Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/177

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The Fœderalist.

aration? Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, weaknesses, and evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue?

Let the point of extreme depression to which our national dignity and credit have sunk; let the inconveniences felt everywhere from a lax and ill administration of Government; let the revolt of a part of the State of North Carolina, the late menacing disturbances in Pennsylvania, and the actual insurrections and rebellions in Massachusetts, declare       !

So far is the general sense of mankind from corresponding with the tenets of those who endeavor to lull asleep our apprehensions of discord and hostility between the States, in the event of disunion, that it has from long observation of the progress of society become a sort of axiom in politics, that vicinity, or nearness of situation, constitutes nations natural enemies. An intelligent writer expresses himself on this subject to this effect: "Neighboring nations (says he) are naturally enemies of each other, unless their common weakness forces them to league in a confederative republic, and their constitution prevents the differences that neighborhood occasions, extinguishing that secret jealousy, which disposes all States to aggrandize themselves at the expense of their neighbors."[1] This passage, at the same time, points out the evil and suggests the remedy.


  1. Vide Principes des Négociations par l'Abbé de Mably.—Publius.