Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/235

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91
The Fœderalist.

with which sophistry has beset the way. It will be my aim to remove the obstacles to your progress, in as compendious a manner as it can be done, without sacrificing utility to despatch.

In pursuance of the plan which I have laid down, for the discussion of the subject, the point next in order to be examined is the "insufficiency of the present Confederation to the preservation of the Union." It may perhaps be asked, what need there is of reasoning or proof to illustrate a position, which is not either controverted or doubted; to which the understandings and feelings of all classes of men assent; and which in substance is admitted by the opponents as well as by the friends of the New Constitution? It must in truth be acknowledged, that however these may differ in other respects, they in general appear to harmonize in this sentiment, at least, that there are material imperfections in our National system, and that something is necessary to be done to rescue us from impending anarchy. The facts that support this opinion are no longer objects of speculation. They have forced themselves upon the sensibility of the people at large, and have at length extorted from those, whose mistaken policy has had the principal share in precipitating the extremity at which we are arrived, a reluctant confession of the reality of those defects in the scheme of our Fœderal Government, which have been long pointed out and regretted by the intelligent friends of the Union.

We may indeed, with propriety, be said to have reached almost the last stage of National humiliation. There is scarcely anything that can wound the pride, or degrade the character of an independent nation, which we do not experience. Are there engagements, to the performance of which we are held by every tie respectable among men? These are the subjects of constant and unblushing violation. Do we owe debts to foreigners,