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Jensen, Merrill (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut
(1978)

V. Commentaries on the Constitution, 13 November 1787-7 January 1788,   pp. 456-534


Page 467

V. COMMENTARIES
Your letter has more of insinuation than reason, more plausibility
than fact, and merits an answer from NOBODY.
P.S. The foregoing, having been written in haste, should anything
illiberal have escaped my pen, I sincerely ask your pardon, for altho
there appears nothing laudable in your line of conduct, yet, as it
was a great stride towards fame (tho I fear a leap in the dark), it
merits some palliation, but between you and that City is a great
gulf, a purgatory, and Father Dominic is severe and will exact the
uttermost farthing; and his fees of office rise or fall in a certain ratio
with the crime committed and magnitude of the object in view to
be obtained.
Had you, sir, acquiesced with your brethren in Convention, you
could have claimed no more than a proportionable share of the merit
and thanks due from the public to that respectable body. That pro-
portion being too small to satisfy your ambition, you have stepped
aside upon an eminence higher than Etna, where you are now viewed
by those nations, who, possessing some traces in their government to
which perchance our new Constitution bore some little resemblance,
are your principal reasons for rejecting the same, from which emi-
nence methinks I hear you saying,
"I'll rail, I'll rant, I'll stamp, I'll sware,
"And all this I will do, because I dare."
1. Gerry's letter to the Massachusetts General Court was addressed to Samuel
Adams, President of the Senate, and James Warren, Speaker of the House of Repre-
sentatives (CC:227).
Philanthrop: To the People
American Mercury, 19 November
The new proposed Constitution being a system of great magnitude
and general discussion as well as of universal concern, every individ-
ual has an undoubted right to offer his sentiments upon a subject
so interesting to the community at large, tho sorry indeed I am to
discover occasion for further incentives to stimulate the people to
adopt, with heart and hand, a system so salutary and so conducive to
public welfare, and more than sorry am I that my abilities are not
equal to the task of portraying the base designs and wicked machi-
nations of some of its opposers. None but those destitute of honor
and devoid of every spark of sensibility could have the audacity to
propagate groundless innuendoes, with a view to impose on the gen-
erous credulity of weak minds, and thereby, if possible, produce
anarchy and confusion in the state. Much pains is daily taken by
artful misanthropists to evince that the adoption of the new Consti-
tution will deprive the people of all liberty, alleging that the grand
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