SMITH. In our CONVENTION, on Tuesday last, Mr. M. SMITH opened the debates of the day by an explanation of his arguments of the day before.
DUANE. The MAYOR of New-York followed him [Melancton Smith] by a long and well detailed speech in answer to the objections that had been made against the clause under consideration (sect. 8, art. 1): In the course of his observations, he produced a variety of papers to shew the folly of relying on requisitions (the mode intended by the amendment) and in particular an extract from the Circular Letter of his Excellency General Washington, by which he proved, that the distresses and procrastination of the war were attributable to that mode of supplying the common wants of the general government. He was about two hours on his legs; and having gone through and fairly answered the objections that had been made by the opposite party, concluded by an apology for the length of time he had taken up, and an exhortation to the Members to be calm and conciliatory in their proceedings.
JAY. After him [James Duane], Mr. JAY rose, who applauded Mr. Duane's speech in very high terms; and observed, that as every thing had been urged, which was pertinent to the occasion, he should only give his opinion in favor of the paragraph without any amendment; and he explained the idea of concurrent jurisdiction, by which the state governments are to be supported, in a very clear and able manner.
JONES. When Mr. Jay sat down, Mr. JONES took an opportunity of rising, and with his usual ingenuity stated some objections to the idea of a concurrent jurisdiction; observing at the same time, that if such a thing did exist, he should consider it as one of the greatest defects of the proposed Constitution.
R. R. LIVINGSTON. He [Samuel Jones] was followed by the CHANCELLOR, who, in a fine vein of humor, exposed the arguments of the opposition; compared ludicrously the reasoning of one to that of another, and placed in the most striking and picturesque point of view the absurdities and contradictions of all. He gave his fine imagination full scope, in sallies that would do honor to a Chesterfield or a Courtenay. The bursts of applause, which he received from every side, seemed to add energy to his genius, and his whole speech was a stream of delicate satire and truly Attic eloquence. Even those who felt most sensibly the lashes of his wit, were captivated with his fancy, and were forced to join the general laugh. Nor was his address a mere exercise of sportive imagination; his wit served only to give keenness to the edge of his arguments, and to make their impression irresistible. When the Chancellor sat down, a motion was made for the Committee to rise, and the Convention adjourned.