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PREFATORY REMARKS.

THE present edition of the Federalist contains all the numbers of that work as revised by their authors; and it is the only one to which the remark will apply. Former editions, indeed, it is understood, had the advantage of a revisal from Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Jay, but the numbers written by Mr. Madison still remained in the state in which they originally issued from the press and contained many inaccuracies. The publisher of this volume has been so fortunate as to procure from Mr. Madison the copy of the work which that gentleman had preserved for himself, with corrections of the papers, of which he is the author, in his own hand. The publication of the Federalist, therefore, may be considered, in this instance, as perfect; and it is confidently presented to the public as a standard edition.

Some altercation has occasionally taken place concerning the authorship of certain numbers of the Federalist, a few of those now ascertained to have been written by Mr. Madison having been claimed for Mr. Hamilton. It is difficult to perceive the propriety or utility of such an altercation; for whether we assign the disputed papers to the one or to the other, they are all admitted to be genuine, and there will still remain to either of these gentlemen an unquestioned number sufficient to estab lish for him a solid reputation for sagacity, wisdom and patriotism. It is not the extent of a man's writings, but the excellence of them, that constitutes his claim upon his contemporaries and upon posterity for the character of intellectual superiority: and to the reader, the difference in this case is nothing, since he will receive instruction from the perusal, let them have been written by whom they may.

The present moment may be regarded as peculiarly favorable for the republication of this work. Mr. Hamilton is dead; and both Mr. Jay and Mr. Madison have retired from the busy scenes of life. The atmosphere of political passions through which their principles and actions were lately viewed has disappeared, and has been replaced by one more pure and tranquil. Their political virtues are now manifest and almost universally admitted. Time, which tests the truth of every thing, has been just to their merits, and converted the reproaches of party-spirit into expressions of gratitude for the usefulness of their labors. It is to

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7551

PREFATORY REMARKS.

THE present edition of the Federalist contains all the numbers of that work as revised by their authors; and it is the only one to which the remark will apply. Former editions, indeed, it is understood, had the advantage of a revisal from Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Jay, but the numbers written by Mr. Madison still remained in the state in which they originally issued from the press and contained many inaccuracies. The publisher of this volume has been so fortunate as to procure from Mr. Madison the copy of the work which that gentleman had preserved for himself, with corrections of the papers, of which he is the author, in his own hand. The publication of the Federalist, therefore, may be considered, in this instance, as perfect; and it is confidently presented to the public as a standard edition.

Some altercation has occasionally taken place concerning the authorship of certain numbers of the Federalist, a few of those now ascertained to have been written by Mr. Madison having been claimed for Mr. Hamilton. It is difficult to perceive the propriety or utility of such an altercation; for whether we assign the disputed papers to the one or to the other, they are all admitted to be genuine, and there will still remain to either of these gentlemen an unquestioned number sufficient to establish for him a solid reputation for sagacity, wisdom and patriotism. It is not the extent of a man's writings, but the excellence of them, that constitutes his claim upon his contemporaries and upon posterity for the character of intellectual superiority: and to the reader, the difference in this case is nothing, since he will receive instruction from the perusal, let them have been written by whom they may.

The present moment may be regarded as peculiarly favorable for the republication of this work. Mr. Hamilton is dead; and both Mr. Jay and Mr. Madison have retired from the busy scenes of life. The atmosphere of political passions through which their principles and actions. were lately viewed has disappeared, and has been replaced by one more pure and tranquil. Their political virtues are now manifest and almost universally admitted. Time, which tests the truth of every thing, has been just to their merits, and converted the reproaches of party-spirit into expressions of gratitude for the usefulness of their labors. It is to

be hoped that neither a mistaken zeal of friendship for departed worth, nor an inclination to flatter living virtue, will induce any one to disturb this growing sentiment of veneration.

To the Federalist the publisher has added the Letters of Pacificus, written by Mr. Hamilton, and an answer to those Letters by Helvidius, from the pen of Mr. Madison. As these two eminent men had labored in unison to inculcate the general advantages to be derived from the Constitution, it cannot be deemed irrelevant to show in what particular point, as it respects the practical construction of that instrument, they afterwards differed. The community is, perhaps, always more enlightened by the candid criticism of intelligent conflicting minds than it is by their concurring opinions.

In this collection, the Act of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States also find an appropriate place. They are the text upon which the Federalist is a commentary. By comparing these two national constitutions, and reflecting upon the results of each, the defects of the former and the perfections of the latter will be easily perceived; and the American people may be thence instructed, that however prudence may dictate the necessity of caution in admitting innovations upon established institutions, yet that it is at all times advisable to listen with attention to the suggestions and propositions, of temperate and experienced statesmen, for the cure of political evils and the promotion of the general welfare.

The Constitution of the United States has had, in the sunshine of peace and in the storm of war, a severe but impartial trial, and it has amply fulfilled the expectations of its friends and completely dissipated the fears of its early opponents. It may, in truth, be asserted, that the ten first declaratory and restrictive emendatory clauses, proposed at the session of congress which commenced on the 4th of March, 1789, and which were ratified by the legislatures of the states, fully satisfied the scruples of those who were inimical to that instrument as it was first adopted, and by whom the amendments were considered necessary as a safeguard for religious and civil liberty. Thus, and still further, amended, the Constitution, as a great rule of political conduct, has guided the public authorities of the United States through the unprecedented political vicissitudes and the perilous revolutionary commotions which have agitated the human race for the last quarter of a century, to a condition at once so prosperous, so commanding, and so happy, that it has wholly outstripped all previous foresight and calculation. When we look back upon the state of inertness in which we reposed under the Act of Confederation, to the languishment of our commerce, and the indifference

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