuate those
sons of sedition.
When men err through mistake, the criminality of the act ought, in
my opinion, to be much extenuated, if not entirely pardoned, because
of the honesty of the intention: your conduct, therefore, my worthy
fellow-citizens, is only reprehensible in this; that you have suffered
yourselves to be imposed on by the scurrilous declamations of design-
ing men; that you have mistaken falsehood for truth, and defamation
for argument; and that you have refused to place a reasonable con-
fidence in the chosen patriots of your country, while you have reposed
a mistaken and unlimitted one in men who, under the borrowed mask
of patriotism, have strained every nerve to destroy private reputation,
to sow sedition through the land, and to force the wounds of civil
discord, which have- been so recently healed, to bleed afresh.
But it is not yet too late to retrieve your lost honor, and to come
in for a share of that endless fame, which the enlightened citizens of
America shall acquire by the transactions of 1787 and 1788. Suffer
yourselves to be deceived no longer, dare to act like men, be your
own advisers, let reason resume its place, and I will venture to affirm,
that you will act the part of good citizens, in giving your support to
a system which is approved of by a truly respectable majority of the
people, such as we never before had an instance of.
This circumstance alone should procure the acquiescence of every
honest, of every reasonable man: for as the very basis of republican
government is, that a majority, even a bare majority, shall govern, how
7
10 MAY, CC:740


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