The idea I formerly mentioned to you, before the Convention met, of a great national council, consisting of two branches of the legislature, a judiciary and an executive, upon the principle of fair representation in the legislature, with powers adapted to the great objects of the Union, and consequently a control in these instances, on the State legislatures, is still the prevalent one.1
irginia has had the honor of presenting the outlines of the plan, upon which the convention is proceeding; but so slowly that it is impossible to judge when the business will be finished, most probably not before August — festina lente
may very well be called our motto. When I first came here, judging from casual conversations with gentlemen from the different States, I was very apprehensive that soured and disgusted with the unexpected evils we had experienced from the democratic principles of our governments, we should be apt to run into the opposite extreme and in endeavoring to steer too far from Scylla, we might be drawn into the vortex of Charybdis, of which I still think there is some danger, though I have the pleasure to find in the convention, many men of fine republican principles. America has certainly, upon this occasion, drawn forth her first characters; there are upon this Convention many gentlemen of the most respectable abilities, and so far as I can discover, of the purest intentions. The eyes of the United States are turned upon this assembly, and their expectations raised to a very anxious degree.