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shall pass between them, or hold discourse with another, or read a book, pamphlet, or paper, printed or manuscript. And of two members rising to speak at the same time, the President shall name him who shall be first heard.

“A member shall not speak oftener than twice, without special leave, upon the same question ; and not the second time, before every other who had been silent shall have been heard, if he choose to speak upon the subject.

“ A motion, made and seconded, shall be repeated, and, if written, as it shall be when any member shall so require, read aloud, by the Secretary, before it shall be debated; and may be withdrawn at any time before the vote upon it shall have been declared.

" Orders of the day shall be read next after the minutes; and either discussed or postponed, before any other business shall be introduced.

“When a debate shall arise upon a question, no motion, other than to amend the question, to commit it, or to postpone the debate, shall be received.

“A question which is complicated shall, at the request of any member, be divided, and put separately upon the propositions of which it is compounded.

“The determination of a question, although fully debated, shall be postponed, if the Deputies of any State desire it, until the next day.

"A writing which contains any matter brought on to be considered shall be read once throughout, for information; then by paragraphs, to be debated; and again, with the amendments, if any, made on

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the second reading; and afterwards the question shall be put upon the whole, amended, or approved in its original form, as the case shall be.

“Committees shall be appointed by ballot; and the members who have the greatest number of ballots, although not a majority of the votes present, shall be the Committee. When two or more members have an equal number of votes, the member standing first on the list, in the order of taking down the ballots, shall be preferred.

“A member may be called to order by any other member, as well as by the President; and may be allowed to explain his conduct, or expressions, supposed to be reprehensible. And all questions of order shall be decided by the President, without appeal or debate.

Upon a question to adjourn, for the day, which may be made at any time, if it be seconded, the question shall be put without a debate.

“When the House shall adjourn, every member shall stand in his place until the President pass bim."*

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* Previous to the arrival of a majority of the States, the rule by which they ought to vote in the Convention had been made a subject of conversation among the members present. It was pressed by Gouverneur Morris, and favored by Robert Morris and others from Pennsylvania, that the large States should unite in firmly refusing to the small States an equal vote, as unreasonable, and as enabling the small States to negative every good system of government, which must, in the nature of things, be founded on a violation of that equality. The members from Virginia; conceiving that such an attempt might beget fatal altercations between the large and small States; and that it would be easier to prevail on the latter, in the course of the deliberations, to give up their equality for the sake of an effective government, than, on taking the field of discussion, to disarm themselves of the right, and thereby throw themselves on the mercy of the larger States, discountenanced and stifled the project.

A letter from sundry persons of the State of Rhode Island, addressed to the Chairman of the General Convention, was presented to the Chair by Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS ; and, being read, was

, ordered to lie on the table for further consideration.*

Mr. BUTLER moved that the House provide against interruption of business by absence of members, and against licentious publications of their proceedings. To which was added, by Mr. Spaight, a motion to provide, that, on the one hand, the House might not be precluded by a vote upon any question from revising the subject matter of it, when they see cause, nor, on the other hand, be led too hastily to rescind a decision which was the result of mature discussion. Whereupon it was ordered, that these motions be referred for the consideration of the Committee appointed to draw up the standing rules, and that the Committee make report thereon.

Adjourned till to-morrow, at ten o'clock.

Tuesday, May 29TH,

In Convention, John DICKINSON, and ELBRIDGE GERRY, the former from Delaware, the latter froin Massachusetts, took their seats. The following

. For the letter, see Appendix, No. 1.

rules were added, on the Report of Mr. Wythe, from the Committee

" That no member be absent from the House, so as to interrupt the representation of the State, without leave.

" That Committees do not sit whilst the House shall be, or ought to be, sitting.

“That no copy be taken of any entry on the Journal during the sitting of the House, without leave of the House.

“That members only be permitted to inspect the Journal.

“That nothing spoken in the House be printed, or otherwise published, or communicated without leave.

" That a motion to reconsider a matter which has been determined by a majority, may be made, with leave, unanimously given, on the same day on which the vote passed; but otherwise, not without one day's previous notice; in which last case, if the House agree to the reconsideration, some future day shall be assigned for that purpose.”

Mr. C. PINCKNEY moved, that a Committee be appointed to superintend the minutes.

Mr. G. Morris objected to it. The entry of the proceedings of the Convention belonged to the Secretary as their impartial officer. A Committee might have an interest and bias in moulding the the entry, according to their opinions and wishes.

The motion was negatived, five Noes, four Ayes. Mr. RANDOLPH then opened the main business

He expressed his regret, that it should fall to him, rather than those who were of longer standing in life and political experience, to open the great subject of their mission. But as the Convention had originated from Virginia, and his colleagues supposed that some proposition was expected from them, they had imposed this task on him.

He then commented on the difficulty of the crisis, and the necessity of preventing the fulfilment of the prophecies of the American downfall.

He observed, that, in revising the federal system we ought to inquire, first, into the properties which such a government ought to possess; secondly, the defects of the Confederation; thirdly the danger of our situation; and fourthly, the remedy.

1. The character of such a government ought to secure, first, against foreign invasion; secondly, against dissensions between members of the Union, or seditions in particular States; thirdly, to procure to the several States various blessings of which an isolated situation was incapable; fourthly, it should be able to defend itself against encroachment; and fifthly, to be paramount to the State Constitutions.

2. In speaking of the defects of the Confederation, le professed a high respect for its authors, and considered them as having done all that patriots could do, in the then infancy of the science of constitutions, and of confederacies; when the inefficiency of requisitions was unknown-no commercial discord had arisen among any States--no rebellion had appeared, as in Massachusetts—foreign debts had not become urgent—the havoc of paper-money had not been foreseen-treaties had not been violated and perhaps nothing better could be obtained, from the

VOL. I.--46*

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